Food and Drink Photography Web/Tech

About that Tomales Bay Launch for Hire

Today, I’ve completed a number of updates to what had become a pretty moldy oldie blog here at Sorry for the recent lack of tender care – but life’s been busy!

Part of today’s update included replacing the header graphic (of “ducks in a row” in Sharon Park in Menlo Park) with a new one from a recent photo shoot on the way to Point Reyes. Here’s the story.

As you head into Point Reyes on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard through Inverness, on the western side of Inverness you come across this vista with that lovely “Launch for Hire” pier jutting out into Tomales Bay – known as Brock’s Boathouse. That’s where this new header graphic photo was taken using my trusty Canon 30D – shooting using my Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Lens at f/9 and 29 mm.

In one of my offices, I’ve got one of Chris Honeysett‘s prints of that same building – but shot on a beautiful foggy morning from a position on the opposite side a bit northwest of the pier. Chris’ beautiful photo provided the inspiration for this alternate view.

Obviously, one of these days I will have to actually hire that launch! If you do go to Inverness or Point Reyes, be sure to stop on your way at Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station. Here’s a map. Earlier is better – the Creamery can get busy on a sunny afternoon!

Books Libraries Photography Radio Santa Cruz Travel

My Secret Library in Santa Cruz

Live Oak Library - Santa Cruz, California

Yesterday I was wandering around Santa Cruz and need to “kill” a couple of hours.

After dropping some friends off at Twin Lakes State Beach, I was driving down E. Cliff Drive and came across Live Oak Library, a beautifully remodeled Craftsman style building.

Turns out I’m a bit of a library nut. Somehow they’re therapeutic for me – I can be totally blocked on writing while sitting in my office – but things just seem to open up with a change of scenery into the right library environment. No phones, peace and quiet, but a sense of space and wonder. The best libraries open so many new doors for me within the cocoon of their physical space.

Back to Santa Cruz. I was an accidental tourist there yesterday – and stumbled across Live Oak literally while driving by. Where else can you find a library like this sitting on a lagoon across from the Pacific Ocean? Constructed in such a beautiful and careful style. With a very friendly and helpful staff that took great care of me – I passed the time in sheer delight. This is what libraries are for.

I took a few photos of the library (still kicking myself for not having taken the camera inside!) – and of neighbor KSCO AM 1080‘s Art Deco studio and graffiti laden towers out in the lagoon.

Next time you’re in Santa Cruz and need a place to chill, check out the Live Oak Library – it’s a real treat! But don’t tell too many folks about it!

PS: Santa Cruz is also now very high on my list for one of my next photowalking episodes. The streets and bluffs along the ocean between Twin Lakes and Pleasure Point as really interesting and worth some deeper photographic explorations. Much of my earlier interest in Santa Cruz was around the Boardwalk – but there’s a whole lot more to explore.



Robert Scoble’s Photowalking series with Thomas Hawk and, most recently, Heather Champ is really a lot of fun – plus a lot of useful photography and Photoshop information. Highly recommended!

Art and Artists Photography San Francisco/California

Chris Honeysett

One of my favorite photographers, San Francisco-based Chris Honeysett, is having his annual holiday showing this weekend at the Gatehouse at Fort Mason in San Francisco. We went last night – a blustery and windy evening along the Marina Green – and couldn’t resist adding to our collection!


Pix – Using the Canon Powershot S500 in Manual Mode

I decided for several reasons to leave the “big” camera (a new Canon 30D) behind on the recent trip to France – and shot the whole trip using my trusty Canon Powershot S500.

A day or two into the trip, I decided I wanted to get acquainted with the manual mode capabilities of the S500 – I’d never paid any attention to manual mode before. I’d brought along one of my PowerBooks to be able to offload images to – and also brought the PDF of the S500 manual. As a result most of the Flickr sets have pictures taken in the S500’s manual mode – which I learned to really enjoy!

There’s a whole book yet to be written about using these little Canon beauties in their manual modes!


Out Exploring With A New Canon 30D

Sunflower – Palo Alto
Originally uploaded by SJL.

I’m a new Canon 30D owner – my first digital SLR – and have been having a great deal of fun exploring with this camera. I was out exploring this morning with my new Canon 30D and came across this beautiful sunflower in the Palo Alto Community Garden.

The beauty of the colors and the simplicity of its basic operation are the two big advantages of the 30D for me.

My everyday 30D lens has turned out to be the 18-200 mm Tamron zoom. It’s just great outdoors with its wide range of focal length.

I’ve also had a lot of fun (especially as a new grandpa) shooting with a Canon 50mm/1.8 lens as well – indoors without flash. For more of that kind of shooting, I’m now lusting after the Sigma 30mm/1.4 lens that Phil Greenspun writes about.

I’ve had one problem with my 30D – a tiny hair in the viewfinder (inside the camera body) which I was able to resolve myself (fortunately).

Otherwise, the 30D has just been a delight for me to use. It’s so rock solid in its feel yet such an easy shoot for an amateur like me!


Some New Photos Posted

Here are two links to a few new photos recently posted here: USAF Thunderbirds and the beautiful Sharon Park.


In the White House – April 2001

Scott Loftesness at the White House

Not sure why I was browsing through some old photographs earlier tonight – but while doing so I came across this shot of me in the White House Briefing Room on April 12, 2001. We were there thanks to my Glenbrook co-founder Allen Weinberg’s connections with a senior White House correspondent while we were in Washington with our first -ever- client.

Those were the days before 9/11 – and we came into the White House late in the afternoon for an escorted look around. It was amazing. I almost walked into the Oval Office with my camera – before being politely shoo’d away back down the hallway. I’m sure things are very different now.

It’s fun to remember that time – a much more innocent and open time it was. Me in my short sleeve shirt standing in the White House Briefing Room.

Who would have thought?