Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Diana Mini!

G'day from Australia!! After spending a few days in my hometown -- San Jose, California -- I went to my momma's down in southern Cali desert. Then, my boyfriend & I flew back to Australia to spend about 7 weeks in Adelaide with his family!
We have been here for a couple days now, just been relaxing and eating. It's so nice to see his family again! And this weekend we'll be catching up with his mates. Unfortunately, our baggage got left in Los Angeles, and we spent two days without our suitcases! Luckily, they delivered our luggage to us even though we're an hour away out in the country -- yay!

Anyway, so I am so happy to introduce my latest purchase!! The Diana Mini camera. Wheee! I quickly took one roll and got it developed before I came to Australia. I really like it!! I now have the flash as well, and I cannot wait to try it out with the color fills! So exciting.

My favorite shots were the double exposures. In fact, the next roll I put in I'm trying to do all double exposures! They are so neato! Here they are.


This was actually an accidental double exposure. It looks a bit like fireworks, but I think they are sea anenomes from the aquarium!

I have a flower face!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Soul Lies in the Sea

Ahh, Monterey!!  I'm out of Oregon yuck weather, and into sunny California! David & I drove to Monterey, where I typically go scuba diving (and where I got certified), and spent the day on the wharf and aquarium.
While walking to the Fisherman's Wharf, we were greeted by a ton of sea lions! I've never ever seen this before, just all packed on the shore! They all were lazing about, except for an enormous bull honking in the water, lookin for some lovin. SO loud. 
We picked from the zillions of clam chowder joints.. Picked wrong. Let me now recommend Crabby Jim's for anyone who heads that way. We went to Gilberts (the most well-known, and I've been there before and liked it..) because they promised a free appetizer and $3 margaritas,  but it was quite disappointing. 
Okay, so when they say "free appetizer" I guess that means we'll just throw a couple pieces of calamari on a plate. Look how chinsy that portion is!!! AND it was probably the worst calamari I've ever had. Zero seasoning. And sadly, the Clam Chowder Bread Bowl wasn't too impressive either. Mostly creamy, barely any clam, small portion, etc. Sad. But the popcorn shrimp weren't bad, and neither were the margaritas. And best of all, neither was the view.
Plus the entire pack of sea lions on the beach swam over to the pier and some of them ventured over and played directly underneath us!
We then took the trolley over to Cannery Row, and walked along the oceanside.
That look-out is always my favorite to look at and photograph.

Finally, we made it to the Aquarium! I hadn't been in several years, and it was my boyfriend's first visit! He said it was much much better than Melbourne Aquarium, the biggest he'd been to. Monterey is the best!
I love this saying. I feel this way so strongly. Scuba diving is one of my favorite things to do, it makes me feel like I'm getting a sneak peek into this special secret world, that so many people never experience the majesty of. 
Aquatic life mesmerizes me, and though scuba diving is infinitely better because I get to look as close as I want without a glass window, the aquarium is still pretty awesome because it brings that world to everyone.
Look how HUGE this guy is!!! He hid in the corner and I just stared in awe. Enormous!
My FAVORITE part of the aquarium. Jellies!!!
Whoops. Entangled!
Jellies in Space?
Moon Jellies. Absolutely beautiful!
I could watch these guys endlessly. The way they breathe and pulsate and move. Simply fascinating.
They had a "Hot Pink Flamingoes" exhibit... Some of these were Spoonbills, so cool looking! Can you spy the Scarlet Ibis?

Oh, I also spent a great deal of time with the Sea Otters. I love watching them play! We watched them from below, and from up top. But we didn't get any photos of them... Next up were the Penguins!
There were 2 Penguin areas... These guys were so cute, zippin back and forth so much!
All of the penguins started diving in the water, and then all hopped out for feeding time. It was cute!
I also discovered that penguins are curious creatures and I had SO much fun teasing them a bit with the reflection off my camera. Watch this video to see them following the light up, down, around and around! So funny and cute!
Finally, SEA HORSES! Wow. They are such interesting creatures!! They use their tails to wrap around things and just float. Lazies! :)
Check out these Pot Belly sea horses! Hanging upside down is the cool thing to do here.
The Weedy Sea Dragon. Look at that camouflage to blend in with sea weed!
The most amazing thing. The Leafy Sea Dragon... Are those plants in the water? NO!
There was a cute little girl whose mom was telling her "that's a seahorse!" and she was getting mad and adamantly saying "no it's not a seahorse!!" Then after 2 minutes, "it IS a seahorse!!!"
We took the trolley back to the wharf, and walked back to our car. But as we passed the seals, they were back but so much closer! The tide had came in and they were right up close. We climbed over the stones and these photos show just how close we were. 
The big bull was lazing about right in front, around some cute little ones. Out of nowhere he just sat up and started flapping and barking! Then he laid back down to sleep, hah.
What a lovely day. I had missed California and Monterey and the Sea. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fisheye Take 1

Well, awhile back I won that "If You Never Did, You Should" blog giveaway, from my underwater photos of Scuba Diving in the Great Barrier Reef. One of the prizes was Jodi's old Lomography Fisheye camera. I fiiinally got film to use, and got my 1st roll developed.


I suppose I need to use the flash. There were a few indoor shots where I completely forgot to use it, but nearly all of my shots were outdoors, and hardly any of them came out. I wouldn't have thought I'd need a flash, but ay yi yi. You live you learn. Also, the last 7 frames were taken when I was advancing the film and it just kept winding, apparently taking photos, instead of stopping to let me release the shutter. URG.

The following are the only ones that even half came out!
In addition, I got the film developed at Target, which was only $5 (a lot less than most places I checked), they didn't develop one photo that I guess they deemed unsalvageable -- but I think I could lighten it up on my computer. AND, one of the only good prints, they got some gold market smeared on it!! (see below) Color me annoyed.
I'm also surprised at how close up you have to get to make a cool Fisheye effect. None of my photos displayed the crazy warping, and I thought I was getting very close!! But apparently 1 foot away isn't enough -- 2 inches next time? My boyfriend took one of me eating cotton candy really up close, I thought it'd look so cool, but instead of just my face and the candy, it was my whole upper body and grainy and the colors were soo gray. Le sigh.
Anyway, I'll give it another shot! Use the flash unless its extremely sunny...Get extreeeemely up close. Hopefully I get some good ones next time!!
P.S. I also just bought a Diana Mini!! I'm suuuuper excited!! I'm having so much fun, but as my flash hasn't arrived yet, I'm afraid I'll have the same issues with my first roll as I have the Fisheye. We'll see; fingers crossed!!

P.P.S. On a personal note -- Today was my last day of my special-ed teaching & nannying, before going off on summer break! We took the class to the park and ate watermelon, and we watched an end-of-year movie/slideshow that I loved. I had to say goodbye to the kids -- it feels weird that I won't see them everyday! It was especially weird saying goodbye to the three 5th graders who are graduating, knowing I won't see them again! One of my favorites is leaving, he's a big bear with Down's Syndrome and a huge smile and loooves talking about Disney movies :) My kinda guy!
It's also weird to know that the little baby I'm taking care of will be bigger when I get back!! I really like her and her lil' big sister (whose play cottage is pictured above!), and their momma got me a very sweet and thoughtful bon voyage/thank you present :) I have good jobs!

Well, now I pack and leave to California and then fly to Australia! I cannot wait :)