Last Tuesday morning I enjoyed walking with my friends Doug Kaye and Steve Disenhof south of Market Street in San Francisco. After strolling along The Embarcadero from the Ferry Building, we headed over a couple of blocks to Spear Street and did what we usually do – walked towards the good light!
There are a couple of nice courtyards along Spear Street adjacent to office buildings – including one at 201 Spear Street. This statue of a photographer by sculpture Seward Johnson (named “Smile”) is one of my favorites. I made this image using my iPhone 11 Pro Max in Portrait mode and proceeded it into black and white.
San Francisco International Airport has just opened SkyTerrace – an outdoor viewing platform above Terminal 2 – and which can be accessed from outside of the security screening area which means anyone can visit.
Yesterday I took advantage of the free weekend parking at BART’s Millbrae and caught the BART train for a quick trip over to SFO. BART arrives at SFO inside the G area of the International Terminal. One flight up from the BART platform is AirTrain – the inter-terminal shuttle trains that make it easy to move between terminals. Terminal 2 is two stops away on the Red Line (which runs clockwise around the airport) and the free AirTrains run every four minutes or so.
Exiting the AirTrain platform upon arriving at Terminal 2, I took the elevator down to the Departures level and then looked for the signs to SkyTerrace which is located to the left of the security screening area. There’s an elevator which goes up to Level 4 where SkyTerrace is located and you enter immediately into that area upon exiting the elevator. There’s a quick security screening and then you can head outside to the window-enclosed but roofless patio area where you have a great view of the airport – particularly for departures on Runways 28.
Photographers can take tripods into SkyTerrace – and there were a couple of photographers there when I arrived Saturday afternoon using their tripods and very long lenses to capture some airplane images.
Heading out from SkyTerrace, I took the photo of the SFO Control Tower from the end of the AirTrain platform at Terminal 2. That spot provides a very nice angle for taking that image.
Heading back, I took the Red Line AirTrain again to the Grand Hyatt Hotel exit. This new airport hotel opened a recently and I hadn’t seen what it looked like. The most stunning feature was the beautiful stained glass treatment along the walls as you come down into the hotel lobby from the AirTrain platform.
All of these images were taken with my iPhone 11 Pro Max. I had two of my big cameras along in my camera bag but didn’t bother to take them out – something that’s happening more and more frequently these days given the capabilities of the camera system in the iPhone 11 Pro Max!
Went for a walk on this lovely brisk January morning at Menlo Park’s Sharon Park.
iPhone 11 Pro Max Live photo – edited first in Photos (to change to Long Exposure) and add a bit of warmth. Next, edited in Snapped to add a touch of ambiance, a bit of negative structure (more painterly), and added a No. 12 black border (size: 20).
This morning I was at one of my favorite spots along the Pacific coast in Half Moon Bay for today’s high tide. This was supposed to be an unusually high tide and I was hoping for some dramatic wave photographs – but, alas, there was no wind and the wave action was minimal.
So instead of making ocean wave photographs, I was walking back to my car and came across this fisherman launching his small boat out into the harbor. He had just finished mounting a small outboard motor on the stern and was plugging the start cord as I made this photograph. I liked the monochrome treatment of the image and is really shows off the dramatic contrast between the sun’s glow on the water in the harbor and the boatman and his board getting ready to go.
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and want a lovely place to walk (or cycle) be sure to head for Pillar Point Harbor and take a walk on the paved pathway that heads south to Surfer Beach. It’s a bit over a mile walk down and back with some of the most beautiful beachfront along this section of the Pacific coast!
If you’re looking for more outdoor adventure, head a few miles north to Moss Beach along Highway 1 and the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. The Reserve’s combination of high cliffs along the ocean and some dramatic forest makes for another great walk. Or, if you’re more in the mood for a coffee or a nice meal, head south along Highway 1 and then on to Main Street in Half Moon Bay where you’ll find that kind of thing along with more places to explore. And if you just want some quiet time, the Half Moon Bay Library is a delightful place to just “hang”, read and relax quietly. This combination of outdoor, exercise, or quiet time doesn’t get much better than in Half Moon Bay!
Here’s another tip: Sam’s Chowder House is just above the pathway along Pillar Point Harbor. Sam’s operates two webcams (SamCams) from the top of the restaurant which provide a quick way to see what’s happening along the beachfront that can help you make a decision about visiting.
Here are a couple of iPhone 11 Pro Max images from yesterday’s first photo walk of 2020 San Francisco.
The glow of the sun on the columns of the Union Bank building on California Street made a compelling subject. We stood across the street and waited. This woman seemed to see me and started to run as I was taking her photo!
In Chinatown there’s a seemingly endless project for the new subway station. These workers were up on a wall of re-bar making for an interesting subject!
Before heading home, we had lunch at one of our favorite spots in San Francisco – Tadich Grill on California Street. The ahi tuna salad special was a treat for me today!
So much for our first day in 2020 back on the streets of San Francisco. I had a larger camera along in my shoulder bag but didn’t pull it out – increasingly the iPhone 11 Pro Max camera system is meeting my needs for street photography. I recently got the newly released Smart Battery Case for it – which includes a nifty new recessed button for quickly accessing the Camera app making it an even better street photography camera!