Saturday, September 21, 2013

Boston Red Sox...AL East Champions!

Yesterday, the Boston Red Sox turned a 2012 season of misery into one of joy for Sox fans, as they beat Toronto to take the American League East Championship, helped in no small part by the contributions of Daniel Nava. As a fan of the Giants, the Oakland A's, and Saint Louis Cardinals as well, three of the four teams look to be in the post-season at least, with the Cards and A's having excellent shots at Division Championships themselves. As of yesterday and with one week remaining in the regular season, Navs was hitting an even .300 in his first full year as a regular. The second shot shows him singling to right off Oakland ace Bartolo Colon. Behind Daniel in the third photograph is A's shortstop Jed Lowrie, a Stanford grad and  excellent photographer as well as a fine major league player. Thanks to Mike Crowley for the excellent seats!

More San Francisco at Night

I preparation for taking some photography students to San Francisco next month for some night shooting, I took a look at some shots from previous shoots. The biggest problem isn't taking the photographs, it's the parking. Especially in the City itself, even at night, finding a place is problematic. There's a new light installation on the Bay Bridge (second from the top) which I haven't seen yet, so I'm looking forward to that Night shooting also gives me a chance to make the most of the RAW format, making it simple to change color temperature with the left or right move of a slider in Adobe Camera Raw. I'm looking forward to seeing the students' reactions.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Summer Abstracts

All these photographs were taken in the Santa Margherita Ligure region of Northern Italy. A couple of reflections, vegetation against a hard surface (contrast in textures), geometry, and the golden light in the evening all being the "subjects," not to mention color as a subject all its own. Sony NEX 7

Senior Drive In

My entire adult life has been spent teaching and coaching in high school. As a result, I am intimately familiar with many of the teen rites of passage, which are remarkably, or maybe not so, unchanged from the first day I set foot on this campus. The campus, however, has undergone changes which render it unrecognizable to many alumni who return after years of pretending they just "hated" high school. One of the rituals is the so-called "senior drive-in." The seniors get dressed up, many representing what is currently au courant in their world, and drive in the fanciest cars they can get their hands on around the school, eventually park and find all manner of reasons why they can't get to class in a reasonable amount of time. The administration does a "nod nod, wink wink" because this tradition is completely harmless compared to others that had to be put to rest. We can see the Duck Dynasty poster on one car. What's with the popularity of that? Oh yeah. I forgot. I'm old. There's also some sort of tribute to the Spice Girls, their "music" blasting out of the car's speakers. The bottom group has me flummoxed. Good fun though. Sony RX 100 for all snaps.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mosques in Istanbul

The astonishing Blue Mosque and the Haghia Sophia are about two football fields apart with a lively square, Sultanahmet, between them. Not really an actual square but a rectangle. Because of our hotel's proximity to the mosques, I was able to spend more time there than other mosques around the city. One memory I will always have is trying to look straight up to photograph the spectacular ceilings and keep them as symmetrical as possible. The mosques are quite dark with small lights or light coming in from the stained glass serving as the primary source of illumination. They are also places of worship, so the visiting hours, while regular, are broken by times of prayer. It was very enjoyable to take the long exposure photographs like in the second picture. I had a tripod, of course, and had to stand close behind it to keep people from knocking into it. The other issue was people gathering right in front of the lens and talking for ten seconds or more, ruining the picture. I'm not complaining mind you. I was lucky to just get to see these places. Sony cameras, the NEX 7, NEX 5n, and RX 100.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Houses in Burano

I think one of the great things about Burano is it offers the travel photographer the opportunity to do all kinds of shooting. The wide angle overview (bottom), the close up to get some detail (flower pots on the wall, #2), and then the various focal lengths of the 18-200 travel zoom. The vertical shot is of the most well-known of all the colorful homes in Burano, Casa Bepi Sua with its own web site painted over the door. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Oia, Santorini Again

In making some canvas prints for my step-daughter Jenny and her husband Tyler a few weeks ago, I was reminded of what a magical place Oia specifically and Santorini in general really is. I remember being quite jealous when she announced they would be honeymooning in Santorini and Italy. These photographs are from our last visit to Greece, in 2005 when I was using an 8 megapixel Konica-Minolta bridge camera. My favorite of the four is the couple on the rocks. The look on her face says all you need to know about how she feels about her man. At the bottom, the view is from the caldera (the area left after a volcano explodes) out to the crater itself which filled with water when part of the caldera was below sea level.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dilapidated Beauty in Havana

The young man in the fourth picture was my cyclo driver one Sunday morning who pedaled me around Habana Vieja. When I told him what I wanted to see in my broken Spanish, he asked me after the third or fourth place we stopped, "You like this?" He seemed incredulous that anyone could "like" or find beauty in the crumbling structures I asked him to stop at. I certainly see his point. If I lived in Havana, I'd just want the government to fix these dangerous buildings. Every year, people are killed when buildings suddenly collapse. Many families share living quarters in buildings seen in these photographs, some living on the roof with no shelter above them. From my hotel room, I could see a rooftop with a bathtub sitting there with no walls or roof around it.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Facades Santa Margherita

Well, at least four of these are from Santa Margherita. The Yacht Club Italiano is from Portofino, ten minutes away. These photographs are about color, geometry, light, and symmetry.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The British Invasion

At one point in the 70's, there was a spike in the popularity of British Rock. The leading light of the resurgence of this genre was Peter Frampton, pictured at bottom Spartan Stadium in San Jose, CA. He's touring as we speak, minus the hair. A year ago, he did a show in New York at the Beacon Theater, recreating the classic album, Frampton Comes Alive. I admit I thought it was the bee's knees and still enjoy it when I hear it. My favorite of the British Invaders was Dave Mason, formerly of Traffic. His album "Alone Together" remains a desert island disc to this day. He's appearing tomorrow in Sausalito at a Labor Day Art Festival. The photograph is from Winterland. The middle man is Gary Wright of Spooky Tooth, in concert at
Winterland in San Francisco, who had a hit or two back then. All three of these gentlemen appeared in festival shows around the country, sometimes with Fleetwood Mac as the headliner. I saw all four together in Oakland at Bill Graham's Day On The Green. I'm too tired to look up the date. Baseball Stadiums are not the place to hear live music. I sat behind the stage at a number of these shows, courtesy of my music director friend, Dana Jang. Our deal was "You drive, I'll get us backstage." The hipster level was very high back then. Not that anything's changed. In 1975, on August 3rd, the lineup was all the above listed bands plus Robin Trower, former lead guitarist for Procol Harum. It was billed as "The British Are Coming."