Photography . . . Travel . . .

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Balboa Park San Diego - Late Afternoon / Early Evening Walk

I spent a few hours in the very late afternoon and early evening on Sunday wandering around Balboa Park with my new Fuji X-E1 and a couple of lenses. It was bright and sunny, and a little cool, a perfect afternoon for a walk. The Park was crowded with people enjoying the nice weather.

The late afternoon sunlight, especially this time of year, is particularly nice for photographing the buildings.

Just as I was getting back to the car to head home I looked up and saw this - the just about full moon rising in the east. Of course, that meant dinner would have to wait. These shots were all taken hand-held, since I completely forgot that I had my tripod in the back of the car.

One last shot - a family out for an evening stroll, with the Moon rising up above them.

Click here to see more images from my later afternoon / early evening walk around Balboa Park with the Fuji X-E1 and the 18-55mm and 35mm lenses, all shot hand-held, on Sunday, February 24, 2013.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

San Diego Zoo

What was originally intended to be just a couple of hours walking around the Zoo this morning turned into quite a few hours hanging out at the Malayan Tiger exhibit. For the all the time I spent there I only got a few pictures, but I had a good time anyway. Up until about last week there had been two tigers out in the mornings, brothers Christopher and Conner. Christopher has now moved on to his new home at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, where they've arranged a girlfriend for him. Conner gets to stay in San Diego, and I was told by one of the keepers today that the girlfriend they've arranged for him is now at the Zoo getting acclimated. I felt a little sad to see Christopher go, but in the wild Malayan tigers are solitary, and if this means potentially more cubs, that is certainly a good thing. You can see lots of pictures of the two of them together by scrolling back though earlier posts on this blog.

Here's Conner.

This next one has a bit of motion blur, and is a bit out of focus too, but in this case I think it still works.

Bullet the Fishing Cat was out in the sun when I went by.

On my way out I stopped by the Terrace Lagoon to check out the ducks in the late afternoon sun. Here's a male and female mallard.

One last stop, a quick lap around the Reptile House, and it was time to head home. I thought the way this snake's head was turned was kind of interesting.

Click here to see a few more pictures from the San Diego Zoo on Saturday, February 13, 2013.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wandering the Backroads of San Diego County - Santa Ysabel to Pala to Fallbrook

I met up with a friend on Monday morning for a drive around the backroads of San Diego County, looking for interesting things to photograph.  It was cloudy and gray when I left home, but in mountains farther inland the skies were blue, with the occasional cloud to add some interest.

We met in Santa Ysabel, at the Julian Pie Company main bakery, and of course we had to have a piece of pie and coffee for second breakfast. This is the Apple-Mountain Berry Crumb.

Our first stop was the little Mission chapel at Santa Ysabel. This facility was a sub-mission or outpost of the Mission at San Diego; the first chapel was built in 1823. The current building dates to 1924.

From Santa Ysabel we drove west towards the Mission at Pala, with a stop along Mesa Grande Road to get some shots of an abandoned barn.

The Mission at Pala, like the one in Santa Ysabel, is a sub-mission, but this one is connected to the Mission San Luis Rey de Francia at Oceanside. The Mission San Antonio de Pala has been in use since it was founded in 1816. It is the only one of the original California missions still ministering to Native American people. 

It's a little hard to see in the photo above, but there is a cactus growing on the top of the bell tower. The sign nearby says that Father Peyri, the Franciscan priest who founded the Mission, climbed up there in 1816 to place the cross to symbolize that construction was complete, and also planted a small cactus while he was up there.

We went into downtown Fallbrook for lunch, where we found some old buildings, a cup of espresso, and even some Italian candy.

All in all it was a pretty good day. Mitch and I found lots of interesting subjects for our cameras, met some interesting people, and found some good food too.

Click here to see more images from Monday February 18, 2013.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Balboa Park and San Diego Museum of Art - New Asian Galleries

After I finished up downtown at the Chinese Historical Museum I decided to continue with the Asian theme and check out the newly re-opened Asian Art galleries at the San Diego Museum of Art. This section of the museum recently re-opened after having been closed for some time while they completely re-did the galleries. I really like the way they turned out.

Here are a few images from the new galleries. It was pretty dark in there but the new Fuji X-E1 handled it nicely.

I don't normally do a lot of editing to my photos, but on this next one I've jacked up the contrast quite a bit, since the object in the foreground is sitting in a glass case in the middle of the room, and you can clearly see my reflection in the glass on the original version. You can see that version in the gallery linked at the end of this post.

Here's the large statue that is in the background of the shot above.

These next two are a pair of foxes guarding a Shinto temple.

It was pretty nice day in San Diego on Saturday and Balboa Park was jammed with people. I wandered around the Park for a few hours, including a stop at the Botanical Building.

Click here to see more images from Balboa Park and the San Diego Museum of Art from Saturday February 16, 2013.

San Diego Chinese Historical Museum and the Gaslamp Quarter

I spent a few hours this past Saturday wandering around the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego, and in particular the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. This was also the time of the Chinese New Year celebration in downtown San Diego - in this case a 2-day street festival covering a few blocks centered right in front of the museum. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to practice with my new Fuji X-E1 camera.

The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum is not very large, but it does have a nice collection of items spread over 2 buildings in a part of downtown San Diego that was home to a large Chinese community many years ago.

There is a very nice small garden behind the main museum building, including a koi pond.

On my way back across downtown to my car I stopped in to check out the Horton Grand Hotel.

This paper-mache horse in a room off the hotel lobby apparently has been around for quite some time. The sign said that it stood outside a downtown saddlery shop for 79 years.

Click here to see more images from the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego and the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, from Saturday February 16, 2013.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pacific Southwest Railway Museum - Campo, California

Last weekend our local photography club met for our monthly Group Shoot at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo, California. Campo is located about 50 miles east of downtown San Diego, down close to the Mexican border, along the old San Diego & Arizona rail line. The museum is one of the largest operating rail museums in California. The rail line was completed in 1919, the depot was built in 1917.

We rode the excursion train, which consisted of a restored mid-1940's vintage diesel-electric locomotive, a passenger car and a baggage car, from the Campo station out to the Mexican border and back.

The restored railway post office car in the display barn was full of all sorts of interesting details.

This museum is definitely worth the hour or so drive from San Diego. I gave this last shot a sort of old film processing look - it seemed to fit in with the age of the train.

Click here to see more images from our day at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum on Saturday, February 9, 2013.

About Me

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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.

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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.