RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


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Beauty around the neighborhood

As a member of the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, I miss strolling through the acres of plants, trees and flowers during the closure. In the meantime I feel fortunate to live in a beautiful neighborhood where a lot of homeowners take their landscaping seriously. Last Saturday I took my 50mm fixed lens for a stroll along Braddock, looped around Carlson Park and back along Farragut… a little over 2 miles.

Here are the results:

When I first bought the 50mm (1.4) lens I thought I had made a mistake. I didn’t like being trapped in that focal length after being used to my go-to 18-135mm lens. But as usual, with the camera equipment I buy, I left it too long to return the lens. So I had to make the best of it. Now it’s my second favorite lens next to my zoom. It forces me to see everything from one perspective. I have to physically walk up to my subjects or back up to get the view I want. It’s a challenge I enjoy.

Within the next week or so I intend to retrace my footsteps with my 18-135mm lens and see what I can capture at the wide angle and telephoto ends. Of course when I walk the neighborhood I am safe. I am wrapped up from head to toe like a mummy. I am sure I look like the angel of death with a black hat, black face mask, scarf, wearing a high neck sweater and jacket, etc. I notice since I have been wearing my face mask people tend to distance themselves from me more often, which is fine with me!

During this strange time in our lives we need all the beauty we can get. I hope you can all step (safely) outside in your own neighborhoods to appreciate the gifts nature gives us.


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Yosemite National Park in February by popular request … part one

These days I post my photos to Facebook because it’s easier. But I have those holdout friends who don’t want to utilize FB for whatever reasons… so I am acquiescing to their requests to see my photos of my latest trip to Yosemite. Y’all had better appreciate this!

yosemite

I feel very fortunate that I was able to visit Yosemite in February. It was between the virus that ate the Ahwahnee Hotel in January and the coronavirus that closed the park in March.

This is the first view we always see when coming into Yosemite on the motor coach. Half Dome and a peek at the valley.

We arrived at the Yosemite Lodge just as the Golden Hour descended on the mountains. I rushed outside with my camera.

The next day we hiked up the Bridalveil Fall trail. Because of the lack of rain the Merced River was just a trickle but it gave us a chance to see the beautiful rocks.

Good thing I brought along my crampons and ice pick! Ha ha ha… no chance…

My friend and I ate lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel Saturday and Sunday. I ordered the same sandwich both days… I think it was called the Californian or something like that… a salad between two pieces of bread plus a side salad and purple/orange chips. Worked for me!

Half Dome through the trees.

Besides the natural beauty of Yosemite I always love all the plane trails overhead.

Because of the drought there was very little water in the Merced River but still enough for good reflections.

Mountain climbing lessons are offered at Yosemite. See the teeny weeny people halfway up? I’ll enjoy the view from ground level, thank you.

Beautiful stained glass windows in the lobby of the Ahwahnee with a view of the mountains outside.

All we had to do was step outside the back door of our room at Yosemite Lodge to walk along the trail by the Merced River. Paradise.

Ahwahnee Hotel through the trees.

Below are images of the plane trails as the evening crept up on us. You can call them plane trails if you like, but I think it’s the spirits of the mountains sending messages to commune with the universe.

My friend did a couple of quick sketches in our room. I liked them and asked her if I could share them. See below.

Yosemite Falls: walking back from the Ahwahnee.

View from our patio.

Me just before we boarded the bus to head home. I’m ready to go back already!

Of course, I have a ton more photos that I can post at a later date but these will have to do for now.

We were very fortunate to be able to visit in February just after the virus attack at the Ahwahnee in January and the Coronavirus that shut the park down in March. I had three other trips planned this year that have all been canceled. But I’m grateful to be stuck in Culver City! It could be so much worse…

Stay well, keep safe, my friends, and carry on!

 


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Venice – walking and shooting – neighborhood and Abbott Kinney

Venice

A couple of weekends ago I walked around Venice with the Photographic Adventurers run by Will. Although I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in Venice during my lifetime, we first walked through a neighborhood I was not familiar with. Living in a city as vast as LA it’s not uncommon to discover new areas.

Venice

I enjoy meeting up with fellow photographers. I always learn something.

Venice

Tree trunks are one of my favorite subjects to photograph. I liked the fungi on this one.

VenicePeeling wood is just as good!

Venice

Finding odd, unusual items to photograph it always satisfying.

Venice

This feline relaxing on his royal purple throne was eager to pose for his portrait!

Venice

These pink flowers peering out of the moss (albeit artificial) appealed to me.

Venice

Who could resist this face framed in the doorway?

Venice

Out of the neighborhood and on Abbott Kinney Boulevard, the hip, trendy place to be on a Saturday! No secret I LOVE reflections and these two mannequins seemed to epitomize the well-dressed patrons of this area.

Please click on any image below for a slide show.

Although I’ve walked along Abbott Kinney many times, this time I was looking for some off-beat images to photograph. Think I found them!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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December on the Venice Canals – part two

venice canals

The second half of my walk through the Venice Canals. Most tourists coming to Venice never see the canals. And truthfully, they are more interested in seeing Venice Beach that they have heard so much about.

Venice Canals

The two areas could not be more different although they were once both part of Abbot Kinney’s idea to emulate Venice, Italy on the shores of Los Angeles in the early 1900s. I’ll write more about the history in another post.

Whereas the canals are very serene and peaceful, the Venice Beach boardwalk is like a circus. I’ll have photos of that area in another post.

Venice Canals

For walking I really prefer the quietude of the canals.

Venice Canals

And stopping to look at the details.

Venice Canals

Oh, those reflections!

