The Wall

The WallThe Wall Hosted on Zooomr

OK, probably not the best title, but it is a wall. This is the front wall of the de Young Museum, in San Francisco. I took this on the trip to the tea. It’s unlike any building I’ve seen. I guess they tried to make the building a work of art in itself. Mostly it worked. It’s a little out of place in the park, but the surface compels you to look, and admire it. The closer you get, the more attractive and compelling it becomes.

There are a lot of pictures of it on Zooomr, so I guess the wall has had the intended effect. People seem to like it, and after seeing it close up I had to like it too. And seeing it really made me want to shoot pictures of it, so much so that I made my family walk over to the building after we came out of the tea garden. The kids like exploring, and the museum definitely captures your attention, so they didn’t mind. There are a lot of things to see around the museum, so you can spend a bit of time exploring the grounds without actually paying the admission to go inside.
I converted this to B/W in Picasa and adjusted the contrast, quite a bit. The sun was pretty much overhead, and the excess of light in the upper left makes the building fade into the sky. The effect is much better in black and white.

It’s On Zooomr with geotag, although I noticed the exact location seemed to wander a little. Zooomr has a lot of photos in the area as well.

WordPress ate my post

I thought I had posted something yesterday, but apparently WordPress ate it. I had saved it as a draft SEVERAL times, and published, but something went awry. The draft is not there, and neither is the post. Very odd and quite annoying. I was a good post, very profound and insightful.

Anyway, here’s the picture. I’m a little too frustrated to try to re-write what I wrote last night.

linkslinks Hosted on Zooomr

It’s at the old WWI and WWII artillery bunkers west of the Golden Gate Bridge. Not many tourist go there because the get wrapped up in the bridge, but it’s a pretty cool place, with great views of the bridge, Marin headlands, and the Pacific Ocean.

It’s geotagged on Zooomr, with a couple of other shots from the same day. I’ll post them on this blog, maybe tonight if I can muster up the courage and trust WordPress.

Look Up

Look upLook up Hosted on Zooomr

I have to credit my wife for this shot. We were walking around the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco and I was looking all around for things to shoot, then she said “Look up”. This was the shot. I decided I liked the black and white version better than the color version, although both were good. This shot is on Zooomr with the geotag and exif information. There’s also another, similar shot on Zooomr as well. Additional pictures of the Japanese Tea Garden are on my Picasa Web Album, including the color version of this shot.
The Japanese Tea Garden is a really cool place. It’s only a few bucks to get in, our whole family went for I think $11, and we spent a few hours there. The kids love it, with all the paths and foot bridges. I love the architecture and design. Mostly, I like seeing something not Americana. We live in an old part of town with lots of Victorian and Craftsmen homes, which I like, but sometimes a taste of another culture is refreshing. The Tea Garden gives you that, along with some tranquility. I’ve only been on weekends when there are crowds, but even then it is worth it. If you live near San Francisco, this is a great, inexpensive day trip.


ArchArch Hosted on Zooomr

Another shot I took Easter weekend, actually only a few minutes later than Camouflage. I have been taking other pictures, but have been slow getting them up online. Also, I took a few photos I really liked Easter weekend, so figured I’d make them last for several posts. I find taking pictures in spurts works better for me. Less stress, more creativity. I do take my camera with me pretty much everywhere I go, just in case I see something interesting. I’ve got at least three of four pictures I’ve taken over the last week that I want to blog.

My foot is still slowing me down, and tomorrow I have arthroscopic shoulder surgery. I feel like an invalid already. The surgery should keep me from shooting for several days, hopefully no more, so I’m going to post the pictures I’ve already taken while I’m recovering. If all goes well, I’ll be back out shooting pictures in no time.

On to some comments about this shot. I took it while my kids were busy playing in the river. It was warm, and the water was really low so they were wading in up to their ankles and playing in the sand. This river willow branch caught my eye and I started shooting. I took it in color, but knew when I was shooting that I wanted it in black and white. I did a good deal of contrast adjustment and added film grain to help give a more surreal look. I also used a wide f-stop (which I tend to do a lot) and had to obviously get down on the ground. I get nervous when my camera gets too close to sand, but this shot was worth it. (I got dirty, the camera is fine) I think it came out nicely.

It is on Zooomr with a GeoTag and another shot of the branch.

Easter Eggs

DyeingDyeing Hosted on Zooomr

This probably should have been posted right after Easter, but I had a couple of other shots I wanted to get up first. Every year for Easter we head up to our parents’ houses. At my in-laws, the kids dye eggs outside on the deck where they can make a mess with little impact. This year, as with most, hands as well as eggs got dyed. It took a few days for the dye to come off my daughter’s hands.

The eggs came out quite nicely. The hands were almost black by the end.

Zooomr Link

Russian River

Russian RiverRussian River Hosted on Zooomr

Another shot I took before Easter. I’m not taking photos during the week because I just don’t have time. I wish I did, but don’t right now.

Again, for this shot I used the polarizing filter which eliminated the glare off the water. Normally, without the filter, the water would reflect light, but in this shot you can see the rocks on the river bed. I also used a slow shutter speed to give a more fluid look. I’ve always like shots of moving water with long exposures. Sometimes it’s over done, so the water is really a blur, but I think this shot has a nice mix of motion and stasis. I posted it here because it is one of the few moving water shots I’ve taken.

I did not use a tripod, because I don’t have one. I just set the camera on the rocks and tried to hold it still. I wanted a low angle, so it worked out. I’d like to get a Gorilla Pod for situations like this.

See it on Zooomr with GeoTag and exposure settings.


CamouflageCamouflage Hosted on Zooomr

My foot is getting better, so I’ve been able to get out and take a few pictures. The day before Easter I went out for a walk with my kids, mostly to take pictures of wildflowers. I did more walking on rough terrain than I should have, making my foot throb with pain.

At any rate, I took pictures of more than just wildflowers. This is a private bridge that crosses the Russian River very near where the river starts. The bridge is actually an old rail car, with wooden railings. The rails obviously have a lot of moss on them. Moss often has a pretty wide range of colors, and textures, not just green. And it is not always wet. This moss was pretty dry. I’ve tried taking pictures of moss before, but without much luck. I like this shot, because although the moss is the focal point, the lines of the railing make it more interesting and draw your eye.

I did some contrast and saturation editing in Picasa, just to bring out the colors and add some pop. See it on Zooomr with GeoTag.

Apple Blossom

Apple Blossom 2Apple Blossom 2 Hosted on Zooomr

It’s definitely Spring in Northern California. The wildflowers are blooming, and many fruit trees have long since bloomed and pushed out new leaves. We have an apple tree in the back yard that has some really beautiful blossoms this year. The apples always have worms, so now is when we really enjoy the tree. Unfortunately the tree is not going to be around much longer because we are building a garage. It’s not a very old tree, but it will be sad when we have to remove it. I’ll plant another, though.

This is on Zooomr, but without the Exif information. For the first time I took pictures in RAW format, which doesn’t capture Exif. I could have used RAW+JPG, but I only have a 1 gig card and was worried about taking up too much space. Next time I’ll use RAW+JPG and switch to just JPG when I get low on space. I never fill the card up anyway, so I don’t know why I was concerned.

There are a few other photos on Zooomr that were also taken in RAW. (apple blossom, sunset, and wildflowers) Picasa handled them OK, it was a little slow. But the ancient version of Photoshop I have (6.0) didn’t recognize the files. I’m going to see how Gimp handles them. For what I do, I didn’t see the advantage of RAW. But this is just a hobby and I don’t spend anytime tweaking the photos.