Monthly Archives: March 2016

California Tower South view, looking East.

Views From The Balboa Park California Tower

Views From The Balboa Park California Tower

My Photo club had an outing at Balboa Park, taking us to the first observation deck in the California Tower, which is connected to the San Diego Museum of Man.  Below is a set of images, with more explanation below.

As always, clicking on any of these images will launch the slideshow.

The California Tower was opened in 1915, but was closed in 1935.  Recent improvements, particularly safety, has allowed guided access to the bottom observation deck.  There are two smaller observation decks above, but those have not been improved with safety features added.  They remain closed to the public, but I don’t think the view is incredibly different.

Tickets can be purchased through the Museum of Man website.  You should arrive early, and there is security that will look at your gear.  We were able to arrange a special “photo tour” provided that we buy out the entire show.  This wasn’t too tough.

One of the challenges we found is that the tops of the buildings in the park are not too attractive.  Piping, duct work, and cabling appears to run on many of the flat-topped buildings.  Compositions were tough.  In addition, much of the shooting was from narrow angles.  My El Prado images were very tight for this reason.

To me, the most enjoyable image was made of the Old Globe through the North lookout.  It was really surprising how close you were to the top.  A hawk nest sits on the top of the Globe facing South.  The nest is not currently active, and it appears that the recent human traffic has sent the hawk elsewhere to live.

The weather was clear and warm.  With the time change, the sun was higher than preferred.  It would be great to come again, with the final 4:20 PM tour timed closer to sunset, perhaps late Fall or early Winter.  Overall, it was enjoyable to hang out with friends and make images from a perspective I’ve never experienced in Balboa Park.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the images!

Fog In The San Andreas Rift Valley (4 Images)

Fog In The San Andreas Rift Valley

Leaving Pinnacles National Park, I was driving North to see family.  The way out of the National Park is on California Highway 25 which runs through the San Andreas Rift Valley.  Morning fog was clearing and I stopped in several spots to make the images in the gallery below.

Fog is not uncommon this time of year.  It often fills the various canyons and valleys in the Coast Range region.  By the time I had left Pinnacles, must of the fog and mist was lifting, so I had to work very quickly.  Highway 25 does not have an abundance of turnouts, and much of the accessible dirt areas are driveways to private property.

I would like to visit again on a couple more trips to Pinnacles, but dedicate the better part of the morning to the Rift Valley.  That is one of the challenges when making a trip.  There are often “side projects” that can produce equal or superior images to the area you intend to visit.

A Stormy Superbloom In Death Valley (8 Images)

A Stormy Superbloom In Death Valley

There really wasn’t a Superbloom.  A trending topic on Facebook, the spring wildflower season was good, but not incredible or “once in a lifetime” or any of the hyperbole you read.  Still, here is a small first selection of images I made on a stormy weekend in Death Valley.