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

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

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

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

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

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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Blue Angels Flyover During Super Bowl 50

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.

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Super Bowl 50 Blue Angels Photos

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.
[click to continue…]

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Piazzale Michelangelo Revisited

If you are fortunate enough to live in Florence, you can make multiple trips to Piazzale Michelangelo to witness the gorgeous sunset. The best that I can do is dig through three-year-old JPEGs and experiment with different post-processing workflows.

Piazzale Michelangelo

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 44mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Shutter: 1.3s

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Nazca Lines: Whale

Visiting the Nazca lines is not the most pleasant experience. On board a small plane, we headed out on our aerial tour. Now to see these lines, our pilots would sharply roll the plane left or right so that the passengers would get a clear, downward view of the geoglyphs on the ground. The end result is that about a third of the passengers developed motion sickness. This is truly unfortunate because the geoglyphs are quite amazing. It really requires some talent to construct objects of this scale.

Nazca Whale

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
ISO: 320
Focal Length: 48mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/2000s

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