Pat Flanigan Photography & PhotoBooks | Blog


Welcome to my photography blog.


It was in 2007, several years after Biff and I retired and moved to San Diego to be near family, that I discovered that taking photography seriously was a way to enhance the creativity, fun, and focus of my new lifestyle.  In order to develop my artistic vision and technical skills, I've been committed to touching base with photography on a daily basis ever since.  Using my camera is of course the most essential way, but other activities are also important to me:

  • editing time on computer (hours beyond count)
  • learning time with classes, on-location photo tours, books, websites, other photographers and organizations (hours beyond value)
  • making photography essential to the adventure of travel (I SEE and appreciate so much more with my camera in tow.)  
  • sharing images with family, friends, and clients (creating prints, photo books, slideshows, movies, and sharing online via this website and blog


Favorite Yoga Instructor

July 25, 2018

So sorry to see Meghan, my favorite yoga instructor, move away!  I've had other favorites over the years who leave, and it's always sad to know they won't be teaching my classes anymore. Fortunately, their replacements are always good, but CPY has been so important to me these last few years, I value the relationships I develop there.

Betty's Birthday Celebration

July 15, 2018

Betty has three kids: Joe and his wife and daughters live in Massachusetts. Martin and his 16 year old son live in California. Then there's Elise who lives with her husband on a gorgeous farm in western New York. The photo above shows them all plus Betty's husband, Jerry.  I went to celebrate Betty's birthday at Elise's and enjoyed a glimpse of Americana that was unfamiliar to me - farming and small town culture (enhanced by Alfred University which sponsored a wonderful arts festival while I was there).  

Arriving in Quito - June 17, 2018

July 15, 2018

dinner at hotel the night we arrived in Quitodinner at hotel the night we arrived in Quito

The four of us flew from Miami to Quito on a late afternoon flight that arrived about 8 pm. We were met by Wilson, our trip guide, who got us  settled at a Hilton Hotel. Right away we went to the hotel restaurant for dinner. Thomas quickly took on Ecuador culture by ordering for his first meal a local favorite - guinea pig (cuy). The next day we would begin our Amazon adventure - a graduation gift from me for Thomas and an early graduation gift for Parker from Linda and me.  Thomas chose the destination from a list of Gate 1 travel deals. What a fantastic choice it turned out to be.

Thomas ordered guinea pig, a regional specialtyThomas ordered guinea pig, a regional specialty

The link to all my Ecuador photos:

Day 1 - Tour of Quito - June 18

July 14, 2018

Our morning began with a tour of the colonial section of Quito, a city founded in the 16th century on Inca ruins. We were just beginning to know our guide, Wilson, and the other people in our group of sixteen: a family of four from Utah with daughters aged 22 and 8; a couple from Sacramento; two female teachers from Texas, a very fit young nurse from Philadelphia, a well-traveled young woman from Florida, and a couple from Colorado. The group proved to be congenial and fun; and our guide was exceptional - great sense of humor, kind, attentive, enthusiastic, well-organized, generous, and as an indigenous rainforest dweller in his childhood, an expert on everything in Ecuador. The boys thought he was great, and I think we all agreed we could not have had a better trip leader.

The Basilica Del Voto Nationale was extremely impressive - gothic in style like Notre Dames.


Wilson has Linda modeling a scarf - looking so good several women in our group bought scarves, including Linda. 

Wilson introduced us to this local artist who sold a lot of us his paintings - including the four of us.

The link to all my Ecuador photos:

Day 1 - Middle of the World - June 18

July 13, 2018

The next tourist stop was called the Middle of the World Monument, a place with 0-degree latitude on the equator. The tower had great views and Parker managed to balance an egg which is apparently all but impossible elsewhere.

Bus rides were broken up with both bathroom stops (which Wilson referred to as "technical stops") and Wilson's many "surprises."  The first surprise was this wonderful ice cream stop.

The link to all my Ecuador photos:

Day 1 - On to Otavalo - June 18

July 12, 2018

After a lunch stop with music, we drove on Otavalo. We loved our hotel on a lake - Cabanas del Lago.  We were high in the Andes mountains so it was cool. There were fireplaces in our rooms and when we returned to them after dinner, wood fires were blazing. There were also hot water bottles in our beds - a lovely treat.

After a delightful orientation where we learned more about our travel mates and a great dinner,  Wilson volunteered Parker to dress up in an Ecuadorian outfit.  Parker was such a great sport, and it was fun for all of us. Unfortunately, I didn't think to bring my camera, and the light was too low for my cell phone to do a good job.

The link to all my Ecuador photos:

Day 2 - Otavalo - June 19

July 10, 2018

Our second day we spent in Otavalo. First there was a walk during which Wilson showed us a strange sound phenomenon too hard to explain. Rachel, a young nurse from Philadelphia, participated in everything just like Thomas and Parker. The three of them kind of stood out in our group, though every single person was very nice. We went to a place called Peguche, known for it's fabulous waterfall.


Next we wandered around a market that is one of the largest in South America.

We also stopped at a home for a demonstration of musical instruments made on the premises.

In the afternoon we drove to Papallacta in the Andes Mountains where we settled into a hotel with three hot spring pools. The boys enjoyed the pools and then after dinner all four of us had private massages. Neither Thomas nor Parker had ever had a massage before.

I'll end this post with a few shots of local color that I captured walking from one place to another that day.

The link to all my Ecuador photos:

Day 3 - Amazon - June 20

July 09, 2018

I'll begin with some of the gorgeous scenery on our drive toLa Punta Ahuano on the Napo River in the Amazon rainforest.

We boarded a canoe to get to the beautiful Casa del Suizo.

In the afternoon we set out in canoes for our first rainforest experience.

This is the plant cocoa beans come from!

We visited the home of a local Quechua family to learn about their life in the rainforest.

There were a bunch of volunteers trying to hit a target with a homemade blowgun that indigenous people use for hunting.

Last but not least, Wilson offered us the opportunity to taste a living, squirming insect of some sort that he said locals love. Of course it was Thomas and Parker who were volunteered for the challenge.

Then it was back to the Casa del Suizo for another lovely evening after a delightful day.

The link to all my Ecuador photos:

Day 4 - Amazon - June 21

July 08, 2018

We were back in our boots early in the morning for a really great hike in the Amazon's Misicocha Private Nature Reserve.  There was a zipline chair ride and a bridge to cross. We learned a lot about plants and animals along the way.

After lunch we got to board balsa wood rafts and row along  the Napa River. We couldn't bring cameras, but it was a memorable experience, especially when Wilson threw the boys overboard and dared me to follow them (which I did).  

After fun on the river, our group split up for optional activities. The boys went to the Canopy Adventure Park - no pictures, but they said it was fun.  Linda and I went to a cocoa farm where we enjoyed a dance performance. (A couple in our group were volunteered to join the dance.) Then we learned how cocoa beans are processed. The plants are yellow like the ones we'd already seen or they are red like the ones growing on trees here.  We took turns grinding the seeds into powder which was then cooked.

Next we went the AmaZOOonica Rescue Center where we saw animals native to the Amazon. Some were in cages and some wandered freely.

As we were riding in canoes back to the hotel, Wilson spotted a monkey on the river bank and lured more of them with banana on a stick.  It was a treat to watch them.


The link to all my Ecuador photos:

Day 5 - Banos - June 22

July 07, 2018

We left the rainforest today and drove to the small town of Banos, which in Spanish means "shower" (not bathroom as commonly believed). The best stop on the way was a beautiful waterfall called El Pallon del Diablo (devil's cauldron).  It was a crowded tourist attraction but still fun to experience.

When we got to Banos, we visited  a place that uses palm nuts to create "vegetable ivory" figurines. Tagua is what they call the ivory substitute. 

After the demonstration, we had free time in Banos. Parker and Thomas chose to bungee jump off a bridge! Later they told us it was the most terrifying thing they'd ever done, but they were glad they did it.  Photos and a video were included in the price.  Here's Thomas:

And here's Parker:


Here are some photos I took while walking around Banos looking for chocolate.

We loved our hotel in Banos, Hacienda Leito. Beautiful scenery abounds.

The link to all my Ecuador photos:

Day 6 - Back to Quito - June 23

July 05, 2018

Today we began our slow trip back to Quito. Our first surprise was a market where we were introduced to lots of fruit, some of it totally unfamiliar to most of us. Everyone participated.

Next we stopped at a rose farm.

Lunch was at a wonderful place called Hacienda La Cienega which dates back to the 17th century. 

Back in Quito, we had a lovely farewell dinner. A very long day of travel followed, but it was worth it because Ecuador turned out to be an outstanding adventure.

The link to all my Ecuador photos:

Time with Parker in NYC

July 02, 2018

Central ParkCentral Park

Our trip to Ecuador began with a flight to Miami on June 17.  That meant Parker and I had a few days to spend in NYC between Thomas' graduation and the trip. I splurged on Harry Potter tickets, and seeing such an amazing, magical production certainly was a treat for Parker, Peter, and me. We also went to the Natural History Museum, the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art) and Ground Zero where the new One World Tower provides an incredible 360 degree view of NYC, New Jersey and beyond.  The link to all my NYC photos is:

roof of the Metroof of the Met roof of the Metroof of the Met Parker at One World Tower, Ground ZeroParker at One World Tower, Ground Zero

view from One World Tower, Ground Zeroview from One World Tower, Ground Zero


view from One World Tower, Ground Zeroview from One World Tower, Ground Zero

Happy Birthday to Marilyn & PeterHappy Birthday to Marilyn & Peter

Thomas Graduates from High School

July 02, 2018

Immediately after celebrating Davey's graduation in San Diego, Parker and I took a red-eye flight to NYC so that we could attend Thomas' graduation along with Kelly, Rod, Peter, and Rod's mom, Marilyn Benson. The reason Parker came with me is that we were leaving from NYC on our trip to Ecuador - a graduation gift for Thomas and a two-year-early graduation gift for Parker.  

Davey Graduates from High School

July 01, 2018

Ashland, Oregon

May 21, 2018

Betty and I went to Ashland (third time) for the annual Shakespeare Festival, and although we saw three excellent plays - Othello & Henry V  plus Jane Austin's Sense and Sensibility - and did a lot of "unpurposeful" shopping in the wonderful shops, we never did take out our cameras. I did take a few cell phone pics including one that at least captures the vibrant greens so characteristic of Oregon, one of a wall hanging I saw in a store, and one less-than-great selfie of Betty and me. It was a treat to spend a couple of days in Chico at Betty's before and after our Ashland excursion. I really like Chico - terrific access to fun downtown shopping, the beautiful campus of Chico State, a super farmers' market, and even to tourist attractions like the Bidwell Mansion. It's a great place to live!