Retreat to Rolling Ridge

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Walk thru Rolling Ridge Retreat Conference center as you look at these pictures.  The picture sequence shows you how it would be like as you enter the grounds.

It was an experience to enjoy this mansion estate property.  It is a nice escape to go and focus on God’s creation and beauty.

I especially liked the arches with the blue ceiling which reminded me of the blue sky. The architecture design is different than what I see in California.  The vast greenery is very peaceful.  It was a nice escape for me to get away from the concrete jungle of San Francisco.

These grounds are ideal to retreat away temporary from the world to focus on our relationship with God.

Information about Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center

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Rolling Ridge Conference Center

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The 1920’s Gregorian Manor of Ethan Allen at Rolling Ridge originally designed by Andrew Hepworth inside the courtyard at the entrance of the property

Last week, I visited my good buddy who works at Rolling Ridge Conference Center in North Andover, Massachusetts.  This was my first visit to this area.  I wanted to travel here to see Fall Foliage.  The leaves were starting to turn.  So perhaps now they are much brighter in color compared to when I took this photo.

I did love the architecture of this building.  The cobblestone courtyard was also very interesting.  In the center, there is a fountain.  In California, cobblestones courtyards are not common.  Perhaps this is why I enjoyed looking at the texture of this courtyard.  It was nice to be in this expansive area compared to the compact surroundings of a city.

I will be sharing more of the scenic Rolling Ridge Conference Center grounds which are beautiful and serene.  It was nice to take a break from the Bay Area and be in quiet surroundings to relax.

Here’s a link to Rolling Ridge Conference Center’s website.

 

My Fall Foliage Journey on Kancamagaus Highway

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Fall Foliage Adventure in the white mountains along Kancamagaus Highway in search of sugar maples

I have a fascination with searching for the best fall foliage.  A few years ago I saw my first peak fall foliage in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.  I was captivated by all the bright colors.  I am so glad I was able to shoot so many photographs at that time and have shared a few of the photographs at photo shows.

Last year, I went to Vail, Colorado to seek Fall Foliage.  I missed the peak but still got some fascinating photographs of the Blue Aspen Trees.  My tree photographs looked blue due to the natural lighting and the shadows.  Remember I do not enhance my photograph via software.

This year I went to Boston and enjoyed a wonderful time with my good buddy.  We ventured to New Hampshire along the Kancamagaus Highway.  I just got home and am excited to edit my photographs from this trip.  Thanks to my friend, Larry, for all his hospitality.  He took the above photograph of me shooting this wonderful scene.

What is the lesson I am learning?  Pursue your passions, and see where it will lead you.  This is what I am trying to do and am excited to see where I will go on this journey.

Stay tuned to see my new fall foliage photographs!

 

F-22 Raptor Close Up

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F-22 Raptor U.S. Air Force Stealth Fighter

This is a photograph from the Fleet Week Air Show Rehearsal on Friday, October 7, 2016.   I love looking at aircraft.  I don’t really like reading, but I love my books about aircraft.  I am fascinated with the facts about these fighter jets.  I can remember all these interesting details.

I am grateful that our country has developed these fighter jets to protect our freedom.  I am also grateful for the Blue Angels and the other pilots who risk their lives to fight for us and become experts at flying these fighters.

I can spend endless hours watching these fighter jets.  The Blue Angels and these other pilots inspire all of us to seek excellence in whatever we do.  Our military are responsible for protecting our freedoms, so we can pursue to be the best!

Below is a link to learn about the U.S. Air Force’s next fighter jet.

Link to see what will be the F-22 Raptor’s Replacement

 

Blue Angels Stacked up Close

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Blue Angels 1, 2, 3, and 7 flying in a tight stacked formation during Fleetweek San Francisco this weekend. It is amazing how they can fly so precisely in close formations and doing it safely.

Blue Angels Emerging from Vapors

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Blue Angels in the Diamond formation approaching from the Marin County side of the San Francisco Bay towards Aquatic Park in San Francisco. The weather was perfect in the low 70’s with a slight breeze and not a cloud in the sky. Love to go out every year during Fleetweek to watch them.

Tight Diamond Formation for Blue Angels

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Blue Angels 1, 2, 3, and 7 in the Diamond Formation during Fleetweek 2017 in San Francisco. Always an awesome experience watching them perform their aerial manuvers.

