Tuesday, August 27, 2013

AZ Part 4: Lee's Ferry Overlook

The desert is a big place.

Lee's Ferry and beyond (click for a bit bigger)

Rule Numero Uno for me in the desert, especially an unfamiliar desert, is to not get stung by any poisonous critters. Thus, I tend to be pretty careful about where I put my extremities. So when Chris and Lisa took us to Lee's Ferry overlook via RAZR and I found this post-bloom-yet-miraculously-not-dead agave, I made damn sure to inspect the ground around it before I got...more familiar...

Chris made a behind the scenes photo for this one:

Standing tall

And a little closer:

Agave detail

Micro landscape

From the Overlook, we headed to Death Pockets, which were super awesome even if they weren't filled with water because it hadn't rained in ages. Whew.

That'll have to wait, though, as Burning Man looms...


Monday, August 26, 2013

AZ Part 3: Bands by Night

Our last stop on our way home from the airport (one hell of a shuttle run...) was a quick park 'n huck near the north end of House Rock Valley Road. Chris had repeatedly admonished me to just tell him to STOP if I saw something, and this one seemed like it was worth it.

We were pretty much asleep, especially after getting onto the billiard-table smooth highway after 25 miles of rough and tumble dirt road, so telling him to stop came only after prying an eye open and seeing something vaguely interesting out of the left side of the car.

The full moon was now a little over 2 hours high in the sky, and the clear skies pretty much made it bright as day.

And we hadn't even gotten started...when we reached Casa del Gatos, we fell into bed exhausted and super anxious for the days to come.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

AZ Part 2: Vermilion Moonrise

Our next stop was alongside the Vermilion Cliffs for a picnic dinner. No condors visible.

We knew it was almost moonrise time, but thought we wouldn't have a view due to alignment and atmospheric conditions. Ha ha ha ha ha.

When this poked over the distant cliffs and caught us completely off guard, I choked on half a mouthful of food, mumbled "oh holy shit," hopped back over to the car (I was technically still on crutches), and started slamming camera equipment together. Managed to get everything mounted, focused, and exposed before she cleared the horizon, along with a couple deep breaths to steady my hands.

Chris was kind enough to honor me with a guest post featuring a photo from twenty-four seconds later, but I cleverly withheld this one for my own purposes.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

AZ Part 1: Navajo Bridge

We escaped to Page, AZ to visit Chris and Lisa a few weeks ago, and my, what a trip. They played consummate hosts and tour guides, and we packed an awful lot into the few short days we were there.

Page ain't cheap to fly to, so Chris was kind enough to pick us up in Flagstaff and subsequently seized the opportunity to take us to a couple neat places on the way home. One of these was Navajo Bridge, constructed in 1929 and nearly 500' above the Colorado.

This is REALLY high up; gigantic canyon = deceiving scale

There's now a new bridge (1995), but the old one is still there and open to walk across. Historical importance: it's the only bridge across the Colorado River for ~600 (!) miles. It's right near Lee's Ferry, which was the old-fashioned (and only) way across before the newfangled bridge came on the scene. Whippersnapper.

And from rather far away

Bonus photo of last light on a rock formation next to the bridge

Pretty cool structure to crawl around on, but nothing compared to the stuff we'd see in the coming days.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Riverside Hub + Steel

A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to make some photos inside the Hub's new location along the river in Reno. Huge thanks to Robby for his expert photo-slave skillz, as well as his willingness to show up two mornings in a row at some horrific time like 4:30.

If you start to sense a theme in these photos, it's because I was there to focus on the stunning craftsmanship that Tutto Ferro employed in the substantial amount of work they performed. Steel, brick, concrete, wood, and rock all get teased into new forms, and the results are pretty sweet.

All this happened before their official opening, so you'll have to forgive the exclusion of things like beans and coffee cups etc.

I really enjoy this flavor of photography, even though (or maybe because...) there's so much suffering that goes into the final product. I guess I'll have to take that up with my shrink. Anyhow, if these look like they were easy, then I've done my job :)

They're in full swing now, so stop by and check 'em out.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Backyard Birding II

More bird-on-wire action from the homestead. Getting these focused just so is kind of a pain, but no one wants to see photos of dead birds, so instead we suffer :)

First one has an ant or spider or something lined up for a snack. Industrious little fellows!

I'm on the verge of tucking into photos from some ridiculously awesome excursions to cool places. Stay tuned, gypsies.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wedding: Michelle and Brian

In a departure from what you're used to seeing here, I'd like to share some photos from a very cool couple's wedding. I've known Michelle and Brian for a few years, so I was honored to spend their wedding day with them at Garwoods at Lake Tahoe. Also, huge thanks to Spencer Jones for doing second-shooter duties!

