Monthly Archives

January 2008

Pelican Portraits

California, Pelicans, Photo of the Day, Wildlife

More photographs of the California race of brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) from a recent morning in La Jolla, between storms. These show the bright red and olive colors that the large gular throat pouch takes on, as well as the dark brown hind neck and yellow head feathers, that are characteristic of breeding adults during winter months.

Check out our Guide to Photographing Pelicans in La Jolla.

Brown pelican portrait, displaying winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican portrait, displaying winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch.
Image ID: 20232
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican portrait, displaying winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican portrait, displaying winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch.
Image ID: 20231
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican in flight, spreading its wings wide to slow before landing on cliffs overlooking the ocean.  The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla

Brown pelican in flight, spreading its wings wide to slow before landing on cliffs overlooking the ocean. The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status.
Image ID: 20229
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican in flight, spreading its wings wide to slow before landing on cliffs overlooking the ocean.  The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla

Brown pelican in flight, spreading its wings wide to slow before landing on cliffs overlooking the ocean. The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status.
Image ID: 20230
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Photo of Seals on the Sand

California, Harbor Seal, Wildlife

On a recent morning I dropped by the pelican bluff and found it pretty crowded so instead I shot harbor seals just around the bend. It was a fine morning and I had the beach to myself at the Children’s Pool. Here are a few portraits of the harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardsi) on the sand.

Pacific harbor seal on wet sandy beach, Phoca vitulina richardsi, La Jolla, California

Pacific harbor seal on wet sandy beach.
Image ID: 20214
Species: Pacific harbor seal, Phoca vitulina richardsi
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Pacific harbor seals on sandy beach at the edge of the ocean, Phoca vitulina richardsi, La Jolla, California

Pacific harbor seals on sandy beach at the edge of the ocean.
Image ID: 20213
Species: Pacific harbor seal, Phoca vitulina richardsi
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Pacific harbor seal on wet sandy beach, Phoca vitulina richardsi, La Jolla, California

Pacific harbor seal on wet sandy beach.
Image ID: 20228
Species: Pacific harbor seal, Phoca vitulina richardsi
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Photo of La Jolla Sea Lions

California, La Jolla, Photo of the Day, Sea Lion, Wildlife

There is a big spawning aggregation of market squid assembled on the sand flats at about 60′ off of La Jolla Shores beach right now. As a consequence, many California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) are now in the area, feeding on the squid and hauling out on rocks to rest when not foraging. Here are a couple seen recently in La Jolla:

Sea lion portrait, hauled out on rocks beside the ocean, Zalophus californianus, La Jolla, California

Sea lion portrait, hauled out on rocks beside the ocean.
Image ID: 20207
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

California sea lion, adult male, Zalophus californianus, La Jolla

California sea lion, adult male.
Image ID: 20211
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Slot Hobbit

Photo of the Day

I recently got the news that I was one of the fortunate to receive a permit to visit the Wave, part of the North Coyote Butte area in Arizona, in April. It’s a place I have long heard about, and the photos that others have shot there make it look curious, strange and pretty cool. Now I get to check it out in person in a few months. I’ll probably spend a day fooling around near Page so that I can return to the Antelope Canyon slot canyons, a very interesting place which I saw about a year ago for the first time. The slots will likely be crowded there this April, but on my previous visit there — on a very cold January day — I had large sections of the narrows to myself much of the morning. I felt like a hobbit creeping about through some bizarre location in Middle Earth.

Antelope Canyon, a deep narrow slot canyon formed by water and wind erosion, Navajo Tribal Lands, Page, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, a deep narrow slot canyon formed by water and wind erosion.
Image ID: 18001
Location: Navajo Tribal Lands, Page, Arizona, USA

A hiker admiring the striated walls and dramatic light within Antelope Canyon, a deep narrow slot canyon formed by water and wind erosion, Navajo Tribal Lands, Page, Arizona

A hiker admiring the striated walls and dramatic light within Antelope Canyon, a deep narrow slot canyon formed by water and wind erosion.
Image ID: 17995
Location: Navajo Tribal Lands, Page, Arizona, USA

Beautiful Morning in La Jolla

California, Pelicans, Photo of the Day, Wildlife

A morning dentist appointment in La Jolla meant a short visit beforehand to shoot pelicans before I submitted myself to my semi-annual tooth cleaning (no cavities). I met David Osborn, a wonderful photographer from England who is currently in California to shoot a variety of natural history subjects for a few weeks, and old diving pal Jim Campbell who came over from Coronado to shoot too. It was a perfect morning to be at the ocean’s edge in La Jolla: sunny, warm, clear and the ocean glassed off for miles.

Check out our Guide to Photographing Pelicans in La Jolla.

Brown pelican head throw, winter plumage, showing bright red gular pouch and dark brown hindneck plumage of breeding adults.  During a bill throw, the pelican arches its neck back, lifting its large bill upward and stretching its throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican head throw, winter plumage, showing bright red gular pouch and dark brown hindneck plumage of breeding adults. During a bill throw, the pelican arches its neck back, lifting its large bill upward and stretching its throat pouch.
Image ID: 20188
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelicans sparring with beaks, winter plumage, showing bright red gular pouch and dark brown hindneck plumage of breeding adults, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelicans sparring with beaks, winter plumage, showing bright red gular pouch and dark brown hindneck plumage of breeding adults.
Image ID: 20195
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

California brown pelican portrait, on sandstone cliffs above the ocean, showing winter breeding plumage with dark brown nape, red throat and yellow head.  Lit with flash, early morning before sunrise, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla

California brown pelican portrait, on sandstone cliffs above the ocean, showing winter breeding plumage with dark brown nape, red throat and yellow head. Lit with flash, early morning before sunrise.
Image ID: 20191
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican head throw, winter plumage, showing bright red gular pouch and dark brown hindneck plumage of breeding adults.  During a bill throw, the pelican arches its neck back, lifting its large bill upward and stretching its throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican head throw, winter plumage, showing bright red gular pouch and dark brown hindneck plumage of breeding adults. During a bill throw, the pelican arches its neck back, lifting its large bill upward and stretching its throat pouch.
Image ID: 20200
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Mavericks … Not

California, Pelicans, Photo of the Day, Wildlife

The Mavericks Surf contest was held today. No, I did not shoot it, unfortunately. I took photos of pelicans instead, not quite the same but the best I could do under the circumstances. Check out our Guide to Photographing Pelicans in La Jolla.

