Poolwarming Party, 7/24/10

We had a fun party to celebrate our new house, summertime, and Heather’s parents being in town.

Housewarming Party 72410 © Michael Klayman-004

Housewarming Party 72410 © Michael Klayman-006

 Housewarming Party 72410 © Michael Klayman-011

Housewarming Party 72410 © Michael Klayman-002

That tomato is getting its own post later.

Housewarming Party 72410 © Michael Klayman-018

Housewarming Party 72410 © Michael Klayman-012

Housewarming Party 72410 © Michael Klayman-014

My friend Nikki Schaeffer made the cupcakes and they were amazing as always. My favorite was the Irish Carbomb cupcake, with Guinness cake and Bailey’s frosting.

Housewarming Party 72410 © Michael Klayman-016

Jason Robinson, Harley Magsino, and Fernando Gomez played a set in the early evening.

Housewarming Party 72410 © Michael Klayman-025

And then I stopped taking pictures and started having fun. Thanks to Heather’s parents for helping us get the house in order before the party and then again the next day. It was a great night because of them.

Sleep Lady, Drug Wars at Casbah, 7/13/10

Sorry it’s taken me so long to post this show, I had in-laws in town and wasn’t able to spend my usual amount of time at the computer. The good news is that lots of stuff is fixed around the house and I got to know them a little better!

Anyway, a couple weeks ago I was at the Casbah to say goodbye to Jim Benuska leaving San Diego for Nashville. Before he went on, Drug Wars warmed up.

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

Drug Wars at Casbah 71310 © Michael Klayman-001

It was pretty much just a clatter to my ears.

Drug Wars at Casbah 71310 © Michael Klayman-002

The drummer is the main guy behind CS Touring, which books lots of popular San Diego bands.

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Mike Hayden has been writing music for a long time, and he finally put together Sleep Lady to showcase his ideas. I’ve known him for about a year now, I guess, and that whole time he’s told me about how he’s a musician without a band and he needs to get back into it. I can relate.

Sleep Lady at Casbah 71310 © Michael Klayman-010

Faithful readers will recognize some familiar faces.

Sleep Lady at Casbah 71310 © Michael Klayman-005

Mario and Sarah just got engaged recently!

Sleep Lady at Casbah 71310 © Michael Klayman-009

Sleep Lady at Casbah 71310 © Michael Klayman-007

I hate comparing bands to each other, but Mike’s got that eclectic Chicago sensibility that has spent a lot of time listening to Tortoise and Pelican. He makes slow-building, major-key metal.  And his wife, Kristy, plays the keys, adding a good dose of electronica.

Sleep Lady at Casbah 71310 © Michael Klayman-004

Good luck in your move, Jim. I’m going to miss your hard-hitting drum style in Marasol, Mod Amish, and for one show, Sleep Lady. You’re a nice guy who always has a smile on your face, and it was a pleasure to get to know you.

Sleep Lady at Casbah 71310 © Michael Klayman-003

Nashville is very lucky.

C Level Lounge and Kona Kai Luau, 7/9/10

The next day we checked out of the hotel and hung out until it was happy hour time at Island Prime’s lounge, called C Level. I actually received a nice note from the chef and manager a couple days ago complimenting me on the Island Prime shots. So here’s some more!

C Level Lounge 70910 © Michael Klayman-003

C Level Lounge 70910 © Michael Klayman-001

The poke is too small to share, so we also ordered the mussels.

C Level Lounge 70910 © Michael Klayman-002

Oh what the hell, potstickers too! We’re on vacation!

C Level Lounge 70910 © Michael Klayman-004

After happy hour, we went back to the same beach I shot on the night before, only now it was transformed into a Luau setting, complete with getting a lei put on me by a girl in a grass skirt.

Kona Kai Luau 70910 © Michael Klayman-006

As we walked to our seats, I took what I thought was going to be my only shot of some dancers on stage.

Kona Kai Luau 70910 © Michael Klayman-001

I wasn’t going to shoot a lot at this thing. I really wanted to keep the camera away from the crowds, food, and sand. But then they sat us in the very front row, right in between the band and the stage. I’ll that as a message that I better keep it out. There’s more cute kids in the full gallery. It was fun to see their individual interpretations of the dance moves.

Kona Kai Luau 70910 © Michael Klayman-012

Kona Kai Luau 70910 © Michael Klayman-003

The adult dancers went through lots of costume changes and dances while we ate our roast pork, mac salad, and other Hawaiian fare.

Kona Kai Luau 70910 © Michael Klayman-028

Kona Kai Luau 70910 © Michael Klayman-036

Kona Kai Luau 70910 © Michael Klayman-047

Kona Kai Luau 70910 © Michael Klayman-057

Kona Kai Luau 70910 © Michael Klayman-058

At the end, they brought up audience members for some help.