We knew their wedding would be super scenic, so we switched it up for their engagement session and did the urban thing instead :) Here are a few from that day, during which we exploited several of Reno's murals, bright walls, and various other geometric city-lookin' things:

Under the watchful gaze of Neptune

And here are some of my favorites from their wedding day:

Buds and Blooms was on hand for floral duties, and the bouquets, centerpieces, and other arrangements were all stunning...well done, sir.

Also, they were kind enough to get married the evening before this year's supermoon, so we got to play with the big white thing in the sky.

The only thing I know for sure is that I woke up the next day absolutely exhausted, even after awesome food and a Wet Woody (or two) to whet my gullet.

Thanks guys!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Backyard Birding

Every now and then, there's joy to be found in more mundane pursuits, especially when those pursuits involve not leaving the shade of the back patio.


Not exactly exotic, but that's perfectly fine.


Thursday, August 8, 2013


After the fateful marathon, we decided to blast down east for a few days. Another part of the country Murphy had yet to see, Maine is super awesome, ESPECIALLY before tourist season hits. Mid-April is practically still winter there, much less tourist season, so off we went!

We spent a relaxing night in Portland, and the only shitty thing about it was chasing Ethel around on crutches. We ate some pretty good sushi at Sapporo and had a hotel room that was sweet and a third the price it would have been mid-season.

Dusky Stonington

After Portland, we wandered considerably further along the coast to Stonington, where we scored deeply again on a room. Again, about the only lame thing was getting used to gimping around, especially as my upper-body strength during marathon training started at Deficient and only went downhill from there. Thus, my recreational options largely consisted of sitting on the deck across from our hotel, taking photos of the harbor, and drinking wine. Rough life.


Tide recedes

Stonington goes to bed pretty early; as an actual lobster-fishing town, the work day starts at Oh-Dark-Noisy, which is great for them but sure makes it hard to get any sleep.

Ready for action

Our rough plan for this excursion along the coast was to do some gentle hiking to get off the beaten path, but my gimpiness limited me to somewhere around half a mile at best, so that plan pretty much went out the window. Also unfortunately, most of Acadia National Park was closed prior to its normal season, but we did get to see some great coastline nonetheless. We made a quick visit to my mom's place, too, close as the crow flies but multiple hours of driving away.

Sea Bug extraordinaire

The next day, on our way back through Portland, we stopped and had lobster for lunch; definitely a delicacy, but I prefer crab :)

Blustery shore

Early warning; Ram Island Lighthouse

Our timing to return to Boston was marginal at best; the city was gripped in the throes of the manhunt from the bombing a few days prior. We holed up for dinner at Sara's parents' house in Lunenburg where it was considerably calmer...

Save for a few hilarious photos I think I'll share that the race photographers got of me in damage control mode, this wraps up the Boston trip; we've still got a long ways to go to catch up.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Architectural Wanderings in Boston

As it was her first time in Boston, Murphy had to be taken for a tour of the old stomping grounds. A bonus is that campuses are full of interesting architecture, so it's an easy sell for a walkabout.

MIT's Lobby 7; I walked under this damn thing every day

Kresge Auditorium (super geeky building; the roof is one-eighth of a sphere...)

All of these from MIT were made handheld with the 17 TS-E, which I'm a little bit proud of. They're not perfect perfect, but for no tripod, I'm happy.

Stata Center

The Stata Center is stunning; it wasn't yet complete when I left Boston oh-so-many years ago. Unfortunately, it's also the site where MIT Officer Sean Collier was slain only a few days after these photos.

Stata from the other side (also an unintentional self-portrait)

Enough from MIT; here's one from a late evening wander from Harvard Square back to Brookline.

Harvard Stadium (click for bigger)

And then Ethel rocked this one out on race day.

The Mother Church (photo Murphy!)

It would be easy to spend a full week simply photoing architecture in Boston and Cambridge, but these will have to do for now.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Go Sox

Time to roll through a couple more posts from our trip to Boston in April. Poor Murphy had never been to a big-league ballgame, so a trip to Fenway was most certainly in order (and it had been 11 years since I'd been to a game).

Money please (Murphy's photo)

This game was optimally scheduled for anyone running the marathon who might want to also catch a game, so there was an abnormally high count of scrawny people in the park this day, most of them casting furtive glances laden with jealousy towards anyone eating delicious junk food. Yes, oxymoron alert.

Grand park, this one

One of the coolest things about Fenway, in my opinion, is that it's a relatively small park. There aren't really any horrific seats, and it feels cozy, which is a far different experience than some of the mega-stadiums.

So awesome that this is still done manually

Many colors in play here

Out where the dandelions grow

We got lucky with our seats, though. On any sort of cold or windy day, we would have gotten annihilated without any shelter. Fortunately, it was a nice (for Boston in April) day, so we made out just fine.

Attention wanes after a tense moment

Our little crew

And to top it off, the Sox pulled through with a win after a few tense innings, so everyone went home happy.


Past Detritus