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Art and Artists Photography Photography - Black & White Stanford

Another Ansel

I recently visited Cantor Art Museum at Stanford to see a temporary small exhibition of Ansel Adams’ work: Surf Sequence. It’s an exhibition of five of his photographs taken in 1940 along the San Mateo county coastline looking down at the surf as the waves move in and out over the sand.

Surf Sequence

They’re beautiful images – as usual with his work. Even more interesting to me, however, were two other images on the opposite wall taken in the late 1920’s of a skier coming down a ski run on Mount Watkins in Yosemite (both images shown below taken with an iPhone 11 Pro Max).

Skiing on Mount Watkins, Yosemite High Sierra
Skiing on Mount Watkins, Yosemite High Sierra

These images remind me of one of Georgia O’Keeffe’s drawings – Winter Road – although I’m sure one didn’t directly influence the other!

Winter Road

Winter Road comes from one of O’Keeffe’s books of early drawings and we studied it along with some of her other work during a workshop I attended last summer in Santa Fe. The image above was taken with my iPhone at a wonderful exhibition of her work – Living Modern – that I saw last August at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.

I’ve seen a lot of Ansel Adams photographs over the years – but these were new to me. There so different from his usual Yosemite work but very “musical” in some sense. There’s a certain calligraphic look in all of these images – pen strokes that vary in width. Others might see other things – finger patterns in the frost on glass in the wintertime, etc.

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iPhone 11 Pro Max Menlo Park Photography

Saturday in the Park

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).

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Half Moon Bay iPhone 11 Pro Max Libraries Monochrome Photography Photography

Start ‘em up!…at Pillar Point Harbor

Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay

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.

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iPhone 11 Pro Max Photography San Francisco/California

Walking New Year 2020

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!

Runaway

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!

Trio

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!

Ahi Tuna Salad at Tadich Grill

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!

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Photography

Solo at Russian River's End

Russian River – California

We enjoyed watching the last sunset of 2019 from the deck of River’s End in Jenner, California as this solo kayaker rowed slowly by.

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Instagram Photography

My “Best Nine” of 2019 on Instagram

The results of the “like” voting for my images on Instagram are in for 2019 – and the nine winning images are:

Best Nine of 2019 – @sjl on Instagram

The images from top to bottom, left to right are: Columbia, SC; Hong Kong (from 2018); Provence, France (from 2006 but re-processed and posted in 2019); Apple Store Stanford; Pier 3, San Francisco; Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Moss Beach, CA; Hong Kong escalator (from 2018); Paris, France; Cantor Art Center, Stanford.

Follow my photography on Instagram: @sjl

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Cuba Living Musings Photography

It’s 2020 Already!

Skyline at Iron Horse Vineyards – Sonoma County, California

Wow that seemed quick! In a flash 2019 was over and we were on to the new 2020.

Let’s hope 2020 is indeed a new year for clarity of vision, new learnings, much joy and prosperity for all.

I was reminded last night of another Happy New Year photo that my friend Doug Kaye and I both made while walking the streets of Havana seven years ago this month. It highlights the contrast between decay and hope with the simple Happy New Year message painted in English on this decayed building on a Havana street.

Happy New Year – Havana 2013

For some thoughts on what this new decade might bring in terms of technology see Kara Swisher’s New York Times column: No More Phones and Other Tech Predictions for the Next Decade. I especially like this: “There will be an internet in the future that stops screaming at us.”

For another look ahead, see Fred Wilson’s post about What Will Happen in the 2020s. I like his optimism:

I am an optimist and believe in society’s ability to find the will to face our challenges and the intelligence to find solutions to them.

And don’t miss Life in 2030 by Frank Chen of Andreessen Horowitz. He should take up science fiction writing!

I also recommend Om Malik’s recommendations for A Decade of Self-Control – although my strong recommendation for a daily journaling app is Day One. I’ve been using Day One since I had a surgery back in 2012 and wanted to capture my recovery. It’s become a regular daily habit for me since then – the literal scratchpad of my life! For another recommendation for Day One see Why a Digital Diary Will Change Your Life.

Over the long holiday weekend I read a few books – especially enjoyed Mike Isaac’s SuperPumped about Uber. Quite a story and a very enjoyable read!

In other news I continue to find it somewhat amusing that the most popular article here on my blog remains the one from many years ago about my rotator cuff surgery! Somehow that article ended up high enough in search engine rankings to generate many pages views every day!

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Blogs/Weblogs Photography

Reading Om

From Om Malik:

…my blog is about technology, a little about life, some photography, some analysis, and some personal interests, which range from fashion to baseball to travel and food.

His recent post about the camera business was particularly interesting. It’s an industry undergoing fundamental shifts – as cameras have become universal, in each of our pockets included with our cell phones.

He quoted Scott McNealy:

A long time ago, Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy quipped, “Technology has the shelf life of a banana. By the time you buy it, implement it and train people on it, it’s obsolete.” He was talking about servers, but I can’t help but think that his words are just as true for cameras.

Om recently shared some beautiful photos of Catalina Island made with his iPhone 11 Pro. Like me, he’s enjoying the camera system in this latest iPhone Pro!

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Half Moon Bay iPhone 11 Pro Living Photography

Local Treasures: Fitzgerald Marine Reserve (San Mateo County)

When I’m looking for an hour of peace and quiet one of my favorite places to visit is Fitzgerald Marine Reserve along the shoreline of the Paciifc Ocean north of Half Moon Bay.

This morning I took a walk through my favorite part of the Reserve – a grove of old trees along a pathway that leads from Moss Beach to the ocean. I took a few photos along the way with my iPhone 11 Pro Max. I’m loving the three lens/camera system in this new phone!

Walking Loop at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

The entrance to a section of the California Coastal Trail is off Cypress Avenue. Just a short walk leads to this:

A few steps to the left through the tree line leads to this view:

Walking up the trail it’s worth taking a look back at that same fallen tree!

Here’s another from further along on the path:

I then headed over to the coastline trail where the ocean was alive with the waves from the storm.

And my final view before heading back up Cypress Street to my car:

A lovely hour or so away from it all! I encountered one other human along the trail. Otherwise it was a delightful morning stroll in one of my favorite spots along the Pacific coastline!

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Filoli iPhone 11 Pro Photography Uncategorized

Nighttime Photography with the iPhone 11 Pro Max

A few months back I upgraded to the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max primarily for its new camera system. The new system includes three separate cameras and lenses which provide three different focal lengths. Apple calls them wide, ultra wide and telephoto.

Note: It’s ironic with today’s technology that this small handheld device includes three whole cameras and lenses unlike a more traditional camera where a camera body can accommodate different lenses. With the iPhone you get three whole cameras with their lenses.

Last night we attended a holiday event at Filoli in Woodside which began at 4 PM and continued into the evening. Filoli is all decked out in holiday lights and trimming this time of year and, for us, this was the first time we’ve seen it in all its splendor in the evening.

After darkness fell, I had the opportunity to try out night mode on the iPhone 11 Pro with excellent results. When the camera needs to use night mode it switches automatically into that mode and displays a small counter on the screen which tells how long you should try to hold the camera steady which it takes and combines multiple shots behind the scenes into the final image. It’s pretty amazing how well it works and, in typical Apple fashion, how easy it is to make great nighttime images.

Here’s an example taken of the main house at Filoli:

Main House at Filoli – Woodside, California

Here are a couple of other examples straight out of the camera that were taken earlier in the evening before the camera needed to switch into night mode/

Lawn and Swimming Pool – Filoli – Woodside, California
Main House – Filoli – Woodside, California
Gardens – Filoli – Woodside, California