Wednesday, October 31, 2012


In celebration of Halloween, I give you:

The Big D!

Go save the world, Big D.  From the looks of the political climate, someone needs to.  You can do it.  PaPa will help.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

People You Meet Along the Trail

I liked the couple below.  They were from S. California and were touring the wine country.  I crossed paths with them at a few different winery's.  So, I finally asked to take their photo.

They were most gracious.

Meet Brian and Hannah!

I noticed Hannah trying to get a photo of the two of them together by placing her camera on the hood of their car and tripping the time released shutter.  I thought I could do a bit nicer job for them

Thanks Brian and Hannah!

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Warm Smile and Cool Hat

Meet Mo!

She was helping this wine newbie at one of the wineries.   I really liked her smile.  And, she was delightfully funny.  Nice hat!

Thanks Mo!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Wine Journey Continues

Meet Natalie!

She was very busy helping other customers.  But, as they wrapped up, she took a few minutes to visit.  She was charming and delightful.   She loves wine (DUH!) and miniature daschunds!

She was a wonderful compliment to Sally.   They got along very well together! 

Thanks Natalie!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Practical Joker!

The young lady below was VERY funny.  She was the face of the vineyard for our tasting.  And, she did a wonderful job.
Meet Sally!

When I asked what I could say about her in the blog, she said, "that I am a liar and practical joker."  From what I had observed, she was right about that!  She also said she has wonderful friends. 

From my point of view, she had a very healthy attitude towards life and seemed to be doing very well.

Thanks Sally!  I got quite a chuckle over our conversation!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Olive Oil Tasting

After a day or so of tasting wine, I must admit it was difficult to differentiate between the different grapes and processing methods (3 months oak vs 9 months oak, or oak that was formally used in whiskey barrels vs new oak, etc). 

So, it was with some relief, I found olive oil tasting!

Meet Kelly!

She was gracious enough to let me taste several different flavors.  Yes..that's right...olive oil infused with different flavors.  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

She gets back to work as a cheer leading coach after the wine season!

Thanks Kelly!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Group Photo!

The group below was sitting outside the tasting room, relaxing in the warm sun.  I didn't realize they were there until they came in for another bottle. 

I had to butt in and introduce myself.

Meet....ALL OF THEM!  Left to right we have:  Alex, Helen, Scott, Ronald, Terri, and Baby (he's the four legged one!).   They were most gracious to let me intrude and get a photo.

I thought Baby deserved his own photo.

My sincere thanks to you all!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


If you have seen the movie "Sideways", and if you were paying attention, you have met the gentleman below.

Meet Chris!

I don't believe you see his face in the movie.  But, you will see his hat!  He is the lyrical contributor to a CD called "Let the Dog Decide".

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Wine Journey Continues

Traveling along the wine route, I found a very quiet, but beautiful winery.

Meet Penny!

Knowledgeable and very helpful to a newbie, like me!

Thanks Penny!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Anniversary Celebration

The couple below were at a winery when I walked in.  They were relaxing and enjoying the view, the wine, and each others company. 

Meet Greg and Kelly!

They were celebrating their 17th anniversary with a trip to a few winery's.  They had originally lived in Pittsburgh but moved to California about 9 years ago.  No kids.  Well, no kids that they talked about!  But, they do have a 150 lb dog (I believe it was a Weimaraner) named Grey Goose. And, one of the mother-in-laws flies all the way from Pittsburgh to visit the dog! 

Thanks Greg and Kelly!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cheese Anyone?

The gentleman below was sitting alone at a tasting table at a winery.   We started chatting and he told me about his new business idea.
Meet Michael!

He is an engineer in CA and has a passion for cheese.  He wants to be known as "the Cheese Guy" around the S California area.  He was visiting winery's and was selling them on his knowledge of pairing of cheeses with certain wines.   His business is just getting started.  And, at present, if I recall, he is getting is name and business idea out there and is offering is expertise.

Thanks Michael!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Back to Work

The second winery I visited was crowded!  A "wine" bus had arrived just at opening and the tasting table was so crowded it was easier to just wait for them to leave.

Finally, this gentleman below was able to visit.

Meet David!

He was just back to work after being gone for 2 months.  He is a retired elementary school teacher and loves visiting with folks about the wine and the grapes, etc.  When I asked what he wanted me to say about him, he said, "I miss my dog."  I was a bit worried that his dog had succumbed to illness or old age.
But, he had been home with Moose for the last two months.  Today, Moose was just fine at home.  David just missed him!  Everyone misses a golden retriever.  They do love you back.
Thanks David!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Grandma Grape

At the first winery, I followed the normal process of asking to take a person's photo for the blog. 

Meet Nan!

When she heard about my blog, she was very pleased to talk about her own blog:  GrandmaGrape!

She was both delightful and hilarious!  To say she was passionate about wine was an understatment!

Thanks Nan!  BTW, cute grandchild, too!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wine Tasting

On a recent trip, I had the opportunity to visit a few winery's.  I haven't been on formal wine tasting excursions before.  So, I was grateful to tag along with friends to see the process.

Meet Megan:

Megan was the first person I met at the first winery.  She kindly walked me through the process.  Take $10 from everyone who wants to participate in the tasting.  Give them a glass.  Pour about 1 oz in the glass.  Talk about the wine......repeat for another 5-6 bottles.

The wine was excellent. And her knowledge about the entire process was impressive. 

She was most gracious and helpful. 

Thanks Megan!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


When traveling, I like to wander around the location a bit to get a feel for the people, the culture, the heritage.  The local park can be a very insightful place.

