Friday, December 10, 2010

Jelly fish

I have found myself facinated by jelly fish after visits to Pier 39's Aquarium on the Bay and Monterey Bay Aquarium. My favorite jellies are the moon jellies (the last two photos) but, they do not photograph as dramatically as the others due to their delicate nature.

Turn the flash off and crank up your camera's ISO to 1600 or higher if you have the capability.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I became captivated by seahorses at Monterey Aquarium's extensive seahorse exhibit. Watching these fragile creatures clinging to gentle waving sea grasses, I try to find the best angle to photograph them without glare or reflections. The lighting stinks and the seahorses are not willing to move in to the light just because I will it to be so. I crank the ISO up to 1600 and hope for the best.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dolphins at Sunset

Dolphins at Sunset

Four dolphins frolic in the surf off Carmel Beach at sunset. Dolphins had been spotted all day off the coast. The sky was clear with optimum conditions for viewing the sunset. Spectators filled the beach awaiting the the sunset. As the sun sunk lower in the sky a hush came over the crowd.
Sunset on the Pacific

As the last sliver of sun disappeared below the horizon, applause broke out among the crowd.

The End

 Photos taken with an EOS 40D on a tripod. ISO 400, aperture priority f 14, shutter speed automatic. 
70-300 zoom lens.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

I went looking for a view to see the whole bridge, but couldn't find a good vantage point on El Camino del Mar. There were places that once had a view, but trees now block sight lines. This is a typical tourist shot, but I was playing tourist that weekend.

I liked this view of the west tower with Treasure Island in the background and a hint of the East Bay hills to the left of the tower. This was my view on the way home from work for eight years. I never tire of seeing it.

The evening before I had been shooting in low light and I forgot to change my ISO back. Therefore this image was shot at ISO 1600. It has a bit of noise, but as an iconic image it works. I have not saturated any colors, but I did reduce the gamma to take out the haze. It was a beautiful day.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bikes for rent-Market St., San Francisco

At the entrance to the Hyatt on Market Street bicycles line the street awaiting tourists. Passing by, I was struck by the perspective of the bikes with the Ferry Building clock tower in the distance at the Embarcadero.

I can't tell you anything about the bike rental other than it was a great photo op. But, if you are planning to visit San Francisco, renting a bicycle might be a nice way to get around. If you travel along the water front, you can avoid the hills.

Photo taken with a 40D, exposure 1/100 s at f/5.6, ISO 200, focal length 17mm.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fog rolling in on the Sutro Baths

Weather at the coast is always changeable. As the fog rolled in, the cool breeze was a welcome change to the uncharacteristic hot weather that had settled over San Francisco.

I stood above the baths on the trail leading down just below Louie's Seafood, I reminisced back to my college days when my friends and I would come down to Sutro Baths late in the night with the weight of the world on our shoulders. Something about the ruins, the vastness of the ocean and the crash of the waves would remind us how insignificant we were, and our troubles would be put into perspective.

The building on the right in the center of the photograph is where the history of the Baths had been painted before it was painted over with gray cement paint.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sutro Baths

Follow Geary west until it branches off into Pt. Lobos Ave. towards the Cliff House. Below Louie's Seafood is the ruins of the Sutro Baths. It is hard to image the baths that once stood here. I used to stare at the posters taped into the window at Louie's and in the Cliff House gift store and marvel at how the pools and bunkers used to be the buildings in the posters.

I having been hanging out at the Sutro Baths on and off since 1979. I must say the city is doing a great job of ruining the ruins in the name of safety. New paths, rails, and cement filled holes seem to sanitize the hillside and stairs.

This was my first time back in at least ten years. Much has changed. The biggest disappointment was the bunker that had the whole history of the baths painted in 1.5 inch green letters around the walls, covering every square inch of space. It is now painted over with gray cement paint.

Steve and I sat on the wall. The day was beautiful, uncharacteristically hot for the San Francisco coast. Lone hikers, couples, and families explored the area, some like us just came for the serenity of the ocean.

If you go, "leave only footprints and take nothing but photographs."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Looking Down Market St., San Francisco

Looking east down Market Street towards the Embarcadero.
The Muni's F line transports me back in time with a feeling of nostalgia.

Photo taken with an EOS 40D. Exposure 1/200 s at f/7.1. ISO 200. Focal length 32 mm. Desaturated in PhotoShop.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Union Square, San Francisco

Situated downtown in front of the St. Francis Hotel, artists set up booths for tourists and locals in Union Square.

