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Cantor Arts Center at Stanford – A Sunday Favorite

One of our favorite places on the Stanford campus is the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts – otherwise known as the Cantor Arts Center.

Lady Madonna

Today, on an amazingly warm and delightful Sunday, I took the quick two mile trip over to Cantor to try out my new Canon EOS 5D Mark II on some inside the museum photography – Cantor is one of those museums that empowers photographers – inside the non-exhibition galleries and for non-commercial use only. Here’s the quick result – today’s “raw” (unadjusted) set on Flickr.

For today’s shooting, I left the 5D Mark II in full automatic ISO selection – turned out that for indoor shooting inside the Arts Center this was a real delight compared to the 40D’s limited automatic ISO adjustment. I ran the 5D Mark II mostly in Picture mode – letting the camera automatically select shutter speed and aperture.

Apple Living Photography Stanford

Living Well – Best Places to Live

I’m often tempted to pick up one of those “Best Places to Live” books/magazine articles/etc. just to see their methodology for selecting the ideal spot. Of course, the most important factors – friends, family – don’t make the strictly objective assessments – but they’re still fun to read.

Today, I had one of those experiences that makes me glad we live where we do – and, in thinking about it a bit more, a couple of specific non-friend or family-related criteria came to mind for my own start at a personal set of best places criteria.

One of our MacBooks had its optical drive fail late last week. We went through the usual denial – how could this be happening to us? – before opting to back it up and take it in to the geniuses at our local Apple store. That’s the first of my new best places criteria – living within 5 miles of a local Apple retail store!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Lily Photography Stanford

In the Shumway Fountain


Out for a Sunday morning walk with Lily, we came across the Shumway Fountain in front of the Green Library at Stanford.

The fountain, shutdown most of the summer, was back in operation – with a bike suitably planted right in the middle!

Here’s another view with the Library and Hoover Tower in the background.

HDR Photography Pescadero Photography Stanford

First Time Out with HDR Photography on a Canon 40D

Stanford Memorial Church

[Update – 12/29/08 – Just added some new HDR photos taken in San Francisco last Sunday (Palace of Fine Arts and the “Painted Ladies” Victorian homes), Menlo Park yesterday (Sharon Park), and some earlier ones from Half Moon Bay (grounds of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel) and Pescadero. See my full collection of HDR stuff here on Flickr. I’m still learning and welcome all feedback!]

[Update – 12/22/08 – Very good HDR tutorial here: How to Create High Dynamic Range Photos]

After meeting up with a friend recently who turned out to be quite an HDR photography guru, I wanted to try my hand using that technique. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been in awe of some of the striking photos that others have taken using HDR. In early 2007 up at Lake Tahoe I had tried fooling around using Photoshop CS3’s HDR support – but it turns out to be only a partial solution and I found the results to be lackluster.

This afternoon, I headed over to the Stanford Quad for an exploratory session in High Dynamic Range photography. My kit was my Canon 40D, a Canon 24-105MM f4 L IS USM Zoom lens, and my trusty (but, as it turns out, weak-headed) Manfrotto tripod.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Lily Stanford Walking

Cruisin’ Stanford


Lily and I went walking at Stanford this morning – following roughly the same down and back course as last Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Driving home afterwards, we came upon our good friend Chris Gulker as he was finishing the first half of his walk – on his way to carving another 5 minutes off of his best 2 mile time. Congratulations Chris!

Living Stanford Walking

Sunday Morning Walk

Lily and I hit the bricks at Stanford again the morning.

Here’s a view taken from right in front of of the doors of Memorial Church.

iPhone 3G Living Photography Stanford Walking

Walking Stanford

Out with Lily this morning. Here’s the path we walked – a bit over 1.4 miles as measured and we meandered through the quad on our way back so we’ll claim 1.5 miles. We walked it in about 35 minutes – a bit over 2-1/2 mph. The picture of Hoover Tower was taken with the new Apple iPhone 3G!