Doug & Beverly's photo excursion
to Southern California
and Nevada

April 2010 photos


Photo above: Beverly & Doug seen visiting Palomar Observatory on April 9, 2010. Photo taken using Doug's wedding photography digital camera. Unretouched image. Additional commentary available here


Photo above: Palomar Observatory interior photo. Hand-held exposure of about 1/2 second length (no tripod), holding camera lens against glass window of the observation room. Had to hold lens against the glass to avoid reflections caused by florescent lights in the visitors' observation room. Used a film camera to take advantage of my widest angle lens. Used high speed film due to the long hand-held exposure,and it shows grain. I could have avoided the grain using a slower film, but camera motion might have occurred and caused blurring. I'd rather have a sharp image. A one-half second exposure is hard to hand-hold sharply but I did it. Observation room can be seen in the next photo below.

Photo above: Visitors' observation room at Palomar Observatory (the "200 inch Hale telescope") near Escondido, southern California. Note florescent lamp reflections in the glass. That's why for the telescope shot (previous photo) I had to hand-held my camera lens against the glass to avoid the reflections. This photo taken with the digital camera I use for photographing weddings. Note the image's high quality.


Photo above from Phil Asher's retirement dinner, April 6, 2010 at Cassidy's Restaurant (really really nice restaurant at Boomtown in Verdi, Nevada. Shot on film camera by the waitress.

Above: Phil Asher's son Phil Asher and his wife Shawn.


Snapshot above: Phil Asher portrait relaxing at Terrible's near the Nevada-California state line.


Photo above: Terrible's has Bonnie & Clyde's car on display. Bonne and Clyde should have been nicer folks, the car wouldn't have all those unsightly bullet holes.


Photo above: Here we are posing in front of the world famous La Brea Tar Pits. We watched tar & methane gas bubbling up at least once a minute. Located at Wilshire & Fairfax (near La Brea Av.), a mere mile from where I used to work in Hollywood. Of course I never went inside the museum when I was near it every day. I only visited it after moving 500 miles north.

The museum has a convenient underground parking garage (at the LA County Museum of Art which is on the same grounds.)

Photo above: Saber Tooth Tiger skeleton inside La Brea Tar Pit's museum. They call it a "cat" instead of a "tiger" but look at that tooth. You don't need a PhD to see it's not a cat. Duh. (Photographed using Doug's digital wedding camera with a combination of electronic fill flash plus ambient lighting. Fill flash provided by my Nikon SB600 external flash.)


Photo above: Mastodon skeleton at La Brea Tar Pit's museum. Also photographed using Doug's digital wedding camera. Combination of existing light plus electronic flash fill bounced off the ceiling -- I pointed my external Nikon SB600 flash head upward and to the right.



If you look closely you'll see this ship has run aground into concrete. Must have been very embarrassing for the Navy. Photographed using my digital wedding camera at night (a Fuji S3 Pro), which is a camera specifically designed to capture the widest possible dynamic range of brightness (light to dark) in a single image.

For an interesting comparison shot, see below.



Lighting makes all the difference! Above: This daylight view of the same Navy ship is ordinary and "blah" looking compared to the night shot. The night shot uses multiple light sources (electronic flash plus street & flood lamps.)  I photograph weddings the same way --- using multiple light sources whenever possible. Big difference the in the results!

Photo above: On Sunday morning we attended a church service in Carlsbad, California at North Coast Calvary Chapel. I was hesitant mostly because I thought this denomination would have overly loud rock music - my wife gets migraines from loud music and excessive lighting. But so much for stereotypes! The music was acoustic guitar and piano with a deliberately understated drummer's style (the drummer's style was totally perfect for this), plus saxophone - clarinet. Each musician and singer was great.

I am an experienced audio person and know you don't have to blast out the audience's ears if your music and sound mix are high quality! Well, it totally met my high class sophisticated standards. Volume level was perfect, I estimate just 78-80 decibels whch is just right, and way below the threshold of pain that too many "contemporary" style churches use. The pastor was excellent and his preaching style was like a college instructor's. That's a good thing, especially for an educated geographical area. Again, so much for stereotypes!

The reason we had selected this church to visit is because my sister, who lives in Carlsbad, had been invited there several times by one of her friends. I totally enjoyed this church and so did Beverly.

Photographed on Doug's digital wedding photography camera (Fuji S3 Pro) using 18mm wide angle lens with f-stop f:2.8 and camera sensitivity of ISO 800, no flash.

DOUG'S COMMENTARY:  Our experience at North Coast Calvary Chapel was so positive that if we lived in that area (which we don't) I could probably talk Beverly into attending or joining this church with me.

Years ago Beverly had repeated unsatisfactory experiences with charistmatic churches in Northern California, which had severely turned her off to this type of denomination. (Calvary Chapel would be classified as a charismatic denomination.)  DOUG'S OBSERVATION::  This perfectly illustrates something I learned shooting wedding pictures where I've observed many many churches behind the scenes. Here's what I learned: 

You can have two churches of the same denomination (fill in the blank for any denomination) where one church is horrible and the other "identical" church across town is excellent.

So when a person has had bad experiences at Church XYZ, it is not true that every church is just like it.

That principle is true whether one is rating churches or restaurants.

Logically, people who have been "turned off to church" ought to try a better church across town. Don't give up food because you used to eat at a bad restaurant. Stop eating at the bad restaurant and find a normal one!

Principle: Churches will good or bad for the same reasons as restaurants. It is a function of the character of their managers and staffs (which will affect the quality of the food they will feed you.)

They're not all alike.

This church's link is at:




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