Arc de Triomphe and Les Misérables

Fans of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, the novel and the musical, should recognize this name on the Arc de Triomphe: Lamarque. The Paris riots that followed the funeral of General Jean Maximilien Lamarque is central to Les Misérables in that it provided Valjean the opportunity to save Javert and Marius Pontmercy.


Sunrise over Gilead Sciences Campus

These buildings are located just to the right of the San Mateo-Hayward bridge. In the minutes before sunrise, the illumination from the building lights pair well with the emerging sunrise and the reflection in the waters of the San Francisco Bay.

I had to look up these buildings on Google Maps and they appear to be part of the Gilead Sciences campus in Foster City, California.


San Mateo-Hayward Bridge

The last time I was at the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge, I was on the other side with the sunrise behind me. This time, I tried a new location and took a three-photo panorama.

With each passing week, the sun is starting to rise earlier and earlier. This shortens the shutter speed and the water ends up choppier. Will try again with an ND filter if the weather cooperates.


Last Quarter Moon

Took a morning photo of the last quarter moon with 55% illumination. I used a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens for this photo, so the moon was “smaller” than usual. At the 300mm focal length, I can still see the craters quite clearly and even the slow f/5.6 aperture is still two full stops faster than the f/11 aperture when using the telescope.

The focusing ring of the lens was adequate. It got the job done, but didn’t feel smooth and precise. However, I found it easier to focus using the camera lens because any minute vibration when using the telescope would send the image on the back of the camera oscillating.


C-130 Hercules Soars Over Moffett Field

During lunch, I saw a Lockheed C-130 Hercules circling around Moffett Field. I think the plane was performing a touch and go because I would see it descend and take-off shortly after. Because the landing was obscured by the surrounding buildings, I was not 100% certain.

During one of its revolutions, another plane took off from Moffett Field. I was tracking the C-130 through the viewfinder and the appearance of another plane startled me.

I saw the C-130 Hercules take off from Moffett Field a few times. This photo has a mix of the old and new. Google is building its Bay View campus in the foreground while Moffett Federal Airfield Hangar 2 and 3 are in the background. At the top of the mountain, you can even see Lick Observatory.


Two Moons

Two moons taken about a week apart. The top is a 82% illuminated waxing gibbous moon. ISO 1600 at 1/1,250s. The bottom is a 12% illuminated waxing crescent moon. ISO 1600 at 1/1,000s.

The crescent moon is actually quite dim so I had to adjust the exposure in post-processing more. The waxing gibbous moon was approaching a full moon in a few days. This is better than a full moon because where the light drops off, the craters are more visible.


San Mateo-Hayward Bridge

On a quiet morning, I stopped by the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge just before sunrise. I could see some cars beginning their daily commute across the bridge while the sky was faintly illuminated in pink and purple hues. The water was glassy and still, except for a few early rising ducks who were already gliding across the San Francisco Bay.


Rim of the World

Rim of the World Vista Point in Stanislaus National Forest

The Rim of the World Vista Point is located along Highway 120 in the Stanislaus National Forest. On a cold, winter morning, I stopped by on the way to Yosemite National Park. Barren tree trunks still scarred the land six years after the devastating 2013 Rim Fire, which consumed over 250,00 acres of land. The morning fog clinging to the ground gave this vista point an apocalyptic ambience.


Leo J. Ryan Memorial Park

Leo J. Ryan Memorial Park in Foster City

During an early morning trip to the Leo J. Ryan Memorial Park, I was rewarded with a brilliant sunrise. The still lake in the quiet hours of the morning created a perfect reflection of the houses and morning skies.

Leo J. Ryan Memorial Park was dedicated in 1979 to honor U.S. Representative Leo J. Ryan, who served as a U.S. Representative for the 11th Congressional District of California from 1973 to 1978, when he was murdered in Guyana by members of the Peoples Temple. At the time, the 11th Congressional District covered parts of San Mateo County.


Waning Gibbous Moon 99%

On the night after the Wolf Moon, the moon entered the waning gibbous phase with a 99% illumination. You can see the craters on the right edge of the moon.

Since I recently watched First Man, I decided to track down the Apollo 11 landing site. The rocket 🚀 emoji is where Neil Armstrong took the giant leap for mankind.