Orange: Sky, Flames, Balloon…

The first thing I noticed when going through my photos for the orange challenge is that I take a lot of sunset pictures! I made a point to mix it up and narrowed it down to twelve shots, then checked out how they looked together and settled on six. Then I realized I’d forgotten to upload one, and couldn’t bear to leave it out, bringing the gallery up to seven.

Ragged clouds in a blue sky, lit up yellow-orange just like a Maxfield Parrish painting…a bird of paradise flower…a cosplayer at Comic-Con dressed in a jumpsuit, wielding a Portal gun…ocean waves reflecting another sunset, made even deeper orange than usual by smoke from a wildfire….visiting the big orange balloon at Orange County’s Great Park…torches lighting the gateway to Adventureland at night…and finally a sunset shot, silhouetting the Manhattan Beach Pier…


Unexpected (Weekly Photo Challenge)

Tales of the Unexpected

I spent Saturday at a comic book convention, so naturally the first thing that came to mind when I read that this week’s theme was unexpected was this: the old comic book series, Tales of the Unexpected. I had to look through a few back issue bins, but found a few issues.

Long Beach Comic and Horror Con is, despite the name, one of the most comic-focused conventions I’ve been to. Mostly I looked for books, watched displays and people in costumes, listened to discussions by writers and voice actors, and talked with a few artists. Plus in the middle of the day, after lunch, I wandered around the Rainbow Lagoon park adjacent to the convention center. You can read up on the event, or look at more of my photos from the con, featuring costumes, pop culture cars and sightseeing.

Death Star Window

Death Star Window

Partway down the central escalator at the San Diego Convention center, you can look down the long cylindrical skylight that makes up the roof of the lobby, rings forming the appearance of concentric circles. Years ago, a friend of mine referred to it as the Death Star Cannon shot, and it’s a popular one to take, both during Comic Con and at other events.

Death Star Cannon

At this year’s Comic-Con International, I found myself looking at the windows surrounding the stairs instead. My first thought was to mix things up with the classic cannon shot, but when I got home and looked at the results, I realized: This really does resemble the windows in the Emperor’s throne room. It’s still a Death Star shot, but a different part of the station!

If you’d like to see more photos or read more about my experience at the convention, check out I Survived Comic-Con 2013 at K-Squared Ramblings.

Outside WonderCon

Cosplay Crowds

Sometime in the past year, the Anaheim Convention Center tore out a street between two hotels and turned it into a pedestrian plaza with fountains and lights. It turned out to be a great gathering place for con-goers who wanted to take a break, socialize, hold photoshoots, etc.

I’ve written up my experience of the weekend over at K-Squared Ramblings, and you can see more photos on Flickr including exhibits, people in costumes, and sightseeing.

River of Stars

Walking on a River of Stars

Night at the new pedestrian area at the Anaheim Convention Center, taken during WonderCon this past weekend. This walkway replaces a street that used to run between two hotels, and is anchored by fountains at either end. It turned out to be a perfect place for con-goers to gather socially during the day, and for cosplayers to hold photoshoots.

More photos on Flickr including exhibits, people in costumes, and sightseeing.

Nighttime Glass Curves

Nighttime Convention Center View

A view of the Anaheim Convention Center during last year’s WonderCon, a flip side to this daytime view. Normally the convention is held in San Francisco, but remodeling at the Moscone Center last year and scheduling problems this year led them to move to Anaheim. You can read about my experience at the con last year.

This year’s convention is coming up this weekend, and tickets are still available as I write this. I’ll be posting photos and commentary at K-Squared Ramblings as usual.

San Diego at Night

San Diego at Night (with boat trail)

Downtown San Diego’s nighttime skyline, seen from Harbor Island across the bay to the west. You can see the light trails from a couple of boats. The yellowish sky is the reflection of street lights on low-lying clouds. I have a wider shot that shows how much darker the sky is away from the city.

This was taken during last year’s Comic-Con. I figured I’d post it this week because the first round of hotel rooms go on sale this Wednesday. These are non-refundable, outside of downtown, and in some cases specific packages with minimum stays, but if you already have tickets and want to avoid the “Hoteloween” rush when the rest of the rooms go on sale, it might be worth taking a look.

Either way, you might be interested in my collection of Tips for Comic-Con.

San Diego Hotel: Holiday Inn on the Bay

Holiday Inn on the Bay

Hotels went on sale for Comic-Con International this week. I sat things out this year, since we’re only making a day trip. Naturally, everyone I know who was trying to get a room ended up with the smoothest experience in more than five years, rather than the crashes, timeouts, frustration that we’ve come to expect.

In case you didn’t make it through, or if you decide to just chuck it all and do something else, here’s a link to some ideas on how you can still get a hotel in San Diego.

Comic-Con: Down the Barrel

Death Star Cannon View

Comic-Con International sold out this weekend. The convention isn’t until July, which makes the January sell-out surprising enough…but tickets didn’t even go on sale until this past Saturday, and were all gone by the end of the day!

In past years, tickets haven’t been a problem. This year, they’ve become as hard to get as convention-rate hotel rooms. And those? The con hasn’t even announced when they’re going on sale.

This is the view from one of the escalators in the San Diego Convention Center lobby. One of my friends once referred to it as the “Death Star Cannon” view, inspired by the shot of the inside of the cannon firing near the end of Star Wars.

If you got your ticket to San Diego this year, I’d recommend you check out one of these handy guides I’ve put together: