Poison oak is dangerously seductive. Good thing the photos of it are safe.
My youngest daughter was playing at the beach in Santa Barbara in her sun dress and I grabbed this photo. Everything about her pose, expression, the long grasses, sand and hill behind her screamed for a vintage look. I used Nik Silver Efex Pro to get the look I was going for. Some have said I need to crop it, and I can see why from a composition perspective, but I’ll be leaving it just as it is since I like the environment.
In the Almaden Quicksilver County Park in South San Jose are some abandoned cinnabar mines and a few structures that were present in the mini camps that existed up in the hills. This is an old barn that existed in English Camp (yes, there was a neighboring Spanish Camp for the Spanish speakers). I’m not sure if the red color is original or added by the parks department a decade or two ago. It’s pretty beat up and has some charm. I’m not sure if it has as much charm as I was hoping for after a long hike lugging my camera gear around.
Part of the reason why I didn’t post much last year was due to softball. My daughter made a competitive team and I signed up as the volunteer team photographer. It was a great excuse to get a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and get my practice in for sports photography. What I didn’t know was quite how many images I would shoot and the trials of shooting softball. The action in softball is very fast and you’re never quite sure where the ball is going to go. At least you know where the plays are likely to happen. The hard part, which became somewhat of an addiction, is to try to get good shots at interesting points in the play. I shot some 25,000 frames over the 6-week tournament season. There are tons of useless shots, some good story shots that are weak in composition, and some nice moments. I’ll post some of the latter this year.
In the image above was taken in the last hour or so of sunlight. The sun was behind me and things were starting to turn very orange. This is one of the very few ball-on-bat moments I was able to capture. If I remember correctly, this ball launched off the bat and was good for at least a double.
A hike in San Jose’s Quicksilver park has several trees with these nice little clusters of red berries. This one worked rather nice with the soft bokeh.
A bit of daydreaming while riding a bicycle as the sun gets low in the horizon. I love the lighting in this.
A few months ago, I rented some lights and messed around with learning how they work. I took a few photos of my family. Here is one I really liked that came out of my little experiment. My daughter had been upset about something that little kids get upset about. She had also just gotten out of the bath. Needless to say, she wasn’t impressed by my setup. The upside is an awesome photo!
Continuing my journey around the mighty battleship is this view of one of the main guns, the bridge and the tower. This illustrates just how massive these guns truly are. The clouds couldn’t have been more cooperative at the moment I was snapping the shutter on this one. This was just at the start of the roped-off section, hence the lack of people in this image.
I ended 2011 with another trip to the USS Iowa. This time I was able to get on board! The ship is finally getting restored and prepped for its voyage to Southern California. In the meantime, they are letting people check out the foredeck. I took the opportunity to push the 10-22mm lens. Close quarters, huge structures lots of people make for a challenging shooting environment. On a positive note, the morning clouds & sun were extremely cooperative. This shot is one of my favorites of the day. I’ll post a few more and I plan to visit again in a couple weeks. Maybe there will be additional areas we can look at. I’d love to capture more of the ship before it’s fully restored.
Happy New Year everyone! This year, I want to at least get an image a week posted. Despite shooting well over 25k images last year, I only managed to post a couple. This year should be better.
Happy Easter everyone! The Easter Bunny made a visit to a little sparrow that is just outside the front-door. The eggs were even decorated!
San Francisco VA Medical Center, Point Bonita Lighthouse, and this old army lookout line up in this shot. Since I love shooting gritty old and abused structures against picturesque scenes, this worked very well for me. The orange on the building is from the glow of the setting sun. You can get glimpses of it on the lighthouse in the distance. The clarity is pretty good for that structure as well, which you can see by clicking through.
A fog-free night in San Francisco combined with driving by the Palace of Fine Arts with a camera in the car means you must stop to get a few images. The buildings are lit dramatically with sodium lights. This makes difficult color set to capture and reveal the detail in color, so I opted for black & white here. We were in the late hour of twilight so the sky had a nice gradient left to it.
The day in the Marin Headlands let us have a nice, golden, somewhat hazy sunset. Off in the distance you can see an old army lookout station with a bit of graffiti on it. I’ll post a close-up of that in a couple days. The light on the iceplant worked really well for this shot. I just wish I had a round aperture and possibly an ND filter to really bring this image home.
