I’m off on a short family visit in Iowa this week and man, is it green here. The brown grasses and hills of California make one forget just how different it is in the middle of the country. Looking out the airplane window, all you see is green green green with creeks, streams and rivers cutting up the farmland. I managed to get out to the golf course with the some of the family yesterday and play 18 holes. This one spot had a great view down the hole with the cart perfectly positioned in the foreground. Way off in the distance beyond the green, is the corn fields.
If the clouds cooperate in the next few days, I’m going to chase down a barn or two and see if they’ll play nice for the camera. I even rented a wide-angle lens for this trip in my efforts to replicate a FunkySlug image. My work’s cut out for me .
Below is another view of the course with the sun cutting through the clouds.
After the games were played in the street, it was necessary to clean up all the broken eggs and other mess. What better way to do that than with a fire hose?
Not much time to write today, so I’ll let the image tell its own story.
Yesterday evening, after a day with the family, the clouds were setting up for a promising sunset. Since the airport isn’t too far away and the sun is getting closer to lining up with the end of the runway, I wanted to get some planes against the nice backdrop of a gorgeous sunset.
This proved to be more difficult than I had anticipated. My assumption was that there would be a stream of planes constantly landing which would make it easy to get one right where I wanted when I wanted it. This wasn’t the case. The frequency of planes was quite sporadic and the sun moves pretty quickly at the end of the day. Also, there isn’t really a great place to setup. I did find a legal place to park which was a bit low so I had to get creative. I setup the focus and camera settings for the lighting but the angle was wrong. So, I ended up with the tripod on top of my car, extended as tall as I could make it, while I stood on the seats with half my body out the sunroof. The post-shot viewfinder about 4 feet above my head was all I could use to verify things were just right. Minor framing adjustments were made by moving the tripod legs. I couldn’t tell when a plane was in-frame. A bit of spray and pray helped with that.
This plane shot above would be sweet if it was taken 1/2 second sooner, putting the plane at the top left corner. I’m going to have to get back and try again next time we have a promising sunset!
This shot has sat around for some time, ready to go and not let out. I have very mixed feelings on it and I’m not sure why. On one hand it always catches my eye in the grid display in Lightroom while reviewing older shots. Whenever I open it with some renewed excitement, I feel let down that the bird (I believe it is a turkey vulture) is not larger in the frame. Perhaps it works since it gives a sense of scale as-is. I do love the cloud formations.
Today I am planning on going to the Japanese Tea Gardens and tomorrow to the Embarcadero up in the city. I should have some good material for awhile after that.
A bit more digging into the backlog to make up for not being out taking pictures over the last few days. This is the Coyote Valley in the South San Jose area. In the far distance you can make out Mt. Umunhum, the old Air Force Radar tower and the Doppler Radar tower. I am not sure of the name of the hill on the left with the radio transmitter on it. On the left is Coyote Peak with its radio tower.
On this gloomy day, how about we take a look at some sunsets. The first was taken in the San Bernadino Mountains overlooking Big Bear Lake. The LA smog looming in the air made things nice and orange. The second was taken overlooking the coyote valley at the coastal range. It was very cold that evening and I had to keep hiding in the car for a bit to let the clouds rearrange, then popping out to take some more pictures.
April came in cold this year. So cold that Mt. Umunhum had a dusting of snow on April Fool’s day. I took a couple of shots to remember the odd morning by. I wish I had time to spend on them other than this quick capture.
One more shot today of the spectacular sunsets we’ve had lately. This one was taken as a passenger in a car barreling down the freeway. It was also taken out of the driver’s side window, which was a shot only available for moments before it had a chain link fence in the way.
Tomorrow, I’m hoping sunrise will be good and I can be setup for it!
There is a tiny bit of horizon, so I’m stretching for meeting this assignment today.
#ds104 – The horizon can be a strong composition element. Make a photograph that emphasizes the horizon today.
This evening I walked out of the office and was treated to a wonderful array of colors in the sky. It has been some time since I have seen anything like this. Other than adding a bit of dark back into this photo, the colors are as they were seen. Amazing after a super rainy day. I only wish I anticipated it so I could have gotten to a place with a bigger sky.
I think this counts as a background for this Daily Shoot assignment.
#ds98 – Backgrounds are tricky. They can make a subject stand out or distract from it. Make a photo with a good background today.
With the constant endless rain, winter is still going strong. The blossoming trees give hints of spring. This made for a tough choice for Daily Shoot assignment 79. (Which was completed a few days late)
#ds79 – It’s Groundhog Day in the U.S. Make a photo that illustrates whether it’s more like winter or spring where you live.
I am a fan of Mt. Umunhum. It is visible from almost everywhere in San Jose. The dilapidated radar tower at the top, bad roads, and large stretch of private property add to its mystique. Cloud formations over the top are always a treat, especially as storms are just rolling in or leaving. This is my submission for #ds46: “Time for a change in perspective! Look up today and make a photo that favors what’s going on in the sky.”
Other recent clouds were captured in Palo Alto. This one captured the sun fabulously just as a jet was leaving a contrail that was cutting the sky like a knife.
The variety of color on this image is what I think I like the most. This was captured with the camera closed way down. 90mm, f36, 1/1000
I am debating if this image would look better cropped in a portrait style which would put more emphasis on the birds.
#DS19: “Weather affects our lives in so many ways. Make a photograph that illustrates the weather where you are today.”
Santa Cruz Mountains during a rainy day.
#DS2: “Out and about walking? You should be! Make a photo of a street or sidewalk scene.”
Rainy day in Willow Glen
On a rainy Saturday afternoon, the sun jumped out for a bit. I saw this while circling the mall parking lot for spot. To my surprise it turned out rather nice.