Landscape

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

Sutro Tower

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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

Morro Bay

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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





Flight Over San Mateo Bridge

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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

Dos Amigos Pumping Plant

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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

Lockheed P-3 Orion

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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.

Hanger Two and Mount Hamilton

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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

Blue Angels Flyover During Super Bowl 50

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During Super Bowl 50, I was on the side of a mountain with a view of Moffett Field and Levi’s Stadium. I wasn’t sure which direction the Blue Angels would come from, but from my vantage point, I was fairly confident that I could spot their arrival.

The more pressing problem was the atmospheric haze. Nearby objects were crystal clear. However, objects (like Levi’s Stadium) that were located further away were not. Here is the original photo.

Super Bowl 50

I had just upgraded to the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC, which added the de-haze feature, so I was eager to return home and test the function. From the original, I was able to restore the colors and contrast, and salvage the situation. Sometimes you just have to shoot regardless of the circumstances and hope for the best in post-processing. I think this latest edit is an improvement on my first attempt.

Super Bowl 50 Blue Angels Photos

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The Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers competed in Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. I was 15 miles away on the side of a mountain overlooking Silicon Valley.

Levi's Stadium

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II and AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III
ISO: 360
Focal Length: 600mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/2000s

Fortunately, 30 minutes before the start of the Super Bowl, the Blue Angels flew over Silicon Valley. Nothing better than a test run before the real deal…for them, as well as for me. 600mm was a bit too close since I wanted to see the Blue Angels in their surroundings, so I removed the teleconverter and waited and waited and waited.
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