Walnut Grove Park 4/9

I had a great time shooting at the Walnut Grove Park. Some of my struggles that I had was trying to keep in focus with the lens I was using. I felt like maybe I needed to turn my shutter speed higher and shoot on a tripod.

My favorite photo I think was the silhouette. I had the shutter speed up to 1/400 on that picture. I like how the sunset captured every detail. It capture certain hairs that were sticking up, and the fact that he was holding a camera. I really like how the light in the back was a goldish kind of color. I think it really brought the picture together. I also really like the picture of the leaf. I think that picture would be considered my texture composition photo. It looks like you can almost reach through the photo and feel how that leaf feels. I enjoyed shooting at Walnut Grove Park and i think it really helped me solve some problems I was having in the past. It also gave me more to shoot than what was just on campus so that also helped me as well.


Campus Shoot 2/5

I enjoyed shooting on the campus. I think my favorite photos are the blue flowers and the ones of craven hall. These pictures worked for me because I was able to use a tripod. It was actually pretty windy so having a tripod helped out a lot. I was able to get the flowers in focus and the craven hall. I also enjoyed the picture of the long exposure right next the library. I think how the lights look like stars looks really cool. I also think it lights up the sky and having a tripod during this shot made the scenery brighter than it actually was .

Some of the struggles I had was hitting the picture button. Every time I hit the button, the camera would shake a little bit on the tripod. I fixed this with two different ways. The first way I fixed it was putting the camera on a self timer mode. That way it would not shake after about 5 seconds. I also fixed it because my phone had a wifi function. I was able to connect to my phone and it became a remote control. I was able to take pictures through that way as well. I really enjoyed this shoot and having a tripod for it as well.

Burtynsky’s Watermark 2/29

Burtynsky’s Watermark was one of the most interesting videos I watched this semester. I think the way Edward Burtynsky went about his project was very professional and he was also chasing what he wanted to do. I think every time an artist mixes their passion with something along the lines of nature, it is inspiring and amazing to me. I want to be someone who follows what they want to do, and uses that to make a difference in the world someday. I think that is what Edward Burtynsky does and I think it is really encouraging to me.

One of the quotes that will always stick with me from this movie was. “How does water shape us, and how do we shape water?” I think that is a very important question. If you look at how water shapes us, it is everywhere. From washing our cars to swimming in it, water is a huge part of our lives. It is more important than we think it is and I think us as humans take that from granted. That was the point of Edwards Burtynsky’s Watermark, was to show water on this large scale and what technology can do to show us this. There is a big difference between these natural sources of water and what we have made as well. This film sets out to show what water and technology can do and how it can affect what we have done so far with water.

Lake Hodges

Lake Hodges was a really fun trip. I enjoyed a lot of the walk and even got to try some lemonade berry for the first time. My favorite part about the hike was the abandoned house on the side of the road right before the dam. It was very beat up and torn down and even though the sign said no trespassing I had to check it out. The also had a little abandoned shack down the hill that I thought was really cool as well. I think my favorite picture out of the group is the one of the dam. I like how the tress are positioned and I think it almost looks like the trees are kind of hiding the dam.

Some struggle I had with this location was mainly the gear. Since it was an actual hike, I did not bring a Tri-Pod. I went all the way down to the dam and back so I did not want to drag along another piece of equipment as I probably would have got tired and not made it to the dam. Because I did not have a tripod, some of my close up photos did not turn out as well as I had hoped. However, I still feel like I got to explore more because I left the tripod, and then ended up getting some cool pictures of the dam. In my opinion, it was worth it.

Tenaja Falls

Tenaja falls is a small little waterfall this is located just outside Murrieta. It was actually a very easy hike, but it was still a lot of fun. My main focus of the shoot was this duck in the pond at the very top of the waterfall. He was swimming around for awhile and I took a lot of picture of him. I probably took about 40 to 50 pictures of the duck and decided on about 3 or 4 to use. I also was trying different color boosts and even black and white. I like the pictures that came out and I want to practice for shoots with animals in them.

My biggest challenge for this hike was the focus. I was using a 50mm lens for the most part and because there was so much sun out, it was hard to determine was F stop I wanted to shoot at. I tried a couple different F stops, especially with the lizard. Some pictures the whole rock was blurred and other pictures everything was in focus. I finally got a decent picture of the lizard on the rock, with a little bit of the rock in focus. I think that picture turned out pretty decent.

San Elijo



was a fun shoot. I enjoyed all the different flowers and doing research on the different species. My favorite plant there was the lemonade berry. They had a lot of them, but they just looked so cool to me. I think it was really fun getting up close and taking pictures of them. You can see I put in two pictures of the lemonade berry. I liked zooming in really close to see the white little spots on them as well. They were definitely my favorite plant. I also liked the wild cucumber. I thought how the vines twirled and went around the whole bush was really fascinating.

Some struggles I had with this field trip was the focus. Shooting up close with these plants is a challenge sometimes to get the whole subject in focus. Next time I go, I would bring a better lens and a Tripod. I think a macro lens would work really well. I also think Having a tripod and a timer activated will help out a lot with the camera steadiness. I will bring this equipment next time.

