January Reflections

All in all, a good day
I have certainly hit the ground running this year, at least in terms of photography. I decided to attempt the 2009 Photo Challenge so I’ve been taking a lot of photos. I’ve only missed one day so far, which means I’ve posted 34 photos for the challenge alone. I’ve also posted about 40+ other photos to Zooomr and Flickr. That has to be one my best months ever with about 75 photos in the month.

I’ve also been very pleased with the quality of the shots I’ve been posting, and several have received a lot of faves and views. While I’d like to think I’m growing as a photographer, I’m certain the 2009 Challenge has helped me improve. In fact, a friend is buying prints of three shots taken specifically for the 2009 Challenge. That will be my first photography sale. I’m also contributing a photo to a fund raising auction for my kids’ school later this month.

One of the high points of January was my first photowalk with Jeremy Brooks and Andrew Lighten. I was on a jury in San Francisco and Jeremy and I decided to meet up one evening. It just happened that Andrew flew into SF that day. Hanging out even for a short time with other photographers is very rewarding. Thanks guys. I’m definitely going to make more of an effort to get to other Bay Area photowalks this year.  This is one of the shots I took on that walk:
Night on the Bay

January was a good start to the year for me. I know the economy sucks and California is heading into a severe drought, but I’m looking forward to this year. And looking back, this is my favorite shot of the month:
Day 28 - Water

One final thing, I want to give a little promotion to the PhotoNetCast podcast. I’ve only recently started listening to this and have really enjoyed it. It’s entertaining and informative. I know everyone listens to TWIP, but you should also listen to PhotoNetCast. Really.

Academy of Sciences

Below the surface
After five years, the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park reopened this weekend. Opening day was free, so we decided to go on Sunday hoping the crowds would be a little smaller. We’ve been anticipating the re-opening for a long time, and even got an annual membership. We expected to be impressed, and were not disappointed. The Academy of Sciences is simply amazing.

It was crowded, but not jammed with people. There were lines to get into the Rainforests of the World exhibit, but it moved quickly. The show at the Morrison Planetarium was completely packed, but we had no problem getting tickets and all the seats had good views of the show. It was a little too crowded at times to truly enjoy and experience all that the Academy has to offer, but we’ll have plenty of time over the next year to see everything.

After spending a couple of hours exploring and enjoying the Academy, we sat down on a bench to rest and have a snack. An older man walked up and asked us how we liked it. Turns out he was the Director of the Academy of Sciences. We told how much fun we were having and how much the kids enjoyed it. I thought it was cool that the director was out just casually chatting with guests. He seemed very pleased, and for good reason. The opening was huge success.

From a photography point of view there is no lack of shots. The vast concrete and metal structure housing the Academy is an exhibit itself, drawing your eye into the prominent geometry of the design. The main level features two giant spheres that house the Rainforests of the World display and the Morrison Planetarium separated by a naturally lit plaza.

One suggestion, go see the series of black and white wildlife prints on level 3. They are spectacular. Since I love photography, they were my favorite exhibit. They are essentially wildlife portraits. I didn’t make it to the gift shop, but if they have book of these shots, I’m definitely getting it.

Morrison Planetarium, Plate 3

Rainforests Sphere, plate 4

A Small Find

View all the shots in the set.