Author Archives: Russel Ray Photos

About Russel Ray Photos

Forty-five years as a photographer, beginning with yearbook staff in sixth grade.

Downtown San Diego at night

Out & About

One hundred years ago San Diego, a city of about 40,000 people, hosted the Panama California Exposition to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal.

The first stop on the voyage through the Canal and up the west coast of the United States would be San Diego.

The Exposition began on January 1, 1915, and lasted until January 1, 1917.

To help celebrate the centennial, San Diego is beautifying the city, as if it weren’t already beautiful….

Many of the highway medians near downtown are getting new landscaping. Potholes are being filled but apparently to me only on streets near downtown and Balboa Park, and new lighting is showing up on many of the buildings in downtown San Diego.

Recently I went downtown after the sun set in the west to get some time exposure pictures of the new lighting that has shown up these past six months.

This first picture is of the San Diego County Administration Center where Jim and I got married on October 30, 2008.

San Diego County Administration Center stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Both the north and south sides of the Administration Center used to be ugly parking lots. Those lots are now underground two wonderful water features and a playground for the children. I was down there around 8:30 p.m., and the playground was full of children and parents having late night fun. This pictures is of the water feature on the north side:

Downtown San Diego at night

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The south side is were the children’s playground is, so it’s more popular than the north side. Here’s the south side water feature with Wyndham’s new lighting; the blue adds nicely to the downtown visual experience:

Downtown San Diego at night

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Lastly, here are two skyscrapers with new red and green neon lighting stripes. Quite nice:

Downtown San Diego at night

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you’re flying into San Diego for business or pleasure, try to get a window seat on the left side of the plane. Day or night the view is spectacular. Note that occasionally the fierce Santa Ana winds force the planes to come in off the ocean to land. If that happens to you, both sides of the plane offer great views—SeaWorld, Mexico, downtown San Diego, beaches. That might happen about ten days a year, so your best bet is to get that left side window seat.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift
for a marriage, anniversary, birthday or other special event?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art logo

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

The Sea Lion Dance

Out & About

Photographic Art stamps based on pictures of the wildlife at La Jolla Cove this past Monday.

Seagulls at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Wading bird at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pelican at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pelican at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cormorants at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sea lion at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I love the little girl dancing for the sea lions in the last picture. I’ll call it the Sea Lion Dance.

I’ll end with another sunset picture from Monday’s trip to La Jolla:

Sunset at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La Jolla is a great place to visit at any time. The tide pools and beaches are more accessible during low tides, and the there seem to be more wildlife, probably due to the sea creatures stranded in the tide pools.

You can find tide schedules here: La Jolla tides.

The best place to see the tide pools is at Rocky Point, shown on the map below.

Parking throughout La Jolla, especially during Tourist Season (Memorial Day to Labor Day), is scarce so be prepared to drive around for a while looking for a parking spot or park the first place you see a spot and walk to Scripps Park. A walk through downtown La Jolla is a great experience all on its own!rocky point la jolla map

Go to Google Maps

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for a marriage, anniversary, birthday
or other special event?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art logo

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

La Jolla tide pools looking like something from another planet

Out & About

I taught chess at Birdrock Elementary in La Jolla yesterda. Class ended at 4:10, and I got all my chess sets put away and got back to the car at 4:30.

Instead of sitting in rush hour traffic for 1½ hours to get home, I decided to go to La Jolla Cove for 1½ hours.

I took 214 pictures—sunset, pelicans, cormorants, seagulls, squirrels, seals and sea lions, tide pools, and the gorgeous views.

Here are five pictures of the tide pools, looking like something from another planet:

Sandstone cliff at the beach in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tide pools at the beach in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tide pools at the beach in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tide pools at the beach in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tide pools at the beach in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

And one of my favorite pictures from last night’s sunset at the La Jolla Cove:

Sunset at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California on March 23, 2015

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La Jolla is a great place to visit at any time but the tide pools and beaches are more accessible during low tides.

You can find tide schedules here: La Jolla tides.

The best place to see the tide pools is at Rocky Point, shown on the map below.

Parking throughout La Jolla, especially during Tourist Season (Memorial Day to Labor Day), is scarce so be prepared to drive around for a while looking for a parking spot or park the first place you see a spot and walk to Scripps Park. A walk through downtown La Jolla is a great experience all on its own!rocky point la jolla map

Go to Google Maps

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for a marriage, anniversary, birthday
or other special event?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art logo

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Music on Mondays (3-23-15)—Let there be magic

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Julian Rey SaenzThe one and only Julian Rey Saenz (y’all remember him, right? picture ►) says that he doesn’t like hippies.

That’s a pretty broad brush stroke there and certainly seems to summarily dismiss a whole group of people. I don’t even do that with Republicans and the fanatically religious!

About the only groups of people that I summarily dismiss are murderers, rapists, those who abuse women and children, and those who abuse animals.

Peace symbol in Ocean Beach stampIf one summarily dislikes hippies, one probably would never visit the San Diego neighborhood of Ocean Beach. It’s an enclave of mostly hippies who seem to be stuck enjoying the life that was the ’60s.