Plants for San Elijo Lagoon

Arroyo Willow– The Arroyo Willow grows in riparian Areas. It is located near permanent sources of fresh water and they can end up losing leaves in a summer drought. This was important to the Kumeyaay because it indicated where a fresh source of water was. They are green and look like the end of a bush. Some of the stems have what it looks to be white fuzz on the end of them. Arroyo Willow also contain Salicin, the same compound that is in aspirin. “The pollen-releasing male catkins are yellow (“yellow = fellow”), while the seed-producing catkins are green (“green = girl”)”.

Bush Sunflower–  A bush sunflower is usually found in a garden as well as out in the wild. It is one of the most dominant species in our coastal sage scrub vegetation. They lose a lot of leaves during the summer especially if it is dry, but as winter and rainfall comes along, the bush grows larger and has more bright yellow sunflowers. Either way it will remain green and have sunflowers all throughout the year.

California Poppy- California Poppy is one of my favorite flowers. It has been the state flower for over a hundred years now. They are bright bright yellow. The flower can also open and close. It is open when there is sunshine and mostly during the day. However, the Poppies can close during the evening and cloudy days. When the flower is ready to open, the “dunce cap” pops off as well.

Lemonade Berry- Lemonade Berry is very common in the coastal sage scrub and chaparrals. “The leaves are thick and waxy, which reduces transpiration, allowing it to remain green during our long dry summers.” The size of the pink flowers are about as big as corn kernels. The white coating on the red seeds are gooey and sour like a lemon, which is how it got the name Lemonade Berry. The Kumeyaay would brew this plant into their tea and it would give it a sour taste.

Mexican Elderberry- The Mexican Elderberry is very common and growns wherever there is some fresh water available. They are open green shrubs and the leaves, stems, and green berries are toxic. The elderberry’s were still eating however, and it became a very medicinal plant for Native Americans. This plant was also used to make jams and wines.

Wild Cucumber- Wild Cucumber are another one of my favorite plants. The Wild Cucumber is a relative to an actual cucumber and watermelon on squash as well. They grown from vines and look like little green spike balls. The plant was used to stun fish and Native Americans would use this as a tool to fish. They would toss pieces of pulverized roots into the pond and the fish would get stunned by them, making it easy for them to catch the fish. The biggest root of Wild Cucumber was in the Ranch Santa Ana Botanic Gardens and it weighed up to 467 pounds.

Jim Brandenburg Chased by the Light

One of the main things that I am going to remember about Jim Brandenburg is how versatile he was with media and art. He took photographs and then wrote is own books as well. He combined the two so everything you see in his book, was his own. He also did cinematography for natural history films. His cinematography was broadcasted on major networks as well. In my own professional career, I want to be versatile like that as well. Learn the skills that compliment photography so I can make things myself. I want to be able to shoot video and edit video. That way I can make videos talking about my photography. Or I want to be able to write my own book as well so I can include photography and my own writing.

Another thing I am going to remember of Jim Brandenburg is how much Jim Brandenburg shot. He said that he used about 10,20 or 30 rolls a day. That is thousands of pictures a day. I think that is important to take that many pictures. You can have so many to chose from. Not only do you have a lot of pictures to chose from, but you most likely have my different pictures from many different angles and perspectives. You have a variety when you take that many pictures and it may make choosing one a little hard, but you’ll end up getting a better picture in the end.

The last thing I learned from Jim Brandenburg was its not always necessary to take a bunch of different pictures in a bunch of different exposures. He says in the video, “Make a decision and live with it and be happy with it.” Sometimes if you shoot a bunch of different pictures in a bunch of different settings, it might not ever be better. Sometimes the picture you chose, is the best picture. If you experiment a lot with different camera settings, sometimes it may not ever come out “better”.


San Francisco

Over my Spring Break, I drove up North to UC Davis and also to San Francisco. I had a lot of fun going there and shooting the beautiful. The main struggle I had that day I went to San Francisco was the lighting. It was kind of gloomy even though it was during the day. It was hard to get the light to comply with me. I also did not carry around a tripod with me so I did not get a chance to do long exposure shots either. I would have loved to do a long exposure shot in the picture with the hallway of lights.

My favorite picture is the one of my friend and his girlfriend walking in front of the pier and I took the picture from behind them. I turned the vibrance all the way down but raised the saturation all the way up. You can see in the picture that it made the darks almost black and white. While everything else that had color stayed in color and the picture then focused more on the color than anything. The sky and the ground look like they are almost black and white. While my friends, trees and signs are all in color.

Chinese Houses


I thought this plant looked very pretty from the San Elijo Lagoon Plant index. They prefer to be under moist and shady areas. They are very abundant in the north-facing grassy valley along the Rios Trail. They also are accompanied by sea dahlias and ferns. The name Chinese Houses comes from the spikes of the flowers. The spikes are perfect whirls of ever-decreasing diameter. Because of this is resembles fairy tale Chinese pagodas.

The plant looks visually pleasing and the contrasting colors on it make it stand out even more. They are not as common as some of the other plants, but if you got to the north-facing grassy valley, that is where you are most likely to see them. I think this plant is very beautiful and I hope that I see one when we go to San Elijo. Even though they are less common, I still will look around for them, as they are very recognizable.

Picture Credit: https://www.google.com/search?q=chinese+houses+flower&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjI1_uKm4vaAhVP52MKHerFB7cQ_AUICigB&biw=1536&bih=1263#imgdii=UzmlX0GYD0m5tM:&imgrc=cUP3T18w6aQxmM: