Unofficial photographer of the not-so famous


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 20mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec.@ f/8. ISO: 200)

Whenever I’m on a trip I always see other tourist taking pictures of their loved ones in front of different landmarks. I understand the desire to record their travels, wanting to preserve their memories in pictures. Everyone has a need to remember happy times spent together.

The problem is that whoever is taking the picture is always left out of it. It’s either mom or dad that’s omitted during summer vacation photos, the husband or wife of a newlywed pair on their honeymoon. Maybe it’s friends traveling cross-country in adventure before college. Sometimes they have to double their efforts, taking a second photo with the picture-taker exchanging places with someone in the first shot. Whatever it is, someone has to take the picture.

Whenever I see this happening, I always try to offer to take the photo for them. I’ve never been turned down and the offer is always graciously accepted (although I do find it amusing when they tell me which button to press on their camera).

So the next time you see a family taking a group photo with someone left out or struggling with their camera’s self-timer step in and offer to help preserve a memory for all of them to cherish.

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Life’s a beach


The beach at the Ano Nuevo State Park (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 100).

At every beach we went to on our coastal trip, people took overall pictures which is fine, I guess, but they were missing a whole world of pictures at their feet. A walk on the beach can be an opportunity to shoot close-ups.

(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 55mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200)


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 50mm macro. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/6.3. ISO: 200)

From the pattern of shifting sands created by the receding waves to the various pieces of flotsam and jetsam wash up on the beach artistic expression can be found on a small scale. Things that most people ignore and pass up — a simple rock, pieces of seaweed or sand covered feet — can make for perfect close-ups.


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 50mm macro. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/6.3. ISO: 200)


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 55mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200)


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 50mm macro. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/6.3. ISO: 200)

So the next time you’re at the beach, go ahead and take your overall scenics, but don’t forget to get some close ups as well.

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Surf’s up


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200mm w/1.4 extender @ 280mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200)

“Let’s go surfin’ now
Everybody’s learning how
Come on and safari with me…”
- Surfin’ Safari by Brian Wilson, Mike Love


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200mm w/1.4 extender @ 280mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200)

One of the stops on my family’s vacation was Asilomar State Beach. As we pulled up there were surfers who were preparing to take to the waves. As they were getting ready, some were calling friends to tell them of the great surf conditions.


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200mm w/1.4 extender @ 280mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200)

Indeed, although the waves were far less than – say, Hawaii’s Sunset Beach or Pipeline — they were of decent size, steady and numerous. I have never shot surfing before so I tried my hand at it. Armed with a 70-200mm lens with a 1.4 converter (the equivalent of 270mm),  I was a bit under-lensed, so I waded calf-deep in the water and waited for the closest surfers (a 400-500mm lens would have been perfect).


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200mm w/1.4 extender @ 280mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200)

It was harder than I thought, anticipating when and where the action was going to happen and what would it be like when the action did occur. I managed to get a couple of decent shots. I don’t know when my next surfin’ safari will be, but next time I’ll have a better idea of what to expect

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Seals of approval


A pair of elephant seals fight a mock battle at the Ano Nuevo State reserve (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200 w/1.4 extender @ 280mm. Exposure: a/500th sec. @ f.8. ISO: 200).

We planned our trip mostly just to get out of the heat and we picked Half Moon Bay because we hadn’t been there before. As far as things to do and events, it turns out we picked the wrong time of year to visit. The whale migration is around January. The Mavericks surf competition which features surfers from around the world taking on waves up to 50-ft tall is held around November/December. The annual Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival (the city calls itself the world’s pumpkin capital) is held in October. We even missed the annual monarch butterfly season in Pacific Grove which also starts in October.


Wild grasses grow on the Pond Loop path at the Ano Nuevo State reserve (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/11. ISO: 200) .

The Ano Nuevo State Reserve is off of Highway 1 between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz and is home to the largest mainland breeding colony in the world for the northern elephant seal. The height of activity is from December through March when thousands of seals, some of which can weigh up to 5,000 pounds breed and give birth on the beaches of the reserve. The Spring/Summer molting season ends in August.


Coyote brush grows on the Pond Loop path at the Ano Nuevo State reserve (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/30th sec. @ f/22 . ISO: 100).


