Photography, Cycling and the Internets

Archive for May, 2010

Cool Water Flyin’

Seagull in Monterey

Doesn’t this make you want to go for a swim?  This shot was achieved through skillful negotiation, and patience.  The birds were flying in and out of this little cove and the family wanted to move on.  Of course once I setup for the background, the birds decided to take a rest from flying.  This didn’t help my small window of opportunity to get the shot I foresaw.  As luck would have it, everyone wanted to take a break like the birds and took a breather.  This gave me five more minutes to sit and wait.  Even though I would have preferred an incoming seagull, I was pleased to get this guy on his way out.   He’s in a good spot, great wing angle, and I can still see his eye.  Perfect.




What a moment to capture!  The pictured couple was sitting on the coastal rocks and I liked the double recliner nature of the rocks. So of course, up went the camera.  Wouldn’t you know that on the first click, fortune struck enough to have a huge wave crash behind our love birds.  In post, this took a bit of adjustment to keep the detail of the water spray and the colors but overall I think it turned out well.



Slowing things down today.  This is a tank of swimming sardines at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  I liked how their shiny scales looked against the light and the aqua background.

Welcome Back, California


The month of May has been almost, if not, the coldest on record for the Bay Area.  Rain, cold, clouds.  The sun and warmth tended to appear only mid-week.  This weekend, everything is starting to feel normal.  The sun is shining, it’s warm and we went to Monterey to enjoy the coast.  Here’s a nice seagull that was brave enough to hang around while I climbed on the rocks to get closer for some  shots.

Variable Checkerspot

Variable Checkerspot -  Euphydryas chalcedona

A happy little butterfly on a happy little flower.  I’m pretty sure this is a Variable Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona).

Yellow Wildflowers Over Lake Anderson

Yellow Wildflowers Over Lake Anderson

On the hike last Sunday with the togalongs, I noticed these little yellow flowers growing on the high bank of the lake.  I didn’t stop to shoot them on the way out, but I knew on the way back they would end up a target.  It took some work to get something that I liked, but in the end, I like the yellow against the blue water and seeing both sides of the lake.  Also, I tried the recommended technique of underexposing the shot to bring out the detail in the yellow.  Overall I think it worked quite nice.  The brightness of the yellow is still a bit lacking, but I think the detail more than makes up for it.

Airport Sunset III

Airport Sunset III

A third sunset image from my recent trip to the south end of the San Jose International Airport.  This one grew on me over the last few days so I thought I’d share it.  I missed today’s spectacular sunset other than enjoying from the driveway.  I thought I would try this as an entry into Skywatch Friday.

Grass & Thistle Over Morgan Hill

Grass & Thistle Over Morgan Hill

The kids and I went hiking around Anderson Lake in Morgan Hill on Sunday.  The sky was playing very nice and the views were gorgeous.  I really liked how the brown grass interacted with the blue sky, orchards, mountain and puffy white clouds.  I took this at 28mm f13 to get the background just slightly out of focus.    It was a bit breezy so it was really tough to get this with a super-sharp grass in the foreground.

Nothing Original Here

After taking my recent sunset images at the airport, instead of putting the camera away, I thought I would try to recreate Funkyslug’s great driving image as an experiment for the drive home.    It was a good learning experience which made me realize a few things.  I now understand just how damn good Brian’s image really is given the challenges of driving, especially where he used a 30 second exposure and I used 8.

For this I set the camera to have an 8 second exposure which was triggered remotely after a ten second delay.  I had the camera tripod setup behind the front passenger seat with the legs as wide as they would go.  I didn’t use the seatbelt technique which bit me on one left turn when the tripod tipped toward the outside of the turn.   Slower speeds resulted in sharper in-car details.

This was taken as wide as I could make it at 28mm and it is clear for this shot to really work, it needs to be a wider angle still.  I think it would have also helped to reduce camera shake further.    The only improvement of this image over its inspiration is that the steering wheel is on the correct side of the car. 😉  Thanks again, Brian!

California Wildflower


What are these little iridescent pearl flower buds?  I have no idea.  I found them in the local hills on a bush and are very cool.  I have no idea what they look like in bloom.  If you know what they are, let me know, I was unable to identify them online.