Monterey Music Photography: Local talent, new sound

The local music scene in Monterey, California has been finding a new groove, led by a wide range of extremely talented musicians.  It has been a pleasure to experience these new musical acts in the past few months, and the opportunity to photograph their energetic live performances has been an added bonus.

Most of the live music and event venues in the Monterey region are relatively small, making the intimacy of the performances and music photography more accessible.  Some concerts have been challenging to photograph, but with such limitless musical passion brought to the stage by these talented performers, there are always powerful portraits to be found.

This set of images is from a recent show at the new Carmel Live venue, with the lovely Lillie Lemon and her fellow musicians.  It is always wonderful to hear the amazing results of these collaborations, and this performance revealed a new chapter in her musical evolution.

Find more music and event photography in the APK Photography archives, or follow APK Photography on Facebook to catch the latest Monterey music news and photographs.

Spring Flowers, freshly-picked fine art photo prints

In honor of the green hills and blooming spring wildflowers I’m seeing every day now, I’ve released a gallery of selected springtime Fine Art Flower Photography Prints, freshly picked to brighten any room.  A perfect gift for mother’s day, these fine art prints are available in a range of print styles and sizes, offering a bit of enduring spring beauty suitable to any budget or occasion.

Find additional Flower & Floral Fine Art Photo Print selections in the APK Photography Archives or request a hand-picked bouquet of custom print options tailored to meet your design and decorating needs.

Pastures of Heaven

After the bare requisites of living and reproducing, man wants most to leave some record of himself, a proof, perhaps, that he has really existed. He leaves his proof on wood, on stone, or on the lives of other people. This deep desire exists in everyone, from the boy who scribbles on a wall to the Buddha who etches his image in the race mind. Life is so unreal. I think that we seriously doubt that we exist and go about trying to prove that we do.  – John Steinbeck (1902 – 1968), The Pastures of Heaven

Enjoyed a beautiful hike in the neighborhood recently, and the hills are starting to show a touch of green.  It was a difficult and dry winter, and with these signs of growth, I will be eagerly awaiting the first bloom of wildflowers.  I often joke that I live inside a postcard, and whether one is taking in the surging waves of our magnificent coastline, or the evocative interior landscape of hills and valleys, Monterey County is a wonderful bit of paradise.  Find more Monterey photography in the APK Photography archives!

Salinas Valley, winter into spring

“February in Salinas is likely to be damp and cold and full of miseries. The heaviest rains fall then, and if the river is going to rise, it rises then.” – John Steinbeck, from ‘East of Eden’

This past February did not bring much rain, and the Salinas River has barely risen from it’s meandering, often subterranean channel. However, as the season settles into March and the inevitable fresh growth of spring emerges, the bare fields are taking on new life.

The transition from dark fields heavy with damp and fertile soil combed into meticulous rows to brightly-banded horizons of fresh green and early flowers is a welcome sign that despite the crippling California drought, for now, things will continue as we tend to think they should.

Find more dramatic Salinas Valley landscapes, and California landscape fine art prints in my APK Photography archives.

A quiet winter evening in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Recently I enjoyed a lovely walk through quaint Carmel, California.  At the height of the summer tourist season, the streets are overflowing with visitors, and it can be difficult to find a peaceful moment between the busy shops and bustling restaurants.  In the winter however, a sense of calm settles across our picturesque region, and Carmel-by-the-Sea is transformed into a serene, quiet village.  After enjoying a taste of fine Monterey County wines, and discussing this winter’s strange, dry and sometimes hot weather with a long-time local vintner at his tasting room, I wandered past the window of a jewelery shop, where a man worked with tremendous focus and skill.

Further on, locals gathered in the warm light of the neighborhood deli, while fresh fruit and flowers brightened the sidewalk outside.  Our winters here are frequently mild, and though there was a slight chill in the air this evening, a recent spell of warm weather had coaxed some of the flowering trees into bloom, adding a little extra magic to the charming mood of winter in Carmel.  This little corner of the world is a pleasurable destination any time of year, and I intend to explore this quiet side of Carmel-by-the-Sea more often.

Find more photos of Carmel, Monterey, Big Sur, and my favorite secret California spots in my extensive archives, where fine art prints and image licensing are available.

1935 Bugatti detail at Laguna Seca, Monterey

2013 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Roaring engines, rare hand-polished chrome curves, and an enduring love of engineering and racing are all on display at the 2013 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. The paddock and racetrack at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca become an open-air museum, where the vintage cars on display are also put through their paces on the track. Seeing classic automobiles jostle for position as they speed down the notorious corkscrew set of turns is a thrill that audiences of all ages enjoy. I personally find some of the details of these hand-built classic cars particularly interesting, as they represent eras of creativity and innovation that are the foundation for the familiar modern designs of today. This event is just one of many held in Monterey California this time of year, featuring fine automotive design that can be enjoyed both up-close in full detail and as a moving show of motorsports history. See the full set of 2013 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion photographs here!

APK Photography Phoenix Tattoo

phoenix rising

I have been a member of the Flickr community since early 2005, and over the years I have posted a wide range of personal and client work. This shot however, is by far the most-viewed image in my Flickr photostream: 8,246 views as of today.

While technically it is a fine photo, it was at the time merely a test of my new camera and the remote trigger capabilities. I have carried this phoenix tattoo on my back for over a decade, but because of the location I rarely get to see it, and thought that perhaps I could capture a suitable shot to enjoy and share. The popularity of this image is likely due to the popularity of tattoos, and the magic of a quick web search for visual inspiration that I suspect many tattoo aficionados like myself will explore before deciding on a design. It remains a very personal image to me, despite the enormous interest, and the ink itself still carries the deeper meaning I sought to capture when it was still fresh those many years ago.