2011 Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race

I spent last weekend on Catalina Island photographing the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race.  The 32-mile, open ocean race goes from Isthmus Harbor on Catalina Island to the Manhattan Beach Pier on the mainland.  It is one of longest, and definitely one of the most challenging paddleboard races in the country (if not the world).

It was a bit tough photographing the actual race since we were on a boat that was always out of shooting distance.  The start of the race happened pre-dawn so there were some cool opportunities there and the end of the race had some good emotion:

In Transit

If you ever have to sit in the Detroit Metro Airport, make sure you go down to the light tunnel that connects the two terminals… Psychedelic lights timed to music and everything…. I hung out there for a few minutes during a layover flying from Wisconsin back to Los Angeles.

Ocean Baptism

Photographed a baptism in the ocean this weekend during a Christian outreach event in Oceanside.  They had a “Get Baptized Now” tent set up on the beach for anyone who was willing to stop by and be baptized.

The Queen Mary

I found myself aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach Harbor last night while I was waiting to shoot a roller derby match at the arena next door.  As the sun had just set, there was some really cool light so I ran around the various decks of the boat and tried to get some photos.  It was also interesting to wander into history for an hour or so.

When the Queen Mary first sailed in 1936, the ship was considered the greatest of its kind ever built.  It is almost 300 feet longer than the Titanic and as the ship’s website says, “the elite of high society considered her the only civilized way to travel.”  However, as air travel became increasingly popular and cheap, big ships like the Queen Mary went out of style.

Now, the ship is permanently docked in Long Beach Harbor and serves as a hotel, conference center, and host to about 3 different fancy restaurants.  There is also a really cool bar in the bow of the ship that is straight out of the 1940’s complete with a band that plays music from that time period.

Anyway, here are the photos I got while wandering the “sport deck” (still complete with shuffleboard markings by the way…):

A couple takes a stroll along the top sport deck below the iconic smokestacks of the Queen Mary docked in Long Beach Harbor.

A janitor mops the wooden floors of the room that once served as the captain’s quarters on the bridge of the Queen Mary.

A couple pauses to kiss while taking an evening stroll along the top deck of the Queen Mary

Office Chair Racing

If you need a reason to love America….

Devil Pups Take the Plunge

I got to photograph the Devil Pups camp this week as they jumped from a 35-foot diving platform.  The Devil Pups program is a 10-day camp held on Marine Base Camp Pendleton and was created back in the 50’s to instill a sense of self-confidence and respect in kids aged 14 to 17 (The name “Devil Pups” is a play on the nickname U.S. Marines were given by the enemy in World War I — “Devil Dogs”).   Activities range from daily physical training to the tower jump that I photographed.  Although it is not a “mini boot camp,” these kids do get to go through a lot of the same training marine recruits do.

I originally wanted to follow someone in this camp for the entire week, but after 2 months of getting all the appropriate approvals, I was eventually denied because there wasn’t anyone to escort me around the Marine base for the whole week.  Bummer.  It was still fun to shoot this event though.

I also got a chance to try out the new underwater housing that Chelsea has procured.  It is an old Nikon D100 camera inside a very nice Ikelite underwater housing.  We eventually plan on using it for scuba diving, but the pool was a good place to test it out.