Categories
iPhone 12 Pro Max Photography San Francisco/California

Re-Emergence III

For the first time since January 2020 (15 months ago) I met my good friend Doug Kaye on the streets of San Francisco. It was a glorious day around the Bay and lovely to be back out if only for an hour or two. We have both been vaccinated a while back and it finally seemed like a good time to do this.

We had a delicious pizza lunch at A16 on Chestnut Street and then headed over to The Palace of Fine Arts for a quick walk around. We both reminisced that the last time either of us had visited this wonderful old place was a few years ago when we also did it together.

Doug had a new gadget (a digital back for his Hasselblad) and I had my trusty iPhone 12 Pro Max. While Doug explored with his big camera I played tourist and snapped a few snapshots to remember the day.

After so long avoiding public places like the streets of San Francisco during the pandemic it was great to get out in the fresh air and bright sun in the City!

Meanwhile, elsewhere – there’s some good news from Paris…and enjoy this profile of Bob Dylan at 80 by Edward Docx in the Guardian. And then there’s this article in the Washington Post about what this year’s high school valedictorians have to say!

“I wonder if adults, you know, realize that people my age were 13 and 14 during the 2016 election?” said Carmelina Komyatte, a senior and the valedictorian at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond, Ind.

Even in a pandemic – time flies!…

Categories
Blogs/Weblogs San Francisco/California Weblogs

Why have a Blog?

Photo by Derick Daily on Unsplash

Enjoyed this from Austin Kleon:

I didn’t start a blog because I had something to say, I started a blog to find something to say.

And:

Most writers don’t write to express what they think. They write to figure out what they think. Writing is a process of discovery.

I started this version of my blog on November 24, 2001. Ironically, it’s a link to a San Francisco Chronicle story about why writers enjoy living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

So why is it authors multiply here like cheap noodle restaurants?One reason the Bay Area is such a good place for writers may be the same reason it’s such a good place for arbitration lawyers and podiatrists – it’s a terrific place to live.

So much has changed in the almost twenty years since that article was written. Local bookstores, great restaurants, group events, …

After the last few weeks of fires, heat, etc., recent articles seem to talk much more about the problems – asking “why bother living in San Francisco (or California)?”

For example, this Washington Post article titled “Warmer. Burning. Epidemic-challenged. Expensive. The California Dream has become the California Compromise.

The cityscape resembles the surface of a distant planet, populated by a masked alien culture. The air, choked with blown ash, is difficult to breathe.

There is the Golden Gate Bridge, looming in the distance through a drift-smoke haze, and the Salesforce Tower, which against the blood-orange sky appears as a colossal spaceship in a doomsday film.

San Francisco, and much of California, has never been like this.

California has become a warming, burning, epidemic-challenged and expensive state, with many who live in sophisticated cities, idyllic oceanfront towns and windblown mountain communities thinking hard about the viability of a place they have called home forever. For the first time in a decade, more people left California last year for other states than arrived.

Indeed. Life is so rich…it’s all about finding something to say.

Categories
iPhone 11 Pro Max Monochrome Photography Photographers Photography Photography - Black & White San Francisco/California

That Photographer

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.

Categories
Aviation iPhone 11 Pro Max Photography San Francisco/California

SkyTerrace at SFO

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!

Categories
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!

Categories
Living San Francisco/California

Ice Skating along San Francisco’s Embarcadero

Ice skating in San Francisco – 2020

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.

Categories
San Francisco/California SFO Museum

Exploring the SFO Museum

Passenger at BART Station at San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

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.

El Dorado

Also along the way is this wall of tiles in a lounge area on the east side of the terminal:

Hindustan

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!

Categories
iPhone Xs Max Photography San Francisco/California

The Aviva Yacht in San Francisco

The Aviva in San Francisco

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.

Dogs at Attention – San Francisco’s Embarcadero

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:

The Aviva
Categories
iPhone Xs Max Lightroom Lightroom CC Photography Photography - Black & White Photoshop Photoshop CC San Francisco/California Topaz

Curvy

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:

Categories
Black and White Lightroom CC Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White Photography - Sony RX100M6 San Francisco/California

Choices

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.