Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to all my web blog readers!

Isabelle awoke at 7:30 AM and upon her discovering the tree surrounded with presents, she made the rounds waking the rest of the family.

We had a great morning enjoying our time together. We are so blessed to have a little one in the home.

Merry Christmas from Gary, Kelly, Kyle, Stephanie, Hippie & Isabelle
"I love my new teddy bear!"

To view all of the photos from today, please visit my web site at www.garysphotographs.com select "Galleries" and then "Family". You will need to enter the family password. Send me an email if you need the password.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Today, we drove through the Temecula wine country and ended up at Lake Skinner. Just past the entrance to the park is a historical site. This is a photo of the 1890's Alamos School House. Unfortuantely, the facility was closed for renovations, but we had some great opportunities for some outside photography.
The bridge leading to the Alamos School House
A variety of old farm equipment can be found around the Whittier House near the Lake Skinner Park Administration offices.
This is a view of the lower camping areas at Vail Lake Resort. Lots of color for sure.
It's Sunday, and we are at the end of our day. While enjoying our dinner outside the trailer, this hawk came down about 50 yards away. He brought his own food and dined with us. I think, but don't hold me to this, he got the gopher that "Fred" the coyote has been trying to bag the past few days!

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We end this trip with our last campfire. It's been fun, but tomorrow we are back to the old homestead.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday at Vail Lake was filled with a great deal of doing nothing (including photography). Kelly and I sat around watching the birds and catching up on our reading. Once again "Frank," as we have come to call our little coyote mascot, showed up in the grass clearing outside our trailer. He tried to catch that elusive gopher, no luck again today.

We ate a late lunch, and then sat around the fire warming ourselves. What a beautiful day! Now we are off to the trailer for movie night. Tonight is "Flywheel" and some other Hallmark movie.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday, we arrived at Vail Lake Resort for the beginning of our 3-day weekend of rest and relaxation. So far, this resort has proven to be as beautiful and peaceful as we have been told.

NO WORK, no phones, and no television, well, some TV is on the agenda as we watch our traditional holiday movies. Right now, we are watching "Bells Of St. Mary."

Currently, it's in the low 30's, so a little hot cocoa is in order. More photos to follow.
While setting up camp, this coyote appeared in the clearing. It was an interesting site watching him trying to get at a gopher. After a few unsuccessful attempts he wandered off back into the oak grove.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Our kids all grown up! As expected, Kyle and Stephanie could not resist goofing off in front of the camera. Way to make Dad look good. :)
Kim and her family stopped by the studio for their annual Christmas portraits. Kyle just arrived home from work, so he was thrown in the mix.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

It's that time when we pick a photo for our Christmas cards, and so Isabelle, Santa's newest little helper, offered to be our "very cold" little model.

Thank you Princess!


Today was Isabelle's turn in the studio. We had a blast playing around with the snow. This was suppose to be a nice snow drift, but she ended up in a blizzard!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Today, we celebrated 3 years with our little wonder Isabelle. How fast three years has passed us by! Isabelle got plenty of practice opening presents, just in time for Christmas.
Some presents are just too hard to open :))
Princess Isabelle posing for the camera!

To view all of the photos from today, please visit my web site at www.garysphotographs.com select "Galleries" and then "Family". You will need to enter the family password. Send me an email if you need the password.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Kelly and I had the opportunity to visit the Out Of Africa Wildlife Park, located about 45 minutes south of Flagstaff, Arizona off Highway 17. This was a side trip from our Thanksgiving weekend vacation with my sister and brother-in-law in Parks, AZ. As usual, they are the best hosts ever - Thank you Neil & Joyce! We had a blast!

The wildlife park is one of the finest we have visited. Our safari guide, Courtney, was so knowledgable of all aspects of the animals. We fired questions, and she shot back with an abundance of information we would not have received at other facilities. It was very obvious to our group that the animal handlers (Courtney for sure) are well trained, educated, and they have a natural love for the animals under their care. The animals look so healthy, and their enclosures are very spacious and as near as possible to their natural habitats. The owners have done an outstanding job of creating an environment where people can learn about these animals and their lifestyles, while virtually eliminating the stress to the animals so obvious at other zoos and wild animal parks. This visit was worth every penny spent!

A special "thank you" to Paul who recommended this wildlife park - wish you could have been with us.

If you find yourself in the Flagstaff area, please make time to visit this wonderful park. The link to their web site is listed below.


