Foto Friday CXXXV


This is from the start of the “British Summer” in Cornwall in 2016. You have to hand it to the Brits actually, they are an optimistic and determined bunch. Not to be outdone by the cold weather or the near-whiteout fog, these folks put up their sun shades and tents and camped out on the beach as you do during the late spring bank holiday. I’m laughing just thinking about standing outside of that cafe laughing out loud at the beachgoers making the best of this crap weather. I bet they even put on sun block! Just kidding, (sort of).

1/125s f/7.0 18mm ISO 100. Highlights and shadows adjusted. Até à próxima semana.

The Mushroom House

After about a year long break I have decided to try and resurrect my blog. I’m not sure why I stopped writing, but I certainly didn’t stop taking pictures. The demise of my Foto Friday series probably coincided with the creation of my Instagram account, and I didn’t really take the time to put up any new material here.

Well, here goes nothing.

Believe it or not, this past Saturday I was sitting around my apartment trying to think of what to do for the day. Sick of the monotony of searching and applying for jobs, and still recovering from my workouts earlier in the week, I was left with an open slate of a sunny and 73-degree afternoon.

If you have seen any of my posts before, you may know that I have an interest in abandoned or derelict buildings and structures. Not only do I get a rush out of exploring them and imagining what they used to be like, but I also think they make great subjects for photography.

Which brings me back to Saturday afternoon. A quick Google search later, I had a list of places in “hidden San Diego” that I might be interested in exploring, and on the top of my list was an oceanside building often referred to as “The Mushroom House”.


According to the maps, this place is situated between public beach entrances at Scripps Pier and Blacks Beach, so I decided to head North from the Pier. After about a ten-minute walk through rocks (and rising tide!) I turned the corner to see what you see, this spaceship looking house built as close to the water as possible.


Here it is from the other side. This house is actually called “The Pavilion” and it was designed by a famous San Diego architect named Dale Naegle as a guesthouse for Sam Bell, heir to General Mills. Constructed in 1968, this house was supposed to be able to withstand earthquakes but based on the stains on the retaining wall they forgot about the threat of rising ocean levels.



Judging by the signage and locks on the gates this house is still privately owned, although walking around it appears like it hasn’t been in use for a long time. Too bad, it would be a heck of an Airbnb rental. Off to the left in the picture above is the only direct access to the house, a 300ft long elevator that was almost certainly a first of its kind.

I walked around the back to get a better view of the place, including looking straight up the narrowest funicular I have ever seen. Talk about a claustrophobic ride, my shoulders barely fit between the tracks here.


And here is the view from the top of the surrounding wall in the back, underneath the fungus cap. Whoever stayed here definitely had an unobstructed panoramic view of the ocean below. Construction regulations aside, I can’t imagine what a place like this would cost these days. I also want to spend a weekend there.

Special thanks to Mafalda for the encouragement to start writing again (and also for the polarizer to make that last picture possible).

Thanks for reading, hopefully more to come soon.



Foto Friday XCVIII

1-Do you know how to remove the blue wire_2

I’m not sure if this counts as a Foto Friday or not – it isn’t my picture.  I haven’t had the energy to go through all my beautiful pictures from Iceland, or make any of the adjustments that I planned to some shots of Oxford.  Nope.  For this week’s edition of Foto Friday I went to the cupboard that I have of reserve pictures in case I need something to show.  This is a picture that Mafalda took last spring here in Oxford.  She had originally asked me to show how I use the content-aware fill in Photoshop in order to remove a wire, and then suggested that this might look nice with everything black and white except for the girl and her bright colors.  And there you have it.  I might have to technology but I still need to find the eye for photography.

1/640s f/4.0 15.7mm ISO 80. Selective coloring and cropping.  Au revoir until next week.

Group Therapy 050

A few weekends ago was a London blur to say the least, not only did I go to a concert with Arctic Monkeys on Friday, but I also went to see Above and Beyond play on Saturday.  If you don’t recognize their name, A&B are a trio of DJs that create, produce, and spin trance music.  They happen to be my favorite group for the past two years, and I jumped at the opportunity to see them live.

