Launch Pads

You ever had a place that you really wanted to see, but for one reason or another events and circumstance stop that visit from happening? Well this was one of the places on my list for almost 20 years. In 1993, thanks to Les and Jill I got to go to Orlando for the first time and one of the things on our agenda was to go to Kennedy Space Center. So we go there and do the normal tour, which at the time during the Space Shuttle period was pretty amazing, but while there I learned of the Historical Tour. This tour took you out to the old launch pads Cape Canaveral where the first Americans into space (The Mercury 7) were launched from. So what happens to me, I go back 4 times and try to do the historical tour and for one reason or another it didn't happen. Well 2011 I try for the 5th time and amazingly I get to do it, 18 years later.

On the tour you are taken to the launch site of the Apollo 1 mission, which almost ended the manned missions to the moon. On 27th January 1967 a test of the systems for the launch on February 21st ended abruptly with a fire in the command module, killing the three astronauts inside in seconds. The launch pad, Launch Complex 34, was used for one more rocket launch, that of Apollo 7 and was then dismantled except for the launch pedestal which was left as a memorial to the three astronauts. The photograph above is of that launch pedestal. 

So if there is that place you want to see, keep trying you will get there eventually, just like the astronauts that eventually made it to the moon.


San Diego Bay

I was hoping today's photograph would be of the fireworks in the bay for the 4th July celebrations. Well unfortunately it was the most spectacular firework display I've ever seen, but it was all over within 30 seconds. A technical issue caused over $400,000 worth of fireworks to all go off at once. The boom of all those fireworks going off set off car alarms all around the bay. If you want to watch the video click here. It was an amazing site but all too quick. So anyway in place of a firework photograph you get one of Downtown San Diego seen from across the bay from Harbor Island. It was a beautiful evening 4 miles inland from here, but down by the ocean the Marine Layer or June Gloom as it is known here settled over the bay. Hope you enjoy it.


Sunset Cliffs

I know, I know it's been almost two years since I last posted a photograph or entry on here. My life has just been kind of hectic and some different priorities took place. The good news is I'm going to start posting photos again, the bad news, not as often as I used too but I hope that at least one or two a week can be an attainable level for me. 

So where is this you may ask, well it's in San Diego and and it's a park at the end of an area known as Sunset Cliffs. It's a pretty beautiful place to go and watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. I was in a Cisco class this week in San Diego for work, so I thought "What could be better than watching the sun go down over the ocean?' The answer, not much really, so I dragged my camera out and this was the outcome. I hope you all like it.

Oh and remember if you like one of my photos feel free to use it as your background or share it on a site with a mention of my site. Just no commercial use without permission from me.


HMS Surprise

My parents are over from England on their annual pilgrimage to see their little 40 year old son. It's been a year since I last saw them and that just amazes me how quickly time goes by. My dad wanted to head to the beach one day, so now that I live in Temecula, San Diego was the place to go. We went to Cardiff-by-the-Sea first and then ended up at the port in San Diego. As we walked along after dinner, the light was perfect against the rigging of this boat. Perfect photo opportunity. 

The photo of today is of HMS Surprise which is a replica of an 18th Century Royal Navy 24 Gun Frigate. She was built in 1970 and now resides at the San Diego Maritime Museum.  


Lifeguard Tower

I thought for Tuesday I would give you all something different to look at and enjoy. This was taken last week on a quick trip to Santa Monica. The sunset was beautiful and this tower made the perfect silhouette photograph, but just to add to it the seagull's took flight. I just love Santa Monica and just how english it feels.   Hope you enjoy it.


The Clubhouse

Thought I'd throw out a little golf photograph for you all today. This one was taken at Vellano Country Club when I played there a month or so ago. The large building is the clubhouse, which is quite a spectacular building.  


Segments of the Moon

Thought I'd post something a little different today, but first a question. Have you ever tried to take a photograph of the moon? If the answer is yes then you'll know how tough it is. If the answer is no then I'll tell you how tough it is....TOUGH!!!!! Finally I took a night photography class and got some tips from my instructor. I'll tell you what the advice is:


  1. Get the moon early in it's rise before it gets too bright. Once it gets bright it's a tough photograph to get
  2. Set you camera on manual
  3. Set your ISO (ASA) to 100
  4. Set your shutter speed to 1/200th of a second
  5. Set you aperture to f11


Once you have that setup go ahead and shoot and there is a good chance you will get a photograph like the one above. There was still daylight when this was taken, but it was so underexposed to get the moon right, that the sky looks black.

I was amazed what I saw after I got this photograph home and on my computer. The moon looks like it has segments that lead to a navel, like an orange.




Balloon Chasing

How do most people spend their Sunday mornings? Hmm, let me see, sleeping in, having breakfast, reading the Sunday newspaper and maybe going to church. Me on the other hand, no, that is not for me. Most Sunday's I'll get up and play golf, which is always fun. This past Sunday though was a little bit different. I was up after 3 hours of sleep at 4am. Picked up my friend and we headed to Wine Country in Temecula. Our mission, to photograph the hot air balloons taking off bright and early at 6am. So there we were at just after 6 watching the balloons slowly inflate and stand proud. Then they took off, closely followed by us and their chase vehicles. We chased these balloons all over Temecula countryside and got some pretty good photographs. It was a fun way to spend a few hours and I look forward to doing it again, but next time I want a ride in one of those balloons and you can be sure I'll photograph a whole lot along the way.

The photograph above was taken shortly after this balloon touched down in one of the vineyards.



Life's been really crazy for me lately in some good and some not so good ways. It's weird how things happen in your life and you just have to sit back and take stock of what is happening around you. In my case my personal life appears to be taking a new direction right now. A few months ago I probably would not have coped well with that change. Then I found something (or it found me), it's called  "Inspiration". That Inspiration has changed everything about what I do, what I see, what I feel and what I think in ways I never thought possible. Now I don't know where this road that I'm on is going to take me, but you know what? I'm not sure I care. It's a road that I have never travelled before and where it leads to, I have no idea. All I do know is, it's going to be a fun journey and probably very fulfilling in ways that I have never experienced or ever expected to.

The sign post above I thought was appropriate for how my life is right now. I can travel anywhere. This signpost is on Highway 62, by what was once the town of Rice. I guess people just come along and put their signs up to show them the way.

By the way check back tomorrow for another great picture from Wine Country Temecula.




My Friends Eye

As many of you know I've been working with my golf instructor Mary Ritchie to take photographs for her new website. We have been working on this pretty constantly for just about 2 months now and during that time I have found a friend. I have been missing that in my life since I moved from England 11 years ago and left my best friend Stephen behind. On Tuesday Mary, myself and a couple of our colleagues went out to play a round of golf at Goose Creek Golf Course. It's a beautiful course and the golf was fun, well for me anyway as I broke 80 for the first time with a 78. Mary has an interest in photography too, so while the 3 boys were waiting to tee off, Mary grabbed my camera and wandered off to take some photographs. Well the photograph above is what she came up with, pretty beautiful if you ask me, one I'd certainly hang on my wall.

Mary this post is all about you, your dedication and our friendship. You have a GREAT eye for a photograph.

If you want to check out some of Mary's insight into golf, along with tips and advice or ask her a golf question, then head over to her Facebook Fan Page here.