Saturday, August 31, 2013


Ikea Entrance - Alameda County  2013

Ikea Parking Lot - Alameda County  2013

For this Saturday's jolly post: Fun at Ikea! The labyrinthine layout reminds me a little of Chutes and Ladders: there are cunningly disguised doorways that act as shortcuts to different departments for those not wanting to view every single Ikea piece.

But probably most people want to view every single Ikea piece.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Ranch Buildings #2

Rose, Fence, Building - Point Reyes  2013

A monotone day. Luckily I was able to spot this rose.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ranch Buildings #1

Fence & Barn - Point Reyes  2013

Buildings & Cypress - Point Reyes  2013

The fog acted as a quite effective white background.

2011 Nikon D90 photos: Ranch Buildings #1, Ranch Buildings #2.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

J Ranch

J Ranch - Point Reyes  2013

Blackbirds - Point Reyes  2013

"Historic J Ranch" that is. The fog was starting to swoop down across the road by then.

Also, ubiquitous blackbirds.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Morning Visit to Point Reyes

Reeds, Tomales Bay - Point Reyes  2013

I wanted to revisit Pierce Point Ranch to conduct an extremely informal comparison between my current small Olympus and my earlier Nikon D90. Two years ago when I used the Nikon the weather was partly foggy; this year: totally foggy.

I always stop at this particular point to check out the view of Tomales Bay with  Black Mountain in the distance. This time, the mountain was not visible but there was still some nice light. The above photo is a merge of two horizontal photos.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Bee Blogging

Bee & Flower - Marin County  2013

Bee & Vetch - Point Reyes  2013

Bees hard at work, in our front yard and at Point Reyes. Pollinating.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Pie-A-Thon Fixins' - Marin County  2013

Cherry Tomatos - Marin County  2013

Images from Barbara's house taken at the annual Pie-A-Thon. I, myself, don't actually participate in the Pie-A-Thon, but know those who do.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Contact Sheets

Contact Sheet Binders - Marin County  2013

Contact Sheets (1973) - Marin County  2013

Throwing this out on a Saturday, just for general interest. Top photo: contact sheet binders. Bottom: actual contact sheets.

Here's an earlier contact sheet post.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Nikon F

Nikon F

Most of my earlier photos were taken using a Nikon F loaded with Kodak's Panatomic-X film. I purchased the camera at the PX in Okinawa in 1965 or thereabouts.

A combination of design elements made the Nikon F successful. It had interchangeable prisms and focusing screens; the camera had a depth-of-field preview button; the mirror had lock-up capability; it had a large bayonet mount and a large lens release button; a single-stroke ratcheted film advance lever; a titanium-foil focal plane shutter; various types of flash synchronization; a rapid rewind lever; a fully removable back. It was well-made, durable, and adhered closely to the successful design scheme of the Nikon rangefinder cameras.  (Wikipedia.)

As for the film: Panatomic-X had an ASA value of 32 . . . not really that light-sensitive and usable only in broad daylight. (For comparison, my current Olympus E-PL5's starting value is 200.) However, the film was extremely fine-grained with quite subtle tonalities.

After our house in Los Angeles was burglarized in the late 1970's I found that Nikon's prices were too high for me to buy another Nikon as a replacement. I ended up getting an Olympus OM-1, very lightweight and well-made.
Olympus OM-1

The Nikon may be long gone, but I still have the instruction manual tacked to my darkroom wall.

Nikon F Manual - Marin County 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Aguereberry Point

Aguereberry Point - Death Valley  1973

Aguereberry Point is located across the valley almost opposite Dante's View. An impressive prospect, yes, but Joe and Mike found the two outhouses located there almost as cool: sitting in either one afforded a most spectacular view.

Mike has returned since that time, but this remains the best photo he's taken there. It looks like it's getting towards late afternoon . . . most likely the best time for photography.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dry Lake Bed

Joe, Dry Lake Bed - Death Valley  1973

Rock, Dry Lake Bed - Death Valley  1973

Hm. Could this location be the famous Racetrack? Alas, no way to tell, but probably not*. It's most likely some relatively anonymous dry lake bed in the desert.

*Probably not, because there's no establishing photos showing the surrounding mountains, or the famous moving rocks.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Death Valley, 1973

Canyons & Hills - Death Valley  1973

So I'm looking at these tiny little images on my contact sheets, printed in 1973, and unfortunately there's no way to establish any chronology. One contact sheet has about 5-6 film strips on it, with about 4-5 images per strip. So, you can assume that adjacent images were taken more or less at the same time, but it's clear that film strips from different rolls of film can be shown on the same contact sheet.