Kona Kai Luau 70910 © Michael Klayman-038

Kona Kai Luau 70910 © Michael Klayman-041

This little girl spent a while dancing by herself right in front of the stage, people actually had to come over and escort her away and she’d sit down for a couple more minutes before jumping back to the front and dancing more. She had the biggest smile on her face. This next boy was just overwhlemed by the cute girls all around.

Kona Kai Luau 70910 © Michael Klayman-039
 

Kona Kai Luau 70910 © Michael Klayman-016

Three years, Heather! Love ya!

Kona Kai Marina at night, 7/8/10

Late at night on our anniversary, I ventured down to the marina outside our room to shoot some of the boats.

Night at Kona Kai Marina 70810 © Michael Klayman-002

One thing about shooting long exposures of boats, they move. To keep them sharp, I had to stick to 5 second exposures or less. Lighting wasn’t an issue since there were plenty of sodium vapor lights illuminating the boats. I do like to use longer exposures to blur the water, though.

Night at Kona Kai Marina 70810 © Michael Klayman-008

I even got to see some Fireworks way off in the distance. Sea World, I think.

Night at Kona Kai Marina 70810 © Michael Klayman-010

More photos if you click through to the full gallery.

Anniversary, 7/8/10

For our anniversary this year, we chose to do a “staycation” to save money for home improvements. Priceline is awesome when it comes to getting killer mid-week deals on nicer hotels. We spent two nights at Kona Kai on Shelter Island.

Kona Kai and Beaches 70810 © Michael Klayman-002

The view from our balconey was very nice. I knew I would be shooting some night shots of those boats, and we were to have a luau on the private beach in a couple days.

We did have constant visitors to the patio who didn’t really care how close I got to them, as long as I stayed behind glass.

Kona Kai and Beaches 70810 © Michael Klayman-006

Our nighttime entertainment constisted of taking a cab to El Camino to see Gilbert Castellanos’s jazz jam, where I drank enough Tecate tallboys to give myself the hiccups for the rest of the night. When we woke up the next morning, it was the three year anniversary of our wedding.

For the first time ever, we didn’t plan anything for the day, just going with the flow and seeing what happens. Breakfast at Broken Yolk Cafe in PB didn’t happen until noon.

Broken Yolk Cafe 70810 © Michael Klayman-001

Did you know that you can get pomegranate mimosas at Broken Yolk? Well you can!

Broken Yolk Cafe 70810 © Michael Klayman-004

I had the Huevos Divorcados, or “Divorced Eggs”. Two sunnyside up eggs served on a corn tortilla with a tomatillo sauce and a red salsa, each covering their own egg. I ordered this dish just to be ironic, and I paid for it with wicked heartburn later. It was not worth the joke.

After breakfast, we drove to the sugar shack at Winansea beach- a place we’ve always talked about going to for romantic images.

Windansea Beach with Heather 70810 © Michael Klayman-003

I’ll spare you the kissy photos, unless you click through to go to the full gallery.

Windansea Beach with Heather 70810 © Michael Klayman-006

No girl can rock a Hostile Pullover like my girl.

Windansea Beach with Heather 70810 © Michael Klayman-007

For dinner, we had the Summer Sunset Menu at Island Prime on Shelter Island. At $40 a person for three courses, it was a frugal way to sample the food at this upscale restaurant.

Dinner at Island Prime 70810 © Michael Klayman-001

We started with delicious cocktails and a gorgeous view of the bay and boats.

Dinner at Island Prime 70810 © Michael Klayman-002

After a few minutes at the table, we were served warm popovers with herbed butter. they were very light, since they were hollow inside, leaving nothing but a light, flaky outer crust.

Dinner at Island Prime 70810 © Michael Klayman-004

Heather had the lobster bisque, and I had the BLT Wedge salad.

Dinner at Island Prime 70810 © Michael Klayman-005

Dinner at Island Prime 70810 © Michael Klayman-006

The lobster bisque was very creamy and had a very fresh flavor. The salad was exactly what you’d expect. For the main course, Heather had the filet and I had the cedar planked salmon.

Dinner at Island Prime 70810 © Michael Klayman-007

Dinner at Island Prime 70810 © Michael Klayman-008

My salmon was served with a black linguini in chipotle cream sauce and cucumber salsa. I’ve cooked just as good a salmon steak on my grill and the salsa seemed like it was just diced cucumber and onion. The linguini was tasty, just a little too much after such a heavy breakfast backlash. We each had a spoonful of dessert, a wonderful brownie with peanut butter ice cream and carmelized bananas, before getting the rest wrapped up for devouring an hour later at the hotel.

The second half will be posted later.

Backyard Sunset, 7/15/10

I don’t usually post out of order, but we had a really pretty sunset after a mid-July rainshower.

