Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dress Code

Dress Code - Alameda County  2012

Luckily it's only enforced on Friday and Saturday nights. So all other nights, wife beater tank tops and mouth jewelry OK.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Rocket Reuse

Rocket Reuse - Alameda County  2012

In the small (?) town of Alameda.

Rocket Reuse, as well as a Mike self-portrait, as well as Dan with his new Canon full-frame Mark XXXVIII.

Both Mike and Dan very cool, but not nearly so cool as this fellow.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

SF Skyline

San Francisco Skyline - Alameda County  2012

The San Francisco skyline as seen from the town of Alameda, across the bay. An unusual angle, actually. Luckily I had along my Olympus E-PL1 with the telephoto lens.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Broom & Oak - Marin County  2012

Broom, Hills, Clouds - Marin County  2012

At least, I'm pretty sure that the yellow stuff in the photos represents broom, an invasive species roaming throughout Marin County. Could be worse, of course. I'm talking about you, thistles.

Very photogenic, however. Hm.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lower Yosemite Fall

Lower Yosemite Fall - Yosemite  2012

Rainbow, Lower Yosemite Fall - Yosemite  2012

Last stop on Mike's spring Yosemite visit: a morning stroll to the base of lower Yosemite Fall. As usual, lots of spray in the air, with a rainbow thrown in for good measure.

Thence, an uneventful trip home on highway 120, stopping for gas at Crane Flat and Oakdale.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Raven Blogging

Raven - Yosemite  2012

While Mike sat at his picnic table, idly thumbing through his Kindle, this large raven was poking around the picnic area firepits looking for something good, being scolded by two smaller birds.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

El Portal Views

Hillside - El Portal  2012

Merced River - El Portal  2012

Getting towards sunset in the El Portal area: green hillsides starting to turn brown, the Merced River swirling noisily. Can get very hot in this area.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kindle Aggravation

Kindle - Yosemite  2012

What kind of page is that? You would never see a page like that in a real book. Of course, it isn't really a page, is it? It's just the 86th percent portion of the book.

And yes, there are other aggravations as well. I guess that the main one is that when you buy a "Kindle book" on Amazon you really haven't purchased a book: you've purchased a file that resides on the Kindle and that can't be loaned or donated afterwards. So you really don't own a book.

Great for camping, though.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cascade Creek

Leaves & Pine Needles - Yosemite  2012

Mike spent some time in the afternoon wandering around the Cascade Creek picnic area, just a few people there. He happened to have his Kindle with him, so he sat for a while at a picnic table and read.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yosemite: In The Shade #2

Pine Tree, Rocks - Yosemite  2012

Tree Trunks - Yosemite  2012

Cool stuff seen in the gloom of the rocks near Yosemite Fall. Tripod required.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Vernal Fall

Vernal Fall - Yosemite  2012

Vernal Fall Trail - Yosemite  2012

This year Mike decided to hike up to Vernal Fall in order to occupy himself during the flat mid-day light.

As expected, the upper part of the route was extremely wet, requiring a waterproof parka. Also, a large portion of the trail is made up of steps cut into the granite, very slippery in the mist. When Mike got to the top he positioned himself, then whipped out his camera from underneath his parka, and took a quick few shots. Lens got wet anyway.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

. . . from the archives #72: Vernal Fall Trail, Yosemite 1961

Trees & Granite - Yosemite  1961

Joe, Nevada Fall Barrier - Yosemite  1961

Mike recalls hiking up to the top of Vernal and Nevada Falls in the spring of 1961 with his family, but somehow there's no photo of the actual waterfalls to be found in his contact sheets. He can only suppose that the moisture in the air was much too wet for him to pull out his relatively large camera.

Continuing on up past Nevada Fall he stopped at the top and took a photo of Joe standing in front of the upper level barrier, the high water evident.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Bunny Blogging

Rabbit - San Benito County  2012

Next to my campground table. I got the impression that this fellow thought that he was totally hidden. I kept getting closer until the rabbit filled the entire viewfinder. Still didn't move. Then, when I looked for him later he was gone.

Note to self: possible Easter post pix.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tenaya Creek - Merge

Tenaya Creek - Yosemite  2012

OK, there's this certain spot that I always return to, shown above. Sometimes there's dogwood, sometime there's not. This time there wasn't. So, a nice three-photo merge, but no dogwood. [Update: Click to enlarge.]

There was dogwood in 1991.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Thalia - San Francisco  2012

Seen in San Francisco's Mission District.

Actually, doesn't really look like Thalia at all.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Yosemite: In The Shade #1

Tree Trunks, Merced River - Yosemite  2012

New Growth - Yosemite  2012

More pix from Mike's early morning walk.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Yosemite Valley Morning Hike

Dogwood Blossoms - Yosemite  2012

Half Dome - Yosemite  2012

Mike dragged his (new) tripod around with him on some of the roads and trails found at the east end of Yosemite Valley. He was hoping to find the elusive dogwood blossoms, but he was just a little too late in the season. Scattered stands here and there, but nothing impressive.

More dogwoods: 2008 dogwood search account.

