Oxnard’s La Colonia neighborhood has a lot of history. History that I must admit, I’m mostly oblivious to. This fact is made more apparent when gazing upon the massive 70-foot mural at Colonia Park. Titled “Historical Images of La Colonia,” this mural depicts many of the themes and focal points of Oxnard’s Latino history.
We started off with some basic perspective shots against the horizon, and then followed those up with a few shots in front of one of the jets. And here is where the challenges started. First off- it’s generally not a good idea to pick backgrounds that will dominate over your subject. Because of this, composing my images was very challenging.
Because this is my first entry in the series, I selected cosplay. It’s an art that has fascinated me since I first laid eyes on it. I’m not really sure why, as things like fashion and costumes have never interested me. However, if I had to guess, I would propose that it’s because Cosplay is an intersection between many of my major interests. On the surface, there are things like fine-art and portrait photography, and digital effects. But then there are the subjects of that photography- which in cosplay, generally includes games and anime; two other huge interests of mine.
Tokyo is a city that will forever have my heart. There are a number of different reasons for this, but today, I’m just talking about one- the Tokyo Rail System. Sure, there are a million flashier things to be all caught up about. But for me, this one is a biggie. These trains played a vital role in my traversal the city and without them, I probably wouldn’t have been able to see so much of it. It’s an urban circulatory system that carried me far and wide from day-to-day. And it’s something that has continued to leave a mark on me, even now!
Just up Cooper, is another mural on the side of a corner store. This one shows the adjacent intersection along with members of the Colonia community. It’s a unique piece with a strangely utopian, almost pandering feel to it. It’s full of smiling people; children and adults with an odd mix of occupations. There’s a baker, a line of field workers, a random mariachi, and a mailman.
I think the first murals that I had ever seen were the trio of murals behind the train tracks off Oxnard Boulevard and Cooper Road. The works were painted onto the sides of Carrillo's Auto Mechanic building.
This is the “Viva Oxnard” mural on C Street, between Magnolia and First Streets. Its loudness is all the more appropriate, given its hidden location- located in an alley, on the wall of a small mini-mart. It depicts a tropical sunset, with the aforementioned “viva” message written in green script. Of all the pieces in town, this is my favorite. It doesn’t have any kind of social message or historical significance. However, it’s big and beautiful, and it makes me feel good when I look at it. It’s exactly what I want to experience when looking at a mural.
On my recent trip to Tokyo, I was accompanied by a friend (one who is known as a huge Disney fan). In fact, the trip was actually for his birthday, so when he explained that his only request was to visit Tokyo Disneyland, it was kind of a mandatory stop. For those who don’t know, there are two Disney Parks in Tokyo; Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. You can think of this as synonymous with two-park setup we have here in Southern California. We only had time for one park, and while the internet claims that Disney Sea is the superior park, he decided to go with Tokyo Disneyland so he could make a comparison with our park back home. After having spent a day there, I have to say that the Tokyo park is nearly identical to Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Anaheim, yet superior in almost every way.