Blue Angels are our National Treasure

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We love Fleetweek with the Blue Angels in San Francisco.  I’ve tried various locations down by the waterfront to shoot pictures of the Blue Angels flying.  I’ve decided I enjoy Aquatic Park by Ghirardelli Square for photographing the Blue Angels.  I feel like I am at central stage watching their expert maneuvers.  It is also nice to have Alcatraz Island and Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

We annually go on Friday when the Blue Angels do their practice show.  I don’t enjoy crowds, and am seeking security for my camera equipment.  Friday was the perfect day to watch the Blue Angels since the weather was great.

I love the tight formation of Blue Angels 1, 2, 3 and 7.  I’m glad I shot the Blue Angels flying past our American flag.  This truly represents the character of these men who risk their lives to protect our country and are dedicated to being the best pilots.  The Blue Angels are examples to all of us who sacrifice to achieve precision and excellence.

 

Cubicle Art with Candlestick Park

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A few weeks ago, we received a request to be able to put up one of our photos up in her cubicle.  She wanted a scenic fall foliage to decorate her office space.  She was thinking the photo could be a business card size.  But my wife thought a larger photograph would be nicer to look at.  The request was to put up the photograph on the metal cabinet in the cubicle.

So this Candlestick Park photograph is an example of our 5×7 Canvas Magnet.  The photograph was placed on an actual Candlestick Park seat.  I just bought the seat and not the entire chair.  My wife has forbidden me to buy the chair due to our space limitation in our house.

As in our magnet pin design, the magnet on the photograph can be removed.  So the photograph can be attached to another surface.  That surface would be sandwiched between the photo and the magnet.

Now, our customer is happy to be able to display her 5×7 inch Canvas Magnet in her cubicle.  The magnet even has a piece of felt on top, so it does not mark the metal surface.  I also coat the photograph with a brushed texture coating for protection.

We spend a lot of time in the office.  We experience a lot of stress at work.  With this design, it is very easy to create a personal photo art gallery in one’s office space.  We need scenery in our cube to calm and help us focus on good memories like the times spent at Candlestick Park.

My Surprise Meeting of Andres Torres – SF Giants Star Center Fielder

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Yesterday, we were invited to a good friend’s housewarming party in San Ramon.  I was looking forward to visiting with my friends whom I’ve known since the days when I worked as product photographer at the Good Guys.  I’ve been fortunate to be friends with these people for all these years.

It was a fun party catching up with all the different friends.  Little did I know that the fun party would become more exciting.  We just sat down to eat our huge plates of food.  The host of the party suddenly came to our table to announce that Andre Torres the former SF Giants player and one of the champions who won the 2010 World Series had just arrived.  We all thought she was joking.  The host is also notorious for making up silly nicknames for her friends.  So I thought she gave a new nickname to someone.  But as I looked up, I realized that Andre Torres really did arrive to the party.

I was so excited I jumped up and made my way to the kitchen area of the party room.  My friend introduced me to Andre Torres.  He was so genuinely warm and friendly.  When I shook his hand, I realized this was really him!  My friend started to ask him about his World Series Championship Ring.  He removed the ring and allowed her to look at it.  She was kidding him about the ring and handed me the ring to look at too.

I knew I had to act fast to get my camera ready.  I felt bad to ask if I could take a few pictures since Andre had a full plate of food.  But Andre was very nice and put down his food, so I could take these few pictures.  It was so exciting for me take these pictures of Andre Torres and also him wearing the ring.  We shook hands a couple of times during our interaction.  He was a humble man who still appreciates his SF Giants fans.  He thanked me for being a fan.  I thanked him for playing for the SF Giants and for winning the first World Series for San Francisco.  We are so appreciative for that tremendous win of the World Series.

It was a great honor for me to meet and speak with Andre Torres.  I’m glad I have pictures to remember the event.  I wish I had asked someone to take our picture together.  But I did take a picture of Andre with the host of the party.

When I left home to attend this party, I decided to bring my full frame Canon EOS 5D Mk IV camera to take group pictures of my friends.  I never dreamed that I would get to photograph Andre Torres.  I’m so glad I brought my camera with me so I could take this great Willie Mac Award winning San Francisco Giants player.

What did I learn from this experience?

  • To be thankful for these good friends and how they have blessed my life. Since I was thinking to take some group pictures to give my friends, I was prepared with camera so I could also take Andre Torres’ pictures.  I’m so glad I had my camera with me.
  • Give service and priority to friends first. Since I was putting my friends first by wanting to photograph them, I was blessed by being prepared for the surprise meeting of Andre Torres.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected photographs which you will always treasure.