Highway 58 Windmill

Highway 58 Windmill

Before my mom and dad passed away, they lived in Atascadero, along the Central Coast of California. I would visit often and always made a long weekend of it. My favorite time of year was spring because the drive home could be a bonanza of photographic opportunities.

This time, I was driving along highway 58 and saw this windmill. I have driven by it many times and always refer to it as the Highway 58 Windmill.

I stopped and took a lot of images, none of which I was happy with. Being new to photography at the time, I thought I’d try some slow shutter speeds and took some shots. I realized that I was onto something. Finally, I zoomed in on just the vane and got this shot.

I have stopped time after time and tried to get a better shot, but none of them since compare to what I already have. I like it because the actual vane is sharp and in focus, but the “propeller” shows nice movement.

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City Warrior

City Warrior

On a visit to Chicago a few years ago, I found this City Warrior guarding an intersection near the lake. I spent a LOT of time trying to find a good shot that I liked and captured the flavor of the piece of art, but almost found nothing that wasn’t “touristy”.

After some research, I found that they were erected in 1928 as a tribute to Native Americans. There has been some discussion about how politically correct they are, but they remain on guard at the entrance to Grant Park. The title of the sculpture is The Spearman. You can read more about the work here and here.

Then I walked out into the  middle of traffic, on an island in the middle of the street, and looked up at the statue and saw the pattern of the building in the background. I knew I had my picture.

The tough part was getting the exposure right and making sure that the frame was filled with just the building and the statue.

I’ve been told by a “professional” photographer that my images isn’t that good, but I disagree. If you don’t mind, let me know what you think.

 

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Two Adolescent Male Elephant Seals Practice Fighting

Two Adolescent Male Elephant Seals Practice Fighting

 

The elephant seal colony at Pietras Blancas beach is a very busy place during December and January as the mothers are giving birth at the beginning of that time period and mating near the end. The males arrive in late October and the sub-adult males arrive late November/early December.

These two males have just reached the start of puberty, indicated by the slight growth at the end of their noses. When they finally reach adulthood, their noses can be as long as two feet.

The adolescent males practice fighting in order to prepare themselves for the day when they will have to battle for their harem of females on the beach. Very rarely are these mock battles or even the real ones fatal. Although once in a while a male may break a jaw or lose and eye which can hinder their chances for survival.

During their active months on the beach, you can see this behavior all of the time. I had to wait until the rest of the frame was clear of distractions and the water wasn’t covering them. Again, patients pays off in nature photography.

If you want more information on elephant seals, visit the Friends of Elephant Seals website.

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