Architecture

Richmond-San Rafael Bridge

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Richmond-San Rafael Bridge

The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge connects the city of Richmond in Contra Costa County to the city of San Rafael in Marin County. The first time, I crossed the bridge, I was surprised to discover that San Quentin State Prison was located right on the shores of the San Francisco Bay. The prison is the set of buildings in the bottom left corner of the photo.

Google Bay View Campus

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The new Google headquarters being built on North Shoreline Boulevard between Amphitheatre Parkway and Charleston Road has attracted a fair degree of attention. Located next to the Googleplex, that project boasts an eye-catching dome design. I walk by that job site a few times each week and have seen their steady progress over the past few months.

From Shoreline Park, I’ve also seen the cranes on Moffett Airfield. I had assumed that Google Bay View campus would be a traditional corporate park, like the adjacent Google office buildings nearby. So, I was in for quite a surprise when I took a walk on the Stevens Creek Trail and spotted the same structural lines that define its big sister a few blocks away. Mountain VIew is going to be an interesting place in the next decade.

Working in the Clouds

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Today, I spotted a person on top of Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. I had never seen anyone up there before. However, it makes sense that there must be some way to change out the bulbs in the aircraft warning lights.

We had a touch of rain the night before so the skies were cleaner than usual. Fortunately, there was a small cloud just off to the side that really completed the image.

Potala Palace

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When I travel, I usually hit the ground running. However, the altitude of Tibet really tested me. The highlight of Tibet was the Potala Palace, which dominates the Lhasa skyline. It felt so close yet distant at the same time. Although the Potala Palace was just a few blocks away from the hotel, I didn’t venture there on my own until I was more acclimated. I didn’t want to head there for the morning sunrise only to realize I couldn’t make it back to the hotel on my own in time for the tour.

The road there was relatively level, and I didn’t have any issues getting to the palace. There were a few elevated crosswalks for reaching the other side of the street, and those were the most challenging. Actually, climbing any stairs, even a single flight, proved an exhausting experience. This view of the Potala Palace was taken from the park across the street.

Morning in Cusco Peru

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I was very comfortable with my Lightroom, Photoshop, and Nik Collection workflow until High Sierra disrupted matters. I know the workaround, but I’m experimenting with Luminar just in case.

Cusco Peru

San Francisco

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San Francisco was a touch hazy, and all too drab. That’s what happens when the skies above are absolutely overcast. The wonderful dehaze function helped. However, what really recovered the city colors was adjusting the RGB levels. Works wonders when fixing old photos that have shifted orange. Tried it here and it worked as well.

Of course, 1/250s is not the standard shutter speed at 300mm. However, I was using a tripod with a shutter release.

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: 1/250s

Old Mission Santa Barbara

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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

SFMOMA and Yerba Buena Gardens

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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

The Morning Rush

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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

San Mateo Hayward Bridge

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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