the journal

Archive for the ‘photography’ Category


Valley of Fire State Park 2007 – Gallery

Filed Under galleries, local travel, photography, Uncategorized

After looking at the photos in this gallery, you might be surprised to hear that they were taken just an hour or so from Las Vegas. Valley of Fire State Park is usually lost in the shadow of the less natural activities in Sin City. When I went in the spring of 2007, I found myself alone quite frequently. But while exploring an ancient land painted in reds and oranges – without a casino in sight – I was not complaining.


Gallery Page Updated

Filed Under galleries, graphic design, photography

I was bored by the previous look of my Gallery section, so I redesigned it.  This new look combines my love of photography with my love of vintage stuff.  As with most of my graphic design work, the objects I use are photographs/scans of real items I have in my collection. You might recognize the following: a 1956 Rolleiflex medium format camera (which I use from time-to-time), a Kodak Stereo Camera (35mm) from 1958, a box of old slides I purchased at an estate sale, a 1960s light meter, a shutter release timer, and a couple of blue flash bulbs (both from the 1950s). Click on the image below to visit the new-and-improved gallery:

Let me know what you think!


Nicaragua 2006 Gallery

Filed Under galleries, international travel, photography

My first Central American trip was to Nicaragua in 2006.  Here’s a gallery of some of my favorite photos from the 2-week journey.


South America 2004

Filed Under galleries, international travel, photography

In 2004, I fulfilled a life-long dream of visiting the land of Incas: Peru & Bolivia. I did three treks during the trip, hiking to the famed Machu Picchu, as well as two relatively unknown Inca trails on the Copacabana Peninsula and in the Jungas of Bolivia, north of La Paz. In all, I hiked over 80 miles in three weeks was amazed by the people, culture, and sights along the way. Some of the photos I took on this trip are still amongst my favorite.  For instance, the photograph below is of a small hut on Isla del Sol (“Island of the Sun”) in Bolivia. It has been the main image on my travel website, kahunna.net as well as on my business card.  I have created a new gallery of forty photos taken on this trip, including some that have not seen the light of day the web until now. All photos were taken with a Canon PowerShot G5. Enjoy!

Click the image above to access the gallery


La Gritería

Filed Under international travel, photography

Every year, on the evening of December 7th, Nicaragua comes alive with prayers, singing and fireworks. In communities big and small, they celebrate “La Gritería,” or the immaculate conception of Mary. I witnessed the main celebration in Leon in 2006 (here’s a couple of photos here and here; a video here) and had an equally rewarding experience this year in the town of San Jose del Sur on the island of Ometepe.

The celebration involves visiting altars made in honor of of the Virgin Mary.  The small community of Las Cruces, located a mile or two south of San Jose del Sur, created this altar with what looks like a considerable amount of care:

La Gritería 01

On December 7th at 6pm, the celebration begins! Communities come together around the altar as it is lit up in Christmas lights. When most of the locals have had a chance to view the ornate display, they disconnect the altar and the platform becomes portable.  Selected citizens carry the altar into the street followed by the community, all singing songs about the Virgin Mary or worshiping in their own way.

I had my camera recording during some of the singing and chanting.  Click on the play button below to listen to it:

La Gritería 02

La Gritería 03

In our walk towards the center of San Jose del Sur, a few men walk ahead of the procession lighting rockets every few minutes.  They shoot 50 feet into the air then explode into a star burst of sparks.

The procession ends at the main square of San Jose del Sur, an area about the size of an American football field. On the south end of the square stands the small church. A church bell rings in the bell tower, which stands nearby. It is disconnected from the church to provide more stabilization on this volcanically-active island. Many aftershocks have destroyed lesser structures.

The atmosphere is similar to a fair, but without the entertainment. A woman walks around distributing free drinks – a sugary, spicy drink served in a small plastic bag. The drink seems to be popular based on the number of children crowding around the woman and her tub of tied bags, but I found the drink tasted too spicy. Our group tried subtly to dispose of the drink without offending the locals. Children, mainly boys ages 10-16, run around lighting fire crackers and throwing them near unsuspecting people. We hoped they would not them near us as we were their source of fire. A girl sings a song over a loud speaker as a man plays guitar. Most of the younger men ages 20-40 are not participating. They can be seen playing pool in the local open-air pubs.

La Gritería 04

During the festival, the sky opened up and poured on the island. It fell as hard and as dense as a shower, instantly soaking everyone as they ran for cover. We hugged a large tree as I tried desperately to shield my camera bag with my body. These two resourceful women used their lawn chairs as umbrellas.

La Gritería 05

As quickly as it started, the rain abruptly stopped. Out came the moon, lighting up large cumulus clouds rolling slowly over a backdrop of twinkling stars. I left with the other gringos and headed back to our hostel, a mile or so down the road. As we walked using just the light of the moon, I felt extremely honored to have experienced La Griteria on Ometepe.


My Journal: Lost & Found

Filed Under international travel, photography

Over at Moleskinerie.com‘s Facebook community, someone posted an interesting thread called “What’s on your cover?“  I posted the following:

My latest journal cover is plain except for a hoof mark from a horse or cow. I had lost it while hiking in Nicaragua. Twenty hours later, a determined one-man search and rescue operation was launched during a tropical rain storm. After retracing my steps for a few soggy miles, I found it on the side of a country road, just where I must have dropped it while taking a photo of the green pastures, the grazing cattle, and the volcano looming in the background. Despite the rain, the pocket Moleskine was unscathed, except for where an animal had stepped on it. When I look at the mark on the cover, I’m reminded of how close I came to losing the most precious item I carry on my when I travel, even more so than my camera.

Lost & Found


Helpless by Keith Loutit

Filed Under photography, YouTube

Great use of tilt-shift and time lapse by photographer Keith Loutit.

Helpless from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.


Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

Filed Under galleries, local travel, photography

In the late Spring of 2007, I backpacked through Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park with a friend of mine.  It was five days of spectacular natural wonders under the shaded limbs of the largest trees in the world. Here’s a slideshow of photos:


Pasadena Fog 2007 Photo Gallery

Filed Under galleries, local travel, photography

Happy 2009!  With the new year, I’ve written a few resolutions.  At the top of the list is to publish more photo galleries on this website.  Some of them (like the following) you might have already seen on my site, but all of them will allow larger viewing resolution (up to 1000 pixels) and easier navigation.

There is some incredibly thick fog laying in the San Gabriel Valley tonight and it reminded me of the following photos I took on a similar night back in 2007.  Enjoy!


Oregon Christmas Trip Photos

Filed Under galleries, local travel, photography

I spent a week in Oregon with family for the holidays.  I somehow managed to fly to and from Oregon without any problems, despite the crazy storms that have blanketed the Northwest in over a foot of snow. On the coast, the warmest place in Oregon with highs in the mid 40s, it rained a bit each day. But I wouldn’t have recognized the state I grew up in if the weather wasn’t wet.  The dampened ground didn’t dampen our spirits and I spent a lot of time with my family in and outdoors.  Click the image below to view my favorite photos: