Coronado, CA

I had the good fortune of living in the coastal city of Coronado, California from 2007-2011, courtesy of the US Navy. ¬†Photography was reentering my life as I had not taken many photos in over 25 years. ¬†I found myself in the land of sunsets, beaches, ocean views, and I loved it. ¬†When I found out in 2014 that I would be returning to Coronado, I was a happy camper! ¬†I began searching online for photos of Coronado to see what other photographers were shooting, something I often do to get ideas. ¬†I found sunset photos, the Hotel Del Coronado, sunsets, the beach, the bridge, the boathouse, and even sunsets! ¬†I made a decision right then and there to take photos of Coronado, the city; sure I’d shoot the San Diego skyline, the bridge, boathouse, and yes, the legendary Pacific coast sunsets; but I hoped to capture¬†something different. ¬†Let me say upfront, there are many amazing photographers in Coronado who I respect, they shoot everything including the incredible sunsets, and I love checking out their amazing photos! ¬†However, I hoped¬†to do something else and wanted¬†to catch another side of Coronado while I was here. ¬†The photo at the top of the page was taken¬†at the Fiddler’s Cove Marina when the¬†sun was just starting to burn through the morning fog.

Super Moon    Fog

The main marina in Coronado makes for an excellent photo subject just about 24/7 (above left). ¬†I hoped to show that there is life in this marina, even at night, because¬†many people live aboard their boats. ¬†This was the night of the “super moon” and while this isn’t a spectacular super moon photo compared to others, I think it captures the vibe of this marina at night with the calm waters and reflection of the moon. ¬†Since sailing and boating are a major activities in Coronado, it’s not difficult finding sailboats virtually everywhere. ¬†The above right photo was taken from Tidelands Park which is a great location to shoot sunrises as well. ¬†You might be able to¬†tell by this photo, and the one at the top of this page, I LOVE fog! ¬†When it comes to photography, I find that while blue skies are amazing to the naked eye, they just do nothing for me with my camera. ¬†I’ve found the trick to shooting fog in Coronado is to have the camera bag ready to go at all times, the fog can appear and disappear quickly here. ¬†Unlike the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin where I grew up, the sun can literally burn off solid fog in minutes, and in both of these photos the fog was gone within 10 minutes¬†after snapping these.

Chillaxin'    Spreckels Christmas

Capturing everyday scenes in Coronado has been interesting because common events¬†we do daily are set in front of an incredible backdrop. ¬†In the above left photo, a bird dives in to the water for a fish while a guy is relaxing with¬†his hands behind head checking out the view. ¬†Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up, Coronado is¬†really like this at times! ¬†The above right photo was taken at the Spreckel’s Park gazebo after my daughters had their Girl Scout meeting there. ¬†The below middle sunrise photo was also taken at Spreckel’s Park, if there is a hub for Coronado, in my opinion it is this park because concerts, flower shows, playtime with the kids, and even craft shows on Sunday mornings happen at this park. ¬†Below left are two VW vans that I drive by practically every day, and for over a year I meant to shoot them. ¬†There’s nothing fancy here, I just thought it looked cool as a typical street scene with these classic vans. ¬†Finally, the shot below on the right is a front yard swing, it could be Anywhere USA, which was the point of this photo; there are many times when¬†Coronado feels like any other small town I’ve visited, I mean that in the best possible way!

V-Dubs  Spreckles  Swingin'

Coronado has a rich military history as both the US Army and US Navy maintained a presence here until the late 1930’s. ¬†However, it has been the Navy that remained and Coronado has been the major training location for the US Navy SEAL’s for decades. ¬†In 2016, Coronado erected a statue honoring all maritime commandos called the “Naked Warrior” sculpted by artist J. Seward Johnson Jr. (below). ¬†These ‘naked warriors’ would later evolve in to the Navy SEAL’s of today. ¬†For a great book on this, check out¬†The Naked Warriors: The Elite Fighting Force that became the Navy SEAL’s by CDR Francis Fane. ¬†While I was shooting this photo, a young man actually slowly passed by the statue on his beach cruiser bike, fist bumped his heart and flashed a peace sign to the statue in respect, this is Coronado. ¬†While I love the ocean, beaches, and sunsets, I think there is more to Coronado. ¬†While it’s a place of seaside mansions and a major travel desination, if you peel back it’s layers you’ll find a simple coastal village and military town rich in history. ¬†Look past the streets filled with tourists and you’ll see¬†swings hanging from trees, VW’s parked on the¬†streets in front of simple cottages, and quiet neighborhoods like most other little towns. ¬†Oh, and if you wait till the evening, you might even experience¬†an incredible sunset.