Yellow bush lupine grows on the Pond Loop path at the Ano Nuevo State reserve (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 50mm macro. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/11. ISO: 200) .

On our drive from Half Moon Bay to Monterey, I thought there probably wouldn’t much to see at Ano Nuevo. Maybe we shouldn’t waste our time and just head on to our destination. My wife suggest we give it a try anyway. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so we pulled into the reserve.


Wild grasses grow on the Pond Loop path at the Ano Nuevo State reserve (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/30th sec. @ f/22 w/ fill-flash. ISO: 100) .


A couple walks down the Pond Loop path at the Ano Nuevo State reserve (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/30th sec. @ f/22 w/ fill-flash. ISO: 100).

The sandy walk through coyote brush, yellow bush lupine and wild grasses is about a mile an a half from the the reserve’s parking lot to the beach. For the uninitiated it can be a bit of a hike, especially if you’re unsure if there are going to be any elephant seals to see or not.


Elephant seals lay on the beach at the Ano Nuevo State reserve (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200mm w/1.5 extender @ 280mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f.8. ISO: 200).

Reaching the two southernmost of three observation decks, we had caught the tail end of the summer molt. We saw about 50 male elephant seals laying on the beach, with another 10 or so romping in the water. During the winter, docent-led tours take visitors on the beach to be among the seals, but we were confined to the decks.


Elephant seals fight mock battles at the Ano Nuevo State reserve (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200mm w/1.4 extender @ 280mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f.8. ISO: 200).

Getting their name from the males’ large, protuberant snouts, the elephant seals have faces only their mothers can love (the females and juveniles are spared the big blubbery noses). It’s through those huge noses that the guttural bellowings are made and amplified. Rivaling their looks was their odor. We were upwind of a stiff breeze and the smell was quite pungent.


Tourists view elephant seals from an observation deck at the Ano Nuevo State Reserve (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200mm 180mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f.8. ISO: 200) .

A docent said that, had we gotten there about 20 minutes earlier, there would have been no activity, with all the animals sleeping together like a large elephant seal carpet. A small group of them broke off to play in the water. They pushed and shoved each other in mock battles, a practice for the real fight for dominance during the breeding season.


Elephant seals lay on the beach at the Ano Nuevo State reserve (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200mm w/1.4 extender. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f.8. ISO: 200).

Although it may not have been the best time of the year to see the seals, we took a chance and got to see a fascinating spectacle of nature.

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iPhone, you-phone, we all phone for iPhone.


(Camera: iPhone: Lens: 3.8mm. Exposure: 1/974th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 70)

A couple of weeks ago, my wife got a cool new iPhone. One of its features is a built-in camera. It’s only a few megapixels and doesn’t have a flash or zoom, but the quality of the pictures is surprisingly good. During the several hours that I was without a camera due to dead bateries, I used the phone as my image maker.


(Camera: iPhone: Lens: 3.8mm. Exposure: 1/120th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 74)

(Camera: iPhone: Lens: 3.8mm. Exposure: 1/30th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 79)

While my wife and daughter cruised the shops of Cannery Row, my son and I walked the nearby small beach with the borrowed iPhone. Although I didn’t have the control I would have had with my camera, I was impressed with the quality of the overall pictures made with the phone. I had fun shooting with it, experimenting with it, but I missed my camera.


(Camera: iPhone: Lens: 3.8mm. Exposure: 1/546th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 70)


(Camera: iPhone: Lens: 3.8mm. Exposure: 1/240th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 70)

After getting several shots with the phone, we used it to Google the location of a Best Buy (in city of Marina not to far away on Highway 1). We bought a charger and powered up my camera’s batteries overnight at our motel. I was set to go with my camera the next day, but now I know that in a pinch that I can borrow an iPhone and get some decent results.

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(No) Power trip

Like most vacations I could’ve used an extra few days off, but I’m back at work and rarin’ to go!


My children run away from the waves at Half Moon Bay State Beach (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/4th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 800).


A high fog hangs over Pillar Point Harbor at Half Moon Bay (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200mm @ 115mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/6.3. ISO: 100).

Our vacation was a too-short trip to the Half Moon Bay/Monterey area.  We figured it would be a nice way to get out of the Valley heat (indeed, the temperature was about 15 to 20 degrees cooler). I thought I could get some nice starry night shots that I failed to get on our Oregon trip. Half Moon Bay has a population of around 13,000 so I thought it would be a small enough town to avoid a significant amount of light pollution. Unfortunately, a high fog hung over the area during most of our stay. Sure, it kept the temps down, but it blocked the view of the sky.


A man and girl walk through a rock labyrinth at Pillar Point Harbor at Half Moon Bay (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 100).


Waves crash against rocks near Pillar Point Harbor at Half Moon Bay (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/8th sec. @ f/22. ISO: 100).


Naked lady flowers  grow at Half Moon Bay (Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200).

I broke the 9th rule of photography on our trip: Always have batteries. I forgot to check the status of the power in my camera and the rechargeable batteries were nearly depleted. About midway through our first full day, the power went out, leaving the camera seemingly inert. Fortunately I had a back-up battery. Unfortunately, it too was dead (even more so than the ones in camera). I had forgotten my charger and Half Moon Bay was too small a town to a have a camera or electronics store big enough to carry one.


A man skim boards on the beach at Half Moon Bay State Beach (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200mm @ 135mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200).


A fisherman casts his line in the Pacific Ocean at Half Moon Bay State Beach (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/11. ISO: 200).

Fortunately again, there’s an old photographer’s trick to keep shooting even with a dead battery (whether it’s an old trick of photographers or a trick of old photographers, at my age they both apply). When a camera’s power cell goes out, there’s usually a little bit of charge left. I pulled the batteries out and then reinserted it, essentially rebooting the camera. The LED indicator read that the battery was low, but at least the camera started up again.


A fisherman casts his line in the Pacific Ocean at Half Moon Bay State Beach (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200mm w/1.4 teleconverter @ 255mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/7.1. ISO: 200).


The coast along Highway 1 between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200mm w/1.4 teleconverter @ 280mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200).


The dunes at Ano Nuevo State Reserve (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/11. ISO: 200).

Luckily, I was able to get a several dozen more shots before the power went out again. I repeated the procedure and, voila, I was able to continue shooting. In conjunction with power conservation techniques, (turning off the auto focus, keeping the chimping down to a minimum, both of which use power), I was able actually shoot a couple hundred more shots. I limped through the day with the camera still functioning. The night was foggy again, which was just as well because time exposures use a lot of power and I had only enough for maybe one or two of those shots.


Customers prepare to pay their bill at the Cash Store restaurant in Davenport (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200mm @ 130mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/3.5. ISO: 100).



Surprisingly, I made through most of the next day using the battery-pulling technique. We left Half Moon Bay for Monterey and the fog finally lifted revealing partly cloudy skies. Late in the afternoon the camera finally gave up the ghost. With one final shot, the mirror locked up and no amount of fiddling with the battery could get the camera working again. To my frustration it was just as the light was getting good. The sinking sun created long shadows and warm tones and I was without a working camera. It was several hours before I could find a place to buy a charger in the nearby town of Marina.


Clouds over Pacific Grove  (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200).


Bouganvilla  grows in Pacific Grove (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 55mm. Exposure: 1/160th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 200).


Tourists photograph the ocean at Pacific Grove (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200mm 200mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 200).

When we got back our motel in Pacific Grove at the tip of the Monterey Penninsula, I looked up to see now-clear starry skies through a stand of eucalyptus trees. It would take a while before the batteries were fully powered up and I was tired from a long day of being a tourist, so I abandoned my quest to get a shot of the stars and went to bed.


Waves crash against the shore at Pacific Grove (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 70-200mm w/1.4 teleconverter @ 270mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 200).


Waves wash up on the beach at Pacific Grove (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 55mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8 ISO: 200).

The next day was the last of our brief trip. We packed in a full day of sight seeing, but in the end we had to get back home before night fall. So I’ll have to find another time to get my night shots. But I’ll make sure then that my batteries are charged up.

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Fantasy Island


(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 40mm. Exposure: 1/400th sec. @ f/4.5. ISO: 200)

I close my eyes and I see a firey tropical sunset reflected off the ocean at an endless beach in Bali or Tahiti. I imagine long walks along the fine white sands, the warm water lapping over my toes. The only sounds are the waves against the shore and a ukulele being played lazily in the distance. A hint of a breeze ruffles my hair. I sigh, relax and then I’m gently swaying in a hammock suspended between two palm trees, sipping a fruity drink with a small paper umbrella in it.


