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l i f e | D R U M M I N G C I R C L E

By the light of the full moon, on a beach in Laguna, a crowd of people gathered together to beat drums, shake maracas, shine lasers, hula hoop and dance around a bonfire.  

We dragged along our large Djembe drum, my camera and some open minds - we didn't really know what to expect.  The place was packed.

It was a very cool event to be a part of and seemed to draw people of all walks of life.  There were the people drumming and dancing.  There were people twirling lights and hula hooping. Some shining lasers into the sky and into the ocean.  There were children and adults and all ages in between.  There was even a much older couple who were drumming and playing ukulele right outside the immediate circle.  It was awesome!

I mostly floated around everyone, weaving in and out of rocks and beach chairs, and all the people doing their thing while I photographed.  I used the light that was available, it was changing constantly and I was using slow shutter speeds (hand held) for the entire night. By photographing this way, under these conditions I got some really interesting captures. Check 'em out.  and if you ever have the opportunity to attend a drumming circle - do it!   

Here is a group of people swinging and twirling lights around.

Here is a group of people swinging and twirling lights around.

Here is a laser light being shone on the ocean.

Here is a laser light being shone on the ocean.

This was girl spinning a hula hoop.

This was girl spinning a hula hoop.

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d i n n e r | R I G A T O N I A L A E G G P L A N T

A delicious dinner that's packed with veggies.  It's simple, colorful, fresh and fast.  The rigatoni has a nice chewy bite and the sauce clings onto the grooves, as well as in the tubes.  It's week night doable and approved by adults and children too.  Switch up your next meal from the traditional red sauced pasta dish and give this a try.  

serves 5 or 6 

Rigatoni ala Eggplant

1  medium eggplant, cut into 3/4" cubes 

1  medium vidalia onion, large dice

3 large garlic cloves, finely minced

1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes - I used the heirloom variety from Trader Joe's

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

10 basil leaves, torn

6 -8 oz. feta cheese - crumbled

14 oz. can reduced sodium chicken broth

8 oz. water - divided

Olive Oil

1 lb. rigatoni pasta - I use DiCecco - cooked al dente


To make the sauce:

Heat a dutch oven,  covering the bottom with a thin layer with olive oil, until shimmering.  Toss in the diced the eggplant and onion and saute in until browned and beginning to soften.   Add the minced garlic and sprinkle in 1/3 of the salt, black pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes.  Add additional oil if needed, so eggplant doesn't stick.  Continue to saute until onion becomes translucent and eggplant is soft.  Toss in the cherry tomatoes.  Add 1/2 cup of the water, let simmer until water evaporates.  Add the can of chicken broth and half the torn basil.  Stir and simmer until sauce has creamy consistency and tomatoes have begun to burst.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference.  I added the additional 1/2 tsp of salt.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup water for a looser sauce.  

Boil water and add 1 tsp of kosher salt to water.  Cook pasta to al dente.  Drain and immediately toss in 1/2 the eggplant sauce.  Garnish with remaining sauce, crumbled feta cheese and remaining torn basil.


Now eat.  Oh, and try not to go back for seconds.  I dare you!




l i f e | S A N O N O F R E B E A C H S U R F B E A C H

Do you hear me? I’m talking to you. Across the water, across the deep blue ocean
— Jason Mraz

Wow, what a cool beach!  It was the first time I have ever waited in a line of cars to get into a beach.  For every car that came out, one car waiting in line was let in.  So we sat and we waited, behind a white hearse, which seemed odd.  We discussed the possibilities of what brought them there.  Were the drivers there on a mission to spread someone's ashes? or maybe just to catch a few gnarly waves between funerals ... I dunno, guess we'll never know!  

Once we got in we saw why the line existed in the first place.  There were waves breaking as far as you could see and surfers, who looked like tiny little figures bobbing in the ocean next to their long boards. Then, we heard it.  The rocks were rollin'.  I've never heard anything like it.  With each wave that rolled in the rocks came rolling toward the shoreline and then they rolled right back down into the ocean making this loud, rock rolling, swishing, knocking noise. It was SO cool!  Need to get a video clip next time. 


Member, Professional Photographers of America