Photography, Cycling and the Internets

Archive for March, 2010

Four Generations

Walking along E. Santa Clara St. in San Jose, the Lincoln Law School building gives great reflections of everything around it.  At just the right angle it reflects the City Council building in a way that gives the illusion that it is part of the building at 28th First St.  The fourth building in this shot brings forward another architectural style for a well rounded glimpse of San Jose’s diverse architectural styles.


First Church of Christ, Scientist

The Historical Landmark Commission of San Jose is holding the first “Historical San Jose” photography contest to celebrate Historic Preservation month in May.  I’ve been taking photos of various buildings in the downtown area which I will be posting soon.  I am not sure if these will be judged from an artistic or documentary perspective so I’ll try several varieties and submit the three shots I like most.

This shot is of the Fist Church of Christ, Scientist which was built around 1904 or 1905 (depending on where you look).  It is  in poor shape and fenced off.  It has a great dome at the top that looked wonderful in the evening light.  This particular shot is a hand-held HDR shot to bring out the weathered detail.

The Reluctant Gardener

Having a bit of fun with the evening light and water.  I’m not sure if the expression here is one of boredom or concentration.

#ds130 – Time to revisit a traditional photographic look. Make a black and white photo with high contrast today.

Still Chasing Bees

I have been quiet on here lately, but the shutter has still been firing.  Bees are still capturing the attention of my camera.  They are challenging to capture in interesting moments, which usually means flight.  I’ve been getting pretty close and  I upset one of the larger bees (which are quite aggressive even towards the other bees).  The trick I learned here was a shutter speed of about 1600 was required to get the better shots.  Manual focus seems to be the way to go along with patience.  Chasing the bees with the camera is just plain frustrating as they are far faster than the focus.

Reverse lens macro of one of the bees on the spanish lavender.

Dudley and Spring

Today’s photos don’t have much to do with one another other than both being Daily Shoot assignments.  The first assignment is #ds123: Find something that’s so old it’s almost timeless and make a photograph of it. This is Dudley.  We’ve known each other for many years.  He seemed to age quickly, but now he’s doing better  year-over-year than I am.

The second shot is of Spanish Lavender.  #ds124 – Change your angle today. Make a photo from 1′ (30 cm) off the ground and post it.

Hangin’ With the Kid

There isn’t much to say on this post other than a couple weeks back I spent a good day with my daughter out and about.  We hiked the Anderson Lake dam in Morgan Hill and later stopped for some gelato.  During the day we made sure to get some photos.

Making a wish

Cherry Orchard

Heading Home

Walk for two minutes. Stop. Take a photo.

Today’s Daily Shoot assignment was as challenging as it was odd.  Today’s assignment is: Grab your camera and walk 2 minutes in any direction. Stop. Find a photo worth making from where you stopped and post it.

The point of this is that there is probably an interesting subject anywhere, you just need to look for it.  After my two minute stroll at oDesk’s office complex, I found myself surrounded by the 101 freeway, some uninteresting plants, grass, and the sign for the complex.  The sign has a piece of glass behind it to add some drama.  It also reflected the back of the sign nicely.  While not my favorite shot by any means, I am reasonably happy with it considering the constraints of this assignment.

Fun with Reversed Lens Macro

Now that the weather is nice, and spring is in full swing why not try to get up close to the flowers and show some of the colorful personality?  This series of photos was taken with my 28 – 135mm lens while inverted and  handheld.  It was fun to experiment with the shallow DOF and different ways to have the focus come-and-go.  To make things even better, I was able to use each of these for my Daily Shoot project to try and catch up as I am woefully behind.

Paraguay Nightshade – Solanum rantonnetii

#ds116 – “Rules” can be stifling if taken to extremes. Break the rules today with focus, composition, etc, and see what happens.

California Lilac – Ceanothus impressus

#ds113 – Take care of the Monday blues by picking up your camera. Make a photograph dominated by the color blue.

Dandelion – Taraxacum officinale

#ds120 – Trees and plants are great photographic subjects. Make a photograph of a tree or plant today.


#ds121 – Today’s theme is “3”. Make a photograph that features the number itself or otherwise represents 3 items.

An SJC Morning

Friday morning I had a bit of time to kill in the new terminal at San Jose International Airport.   The architectural details are interesting, and the light coming in from the skylights made for this interesting shot with a bit of a skewed perspective for added interest.  This is also Daily Shoot Assignment 118 – Curves, squiggles, and flowing lines interest the eye. Make a photograph dominated by a curvy shape of some sort today.

Waiting to Fly



Buzz Buzz

The evening light today was perfect for shooting some tree blossoms and the busy bees working on them.  I was using my 28-135 lens for these shots which means I had to crop quite a bit to get the right detail.  The real challenge here was sharp focus with the quickly moving bees.  For that, I used live view, zoomed in to  quickly  manually focus on the bees while somewhat still.  Once they started to move, I let the rapid-fire shutter go.  This collection is out of about 30 total attempts.