Naked Warrior 2

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My Favorite Mountain 

There are so many things to write about living in Italy; the people and their way of life, the history that surrounds you every day, and the incredible food (my favorite). ¬†When people ask me if I miss Italy my reply is, “every day at dinner time.” ¬†When I first arrived in Naples in January of 1982, I remember seeing this huge volcano called Vesuvio and was amazed by how close it sat next to the city of Naples when we landed. ¬†Even back people said¬†things like, “it’s overdue” and “it’s going to blow soon.” ¬†Over the next thirty plus years I would live there numerous times and visit Mount Vesuvius often, so many times that I should have become bored with it – not so. ¬†The numerous times friends came to visit, I would take them to the crater of Vesuvio and it was as amazing for me as it was for them seeing¬†it for the first time. The¬†above photo was taken when I was getting back in to photography in January 2007 with a¬†Sony DSC-W7 pocket camera on a little mini tripod that costs me 10 Euro. ¬†I would take many more photos of Vesuvius and honestly, it was as exciting for me the final time as it was the first.

Vesuvio

This photo on the left, Vesuvius, was taken on December 21, 2011 at sunset with the sun behind me as I shot. ¬†I knew I’d be taking plenty of sunrise photos so I wanted to try something different. ¬†In order to hopefully give the photo a little pop, I really wanted to shoot¬†Vesuvio¬†with snow on its peak. ¬†You can see the traffic moving on the Tangenziale in the lower left corner as well.¬†Vesuvius was shot with a Canon Rebel XSi, EF-S 18-55mm USM kit lens at f/4, 1/12 sec, focal length 27mm, and ISO 100. It was good thing I shot this when I did because it was one of the last times there was snow on the mountain before I left.

October Sunrise

There is a section of Naples called Vomero, on its hillside runs a little curvy road called Via Orazio that continues down to the water in Mergellina. ¬†It’s the perfect place for panoramic and sunrise photos of Napoli because of the view of the Bay of Naples and the numerous¬†places you can set up a tripod. If you don’t believe me, check out these photos taken from Via Orazio at Google! ¬†¬†October Sunrise (right) was shot on October 13, 2013 with a Canon Rebel T3i, EF-S 18-55mm USM kit lens at f/8,1/8 sec, focal length 23mm, and ISO 100.

Sunrise at Naples Harbor

The photo to the left, Sunrise at Naples Harbor, was taken in Mergellina next to the Castel dell’ovo¬†on April 7, 2013. These days, I rarely go out shooting if there are no clouds. Shooting on a blue sky day makes for boring photos, give me clouds any day! ¬†This photo would have a completely different look with a blue sky, I believe the¬†clouds add an element of drama the way the sun pokes through. The sailboat is an added feature too. This was shot with a Canon Rebel T3i, EF-S 10-22mm 3.5-4.5 USM¬†lens at f/9, 1/80 sec, focal length 22mm, and ISO 100.

Shortly after the below photo was shot, I purchased the Canon EOS 7D and stopped using the Canon Rebel series. ¬†The Rebel XSi and T3i allowed me to learn photography at my own pace by shooting in auto mode at first and later progressing to¬†aperture priority and manual modes. ¬†Had I tried using the Canon 7D at first, I would have likely been overwhelmed and miss much in the learning process, or given up altogether. ¬†The Canon Rebel T3i will always be the camera that really gave me the “photo bug” and confidence. ¬†I still believe the Canon Rebel line of cameras is great bang for the buck!¬†Below is a panoramic photo, a sequence of five separate photos combined to form one long panoramic photo called Stormy Napoli. This was one of the last photos I took of Naples and “my favorite mountain” in September 2013. Each photo was shot on a Canon Rebel T3i,¬†EF 50mm f/1.4 lens at f/7, 1/200 sec, focal length 50mm, and ISO 200. Needless to say I miss the people, traditions, and cuisine of Naples…

Every day at dinner time. ūüėé

 

 

Stormy Napoli