Images by John 'K'

Life as seen through my lens…

Surprise me…

Last week saw the passing of my 50th birthday. In the run-up to the day I had the usual probes about gift ideas from certain family members, but as there really isn’t much I actually wanted to receive, apart from a couple of specific suggestions, my response was “I don’t know, surprise me”.

Well, they certainly lived up to expectations, but not in the best of ways. My 4-year-old granddaughter was the only one who really seemed to get it. She (bless her), knowing I liked Star Wars and was partial to the odd game of Angry Birds Star Wars chose a plush Angry Birds Star Wars toy, wrapped in Star Wars paper. and in the few days since my Birthday we have had fun hurling it at one another.

I won’t pick on my wife – she has her own challenges right now, and at least she had the thought to latch on to the one piece of photography gear that I said I needed and to claim that as her present to me.

My daughters though… well I know that two of them live back in the UK and budgets are tight, but did I even see a card from them? not yet! I know in this world of the Internet and Facebook people think all that is needed is a nice message on your wall and that is “good enough”. Well perhaps for acquaintances that’s OK, but for your parents, for their 50th Birthday? Surely you make a little bit of an effort?

As for the two that live here with me (yes, still WITH ME – that’s a whole other rant that I won’t get on to now), what did I get? A movie (but I had to tell her which one) and a chunk of money that I can put towards “whatever I want”. Not wishing to sound ungrateful, but what I wanted was for those close to me, those who I have managed to think of something meaningful to give to them every year since they were born, to use a few seconds to think of something meaningful and special to give to their dad on his 50th birthday. Heck – if a 4 year old could manage it, they have no excuse.

As you get older it’s the thought more than anything else that matters, but I guess ultimately I got what I asked for. I asked for them to surprise me, and they certainly did, just not in the way I was expecting.

What a difference a day makes…

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This time yesterday, wherever I looked I could see humpback whales surfacing and diving as they fed in the waters of the Monterey Bay. Today everywhere I look I can see people in cubicles hunched over their keyboards, occasionally coming up for a sip of coffee or to make a phone call…

<sigh>

What a fluke!

What a fluke!, originally uploaded by Images by John ‘K’.

Given all of the recent news about a BIG pod of humpback whales in Monterey Bay, I made the decision yesterday to try and get out on a sailing with Monterey Bay Whale Watch to see this for myself. I was able to get on their boat that departed at 9am this morning, and I was not disappointed.

Spread over a sizable area of the northern side of the Monterey Bay we saw humpbacks scattered just about everywhere we looked. The guide on the boat estimated between 50 and 100 whales.

Humpbacks tend to keep a relatively low profile in the water – usually all you see of them is their blow-hole, humped back, and tail, and the most prominent sight for sure is the tail fluke as they dive (and we saw LOTs of this going on). We were lucky enough today to see some distant breaches (no pictures), and some “social” interactions such as tail and fin slapping on top of the usual surface, blow, arch and dive move of feeding whales. We also got to hear the whales, and smell their breath, thanks to the proximity of some of the whales as they surfaced.

It was a fantastic trip, and I am so glad I decided to go at short notice, for while we will be sailing with them on September 22, there are no guarantees all these whales will still be in the area then.

I have LOADS of pictures to go through, but here is a taster, straight out of the camera (apart from adding the watermark).

© 2013, John Krzesinski.

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FIRE! … or not!

FIRE!, originally uploaded by Images by John ‘K’.
Normally I would be upset on missing out on a photo opportunity, but not today. I decided to pop out this evening to get some photos of the fires that were burning up the land around Mound Diablo, not too far from where I live, but as I approached the mountain this evening all the smoke had gone! Reports stated that “Fire officials said as of 8 p.m. that the blaze had just “stopped,” that the total number of acres consumed had not grown since the afternoon”. Fingers crossed this means the fire has exhausted itself and it doesn’t flare up again! I didn’t get the pictures I wanted, but given the circumstances I really don’t care!
(The above picture was taken in 2010 of another wild fire on Mount Diablo)

TwistedSifter Picture of the Day

TwistedSifter Picture of the Day

Sending thanks to TwistedSifter who picked up on my photo from 10/10/10 titled Boom! and selected it as their Picture of the Day a couple of days ago. This picture got a pretty good amount of attention through being featured on the Flickr blog at the time I originally posted it, and it is now within 200 views of becoming my most viewed picture on Flickr. The most viewed one is a close-up of a pink hibiscus that got picked as one of “40 beautiful flower pictures” on the site photographyblogger.net.

Thank you TwistedSifter 🙂