The results of the “like” voting for my images on Instagram are in for 2019 – and the nine winning images are:
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.
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.
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!
…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.
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!
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!
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:
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/
Near the start of the exhibition are several books displayed in plastic cases on the wall – including this one. The books all harken back to earlier days in photography when writing about mostly bad but also some good photography techniques were explained. The title of this one caught my eye – a very “click bait” title indeed!
The exhibition is fun to see. It’s organized into sections “by mistake” so that all examples of, for example, out of focus images are in one section. All of the images are interesting but it’s especially fun to see examples from many “famous” photographers including Ansel Adams, Man Ray, Cartier-Breslin, etc.
Along the way are quotes including this lament by Edward Steichen:
And words of wisdom from Alfred Stieglitz – Twelve Random Don’ts – I especially like “the world in its entirety is not a camera club.”
Currently there’s an exhibition of over thirty prints by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford. Yesterday I stopped in for a docent tour of the show and enjoyed seeing their prints with Carol’s accompanying commentary.
She started with the two images above. On the left is Edward Weston taken by Ansel Adams. On the right is Ansel Adams taken by Edward Weston. In the exhibition the Weston prints are smaller – 8×10 contact prints in white frames and unsigned on the front while the Adams prints are signed and framed in black. A nice contrast.
The current exhibition draws from the Capital Group Foundation’s gift of 1,000 photographs to the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University that includes works by American photographic masters Ansel Adams, Edward Curtis, John Gutmann, Helen Levitt, Wright Morris, Gordon Parks, and Edward Weston.
Recently, I participated in Valérie Jardin’s Normandy workshop and had the special opportunity to visit the artists working at the pottery in Bavent, a few miles from our home base in Cabourg.
The artists we very welcoming and open to our visit – it was a special time to be able to see them work and to capture a few portraits of them. Special thanks to each of the artists for being so generous with our group of photographers and to Valérie for enabling us to visit.
For making these images I used my iPhone. Here are a few of my favorites images from the visit.
Last Friday my friend Doug Kaye and I were out on one of our regular San Francisco photowalks – this time walking from the Ferry Building towards Pier 39. We had fun along the way outside the Exploratorium – watching these dogs strictly obey their dog walker – and some other street scenes.
As we walked beyond the Exploratorium we came across this BIG yacht – the Aviva – docked at Pier 17 along the Embarcadero. According to Wikipedia, it’s 223 feet long (!) and owned by Bahama-based British businessman Joe Lewis.
It was interesting to find the yacht here – during the period that the Bahama’s were suffering under the onslaught of Hurricane Dorian last week. But perhaps it being here had something to do with the opening of Chase Center?
Here’s another, more artistic/painterly treatment of the Aviva: