Tuesday, June 8, 2010

John Finn, RIP

John Finn, RIP - Images by Ronan Gray

I met John Finn at a Memorial Day service on Mount Soledad a few years ago. He sat quietly in the last row of dignitaries seated behind the podium during the ceremonies. As I darted about taking photos for the local newspaper, he caught my eye and we exchanged quiet nods as the keynote speaker rambled on. I didn't know who he was at the time but despite his age and obvious frailty he projected the unmistakable swagger of "that generation" - the veterans of WWII.

At the very end of the proceedings, the speaker turned to look at John and said how deeply honored he was that John - who was the oldest living recipient of the Medal of Honor at the time – had trekked out to attend the Memorial Service that day. The crowd responded with a long standing ovation and John rose slowly and unsteadily from his chair , drawing his hand to his head in a salute.

It was a touching moment and I made a few photos with my long lens. I thought that it would nice to have a cleaner photo of John though so, as the proceedings ended and the dignitaries began to leave their seats, I made my way over to John and introduced myself. He was hard of hearing and two people were assisting him to walk. We spoke about his service and the medal. Even though he must have answered the same questions numerous times, he was patient with me and his answers seemed spontaneous, sharp and witty.

We spoke for a couple of minutes at the most but I was very conscious of his frail physical condition and didn’t want to keep him too long. I asked if I could take a quick photo with the Mount Soledad Memorial in the background. As I stepped back to line up the shot you see above, I bumped into someone. I turned around to apologize and saw that there were about 50 people gathered behind me. Other veterans, Marines in uniform, young men and women - they had converged on the stage right after the ceremony, pushing past Mayor Jerry Sanders, the other politicians and dignitaries directly to John. They had been standing there listening to our conversation in silence absorbing every word. I barely had time to make this frame before they pressed around me, reaching forward to shake his hand, expressing their gratitude and appreciation. The two people who were helping him were obviously used to this and began to gently but swiftly move him on toward a waiting car.

It was an amazing sight to see so many people treat this old man with such respect and reverence, a touching experience that I will always remember.

John died at the age of 100 on May 27. RIP.

You can read about John’s actions at Pearl Harbor that led to him receiving the Medal of Honor and much more in this Washington Post piece from last week here:


Copyright Ronan Gray, 2010, all rights reserved.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Amazing Photos of Pollution in China

Brilliant photos by Lu Guang (卢广) that show how the growth of the Chinese economy is impacting the environment. His images show the physical impact on a human level that everyone can understand. In the end, these type of projects often have more impact and do more to get action to solve the problem than the endeavours of all the scientists trying to quantify the problem by gathering data and presenting it at conferences and papers.

I wrote a piece about an experiment conducted with autonomous aircraft flying over Beijing before and after the 2008 Olympics. The Chinese government took half the cars off the streets on alternating days to reduce pollution leading up the the games. That offered a unique but fleeting chance to take some data that would show the difference in a quantifiable way.

Here's the piece:

First Published in La Jolla Village News, August 2008

Ronan Gray, August 2008:
In the months leading up to the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, the one news story often repeated was not about how well any individual athlete might perform but how much the smog that hangs over China’s second most populous city would affect the performance of each and every athlete in competition. The air pollution in Beijing, the Chinese capital and site of the 2008 summer Olympics can at times be thick enough to obscure the midday sun.

The Chinese government took drastic measures to clean up the air quality ahead of the games, cutting industrial activity by 30 percent, halting all construction and reducing the number of cars on the road by half. The “great shutdown” has not only provided one San Diego scientist a unique opportunity to study human impact on the planet’s surface temperature on a scale that may never be repeated again, it also has the potential to directly impact San Diego’s climate in the coming weeks.

Professor V. Ramanathan is a distinguished professor of atmospheric sciences and the director of the Center for Atmospheric Sciences (CAS) at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He says that the Olympic organizers and the Chinese government have provided a huge and unprecedented opportunity to see what happens when a heavily industrialized region drastically reduces it’s daily emissions.

Drawing an analogy between the current global warming debate and the controversy that followed the first studies to link cigarette smoking and lung cancer Ramanathan says “Imagine that you have a population of cigarette smokers and that you are able to suddenly stop half of them from smoking to see what happens.” The “great shutdown” that China has imposed ahead of the games provides just such an opportunity to observe the impact of human activity on global warming. “It’s a golden opportunity to get some incredible data. I think that such a study, on such a huge scale will never be repeated”, he says.