Oh how busy life can get. Saturday was the first day I’ve been out to ‘just shoot photos’ in many months. We went up to the Marin Headlands which is worth a trip even without a camera. The day was great, and I think I have at least a few posts worth of shots. What we’re looking at today is a very excited turkey that was attempting to impress a couple of hens that were nearby. He was doing some dancing and showing off his very colorful feathers. I got lucky as he started walking in my direction which gave some great reflections off of his feathers.
If everyone remembers, I asked a while back about some images that I should enter into the Fotoclave, a photography competition of 3 Northern California camera club councils. I was able to get 4 acceptances and I won fifth-place in the Digital Photojournalism category with Terror of Happy Hollow – San Jose, CA. The Fotoclave competition includes 3 different Northern California Camera Club Councils, representing about 23 photo clubs. Each council was allowed to submit 20 images per category. There were many, many incredible photographs in the competition and I don’t envy the judges that have to make the decisions on winners. I am very excited that one of my images was able to stand alongside of the others. Additionally, thanks to my family for making the photograph possible.
Here we are on the west side of Maui looking at a beached coconut. Off in the distance you can see some rock, Molokini Island and Kahoolawe Island’s humpback whale looking silhouette.
Our last image of the tour of the Newark Slough. This is one more view of the footbridge with the Dumbarton Bridge off in the distance, lit up by the morning sun. The water in the foreground is not the bay, but the marshland next to the bay. Off in the distance you can see the power lines and the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Okay, lets take a break from the islands and enjoy one more sunrise from the Newark Slough. Don’t worry, we’ll get back to Maui soon enough.
This image is one that was fraught with user-error in the taking, and yet ended up pretty decent. I had the camera setup on some long exposures in bracketing mode. As I was setting up for the shot, the sky was lighting up with brilliant oranges and I accidentally hit the shutter. 30 seconds to wait for it to finish? I don’t think so. Off went the camera. Back on, change settings and finish. Unfortunately the brillance faded to some degree before I could shoot again. Overall, I think it turned out pretty decent.
While hanging out at the beach, I took a few photos of my lovely wife. I noticed that my reflection in her sunglasses was rather interesting with the blue sky and other features clearly visible. I called the kids over and had each one wave to create his “family portrait”. I think this will make a great print since there is quite a bit of detail in the reflection.
Okay, to come clean, work wasn’t the only reason I haven’t been posting. Earlier this month we took a week-long vacation to Maui to enjoy the nice warm weather, water and relax. Photography on a family vacation isn’t the easiest thing to get out and do, but I did manage to get a few decent images from the trip. We’ll start with my daughter having a blast on the boogie board at Ulua State Beach. In the background you can see the West Maui Mountains. The vacation was a blast and the family had a great time.
I love this shot since it just freezes the excitement perfectly and has a decent amount of location orientation included.
This is the perfect time of year to do sunrise photos. They are happening closer and closer to the time of day I actually want to wake up. Once the time changes it get all that much harder. So after a long period of working too hard and photographing too little, I actually went out with some friends to do some shooting. Today we’re looking at the Newark Slough with a footbridge crossing it. Everything about the morning was cooperative, including the clouds, sun and water.
Its fun to get out shooting again after realizing I’ve been working too hard. I do have a mini backlog so look for more images soon. Hopefully I’ll build back up some readers after leaving everyone for so long .
Update: The funding goal was reached! Thank you everyone who donated, it has been a huge help to the kids!
Hey all, life’s been taking up my free time as can be seen with the slowdown in posts. Today, I’m posting for my wife, Lorraine who is a Special Day Class teacher who works with autistic children. She’s looking to raise money for some outdoor equipment to aid in her students’ outdoor learning activities. Any donation amount would be helpful, and you’d be doing great for her little kids (from 3-5 yrs old).
You can check out her project details page at donerschoose.org Thanks all!
I’m not sure if you can get much more sassy than this.
This little barn sits just outside of Davenport, Iowa. The doors don’t appear to work anymore as they are off the tracks or off the hinges. In looking for a good barn to photograph without burning lots of gas randomly driving around in my limited time with a car, I resorted to Google Street View. I was able to find some good spots which also provided some spontaneous subjects along the way.
For this shot, I like the detail in the wood and clouds and how it all comes together. This is nice in color as well, but the black & white brings out the contrast nicely.