Photography . . . Travel . . .

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Balboa Park Carousel - San Diego

The Balboa Park Carousel was built in 1910, and all but two pairs of the hand-carved wooden animals in the menagerie are original.  

Something about this next one seems oddly familiar.

While we're on the subject of large carnivores . . .

The Carousel is located not far from the entrance to the San Diego Zoo. You drive right past it on your way into the parking lot.

This is apparently one of the few remaining carousels in the world which still offers the brass ring game for everyone taking the 5-minute ride.

Click here to see more images of the Balboa Park Carousel.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Some Recent Pictures of Connor the Tiger

I'm still sorting through the pictures from our recent trip to the Huntington Gardens and Library and Aquarium of the Pacific over Thanksgiving, as well as all the pictures from yesterday and today at the Zoo, so in the meantime, here are a few pictures of Connor, the Malayan Tiger at the San Diego Zoo, from earlier this month.

Click here to see a few more pictures of Connor from November 16, 2014.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Views On The Drive Home Were Nice Too

On the way home from Anza Borrego on Sunday evening I called Heather, who mentioned that a fresh apple pie from the bakery in Santa Ysabel would be nice.  That resulted in my being on the road west at just the right time to see one of the best sunsets in a very long time.  I did manage to stop for one picture just outside of Santa Ysabel.  After that there was no good place to stop, so I just drove on, enjoying an amazing view as all those clouds turned to a spectacular shade of orange.


Overnight in Anza Borrego

A couple of friends and I found an out of the way little canyon in Anza Borrego Desert State Park to do some night sky photography on Saturday evening.  The weather was beautiful, mild temperature with a few clouds, no moon, and lots of stars in the sky.  Thanks to the remote location in the Park, and the way the canyon was facing, we had pretty much no light pollution to deal with.

Here's the view looking north from our campsite a few minutes after sunset.

Lots of stars.  The one lantern we had going in camp was enough to light up the canyon walls for some added interest. 

The Xterra makes a great camping vehicle for one or two people, it's quite comfortable to stretch out in the back.  

Our little campsite was plenty big enough for 3 Xterras. It was actually pretty flat, but the fisheye lens adds a lot of distortion.

On Sunday morning the 3 of us went off in search of interesting desert landscape.  We found this great looking cliff, with big cracked chunks of sandstone looking like teeth about to fall out. 

The looked like they could come crashing down at any moment, and completely block the trail below.  Of course, we didn't notice that until after we got out of the trucks.  In retrospect, perhaps this was not the safest parking spot.  We didn't stay here long.

We went for a walk in the portion of a hiking trail known as The Slot.  It's hard to tell without someone in the picture for scale, but I had to turn sideways in order to get through this section.

This spot was a bit wider, which was a good thing since when you looked up all you really wanted to do was run.

There used to be 2 of these beehive-looking formations side-by-side in Borrego Mountain Wash.  You can see what remains of one of them on the ground to the left of the one still standing.

Later, in a different part of the Park, we found some great examples of wind erosion in exposed sandstone formations.

We all agreed that we could not begin to imagine how difficult it must have been for the early explorers to cross this part of the world, especially in the warmer months.  There is definitely something to be said for the modern conveniences of air conditioning, a good stereo, and suspension.

Looking north in the late afternoon, as we neared the end of the off-road portion of our day.

Click here to see a few more images from our weekend photography trip to Anza Borrego Desert State Park on November 22-23, 2014.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Drive - Anza Borrego Desert State Park - Buttes Pass Area

Heather and I took a drive out to Anza Borrego Desert State Park last Sunday (Nov 2). The plan was to hike a little, find a scenic spot for a picnic lunch, try out the 4WD system in the new Xterra, and generally just enjoy a quiet day in a really nice place. With over 1,000 square miles of desert to wander in, we had no problem finding what we were looking for.

Our first stop was Hawk Canyon, off of Buttes Pass Road, where got in a little hike up to the back of the canyon. The sun was bright, but the temperature was pleasant. Over the next few months it will just keep getting better (as in cooler) too.

From Hawk Canyon we drove over Buttes Pass heading north and turned east in San Felipe Wash. When I saw this in the mirror I knew it was time to stop for another picture.

It looks like the truck has picked up a bit of dust since the first picture was taken.

The views from along the Goat Trail are always nice.

We found a nice shady spot for lunch, pulled out the chairs, put our feet up on the cooler and enjoyed the view.

I took advantage of the tilt-screen on my camera to get this Schnauzer's-eye view of a cholla catcus in the late afternoon sun.

We drove out to the top of the Borrego Mountain Drop-Off for the late afternoon view north, with the setting sun behind us. Heather found a nice spot to sit and enjoy it.

As we headed home across the mountains we were treated to some great views of the clouds and the setting sun.

Click here to see a few more images from Anza Borrego Desert State Park on Sunday, November 2, 2014.

October Tiger Pictures - Connor, Malayan Tiger at the San Diego Zoo

October is an interesting time at the San Diego Zoo. On the one hand, it generally has some of the best light, because of where the sun is in the afternoon sky. On the other hand, it's Kids Free Month, which means it's jammed with people on the weekends. But, I still can't pass up the sunlight reflecting up off the lower pond at the Malayan Tiger enclosure.

Click here to see a few more images of Connor, the Malayan Tiger at the San Diego Zoo, taken in early October.

Night Sky Photography

Some friends and I have been doing some night sky photography over the past few months.  Here are some of the results.

These first two are the Moon rising over downtown San Diego in early August of this year, taken from Harbor Island.

Here are few shots of the Milky Way, taken in the mountains of eastern San Diego County. It's actually somewhat late in the year for Milky Way pictures in this part of the world; we'll have to wait for Spring to go at this again.

I think it's nice to have something in foreground on these types of pictures. There are some great old trees up there that make for nice foreground subjects.

Sometimes we bring the foreground subject with us; in this case my Nissan Xterra. I've replaced the interior dome lamps with red LEDs, they make for a nice warm glow in the picture, and save your night vision when out on trips like this.

Sometimes I get into the picture myself - sort of.

Click here to see a few more night sky images.

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.