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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Cabazon Dinosaurs – Cabazon, CA

Address:  50800 Seminole Drive, Cabazon, CA 92230  [ Map It ]

The Cabazon Dinosaurs are a well known roadside attraction off Interstate 10 on the way to Palm Springs. In the early days of the dinosaurs, nothing much was out that way. Now, the dinosaurs are surrounded by palm trees and buildings, making photographing them more difficult each year.

If you visit in the winter months, some great snow capped mountains can be had behind the dinosaurs, making for a great shot.

Capturing the Shot: The dinosaurs make for a good subject on a clear day if shooting up towards the sky capturing their upper torso and forgetting their feet, unless you have a model posing.

Also, because Bob Hope Airport in Palm Springs is just a hop down the Interstate, jets will often leave their contrails across the skies. They don’t seem to dissipate too quickly, so try to make them work for you. For instance, when I was shooting the T-Rex, a contrail was present in the sky, so I just framed my shot so the contrail appeared to be smoke coming out of the dinosaur’s mouth, giving him a Godzilla appearance (see photo).

Try visiting the nearby Wind Farm in Desert Hot Springs for some shots of windmills after your through photographing the dinosaurs.

Posted in Architecture Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Wind Farm – Windmills – Desert Hot Springs, CA

Address:  Lat 33.910235, Lng -116.562491  [ Map It ]

Like the Cabazon Dinosaurs, the wind farm in Desert Hot Springs can been seen off Interstate 10 on the way to Palm Springs where windmills scatter the desert landscape. Starting near Whitewater and continuing into Palm Springs, by checking the frontage roads, you can get up close and personal with the windmills, which offer some unique perspectives. Whether shooting up at one individual windmill or zooming out for a wide angle view of many of them, you can depict the enormous size of these windmills or the green energy they provide.

Capturing the Shot: Clear skies offer up a bright blue sky against the contrasting mountains and windmills. Too cloudy of a day or overcast and the windmills will seemingly merge with the sky making for a rather bland photo. Because of the high winds in the area, you can often sit until ugly clouds pass by in relatively quick order.

Posted in Architecture Photography, Landscape Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Prehistoric Pets – Fountain Valley, CA

Address:  18822 Brookhurst Street, Fountain Valley, CA 92708  [ Map It ]

Prehistoric Pets is a unique pet store in that they carry an unusual inventory of pets not readily found elsewhere as well as food and supplies for those pets. But you don’t need to be looking to buy some of these exotic pets to visit their store because they have a small zoo of sorts. For a $5.00 fee, you can walk through their miniature zoo and see some very unique critters.

Here you’ll find several American Alligators (and not the small ones either), rattlesnakes, pythons, boa constrictors (both small and really huge), turtles, tortoises, iguanas, geckos, chameleons, and monitor lizards to name just a few.

When you walk in the door, on the right you’ll find a large fountain containing many fish and turtles. On your left are the Galapagos tortoises. You pay the zoo fee at the front counter, and the zoo begins behind the small bamboo gate on your left. Go straight ahead to find the main zoo area or immediately to your right and follow the enclosures down and then around the corner (I almost passed this section by as most proceed right into the main area).

I spent about an hour walking around and just watching the various animals. It doesn’t look very big when you first walk in, but it’s laid out much like a maze — find a dead end, go back and find another section. Be sure to look around every corner or you’ll likely miss an entire section. Don’t be afraid to ask a staff member to point out where the different sections are or even go back to the counter and ask for a quick tour of the sections so that you’ll know exactly where they are. The staff is friendly and always happy to help.

Hint: Nothing is behind a closed door and all sections are accessible, some look like dead ends but really aren’t. So always be sure to look around each corner before turning around.

Capturing the Shot: Since these animals are behind glass, a polarizing filter for your lens is helpful in order to shoot through the reflections in the glass.

Photography is allowed and you can capture some unique photos here. I didn’t ask if flash photography was allowed since I wasn’t planning on using one. The place is well lit and I figured that, since many of these animals are venomous or can outright eat you, and only an 1/8th inch piece of glass separated them from me, it’s probably best not to anger them.

Posted in Wildlife Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |