INXS at Pala Casino

I finally got to shoot INXS – and it was great! JD, Kirk, and Jon all played directly to my camera – which I was not expecting at all. With all the shows these guys play, and all the photographers following them, I assumed they’d be completely blasé about it – but they’re not!

JD FortuneJD Fortune

Tim FarrissKirk Pengilly

JD FortuneKirk Pengilly

JD FortuneJD Fortune

To see this Photo Essay of INXS at Pala on 6/20/2006 at ROCKBAND.COM, go to:

A Driveway…

I live in a beautiful area. I’m very fortunate! The driveway is lined with oak, pine, and eucalyptus trees. At this time of year a weed blooms along the driveway, and the blossoms are bright orange and golden orange and yellow-orange. They really are amazingly beautiful when you get in close – like a wild orchid, and yet it’s considered a weed.

My Driveway - May 8, 2006

Orange Flowers - May 8, 2006

Orange Flowers - May 8, 2006

Further down are yellow daisies, calla lilies, and yellow irises…

Calla Lily - May 8, 2006

Yellow Daisy - May 8, 2006

Purple Iris

Purple Iris - Fallbrook, CA - May 7, 2006

Purple Iris - Fallbrook, CA - May 7, 2006

Purple Iris - Fallbrook, CA - May 3, 2006

All three of these images are of the same Iris – taken at different times of the day, over two days, four days apart. With a flower this gorgeous, just by varying the shooting angle and the light, you can get a whole series of images!

Estudillo Mansion, San Jacinto, California

The Estudillo Mansion was built in 1885 by Fransisco Estudillo in San Jacinto, California. It’s still the most beautiful home in the town, over 120 years later!

We got a special tour from Dick Kroker, a friend of my grandparents from way way back. He and his wife Del have been involved with mansion for many years, so he was a great tour guide!

Estudillo Mansion Staircase

The staircase is beautiful, but it’s very steep and the railing is really low. The average person one-hundred-years ago was significantly smaller than we are today, but this railing is so low, it makes me wonder if the Estudillo family was even shorter than the norm?

Upstairs are several bedrooms, and if you look in the closets you can see traces of wallpaper from several different decades. This house was a home for many years.

Estudillo Mansion

The old plaster has cracked away in places, and you can see that even though the brickwork on the exterior is even and perfectly aligned, on the interior they used left-over bits and pieces, since they planned to cover it up with plaster anyway. The house was recently retrofitted to withstand earthquakes, but I believe this damage was caused by an earthquake in the past.

Estudillo Mansion

A bit of the past is visible through the flaking paint in the dining room. How far back this goes, I don’t know? Could it be original to the house – or was it added later?

Estudillo Mansion

The fireplace mantle is carved marble – and features two cameos, one on each side. It’s got a dorky little modern screen in front of it now, but I’m sure they’ll eventually remove it and get a more authentic solution in place.

Estudillo Mansion

This interior is of a window on the front of the house. You can see the bricks are more evenly aligned here, and you can see the curved brick-work above the window. On the exterior that curved brick-work is visible in the top photo.

Estudillo Mansion

Estudillo Mansion

Several years ago the wrap-around porch was accidentally destroyed by an overly zealous construction crew. The gingerbread was salvaged and is back in place today, but the columns and porch roof are unfortunately all new construction. Even when a building is well-loved by the community and on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s still at risk as long as there are people who don’t understand the historical significance.

Edited to add: I went back in 2010, and got some really beautiful shots of the exterior – definitely worth checking out!

Wedding in Copenhagen | 2003

In 2003, when a woman I met in the college darkroom asked me to photograph her daughter’s wedding in Denmark, I didn’t hesitate to say yes! I’d never shot a wedding for a client before, but her daughter was earning her doctorate in art history, so they wanted fine art prints, and a non-traditional look. Perfect for me! Some of it was shot with my Hasselblad, some with a 35mm camera, and some with a $20 Holga plastic camera–all of it on film, with the big prints hand done by me, in the darkroom.

Looking back now, I still love this wedding… It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience!


Paris | 2003

In 2003 I spent a little over a week in Paris…

La Danse, 1868, by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, at the Palais Garnier, in Paris.

L’Idylle, 1869, by Eugène-Antoine Aizelin, at the Palais Garnier.

L’Etoile du Soir, 1870, by Louis-Félix Chabaud, one of 22 lamppost sculptures in front of Opéra Garnier.

The Palais Garnier was started in 1861 and completed in 1875, for the Paris Opera, but now is mostly used for ballet.

The grand staircase at the Palais Garnier.

Palais Garnier

Van Dyke over Cyanotype Print of the Musée de Cluny, in Paris, France.

Street in Paris

Street in Paris

Street in Paris

Vanessa in Death Valley

Posted on August 5, 2017

When I took Photography 101 at Palomar College, one of my co-workers at Main Street Cafe in Fallbrook mentioned that her teen daughter had done some modeling, and would be willing to pose for me. We got some lovely portraits that first semester in her back yard, but I wanted more…

So when I signed up for a one-credit class in my second semester that focussed on Death Valley, I wanted to do something different than just shoot sand dunes. I had this wild idea to bring a model. And of course I wanted it to be Vanessa!

She was maybe seventeen? And I was so inexperienced–she was my first portrait, my first model, and this trip to Death Valley was my first fashion session. I designed a gold lamé bikini, and a taffeta skirt with a net overlay, and I brought lengths of white gauzy fabric to drape on her. And she brought a huge suitcase with practically her entire wardrobe. We made plans to shoot with exotic makeup, and to go as high fashion as we could. While I can certainly see the faults in these images, for a novice photographer shooting slide film at dawn in the desert? And for a model who was still in high school? We certainly both had potential, and we had a lot of fun experimenting!

Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995

Tyne Daly being interviewed by E! // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

May 20, 2015

These images have never been seen before! I was a photography student, taking my very first photography class, and so of course I took my camera along when I decided to spend a couple of days in Los Angeles for my birthday. Looking for fun things to do, I saw a blurb in the newspaper about a star unveiling on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly, on March 29, 1995 – so I went!

Why did I never share them? Well in 1995 there was no such thing as social media or a blog, so if a photo didn’t fit any of my class assignments, or wasn’t special enough for me to want to work on in the darkroom for some other reason, it never got beyond the negative stage. And frankly even then I knew these are not special – they’re just a step above the snap shots the other tourists were taking with their disposable cameras.

So why am I sharing them now? Well I’m going through my negative archive, and scanning stuff that I had forgotten about, partly to document how far I’ve come, and also as sort of a historical documentation of my own history. And honestly? Seeing the fashions and the big cameras? It’s fun to remember what the world was like in 1995!

On the day of the event I drove to Hollywood Boulevard, and stood on the sidewalk with the rest of the crowd, and was close enough to see Sharon Gless get her star. But there were so many heads in front of me that I didn’t bother taking a single photo.

Hollywood Walk of Fame // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

By the halfway point I decided to try and find something worthy of shooting. The unveiling was in front of the Screen Actors Guild building, and I found a spot that was up closer to the building, where I could shoot the whole crowd.

The Press // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

I got a little closer, and shot the press lined up behind a barricade, ready to jump into action when something interesting happened.

Tim Daly in 1995 // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

When I realized there was nothing standing between me and the guys lined up in the press area, I decided to just join them. With my tiny little 35mm camera and 50mm lens, and wearing a dress! I did not look like those guys, but no one said anything to me, and I managed to get this close to Tim Daly, because it wasn’t the best angle, so no one else really wanted to shoot from there.

Hollywood Walk of Fame // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

These guys were right in front, and shooting straight on, so I decided to get a little closer to where they were located.

Tim Daly on the Hollywood Walk of Fame // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

I ended up with a pretty good spot to shoot! I remember I was right next to a camera crew from Brazil. Me, a first semester photography student, with a tiny 35mm camera and even tinier 50mm 1.8 lens, next to a camera crew from another country. I was very aware of them and stayed out of their way, so once they got that I wouldn’t jostle with them for space, they kept flashing me big smiles and we laughed a lot. It was fun!

And Tim Daly? At one point he did a double take and pointed at me, and mouthed, “How did you get up there?” and I just shrugged, and he laughed. The outfit he’s wearing may look a little odd in it’s circa-1995-ness, but he was super hot and it was fun to interact with him, even if it was at a distance!

Michele Lee // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Michele Lee, from Knot’s Landing, speaking about Tyne Daly, who is standing directly behind her.

You can just barely see Tyne’s great 1995 boots! And yeah, I had a pair just like them at the time. White perforated leather in a lace pattern, with little pointed toes and pointed heels. I didn’t know it at the time but the woman in the floral dress and the girl next to her were both related to Tyne Daly, and I think may be her daughters.

Tyne Daly and Johnny Grant // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Tyne Daly receiving what I think is the proclamation. The gentleman handing it to her was the honorary mayor of Hollywood for many years, Johnny Grant.

And the woman in the bottom left corner? I kept looking at her, wondering if she was Julie Harris? I never did find out for sure, but it would make sense since she was on Knot’s Landing with Michele Lee, so there was a link. And she was in the inner area, and included in some of the photos, so maybe?

Tyne Daly pulling the cover off her star! // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Tyne Daly pulling the cover off her star! The little girl watching is maybe her daughter? And there’s a better shot of the woman I thought might be Julie Harris, sitting on the edge of the staging area, behind Johnny Grant.

Tyne Daly gets a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Tim Daly leaning over to see his sister get her matching plague.

And look at the guy with the sunglasses and afro, clapping, directly behind Tim. Does he look familiar? He did to me that day, but I’m still not sure if I should know who he is, or if he’s just an unknown person who just happens to look impressive? But he was in the section reserved for important people, so he may be someone I should know?

A Daly family snapshot... // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

A family snapshot…

Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly // Photo: Cheryl SpeltsSharon Gless and Tyne Daly with Johnny Grant // Photo: Cheryl Spelts
Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly with Johnny Grant, posing with their plaques, in front of their stars.

Hollywood Walk of Fame // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Posing for photos after the ceremony ended. From left to right, Ed Asner, Michele Lee, Buddy Ebsen, Sharon Gless, Johnny Grant, John Karlan, Tyne Daly, Tim Daly, and Kathy Baker. Quite an impressive lineup of TV actors!

Hollywood Walk of Fame // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Star Unveiling on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Tyne Daly. // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

I love this reporter’s dress! It’s like one of the cast members of Friends or 90210 came out to Hollywood Boulevard and started to interview Tyne Daly! But yeah, we all dressed like that in 1995. In fact, I remember what I was wearing and it was very similar, down to the cross on a black cord, around my neck.

Tyne Daly being interviewed by E! // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

And finally, Tyne Daly being interviewed by E! You can see the top of Sharon Gless’ head just behind her, as she’s also being interviewed.

My photos skew heavily to Tyne, and there’s not much of Sharon, but it wasn’t intentional. Sharon received her star first, and I was still standing with the crowd on the sidewalk when it happened, and couldn’t see much over the tops of the heads of the people in front of me. I didn’t move until after her unveiling. And once the whole ceremony was over and the two of them posed together, Tyne was just closer to me, and there was no way to get over to where I would have a clear shot of Sharon.

Despite how it may look, I was very aware that the real photographers had a job to do, and that I was just a photo student with a basic camera, so I stayed out of their way, and only shot when I wouldn’t be in the way of someone else. And I was lucky, I got some good shots! Not as good as I would have gotten if I’d had a little more experience and maybe another lens or two, or perhaps a press pass… But pretty good for who I was at the time – just a girl with a camera, in her first photography class!