Brown pelican closeup showing characteristic winter mating plumage, including yellow head, dark brown nape of neck and red gular throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican closeup showing characteristic winter mating plumage, including yellow head, dark brown nape of neck and red gular throat pouch.
Image ID: 20154
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican raising its bill in a head throw to  stretch is throat.  Winter plumage, non-mating coloration, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican raising its bill in a head throw to stretch is throat. Winter plumage, non-mating coloration.
Image ID: 20155
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican portrait, resting on sandstone cliffs beside the sea, winter mating plumage with distinctive dark brown nape and red gular throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican portrait, resting on sandstone cliffs beside the sea, winter mating plumage with distinctive dark brown nape and red gular throat pouch.
Image ID: 20157
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus, La Jolla, California

Double-crested cormorant.
Image ID: 20159
Species: Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican spreads its huge wings to slow before landing on seaside cliffs, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican spreads its huge wings to slow before landing on seaside cliffs.
Image ID: 20156
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican portrait, winter mating plumage with distinctive dark brown nape and red gular throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican portrait, winter mating plumage with distinctive dark brown nape and red gular throat pouch.
Image ID: 20179
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican spreads its huge wings to slow before landing on seaside cliffs, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican spreads its huge wings to slow before landing on seaside cliffs.
Image ID: 20164
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Photo of UCSD Library at Night

California, La Jolla, Photo of the Day

This is Geisel Library, the central library at University of California, San Diego (alma mater). These two particular photos are composites, each consisting of three images with varying exposures, combined on the computer. Without using this approach, known as HDR (high dynamic range), the shadows would be totally black and the bright windows would be burnt out with no detail. In the full resolution versions I can make out individual books on the stacks in the top photo.

UCSD Library glows with light in this night time exposure (Geisel Library, UCSD Central Library), University of California, San Diego, La Jolla

UCSD Library glows with light in this night time exposure (Geisel Library, UCSD Central Library).
Image ID: 20142
Location: University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, USA

UCSD Library glows with light in this night time exposure (Geisel Library, UCSD Central Library), University of California, San Diego, La Jolla

UCSD Library glows with light in this night time exposure (Geisel Library, UCSD Central Library).
Image ID: 20145
Location: University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, USA

Photo of Geisel Library at Dusk

California, La Jolla, Photo of the Day, San Diego

This is Geisel Library, the central library at University of California, San Diego (alma mater). Photos taken at dusk when the light emanating from the library are about equal with sunset. Since the light is balanced, a decent photograph can be achieved with just a single frame. Tomorrow I’ll post a few examples of composites.

UCSD Library glows at sunset (Geisel Library, UCSD Central Library), University of California, San Diego, La Jolla

UCSD Library glows at sunset (Geisel Library, UCSD Central Library).
Image ID: 14780
Location: University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, USA

UCSD Library glows at sunset (Geisel Library, UCSD Central Library), University of California, San Diego, La Jolla

UCSD Library glows at sunset (Geisel Library, UCSD Central Library).
Image ID: 14777
Location: University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, USA

The UCSD Library (Geisel Library, UCSD Central Library) at the University of California, San Diego. UCSD Library. La Jolla, California. On December 1, 1995 The University Library Building was renamed Geisel Library in honor of Audrey and Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) for the generous contributions they have made to the library and their devotion to improving literacy. In The Tower, Floors 4 through 8 house much of the Librarys collection and study space, while Floors 1 and 2 house service desks and staff work areas. The library, designed in the late 1960s by William Pereira, is an eight story, concrete structure sited at the head of a canyon near the center of the campus. The lower two stories form a pedestal for the six story, stepped tower that has become a visual symbol for UCSD.

More UCSD Library photos.

Sheet of Water

Photo of the Day

We recently stayed at a hotel in La Quinta. In the lobby was one of those modern fountain things that created a thin sheet of water. Behind it the lights of the restaurant are showing. Random.

Water sheets over a fountain, blurry water, abstract lights are visible through the falling water

Water sheets over a fountain, blurry water, abstract lights are visible through the falling water.
Image ID: 20136

Photo of Joshua Trees at Sunrise

California, Joshua Tree, National Parks, Photo of the Day

We went out to La Quinta last weekend to visit our new baby niece. A big storm system was passing over California but the Coachella Valley got very little rain from it. I made a sunrise run out to Joshua Tree National Park and did a little exploring as the sun came up.

Joshua tree at sunrise.  Joshua trees are found in the Mojave desert region of Joshua Tree National Park, Yucca brevifolia

Joshua tree at sunrise. Joshua trees are found in the Mojave desert region of Joshua Tree National Park.
Image ID: 20140
Species: Joshua tree, Yucca brevifolia
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

Joshua tree at sunrise.  Joshua trees are found in the Mojave desert region of Joshua Tree National Park, Yucca brevifolia

Joshua tree at sunrise. Joshua trees are found in the Mojave desert region of Joshua Tree National Park.
Image ID: 20141
Species: Joshua tree, Yucca brevifolia
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA