Photography, Cycling and the Internets


Two Bridges

Two Bridges

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.


Sunrise at Newark Slough

Sunrise at Newark Slough

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 :).

Down by the River – The Centennial Bridge

Centennial Bridge

Getting out of the house, the kids and I took a walk along the Mississippi riverfront.  Along the way we saw some firefighters that allowed them to get inside of the bucket of their tower ladder truck.  They didn’t get to go up the 7 floors that it extends, but it was fun for them to get up in there.  Along our walk we strolled under Centennial bridge that connects Davenport, IA with Rock Island, IL.    The clouds made for a great backdrop to the span.

A San Francisco Morning

A San Francisco Morning

In continuing this small San Francisco series, it’s about time I posted the shot that isn’t the one I really wanted to get.  This is the closest I managed to get to that illusive shot.  This particular photo doesn’t impress me  since, without the ship, it really isn’t anything other than a photo of San Francisco that everyone has.  Instead, the  lesson I learned in acquiring this image will stay in my memory longer than the image itself.

To get the shot I really wanted, I planned, spent time in Google Earth picking the location, setting the sun angle and time-of-day, choosing the position on the hill and frame the shot  with the 3D buildings turned on.  Everything looked wonderful and sounded like a decent plan.  The morning was forecast to be a rare sunny one, free of the fog that San Francisco is famous for.  Additionally, I did some research on other photos with a similar angle.  I saw several from other photographers a the correct location, so yes, it could be done.  The idea was to have the bay bridge strongly prominent on the left side of the frame with the southern edge lit up by the sun.

The "Planned" Shot - As setup in Google Earth

The city would then appear where the last of the main cables joined with the island.  The sun would to light the bridge up a nice gold-tone, and the white on the buildings would to catch the same beautiful glow.

That isn’t what happened.  I live in San Jose, which is an hour drive away from San Francisco.  This meant waking up and being on the road by 5am at the latest to catch the show.  Again, this assumes I know exactly where I want to be and what I have to do in order to catch the 6:30am light.  Yerba Buena Island is one tough tiny island to navigate on with its windy roads.  To top it off, there is no parking.  To get the angle, I would have had to hike about a half mile at the very least.  Arriving at the island at 6am and then getting lost didn’t help matters.

Alas, I drove over to the Treasure Island portion where parking is plentiful and the angles are not.  I settled for this shot which is a good reminder of how to better prepare next time I’m going to drive an hour away and a horrible hour for a 10 minute window of opportunity.

The last bit I learned was that sunrises are not nearly as cool as sunsets.  No dust, no glory.  I wonder when that volcanic dust from Iceland will reach the Bay Area. 🙂

Google Earth still seems like a great tool for planning a shoot.  Here is the shot I ended up with as seen by Google Earth.

Google Earth view of the Photo Above

Pelican Over the Golden Gate Bridge

Pelican Over the Golden Gate Bridge

Today we’re visiting the Golden Gate Bridge as it was seen about two months ago on a February Sunday morning from Travis Marina.  The fog was just beginning to lift as we were getting out of the car to visit the Bay Area Discovery Museum.

Travis Marina

After a busy week at work and very few opportunities to use my camera, I returned to it again over the weekend.  The following four photographs were taken  around Travis Marina just northeast of the Golden Gate Bridge.   A great chance to catch up on my Daily Shoot assignments.

This is Travis Marina with a faux tilt-shift technique applied.

#ds88 – “We often get stuck in a rut of always zooming to the longest focal length. Break out today by making a wide-angle photo.

I love the detail in this pelican.  For this assignment, this is titled “The Pelican Brief”.  Yes, I know it’s literal, but it is a nice pelican portrait.

#ds89 – “Continuing the Friday fun theme, make a photo that goes with the title of a book you’ve read.”

A couple enjoys the view of the San Francisco Bay.

#ds91 – “Sunday (Valentine’s Day) challenge: What is love? Make an interpretive photo today. Keep it clean, people.”

Fog Under the North Tower of Golden Gate Bridge

#ds90 – “Odd or even: Compose an image with an odd or even number of subjects today, and make a photo.”

A Pointed Argument

Razor wire with sunset reflection at the Dumbarton Bridge.

Dumbarton’s Warm Glow on a Cold Evening

In the brief  appearance of the sun yesterday, I had about 10 minutes in it total.  On my way home from the office I tried to make something of the sun.  This shot of the Dumbarton Bridge was a pleasing result.  With the sun low in the sky, it cast a warm orange light on the columns.  The reflection in the marsh and the blue sky hit all the right notes.  Other than adjusting some contrast and light levels to remove some haze, the colors are natural.

Cars, Bridge, Camera and Purple Haze – Daily Shoot 65,66,68,70

A wide range of shot types today.  I fell behind last week on my Daily Shoot assignments so I spent some time this weekend to catch up.

Foot Bridge Over Freeway at Night (ds70 - Sunday challenge: Experiment with shutter speed today by making a photo with a long exposure.)

Camera Self Portrait - Canon DS50 (ds66 - Make your camera the star of the show today. Use another camera or mirror to put your camera in a photo of its own.)

Coming and Going on Highway 101 (ds65 - Make an interesting photo of a mode of transportation today: car, plane, bicycle, subway, or whatever you like!)

Purple Haze (ds68 - Let's have some fun on a Friday. Make a photo that goes with the title (or lyrics) of a song. Interpret away!)

Dumbarton Bridge Reflection – Daily Shoot 61

Today I made another stop at the Dumbarton Bridge on the way home.  I wanted to catch a shot of the bridge’s highrise section with the cars on it for the Daily Shoot “Converging Lines” assignment.  I really liked the reflection that the small rain-created pond gives.  Unfortunately two things are wrong with this shot.  The first is I forgot to check my ISO, so this was done at 400 when it wasn’t required.  Secondly, the construction vehicles in front of the bridge are less-than-ideal.  I couldn’t see them until after the exposure was done since it was dark.

#DS61: “Converging lines direct the viewer’s eye. Sometimes found in railroad tracks, highways, and buildings. Make your photo!”