Saturday, September 27, 2008

Closing Time

San Jose, California
I love the night. It's quiet. Peaceful. All the doors close, the lights go out, and everyone sleeps, except for those few nocturnal souls like mine.

Cities truly shine at night. Here the lights never go out completely. The doors at Original Joe's stay open past midnight. Which was good for us since that's about the time we finally got to eat.

After the doors are locked and everyone leaves with full bellies, a lone worker remains.

Fresh crisp tablecloths adorn each table, perfectly in line with the next.

For those far from home, a bed and pillow await here.

Time to go.  Back to L.A.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Walk Like an Egyptian

San Jose, California
We met the lovely Dianne and Dominik for The Day After portrait session at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. I fell in love with the museum last year, and was happy to photograph here again.

We started at the house by the pond in the peace garden.

Dianne is simply gorgeous. I couldn't help but think of Cleopatra as we walked around the grounds which were adorned with Egyptian symbols like the ankh below.

All of the windows and doorways made for endless photo possibilities.

I can't decide which doorway photo I like the best.

I shot this one facing the sun which made an unusual lens flare.

Dominik has a strong, handsome profile.

I love this moment!

Leaving the garden...

Dianne's only photo request was that we take photos in the water. San Jose is far from the ocean, so we went to this fountain instead.

Dominik on the other hand, had absolutely no desire to go in the water.

But he ended up surprising his wife and going in anyway.

And we ended up with my favorite photo from the day.

It Is Her Love that Gives Me Strength

My sister's love is on the far side.
The river is between our bodies;
The waters are mighty at flood-time,
A crocodile waits in the shallows.
I enter the water and brave the waves,
My heart is strong on the deep;
The crocodile seems like a mouse to me,
The flood as land to my feet.
It is her love that gives me strength,
It makes a water-spell for me;
I gaze at my heart's desire,
As she stands facing me!
My sister has come, my heart exults,
My arms spread out to embrace her;
My heart bounds in its place,
Like the red fish in its pond.
O night, be mine forever,
Now that my queen has come!

~ from love poems found inscribed on The Cairo Vase,
a vase from the New Kingdom Period excavated at Deir el-Medina

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Do You Know the Way To San Jose?

San Jose, California
We met Katrina and Jeremy for an engagement portrait session.

The couple first met at The Cheesecake Factory, where they both worked.

Katrina and Jeremy are super cute together.

They weren't sure of how to pose but once we started shooting they were naturals!

I love Katrina's ring!

We found this cool old door...

and a funky spiky tree!

Thank you Katrina & Jeremy for a fun shoot!

Friday, September 12, 2008

So Long San Fran!

San Francisco, California
It's time to bid this city farewell. Perhaps Walter Cronkite said it best, "Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart. You want to linger as long as possible."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Little Fishing Village

Sausalito, California
My favorite cookies used to be Sausalito by Pepperidge Farms. Now I just look at one cookie and go up a dress size. Our calorie-free indulgence for the day was a quick trip across the Bay to Sausalito.

The streets were overflowing with tourists and lacking in parking. Even the seagull parking was full.

We made another quick stop at the Gates Cooperative house boat community.

The old bohemian neighborhood is characterized by its bright houses, many decorated with artwork from calaveras to what looked like nursery rhyme characters.

What all the houses had in common was that they were wearing down.

This boat and smokestack reminds me of Popeye.

I didn't want to intrude for too long. The residents seem tired of tourists coming by - and I don't blame them. It was time to get out of Dodge. But not before I took a photo of the coolest muscle car. Time to drive back.

Meet Me at the Golden Gate

San Francisco, California
One of the challenges to photographing an icon like the Golden Gate Bridge is finding a different way to see it.

We took a drive across the bridge...

It was covered in a blanket of fog.

Neither rain nor snow nor fog will stop this photographer!

The sun started to come out...

....right at the end of the road.

We continued on to Sausalito, which was about 20 degrees warmer than San Francisco. By the time we drove back, the bridge was almost clear.

I'm so lucky Michael drove across and back so I could take these photos!

We continued on to Baker Beach for another great view of the Golden Gate.

Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.
- Pooh's Little Instruction Book

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

There's No Escape

Alcatraz Island, California
The Rock looks foreboding as we get closer and closer.

Just in case you feel drawn toward the island, this sign makes it clear you should stay away.

Alcatraz is only 1.5 miles away from San Francisco but escaping meant braving the cold waters.

Birds have taken over this island. It is home to many species, including seagulls, herons, egrets, and cormorants.

Walking into Alcatraz Penitentiary is like walking into a black and white photo. The deep blue waters of the bay and the bright green of the grass are all outside. Inside is gray.

Each inmate had his own 5' x 9' cell.

A list of regulations governed all the details of the prisoners' lives.

Regulation #30 CELLHOUSE RULES
At the wake-up bell in the morning you must get out of bed and put on your clothes. Make up your bed properly (as shown in the diagram on Page #8) with your pillow at the end near the bars, blankets tucked neatly under the mattress, and extra blankets folded neatly at the foot of the bed. Sweep your cell and place the trash in the trash basket.

Alcatraz was reserved for the worst criminals.

Among the baddest of them all, was the Polka of Alcatraz. Her quick shooting skills landed her in the joint for life.

Polka's partner in crime was Mike "Shifty Eyes."

There is no escape from the bars. Even the shadows mock you.

Regulation #42 YARD PRIVILEGES
Exercise yard rules: All inmates in good standing are allowed the yard privilege on Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays, if the weather permits.

I wonder how many only saw the outside world through these dusty dining room windows.

Regulation #33 DINING ROOM RULES
Meals are served three times a day in the dining room. Do not exceed the ration. Do not waste food. Do not carry food from the dining room.

The glass case surrounding a guard's uniform reflects some tourists.

Looking into the offices it seems as if time froze.

Regulation # 21 WORK
You are required to work at whatever you are told to do.

There's even a date stamp. I'm guessing it's from 1952, but I'm not sure of the significance. Anyone know?

Inmates who did not follow the regulations were sent here.

The prison hospital is the creepiest of all. I feel like I'm in a horror movie.

Medical attention is available to all inmates.

This looks like a torture chamber!

That hospital gave me the chills. I could not get out of there fast enough!

I believe that's the guard quarters, with San Francisco gleaming in the distance.

We finished the tour listening to some more prison stories.

The island no longer belongs to the Birdman of Alcatraz.

Regulation #3 STATUTORY GOOD TIME, MERITORIOUS GOOD TIME AND INDUSTRIAL GOOD TIME are types of reduction in sentence which can be earned only by inmates who establish and keep a good conduct record and a good work record.

Thank you to the National Park Service for all of their hard work in preserving history. I highly recommend the Alcatraz Tour for anyone visiting the Bay area. Quick tip: Be sure to reserve your tickets early as they sell out fast. We bought ours a month ahead of time and the night tour the day before ours was sold out.