Meet Hans Christian Andersen:

Hans was born in 1805 and by his late 20's was already well known around Denmark as a wonderful writer of childrens stories and poems.  This little Danish town has great respect for him.

My thanks to the citizens for remembering their roots.

I am curious whether anyone knows where this might be!  Shall we have a contest?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Hat Store

I travel a bit for business.  That will most probably pick up in the next few months.  I have found that it takes me about 30 minutes to pack for a trip.  That includes clothing and all the required personal items as well as the computer, various power cords, etc.

I usually forget something.  But, I have discovered that there are stores just about everywhere you go and I can purchase that forgotten item if necessary. 

On a recent trip, I forgot my sun glasses. 

Meet Katherine!

She was working in a store that specialized in selling hats.  Since I do tend to like hats, I wandered in to find a wonderful selection.  And, they had sun glasses!

Katherine graciously weighed in and helped me make the best selection.  I am quite certain that without her input, I would have ended up with pink, winged sun glasses with unicorns on them. 

Thanks Katherine!  And, nice hat!

Monday, October 15, 2012

It's Even Harder to Get a Wasp to Pose!

But, I did!

It helps a lot when it is cooler.  He stayed pretty still and let me get within 3-4" of him.  Does this count as a portrait?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's Difficult Getting a Honey Bee to Pose

At the end of a day a few weeks ago, I got sight of a honey bee working through the flowers.   I really wanted a face shot (think portrait!).  But, I couldn't get a clean one. 

It was, however, amazing watching him use his front legs to pull himself further into the flower and hold himself in position. 

I took about 25 photos.  These were the best.  I had to be fast!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

More of the Band!

I am learning about the life of a musician by following Scott's band.  I often see new band members.   It seems to be a bit of a nomadic life!  But, Scott does know how to find some incredible talent with with to play!

Meet Steve:

Steve has been a drummer for a long time. He just eased into each tune effortlessly.  He's become one with the music! 

And meet Mike!
Mike is retired and can now relax and enjoy his music with his very cute grandson, Little Matthew!

Thanks guys!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The American Legion and The Band

My guitar teacher gave me a call recently and mentioned the band was playing at the Legion.  So, I stopped by. 

Meet Jim!

He also takes guitar lessons from Scott.  Scott was gracious enough to invite him to the table and join us.  He is a retired IT project manager!  And, he's a grandpa, as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed out chat!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Milk Weed Seeds

OK.   I know this isn't a portrait.  But, I liked the early light on the milk weed seeds.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Another photographer

I met the young lady below at a portraits class a month or so ago.  It was very fun to cross paths with her again at Hot Sams!

Meet Tracy!

She has a fantastic smile and an equally delightful personality.  And, she is a fantastic photographer! 

Thanks Tracy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hot Sam's Other Stuff: 3

This was awesome.  I thought of asking a few of the models to reenact the Billy Jo, Bobbie Jo, and Bettie Jo opening to the show.

And, I thought about it twice, too!  But, I chickened out.

Still, a nice thought!  I remember I was about 15 when that show came out.  I believe I still flash back to it now and then!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hot Sam's: Other Stuff! 1

As I said in the first post about Hot Sam's, there is some very cool stuff here!  I believe he acquired props from various movies and TV shows. 

So, while not portraits, let's see if you can see anything in the next couple of posts that may look familiar.

Yes.  That's Popeye and Olive Oyl. 

I am not sure whether the object below ever was shown in a movie or TV show.  I really wished it was Plan 9 from Out Space.  That would be awesome.  But, I believe they just used hubcaps hanging from strings.  Still, this would look fantastic hanging between the trees!

And, who doesn'ty need a 20' guitar.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hot Sam's: 6

As I was leaving Hot Sam's I cross paths with three women photographers as they were walking in.  They asked if I would take their photos.

They were DELIGHTFUL and funny.  I chuckled at their humor and teasing of one another a good share of my drive home.

I have a photo of the third woman that I nearly posted.  She is laughing...and is caught in the middle of the best part of the laugh.  But, I didn't know if she would appreciate it.  I loved the image. 

I just may end up posting it later, with her permission, of course.

My thanks to you all. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hot Sam's: 5

Again, struggling with the harsh sunlight.  I think the model is just stunning.  But, the harsh light washes out some of the detail.  

Of the two photos, I think the bottom image is better.  I suspect I screwed up a bit on the light balance on the upper image. 

She was, as all the models were, delightful and charming.  I owe her a better photograph!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hot Sam's: 4

I like this photo.  The background sort of matched her dress.  And, the shading makes her skin look very smooth and silky.  

Before you comment, yes, her eyes were supposed to be closed!   The entire concept of 'framing" the image or model is a bit new to me.  Most of the time, I try to get a clean portrait.  So, the photo below was a bit of an experiment.  Comments are welcome. 

As all the other models I met, she was just delightful and helpful as I was trying to work in this new space.

Thank you!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hot Sam's: 3

Of the models I saw, and the few I actually photographed, the young lady below seemed the most comfortable and experienced in front of the camera. 

She was able to generate a series of poses without effort.  She knew what she was doing.  

All three photos were taken in about 60 seconds in the same area. 

As I was leaving Hot Sam's, I passed by her on the way to her car.  She had changed into a different outfit from the photos above and I asked for one more photo.  She was most kind, gracious and quite willingly paused for a minute to let me take the photo below.

I think this was the best photo I took of her.  It was a bit more shaded and I liked the hat. 

My sincere thanks!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hot Sam's: 2

The photographer working with this model had found a shaded area against an old box car.  A lot of the background is darker, contrasting nicely with the color of her skin and the fabric.  This isn't nearly as washed out.

Not to self, try to stay out of the direct sunlight when doing portraits.