A few cars from last nights Cruisin Grand. I brought my chair, tripod, Canon 5D Mark III camera, and a 135mm lens and set up on the curb.
An early Ford:

Bugsey w/ eye lashes:

My favorite old car. But not as good without his wife:

OK, not a car, but he looks interested:





Very interesting drive on Sunday into some desert Canyon’s. The desert flowers are still in full bloom and the weather is gorgeous. What else can you ask for?

The target on Sunday was Canyon Sin Nombre or “No name” canyon and Arroyo Tapiado where the mud caves are. I have driven neither before. First was this Ocotillo plant on Hwy S2 close to Sweeney Pass which is also close to where the canyon starts.


The sign to mark the canyon entrance reads only if your driving south to north and we were driving south but stopped at a lookout where I saw this sign.

The trail got tricky real fast and I tested the Renegade for the first time. I had to use 4×4 low and Ann had to spot me to get through some rocks in the trail. No pics of this section as I was too focused on just getting through which we did. This was just prior to the rough section.

After that it was fairly easy going for the rest of the day. But the geology was interesting.

We reached the end of Canyon Sin Nombre and then headed up Arroyo Tapiado to find some mud caves. This is a very interesting trail with high side walls and a zig-zag trail that went for miles.


The truck in front of us shows the scale of the trail side walls.



I was so focused on driving over rocks, around bends, that I never noticed any mud caves. I suspect they are in the small slot canyons that would run off the main trail. I am pleasantly pleased with the performance of the Renegade in these canyons. This is why I bought this vehicle. No way you can do this with a two wheel drive street car like my old VW Golf.


We didn’t finish the full loop of Arroyo Tapiado and will do the whole loop on another trip. We turned around at the 19.5 mile mark of trail riding and drove back to the Highway (S2) on Vallecito Creek wash. It was a fun day.

Drove out to Split Mountain yesterday which is on the Fish Creek Wash in the Anza-Borrrego State Park in San Diego county. Beautiful day as the summer heat is a bit away.

Some pics from the drive – Here is the entrance to Split Mn:



Interesting geology in the rocks:

We drove up Fish Creek for about 5 miles before turning around.

Yesterday I bought a new car. A Jeep Renegade TrailHawk which has 4X4 off-road capabilities. This will allow me to get to more remote locations for some improved images (I hope).

I now dare to go down muddy gravel roads without thinking about getting stuck with the old front wheel drive car.


It was a rainy day but the clouds were breaking making it a magical sky.


Now I can drive down these 2 track roads without any worry. More to come….

The rain is ending today so I went out to catch some breaking clouds. This is a valley a short distance north of town.



Yesterday my back yard looked like this. Hills are turning green.


I tried some different lighting today. Used a style known as clamshell lighting. Consists of one large soft box (main light) directly above the camera and facing down at about 45 degrees. A 2nd smaller soft box acted as the fill light also directly in front of camera but lower and facing up at about 45 degrees. The catch light in her eyes comes from this light.

This produces a flat light with only soft shadows on the sides of the face and under the chin. Perfect for us older folks.

I did put another light on the background to make it white. It’s all about the light (and the expression).

This style of a head shot is strongly influenced by Peter Hurley. The lighting is general lighting principles.