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Kritters and other creatures

 Click on the image to see the full set.

Click on the image to see the full set.

 Click on the image to see the full set.

Click on the image to see the full set.

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, near San Diego, is one of my favorite places to enjoy nature. In addition to the usual hiking and camping activities that you would expect, they also have a lot of fun educational programs including presentations by organizations that do animal rescue. I attended the Kruisin Kritters presentation by Sue Miller and the Raptor Rescue presentation by Danny of the Raptor Institute recently and took photos.

These two sets highlight one aspect of my philosophy as a photographer--I like to be as unobstructive as possible when I photograph events. Both of these sets were taken entirely from my seat in the audience (using a telephoto lens) and I didn't even stand up. Since I'm 5'1" that means that pretty much everyone's head is in my way, but with some quick framing and creative post production cropping, I can minimize that effect. You don't need to constantly block everyone else's view to get good photos.

To be clear, I was just a spectator taking pictures at these two events for fun, but if they were events that I was asked to photograph, I would definitely have gotten better vantage points (and would not be sitting down) and would have occasionally obstructed the audience view to get a few good shots. Even so, I think that as a photographer it is important to blend in with the event as much as possible and not block the action for the people who are trying to enjoy it too. I always try to minimize my impact on other people's enjoyment of the scene, no matter what my role.

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Riparian tranquility

I've recently started volunteering with the San Diego River Park Foundation and have been taking pictures of the work that's being done to restore the headwaters habitat as well as the gorgeous environment itself. The Headwaters Habitat Restoration Project seeks not only to improve the current condition of the area but also to foster change that will help ensure a healthy habitat and good water quality for years to come. It is a great way to spend a Saturday morning and I hope to go to many more!

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Kittens and more kittens

There are already plenty of kitten pictures on the internet but I managed to add a few more! The thing is, they never get old, no matter how many I see. Kittens are funny and adorable! Although I had some great subjects, my favorite captures were of mom grooming one of her kittens. Sometimes the kitten responded with playful wrestling but there were also moments when it nestled close to mom and let her keep it safe and clean. All of the photos in this set were taken at the fun, educational, and beautiful Fort Cross in Santa Ysabel, California (near Julian). They have activities for kids of all ages including hayrides, fairy garden making, panning for gold, and a petting zoo.