Photo taken with a Canon EOS 40D. Exposure 1/250 s at f/8. ISO 200. Focal length 17 mm. Image desaturated in PS CS2.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Boonville Road

On the Boonville Rd, Sunday September 18th.
After morning rains and unsettled weather, vultures ride the thermals.

Photo taken with a Canon EOS 40D. 1/500 s, f 3.1, ISO 200, focal length 32mm.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Steam engine boiler and crane at the Roots of Motor Power open house September 12th.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Steam Engine

Roots of Motor Power in Willits staged an open house September 11th & 12th. This steam engine was one of the engines on display Sunday.

Photo taken with an EOS Canon 40D, focal length 17mm. Exposure 1/250 s. f/2.7, ISO 200.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pink flowers

I would like to tell you the name of the flower, but I have no idea. Thought they were real pretty. I will update as soon as I find out.

Photo take with Canon EOS 40D in Mendocino. Exposure 1/500 s at f/2.8. Focal length 48mm.
ISO 125

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pirate's treasure

Even fairies cannot resist pirates treasure.

Photographs taken with a Canon 40D. Exposure 1/100 s at f/8. ISO 200, artificial light source. Focal length 24mm. Setting is Montgomery Woods.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Dry-docked boat at Noyo Harbor.

This photo was taken with a Canon EOS 40D. Ft. Bragg, CA in Mendocino County. Exposure 1/160 s at f/5.6. ISO 125. Focal length 28 mm.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Young Warrior

Deep in the forest
where the dragons dwell
lives a young warrior
stout of heart
pure of mind
courageous as a lion

Gabriel waves his sword
ready to do battle
dragons tremble
flames lick Gabriel's shield
he stands strong
roars of pain fill the air

All is quiet
the dragon flees
Gabriel stands alone

Photo taken in Montgomery Woods, Orr Springs Rd.
Exposure 1/60s at f/3.5 with pop-up flash. ISO 200

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Coast at Ft. Bragg

Every time I go to the coast, I am reminded that I live in a very special part of California. I must confess, I do not know the exact name of this spot of beach. All I can tell you is that it is just north of Pudding Creek Bridge and is a popular spot with surfers.

I ended up here with the Willits Photography Club after we visited guest speaker Ron LeValley at the Mendocino Coast Photographer Guild and Gallery in Ft. Bragg. Ron directed us to this portion of coast as a great place to take photographs. Club members Steve, Jain, Josh, Gary, Erin and I went to check out the wave action.

We had a lovely day.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

On the Eel

Sun-rays gently beating down
grasses swaying in the breeze
cool clear water
darting fish flashing rainbow colors
butterflies fluttering
bees buzzing
lizards doing push-ups on the rocks
all part of the experience of the Eel River

This photo was taken with a Canon EOS 40D north east of Willits, CA in Mendocino County. Exposure 1/200 s at f/10. ISO 100. Focal length 28 mm.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In the Mystic Woods

I walk, daydreaming as I go
Drinking in the mystic woods,
When to my surprise
She appears before me
sitting by a pool,
unaware of my approach.

I stop, excitement swelling in my chest
not daring to breath,
Real, or a figment of my imagination?
I am afraid to blink
lest she disappear.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Safety at the Carnival

Ring of Fire, assembled by a master mechanic.

The carnival run by family company Johnston Amusements arrives every year like clockwork the week preceding the rodeo. Like modern day gypsies, the carnies move from town to town six months out of the year, setting up and taking down enormous rides with skill. Gordon Johnston proudly asserts that his company has the safest record in California, eight years without an incident. I believe this, for I have watched and documented his workers for the past two years transform misc. parts into magnificent rides rising above the trees. To watch, you have to have a lot of time and patience. Hurry up and wait sums up the experience. Like a giant transformer emerging from a sleep, each piece is unfolded from its cramped position, workers inspect and grease every joint and movable part. Smaller parts are unpacked, inspected and attached to the ride.

I have never seen people who work as hard as the carnies do. One young man told me, I make a decent paycheck, and I have a job in this economy.

Johnston Amusements will return to Mendocino County in the fall at the Mendocino County Fair in Booneville.

Photo taken with a Canon EOS 40D.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Special Effect

Swirling lights and long exposure. I wanted all of the rides to be going at once. While waiting for a ride to get going, the first one stops to let riders on or off. It is like a juggling act. So, to combat boredom while waiting, I decided to play with the zoom ring during exposure. Emboldened by my first clumsy attempts, I kept playing with the shutter speed and degree in which I turned the zoom ring. It took many attempts. I was happy with this one. I never did get all the rides going at once.