As part of the Cheju ABC Plume-Monsoon Experiment (CAPMEX), Ramanathan and his team will fly instrument laden Autonomous Unmanned Air Vehicles (AUAV) into the projected path of pollution plumes coming from Beijing over the next eight weeks. The aircraft are small, weighing only sixty pounds with a wingspan of roughly eight feet and are powered by an engine similar to a lawn mower engine. “The engines are located under the back of the aircraft and the instruments that measure the pollution are located on the front. “That way we are sure that we are not measuring our own exhaust” says Ramanathan.

The flights will originate from Cheju, a small island in the Korea Strait, located about 725 miles southeast of Beijing. The initial test flights began on August 9th and the experiment is scheduled to run through Sept. 30. The missions will fly in airspace that is not in use by civilian or military aircraft and although the flight paths are preprogrammed, the AUAVs the ground crew has the ability to intercede and change course at any time.

The fact that the AUAVs will be flying from Korea and not in China or closer to Beijing naturally leads to questions about whether there may be some political reason for the origin of the flights. Ramanathan quickly dispels any such notions though. AUAV flights over populated areas are restricted even in the US where his group is currently flying regular missions from Edwards Air Force Base as part of the California AUAV Air Pollution Profiling Study, (CAPPS). Besides, “at 10,000ft we are sampling air from sources over a 1,000 miles away” says Ramanathan. Thus, “the question of flying over China or Chinese airspace never arose”, he says.

NASA satellites will be recording data in the same study area as the AUAV missions and ground observations will be made in the area at the same time. Satellite studies of the source of air pollution in the region have been ongoing for many years, “particularly from sources in China and Beijing”, says Ramanathan. “The experiment will provide an opportunity to validate those studies with the aircraft and ground observations”. He says that the Korean government has invested roughly half a million dollars in the instrumentation used to make the ground observations that began on August 1st and that three Korean scientists will take part in the experiment.

At the same time, back in California, simultaneous AUAV missions being conducted as part of the nine-month-long CAPPS survey of air pollution over Southern California will be collecting similar atmospheric data. Comparison of the two data sets will help to answer the question of how much of the air pollution from China ends up downwind, over California and San Diego. What impact those sources have on the region’s air quality climate is of increasing interest. The increasing intensity of winter storms in California in recent years may well be one example of the impact according to Ramanathan.

Numerous studies have confirmed the ill effects on human health of suspended black carbon or soot from the burning of coal, diesel fuel and wood and there is no question that they have a significant impact says Ramanathan. But besides the health implications the presence of these aerosols in the atmosphere has the potential to greatly affect the global climate. The Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOX) was a large experiment headed by Ramanathan that led to the discovery of a haze of air pollution 3-km thick lying over most of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and the Indian subcontinent, spreading across an area larger than the continental States. This atmospheric brown cloud (ABC) is filled with black carbon that threaten to reduce rainfall, dry the planet’s surface, cool its tropics, and stifle its rainfall.

The study found that the brown cloud blocks out the sunlight, reducing evaporation and rainfall. The black carbon particles absorb and scatter the sunlight, reducing the amount of heat reaching the surface. The atmospheric heating creates an inversion - where temperatures at higher elevations are greater than those near the surface - that inhibits normal convection and rainfall. The reduction in sunlight reaching the surface has a cooling effect that results in less evaporation from the land and ocean, which in turn leads to a reduction in rainfall.

The fact that the suspended pollutants are having a cooling effect on the planet’s surface may be masking the effects of global warming. Ramanathan and others think that the climate change will accelerate when the air pollutants are removed. It’s an unfortunate coincidence that they have a cooling effect on the planet’s surface and at the same are a major contributor to global warming.

In Beijing the affects of shutting down factories, stopping all construction and removing 2 million cars from the streets seem evident to many attending the games. Haile Gebrselassie, the Ethiopian marathon record-holder, who pulled out of the Beijing race in March citing fears that the pollution could affect his asthma spoke to Reuters news service on Monday last. "I'm surprised. What do you expect from me? I was here in February, I didn't see no blue sky," he said beneath sunny skies in the Chinese capital. "Since I came here everything is perfect."

