Sutro Tower

From Seal Point Park in San Mateo, I had a relatively clear view of San Francisco that was free of rain and fog. Usually, from this vantage point, I will focus on the planes flying over the San Mateo Bridge and landing at San Francisco airport.

However, I spotted Sutro Tower off in the distance and wanted to see how well the lens performed. This lens is certainly capable of producing crisp images, but the Sutro Tower located almost 20 miles away proved to be quite challenging. The mountain range behind Sutro Tower is Mount Tamalpais.


Camera: Nikon D750
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 300mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/500s

This United Airlines airplane flying over the San Francisco bay was more within its zone of competence.

United Airlines

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Morro Bay

When I arrived at Morro Bay, not too many people were around. I headed straight to the water’s edge and found an unobstructed view of Morro Rock. Around the harbor, I could hear the morning chatter coming from the birds and sea lions that called Morro Bay home.

I was excited to see the sliver of blue sky emerging from behind Morro Rock. However, the promise of good weather did not materialize as the sky darkened later in the day and turned light sprinkles into pouring rain.


Morro Bay

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
ISO: 50
Focal Length: 52mm
Shutter: 1/60s
Aperture: f/2.8





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Old Mission Santa Barbara

Old Mission Santa Barbara

I arrived at Old Mission Santa Barbara at sunset. The last golden rays of the sun showered the church in a warm glow. The fountain attracted some attention from people looking to make a wish or seeking a place to plant themselves for a few minutes of rest. The church stairs was another popular location with two Christmas tree on each side of the church doors. Took a lot of patience to get a clear photo.

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 24mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/40s

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Flight Over San Mateo Bridge

Tried a new location along the coast to catch planes descending into San Francisco airport. However, along this stretch, overhead power lines mar the view. I’ll have to revisit and try some different subjects and angles.

San Mateo Bridge

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SFMOMA and Yerba Buena Gardens

SFMOMA

I only had the Really Right Stuff Pocket ‘Pod with me tonight, so I had to resort to using whatever flat, stable surface was available. This photo was an exercise in focus stacking with one frame on the water feature and the other on the large buildings in the background.

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikon 24mm
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 24mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 4.0s

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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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