Venice Canals

And ducks.

Venice Canals

I’ll be sorry when the holiday decorations come down.

Venice Canals

But even without the decorations the canals are never less than picturesque.

Venice Canals

This cat was very curious about my shoe. Perhaps he could smell some other felines I know.

Venice Canals

Although there are many cats strolling around the canals, ducks rule!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Reflections in tiles and being purple

california science center los angelesI visited the California Science Center a couple of times during the past year. Located in Exposition Park, south of downtown Los Angeles, the 400,00 sq ft museum hosts permanent installations as well as special exhibits related to all areas of the sciences from bacteria to outer space. It is also home to the Space Shuttle Endeavour and a seven-story IMAX theater.

california science center los angeles

Between the main museum and the IMAX theater is a plaza area where I took these photos. I was just having fun shooting some abstract and miscellaneous images.

california science center los angeles

This is a series of selfies reflected in some colorful ceramic tiles installed on the exterior of the IMAX theater.

california science center los angeles

california science center los angeles

Steps leading out of the plaza area.

california science center los angeles

Looking up to the ceiling of the plaza area and towards the main museum building.

california science center los angeles

california science center los angeles

Granite slabs which create a seating area or a place to run and jump depending on your age group. Oops, my copyright covered up Victor Hugo’s name.

On a very hot day, a place to cool off and be purple.

science-center-012115-016-C-850pxA closeup of atoms or planets?

The plaza area reminds me of the 1970s and I thought that was when it was installed but the facility opened in 1998 so obviously I am wrong. But if time is non-linear it can be the 70s in the 90s and 2015 too!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Downtown for the holidays

downtown christmas decorations

It was a rather gloomy, hazy day today but I got myself on the train to go downtown anyway. I like to go this time of year to wander around and look at the holiday decorations. Above is one of the Christmas trees at Grand Park with Los Angeles City Hall in the background. I did the best I could to bump up the blue sky but it just wasn’t there.

downtown christmas decorations

The shocking pink color scheme of the tree matches the color of the chairs and tables throughout the park.

downtown christmas decorationsThis is my favorite photo of the day. A selfie with City Hall behind me reflected in the pink ball.

downtown christmas decorations
I always like a cigarette that can tell a good joke!

downtown christmas decorationsTrees at the midpoint of the park adorned with gifts.

downtown christmas decorationsThe Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain at the north end of Grand Park with another Christmas tree.

Arthur J. Will Memorial FountainIt wouldn’t be Christmas without palm trees.

Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center hiding behind the tree. The Music Center is north of Grand Park, across Grand Avenue. The Music Center actually just celebrated its 50th birthday. I should do a post on that.

Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain

Another selfie!

Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain
Looking back at City Hall.

Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain

downtown christmas decorations

I was disappointed there was no tree at the Music Center this year but I guess Grand Park made up for it. However, the area was festively decorated.

Arthur J. Will Memorial FountainAnd a nice bow on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

downtown christmas decorationsMoving south on Grand Avenue I saw these trees inside the lobby at California Plaza. They came out pretty well despite all the reflections on the glass.

downtown christmas decorations

California Plaza really came through in a big Christmassy way. There were some kiddies running around in great excitement at this display.

downtown christmas decorations

 
Note the train running around the base of the display. I love trains whether real or scale model.

downtown christmas decorations
I also love reflections.

los-angeles-downtown-122114-150-C-850px
A beautiful purply tree inside the Wells Fargo Center.

downtown christmas decorations
Purple happens to be my favorite color so if there’s anything better than a purple Christmas tree, it’s two purple Christmas trees!

Wells Fargo Plaza building
And so you don’t think I’m playing favorites with Wells Fargo, the Bank of America Plaza across the street sports these planters with beautiful red, white and gold begonias and poinsettias.

downtown christmas decorations
Red and white begonias seem to be very popular all over the city this year.
downtown christmas decorations
At this point I was about decorated out. But I was happy that I made the effort to capture a little holiday spirit.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Reflections in a pond and art gallery

huntington library reflections

On Thursday I took advantage of another free day at the Huntington Library in San Marino. I didn’t take a lot of photos this time as I was concentrating on the art galleries.

huntington library reflections

But while I was waiting for a friend I took these pics of the reflections in the pond (lake?) at the Chinese Gardens.

huntington library reflections

And as much as I love to see the Lotuses in bloom, I’m always fascinated by the dry, brown winter versions of the plants. Just as beautiful in their own way.

huntington library reflections

Before and after catching up with my friend, I wandered through the galleries. Probably the most famous paintings at the Huntington are The Blue Boy, (1770) by Thomas Gainsborough and Thomas Lawrence’s Pinkie (1794). But I can’t say they are my favorites.

In the same gallery are some other stunning portraits from that era by Joshua Reynolds, George Romney and Thomas Gainsborough. I’m really not usually a fan of this kind of painting, but when I spent some time studying each one instead of just breezing by I was stunned by the skill and craftsmanship. I especially enjoyed Anne Killigrew, Mrs. Kirke by Anthony van Dyck (scroll down the page).

There are also some paintings by two of my favorite British artists, J. M. W. Turner and John Constable. On one of my trips to England my friends took me to “Constable Country” so I stood in front of a painting of the Stour, remembering my visit.

I’ll probably wait until the spring when all the flowers are out before my next visit. But since discovering how easy it is to get to the museum by train (although it is quite a trek with three trains and two long walks) AND being able to take advantage of the free days, the Huntington is becoming one of my favorite haunts.

You may be interested in previous posts: In hot water at the Huntington Library and Thirsty afternoon in the desert garden at the Huntington Library.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!