Glimpsing a secret, bright inner essence.

Solitary figure in morning sun on Torrey Pines State Beach.
Solitary figure in morning sun on Torrey Pines State Beach.

Here are several lucky photographs that turned out to be emotionally stirring or inspiring. In places light shines out from the images, as if we’re privileged to momentarily glimpse a secret, bright inner essence.

Tall palms reach toward a glowing cloud on San Diego's Embarcadero.
Tall palms reach toward a glowing cloud on San Diego’s Embarcadero.
A morning look from Balboa Park toward my Cortez Hill neighborhood.
Bright morning color frames my Cortez Hill neighborhood.
Brilliant sunrise illuminates the horizon east of San Diego.
Brilliant, fiery sunrise illuminates the horizon east of San Diego.
Helping hand is offered at the Toussaint Teen Center.
Touching sculpture offers a helping hand at the Toussaint Teen Center.
Children walk around Balboa Park fountain as evening descends.
Children walk around beautiful Balboa Park fountain as evening descends.
Morning sun and reflection in downtown San Diego.
Morning sun and reflection in downtown San Diego.

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A very cool photographer near Seaport Village.

Photographer near Seaport Village shows me some great stuff.
Photographer near Seaport Village shows me some great stuff.

Yesterday I took a leisurely walk past Seaport Village. I said hello to a gentleman in the nearby Embarcadero Marina Park North who was displaying some stunning framed photographs, hoping for a donation. I’d never seen him there before.

I’m glad I paused to chat. Ralph Guest is one cool dude. (And a much better photographer than me!) In semi-retirement, he’s just begun to show and sell his photographs. He spends a lot of time out east of San Diego in the desert, especially in and around Slab City, which he described for me. He’s taken many amazing photos of the place, and of the people, who are called Slabbers. The folks out in the desert are a laid-back, independent,  unique bunch. He described a place out there named East Jesus, where trash is converted into art and power is supplied entirely by solar power. According to Wikipedia, “The inhabitants of East Jesus…provide a refuge for artists, musicians, survivalists, writers, scientists, and laymen. They are dedicated to providing a working model of an improbable improvised community…” Sounds to me like a rather interesting place! Ralph has photos and videos that can be checked out via links on his website.

It’s great to meet new people!

Ralph Guest is a super cool and interesting guy!
Ralph Guest is a super cool and interesting guy!

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Funny double takes around San Diego!

Two street lamps got themselves in a twist.
Two street lamps got themselves in a twist.

Here are some funny cool photos for you to enjoy! These were taken at various times in and around downtown San Diego. Once in while I have to blink and do a double take!

Sticker turns dog into an uncurbable beast.
Sticker turns dog into an uncurbable beast.
Buster stuck his hand in wet concrete.
Buster stuck his hand in wet concrete.
Someone has to water all these watering cans.
Someone has to water all these watering cans.
The Deli Llama is wearing his elegant best.
The Deli Llama is wearing his elegant best.
This bicycle can be ridden above the sidewalk.
This bicycle can be ridden high above the sidewalk.
This outdoor glass elevator is a bit flat.
This outdoor glass elevator is a bit flat.
This GoCar won't go.
This GoCar won’t go.
Stylish patch for an old broken window.
Stylish patch for an old broken window.

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Views of the cool San Diego Convention Center.

View of plaza on southeast end of convention center.
View of plaza on southeast end of convention center.

