Friday, December 18, 2009

Curb Appeal

Last Sunday, Lauren's friend, Spencer, shot pictures of us for our 2009 Christmas Card. Then, I offered to take pictures of them on the curb in front of our house. I'm not sure why, but I like curbs. I made the mistake of telling him his face looks better in pictures when he doesn't smile. After that, I know he struggled very hard not to smile. Big mistake. Sorry. Everyone looks better with a smile!

Dude.  That's a totally serious face.

Corners of the mouth starting to curl up.

Ok, there's a laugh.

Yes! I believe a smile is the greatest feature for the face!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Tree Lane

Kirk, Norman & I walked Christmas Tree Lane. Lauren usually walks with us but chose to walk with her friends tonight. It was a comfortable evening and took us over two hours to walk the 4+ miles from Bullard High to the entrance at Shields then back again). Lots of people and animals dressed in holiday regalia. We enjoyed it all ... the walk, the music, the lights, the people and the cute animals.

This house (near the Shaw exit) draws crowds of people. Lots of lights and flashing displays.

I was happy to see Ryan Yamaoka at a home near the entrance. He's such a talented jazz musician. This trio is known as FYD (letters comprised of each musician's surname initial) and is available for hire. Great music, guys!

Lights strewn from trees hanging over the Van Ness Blvd.

I prefer lights a little blurry (bokeh is nice....)

Santa poses with a family

Lighted sign at the front of the Shields Avenue entrance (I like this blurry version).

A sign commemorating this event.

I always look for this trio of snowmen.

Nativity scene

High school holiday performers

This is the sign at the exit. Goodbye, Christmas Tree Lane. I'll be back next year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lunch with Norman

Norm's birthday is 12/14, but he chose to celebrate the next day. Panera Bread in Fresno just opened so he chose lunch here. After, we stopped at See's for something sweet and walked around Riverpark before heading back to work. I still need to make him a birthday cake (that's coming) ... Happy Birthday little brother!

I chose half a Caesar salad and a half a Smokehouse Turkey sandwich. Yum.

Norm's sandwich

Kirk's three-cheese turkey panini

I convinced Kirk and Norman to get into Santa's unoccupied sleigh.

Before we left, we listed to some holiday music from a local high school

Monday, December 14, 2009


In a recent post by Digital Photography School, last week's assignment was about storyboards.  They suggested checking out Big Huge Labs for their online product, Mosaic Maker, to make quick web-sized storyboards (you'll need to purchase a pass for a high resolution print). 

I thought I'd try the storyboard to highlight a subject or theme on some of my photos. It was easy!  Just plug in your shots.  This was the "1+3 right with shadow" layout.

Here's one of Lauren's Winter Formal (although I couldn't figure out how to edit to include her shoes in the shot) .

My friend, Elizabeth, and our visit downtown.

Then, I tried "Candy Apples" in a line.  Cool.  Try it with some of your own pictures.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rice Krispies

Lauren frequently requests homemade snacks to share with her teammates. Sometimes it's brownies, or cookies, or caramel popcorn. It's basketball season so she's been asking for Rice Krispies lately. I'm happy to oblige. Now that she's a high school senior, these snack days will be coming to an end.

A tray of uncut Rice Krispies

A plate set aside for Lauren's Pop.

Back to cutting up the two trays.

Cut, wrapped with non-stick parchment, ready to be bagged up for today's hungry female athletes.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Downtown Fresno

Elizabeth and I went downtown to find some places to shoot pictures. I couldn't find any spots that matched the pictures I've seen, but we had fun anyway. We met at Central Fish to look around and have lunch. Then found the Fresno Arch, a loading dock, and a quiet place by the railroad with a final stop at Starbucks.

Parking lot sign

Vibrant colors on the mural

Beautiful painting of a fish

I liked this blowfish (aka pufferfish). That's exactly how I looked after Thanksgiving!

More underwater scenes

This is the second floor of a two-story building behind the Central Fish parking lot

We sat at a lunch table facing the now-closed Komoto's Department Store (part of the old Kamikawa Brothers/Asia Hotel building at the corner of G and Kern Streets). When I moved to Fresno, I bought a small rice cooker there from Kaori Komoto (now deceased).

This cute little boy was so friendly. He would smile at us in-between bites of his lunch. 

He played with his hashi (chopsticks) and polished off his ramen.

Elizabeth and I split this single order of fish and chips. Yummm.

This is an iconic gateway - the Fresno Archway on Van Ness Avenue.

Close-up of the Fresno Archway

I took a self-portrait of myself (took a few tries to get myself AND the archway in the shot.  I think I need longer arms!)

Behind the Fresno Archway is a graffiti-covered building. I shot Elizabeth taking pictures of these flowers.

I took pictures of Elizabeth making self-portraits.

I found a loading dock and asked Elizabeth to model

This was my favorite picture of Elizabeth on the loading dock (just having fun and kicking up her legs).

This was a quiet section of the railroad track.

Last stop before heading home. First, it's time for fancy holiday-flavored coffee break at the downtown Starbucks (next to the Convention Center).

To view all the pictures, click here

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Formal

Bullard High School's Winter Formal was held December 5.  It was the first Winter Formal for both seniors.  Lauren had a basketball tournament that afternoon and they were late, so there was no time for dinner as they rushed to the dance. They stopped for a quick bite at Denny's after the dance.

Spencer and Lauren at our house

In front of our fireplace

Spencer picked this corsage himself.

They laughed as he struggled to place the corsage on her wrist.

We stopped for pictures at Spencer's home

Last picture at Spencer's home.  Off to the Winter Formal!

For a link to all the pictures, click here