Monthly Archives: July 2010


Chelsea 2

Young woman in golden space suit on matching yellow rocks on a beach

This past weekend, my friend Chelsea and I met up for a short camping trip along the California North Coast, starting in Fort Bragg and ending in San Francisco. Stopping by a boutique store in Fort Bragg, Chelsea found a golden “space” suite, and after some persuasion, it was hers. An outfit like that (a “daily wear”, she called it) begged for a beach photo shoot.

Young woman in golden space suit on matching yellow rocks on a beach

It’s always a treat and a challenge to work with Chelsea. In her previous life in Anchorage, Alaska, she did a brief stint as a professionally-trained model. However, once in the wilds of nature, her inner energy keeps her hopping, like a chickadee, making it almost impossible to have her pose. After a couple of years of photographing her, I came to the conclusion that the only way to get interesting images with my friend is to just let her do her thing and be ready with my camera.

Young woman in golden space suit on matching yellow rocks on a beach

We found an interesting rocky outcropping on one of the beaches between Fort Bragg and Fort Ross. The tricky part was lightning and reflectiveness of the outfit. It was around 2 pm, not the best time for such a session, so I decided to go with the more “Mars” feeling of the images with a powerful flash and exposure compensation. The images are minimally post-processed.

Young woman in golden space suit on matching yellow rocks on a beach

 


Babushka 2

Photo by Mihael Blikshteyn

I took these photos of my grandma (“babushka” in Russian, emphasis on the first syllable) 3 years ago. She is turning 93 this November. In bright mind, she still lectures me every time we talk on the phone on my life’s choices, and like with any Jewish grandma, it usually boils down to what I should eat, emphasizing that my mostly vegetarian diet and lack of soup consumption is slowly killing me.

She was born on November 7, 1917. A year before World War I ended. Those of you familiar with the Soviet history will recognize that it was also the date of the October Soviet Revolution, which brought about the civil war and, five years later, formation of the Soviet Union. The official Soviet version of events says an assault led by Vladmir Lenin was launched at 9:45 p.m. signaled by a blank shot from the cruiser Aurora in St. Petersburg. We like to joke in the family that it was the sound of the shot that made my grandma’s mom give birth on that date. Ironically, when we all emigrated from the Soviet Union at the very beginning of 1992, my grandma in tow (or, was it me in tow?), the Soviet Union fell apart. Is it just possible that my grandma was that invisible glue that kept the whole country together for 80 years?

Photo by Mihael Blikshteyn

Photo by Mihael Blikshteyn


California Brown Pelican 1

It’s hard to miss these peculiar brown birds gliding, in small groups, above braking waves of the ocean edge, disappearing into the fog. The Brown Pelican is the smallest of the 8 species of Pelecanus. It’s mesmerizing to watch them glide 30 feet above the surface looking for aggregations of small fish, bomb-diving for them, once spotted, head straight down, wings half-stretched, often disappearing completely under the surface.

I’ve noticed that a feeding pelican is often accompanied by a single sea gull that follows the pelican around, landing a foot away when the pelican emerges with its mouth full of fish, the gull hoping for the spills. Just like the best place to see the Bald Eagles in Alaska is around municipal dumps, a good place to watch pelicans in coastal California is around newly-returned charter boats filleting fish and throwing guts overboard.


New Retail Locations!

Last week, I opened two retail locations in northern California that showcase a complete selection of my postcards and a number of my favorite photographs as Float Wraps – ready-to-hang prints wrapped around masonite. I will also be adding several new photographic products over the next month. If you’re driving on Highway 101, you will pass through Orick – a small town half-way between Arcata and Crescent City, stop by Burl Bill’s – the last gift shop on the left of the highway if you’re heading north. In Eureka, my showcase space is in Rustic West Trading Co. at 339 2nd Street (Corner of Second and E Streets) in historic Old Town. The Orick location has more of the Redwoods and Roosevelt Elk emphasis, while the downtown Eureka store features more of the local landmark photography. See you there!