Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Near Lee Vining

Mike, Truck - Sierra Nevada  2015

Mono Cone (Lee Vining) - Sierra Nevada  2015

Top: rest stop overlooking Mono Lake, early morning. No one there, as usual, some smoke in the sky.

Bottom: Mono Cone in Lee Vining, not open yet.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mammoth Evening

Lopez's - Sierra Nevada  2015

Street, Mountain - Sierra Nevada  2015

After some tamales at Lopez's I noticed that the air had gotten clearer, the smoke being a very transient thing.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Dayhike to Shadow Lake #5: Shadow Lake

Shadow Lake - Sierra Nevada  2015

Trout Ripple (Shadow Lake) - Sierra Nevada  2015

Arrived at Shadow Lake mid-morning. The view towards the Minarets, away from the sun, was fairly clear, but smoke was visibly drifting over the lake as I watched.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Dayhike to Shadow Lake #4: Junipers in the Smoke

Juniper - Sierra Nevada  2015

Juniper Branches - Sierra Nevada  2015

Using smoke as a background is an interesting juniper isolation technique, I guess. You could spend hours in Photoshop trying to get the same look.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dayhike to Shadow Lake #3: Olaine Lake

Olaine Lake - Sierra Nevada  2015

Early morning scene. Actually, one of the nicest sights during my hike . . . after this the trail ascended higher into the smoke.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Dayhike to Shadow Lake #2

Sage, Manzanita - Sierra Nevada  2015

Junipers - Sierra Nevada  2015

I was using an Olympus E-M10 and the latest iteration of their 14-150mm lens. Very enjoyable combo! The E-M10 is not nearly as fussy as the E-M1, and the lens offers amazing flexibility.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Dayhike to Shadow Lake #1

Meadow Plant - Sierra Nevada  2015

Trees, Smoke - Sierra Nevada  2015

I got to the trailhead at Agnew Meadows a little before 7 AM. It was cold! My fingers quickly started to go numb.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday Red Breasted Nuthatch Blogging

Red Breasted Nuthatch - Sierra Nevada  2015

Saw this small bird during my dayhike coming down from Shadow Lake.

It forages on the trunks and large branches of trees, often descending head first, sometimes catching insects in flight. It eats mainly insects and seeds, especially from conifers. (Wikipedia.)

As I passed by it took a break from foraging to pose for my camera.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Minarets (Smoke)

Minarets, Smoke - Sierra Nevada  2015

Early next day I left early for my dayhike, wanting to be able to drive down to the trailhead at Agnew Meadows before the 7:00 AM deadline. I took this photo at 6:27 AM as the road curved to reveal the Minarets, standing Mordor-like in the smoke.

Compare to this 2013 view.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Around Mammoth

Gray Bear - Sierra Nevada  2015

Drink What You Want - Sierra Nevada  2015

Just walking around. I decided to definitely skip backpacking in the smoke, and take a dayhike the next day instead.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Rough Fire

Rough Fire - Sierra Nevada  2015

Taken at the Mammoth Ranger Station. The actual fire was far south, near Shaver Lake, but smoke was drifting north, filling up Owens Valley and restricting visibility.

Of course, air conditions were much worse elsewhere, causing real health concerns.

[Update: Above photo taken in August. As of today, fire is still active, and 67% contained.]

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Yosemite Fritos & Beer

Fritos & Beer - Yosemite  2015

As I neared Tioga Pass I realized that it was lunchtime. I had bought a sandwich at the Subway in Oakdale.

Per a Yelp review: I love the food here but the costumer service  needs to be improved. I came here around 9:30ish this morning, mind you I pre ordered my sandwiches, and all I got, over the phone and in person, was sass and attitude. Not only did the lady get one of my orders wrong and then give me attitude when I notified her about it, but she also didn't greet us or have a friendly face.

I have to say that I didn't find any sass or attitude at all. Not only did the comely serviceperson create an exquisite sandwich, but we were also able to have a (short) discussion about my trip (smoke concerns, etc.), wherein she informed me that there is now a Subway location on the way to Yosemite in Groveland. No sass! No attitude!

