Painting is just another way of keeping a diary ~Pablo Picasso

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Klamath River Overlook

This is the third and final sunset photo in the series I started on September 28th.  It just shows the range of light color in the final hour of sunlight, I think.  This one is probably my least favorite.  I'm not liking the wide-angle view in general right now, and even though I really had to use it here, I just don't care for the effect.  Also I think the photo looks crooked.  I almost always shoot with my camera tipped a little to the left, and if there is an obvious horizon line, then I have to straighten the photo.  I did that here, but the fence post tilts to the right, and the land looks like it's heading uphill because of the angle, so the whole photo just doesn't square up to me.  This is a wide-angle problem, but I think it's really exaggerated here.  And also I was hoping for a brighter cloud color, especially given the range of color in the previous shots.  I really rushed to get up to this overlook, and I ended up not staying here very long.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Yurok Tribe

The mouth of the Klamath River is several miles off 101, and much further down the road than I thought, so I barely made it here before the sunset.  I drove as far as I could down the road, and all of a sudden I was on a huge parking lot full of hundreds of campers, along the edge of the water full of fishermen, with hundreds of birds circling overhead.  It took me a minute to realize I was at a Native American fishing encampment.  It smelled like lots dinner being grilled, and a little bit like fireworks, but the overwhelming scent was fresh fish.  And at this point a beautiful orange sunset silhouetted all the fishing boats in the bay.  A very peaceful spot to watch the setting sun!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Silver Sunset

I caught the sunset coming along a stretch of Highway 101 between Crescent City and Eureka.  I believe the beach is called Fake Klamath Cove.  This was probably an hour before sunset, and the light was sort of silvery then.  Over the next hour I shot a lot of photos, and as the sun sank lower in the sky the color really changed.  This is the first in a series of three sunset photos with a nice progression of light.  Perfect, because I'm really in a beachy mood right now. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Feeling Connected

One of the interesting things about these Redwood forests is how they seem to break down social barriers.  Usually passing hikers just nod or say hello, but here it seems like we had a conversation with everyone we met.  I think we were all in awe of how magnificent this place is, and everyone just naturally had this connection.  And even though we all look like ants next to these giant Redwoods, I don't think they make you feel small.  There's a sense of permanence and stability here that is really comforting.  I don't want to sound overly religious or cosmic or something, but walking in these woods is a very reassuring thing, and being here really did make me feel more grounded and connected. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

World's Tallest Trees

Definitely the highlight of our detour was visiting Redwood National Park.  Coast Redwoods grow to 370 ft. which is really hard to imagine.  They are taller than a football field is long!  I really struggled with how to capture this in a photo.  This was probably my best angle, but it doesn't do these trees justice.  I wish I had more time to explore here and try photographing in lots of different light.  This is someplace I definitely want to visit again!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Green Beach Glass Wave

When we were in Mendocino, which is an art town near the sea, I saw a shop full of prints by a local photographer.  If I had one word to describe his photos it would be luminous, and several prints featured this type of green glowing backlit wave.  My photo wasn't taken in Mencocino, but up near Crescent City; I was playing around with my camera at the beach about an hour before sunset when I noticed the same green glow.  So of course I had to try this photo too!  I think I got the green just right, but his photos had some other colors too, probably amber.  I'm thinking they were probably taken much closer to sunset.  Also I really don't like my settings here.  I wish I had used a much faster shutter speed to freeze the other wave action.  Still I love the color, which reminds me of luminous green beach glass. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mendocino Coast

We started our drive up Hwy 1 cutting in at Santa Rosa and all the way up past Mendocino.   I only spotted two arched rock formations like this, but these rough rocky cliffs extend the whole way through this drive.  Actually I thought it was rather repetitive after a while, and in the future I would probably take Hwy 101 and cut in closer to the Mendocino area.  All in all I'm glad we took the route just to try it out and explore a new area.  And the coastal highway was very popular with bicyclists.  We counted over 100 on our drive this day!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weary Traveler

2000 miles later, and I'm home from my trip to Seattle.  Exhausted, but full of great memories from a fun drive.  We opted for the scenic route, so I'll have many photos to share.  For today this one fits my mood best.  Taken yesterday at a beach in Redwood National Park.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bay View

Day 24 in black and white.  This was taken from a Coast Guard dock near the Golden Gate Bridge last Friday.  I liked the cormorant drying its wings in the foreground.  In the background behind the jetty/dock area is Alcatraz and beyond that the Bay Bridge. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Flamingo Abstract

This makes three bird photos in a row for me.  It was bathing time for the flamingos at the San Francisco Zoo.  They put their heads in the water upside-down and scooped water in the underside of their beaks like a ladle.  As the water settled down, some cool reflections were happening.  I liked this one because the neck and head look pretty normal, but the rest is really abstract.  And there is a hole in the middle of the flamingo!  Like a doughnut :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Dance of the Cranes

East African Crowned Cranes at the San Francisco Zoo last Friday.  There was a cool dance going on here.  They were bobbin' and weavin'.  I couldn't tell if they were going to fight or mate, but when it ended they just walked off like nothing had happened.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Shorebird Flyway

Flocks of shorebirds were all over this beach in San Francisco.  We're lucky to live in the Pacific Flyway; so many birds pass through here on their migration.  I'm not that familiar with shorebirds but maybe these are dowitchers.  They were walking along the beach, and I was following them with my camera in front of my face, until I stubbed my toe on a brick sticking out of the sand.  Not my smoothest move!  But whatever noise I made sent them all into flight.

Heading up to Seattle today to take Eric back to school.  I have already uploaded photos, so hopefully I will be able to post from my hotel.  If not, I'll be back posting on Saturday. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Making Tracks

Day 23 in black and white.  These tracks led us along the beach just off the Great Highway in San Francisco; not sure what the name of the beach is though.  Despite the haze in this photo it was sunny and in the 70s at this point, and the sand was the perfect temperature.  I don't know where these tracks came from.  We didn't see any vehicles driving around down here, something that is common up in Washington.  But the tracks caught a nice amount of shadow for a photo in this direction. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Friday's weather was true to its forecast: morning fog gives way to afternoon sun.  We found ourselves with a little extra time before meeting Eric's friends at the zoo, so we stopped to kick around at the beach.  Easy parking along the Great Hwy.  Homes on one side of the street, and ocean on the other; we just happened to park in front of this smartly painted little house.  So cute! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

View from the North

I had the hardest time deciding if I should post this photo in color or black and white.  I'm still really uncertain about my choice, but in the end I couldn't give up the iconic "international orange".  One thing I'm certain of, at least, is crossing this bridge to get to San Francisco.  I love seeing what the weather will be here.  I love avoiding all that messy traffic in Berkeley and on the Bay Bridge.  And I love the more rural approach from the north.  This is the first time I exited before the bridge at photographed on the Marin Headlands side.  Fort Point, another photography favorite of mine, is the red building in the distance under the far end of the bridge. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

San Rafael

Day 22 in black and white.
Crossing lots of bridges today. 
This one is not a bridge but a very long pier in San Rafael.
A detour on the way to San Francisco this morning.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cosmos in September Light

This photo makes me happy.  I've been in a lousy photo mood all week, and this splash of color really lifts my spirits.  I think the black and white project is getting to me.  And always looking for the calendar shot is getting to me, because all of a sudden all photos seem really trite to me.  I feel like every shot I see has already been done.  So I decided I need to balance this project a little, just for the sake of my photo spirit.  The two things in this photo that lift me up are the light and the fact that I grew these cosmos in my garden!  They are actually a much deeper purple, but my camera misreads purple flower tones, and usually captures them as more pink.  I forgot that September brings such a pretty morning light on our kitchen table; the moment I saw the light on the vase I dropped everything and started working on this shot.  :^D

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cross Country Season

Day 21 in black and white.  Now that cross country season has started all my Saturday mornings are filled for the next few months.  That means setting the alarm clock for something in the 5 o'clock hour.  But on the bright side, I get to take sunrise photos, and we're always at a nice park. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Apple Hill

Our first trip to Apple Hill this season.  I think it's a little early to head up here, but we wanted to get the cider and donuts before Eric has to go back to school.  And it was nice to drive around all the orchards without too much traffic.  I'll head back up here in October to get my secret blend of apples for making applesauce.  I'll appreciate going back when it's cooler; apple orchard visits should not be 90 degree events!