I recently took a stroll around the San Diego Convention Center and took a number of cool pics. I know, I know…millions of photos have been taken of the place already. Well, anyway, here come a few more…

Interesting arches at San Diego Convention Center.
Interesting arches at San Diego Convention Center.
Looking up at glass awning above main entrance.
Looking up at glass awning above main entrance.
People descend stairs from uppermost level.
People descend stairs from building’s uppermost level.
Cool round glass elevator at top of incline.
Cool round glass elevator at top of incline.
Looking down a wide expanse of outside steps.
Looking down a patterned expanse of outside steps.
Steps on the bay side lead to Marriott Marina.
Steps on the bay side lead up from Marriott Marina.
Convention center from Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Convention center seen from Embarcadero Marina Park South.
A glass elevator nestled among trees.
A glass elevator nestled among trees.
Gazing from an upper level toward Hilton hotel.
Gazing from an upper level toward big Hilton hotel.
Sign on scenic terrace shows Star of India.
Sign on scenic terrace shows San Diego’s own Star of India.
Looking over San Diego Convention Center's sails.
Looking over San Diego Convention Center’s rooftop sails.
People enjoy amazing view of San Diego Bay.
People enjoy amazing view of San Diego Bay and Coronado.

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A shining Flame of Friendship from Mexico.

Flame of Friendship sculpture at Convention Center.
Flame of Friendship sculpture at Convention Center.

The Flame of Friendship burns near the heart of the city. You’ll find it on a prominent stair landing of the San Diego Convention Center, overlooking the Marriott Marina and San Diego Bay. The flame is a silvery stainless steel sculpture presented to San Diego by Mexico. In Spanish it is Flama De La Amistad.

Many eyes have been dazzled by this sunlit symbol of friendship. The artist who created the interesting abstract form is Leonardo Nierman, of Mexico City.

I walked around it and took several pics from different angles!

Light reflects from shining sculpture.
Light reflects from shining sculpture.
Flame of Friendship from another angle.
Flame of Friendship from another angle.
Cool sight at the San Diego Convention Center.
Cool sight at the San Diego Convention Center.
Friendship between San Diego and Mexico.
Friendship between San Diego and Mexico.
Sunlight glow behind silvery work of art.
Sunlight glow behind silvery work of art.
Tangled arcs of light in the San Diego sky.
Tangled arcs of light in the San Diego sky.
Flame of Friendship with hotels in background.
Flame of Friendship with hotels in background.

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The Long-Waterman House on Bankers Hill.

The grand Long-Waterman House on Bankers Hill.
The gorgeous Long-Waterman House on Bankers Hill.

Bankers Hill is dotted with a variety of grand historic mansions. One of the most opulent–and one of my favorites–is the Long-Waterman House. It stands directly across the street from the barn-like Farm House that I photographed for an earlier blog post.

The Long-Waterman House was built in 1889 by famed architect D. B. Benson and is a superb example of the American Queen Anne style. The first owner was John Long, who headed the Coronado Fruit Package Company.  He also owned a business which imported exotic woods and manufactured hardwood veneer.  As you might expect, the interior of this house, which I’ve been fortunate to briefly see, is absolutely filled with warm, beautiful woodwork.

In 1891 the mansion was purchased by Robert Whitney Waterman, who’d just finished a term as Governor of California.  He died only a few months later.

Plaque in front yard of 1889 Long-Waterman mansion.
Plaque in front yard of 1889 Long-Waterman mansion.
Delightful architecture on Bankers Hill.
Delightful architecture on Bankers Hill.

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Surfers ride waves near Imperial Beach pier.

Surfer rides a wave just below the Imperial Beach pier.
Surfer rides a wave just below the Imperial Beach pier.

Wow! Check out this first cool pic! Did that come out great, or what?

I’m in the middle of my week off from work, and today I went to Coronado again and biked down the Silver Strand to Imperial Beach. I’ve got more photos than you can shake a stick at!

What a beautiful day. I stood on the pier at a spot between the beach and breaking waves and tried to photograph a group of surfers below. Most of action was too far away for my little camera, but a few pics seem worth sharing…

Surfers wait for the perfect wave near Imperial Beach pier.
Surfers wait for the perfect wave near Imperial Beach pier.
Surfer gets ready to go for a ride.
Surfer gets ready to go for a ride.
Surfer riding a nice wave on a sunny day.
Surfer riding a nice wave on a sunny day.
Guy on surfboard just coasting along the foamy ocean surface.
Guy on surfboard just coasting along the foamy ocean surface.
No fishing in the surf zone on Imperial Beach pier.
No fishing in the surf zone on Imperial Beach pier.