(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200)

I open my eyes and I’m on the shore of the deep water channel near Louis Park in Stockton. I’m next to Darren Green’s ultralight seaplane, pulled on shore of a 30-yard long beach. The orange sunset is actually light passing through the colorful thin fabric covering the plane’s wings and bouncing off the dirty brown Delta water. It was fun when Green took me up for a short ride, but when it was over my mind went back to that imaginary tropical paradise.

I’ll be off on vacation next week. Nothing exotic planned, but at least I’ll have that island getaway in my head. Be back on the 17th. Aloha!

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Blast from the past: Mummy dearest

“So long it’s been good to know you
So long it’s been good to know you
So long it’s been good to know you
It’s been so long since I’ve seen my home
I’ve got to be rambling along”- Woody Guthrie w/ lyric adaptation by Phil Lee


(Camera: Nikon D1H. Lens Sigma 14mm. Exposure: 1/30th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 800)

The mummy that has been a part of Stockton lore for the past 65 years is going away. Iret-net Hor-irw (Ear-et-net-hor-ear-oo; Translation: The eye of Horus is upon you, referring to Egyptian solar deity Horus), on extended loan to the Haggin Museum from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, will be part of an exhibit at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in The City. “Very Postmortem: Mummies and Medicine,” will open at the Legion on Oct. 31 —  Halloween.


(Camera: Nikon D1H. Lens: Sigma 14mm. Exposure: 1/30th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 800)


(Camera: Nikon D1H. Lens: Nikkor 80-200mm @ 80mm. Exposure: 1/50th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 800)

The mummy used to be displayed top canted up like today, but in the open. I remember Haggin Museum trustee Art Sanguinetti telling a story that years ago, small children, especially boys, used to do their best to touch the mummy.  I can just imagine the little kids egging each other on (touch it…no YOU touch it…I dare you…touch it … I double-dog dare you!), perhaps in an attempt to provoke a Boris Karloff-esque response.


(Camera: Nikon D1H. Lens: Sigma 14mm. Exposure: 1/30th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 800)

In August 2003, I had my own close encounter with Iret-net Hor-irw. I photographed Patricia Podzorski, Ph.D., an Egyptologist with the University of Memphis’ (Tenn.) Institute of Egyptian Art & Archaeology, who performed a detailed examination of the mummy. It was Podzorski’s second visit to check out the Haggin’s illustrious Egyptian. In 1997, The Record, at the urging of columnist Michael Fitzgerald, hired her to decipher the hieroglyphics on the sarcophagus. Back then, she climbed around the glass enclosure but didn’t move the casket or its contents.


(Camera: Nikon D1H. Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm @ 35mm. Exposure: 1/30th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 800)

In 2003, the sarcophagus was removed from its glass display case and the top removed. This time Podzorski got to take a much closer look. She closely examined the mummy’s tattered wrappings from head to toe. There were a couple of places where the mummy peeked through, an elbow and a finger, probably due to the poking from too many 7-or 8-year-olds’ fingers.


(Camera: Nikon D1H. Lens: Sigma 14mm. Exposure: 1/15th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 800)

The mummy will be returned to San Francisco on Aug. 18 and is probably going off to a better place (pardon the pun). The Palace of Legion of Honor is an impressive museum and most likely many more people will get to see and marvel at him. But I doubt that he’ll hold a place in their hearts as he does for the residents of Stockton. So long, Iret-net Hor-irw, it’s been good to know you.

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Nature’s light show


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200)

Go figure, but for our weekend getaway, we left the Central Valley’s temperatures in the mid-80s to low-90s for Southern Oregon, which was experiencing a heat wave. The humid weather seemed about 10 degrees hotter than at home.


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/11. ISO: 100)

Normally there’s a much less light pollution in the hills of the Rogue Valley, and I had planned to get a few night shots of the stars on our trip, so I brought along a tripod for time exposures. The first night we were there a nearly full moon was out, overpowering the dimmer stars. To exacerbate matters, smoke from a wildland fire in the Umpqua National Forest filled the valley and refracted the moonlight, obscuring most of the sky.