I found a spot just off the highway where I could park the truck, get out a stool to sit on, and voila!: Fritos & Beer. Plus smoke and a cold little breeze. (How very similar this photo is to last year's shot.)

Bonus photo: Mt. Dana through the smoke:

Mt. Dana, Smoke - Yosemite  2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

End Times #2 - Half Dome

Half Dome - Yosemite  2015

Taken on my way to a projected backpack trip in the Eastern Sierra, which, alas, had to be cancelled due to excessive smoke. I stopped at the Olmstead Point viewpoint and caught this glimpse of Half Dome through the smoke.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

End Times #1 - Lake Don Pedro

Lake Don Pedro - Central California  2015

Beautiful Lake Don Pedro, slowly vanishing in the drought years.

Harbinger of the end times? Or an interesting example of some particularly grotesque earth art?

You be the judge. Alas, the dead trees that once decorated the dreary shoreline have long since disappeared. Interesting comparison between this year's view and last year's.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday Cat Blogging

Cat, Conserve Water - Marin County  2015

Plus, a reminder of the continuing need to conserve water here in California.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Staircase, Self-Portrait - San Francisco  2015

Spiral Staircase - San Francisco  2015
Well, yes. I've shot these before, but not in exactly the same way.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Transamerica Pyramid, Moon

Transamerica Pyramid, Moon - San Francisco  2015

Also: some shots from last February.

I experimented with the yellow filter preset in Photoshop, but the sky-darkening effect was a bit excessive.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Columns, Battery Street

Columns, Battery Street - San Francisco  2015

OK, so maybe not as cool as Paul Strand's Wall Street. But still, a little cool. Plus, it has that digital hypersharp look, which some like. And some hate.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Red Chairs

Red Chairs, Ferry Building - San Francisco  2015

I got into San Francisco fairly early, ahead of my lunch date, in order to take some photos. Look at these red chairs! Cool.

I used an Olympus E-M10 with the 14-150mm zoom lens.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Ferry Building, Skyline

Ferry Building, Skyline - San Francisco  2015

Taken from the ferry during a recent lunch excursion into San Francisco. It was a windy day: the buildings looming in back of the Ferry Building had a paper cut-out look.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

San Francisco Sightems

Haight Ashbury - San Francisco  2015

Rhode Island - San Francisco  2015

Converted to BW in Photoshop.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Monday Frog Blogging

Frog - Marin County  2015

Picked up my gardening gloves, felt something very odd attached and instinctively flicked it off. This diminutive frog landed with a splat on one of the leaves of the camellia.

Went and got the camera, took the photo, then got him (?) down.

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Blackberries - Marin County  2015

Blackberries, Fence - Marin County  2015

Not yet ripe when taken in early August.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Blog Note

mikereport, UK

How this blog appears in Europe, with cookie warning.

[Insert chocolate chip cookie joke here.]

Friday, September 4, 2015

SF Bay From The Air

Bay Bridge - San Francisco  2015

Boats - San Francisco  2015

Actually taken during our flight going up to Oregon. Leaving SFO it's pretty common to get some views of the bay area. Coming in there's very little to see, other than the salt flats at the southern end of the bay.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

San Francisco Sightems

P - San Francisco  2015

Tickle Me - San Francisco  2015

South of Market.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Pork Store Cafe

Pork Store Cafe Outside Sign - San Francisco  2015

Pork Store Cafe Inside Sign - San Francisco  2015

There's a lot of inexplicable praise on Yelp.

Food (breakfast) was certainly OK, but nothing special. The interior, however, was very photogenic.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sony A7r II

Restaurant Customers - San Francisco  2015

Sony A7r II - San Francisco  2015

The photo world is all agog over the new Sony A7r II. Our friend Dan pre-ordered and received his camera in mid-August.

I used it to take the photo at the top. Notice the interesting depth of field and the camera's nice autofocus, wherein the people in the foreground are sharply in focus with the background being semi-blurred. Might be hard to do that with the Olympus/Panasonic m43 system.

Photo of the Sony taken with my humble Olympus E-PL5 and a Panasonic 20mm lens.