2017—Charming Roadside View

On our second day in Oregon, we stopped at a lookout over a small cove on Hwy. 101  about 12 miles north of Brookings. My Google map didn’t identify the cove but it was just north of Arch Rock, which we did not photograph.  Even though I don’t  know the name of the cove, this charming view was a delight to find on the highway.  The pattern of the waves on the sand is intriguing, almost like a giant footprint (Moose called it Big Foot) and the small grove of evergreens look as if they have impossibly sprouted from the rock.  I processed this photograph using Luminar 2018 but decided it would look better in black and white so I used a Tonality preset to convert the image to black and white.  The preset I used emphasized the trees by diffusing the clouds behind it.

Roadside view.jpg

2017—Stormy Day At Bandon Beach

The rain and cloudy skies that defined our days in Oregon earlier this month suggested black and white photographs.   Indeed, the rain, clouds, and fog made it almost unnecessary to convert our color photographs  because what we were seeing through the viewfinder was, in fact, black and white.  There was almost no color in the skies or the sand or the rocks.  This image, however, had to be converted to black and white in order for the dark, stormy feeling to emerge.  In the original RAW image, the clouds had parted briefly and there was just a bit too much blue sky so the image looked a little too cheerful for the emotion I wanted to convey.

I edited this with MacPhun’s Tonality which, I understand, is being retired and will be incorporated into Luminar 2018.   I used my Nikon D5 and 14-24mm lens at 14mm for this shot.  I’ve learned that if the clouds are going to be the focus of the image, a super wide angle lens is the better choice.

Bandon Beach Storm Clouds.jpg

2017—Fascination With Corks

After many years, Bobo, my Red-lored Amazon, has suddenly decided that the giant bowl of wine corks I have on the counter behind her cage is her toy box.  For the past five or six days, at some point every day, she walks up and inspects the bowl, selects a cork, plucks it out of the bowl, and tosses it so that it hits the floor, bounces, and rolls around.  She watches carefully as each cork hits the deck, peering over the edge of the countertop.  It looks to me as if she is assessing how she well did.  Then she repeats this activity until about half the corks are out of the bowl.  If  I  pick them up and return them to the bowl while she is still at her task, out they come again.  She indiscriminately picks and tosses corks but, the cork she selected in the second photograph happens to be from one of my favorites, Ghost Pines Zin.  But, since the bowl resides on my countertop and since the majority of corks in the bowl are from wines I’ve drunk, it stands to reason that most of the corks are from one favorite or another.

I had my D500 set up with the 300mm lens and 1.4x teleconverter because I was hoping to get some bird photographs in the yard.  So that camera was at hand when Bobo began to toss corks Sunday afternoon.  I was about 6 feet away from her to get these closeups.

Bobo peering 2.jpg


Bobo cork


Bobo looking down

2017—The Buena Vista

On the day before Thanksgiving, my friend Jesse and I drove to San Francisco to pick up crabs I’d ordered  from the Alioto-Lazio Fish Co. on the Hyde St. Pier for Thanksgiving dinner.  Before facing the two plus hour drive home we decided to stop in at a San Francisco landmark a block away, The Buena Vista, to enjoy a hot Irish Coffee.  The Buena Vista is famous for its Irish Coffee which was introduced there in 1952 by the  bar’s owner and Stanton Delaplane, a SF Chronicle newspaper columnist.  As we waited to cross the street, a Segway tour group passed by as an uncharacteristically empty Powell-Hyde Cable Car inched up Hyde Street.

Buena Vista SF.jpg


2017—Thanksgiving With The Agnews

It’s been a while since my family has been able to get together and it was great to share a Thanksgiving dinner with my brothers, my sisters-in-law, and my niece and her husband.  The meal was non-traditional for Thanksgiving—Dungeness crab —but the antics around the table were typical Agnew, including brother Arthur hanging the crab and a spoon off his nose.  John found it amusing.



agnews thanksgiving


Art spoon




When I returned from my trip to Oregon a couple of weeks ago, I was pleased to see that most of my rose trees and shrubs were covered with blossoms.  The warm weather in late September and October gave all the roses a boost.  As I walked past the roses lining the driveway after SuperShuttle dropped me off, one particular bloom caught my attention because it has very rarely performed well.  My JFK rose tree, that features a creamy white flower with a heady fragrance had several blossoms.  Most were past their prime but one was perfect.  I dropped my luggage in the foyer, picked up my clippers from the garage, and headed back out to cut it.  I immediately placed it in a vase with water and the next morning, when it was not quite as perfect as when I cut it, I photographed it.  I set the vase on a piece of black matte board in the north facing bay window and poised the camera overhead, facing down.

Because the rose is named JFK, for John Fitzgerald Kennedy, I decided to post this to commemorate the 54th anniversary of his death.