San Elijo Lagoon

Last monday we went to the San Elijo Lagoon for a field trip and I had a blast taking pictures of wonderful native plants and perhaps some not so native.

I really like that they have sage, sun flowers and all sorts of plants. Here are some of the

Encelia californica

Salvi Melifiera

Croton californicus

Baccharis salicifolia

Papaver heterophyllum

Pinus torreyana,

These are some of the plants I have taken at this trip. Hope you all enjoy my photos and more detailed description later.


Harmful Native Plants at San Elijo

San Elijo Lagoon has some fascinating forms of plants and wildlife in this lagoon, but some of the plants can be dangerous so here are just 3 plants that can cause some adverse effects if ingested or touched.


Jimson Weed (Datura stramonium) is a low growing plant that is native to this island but actually came from Mexico but somehow became a native plant. This is a dangerous plant as if you consume it can cause some hallucinogenic effect that can wreak havoc on your nervous system. This plant is also very toxic to pets as well. The name Datura comes from the name Dhatura in Arabic. This plant contains tropanes, such as atrophine. The name Jimson weed is noted when British soldiers ate this plant and acted like insane people.


Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca).

Tree Tobacco is a shrub that goes up to 20′ long but is not actually native to the San Elijo Lagoon. The nectar also provides a nice treat for hummingbirds. This plant is popular with the native indians who like to smoke it and use to treat sore throats, however it should not be consumed raw.


Poison Oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum).

This is a very famous thing that you should avoid. If you touch this plant, you will most likely get a rash. This is a California native plant which grows in Riparian habitats. If you get a rash from this plant, you can easily use soap and water ASAP to try and get rid of it, but the local pharmacies also carry some cream that should be carried in order to help with the rash. Some transition zones have this plant. Poison Oak can even give you some issues if its burning.

These are just some of the dangerous plants or plants in general in the San Elijo Lagoon.

Elfin Forest!

This is my Elfin forest that we did a couple of mondays ago. Some are in black and white and some are in color. I had a lot of fun on this photoshoot and I decided to use my B&W skills and the main skill was to photograph water and try to get it in a special way. I should reshoot this again in the near future but we also had a lesson on native plants. I need to bring a snack as these field trips can make me hungry. I had a good time overall and got to meet some good people and I did get a bit wet in my feet but did not successfully cross the water. I guess it was for the better as I have bad balance and did not want to destroy my old DSLR. Other than that I had a blast.


Last Monday, I saw Rise and it was a really good showing of this film. I was rather shocked to see how badly the Native Americans were treated by the big oil companies who want to build the pipeline. The film is about a group of Native Americans who have a camp and this camp is to stop the pipeline and to preserve their heritage. The biggest problem of the pipeline is that the Native Americans want to keep their water clean of pollutants. Vice themselves did a documentary news clip on the Indian water supply and water is byfar our most precious resource that we must keep clean. Native Americans use that water for their livestock, crops, and more. I actually saw both parts, but I am mainly focusing on the first part as we were only required to watch the first part. I did however, skip the Q&A session as it was getting too long and I had other things to do. The natives are worried that the oil could spill out of the pipeline and into the Groundwater, contaminating the watersupply and effectively killing off their population. Unfortunately, the pipeline is still in limbo as the Trump Administration realizes that the pipeline can bring in Jobs to other people. I was shocked at how large the Sioux population is and even stretching into Canada. In the end it was a good movie, and I probably do not want the pipeline to be built.

I would probably feel bad if my ancient burial grounds had to be dug up to help build a new pipeline. We must preserve our heritage as one day, some corporation builds a large thing over historical lands and that destroys it.

Lake Hodges Shoot

I went out hiking and decided to go to Lake Hodges. I believe this part I have not really seen before, though I did not go to the bridge which I have not been to yet. I hope to go to there again and get the bridge. The shoot went well, but I should have gotten a tripod, but I took these photos yesterday, and the weather was gorgeous but rather warm. It did take a bit out of me, but I was fine doing that. Though this is what I have now and I think I am ready for Elfin Forest. A lot of the photos are in Black and White as I seem to enjoy editing in B&W rather than in color as Color is a great look, but sometimes I feel like the landscape is better in B&W. I also tried to experiment laying down but that did not turn out too well, I guess I can reshoot that somewhere else. I think the look I was going for in B&W was Ansel Adams, but I think I did a good job. I should have stayed longer and gotten the Magic Hour, but I already got that, so I think I am set. I think I learned that sometimes it is good to hike around and survey for a good photograph and to experiment with new trails. I also went there as it is relatively close to my house as well. In the end I had a good photoshoot.

