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!
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!
While heading to the Ferry Building this morning I came across this practice session at the temporary ice rink at Justin Herman Plaza along San Francisco’s Embarcadero. Fun to watch them drill! Shot with iPhone 11 Pro Max.
I recently took a couple of hours to explore the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport. SFO is unique in having such a great team at the museum who curates a number of great exhibitions on a rotating basis throughout the airport terminals.
I took the “easy way” to the airport – taking advantage of free BART parking at the Millbrae station on weekends and hopping a quick train just one stop north at SFO. The BART terminal at SFO opens into the departure lobby of the International terminal – it’s just steps away of the United check-in areas. The SFO Museum is down at the other end of the International terminal – making for a nice leisurely walk to get to the museum itself. But along the way there were exhibits to explore – which included the beautiful Zuber French wallpaper exhibits.
Also along the way is this wall of tiles in a lounge area on the east side of the terminal:
And just outside the Museum entrance is this classic Wright J-5 Whirlwind radial engine – just like the one that powered Charles Lindberg on his record setting flight across the Atlantic in 1927.
This was a delightful way to spend a couple of hours – without being hassled about trying to catch a flight!
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:
Last Friday my friends Doug Kaye, Steve Disenhof and I spent some time at the recently re-opened Salesforce Park in San Francisco. This park is above the Transit Center on the roof – elevators at either end bring you up to this roof top level.
One of the fun things to see at the park is a fountain (you can just see the holes for the nozzles in the white ring above) that’s triggered when a bus comes through the Transit Center below. There’s a glass wall behind the fountain that makes for some fun reflections. That’s a reflection of Steve walking in the upper right corner (with the hat!).
With this image, I tweaked it a bit in Lightroom, Photoshop and Topaz Simplify to give it a more painterly effect in black and white. The original image – shot with my iPhone Xs Max – is below:
Here’s another photo from a recent walk along the Embarcadero in San Francisco. I came across this fellow obviously looking to rent one of the two scooters behind him. He seemed a bit frustrated – going back and forth while poking at his mobile phone – undoubtedly trying to activate one or the other.
I enjoyed the juxtaposition of him in front of the two scooters and the layers including the railing behind, the pier and then the bridge in the distance. Shot using my Sony RX100M6. Post-processed from the original RAW file using Lightroom Mobile and Snapseed.
The San Francisco Embarcadero has become a wonderful venue – ever since the decision was made to tear down the Embarcadero Freeway following the 1989 earthquake. One of the many new features in Pier 14 – a pedestrian pier that is eminently walkabout from along the Embarcadero.
One of my favorite spots to shoot an image is this one – where the pier and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge “converge” with Yerba Buena Island in the distance.
The original image was shot with my tiny Sony RX100M6 at f/4, 1/1000 sec. and edited in Lightroom Classic. In Lightroom I used the range masking feature to selectively adjust a gradient in the sky portion of the image. Range masking allows adjustment of the tonal range (or color) to which the gradient is applied. In this case I wanted to darken the drama in the clouds without also darkening the bridge or the island itself.