Notre Dame

My last memory of Notre Dame was on a cold Parisian winter night. I took a short walk from Saint Germain des Prés, and circled around the cathedral searching for an interesting vantage point.

The spire that reached high above the towers is now gone, lost in today’s devastating blaze. I am so saddened for the people of France and for Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris.


Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Tonight, I was inspired to re-edit a 2012 photo of the Trevi Fountain in Rome. The one problem with this photo is that the top of the fountain was cut off. As I recall, I was already at the 24mm end of a 24-70mm lens and was on a tripod as far back as I could be.

If I had more experience, I would have taken a vertical panorama , which would have solved that issue. Taking a RAW photo instead of a JPG would have helped too.


Percé Rock, Quebec, Canada

Old photo, new software. Percé Rock (or Rocher Percé in French) is located at the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, Canada. I drove there from Montreal back in 2003 armed with my first digital camera, a Sony Cybershot DSC-S85.

I noticed a white halo in an earlier edit. When re-processing the JPEG in Luminar 3, I experienced the same issue when using the AI Sky Enhancer filter to boost contrast in the sky. Turns out, this is not a difficult problem to fix, and I was able to reproduce the fix in both Photoshop and Luminar 3.

In Photoshop, I created a new layer and used the Clone Stamp tool with Sample set to Current & Below. Next, I sampled the sky next to the edge with the white halo, and cloned out the white halo. Next, in the Layer tab, I set the blend mode to Darker Color. Since I’m cloning out the halo from the adjacent sky, there will be no impact on the sky. Since the sky is darker than the white halo, the white halo is cloned out. Finally, since the sky is lighter than the rock, it has no effect on the rock. Thus, I was able to clone out just the white halo with an adjacent color.


Spring is Just Around the Corner

It was only a few weeks ago that the local hills received a light dusting of snow. Now, even though the air remains brisk at times, the signs of spring coming arrival are emerging around us.


Sutro Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge

While waiting for the Super Snow Moon to arrive, I was looking northward to see what was visible in that direction. On that clear afternoon, even Sutro Tower, a rail thin structure, was visible from Palo Alto.

What really surprised me was when I opened the photo at home. The Golden Gate Bridge is visible in the photo. It’s a bit easier to see the bridge in this enlargement, with the two towers, their characteristically red colors muted by the fading light, extending above the nearby hills.


Super Snow Moon

I wanted to maximize the size of the Super Snow Moon by photographing it close to the horizon. I consulted both PhotoPills and The Photographer’s Ephemeris to plan these moon photos.

Today, moon rise was at 5:00 P.M. When I arrived at my location, I consulted PhotoPills again to confirm the direction of the moon rise. However, when 5:00 P.M. arrived, I couldn’t see the moon. I took my first moon photo at 5:15 P.M. At that time, the moon was really faint against the late afternoon sky. Sunset wouldn’t take place until 5:51 P.M.

Since this was my first attempt, I wasn’t sure which lenses to bring. The first photo was taken at 600mm, which is only useful during the first few minutes at moon rise. This second one is at 200 mm.

Not long after, I was down to 122 mm just to keep the moon and foreground in the same frame.


Levi’s Stadium

The last time I posted a photo of Levi’s Stadium, the Blue Angels were performing a flyover for Super Bowl 50, which was almost exactly three years ago. However, that February was a bit different because California was mired in a drought .

Instead of lush green foothills capped with a dusting of snow, we only had green grass at the lower elevations. The hill tops just look absolutely dry.


Lick Observatory

Last night, another storm passed through the Bay Area. By late afternoon, large clouds crossing the skies were casting their shadows below on Silicon Valley. I knew that Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton had seen a dusting of snow, so I started scanning the horizon for that landmark.

After an extensive study of all the snow-capped foothills, I finally found it. The challenge was that the low clouds had obscured the observatory at times. Even after I found it, I could see it appear and disappear from view depending on the changing conditions on the peak.


Waxing Crescent Moon 35%

Tonight, the waxing crescent moon danced across the night sky with the planet Mars just off to its right. While full moons garner the most attention, the crescent moon really shows off the contours of the lunar surface. The strong directional light really highlights all the craters on the moon.


Snow-Capped Foothills in the Bay Area

Click on image to see in full-resolution.

Last night, the Bay Area experienced a light dusting of snow at the higher elevations. If you look behind airship hangars at Moffett Field, you can see the snow-capped foothills.

To the far left is the Dumbarton Bridge and to the far right is the new Google HQ under construction.