What turned out to be more interesting was the telephoto view of the face of Half Dome looming overhead.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Yosemite Falls, Early Morning

Upper Yosemite Fall, Merced River - Yosemite  2012

Upper Yosemite Fall & Truck - Yosemite  2012

Mike had hoped to arrive in the valley before sunrise, but did not. However, he was treated to a solitary view of the sun slanting through spring-foliaged trees, cliffs and fall in the background. Residual haze left over from the day before, but still . . .

Also of note: a small bear that scampered across the road in front of Mike as he was entering the valley. Mr. Bear didn't even bother to look left or right!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Glacier Point

Yosemite Falls from Glacier Point - Yosemite  2012

Tree, Half Dome - Yosemite  2012

Mike got to his El Portal campground around noon, had lunch and a beer, then set up camp: a walk-in camp, requiring a few trips to bring the equipment down.

Since the rest of the afternoon was free, he decided to head on up to Glacier Point, actually a substantial drive. There had been some clouds in the vicinity, but by the time he got to the view, they had disappeared.

Too bad, because what was left was just a little unpleasant: smog-impaired views of the valley below, and Half Dome in extremely flat light. Oh well! Some of the visitors were intriguing enough, though.

Visitor, Nevada Fall - Yosemite  2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Dog Blogging

Dogs - San Francisco  2012

Seen in San Francisco's North Beach area.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

San Francisco Church

Saints Peter and Paul Church - San Francisco  2012

E Risplende - San Francisco  2012

In North Beach. Saints Peter and Paul Church, of course, taken as wisps of fog scudded overhead.

Also of interest: the anti-pigeon barbs giving the sculptures interesting haircuts.

And also, from Dante:

La gloria di colui che tutto move
per l’universo penetra, e risplende
in una parte piĆ¹ e meno altrove.

The glory of Him who moveth everything
Doth penetrate the universe, and shine
In one part more and in another less.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Baseball Theme

La Mejor - San Francisco  2012

Cafe Venice - San Francisco  2012

Continuing the half baseball theme from yesterday, two photos taken in the Mission District. Very colorful!

Note to self: go back to La Mejor, try their stuff.

Friday, June 8, 2012

San Francisco Murals

North Beach Mural - San Francisco  2012

Tamales 1.00 - San Francisco  2012

Top: Seen in a North Beach alley. Not sure what it represents.

Later: OK, after much Googling, found this:

Check out the Dante Benedetti memorial mural on Jasper at Green. Dante was a North Beach legend who mentored hundreds of young men in baseball and life. He often fed them at his restaurant “New Pisa” when it was located at the corner of Vallejo and Grant and paid for their equipment out of his own pocket.

The mural depicts his old baseball players. Those still living are sitting facing the North Beach Field with their names on their jerseys. Those who have passed are represented as angels being looked over from the upper left by Dante, who passed away in 2005.

No explanation on what the boat represents.

Bottom: On a Mission District cross street.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Waiting for Pizza

Red Garage Door - San Francisco  2012

Tablecloths in Wind - San Francisco  2012

Waiting to get into Tony's Pizza in North Beach. We had to wait quite a long time, actually, so I had time to walk around this picturesque North Beach neighborhood. Fog was starting to drift in, and the wind was gusting through the streets, rippling outside dining tablecloths. Very little outside dining taking place.

So I had fun photographing . . . but in the end, I'd advise against the wait, unless you're waiting for one of Tony's gluten-free pizzas which are rather good.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ferry Plaza Sightems

Ferry Building - San Francisco  2012

California Street - San Francisco  2012

Top: Actually taken while departing SF, returning to Marin. Everything somehow nicely lined up for a change.

Bottom: I had been wanting for a while to experiment with my Olympus 40-150mm lens on California Street, with its abrupt grade and cable cars. Trying for the "squished perspective" look. Although I was running late for my ferry I did a quick jog over to the intersection of Calfornia and Market and took this photo. So this was a random time of day; I don't know what the optimal time would be for pix.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Photography Advice

Tripod Legs - Marin County  2012

Mike rarely gives any photography advice on his blog. Too often the giving of advice can descend into pontificating.

Pretentious pontificating.

Pompous pretentious pontificating.

However, in this instance, advice is justified. Here it is: avoid slamming the truck door on your tripod.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Horse Blogging

Horses - San Benito County  2012

Horses enjoying the shade near the entrance to Pinnacles National Monument. This is the third shot taken, and by then they had started to notice the Photographer.

Maybe, in addition to his camera, he had secretly hidden in his pockets some nice carrots. Or apples. Or horse cookies.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pinnacles Rain, Hike

Trees & Mist - Pinnacles  2012

Manzanita in Rain - Pinnacles  2012
Mike took an abbreviated early morning hike in the rain. He kept his smallish Olympus E-PL1 hidden underneath his parka, taking it out now and then as various subjects came into view.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Poster #1 - Marin County  2012

Poster #2 - Marin County  2012

. . . found in a restaurant hallway. I used the iPhone, and cropped to square.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pinnacles: Forest Rain

Moss-covered Boulders - Pinnacles  2012

Forest in Rain - Pinnacles  2012

Mike headed up to the trailheads at the end of the road, parked and got out his tripod.

The sound of rain pattered on the dry leaves as he took his photos.