Landscape

San Francisco Bay Area Wildfire Smoke

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During the late afternoon, I took a peek outside and spotted some high clouds. That usually means a colorful sunset. I didn’t realize how hazy the skies were at the time. San Francisco was pretty well hidden from the smoke coming from the Northern California wildfires.

Stanford Dish at Sunset

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Grabbed the relatively lightweight Nikkor 28-300mm lens for an evening hike. I learned my lesson last time when I hauled a backpack and tripod. Just cannot move quickly with that much gear. Anyways, the leisurely walk turned into a biathlon once the sunset colors revealed themself. Run and shoot. Run and shoot.

Len Turner Memorial Vista Point

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The Len Turner Memorial Vista Point offers a view of San Francisco, running from Candlestick to the Bay Bridge. When I previously had difficulty focusing on San Francisco at night, I suspected my lens and teleconverter combination may have been the culprit. After switching to the TPO UltraWide 180, I realized that the problem was the fog. Even the portions of the City which were not obscured by fog, the moisture and strong wind rendered all the city lights into bloated dots. So, this cityscape needs to be reshot on a clear evening.

The Len Turner Memorial Vista Point is located on Ralston Avenue in Belmont, CA. Apple Maps had the wrong address for the location and sent me down Belmont Canyon Road.

Huntington Beach Fireworks

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Huntington Beach Fireworks

While waiting for the July 4th fireworks to begin at the Huntington Beach pier, an even more spectacular display erupted in the adjoining neighborhood. I was surprised to see so many aerial fireworks. I remembered running around with sparklers as a child. No one was launching pyrotechnics to rival the pros. Seriously, this was more entertaining than the official fireworks show. However, after some research, the aerial fireworks may not have been safe and sane.

Star Trails

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When most photos are captured in fractions of a second, spending an hour or more to take a photo feels like madness. That’s the reason why I never attempted to photograph star trails before. However, once I headed down the path of astrophotography, the calculation changed. Since I’m waiting for the camera most of the time, I could be twice as productive by setting up an older camera to take star trails. Since this was my third attempt, I was only willing to commit 30 minutes to the process. Also, I wasn’t sure what factor the 62% waxing gibbous would play in the final image. The end result turned out better than expected.

Stanford University

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The classic view of Stanford University is from Palm Drive. From this behind-the-scenes angle, you can see the Stanford campus from a different perspective. The iconic Hoover Tower stands out and above all the surrounding buildings. The back of Memorial Church is also visible. Just follow Palm Drive, which is the vertical line on the left, down to the Quad. The Stanford Dish is not visible, but you can find the illuminated smaller dish.

San Francisco Night Cityspace

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I tested the TPO UltraWide 180 f/4.5 astrophotography lens on a nighttime cityscape of San Francisco. From this vantage point, I was able to capture many of the major landmarks including Sutro Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, Downtown San Francisco and the Bay Bridge.

Wolf Moon Rising

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I wanted to get another photo of the full moon rising over Lick Observatory. I adjusted my location based on my experience during the previous full moon. Unfortunately, the moon rose further north than last month. I guess that approximately is not good enough. Need to be more careful with the calculations next time.

Memorial Church and the Planets Saturn and Jupiter

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Planetary Alignment

The Moon (99% waxing gibbous), accompanied by Saturn and Jupiter, rises above Memorial Church at Stanford University. In terms of lining up the moon with a building, visit Photo Ephemeris, which is pretty accurate. In retrospect, I should have consulted it beforehand. Instead, I used the augmented reality feature in PhotoPills, which was not as precise.

Comet NEOWISE Rising at Dawn

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Comet NEOWISE rising above the San Francisco bay. I love the soft pastels of the morning light, as well as the clear delineation between the night sky and the coming morning sun.