As to the black and white, I'm obviously needing a little break from it.  I have learned that the camera sensor has three filters: green, red, and blue.  And the camera remembers data from each sensor, so once the photo is converted to black and white, the tone of things that would be red, green, or blue in color can be altered.  So for example, I could make the apple light gray and the leaves dark gray, or I could make the apple dark gray and the leaves light gray.  But WHY? 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Red-Masked Duck

I couldn't bring myself to convert this one to black and white.  I love the color of the water.
Plus this mysterious red-masked duck needs his red mask to show!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fallen Tree Near Ebbetts Pass

Day 20 in black and white.  One of the highlights of our trip around the Lake Tahoe area yesterday was a drive to the summit of Highway 4 at Ebbett's Pass (8,730 ft.)  I had never taken this road before, and it was amazingly scenic.  This photo was taken in an Aspen grove near the summit, and while I think it works pretty well as a black and white, it most definitely does not capture the feel and the beauty of this route.  Or even of the Aspen grove.  I tried a lot of Aspen photos but they didn't turn out (I have this same problem with Aspens in color too!)  Anyway, this felled tree was an unusual site up here, and it offered for an interesting composition.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Carson River

Day 19 in black and white, and today Eric, Clover, and I went up to the Tahoe area.  It was a great day to be up there; 75 and mostly sunny, and very quiet since all the Labor Day visitors drove home on Monday.  I photographed, Eric drew, and Clover swam and sniffed around.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Conversation with the sidewalk

Sidewalk:  Hey, whatcha doing?
Me:  Just practicing my black and white photography.  What do you think of it?
Me: Very funny!

Day 18 in black and white, and on a serious note, today I picked up five black and white digital photography books that I reserved at the library.  It might be overkill, but I'm really looking forward to getting some pointers on what to look for in terms of light, and also how to best convert photos to black and white.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Point Reyes

Day 17 in black and white.  The trail from Point Reyes lighthouse back to the parking lot.  I was hoping for fog on this trip, but unfortunately it was just patchy fog on the peninsula.  Fog is visible in the distance, but here at the point it was completely clear.  I will say though that this photo does looks better in black and white.  I also think the Drake's Beach photo is better as a black and white.  The other two, Inverness and Tomales Bay, are definitely better in color.  I'm thinking that in the future I might include some color photos during this project, especially when the shot is obviously better in color.  Good advice from my friend Ginger from Getting a Foothold.  I had the privilege of meeting Ginger and her husband Bill on their trip out here to see their family!   When I started this blog I didn't know I'd make connections with so many fellow bloggers, but it's definitely an aspect of my blog that I've really come to appreciate!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ocarina of Time

Day 16 in black and white.  We spent most of the weekend at Sacanime, Sacramento's Anime and Manga Convention, so it was a very busy week between sewing costumes and enjoying the convention.  Here, for Zelda fans, are two cosplayers dressed as Link and Skull Kid.  Link is playing the ocarina (from the video game, Ocarina of Time), and Skull Kid is wearing Majora's mask and playing the guitar.  They were playing authentic music from the video game; it was very entertaining.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Drake's Beach

Day 15 in black and white.  Drake's Beach lies on the south side of the Point Reyes Peninsula, and since the wind was coming from the north (and a very cold wind it was!) this beach was very calm.  Also I think we got there just as the tide was starting to come in, although I'm not sure about that.  Anyway, the water patterns were very interesting.  I mostly tried photographing into the sun which put the water patterns at an angle.  This was my only shot straight toward the waves, and it had a strong side light.  Turns out it was by far my favorite, because I like the water pattern better this way, and because it isn't too contrasty.