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Comet Panstarrs and the New Moon

03.12.13 - Comet Panstarrs and the New Moon

Photo taken on Tues 03.12.13 in Huntington Beach by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 and a 85mm f1.8 lens.

Tues 03.12.13 – For the last few days, marine inversion mists permitting, I have gone to a west facing beach or cliff to look for Comet PANSTARRS in the 30-45 minutes after the sunset.
This evening was the first evening that I was able to get a photo of the Comet, above just to the left of the moon. I was so excited to see the comet clearly on the view screen of my Nikon, as the comet was not visible to the naked eye but only visible through binoculars.
Saturday evening, my Dad and I went to the Point Vincente Interpretive Center in Rancho Palos Verdes. While we saw a few whales through the binoculars, listened to a wedding reception in progress, we did not see the comet at all as its position on the low western horizon was right in the marine fog bank off the coast.
Sunday evening, two nights ago, my Dad and I drove down to the Huntington Cliffs just above Dog Beach in Huntington Beach, and waited for the comet to appear a bit higher on the horizon above the shipping lanes just between the northwest end of Catalina Island and Point Fermin in San Pedro. We were able to see the comet just above a big oil tanker and passed the binoculars around for others to find it. I had no luck with getting any pictures, as I had my Nokias’s with 26mm lenses and a sharp 50mm lens on my Nikon.
Last night, I was very tired and just walked out to the River’s End here in Seal Beach and did not see any comet at all due to the big fog bank sitting off the coast that extended about 20 degrees into the sky. I could barely see Sirius the dog star in the southern sky through the fog bank and Sirius is our brightest local star.
Tonight, after a long day at Lukas’s first birthday lunch party and a slog through the 405 southbound traffic, I decided to not go out as I could see how misty the ocean air was. But just as the sun set, I noticed the mist cleared up here in Seal Beach, so I loaded my gear into the car and drove as fast as possible down to the Huntington Cliffs.
As I arrived in the Dog Beach/Huntington Cliffs parking lot, I saw that a lot of other folks where already there with binoculars, cameras on tripods, and one guy with a large fat telescope. I parked myself at the end of the line up of folks at the cliff’s railing, looked out saw a beautiful crescent / new moon, lifted my binoculars and there she was: Comet PANSTARRS!
After struggling to set up my creaky, elderly tripod, I started taking photos with my Nikon 85mm f1.8D portrait lens, and a fine portrait of the comet I got. I passed my binoculars to a family next to me so that they and the kids could see the comet, while I took another six good photos of the moon, the comet, and the shipping lane with San Pedro on the far right.
The above photo is cropped and a bit corrected in Lightroom. The larger, non-cropped, non-corrected version is up on my flickr stream.
If you want to try to see Comet PANSTARRS, go out tonight through Friday, to a western facing vantage point just after sunset, take binoculars, look for the moon and there will be the comet.

Cherry Blossoms at the Huntington

02.27.13 - Cherry blossoms at the Huntington

Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 at The Huntington, click for larger photo.

Fri 03.01.13 – Happy Friday and Happy first day of March! While spring has been alive and breathing in SoCal for the last month or more, may you take hope that it is just around the corner in your spot of the world.
The above cherry blossom photo was taken at the Chinese Gardens at the Huntington this Wednesday with my Nikon D800 and the Nikon 85mm f1.8 lens on manual focus.

Lukas and The Duck

OMG!  Look DUCKS!!! Duck wonders, "Oooh, what is that smell, I must check it out." Inserts beak near diaper. Lukas, "My legs are tired, I must sit." Duck, "Move away fast!" (aka Lukas nearly sat on the Duck) Duck then pecks at Lukas' foot & ankle to see if anything is edible. It is not. Amusingly, Lukas at his first taste of duck at lunch today, then another duck returns the favor at mid-afternoon.

Wed 02.17.13 – Photos of Lukas and the Duck were taken by Ms. Jen today at the Huntington Library and Gardens with her Nikon D800 and 85mm f1.8D lens.


Sun 02.17.13 – I keep hearing this song on KROQ and 98.7 FM and laughing at the lyrics about thrift store shopping, as it has been a passion of mine on and off for 30 years now. The last 15 of those years, I have preferred a good vintage boutique or friends who have curated a collection to scouring in a big thrift shop.
But I do my best to also feed back to the system and always take my once a year closet clean out to the Salvation Army, including some of my true vintage 1940s-60s clothes, so that kids like in the above video can have some fun to find.
Feed it back, people. Did deep in your closet and give it away to a good local thrift store so nice teens and 20somethings can have a unique piece to wear.
And the song by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Wanz is stupidly catchy, like I wake up singing it in the middle of the night catchy…

At Disneyland for Jason’s Birthday

There be a Lego Dragon! Plus Jason S and Chuck! Tiffany and Jason T. at Lunch Jason S and Chuck on the bridge on the Island formerly known as Tom Sawyer's Island Jason S, the birthday boy, with tiki flames erupting from his head

Photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia 808 PureView.

Sat 02.16.13 – Today I went to Disneyland with Jason Schupp and Chuck Jordan to celebrate Jason’s birthday. We started out the day with a long lunch at Downtown Disney’s Catal with Jason Toney, Tiffany B. Brown, Glenda Bautista, and Chris Baker. Lunch and the company thereof was a true delight.
After lunch, Jason S., Chuck and I descended upon Disneyland. On a Saturday on President’s Day weekend when the temperature was about 80F. I am not quite sure what we were thinking, other than it was Jason’s birthday and they did drive down from San Francisco to go to Disney, but boy oh boy was it crowded. Instead of complaining, we decided to go with the flow, get Fast Passes for the most important rides and then Jason & Chuck used an iPhone crowd-sourced app to determine which rides had the shortest line and then off we would go.
We never did make it to Splash Mountain or Space Mountain, but we did make it to other favorites and had a marvelous day.
Happy post-Birthday to Jason!