Photography . . . Travel . . .

Friday, December 31, 2010

A Few Recent Images from Balboa Park

After dinner on Saturday (Christmas) night, Heather and I took a drive through Balboa Park to check out the lights. We wound up only staying a few minutes, and I decided to come back on Sunday, but earlier in the evening. While I was figuring all that out, Heather went to sit on the front steps of the San Diego Museum of Art to wait for me.

I went back to Balboa Park late in the afternoon on Sunday, arriving a bit before sunset. It was a really nice evening, and there were lots of people out walking in the Park. You'll notice "ghost" images in almost all of these shots, as people walked through the frame.

It's been a while since I've been in the Park at the same time that both the fountain was running and lit, and it was dark enough to get a nice picture.

I stopped into the little courtyard by the Prado Restaurant.

There were some seasonal decorative lights up on the little bridge by the Museum of Man.

The Who-Ville Christmas Tree in front of the Old Globe was quite the popular spot. There were lots of people there for The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

On my way back to the car I stopped for a bit in the Alcazar Garden to try another round of "painting with light" by using my flashlight to illuminate the fountain in the foreground.

Click here for more images from my walk around Balboa Park on Sunday evening.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone. 

(This is a detail of the fountain in the entry area of the San Diego Museum of Art, in Balboa Park. They have decorated it for the holidays. Taken Friday afternoon.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Anza Borrego Desert - 17 Palms Oasis to Font's Point with SCCX - Dec 18, 2010

I led another trip for SCCX (the So Cal Xterra Club) on Saturday, Dec 18th. This time we checked out the northern end of Anza Borrego Desert State Park, starting out in Arroyo Salado, then 17 Palms Oasis, followed by the Pumpkin Patch, then Ella Wash, Vista del Malpais, Short Wash and finally ending at Font's Point to watch the sunset. There were storms over most of Southern California that I guess must have kept people away. It was beautiful out in the desert though. There were a fair amount of clouds, but that just makes for better photos.

It rained for most of the drive out across the mountains from San Diego, but was starting to clear as passed through Ranchita and started down the Montezuma Grade. The view from the overlook spot was nice. We were a group of 6 Xterras and 1 Jeep, and we all drove out from the San Diego area together. No one else showed up at the Arroyo Salado meet spot. 

Lined up and ready to roll from the meet spot in Arroyo Salado.

Our first stop was 17 Palms Oasis. We saw almost no one else on the trails on Saturday, which surprised me, but it was nice to have the oasis all to ourselves. 

Our next stop was the Pumpkin Patch, an area in the Ocotillo Wells SRVA with a large amount of sandstone concretions. The Park Service has fenced the area off to protect the "pumpkins", and they set up an information kiosk on busy weekends to help educate people about the geology of the area. These things really do kind of look like pumpkins.

On the way back from the Pumpkin Patch we stopped for a group photo in the narrow, windy wash that connects Tule Wash to Arroyo Salado. Luckily there was no one coming the other way, it's barely wide enough for one vehicle through there.

We found a nice spot for lunch at the intersection of Ella Wash and Palo Verde Wash, and then drove out to the overlook at Vista del Malpais, for a great view of the Borrego Badlands. Again, we had the place to ourselves.

Time to move on to our next stop. 

A while back I noticed these interesting little rock and sand formations in one of the side washes off of the narrower part of Short Wash, so I thought I would share them with the group.  They remind me of the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon, only on a much smaller scale. They appear to be formed the same way, with the cap rock protecting the column of sand below it, and the rest of the sand eroding away.

It was getting late in the afternoon, and our plan was to be at Font's Point in time to watch the sun set, so off we went. It's that time of year, so Christmas Penguin was along for the ride.

The view from Font's Point was nice, and as an added bonus it was nowhere near as cold as I had expected it to be. I think that there just a bit too many gray clouds for a really colorful sunset, but it was still a great scene, no matter what direction you looked in.

As we were driving back to the highway the sky towards the north was starting  to get pinkish.

There was an almost full moon rising through the pink clouds over the desert as we stopped to re-inflate our tires at the end of the day.  A perfect ending to another perfect day in the desert. 