Independent informal smog measurements by news agencies Associated Press (AP) and the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) show dramatic reductions in suspended particles detected in the air over Beijing since the games began. A rainstorm during the first week appears to have helped to clear out a lot of the pollutants from before the “great shutdown” began. While the connection between reduced human activity and a reduction in air pollution may seem obvious, the question of what the long term affects of suspended soot in the atmosphere will have on the global climate and our own Southern California climate remain. Ramanathan and the other researchers will be trying to unravel that puzzle over the coming months as they study the data from the AUAV flights originating in Korea and California. “The effects of soot reductions during the Olympics on atmospheric heating”, says Ramanathan, “provide a golden opportunity to gain much needed insights into the magnitude of future global warming”.

Copyright Ronan Gray, 2008, 2009. All rights reserved. No reproduction without prior written permission.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Featured Photographer on PhotoShelter

I am one of the featured photographers on PhotoShelter for the month of November. I have had three features on the front page to date.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Worlds Longest SCUBA Dive

Got to go to Ireland for this event. Galway brothers Declan and Paul Devane attempted to set the world record for the longest SCUBA dive in open water of 15C (60F) or less. I shot topside photos and supplied a large (500W) light for them to use underwater.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Going out in Style...

Harley Davidson Motorcycle Trike Hearse - Images by Ronan Gray

This was for a Beach & Bay article that I wrote about this unusual hearse (read more below). The guy was over an hour late showing up but that gave me time to set up lights fire a few test shots and vary the composition a bit. It was a really tight space and no option to move the bike. There was horrible background clutter in almost every direction so only option was to shot up in the direction with the least amount of distracting background elements. There's a busy street with a four way stop-sign right behind him too so I had to have him hold a pose while I waited for traffic to move.
Here's the nerd-out for my fellow lighting-nerds: .This was lit with two lights, both lumedyne classic heads. One in a small sb, (high camera right) to light him and the bring the chrome detail up. The second with a 70-deg reflector was positioned just out of frame camera left (and far to the rear of the scene) pointing slightly forward to bring up the whole shebang by a stop or two. Balance was daylight and I was under ambient by about a stop and a half or so. The rear light was one stop hotter than the front one.

Here's a link to the article as it appeared and here's my (unedited) submission. Thanks to Adriane (editor at the BBP) for tidying it up and making it more newspaper-worthy.

Beach & Bay Press, June 11 2009
Ronan Gray
Beach-area dwellers tend to exhibit a distinctly jaded attitude towards the odd, the strange and the weird. With fire-breathing jugglers performing nightly on the beach, armor-plated tornado-chasing vehicles parked in the neighborhood and kite-propelled surfers hurling themselves thirty feet skyward above the surf, its no wonder that a blasé attitude to the unusual pervades. It takes something truly unique to stop a local in their tracks or to hold up traffic in this town but that’s exactly what one local company managed to do for a few days last week. The macabre sight of a black, glass-sided, Victorian-style hearse pulled by a Harley Davidson was apparently enough to roust many from their apathy and attract a bit of attention on the corner of Cass St. and Diamond St. last week.

The Final Ride is a dark, black, custom-built Victorian-style coach complete with gilded carriage-lamps, crushed velvet interior and six-spoke, chrome wheels that is pulled by a black, chrome-detailed Harley-Davidson “trike” with matching six-spoke chrome wheels. “I can tell you anything you want to know about it except the price”, quips funeral director Douglas Trobaugh, driver of the Pacific Beach Chapel’s most unusual hearse. We are standing on the front lawn of the chapel next to the unique vehicle that has been stopping pedestrians and passing cars in their tracks. “I will tell you this though, I could have bought a couple of nice Cadillacs instead,” he adds.

The hearse and the three-wheeled motorcycle were both built by Tombstone Hearses in Bedford, PA where owner Jack Feather says he is working on the twenty-seventh one right now at a cost of roughly eighty thousand dollars. While most of the twenty-six previous ones have been for funeral homes within the US, he tells me that they have sent two to England, one to the Caribbean and one to Australia. With an estimated 10 million bikers in the States, the demand for the unique hearse is steady, especially in the mid-west according to Feather.

There are over 1.3 million registered motor cycle riders in the state of California according to the CHP *. “This one is the only one [of these hearses] in Southern California”, says Trobaugh who has been riding bikes since his father bought him his first one – a Harley Davidson dirt bike – when he was nine years old. Trobaugh has two brothers, Dave and Dwanye who are also bike riders. Their father John is still riding a Harley at age 75.

