Dos Amigos Pumping Plant

The Dos Amigos Pumping Plant helps transport water in the California Aqueduct. The water is lifted 113 feet, and then descends to the next pumping station 164 miles away.

I suppose a sunrise or sunset shot would be more interesting, but with the plant located half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, reaching this location by mid-day is about par for the course.

California Aqueduct

Camera: Nikon D750
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 58mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/400s

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The Morning Rush

I just returned from the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama. Visually, the location appeared to be quite remote with large swaths of trees flanking Interstate 459. U.S. Route 280, a six-land highway, baffled me. I didn’t understand why there were no crosswalks or sidewalks for pedestrians to travel along or across the highway, which felt more like a city street.

I was even more surprised when cars flowed onto 280 in the morning and left that route quite congested. A quick glance at Google Maps revealed all the residential areas hidden behind the trees.

Birmingham Alabama

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Lockheed P-3 Orion

During a noon hike, I spotted a Lockheed P-3 Orion taking off from Moffett Federal Airfield. At the time, I was using the D7000 because the D800 would not turn on and had to be sent to Nikon for repairs. Hopefully, the repairs will not take too long because I miss that camera already. It functions as expected.

Lockheed P-3 Orion

Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
ISO: 400
Focal Length: 300mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/1250s

Earlier, I was using the D7000 for video work. On the D800, I can adjust the aperture, shutter speed and ISO while in Live View. On the D7000, the camera settings could not be adjusted in the same manner in Live View. Fortunately, I had internet access in the field and was able to lookup the instructions. The quick answer is shutter speed can be adjusted in Live View, but aperture cannot not. I had to exit Live View, adjust the aperture, and return to Live View. As for ISO, setting Manual Movie Settings to “on” enables ISO to be changed while in Live View. That setting can be found at Shooting Menu > Movie Settings > Manual Movie Settings.

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San Mateo Hayward Bridge

I revisited the San Mateo Hayward Bridge on a day with even worse weather. However, what really stood out that morning was the low tide, which I was not expecting. Instead of tranquil reflections of the bridge arching across the bay, I was greeted with a clear view of the bay floor (with a panorama of disposed tires firmly embedded into the dirt).

Even the orange buoy was resting on the ground.

San Mateo-Hayward Bridge

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Moscone Center

At Moscone Center in San Francisco experimenting with light trails. I used one base exposure for the overall scene and blended in several longer exposure frames that captured the streaks of headlights passing under the bridge.

Moscone Center, San Francisco

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San Mateo-Hayward Highway 92 Bridge

Highway 92 Bridge

I think of California State Route 92 as the highway that links Half Moon Bay with the more developed side of the peninsula. However, Highway 92 does not terminate at San Mateo. Instead, it continues east over the San Mateo-Hayward bridge and ends in Hayward. In terms of appearance, it is quite utilitarian and lacks some of the distinction of its northern neighbors, including the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge.

Delta Airlines N584NW

On the other side of the San Mateo bridge, I saw and heard the constant stream of airplanes descending into San Francisco International Airport. Unfortunately, the airport, San Francisco and Oakland were covered in a thick haze. On a clear day, the view must be fantastic. I will have to revisit this location soon.

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Hanger Two and Mount Hamilton

Hangers Two and Three at Moffett Field with Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton in the Background.

I had the versatile Nikon 28-300mm lens with me on an exceptionally clear afternoon. I was focused on Hanger Two and Hanger Three at Moffett Field at the time. It wasn’t until I was looking at the photos under higher magnification that I noticed Lick Observatory at Mount Hamilton in the background.

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
ISO: 160
Focal Length: 250mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter: 1/1,250s

In the other direction, I could see the skyscrapers in San Francisco quite clearly. As it turns out, both Mount Hamilton and San Francisco are about equidistant from Mountain View. They are both a shade under 40 miles away.

San Francisco, California

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Black-Necked Stilt in Flight

Black Necked Stilt

I was tracking this bird when it took off in flight. Fortunately, I had already acquired focus while the bird was still in the water, and the distance did not change much.

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
ISO: 360
Focal Length: 300mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter: 1/1000s

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Oracle Campus at Redwood Shores

Oracle at Redwood Shores

I stopped by Oracle at around the blue hour tonight. From the other side of 101, the buildings appeared to be clustered together. However, as I crossed the overpass, it became evident that these were separate and distinct buildings.

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 16mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter: 30s
[click to continue…]

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Temple of Heaven: Cloning and Sky Swap

temple-of-heaven__0008

I was looking through old photos tonight and stumbled upon one that I had taken at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China from 2010. I wanted to practice cloning, so I removed as many people as I could from the photo. The original appears at the end of the post. I also swapped out the dull, gray morning sky.

Camera: Nikon D50
Lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D
ISO: 200
Focal Length: 50mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/250

temple-of-heaven_0008-original

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