Here is my first attempt at video. It's only 17 seconds long, which is actually about 3 seconds too many. I figured out the other day that my new Blackberry has video, but I still don't really know how to use it, which explains the last 3 seconds. Christmas Penguin goes for a ride in the desert.

Click here to see more images from Saturday, Dec 18, 2010 in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

Monday, December 13, 2010

La Jolla - San Diego DSLR Group Shoot - December

For this month's Group Shoot for the San Diego DSLR Photo Group we met at the Children's Pool, on the coast in La Jolla just south of the Cove. It was really foggy on Saturday morning, which made for some interesting pictures. We had a pretty good size group turn out, I think about 23 of us made it into the group photo.

The tide was high, the fog was thick, and the ocean was turbulent when we walked out onto the sea wall. There were lots of seals resting on the sand and playing in the waves in the Children's Pool. The fog makes it hard to see the seals on this rock just off shore.

One of my cousins mentioned the other day that I should put more pictures of Heather up on the blog, so here is one of Heather standing on the sea wall. So, here you go Mary, this one is just for you.

There actually were a few people swimming and even diving over at the Cove, just a bit north of here. I doubt that the water was any warmer there.

Even the seals knew where it would be warmer. I didn't have a long lens with me, but with a fair amount of cropping I was able to get this.

Did I mention that the fog was kind of thick?

On our way to lunch we stopped in to the La Valencia Hotel to check out the Christmas tree in the lobby. Finally something colorful.

Click here to see more images from Saturday, December 11th in La Jolla with the San Diego DSLR Photo Group.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Another Coronado Evening

I went back over to Coronado on Thursday evening with a friend from the local photo club. We started out at the Hotel del Coronado. The sky was quite different from Sunday night, and really nowhere near as interesting. There was, however, a crescent moon setting over the view of the pool. 

We went into the lobby to try a few more shots of the Christmas Tree and the other decorations.

From the Hotel Del we headed over to the Il Fornaio Restaurant at the Ferry Landing for a light dinner and some shots of the downtown San Diego skyline across the Bay.

The Bay was really calm, and when we first got there, the sky was quite clear. Later it started to get a little foggy along the shorelines.

The new Hilton sort of stands out by itself, away from the rest of the tall buildings downtown.

The USS Midway Museum (the aircraft carrier in the distance) had it's holiday lights going.

The now infamous Carnival Splendor, which recently lost power off the coast of Mexico and had to be towed back to San Diego while the passengers feasted on Spam and Pop-Tarts, was sitting across the Bay undergoing repairs. 

Click here for more images from Coronado on Thursday evening, December 9, 2010.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Coronado Sunset and Holiday Lights at the Hotel del Coronado

On a sort of last-minute impulse I drove down to Coronado this evening, to check out the sunset and the holiday lights at the Hotel del Coronado. It was sprinkling lightly when I first got there, but that didn't last long (or stop me from taking pictures), and it turned into a nice, mild evening. Winter skies are always the best around here.

Here's a bit of trivia - those berms in the sand in the first 3 photos, when viewed from the air, spell out "Coronado".  Every year the Hotel del Coronado is covered in lights for the holidays.

The view out across the pool to the ocean and sunset is equally impressive.

They put up a huge Christmas tree in the lobby of the hotel, and a long exposure makes the people look like ghosts. Or, maybe at least some of these really are ghosts - the Hotel del Coronado is said to be haunted.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Click here for more images from the Hotel del Coronado and a December sunset.

About Me

My photo
San Diego, California, United States
About me . . . When I'm not working I like to be out exploring and photographing. I do this blog just for fun, and to be able to share these images with friends. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.

Blog Archive


All of the content and images on this site (c) Frank B. Baiamonte. If you would like to use any of these images please contact me via email at to discuss terms of usage. Note that images from the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are not available for commercial usage. You can also see more on my Instagram page @frankbaiamonte.

Header image: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, Arizona. End image: Downtown San Diego, California skyline from Coronado Island. Profile picture: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, by Heather Baiamonte.