Monterey Bay Morning

From a recent Saturday morning in Monterey – went whale watching on a particularly windy, bright day. Only two whales were spotted, and due to the pitching rise and fall of the relentless ocean swell, I only managed a few photos of whales. However, sunny moments like this stern sunbathing seagull perched on a rusting fishing boat, were easy to come by in the sheltered harbour.

Once several miles out to the edge of the bay, I did enjoy the shifting textural landscape of the windswept water, and managed a few lucky shots of some rare birds skimming the waves. Here’s the view of the California coastline, as we motored out in search of the whales…

out to sea

As with many things, the rest of the photos from this adventure will have to wait, as I dedicate more time to preparing for some upcoming work.  I think this trip out to sea was much-needed, as I came back to land feeling refreshed and energized by so much fresh air and bracing cold salt spray.

California Drought & Wildfires

Lake Shasta, 07.14.08, originally uploaded by A.p.K.

In California, where drought is a seasonal cycle as well as a condition that often affects the landscape for years at a time, it was big news earlier this week when the Governor declared the most recent period of drought to be officially over.

This shot was taken from the road headed north past Lake Shasta in 2008, a year notable for the ferocity and frequency of it’s wildfires. The air was thick with smoke, even hundreds of miles from the nearest blaze, and convoys of heavy-duty wildland firefighting equipment were seen daily speeding up and down the state highways. The distinctive firefighting airplane ‘Martin Mars’ was moored on the lake between runs.

With the recent rainy season and an immense snow-pack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, this year would appear to be drought-free, though technically, with the seasonally dry summer-fall months ahead, combustible conditions are always just a heat-wave away.

In fact, today is breaking high-temperature records statewide, and it is being joked that just a few more days of this hot dry weather, and we’ll have to declare a drought again…

I have a few shots from recent fire-seasons that I intend to make available as fine-art prints with a fundraising twist, to be released this summer. Check out more fire-related photographs from my collection here.

weather, light

northern nevada, originally uploaded by A.p.K.

Two of my favorite photographic ingredients – some fleeting condition like fast-moving clouds and rain, and the slanting rays of the sun. Even two images shot within seconds of each other can be remarkably different in tone and balance when captured under these conditions.

This was a lucky shot – on a working road-trip through Nevada where we stopped in Battle Mountain for the night as a large storm began to shower the region with rain and crackling lightning. Having walked one of the few main roads in town from our hotel to a cafe and back, I was glad to have carried my point-and-shoot camera as we turned to the mountains and caught a glimpse of the light and weather combined in a dramatic, shifting composition of landscape and man-made elements.

A Very Patient Dog…


You know that moment, caught out of the corner of your eye, that seems to perfectly sum up a story or feeling, and then as quickly as it appeared, it vanishes into thin air?

Doggy in the window


This is one of those moments, and perfectly illustrates why, at all times I feel compelled to have a camera with me. This was actually photographed with a tough little 5MP point-and-shoot camera, the only digital option I had at the time, which I’d stuffed into the pocket of my winter coat while up in the mountains for some winter recreation. Stopping by the lodge cafe for lunch, I noticed a very focused and forlorn dog hanging around the back door, and as I sat down to my meal, he stopped his pacing and sat down too, intently watching the warm scene of people and food inside. I was able to catch this snapshot in a break between passing customers, and a moment later, the dog had been reunited with his owner and was gone.