Backyard Sunset 71510 © Michael Klayman-001

I don’t think a San Diego July has seen measurable rain in the past 8 years we’ve lived here.

Backyard Sunset 71510 © Michael Klayman-010

The clouds receded very slowly as the color changed behind them. The lit areas didn’t expand or contract for about 10 minutes, and right at the perfect time.

Backyard Sunset 71510 © Michael Klayman-004

None of these colors have been processed, this is all nature.

Backyard Sunset 71510 © Michael Klayman-007

Shooting clouds after a rainstorm can be magical, especially if it happens at sunset. Tonight I saw the sky light up in many colors.

Photos from a show and a special weekend are coming up soon. 

Fourth of July in Mira Mesa, CA, 7/4/10

Happy Birthday, America!

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Grilled Tandoori Chicken, made with spicy Tandoori powder, yogurt, lemon juice, oil, S&P:

Mira Mesa Fireworks 70410 © Michael Klayman-002

Foil packet grilled potatoes with italian seasonings and peppers:

Mira Mesa Fireworks 70410 © Michael Klayman-003

And large grilled onion slices, direct heat for a little char, then finished with indirect heat to soften and caramelize the sugars:
 
Mira Mesa Fireworks 70410 © Michael Klayman-004

A few hours later, after a nap and borrowing my neighbor’s ladder, I climbed my roof for a great view of the Mira Mesa fireworks.

Mira Mesa Fireworks 70410 © Michael Klayman-003
 

Mira Mesa Fireworks 70410 © Michael Klayman-008

Mira Mesa Fireworks 70410 © Michael Klayman-013

Mira Mesa Fireworks 70410 © Michael Klayman-024

Mira Mesa Fireworks 70410 © Michael Klayman-028

I’m grateful to be living in America and to have achieved the American dream. I should be living half a world away where I was born, and luck brought me here to San Diego. As many problems as the United States seems to be having these days, it’s still the best place to live.

A Scribe Amidst the Lions, Irradio at the Radio Room, 6/25/10

I love shooting bands that I’ve never heard before and don’t know anything about. I get to hear new music and study the movements of the band members to fighure out how best to capture them. This is what I did for a long time when starting out with this blog, and all the bands were new to me. But this particular post is going to be about something else.

I’ve shot both of these bands numerous times, so I know how they move and how to capture their stage personalities. Their CDs are in constant rotation in my car, and I enjoy chatting with them when we see each other out and about. Shooting friends is different than shooting strangers.

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.

Irradio at Radio Room 62510 © Michael Klayman-001

The stage at the Radio Room is also a friend of mine. The lights are usually bright enough to use my zooms and I can get some good angles. I hope it’s still this nice when it turns into 11.

Irradio at Radio Room 62510 © Michael Klayman-012

It’s easy to get close to friends, so I used my ultra-wide angle lens exclusively this night. To fill the frame, I basically have to be right up Irradio’s nose. Since they’ve gotten pretty comfortable with me there, there’s a bit more interaction between us- it’s not so one-sided.

Irradio at Radio Room 62510 © Michael Klayman-004

Even the new guy, Danny, gave me the finger.

Irradio at Radio Room 62510 © Michael Klayman-006

Irradio at Radio Room 62510 © Michael Klayman-005

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Same thing with A Scribe Amidst the Lions- great music and great people.

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at Radio Room 62510 © Michael Klayman-002

For example, Kris jumps around a lot and has piercing eyes. That’s what I try to capture every time, but it’s easier when there’s an element of trust between us.

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at Radio Room 62510 © Michael Klayman-010

Adam is a bit more deadpan and I’m trying to highlight that in an interesting way.

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at Radio Room 62510 © Michael Klayman-003

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at Radio Room 62510 © Michael Klayman-013

Once again, mutual trust is very important. Without it, I would never have gotten up on stage and shot from the band’s perspective. This was actually my first time doing it.

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at Radio Room 62510 © Michael Klayman-009

They always bring women who crowd the front. If you’re going to shoot an audience, it might as well be all ladies.

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at Radio Room 62510 © Michael Klayman-008

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at Radio Room 62510 © Michael Klayman-006

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at Radio Room 62510 © Michael Klayman-007

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at Radio Room 62510 © Michael Klayman-016

Speaking of ladies…

A Scribe Amidst the Lions at Radio Room 62510 © Michael Klayman-017

I’m not a huge fan of the paparazzi style photographers who shoot the “scene” instead of the band. But, it would be a disservice to not include the fans who I run into at shows. I’ve been doing more and more of this lately, and it’s yet anotherr challenge I’m setting for myself. A lot of those other guys are just shooting the hot girls or hipster fashions as a matter of spectacle. They might make much better money doing that in a trendy club than what I do, but I’m taking photos for the people in them, not for some anonymous reader. Hopefully that comes through in the end.