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/125th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 200)


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 43mm. Exposure: 1/125th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 200)

Our second day was a little cooler but still qualified as hot and humid. As evening fell, ominous clouds moved in from the south and east, again dashing my chances of getting a night shot. But to the west, the sinking sun combined with the roiling clouds to make a spectacular flaming sunset. Then the temperature dropped and the clouds began to weep. Although the drops were about dime-sized, they were spaced relatively far apart. It was good to feel the cool sprinkles on our skin. We sat out in the yard and enjoyed the relief from the steamy heat of the day and watched the rain clear out the smoky skies.


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 33mm. Exposure: 1/125th sec. @ f/2.8. ISO: 200)


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 50mm macro. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/4.5. ISO: 200)

Then a natural spectacle began in earnest. We saw flashes of lightning and heard the tympanic rumbling of thunder. From sheet lighting that flashed across the sky to ground strikes, the bolts occurred about every twenty seconds or so. I tried hand-holding the camera at a relatively slow-shutter speed to capture the lightning. I managed to get one shot of a strike, but there was a bit of camera shake to the picture. I had my son fetch the tripod from the car.


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/155th sec. @ f/5. ISO: 200)

Finding an open spot in my sister-in-law and brother-in-law’s heavily wooded yard, I set up tripod and camera and tried to time the shot. By counting the time between flashes and the thunder (1 second per mile) I estimated that the lighting averaged about 10 miles away.

(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 4 sec. @ f/22. ISO: 100)

Shooting lightning always involves timing, anticipation and lots of luck. Timing the shutter to coincide with a lightning flash can be tricky. Most of my exposures ran from four to 20 seconds, and I just hoped I would get a strike during that time. The anticipation comes from trying to guess where the lightning was most likely to strike next and aiming the camera in that direction. I had plenty of frames where either the lightning struck just after the shutter closed or hit out of the camera’s field of view.


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 23mm. Exposure: 4 sec. @ f/22. ISO: 100)

Of the nearly 40 shots I took, only two had any decent lightning in them (aside from that first shaky shot). A couple of frames had the clouds lit up just a bit, but no apparent lightning, and and one had just the very tail at the edge of the shot.  After about an hour the storm had passed through the valley, leaving behind a cool freshness and echoes of nature’s light show.

The Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog has a gallery of great lightning pictures from around the world. Click here to view it.

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…you’ll feed him for a lifetime


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens Canon 17-55mm @ 18mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/13 w/ fill-flash. ISO: 200)

We returned from our successful fishing trip with a total of six trout, a bass and a bluegill. All that was left to do was to cook them up and have a meal.


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/30th sec. @ f/2.8 w/ fill-flash. ISO: 200)

Christopher’s Aunt Barbara was in charge now. She involved him from the very start of the cooking process. She instructed him on how to make the seasoning: butter, lemon juice (freshly squeezed), basil, and garlic. Then she had him put a splash of olive oil into a pan, dip a couple of the fish into corn starch and saute them. After covering the pan for a minute or two, she told him to lift the lid and flipped them to cook on the other side. After the first two were done Christopher was on his own.


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/30th sec. @ f/2.8 w/ fill-flash. ISO: 200)

He repeated the steps of the first fish, with Barbara giving a only few tips here and there. She busied herself with making the rest of the meal: a succulent watermelon salad and some pasta. When all the fish with the exception of the bluegill (which had too little meat to eat and thus wasn’t on the menu) were done, Christopher poured the seasonings over them, and they were ready to eat.


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens Canon 17-55mm @ 55mm. Exposure: 1/30th sec. @ f/2.8 w/flash. ISO: 200)


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens Canon 17-55mm @ 47mm. Exposure: 1/30th sec. @ f/2.8 w/ fill-flash. ISO: 200)

Because he caught the fish, Christopher had the honor of taking the first bite, and then we all dug in. The trout was tender and moist and tasty. If every merit badge ends in a meal as good as this one, then I hope Christopher makes it all the way to Eagle scout.

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    Clifford Oto

    Clifford Oto, an award-winning photographer, has been with The Record since 1984. Through the changes from black and white to digital photography, he’s kept his focus on covering the events, people and life of San Joaquin county. This blog deals ... Read Full
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