Last Tuesday evening, I got on a bus with thirty or so other photographers and left Palo Alto to rendezvous with a few more at a dock in San Francisco. From there, we would ride out to Alcatraz Island for a night photo shoot. After leaving about a half hour late, we had to turn around fifteen minutes into the drive to get the loaner Tamron lenses that were still back at the store. The drive to San Francisco at rush hour is nobody's idea of fun, and we ended up leaving late from the dock and missing the sunset on Alcatraz. The boat ride was choppy and slow, and anyone on deck (most of us) got sprayed. If it looks like the photographs have different color temperatures and tone characteristics, you're not seeing things. I was just trying to get a variety of styles and experimenting with software from Nik and Topaz. I used three cameras, all from Sony. The NEX 7, the A7, and the RX 100 III. Next, on the Rock!
Monday, September 22, 2014
If I'm not mistaken, these photographs were taken from three bridges which span the Seine in the heart of Paris. The bridge with all the locks is the Pont des Arts, and it even partially collapsed recently from all the extra weight. The other two are the Pont du Carrousel which comes out from the Louvre, and the Pont Solferino which extends from the Jardin des Tuileries. The views from any of the bridges in both directions always brings me back at any time of day. The aftermath of a rainstorm lent itself to some spectacular clouds one evening.
This oasis in the heart of the Left Bank covers 60 acres and is the most popular park in Paris. The centerpiece is the Palais du Luxembourg, the current home of the French Senate. Since the revolution, the palace has been used as a prison, and in WW11 it was the headquarters of the Luftwaffe. It was built in the style of the Pitti Palace in Florence to remind Marie de Medici of her native city. It's always great to walk off the busy streets of Paris and into the gardens, even if only to take a break from all the walking and sit for a few minutes. At bottom is my friend Dudley with whom I had about a seven hour walk that day. He is looking at my favorite part of the gardens, the fence which surrounds the entire 60 acres and which is usually home to fantastic photographic exhibits. The photos are hung on huge metal plates, weather-proof and, hopefully, vandal proof.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I'm sure there are city parks in other places that may rival the Tuileries Gardens in Paris, but I haven't been there. I walked through here three days in a row, morning, and evening and at night. It's beautiful at any time of day, at any season, in any weather.
Monday, September 15, 2014
Like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, the birds came from everywhere, only they weren't trying to peck us to death, thank God. No, this was in Essaouira, Morocco, at the fish market (middle) and an area near it where some fish were being cleaned. There were numerous tourists firing away and the guys doing the cleaning wanted money from us to take pictures, like the birds belonged to them or something. I can understand the "goats-in-trees" guys who did, in fact, own the goats. But seagulls? Really? In the market itself (#2) birds just swooped down and had their pick with nobody batting an eyelash. Guess it's just the price of doing business. The last photo which I have been trying to find a way to post was taken a year or so ago when the Space Shuttle was being flown to Los Angeles, and it passed over our school. There was an assembly going on and not many students got to see it. An impressive sight to be sure. Now those are BIG birds.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
In Venice in the summer of 2013, I walked to the arch at on end of Saint Mark's Square and saw an artist working on the street beyond the arches. I made two exposures; the first one at top, the second below it. When I got home, I realized neither one was what I wanted, but also saw that some combination of the two might work. For instance, I didn't want the tourists walking by the painter. I also didn't want the man in shadow in the frame. What I did want, however, was the smartly dressed man approaching from the right and the painter doing his work on the left. I also wanted a bit more detail on the arches. I enlisted the help of my friend Tom who is more highly skilled than I at Photoshop to have a go at it. He came up with a compromise by eliminating the tourists and the shadow man and combining frame one with frame two and recovering detail in the arches. It took Tom about one tenth the time it would have taken me to get the same results. I do prefer the color of the buildings in the originals, but I wasn't going to complain.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
This past weekend, the last one in August, Margaret and I delivered our grandsons to my son Jason's farm in Brentwood, California. We got the full tour of the land that he and his company, Farmland LP, had purchased to go along with the land in Corvallis, Oregon, they were already working. The third photograph shows the house that his land manager lives in and runs the farm from. There are carriages from at least a hundred years ago rotting away in the basement of the house on the right that hasn't been restored yet. The house that has been restored is, despite being in the middle of nowhere, well-appointed and comfortable. There's also a former labor camp that Jason and the company are trying to figure out what to do with. Above the photographs of the camp are pictures of the now defunct asparagus processing plant. The metal containers are asparagus sizers. Below that is the "peligro" warning workers not to get their fingers caught in the machinery. Thanks...I'll be careful. Jason is in photograph number four, out standing in one of his fields!