Ocean Beach is a great place to watch the waves crash ashore, and every time I’m out there, I drive the neighborhoods looking for the unique and interesting to bring to you, my readers.

When I was out there the first week of March, I found the Magic Bus, last seen in July 1968.

The Magic Bus in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Magic Bus” was a hit for The Who in 1968, peaking at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

That caused me to wonder about other songs with magic in the title. I found quite a few so I decided to limit songs here to those about a magic something, like that magic bus.

Following is what I found. If you think of any that I didn’t, leave the name in a comment. It would be really cool if you left a link to a YouTube video with your comment, too!

“Magic Carpet Ride” by Steppenwolf. A 1968 hit that peaked at #3.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul & Mary. A 1963 hit that peaked at #2.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Black Magic Woman” by Santana. A 1970 hit that peaked at #4. I always wonder if this song is about a woman who does black magic, or about a magic woman who is black….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Magic Man” by Heart. A 1976 hit that peaked at #9.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Anniversary? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

San Diego Historical Landmarks—#11: Villa Montezuma (addendum)

San Diego Historical Landmarks

I’m going to backtrack here to add an addendum to my post about San Diego Historical Landmarks #11, Villa Montezuma.

Here is the original post in case you missed it: Villa Montezuma.

Villa Montezuma in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Jeff Smith, a long time writer with the San Diego Reader, has an excellent column in this week’s issue in his “Unforgettable: Long-Ago San Diego” column titled “An evening at Villa Montezuma.”

Well worth the read, especially if you love history and music.

“Between 1887 and 1889, Jesse Shepard gave musicales at his Villa Montezuma. He had an international reputation as a singer/pianist. Others called him a charlatan. To bring instant culture to the pioneer town, San Diegans built Shepard a gaudy Victorian mansion at 205h and K Street. Here he performed and, some said, conducted musical séances. What follows is an imagined evening at the villa—Tuesday, February 14, 1888—based on eyewitness accounts….” Read the complete article.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift? Marriage? Anniversary? Birthday?
Photographic Art logo
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Friday Flower Fiesta (3-20-15)

Friday Flower Fiesta

Photographic Art stamps made from pictures taken this past week.

Iceland poppy

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Unknown flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Unknown flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Unknown flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Clivia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sea lavender

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Kangaroo paw

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Unknown flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cherry blossoms

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Primrose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sea lavender

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Unknown flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Birthday? Graduation? Marriage? Anniversary?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Movies you haven’t seen yet

My wise old grandmother

It’s been just a few months short of fifty years since my wise old grandmother adopted me.

With great hindsight after those fifty years, I think I was adopted into a lower middle class family.

Missouri Pacific LinesGranddad was a Road Foreman for Missouri Pacific Railroad and my wise old grandmother was a housewife.

We didn’t have a lot of money so my wise old grandmother taught me to conserve water and electricity, to eat all the food on my plate, to repurpose things, to never throw something away (“There is no away!”) until she had inspected and approved of disposing of that something.

When it came to doing the things that my friends were doing, things like buying music and going to the movies, well, that didn’t happen. My allowance was a dime a week, and with movies costing a quarter and 45 singles costing 69¢, I did not have the willpower to do without M&M’s and save my money for music and movies.

Once I was financially stable enough to buy music, I bought a lot. I was never a movie collector, though. Instead, I have always created lists of movies I wanted to see. When they came on TV as the “Movie of the Week,” I watched them. When Blockbuster and Hollywood Video came along, I rented movies. Now movies are available online so I don’t have to spend money renting movies or going to a theater where the floors are sticky. I just Google the movie I want to watch and add online streaming free behind the title. Then I watch!

Blue Angels MustangI’m currently watching 2014 movies (Google “2014 movies” for a complete list). The three most recent movies I watched were “Need For Speed,” “Enemy,” and “U Want Me 2 Kill Him?”.

I watched “Need for Speed” because I like fast cars. I thought it was a great movie, especially since a Mustang was one of the cars featured prominently.

I watched “Enemy” because Jake Gyllenhall starred, and I’m a fan of his work. The movie was a little difficult to follow, especially since I multitask while watching movies, so after watching it I read the Wikipedia entry. I liked the movie after watching it, but I liked it more after reading the Wikipedia entry. Does that make sense?

I watched “U Want Me 2 Kill Him” simply because it sounded interesting. It’s about the Internet and is loosely based on a real event about online chatting and how you don’t always know who you’re chatting with, even when pictures are available. Reminded me of this meme:

Don't believe everything on the Internet

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Although my favorite movies are action movies, science fiction, and horror movies, I also enjoy movies that end unexpectedly, that ending plot twist. The first movie I remember ending like that was Edward Norton’s first movie, “Primal Fear” from 1996. Richard Gere also starred but it was Edward Norton’s character that I remember.

“U Want Me 2 Kill Him?” has a similar plot twist. I totally understand how two teenagers can get wrapped up in online chatrooms and the Internet, how what you see might not be what you get. I also think it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

There was a lot of foul language in the movie, something I rarely like. However, the context of the language was appropriate for what the two teenagers were going through.

U Want Me 2 Kill Him?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift? Anniversary? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage? Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post