I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately, lots going on at Casa Otero, so, I decided to make my early morning wakeup call a bit more productive and headed over to my beach to catch a sunrise.
While we had some clouds, and they are generally good for sunrise pictures, I much prefer that they do not obstruct the horizon so you can see the sun coming up. So, I looked around to see who was here with me and, as always, there are plenty of subjects that can help add some life into my pictures. From lovers to lone early morning risers to fishermen to even a bride to be… who, I guess, had a throw-away dress.

These were shot with a Sony a6000 and some of the images have been altered for more artistic effect.

Continue reading “Sunday Morning Sunrise”

Advertisements

Sunday Morning Sunrise

Natures’ designs

I went to a local park with a student of mine to play with depth of field when we came upon these beautiful flowers that had just been watered. I couldn’t help but pull out my camera as well and take advantage of the wonderful light. So, it became a lesson in depth of field and the use of light. Check out my website to see more of my work or how to contact me if you want to try some one-on-one photo tutoring. Rolando Otero Photography

Street Photography using iPhone

One of my favorite things to do is capture people while i am out and about. With iPhones now having such great resolution in their cameras it’s not critical to carry a “real” camera around every time you go out. The fact that almost everyone has their phones out might even be better for you, making you more inconspicuous.

My influences growing up

collage

 

With all the nonsense going on with the selection of our next president i started thinking about the people who influenced me in my youth when we didn’t have twitter or snapchat, hell we didn’t even have cell phones.

These men all left an indelible mark in who I am today. I realize they are all men but in my defense I was left fatherless as I became a teenager so, maybe, it was me looking for male role models.

My most vivid memories are of Bobby Kennedy’s presidential run. As an 11-year-old I would actually sit and listen to his speeches on tv. He instilled a sense of greater purpose in life and having tolerance for those who may not be exactly like me. That summer of 68 was a jarring one for me. I also saw my heroes Kennedy and Martin Luther King, who taught me a sense of fairness for equal rights, assassinated for their beliefs. Kennedy in my hometown!

On a lighter note I enjoyed watching the Andy Griffith Show. The life lessons in Mayberry were about common sense. We all know what’s right is right and what’s wrong is… well just wrong. As the son of immigrant parents it also created this idealize simple American way of life. I know it’s a Hollywood creation that may or may not have existed but if my town could just be a little like that it wouldn’t be so bad.

Living in Southern California the presence of Mexican culture was everywhere but homogenized in my town I thought. My best friend was Mexican but we were a new development and mostly middle-class blue collar. It seemed like most of the Mexicans i knew wanted to assimilate into the American way of life…whatever they thought that should be.

It wasn’t until Cesar Chavez came along fighting for the rights of farmworkers that I realized that this group of new immigrants, much like my mom and dad, were being exploited to put food in our markets. It was then that i realized that the price of nice things sometimes comes at a much higher price than just dollars.

I think it was then that I first realized I was a liberal, at least on social issues. Ralph Nader exposed corporations showing in detail how their bottom line was always more important that doing the right thing for he consumer.

But, then Jimmy Carter came along and made me realize that i shouldn’t follow blindly an ideology. He was a great man with a great moral compass but somehow things seemed to get screwed up under his watch. That opened the door for Ronald Reagan who made me realize that we all hold our destiny. I was in the Navy at he time and he really paid attention to our needs, rebuilding our military and honoring our service. We can argue back and forth about the bad and the good of Reagan but all I know is that I felt safe, proud and full of optimism. He had a common sense approach that every man could relate to.   I’ve always loved America but he made it cool to show it.

So here we are 20 some odd years later. Our country seems so segregated so unwavering in whatever one stands for that we’ve lost our sense of a country, lost our sense of purpose. We have a bigot blowhard representing a major party and an overambitious career politician who’s been preparing for this all her life as our choices for the next president. Our children are influenced by social media stars like Kim Kardashian are obsessed with “selfies” and can’t understand why they can’t be CEO after working a couple of months on the job. We freak out if our children have to pledge allegiance under God or or president but also if we talk to them about evolution or other religions. We hold on to the constitution to allow people on a terrorist watch list to buy assault weapons but don’t flinch when a presidential candidate bars certain press from being in the room.

Common sense ain’t common.
– Will Rogers

 

 

Annabel’s recipe for her GuacaTero

Here is the guacamole recipe for Annabel’s “GuacaTero” First, it’s not real guacamole unless you use Hass avocados, preferably from California. It’s usually hard to find avocados that are ready to go when you get the urge but you are more likely to get lucky finding ready ones at most Latin markets. I suggest you find your nearest Latin market either way as they are a great source for unique fresh spices and herbs. Here are my two favorites: Pompano Beach, west of I95 – Mexican Supermarket Oakland Park, east of I95 – Tortilleria Mexicana A ripe avocado will have some give when you grip it but not so much that it feels like yogurt. If you get them a few days ahead you can put them in a paper bag and store in a dark place in your cabinet. Here is a good link: How to Tell If an Avocado Is Ripe Once you’re ready to make your guacamole the first thing that needs to be done is to roast your corn. We usually just get canned corn but if you prefer fresh corn or even frozen corn that’s fine also. Spread your kernels on a pan and drizzle them with oil. We use extra light virgin olive oil but you can use vegetable also. Then sprinkle kernels with some paprika and place in the oven and roast at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. This helps get the moisture out of the corn so your guacamole does not become watery. Then broil on low to get skin lightly crisp. This will give the guacamole texture. Remove from oven and let it cool down. While you wait you can start cutting up your other ingredients. Chop your red onion into small pieces and place in a small bowl. Cut the tomato making sure to have as little of the wet pieces as possible and place that into another small bowl. By having your ingredients in separate bowls it will make it easier to make sure you don’t put in too much of one thing that over powers the star, the avocado. Cut your avocado in half, long way, and twist open. The seed will be in one half. The best way to remove is to take a careful whack at it with your knife and twist. Scoop out all the “meat” down to the skin. That dark meat is tasty so you want to make sure you get it all. Then drop into the bowl where you will do the mashing. Add ingredients one by one so you get the right proportion and stir around with a fork. You can mash together to your preference, we prefer it a bit more chunky. Once everything is married to where it looks proportional you will add your spices. Do the salt and pepper first then the garlic and finally the chili. These are all to taste so you be the judge, do it a little at a time. Chop up however much cilantro is right for the amount you have made and then finally top it off with some lemon juice. This gives it a nice tang and helps keep it fresh. Enjoy!

Panoramic views from Italy

The Colosseum

Built of concrete and stone, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built and is considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering.

St. Peter's Square

St. Peter’s Square during a Wednesday Papal audience.

St. Peter's Square

St. Peter’s Square during a Wednesday Papal audience.

Panoramic view of the Prati neighborhood in Rome

The view from our rooftop terrace in our apartment in Rome.

Piazza del Campo in Siena

Piazza del Campo is the principal public space of the historic center of Siena, Tuscany, Italy and is regarded as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. It is renowned worldwide for its beauty and architectural integrity. The Palazzo Pubblico and its Torre del Mangia, as well as various palazzi signorili surround the shell-shaped piazza. At the northwest edge is the Fonte Gaia.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is a piazza in Rome, Italy. It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium.[1] The ancient Romans came there to watch the agones (“games”), and hence it was known as “Circus Agonalis” (“competition arena”). It is believed that over time the name changed to in avone to navone and eventually to navona.

Galleria dell'Accademia

The Galleria dell’Accademia has housed the original David by Michelangelo since 1873. The sculpture was allegedly brought to the Accademia for reasons of conservation, although other factors were involved in its move from its previous outdoor location on Piazza della Signoria.

Galleria dell'Accademia

The Galleria dell’Accademia was founded in 1784 by Pietro Leopoldo, Grand Duke of Tuscany.

The Vatican Museum

The Vatican Museums are the museums of the Vatican City and are located within the city’s boundaries. They display works from the immense collection built up by the Popes throughout the centuries including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world.