CLICK HERE To view all of the photos from our day at Out Of Africa Wildlife Park.
Who, me?
"This is my best side...go ahead now, take the picture".
I guess we know who is in charge. I would hate to be smacked by that paw!

Okay, a little trivia. While standing near the fence waiting for the Tiger Splash show, a tiger (probably this guy) backed up to the fence and sprayed me. Yes, he marked his territory all over me and my camera. Of course, Kelly & Neil thought this was the best part of their day. I am now affectionately known as "TP" (tiger pee).

I did get the shot! (patting myself on the back)

By the way, if you get a chance to look at all of the photographs in the gallery, you will see Neil getting french kissed by a giraffe - no kidding!
Referees smiling for the camera (and food)!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Last evening was the ACES (camera club) portrait lighting workshop. Many thanks to Betty who organized and developed the workshop, Paul who helped with the posing, and Amber our model. Amber did a fantastic job modeling for the instructional portion of the workshop, and she stuck around under the hot lights to allow the club members an opportunity to take some shots.

It was a great night - thank you to all the ACES members who attended the workshop!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

On this Harvest Night, Isabelle is getting excited about visiting family to fill her bucket with candy, or as she refers to candy, diabetes.

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Alisyn and her friend Nicole came by to have pictures taken in their costumes. Alisyn is a busy bee!
Another pose by buzzin' bee Ali(ee)
Isabelle with her cousin "YaYa". This might be the only time you would see a kitty sitting with, instead of chasing after, a bug.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Kelly and I spent a few hours Sunday at the Fullerton Arboretum. This is such a great place to walk. This rose is actually bright red, however, the lighting was pretty bad, so I ran it through Photoshop and came up with this "artistic" version.
Just as I was focusing in on this butterfly, he/she decided to split the scene, so I only captured the getaway shot.
Field sobriety test - "okay, one foot in front of the other, I want you to walk along this line."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Today, I visited the California Police Motorcycle Rodeo in Huntington Beach. This statewide event, hosted by Orange County, usually draws about 30 teams comprised of over 200 motorcycle officers from all over California.

The officers compete in multiple obstacle courses where their skills are tested. This is an awesome event to photograph, and I look forward to visiting again next year.
It was good to see officers from my hometown.
One of Garden Grove's finest navigating through the course.
They came from near and far to compete.
1-Adam-12 ... 1-Adam-12 ...
Locked and loaded ...
Eye in the sky!
Tuesday, I visited the arboretum at Cal State Fullerton College. This is a wonderful place to walk, with well maintained trails and an incredible assortment of plants and trees. There are waterfalls and two ponds where wildlife congregate. Lots of birds, turtles, butterflies and lizards can be found while walking the trails. There are lots of park benches to stop and rest in the shade.

This photo shows new growth among the older trees.
There is a wide variety of cactus in the arboretum, so take the time to visit this area. There is not much shade, but the variety of plants is well worth the trip.
Lots of wildlife to watch at the ponds. Take your lunch and sit on the grass field next to the water, and you will see ducks, snowy egrets, turtles, etc.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A trip to Newport Beach proved to be very enjoyable. The weather was not that great for photography, but the clouds made for an awesome sunset.
Small waves brought out the boogie boarders while the surfers left to go watch the "Simpsons."
Another great sunset as seen from Newport Beach. This was taken from the "Wedge" at the West Jetty.
One of the many beach front homes on Newport Beach Peninsula.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Kelly and I spend a few hours at the zoo. I needed to get in my daily walk, and Kelly really loves to visit the animals. She especially loves the nursery where she found a small newborn monkey in an incubator.

The day was perfect with great weather and minimal crowds. Many of the animal and bird photos were shot through chain link or other cage material, but you can get a feel for what we were able to see in just a few hours.

Click Here to see all of the images in this album.
Birds of a feather...well, you know the rest.
Mother and child together watching passing visitors.
This photo says it all from the animal's point of view, LET ME OUT!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A beautiful sunset today!

Friday, September 21, 2007

On Thursday, my good friend Paul and I spent some time walking on Main Street and the Pier in Huntington Beach. The crowd was light and the weather perfect (would have loved some clouds though). We had a good time capturing, in photos, the feel of Surf City, USA.

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These walking excursions have been good for my overall health. While I am very limited with my back situation, I still need to get out and exercise (walking) to keep the blood moving and the muscles from cramping. I am usually pretty sore by the end of the walks, but the benefits greatly outweigh the consequences.