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MOOPA ArtWall mural in San Diego’s East Village.

Part of Museum of Outdoor Photographic Art's mural on F Street.
Part of Museum of Outdoor Photographic Art’s mural on F Street.

On F Street, one block west of SMARTS farm (see my last blog post), San Diegans can enjoy a huge public mural. Created by the Museum of Outdoor Photographic Art (MOOPA), the photo ArtWall covers the upper portion of the old Jerome’s Warehouse between 14th and 15th Street.

The mural features the work of three photographers. Matt Black’s photos feature a village in the Mixteca, an impoverished area in Mexico. Susan Madden Lankford’s photos show the streets of San Diego and contain many diverse portraits. A simple photo of a cone flower in the center of the mural, linking north and south, is the work of Polly Lankford Smith.

Face peers over treetops from large MOOPA ArtWall.
Face peers over treetops from large MOOPA ArtWall.
Segment of gigantic mural in downtown San Diego.
Segment of gigantic mural in downtown San Diego.
Walking along the rails on wall of abandoned warehouse.
Walking along the rails on the upper wall of an old warehouse.
Photography records face in time in San Diego.
Amazing photography records a face in time.
Another example of art in downtown's East Village.
Another example of art in downtown’s vibrant East Village.
Old Jerome's warehouse on F Street features the huge mural.
Old Jerome’s warehouse on F Street features the huge mural.
Public art includes farm workers on the empty city warehouse.
Public art in San Diego’s East Village  includes farm workers.
Photo of child in a mask is part of MOOPA mural.
Photo of child in a mask is part of MOOPA mural.
Playing a tuba on F Street between 14th and 15th.
Playing a tuba on F Street between 14th and 15th.
Museum of Outdoor Photographic Art's ArtWall is in East Village.
Museum of Outdoor Photographic Art’s ArtWall is a very cool sight.
East side of old Jerome's warehouse across from SMART farms.
East side of old Jerome’s warehouse across from SMART farms.

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Kaleidoscope and a revolving bowl of flowers.

Interesting contraption in a nook at Spanish Village.
Interesting contraption in a nook at artsy Spanish Village.

In a nook of Balboa Park’s Spanish Village, right next to the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society building, you’ll find this interesting contraption. Is it an antique device once used to navigate a ship? Is it a microscope? What is it?

It’s a kaleidoscope mounted above a revolving bowl of flowers! Instead of turning the kaleidoscope tube, you whirl the bowl of blooms and watch different colorful patterns form through the lens. Several mirrors in the tube create the complex symmetry.

Once I figured out what the contraption was, I tried putting my camera right up to the eyepiece. I got a bunch of interesting photos!

A kaleidoscope aimed at turning bowl of flowers.
A kaleidoscope aimed at turning bowl of flowers.
Mirrors of kaleidoscope turn flower blooms into art.
Mirrors of kaleidoscope turn flower blooms into art.
Revolving the bowl turns flowers and leaves into amazing patterns.
Revolving the bowl turns flowers and leaves into amazing patterns.
Infinite beauty created via the reflection of light.
Infinite beauty created via the reflection of light.

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Morning interplay of light and shadow.

Back of stop sign flashes silver in the morning sunlight.
Back of stop sign flashes silver in the morning sunlight.

Early yesterday morning I walked west down Cedar to catch the trolley in Little Italy. The sun had just risen above the horizon and its rays were slanting through the cityscape almost horizontally. Metal surfaces were shining and shadows were still deep. It made for some very interesting photos!

Slanting sunshine on building highlights layered geometry.
Slanting sunshine on building highlights layered geometry.
Light and shadow angled and entangled.
Light and shadow angled and entangled.
Shadows on wall cast by tree and street light.
Shadows on wall cast by tree and street light.
Early sunlight begins to penetrate dark places.
Early sunlight begins to penetrate dark places.