September 15, 2013

  • PhotoPost: Tall Ships and More Elephants

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    Saturday, September 7th I had a busy busy photography expedition along the beach in Orange County. I drove to Dana Point in the morning, and began taking photos of the “Elephant Parade” of art elephants, as I displayed in my September 8th entry here on Xanga, and which are the subject of my massive Elephant Parade themed folder on Flickr.   Later on in the day, I shot some “tall ships” at the Tall Ships Festival which was going on that weekend. I’d been to the Tall Ships Festival before, in 2007, and shot video aboard some of the two and three masted sailing ships. By the time I was finished photographing nearly all of the 37 art elephants displayed in different places around the town of Dana Point, I got some shots of the tall ships sailing in the harbor.

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    I posted a paragraph from the literature from the Elephant Walk art campaign in my previous post on the subject. Here is a representation of Mosha, the little asian elephant who had to be fitted with the very first elephant prosthesis when her right front leg was taken off by a land mine. Mosha stood on the corner of Dana Point Harbor Blvd. and Golden Lantern Blvd, and welcomes visitors to the harbor.

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    “There’s Still Hope” by Chris Hoy is backed by “Meditation” by Utain Wongjai in the Lantern Bay park above the intersection. It was getting to be late afternoon by this time, and I was pretty hungry, not to mention thirsty.

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    An elephant dressed as a London Bobby is a “half size” art installation in the lobby of the Laguna Cliffs Marriot hotel.

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    “Ma Lii” by Chris Chun is looking across Dana Point Harbor Blvd, with the sun low in the sky behind her.

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    She’s looking right across the street from Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern and Restaurant, where I decided to have lunch. I found out that this restaurant has only been open a short time. I had a light vegetarian pasta dish, since it was a pretty hot day, and topped it off with not one, but two “El Diablo” margaritas, which were spiked with serrano peppers. Hot and cold at the same time. I usually don’t drink that much in the afternoon, but I wasn’t driving anywhere. At the Visitor’s Center in front of the restaurant, I found that the shuttle bus I took to get to the harbor ran till 9pm. Still had a lot of time to catch up with the Tall Ships Festival farther down the harbor walk.

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    I showed a photo of the Brig Pilgrim tall ship replica in the last PhotoPost. Here, on the next pier over, is an elephant statue. It’s called “Gentle Guardian” by Johanna Enriquez. I ended up photographing all but three of the 37 art elephants. There was one called “Mellowphant” (wearing headphones and listening to music) in the Ocean Institute (the building seen between the ship’s masts) but it was closed for the day when I got this far down the harbor walk. The Tall Ships were out in the open sea. Festival goers can wander around the decks of the Brig Pilgrim plus five other tall ships moored at this dock in the morning, then “book passage” on the vessels in the afternoon.

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    Earlier in the day, I’d photographed the tall ships in the harbor before they set out to sea. (One seems to be heading out in the center of the photo.) The smoke to the right is provided by one of the cannons. When out in the open sea, the ships engage in mock battles.

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    Joining the tourists and festival goers were quite a few pirates. Here a group of them watch the ships sail from the beach. This photo almost looks “vintage” from the late 1880s. (Or at least that was my intent anyway.)

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    I got 14 “likes” just for this particular photo on Facebook when I posted my photos direct from the media card into Facebook while looking at them for the first time last weekend. As the tall ships passed the beach, I used both standard, wide angle, and telephoto lenses to record their majesty. This shot used a telephoto lens. I’m not using a tripod either. I steadied the camera on various rocks and outcroppings and on my knee!

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    This was actually an earlier shot than the one before, showing the ship turning.  A pelican looks on.

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    The three masted schooner with the red sails doesn’t really look like it’s from the 1800s. It’s not a replica ship like the others however. It was built in 1941 and is called “The American Pride”. It’s actually the oldest ship of the tall ships in the festival!DSC00716

    As the sun began to sink into the western sky, the tall ships return to harbor. I shot this with a twilight filter to get the darker tones and blue of the water in the harbor.

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    And here is the sun hovering in the clouds above Dana Point itself, also shot with a filter. The sky wasn’t as dark as is shown in the photo. It’s getting on 7pm.

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    One of the tall ships returns, furling it’s sails. Perhaps I’ll actually pay the 50 bucks and go onboard one of these sailing vessels in an upcoming year, to get some shots “at sea”.

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    Since it was getting late, and I didn’t want to drive into the sun’s glare, I opted to wait until it set. Here I got a shot of the yellow disc as it disappears into the pacific.

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    The elephants watch the sunset along with me. Next PhotoPost I present, sometime this week, will be a selection of shots taken at the Los Angeles County Fair, which I attended yesterday. Summer is almost over, it’s hot as heck in the southland, and I’ve got a little spending money and lots of great opportunities to take photo expeditions before fall arrives. As I post this, I don’t have the Tall Ships collection of photos on my Flickr account yet. But when they get there, you will be able to find them in my Photostream HERE. 

Comments (9)

  • The elephants are so much fun. Love the cute half size Bobby. The tall ships are magnificent. These are amazing shots. peace always

  • Very nice pics.

  • Great pics, Mike. I love the tall ships. I don’t get to see many. Several years ago, when we were in Maine, we took a ride (or a sail) on one. I didn’t enjoy it much, though. It was freezing cold and I thought I was going to die from hypothermia!

  • Beautiful pics, Mike! The tall ships are so majestic, and your photos are amazing. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • I like the way you believe the elephants are actually watching the sunset with you. Do you speak elephant?! :)

  • The gorgeous elephants and those ships…coolest thing I’ve seen in awhile. Great pictures.

  • When I was a kid my family owned a 60 ‘schooner which took a crew of at least four to sail. It was bought on spec and we didn’t take it out very often – but sailing it was impressive. I had my own Bahama Dingy ( check out some of Winslow Homer’s Bahama paintings to see what they look like). My last sea-going sailboat was the Cape Cod Cat “Tyche”which I use as an icon. The Maine coast has a “Windjammer”fleet including most of those types you photographed – they spend the summer cruising and partying – most take 10-20 guests on board – who have to do all the sailing work.
    I enjoy your photos – they are always interesting and well done.

  • Thank you for sharing your amazing photos and your adventures with us, Mike!
    The elephants are cute and whimsical!
    And the sail-sailing ships take me away to another time and place…romantic!
    And talk of romantic…that sunset…sigh.
    HUGS!

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