Photography, Cycling and the Internets


Crusty Fish

One more fish from the fountain in downtown San Jose.   Not much else to say other than this one is rusty, crusty and warty.  The composition of this one isn’t quite as strong as yesterday’s but I think it works.  I should have time to get out today to get some shots as well as see the 6C competition this afternoon.  Maybe one of my prior wins will place!  We’ll see.

Crusty Fish


Red Fish, Blue Fish, Old Fish, New Fish

Old Fountain

The historic area of downtown San Jose has an old fountain in the park that doesn’t look like it has been used for years.  It is very rusty and very cool.  I was pressed for time on taking these since the fam was with me and impatient.  Not to mention, it was after brunch on Mother’s day.  I plan to return when I have more time.  In the meantime, I was climbing around a bit in the fountain and grabbed some detail shots.  I am pretty sure we’re looking at a fish head here.    Just under the upper-lip is a mosquito hiding out.  Apparently the small flying insects that surf in my photos surf on fish. 🙂



On Sunday evening, the clouds were setting up for what I was hoping would be an incredible sunset.   Because of that, when we went to dinner, I brought the camera and made sure we had a window seat so that I wouldn’t miss the magic hour.  I was prepared to abandon the family and run outside to start capturing it.  We finished before that time, and on the way outside, the wind was blowing and I saw this nice little scene that I had seen a million times before.  This time, I found it interesting.

The clouds on the coastal range, the flag blowing, and the old signs on the bowling alley.  Bowl, cocktails and an American flag.  It reminds me of moments from my childhood.  I processed this to try and capture the era of alley’s heyday.

Market Post Tower

Market Post Tower

A gorgeous day with scattered showers opened up a fabulous blue sky, very white clouds that enhanced the tinted glass on the Market Post Tower.  This shot is a single exposure.  I tried a few, and a couple bracketed series.  The single shot worked better than what I came up with as an HDR version.  Not to mention, as single-exposure it will qualify for an entry into the travel category in tomorrow night’s competition. 🙂

The Terror of Happy Hollow

The Terror of Happy Hollow

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo has a new kid-sized roller coaster.  As much as I tried to encourage my adventurous daughter (guess which one) to ride in the front so I could get a good photo, she declined.  She wanted the back since it goes faster.  The other, well she didn’t enjoy things quite so much.  I love this photo and just how different the everyone’s expressions are!

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

Endless Pier

Endless Pier

During my Sunday walk in San Francisco, I really liked the pier and the potential it brought for getting some good shots.  For this one I wanted to play with symmetry.  The camera is just slightly above the ground, as dead-center as possible.  There are breaks in the symmetry with the Bay Bridge being visible through the bars and Yerba Buena island looming on the right side.

Not that it is a surprise, but I did some post processing on this to get the tones as I saw them.  It was an incredibly bright day and this represents my view of the pier by the time I got to it.  Wanting shade, feeling like the colors were all just running together and high contrast was everywhere.

I have a creative interpretation of this shot that I am working on.  Stay tuned. 🙂


Closed - Pier 27 Parking Garage

This is another image from my stroll around the Embarcadero in San Francisco yesterday.  Inside the pier 27 building is a parking garage.  Along the north wall is this great row of roller doors.  The light coming in from the windows above the door gave everything a nice glow.

This is a three-exposure HDR which has been somewhat desaturated and warmed to setup the contrast between the nice light and old rusty look of the metal.

I have complete title block on this shot.  Feel free to suggest something!

Morning at the Ferry Building, San Francisco

Morning at the Ferry Building, San Francisco

This morning when the Ferry Building in San Francisco opened, I managed to get to the second floor to get some shots of the wonderful architecture. Supposedly there is a rule against using tripods there.  The guards would walk from far away to politely ask me to stop.  The first said I could use my tripod on the second floor which I did until the second floor guard asked me to stop as well. I originally wanted to do some HDR shots, but instead I opted for this single exposure. I love the colors here.

I warmed this up slightly and gave a small bump in saturation and some slight manual vignetting.

#ds151 – Every town, village, or city has distinguishing icons and landmarks. Make a photo of one wherever you are today.

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.