We make a scene

It’s pretty obvious that I’m screwing up Elliott’s background for this snapper. He wasn’t really that happy about it either.

If you’re the type of person who likes to go somewhere and be discrete, reserved and unnoticed, you better not invite one of us, or even worse the four of us, on a trip with you. Because that person who always gets left behind in the tour is one of us. Those signs saying not to cross a certain line, touch something or block a pathway, all of those signs are there because people like us have broken a once unwritten rule. You would probably come looking for one of us and be embarrassed to turn the corner to find whoever you’re looking for on their back in the middle of the room to get the best angle on, well whatever.

The best way to beat another photographer is to ruin their frame by being in it. I practiced this as much as possible today, mostly accidentally. Ed retaliated with the same method.

We will stand on anything, sit in every position, fall to even the nastiest floors and cross any barrier possible to get the best angle for our subject. Sometimes you get fussed at and sometimes you get asked to leave, but you always get the satisfaction of trying. It only takes the slightest fraction of a second to fire a frame. They can take your ticket to be there but they can’t take the photos you’ve made. We have a motto, “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.” It’s been scientifically proven through studying stubborn photographer’s ways for thousands of years that 70 percent of the time, this works every time.

Sometimes you don’t have real subjects to frame up in your pictures so you have to settle for friends with giant cameras who still kind of look like tourist.

We went to the Ronald Reagan Library today in Simi Valley, where we didn’t make that many good frames but we did have a good time. I guess sometimes that is more important, although I haven’t seen any scientific evidence of that. I’ve been fighting the temptation to make silhouettes, as I’m sure you haven’t noticed (because it’s not working). Today was no different. One of the photos I’m loading up is a silhouette of people inside of the hangar of Air Force One 27000. It was a little more acceptable today because I wanted to expose for the outside and didn’t have a flash to fire.

This picture came from me being completely on the ground while people were walking into the library. Keith, Ed and Elliott left me. I told you, we’re always being left behind. It was OK, though, I found Elliott crouching in the middle of the sidewalk Keith was almost standing in the garden.

Have you seen V for Vendetta? This version of Uncle Sam is creepy if you have.

I’m not sure a fill flash would have been good for this photo, but it really would have helped a few other photos that didn’t make the cut for the blog (that’s right, I actually have photos that you haven’t seen).


If you’re thinking, “Man I bet they look goofy and like major tourist-tools by the California 1 taking pictures like that!” you’re absolutely right. See for yourself:

Ed and Keith are much better at one handing, or two handing in this case, self portraits. But no matter how good you are at producing it still looks goofy.

On the way back from the library we took Highway 23 and the California 1. The 1 was much straighter than it is in northern California, but 23 was as bad or worse than the 1 is in any location. I love driving curvy roads; my passengers, aside from Elliott, feel a bit different.

I had to just stick my hand out the window for this one. This is too close to the end to actually represent the road, but I think degree of that last turn shows you enough.

Elliott spotted kitesurfers from the road and we pulled over to find a place to park. The state park was away from the beach but seemed like the only place with parking, so we tried it. When we saw they charged we just told the guard we weren’t interested. Before I could get away, Elliott asked the guy in a booth next to the coastal road we just got off of, where the ocean was. The young man looked at him confused, smiled at me and said “It’s right next to the beach, what do you mean?”

I wish I had counted the first time we saw them, before trying to park, but after getting established I counted 14 kites. There must have been at least 20 when we first saw them.


Kitesurfing is just an extreme sport that, according to the surfers, can take you 30 or 40 feet in the air. While the highest we saw was 15, it was still great getting to shoot it. The reason we were so excited to shoot it was because the surfers were coming so close to the beach. Normally you can’t get close enough to a surfer to make a good, tight photo. We were able to stand right on the edge of the foam and take full advantage of the great light.


This guy was insane. He actually landed this jump. He was easily getting 10 feet on his jumps, and the surfers were complaining about the bad wind.


 I’m not sure what tomorrow brings, but our schedule is starting to fill up. I know we’re doing Santa Barbara Friday night, Yosemite near the beginning of next week and probably LA next week too. We want to go camping with Dave’s family and have a cookout here with Martha and other friends (I can’t wait, I love cooking out). In three weeks we have two months worth of exploring to do. Dave met with us to critique pictures last night and told us to go ahead and do what we and to not worry about anything for him. His care for us really came through on that. He said he wished we had made a little money, but the important thing is that we have a good time. That’s all he’s looking out for.

 I think that part is working out just fine. 


4 Responses to “We make a scene”

  1. Great Stuff guys! Loved the surf pics.

    It’s hilarious that you guys make fun of the tourist with disposable cameras and yet you have mastered the art of “self-humiliation”.

    Have fun and be careful.

  2. Loved the update. Thanks for giving me some reading to look forward to while I’m at coffee hell (ie: work). Great kitesurfing pictures. Soak up all that you can of California while you’ve got the time. Miss you guys and I’m looking forward to the epic posts to come.

  3. […] the post We make a scene? I had about 15 tourist standing behind me while I was over the edge and off the paved path […]

  4. […] don’t think this photo ever made it from our trip to Reagan Library, but while searching for photos for example in this blog, I found it to be exactly what I was […]

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