Demand for the Final Ride has been steady with about thirty services performed since the funeral home purchased it just over two years ago. In mid-April the funeral procession of a local Vietnam-vet created quite a spectacle in as a procession of over two-hundred bikers followed the Final Ride on a trip from the La Mesa Chapel out to Jamul and back for the deceased man’s last ride

However, its not just bikers who choose this unique tribute. “More than twenty-five percent of them have never ridden a bike”, says Feather at the factory in Pennsylvania. “Lots of little old ladies choose it.” Trobaugh says that the very first service he performed in San Diego was for a 94-year old woman whose family picked the coach for the old-fashioned style that harked back to the turn of the last century when she was born. Of the thirty funerals that Trobaugh has directed with the Final Ride, only six were for bikers.

Back on Cass Street a man approaches Trobaugh who is dressed in a black suit and a black leather jacket that, like the black helmet in his hand, bears the same El Camino Memorial logo that adorns the coach and trike. He asks if is it’s ok to photograph it. “I told my wife about it last night”, he adds after Trobaugh tells him to “go right ahead”. The hearse has been drawing the attention of normally nonchalant locals of all ages and generating a range of reactions. Ray Rios, Funeral Arranger at the Pacific Beach Chapel says that he has had to post a sign on the trike asking people not to climb on top of it for photo ops. “I’ve had people asking me if they can climb inside the coach to pose for pictures,” he adds with a hint of incredulity in his voice.

The Final Ride will spend time between Cass Street and the La Mesa office of El Camino Memorial, the owners of Pacific Beach Chapel. Visitors are welcome to stop by, check it out and photograph it. However, Trobaugh requests that people do not climb on board or in the back, no matter how interesting they may find the spectacle.

The Pacific Beach Chapel is located on the corner of Cass and Diamond in Pacific Beach.

copyright Ronan Gray 2009. All rights reserved. No reproduction without prior written permission.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mission Beach Has No Recycling Pick-Up

Curbside Recycling to be added in Mission Beach - Images by Ronan Gray

I was amazed to discover that Mission Beach (a large beach-side community in San Diego) does not have a curb-side recycling program.  The area is mostly rentals - both long-term  and super-expensive weekly, vacation rentals.  The vast majority of long-term residents are heavily intoxicated twenty-somethings who are still trying to find themselves.  Another large segment is heavily-intoxicated, vacationing forty-somethings trying to find intoxicated twenty somethings of the opposite sex.  It is San Diego's party-central.  I say this with some conviction having lived there for several years while I was a senseless, penniless, illegal immigrant back in the eighties (nowadays I'm a senseless, penniless legal immigrant of course).  There was always something going on and my household alone must have generated several hundred pounds of recycling materials in used alcohol containers per month.  

The fact is that there is so much trash generated down there in a single week that the city has to schedule two regular trash collections per week during the summer months.  If they don't, the alleys begin to look and smell like a Tijuana slum.  Empty pizza boxes and take-out food containers balance precariously on top of bulging trash bags days before the weekly collection is due.   When it does arrive, the trash truck fills up before it gets to the end of the route.  Adding an extra truck doesn't really help because it does nothing to stop the trash piling up days before the weekly collection.  Even if they wanted to, the city couldn't add another truck because it takes a special truck - smaller than the regular ones - to navigate the narrow alleys in Mission Beach and they only have one of those trucks.

Now that the city is rapidly approaching financial ruin, the geniuses at Sander's office decided to cut the extra pick ups to save about $58K a year.  Based on the figures that I got from the manager of the recycling program (see below) I think that the recycling revenue from a single Mission Beach block on a good holiday weekend would cover that.   Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating - it might take a block and a half.

