Colorado Vacation

In early October, Dawn, Makenzy and I drove to Colorado to spend a week with my high school friend, Van, and his family. We took the northern route, staying on Interstate 80 through California, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. It was the first time the three of us had been in Wyoming. Dawn and I split the driving duties while Makenzy stayed comfortably in the backseat and fulfilled the role of our chief Googler. When we'd see something that piqued our curiosity, we would ask Makenzy to Google it for us. Some of the random things we learned along our trip:

  • Sinclair, the new gas station here in Stockton on Hammer and West Lane, comes from Sinclair, Wyoming
  • There are more people living in San Joaquin County than there are in all of Wyoming
  • OJ Simpson is serving time in Lovelock Correctional Facility in Lovelock, Nevada
  • Green River, Wyoming was the first city in the US to outlaw door-to-door sales
  • There is a band named after the aforementioned law, Green River Ordinance

We stopped in Fort Collins, Colorado to see my friend Rich and his family. He and his wife, Dorinna and their son Nate, showed us around Fort Collins. It wasn't enough time to see much of Fort Collins, but there was enough time to do some site seeing, and visit the famous Walrus Ice Cream, where Rich convinced me to try their "Mystery Flavor". If you ever find yourself in Fort Collins and someone suggests you visit Walrus, you definitely should, but stay away from the "Mystery Flavor". It was great to see the Ruh family.

Then we finally made it to the Saukam house and the week of fun got kicked off quickly! We had such a wonderful week hanging out with Van, Christine, Evan, and Liam. We hung out a lot and just talked and laughed, but we also did some typical touristy things.

We spent a day in Downtown Denver and walked around the wonderful 16th Street Mall. We also visited the Red Rocks Amphitheater, Cave of the Winds caverns and drove to the Pikes Peak Summit.


We sure crammed a lot of fun (and food) into the week we spent with the Saukam family. It was so great to see them and spend some time enjoying the beauty of Colorado. Can't wait to get out there again!

Check out all of the pics here -


The New Phonebook is Here!

That's right, the new phonebook is here! And I'm on it. I'm not in it, but I'm on it. My photo of downtown Stockton was selected to be the cover shot of Stockton's Valley Yellow Pages.



I realize that most people don't use the phone book anymore, but every now and then I see it at a local business. It's still pretty cool to see my pic on the cover.




If you want to actually use the phonebook online, you can go here.



2010 - Pictures

I took a lot of pictures this year, 12,223 to be exact. Twenty percent more than I took last year and three times as many as I took, on average each year 2001-2008. Of course, the big jump last year was because of my Canon T1i (have I told you how much I love this camera).2001-2010-pics-taken First, some my favorite pics of mine from 2010 (click each for the original).

Screen shot 2010-12-31 at 4.59.02 PMScreen shot 2010-12-31 at 5.00.04 PMScreen shot 2010-12-31 at 5.01.14 PMScreen shot 2010-12-31 at 5.02.54 PM makenzy-light-heartjr-zoeScreen shot 2010-12-31 at 5.20.00 PMScreen shot 2010-12-31 at 5.16.27 PM

I had a lot of fun learning more about my camera and lenses this year. Experimenting with manual shooting really helped me understand the impact of aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

Here’s my personal favorite picture from this year. As simple as it is, I learned that a simple piece of plain copy paper could make a good back drop. Also, because, it meant something to my friends who live Autism as a part of their day-to-day lives. 48-365 World Autism Awareness Day

After going through my favorites from my Flickr friends, it was far too difficult to find one single favorite of 2010. So, here are six of my favorites (again, click each for the original), in no particular order.

Stockton California August 7 2010-21Audrey Eyes49-365 - Podcast Like You Mean It! - Redcorn Studios Day Forty86-365 - Atlantic Sunrise - Redcorn StudiosArt Walk

Happy shooting in 2011.

Color The Skies

This morning, very early for a Sunday morning I might add, we went out to Ripon for Color the Skies, a hot air balloon festival to raise money for the Children’s Hospital Central California. IMG_6175b We got out there a little after 6. Lucky for us, they were behind schedule and were in the midst of having all of the ballooners move from one side of the park to the other. One by one, the colossal balloons inflated to enormous heights. I can’t ever remember seeing giant hot air balloons up close before and was amazed at their size.

Sadly, the festival organizers announced that weather would prevent them from taking flight. Although it would’ve been cool to see them launch, having them on the ground was still cool. Plus, made for some good photo opportunities.

Speaking of photos, I learned a valuable lesson. Or should I say, a lesson I already learned was reinforced. Since the sun was rising right behind us the lighting was tricky. I started shooting in aperture priority mode, with my shutter speed on auto. A lot of my shots were too bright though so I switched to manual mode and increased the shutter speed. My shots in the 1/125 - 1/640 range in AE mode were greatly improved by shooting 1/1250 - 1/3200 in manual.

125v1250 (first: AE, 1/125, f/4.0 ISO 100; second: man, 1/1250, f/4.5, ISO 400)

See the rest of the pictures here.

New Camera

I finally got my new toy a couple of weeks ago, a Canon Rebel T1i. After months of shopping around I finally settled on the Canon XSi. Having never shot with a digital SLR before that model seemed to be a great starting point. So, I did what any prudent person would do: I announced my decision on Twitter. Within just a few minutes I had several replies. One of them was from Rich, a friend of mine from Colorado, saying that I should look at the new T1i which would be coming out in just a few weeks. Given that the T1i, with 15.1 mega pixels, also takes HD video with resolutions up to 1920 x 1080, I decided to delay gratification and order Canon’s newest model. Then, I waited. And waited. And waited. With Canon only saying that its release would be “sometime in May” I was pleasantly surprised when came early in the month.


Along with the kit lens (18-55mm IS) I also picked up a 70-300mm zoom lens and a 60mm macro lens. I would love to give a full review of the camera but there is still so much I don’t know about it. Having only shot with point-and-shoot cameras before I fully recognize the fact that there is a steep learning curve here. What I do know is that I love shooting with it. I love the speed of the camera. Compared to my old S5, I love the ability to shoot when I want to as opposed to waiting for the power cycle, zoom, focus and shutter.

I haven’t had a lot of time to get out and shoot with it yet but have taken some shots, posted to Flickr of course. Stay tuned for more!