Well, hello there!  It’s time to write the blog post. When I can’t think of anything, I look at the pictures on my phone for inspiration.  So this week, please enjoy this travelogue from our recent trip to Cambria, CA, and whatever you do, don’t tell anyone about Cambria, as we love it there and would hate for it to get crowded.  Oops.

Some of the pictures might be familiar as we all take the same kinds of pics on vacation.  How many ways can you photograph a bird or a wave? If you’re a professional photographer, I’m not talking to you, just us civilians.

While sharing these photos of beautiful Cambria, let’s examine their qualities and see if they achieve the photographer’s objective, art-wise.  Since I am the photographer, in this case we actually know, presumably, my objective, unlike those classes in college where they asked us to write a paper on what the author’s intention was, even though the author has been dead for 150 years.  We will rate the photos from 1 to 10.  The marks are high because I’m the sole judge as well as photographer.

Cambria is a small town on the Central Coast of California, just south of Hearst Castle.

Picture 1: bird and turd

This is the quintessential beach vacation shot, the seagull looking out over the rugged coastline.  It’s an okay picture.  A lot of bird shit on that fence.  Would be better without the mesh or whatever that is they put in so some toddler wouldn’t fall off the cliff.  I have to lose a good photo to save a toddler or two?

And the seagull isn’t looking out over the water.  He’s looking sideways at Kiki who is taking a picture a few feet to his left.  He does’t yet know if he can trust her, because he doesn’t know she’s a vegetarian.  (We will use the male or female pronoun randomly unless we know the gender of the animal.)

Color and clarity is good, let’s give it a 6.5.  It’s cliche but at least decently framed.

Picture 2: subtle selfie

Cambria is great for tide pool exploring, a favorite activity of mine.  I was trying to take a picture of this tide pool, but kept seeing my reflection. I tried to move to get out of the picture, and then decided to get right in the middle and take this selfie. Clever, right?

Of course, the objective, to take a tide pool pic, was a complete fail, but the selfie idea, just a reflective selfie, if you will, isn’t bad.  Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that the shape of this particular pool is evocative of a Georgia O’Keefe painting.  Still, it has its good qualities and great clarity.  It earns a 7.

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Picture 3: Kiki en silhouette

Nothing wrong here.  Of course, Kiki hates pictures of herself as much as a lot of women, so this requires tact.  A good picture means she can’t be closer to me than 30 yards, preferably in silhouette.  This worked out well in this case.  I moved to my left so that the guy standing 20 yards behind her is now blocked.  She’ll probably say it makes her look too busty, but you know, to some of us that’s a good thing.

I give the photo a 9.  My objective, to show what I have at home, was a success.  I subtracted one point because… I don’t know, I just felt like.  It’s a little hazy.  And since when do women not like being a little busty?

Pic 4: still life with cork

First of all, if you’re ever up in the area, go to Sebastian’s in San Simeon and sample the Hearst Ranch wines.  You’re welcome.

This is a still life.  There are a lot of rocks.  It’s hard to find shells these days, although I do alright.  Let’s face it, the coasts are pretty well picked clean so you need to find one that just washed up.  These rocks are colorful, and the wine cork, well, this gives the flavor of our vacation, right?

I give it a 5.  I had no objective.  I just had 2 glasses of their excellent Cabernet and was playing around.  There’s a shadow in the photo. Not so good.  Next time you’re over, you can look at the rocks in person. They are pretty.

Pic 5: RIP Dr. John

No rating for this picture.  Just reminded me of Dr. John, may he rest in peace.  What an amazing musician.

Pic 6: Cow or bull

I posted a similar picture on Facebook called “Cow,” and then someone pointed out it might be a bull.  It would be pretty impressive, on the bull’s part, if one could tell its gender from 1/4 mile away.  Still, I like the composition of this shot, and the color, so let’s give it a 9.  I just can’t give myself a 10. There’s always room for improvement.

The objective was perfectly realized: picture of cow on hill with half blue sky and half brown hillside.  Success.  Also, it symbolizes the uphill struggle of life, even for a bovine.  I just made that last part up.

Pic 7: tide pool with anemone

This is a good picture of a tide pool.  You can see the clarity of the water and the colors are good, plus that’s a nice, clean sea anemone up on top.  The objective is realized. Subtract one point for the glare in the lower left. 9  Now, let’s edit and make it a 10!

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Nice!  Okay, 9.5 because one should never give oneself a perfect score.

Pic 10: the coastline

What is it about a coastline? What is it about rocks and water?  And waves and foam? And the natural earthy colors?

Who the hell knows.  Kind of a cliche but let’s give it a 7.5.

This last picture is just okay but I’d like to end with it because it makes people happy.  Here he or she is, the Seal of Approval, waving goodbye at the end of another beautiful day catching fish and crabs and stuff.  No rating, just a fond farewell.

The Seal of Approval

No seals, crabs, or sea anemone in Smoking in Bed.  There is a fishing scene, but no fish are actually caught.

Have a great week and thanks for reading Kleiman Says!


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