When taking long exposure shots, make sure you have a very steady tripod.
This photo was taken with a Canon EOS 40D on a tripod. Exposure 6.0 s at f/22. ISO 100. Focal length 16mm.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Willits Frontier Days part 5, Carnival

Three Sunglasses

The carnival experience is not complete unless you share it with friends.

This photo taken with a Canon 40D, with 16mm-135mm lens. Accidentally stripped my Exif data.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Willits Frontier Days part 4, Carnival

Ferris Wheel

"Round and round and up and down" said my young friend as we slowly rose into the air on the ferris wheel. Fourth of July in Willits is not complete without a visit to the carnival. The bright lights are a photographers delight.

This photo was taken with a Canon EOS 40D on a tripod, Exposure 0.3 s at f/5. ISO 100. focal length 82mm.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Willits Frontier Days part 3, Street Dance

Daaance Paaarty!

Here in Willits, California we really know how to have a good time. After the evening rodeo, the spectators mosey over to the stage area for a dance. The band, SK2, has the brilliant Flying Eagle ferris wheel and the rest of Johnston Amusements rides as a backdrop. The community at large comes out for a good time and great music. There are sodas and water for the kids and non-drinkers in one corner, and if you had your hand stamped at the gate, you can purchase a cold beer in the other corner. The dance is where you can hang with old friends, make some new ones, and run into neighbors and elected officials. Hey, its a small town. If you don't know someone, stick out your hand and say, "Hi!" Ten to one, you will have some mutual friends.

If you were at the dance, did you have a good time? Can you find yourself? Steve M. I see you.

This photo was taken from the roof of the beer truck on July 3rd at 11:45 PM with a Canon EOS 40D. I had an off camera flash that I popped to give some light to the foreground. Exposure 1/30s at f/3.5 on a tripod. ISO 800. Focal length 44mm.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Willits Frontier Days Part 2

Willits Frontier Days Rodeo was the Fourth of July weekend. The rodeo runs during the Fourth of July every year.

Rodeo. It dwells deep in psyche of the cowboy, young boys grow up watching their big brothers, fathers, uncles, cousins, neighbors, and wish to emulate them in the ring.

In small towns across the West, the rodeo is a family affair. Small boys often get their start riding sheep. They move up to calves. By the time they are old enough to join the California High School Rodeo Association (CHSRA), they will graduate to bulls.

These two adorable boys took turns being the bull between events.

For more information: CHRSA , Willits Frontier Days

These photos were taken with a Canon EOS 40D, flash. Exposure 1/60s at f/4. ISO 400. Focal length 68mm "Boys on Fence" and 28mm "Boys Playing Bull Rider."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Willits Frontier Days part 1

For some strange reason, today's post ended up with Sunday's date. So, I am going to post again. Also, haven't figured out how to enable the subscribe button. So, if you would like an email to send this direct to your inbox, please write me at

Willits Frontier Days-4th of July
Dust, bulls, horses, and cowboys are the mainstay of every rodeo. And, Willits rodeo is no exception.

The young man in this image is called E.P., 23 years old, and he hails from Laytonville 22 miles north of Willits. E.P. went flying, but thankfully he was not hurt. This was a purely lucky shot. I normally do not shoot the cowboys once the chute opens. This day, the chute opened, the bull twisted, E.P. lost his seat, but his hand was still tied to the bull. A collective gasp went through the spectators, they all know that this can be dangerous if the hand does not come free with his outward momentum, the cowboy will then swing under the bull where he can be trampled. Fortunately, E.P. pulled free, a little disappointed, but still ambulatory.

Photo taken with Canon EOS 40D with a borrowed Canon 16mm-135mm wide angle zoom lens. Exposure 1/200s at f/5.6 with a bias value of -0.33. ISO 100. Focal length

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Shasta Daisys, Guerneville

Shasta Daisys
Shastas, shastas everywhere, in gardens of friends, medical providers and family. These daisys grow in my mother's backyard. They grow along the borders of the deck, along the fence and in the front yard. Long legged Shasta Daisys propagate everywhere, deer do not eat them. They take over gardens like weeds, albeit very pretty weeds.

Photo was taken with a Canon EOS 40D with a Tamron 17-50mm lens. ISO 100. Exposure 1/200s at f/3.2. Focal length 28mm

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White Barn

White Barn, Healdsburg.
A wide-angle lens allows a photographer to get the whole image. After driving by the white barn for the past two years, today I had my brand new wide angle zoom lens. I was eager to finally be able to cature the whole barn and vineyard setting. I arrived at six o'clock, almost too late, the shadows were starting to creep up the side of the barn. This photo was taken with a Canon EOS 40D with a Tamron 17-50mm lens. ISO 200. Exposure 1/3200s at f/4.

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