Above and Beyond produce a weekly radio show called Group Therapy (It used to be called Trance Around the World) and have done so for quite a long time.  This radio show is broadcast on a variety of platforms on Friday from 7-9pm here in England, and also available as a free download.  I download their podcast every week and wear it out just as the next episode is coming out.  Simply put, I really enjoy their sound.

ABGT 050 was special in that it was their 500th radio show, it was live from the home of broadcasting in the UK – Alexandra Palace, and there were 10,000 people in attendance.  I went with my house mates Al and Sabrina, as well as our friend Simon, and we had a blast.  The event promised six different DJs and 8 hours of music, along with some much needed group therapy. Here are some shots from my phone during the night.

1-2013-10-26 22.16.53

 Sabrina got a good view of the stage from Al’s shoulders.

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This is Arty, the last DJ of the night who is one of my current favorites.  I was very excited when A&B announced the lineup, and his set didn’t disappoint.  1-2013-10-27 01.50.18

 I think this is also Arty.


This last one isn’t mine, I got it from Above & Beyond’s twitter feed.  It shows what is one of my dreams, looking out on 10K people all going bonkers for your music.  The crowd was fantastic, I have never been to a music event that was so full of friendly people.  We were about 6 or 7 rows back from the front of the stage, and I never had a problem going to and fro during my many toilet breaks.  Maybe it was the inevitable amount of drugs in the crowd but it seemed like everyone was just there to have a great time and take part in some group therapy.

Happy Anniversary

I would like to wish a Happy 1st Anniversary to my beautiful…………


Yep, it has been a year since I posted about my new purchase.  I have made a few small upgrades since that first weekend: a rear mud guard, water bottle cage, new pedals, lights and a computer, better brake pads, new wheels and puncture resistant tires.  My upgrades are probably worth half the price of the bike, but when it is my primary mode of transportation I don’t really mind spending the money.

According to my odometer, I have put on just over 1500 miles in the past year, but that only includes the times that I remember to plug my computer back in, as I take it off every time I lock my bike for fear of theft.  I know for a fact that I hit 46 miles per hour down a hill last summer, and can’t wait to climb that hill again once the weather warms up.  In fact, I really look forward to a summer full of long and tough rides – I find them therapeutic.

The only misstep I had was the time I snapped my key in the lock and left the bike unattended for a week while I was on holiday.  Luckily, I only lost a key with that one thanks to a donation from the lab of some #5 forceps.  So thank you bicycle, for serving as a vehicle to personal peace and as a hassle-free way to travel.  I look forward to another good year.


Hard Hitting Analysis

Which major website had this gem of a lead headline tonight?



That would be ESPN, the Disney-owned sports news monopoly.  What’s next, indoor flood caused by plumbing device?  I always check this site for sports news, but I’m slowly growing tired of it and would welcome an alternative.  Do any of you read non-ESPN sites?  Which should I check out?


Foto Friday XXXVIII

Any idea what this is?  Ever watch Formula 1 racing?  This is the curb from a famous corner in the Monaco Grand Prix.  This spot is called the Fairmont Hairpin, the “world’s most famous bend” and is located in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  I took several pictures of this bend, some of which will go in to an album eventually, but I liked this one because of the contrast and the way that you can see the tire tracks up close.

1/1000s f/5.6 120mm ISO 100. Cropped. Au revior until next week.

Foto Friday XXIX

I watched this little puffin for at least 15 minutes.  It was sitting on the edge of that rock waiting for the right moment to take off into flight, and I was waiting to capture the action. Where we were was SUPER windy and this little one continued to be blown backwards off its bearings.  It then slowly waddled forward into this position and  I can only guess summoned the courage to take off.  Except a gust of wind would come and the cycle would happen again.  Finally it took off, although my camera and I couldn’t quite keep up.

1/2000s f/5.6 200mm ISO 640.  Cropped. Au revior until next week.