Also, I was always mindful of the fact that I had a limited amount of film so there's hardly any "establishing shots." As a consequence of these factors I'm thinking that the above photo was probably taken in Death Valley, but it might be Owens Valley.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Tarantula Blogging

Tarantula - Death Valley  1973

I've been looking over some of my older 40-year old photos and scanning some of the more interesting ones. My brother Joe and I were heading to Death Valley when we came across this spider crossing the road. We set out some toilet paper in his (?) path, wondering if the obstacle would bamboozle him. It didn't: he steadfastly kept moving towards his predetermined objective.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Sunflower - Marin County  2013

I planted some sunflowers in the back yard, where nothing else will grow because of excessive reflected heat. They seemed to do OK . . . maybe a little straggly. I only planted a few, but maybe next year, more.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Interesting Theological Assertion

True Lord's Day - San Francisco  2013

In San Francisco, just off Lombard.

I could be wrong, but I don't think that Aquinas speaks to these issues.

Friday, August 16, 2013

"You Will Go To San Anselmo"

Yoda - San Anselmo  2013

Yoda, Indiana Jones - San Anselmo  2013

"There you will learn from Yoda, the Jedi Master who instructed me."


New statues of Yoda and Indiana Jones can be found in San Anselmo in a small park funded mostly by Mr. G. Lucas. If you're in the vicinity, try to pay it a visit!


"No! Try not. Do or do not. There is no try."

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Alders, Creek - Point Reyes  2013

Some nice alders found at the trailhead parking lot. No HDR tech used, just a hand-held Olympus E-PL5.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Point Reyes Backpack: Hike Back

Trail, Fog - Point Reyes  2013

Brush, Fog - Point Reyes  2013

Mike packed up and set off through the fog back to the truck. The total distance is pretty short, but the time needed to cover it can be extended by taking photos.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Point Reyes Backpack: Early AM

Stream, A.M. - Point Reyes  2013

Beach, A.M. - Point Reyes  2013

Mike got up early and walked down to the beach past a small stream trickling into the ocean. He had the place to himself!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Spotted Towhee Blogging

Spotted Towhee - Point Reyes  2013

Spotted Towhee on Bush - Point Reyes  2013

There were a pair of spotted towhees hopping around my campsite at Point Reyes. I guess that they're pretty common, but to me they always present as fairly exotic.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Wave - Point Reyes  2013

Mike wandered down from his camp to the beach. A little dull under the overcast, so, black and white with a little snap added in Photoshop.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Point Reyes Backpack: Fritos & Beer

Fritos & Beer - Point Reyes  2013

IPA - Point Reyes  2013

Sierra Nevada's Torpedo IPA is being sold in cans!

Nice color, too, when held up against the overcast sky in an acrylic screw-together wine glass.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Point Reyes Backpack: Overcast

Grass, Blue Sky - Point Reyes  2013

The weather at Coast Camp was consistently overcast, with some blue sky in the distance now and then.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Point Reyes Backpack: Equipment

Backpack on Table - Point Reyes  2013

Backpack Contents - Point Reyes  2013

Mike backpacked into Coast Camp in Point Reyes last month for his usual summer backpack tryout. Seemed to go OK . . . his preparations are pretty cut and dried by now.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

More Point Reyes Haze

Black Mountain - Marin County  2013

Cliff & Surf - Point Reyes  2013

Earlier post, complaining about the haze and cold, here.

Earlier, more colorful photo of Black Mountain here.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

. . . from Loma Alta #2

Bird on Fence - Marin County  2013

Grass & Clouds - Marin County  2013

Grass is withered and dry this time of year.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Phoebe Blogging

Phoebe - Marin County  2013

This time, a young phoebe in the rain. The little bird knew that I was there, but seemed unconcerned. The main priority was to be fed.

Monday phoebes have shown up here before: September, 2011, for example . . . and others.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

. . . from Loma Alta #1

Mt. Diablo from Loma Alta - Marin County  2013

Fog from Loma Alta - Marin County  2013

I've taken a few hikes recently up to the top of Loma Alta. The trailhead is close by so it's fairly easy for me to get different weather-related views.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Korean Flag - San Francisco  2013

Korean Consulate - San Francisco  2013

Top: the upscale Korean Consulate found in a quiet, upscale San Francisco neighborhood.

Below: scene from the Japanese Consulate found in a anonymous downtown office building at Fremont and Mission. But, they have T-shirts!

Japanese Consulate - San Francisco  2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

America's Cup

Oracle, Alcatraz - San Francisco  2013

Oracle Head On - San Francisco  2013

Two views of the Oracle entry in the America's Cup race, being held even as we speak on San Francisco Bay. Bottom view showing in the distance the Emirates New Zealand entry.