When I say that the weekly rentals are expensive, I mean $1000 to $5000 per week.  The city is supposed to collect a 10.5% "Transient Occupancy Tax" (TOT) on all these vacation rentals.  So again - WTF - there's another massive revenue stream.  There are 1500 residences in the area.  If only ten percent of those were weekly rentals (that's an extremely conservative estimate) the sixteen-week peak vacation season should be generating somewhere between $250K to $1.25M.  How much exactly and aren't those revenues supposed to cover exactly these problems?  The area's city council representative Kevin Faulconer doesn't know and neither does anyone in his office.  I thought that was odd - seems like a significant revenue stream in the district.  They pushed me off to some statistician in the city office who offered to send me a list of the all the residences in San Diego that pay TOT and have me send him back a list of the ones that fall within the Mission Beach address (which shares a zip code with Pacific Beach) so that he could get me a figure.   Probably a few days work there at least which a publication like the BBP does not have the means to support - so what are the city employees for if not to supply the media and the public with that sort of data?  So what the hey, Faulconer's office gets to blow off the questions with out really saying that they did.  They put on their best exasperated voices when I repeatedly asked them why they have no idea what the figure is. It has to be a significant revenue stream from their district, but they just got huffy and kept referring me back to the statistician at the city.

Faulconer threw a press conference to announce that he would use "discretionary funds" to fund the extra trash pickups for this year and part of next year until a new truck and recycling bins are purchased and put in place around July 2010 (see article below for details).  Faulconer to the rescue once again - and adding a much desired recycling program to boot.  Many questions remain in my mind:  Did Sanders make this soft cut in January knowing that Faulconer (the only fellow GOP'er left on the council) would be able to "save" the program and stage yet another seemingly dramatic coup?  Will people actually use the recycling program?  What impact do the homeless collectors have on the volume of recyclable material right now - and if they are already carting away a large portion of it, will adding a recycling pick-up in Mission Beach cure the overflowing trash can problems and eliminate the need for a bi-weekly summer trash pick ups (as everyone is saying it will)?

There was an amazing symbiotic relationship between us (obnoxious, partying twenty somethings) and the areas homeless population when I lived there:  We ran / ranted / fell on the sand / ocean / boardwalk while draining large volumes of alcohol containers in the sun until we were drooling. The homeless then slipped in and took away the empties for recycling to get their "lunch money".  It was a huge recycling program on a scale that didn't exist anywhere else as far as I can tell.  This is long before any official one existed in San Diego or perhaps anywhere else in the world.  The alleys and beaches never had an empty aluminium can on the sand for long - the homeless collectors took care of that and kept the area clean in the process.

Apparently the city offered the community recycling when it first introduced it in the rest of the city but the local council rejected it.  The story is that there was some revenue at stake for the council and the local community centers (particularly the on Santa Clara).  The revenue in question was coming from the recycling material collected in several recycling skips that they have located around the area.  People have to drive to them to drop off their recyclables.  I know how many of my contemporaries would have taken the time to do that - none.  For a start, many of us didn't even own a vehicle and even if we did, I can't imagine what would have motivated any of us to waste important time doing that - what with all the alcohol to be consumed, what was in it for us?

However, it seems like there were enough of a revenue stream from the drop-off sites for the local council to care.  If this new curbside pickup works as the city expects, the revenue from recycling in the area may well set some sort of city, national or global record.   With the alcohol ban in place, most people will be consuming around the house / condo / apartment and fecking the containers straight into the bin before heading outside for a quick run / rant / fall on the sand / skateboard / concrete.  Does this mean the extinction of the homeless recycling dude (& dudette)?  Time will tell I guess, but from the sounds of it (see article below), they are actually looking forward to a significant time savings by virtue of the fact that their source of "lunch money" will now be conveniently located in one clearly marked container.

Here's the article as I wrote it - without my questionable opinions as stated above.  Editor Adriane Tilman at the BBP did a decent job editing it (i.e.  in writer-speak that means "didn't hack up my original masterpiece too much").  You can see the published version here.

Beach & Bay Press - Mission Beach to get Recycling Program
by Ronan Gray

District 2 councilmember Kevin Faulconer announced today that he plans to use $80K of discretionary funds to continue a long-standing program of supplemental trash pick-ups from residents in Mission Beach during the summer months.  The program, which fell to budget cuts early this year had provided two trash pickups per week during the summer to residents in Mission Beach.  The area does not have a curbside recycling program and annually experiences a dramatic population increase between Memorial Day and Labor Day that is accompanied by a corresponding increase in trash.


According to Falconer’s office the supplemental summer trash pickups - which cost the city about $58,500 per year - will be replaced by a recycling program after July 2010 when a specially designed truck will be purchased to navigate the narrow alleyways of Mission Beach.  Chris Gonaver, director of the Environmental Services Department says that the city currently has one such truck know as an “AlleyCat”.  That truck is already completely occupied with trash collections in Mission Beach and parts of Downtown San Diego that also have narrow alleyways.  The new truck, which will be dedicated to the recycling program will cost the city an estimated $500K including blue recycling containers for the areas roughly 3500 residences.  Faulconer’s office estimates that the program will cost roughly $90K annually there after.


Citywide the recycling program cost roughly $9m and generated almost $7m in revenue from the recycled materials in 2008 according to San Diego City Waste Reduction Program Manager, Stephen Grealy.  “Last year we collected eighty thousand tons of commodities” says Grealy referring to the recyclable elements of the trash.  “With the commodities markets the way they are though, we are anticipating only $4.5m in revenue this year” he adds.


Mission Beach residents opted out of the curbside program in 2000.  According to Kip Sturdevan of the Environmental Services Dept., the Mission Beach Town Council requested drop off sites: "I went to one of the meetings where we described the recycling program (we wanted them to be part of it) and they decided against it, asking that we provide more drop off sites instead. The rationale on their part was twofold: first they wanted more money for their community centers (the proceeds from the drop off sites went to their Park and Rec council) and they felt it would be too many containers in their alleys."


Area residents do want recycling now though and attribute much of the additional trash to visitors staying in weekly condo rentals.  Bill Bradshaw of Mission Beach Town Council feels confident that most of these visitors will take the time to separate their recyclables from the trash.  “Some will, other won’t take the trouble,” says the 78-year old long time Mission Beach resident as he unloads recyclables from his truck during his weekly trip to the recycling drop off point on Santa Clara Drive.  “It’s not nearly as cumbersome anymore now that you can put them all into one can instead of separate glass, metal and paper containers.  Most of them are used to doing it at home anyway.”


One natural question is whether the 10.5% Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) charged on all rentals of less than one month duration could be used to supplement the trash collection.  It seems only rationale to many residents since the source of the additional trash seems obvious to them.   “The population of Mission Beach triples during the summer. Of course we have many vacation rentals.  They are everyone who enjoys vacationing at the beach, lots of Arizona people of course,” says Mission Beach Town Council and area resident Bob Craig. Faulconer’s office was unable to provide any data on the estimated TOT revenue from the area, referring us to the city for more information.  However, by many estimates of the number of weekly rentals in the area that charge thousands per week, the TOT revenue should generate several million dollars annually – more than enough to fund the additional trash collection.


As Faulconer and Mayor Jerry Sanders stood before a bank of cameras and reporters in Mission Beach to announce the new plans this morning, a disheveled man with long unkept hair, a scruffy beard and a mouth full of broken teeth stood in the background.  Mike Howell is a homeless man with a less than subtle hint of alcohol on his breath.  He says that he will be fifty in September but he looks younger than that, especially for someone who claims to have been living outside, in and around the parks and beaches of Mission Bay since 2000.  He spends about an hour and a half each day collecting recyclables from the trashcans in the area to generate about $20 a day in “lunch money”.  He complains bitterly about being ticketed for scavenging recyclable metal and plastic containers from the city’s black, wheeled trashcans in the only neighborhood in the city that does not have a curbside recycling program.  “If people are going to put it in the trash and it’s going to go straight to the landfill, how can you be mad at me for picking it up?”


For years, a symbiotic relationship has existed between beach goers and the people like Mike who scour the beach for discarded recyclable aluminum cans, plastic containers and bottles.  The practice helps to keep the beach clean and is so common that the Grealy says that they abandoned a project to place recycling containers on the sand.  “When we got the containers back to the depot, there was nothing of value left in them.”  With the year old alcohol ban in place, people like Mike are having to search through the trashcans in the lanes and alleys of Mission Beach for recyclables.  When asked how the new recycling program will affect him he scoffs and says that he doubts that many visitors will bother to separate their trash.  Even if they do, he says with a wry smile, it will merely make it easier for him to gather his daily quota from the new blue bins.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pacific Beach Easter Procession

April was a busy month for everything except photo & writing work. I did manage to squeeze in one assignment for the Beach & Bay Press though. Each year on Good Friday a handful of the local churches do an Easter Procession around Pacific Beach, stopping along the way to pray and sing. It's an interesting spectacle.  I used camera mounted strobe for some shots (sometimes with a single CTO gel) but most were just available light.  Here's the gallery:

Good Friday Procession 2009 - Images by Ronan Gray