I’ve been selling on stock websites for about three years now and doing reasonably well with it, but I’d never seen where any of my work ended up. I’ve heard of people fining their photos on billboards, I’m not one of them. A couple of weeks ago I learned how to do an image-based Google search, so last night I started searching for my most popular photos. This is some of what I found.
The Sarasota Chalk Festival is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, except for being held in Venice. Every year artists gather from all over to create incredible, temporary works on a side runway of the little Venice airport over the course of a single weekend, alongside local food vendors and musicians. This year’s theme was Love & Peace, so there were many hearts and peace signs, peace hand gestures, several appearances by the Beatles, lots of lion & lamb symbolism. Some of the work was based on classical art, some was original, but it was all amazing. They start on Friday so I went on Sunday figuring they’d have a lot done by then and they did, but most were still working which is really the point. The festival is more about the performance than the end product.
Also during the festival have 3D pavement paintings; these are done in a distorted style that gives them a three-dimensional aspect when viewed from just the right spot. Bring a fisheye lens if you have one, if not, they usually had tripods set up with little fisheye viewer things that you could look or photograph through to get the effect. The artists will even let people walk out onto the pieces to have their pictures taken within the art.
Entry cost $10 for adults, $5 for students and was free for kids under 13. They also sell multi-day passes but I don’t remember how much those were. Besides the professionals there was an area where anyone could draw and the little kids were having a lot of fun with that. The only complaint I had was that it was crowded, go early or even on Monday if you can swing it and don’t mind not seeing the artists actually working since I think they’re basically done by then.
I visited the Hearst Castle in the summer of 2006. Right on the coast of San Simeon, California, it’s a spectacular building built by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. Finished in 1947, the house became a hangout spot for some of the biggest celebrities of the day. As ever, I was fascinated by the architectural details. Having been built at a time when one could order antiquities out of catalogs, the gardens are filled with genuine ancient Egyptian statuary and other relics. The zoo that once graced the grounds is mostly gone, but there’s still a handful of animals roaming the property, if you’re lucky you might see a small zebra herd wandering around loose. Most tours are $25 and last about an hour, although there are some different options on the website. If you’re not sure, visit the free museum down the hill and decide then if you want to take the bus up to the house itself.
This is easily one of my favorite hikes. The trail follows the west fork of Oak Creek for almost three and a half miles as it flows down through the canyon. The trail is fairly flat, with soaring cliffs on each side as a backdrop to the forest. All along the trail were signs of flood and fire damage, and even a few patches of snow. It crosses the creek 13 times, including several that require wading through ankle deep (and ICE COLD) water. The first ford turned back at least two large, obnoxious groups of hikers, so I wasn’t too broken up about having to get my feet wet.
Other people’s trash that I packed out: