Photography is a creative and amusing way to express yourself when you do not feel like writing. Yesterday I was trying to write ablogwhere I described creating my pumpkin drawing, and I had a bad case of writer’s block. I kept looking at news articles, but I decided to take a break and play around with my camera. Usually I take a lot of self-portraits because I do not have anyone who wants to be a model for me, so at least I do not have to charge myself. Actually, self-portrait photography is an art form that has fascinated humans for centuries, and there are many websites devoted to this genre. This photo essay captures various activities in my daily life, and it is a documentary of sort. Life in Southern California is pleasant, warm, and not as fast paced as it has to be. You choose your pace, and you live life according to the terms you set. All the photos and text in this hub were created by me J Hanna, and may not be used without permission.
The San Bernardino Mountains
Going for a walk an a forest trail in the San Bernardino Mountains brings me happiness. I grew up in the San Bernardino Mountains, so I always enjoy going up there for the day. When I have my camera on hand, I always seem to capture some interesting images without intending to do so.
Bird flying high in the sky.
The rope swing on a solitary forest road.
We played on that rope swing as kids, and it is still standing over twenty-years later. I have fond memories of running down that forest road to play on the swing when I was ten years old, and now my niece and nephew do the same thing.
Looking up a hillside in the San Bernardino Mountains.
Living in the mountains involves a lot of looking up and down hillsides. You walk up steep hills, and you walk down 45 degree inclines on a daily basis. I remember once walking my dog on a particular street I had never ventured down previous, and at first I was too scared to go down the 45, to almost 60 degree incline. Actually, I let my dog pull me down the hill the first time, and then learned it was a great workout walking up those hills on the way back. However, that first time walking down the hills is comparable to many in San Fransisco, but try walking down this street on an icy day! The thing I enjoyed about this street is how isolated it was, and sometimes cars would not even pass you during a half-hour or so walk.
This tree fell after a recent storm.
I was intrigued by a tree that fell after a recent snow storm in the San Bernardino Mountains.
Hiding behind the fallen oak tree.
Tree coulter pine cones in the forest.
I decided to take a picture of myself hiding behind the fallen oak tree, and then I spotted three magnificent coulter pine cones sitting together. It looks like the three pine cones are having a conversation.
The Urban Forest
Many people are under the impression that cities do not have a forest, but that is not the case in the Inland Valley of sunny Southern California. Here many cities have planted palm trees and orange groves over a hundred years ago, and cities such as Redlands and Loma Linda are striving to protect these trees. Also, many other various types of trees are planted around city streets in the Inland Empire. Here are a few pictures I took of trees in our urban area of Southern California, which happens to still be a bit more rural than LA proper and San Bernardino.
Clouds wafting above an orange field in Loma Linda, California.
Another picture of clouds and an orange field.
Cloudy sky above an orange field in Southern California.
The video below shows what a Southern California orange field looks like, if you have never seen one in person. I enjoy walking by this orange field every few days or so.
The orange fields in Loma Linda are truly delightful to photograph, especially since so many cities have cut theirs down over the years. I feel fortunate that I live near cities that believe in preserving their orange fields, and it is a shame that so many of these were cut down just build more houses and businesses. It seems as if these could have been built in other locations, but I have always preferred that some space be kept wide open and aesthetically pleasing. I also enjoy photographing palm trees, as you can see in the photos below.
Two tall palm trees look like they are having a conversation.
The palm trees above look like they are conversing, and reminded me of the the three coulter pine cones I photographed up in the mountains that were huddled in a group. It is fun to personify inanimate objects that you photograph, and gives you a creative way to look at your subjects. These are just a few of the images from my daily life in Southern California, until next time anyway!
The video above documents a cloudy day in Southern California, and the majestic and tall palm trees in this part of Loma Linda.
Around 2008 I started noticing these lovely trees, which drop purple flowers in the month of May. These trees make me feel like I am on the set of some amazing movie, with the purple flowers that drop down on the sidewalks. Such whimsical trees, which enchant me most completely.
A stop sign before a field in Southern California. This imagery was somehow just very bold, and captured in the moment. I guess the take home message is this: stop and look around you at the birds foraging in the field, and notice the purple splendor of the jacaranda trees in bloom.
In April of 2002 I went on a vacation to Hawaii, and I created this photograph of Diamond Head as seen from a boat off the coast of Waikiki Beach. This photograph served as inspiration for my colored pencil illustration of Diamond Head. Vacation photos are always exciting because inspiration for future drawings can come from these. Also, you might just want to frame some of the pictures to remember that amazing vacation in Oahu.