Camille Seaman

Camilles photos are just simply stunning and how she is able to capture storms. I think she has a special relationship with the environment and photography that is hard to beat. I think her relationship in Polar ice is really good and the icebergs are a point that in our lives that we should keep our polar ice as the ice can melt which could raise the sealevels and reduce the amount of land we have on this earth. I liked that her child helped her get into the art of catching storms and photographing them. Each Iceberg has it’s own personality which is rather special as each human also has its own personality.

It does take a special person to track storms in the storm catcher film. The film shows that risk can have a good reward if you can follow your dreams. Her dedication is simply insane. The relationship she has with the storms comes from her Native American roots. I feel that humans are in one with nature and I think the goal of this class is to be one with nature while taking photos along the way.

In the end this concludes my post on this.


Botanic Garden

Last Saturday (due to no class on monday) I went to the Botanic gardens and just simply took a bunch of photos in the garden and just explored it and took photos.I really enjoyed the garden and found it to be very peaceful to shoot there. Since I only had one lens to shoot with I only thought about using my 28-135 is usm lens. I did however bring a polarizer and some shots might have been taken with one. I think it was fun to shoot with a polarizer and to try to slow down the waterfall. I also noticed that there was a wedding on that day, but I do not really have any clandestine photos of it. What I learned is that polarizers are rather fun and exciting to take photos and to just experiement and try new things. What I got out of it was that the Botanic garden is really beautiful and I want to see it again along with a membership as I really want to enjoy this peaceful place. Thankfully I got to go on Saturday as the day after was a rainy day in the afternoon. I also learned that you can still get good depth of field at smaller apertures.

I also did not start at the entrance and went from the Asian portion all the way around to the children section and then to the entrance. I tried to get every single garden and I really liked the native plant section. I still plan on a Part 2, so be stay tuned for that.

Border Cantos

On this week our class was canceled so in lieu of having class that day, we got to see a couple of films. One of the films is a presentation called Border Cantos by Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo. In this current political climate, this film is very significant as you can see that people can easily adapt and can still get through our border. Though this is going to eventually change once our president decides to build a new wall. This is seen with the various art and things that were left out. What is the difference between a landscape and a cultural landscape? I think the difference between a cultural landscape and a landscape is that a landscape is just a traditional photograph, but it can also be cultural. A cultural landscape is a landscape in this film where it shows the landscape but also the culture like the wall for example being artistically done or whatever is left behind in the border. As far as my reaction to the work? I did like the work as it was very good, as the photographs were well made on a large camera and I could hardly tell which ones were done on each camera. It does beg the question that should we allow migrants or should we not allow migrants. On one hand, they could provide benefits for our economy, but on the other hand, some say they could cause problems with our country and eventually want to take over.I do find it fascinating that the Rio Grande border is on land that borders really do divide our nation.

As far as what is different about the goals of the photographer? Landscape as hero, or landscape as actor in a relationship? Or acted upon? I think it is a more acted upon relationship. Though I think I like the fact that he did decided to photograph areas that are not really photographed like the border to show how and why our borders are messed up from the get go. I think it is acted upon as he just simply goes around the borders and just photograph images.

Hour of Magic

Yesterday, I went to Kit Carson park a little after 5 PM and took some nice photos and left until 6PM. I did try to shoot in the morning, but the rain made it hard to shoot. I did not have my tripod, which was probably a bad idea as I had to really crank up the ISO on my old 50D, which shows its age when enhancing the photos and looking up close. I really enjoyed this photo shoot and some are in Black and white. The sunset was really nice, but I think I should have focused on the other side of the mall as I think I would have gotten a better view or just focus on the neighborhood. It had some pretty places to photograph and I would love to photograph at Kit Carson park again.

If I had to do it differently, I would probably go when it is not very rainy and the weather is really nice and sunny for that really nice shot and I want to reshoot again! 🙂 I would also bring a tripod so I do not need to use ISO 3200. Other than that, this is my photoshoot for this assignment.