Saturday, October 31, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

Pumpkin Shelf

It's Halloween today in America, and that means pumpkins are on display everywhere you look. Here are some from Andreotti farm in Half Moon Bay, just waiting for someone to come along and carve them into jack o' lanterns. Meanwhile, they're participating in this week's Shadow Shot Sunday. Some of last week's participants can be seen here.


Night Vision

When I was 6 or 7, one of my older brothers started telling me a ghost story, the only detail of which I remember is that there was a mysterious green light in the corner of a room. He never finished telling the story, and for years after I would wonder how it ended. Eventually I realized that he had been making it up as he went along, and stopped when he ran out of ideas. The unfinished story, of course, was much spookier than a whole story would have been (which is probably why I remember it); the idea of the story was spookier than the story itself.

Shadow Shot Sunday is fun for the whole family! Check out the other folks here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Double-crested Cormorants

Double-crested Cormorants
See a close-up shot here.

In My Neighborhood


When I first moved into my neighborhood, twenty-mumble-something years ago, this was the oldest continuously operated restaurant in San Francisco. Mayes Oyster House served so-so seafood and catered to a decidedly older, more moneyed clientele. It closed down about ten or fifteen years ago, then reopened as Axum, serving Ethiopian cuisine. That didn't last. It then got an extensive makeover by Myles O'Reilly, an Irishman who owns a popular Irish pub in North Beach, and opened as the Holy Grail. Despite a good kitchen, a beautiful interior with lots of stained glass imported from Dublin and tons of money being poured into it over the course of a few years, Myles couldn't make a go of it and finally shut it down. It then reopened as something else very briefly (it was so short that I can't even remember what it was called), and shut down again just as quickly. Now there's a sign on the door saying it is going to open soon as Mayes once more. We'll see.

Great sign, though, don't you think?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Travel Thursday: Yangshuo, China

Li River

I know I've posted a series of pictures from Yangshuo here before, but these weren't in that set. Both of these shots were taken just across the street from the hotel where we stayed. If I hadn't said it before, allow me to opine that Yangshuo was by far my favorite spot of all the cities we visited in China.


Li River Tour Boat

One Market

One Market 02
From California & Davis.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wine-Dark Sky

Wine-Dark Sky
This is my beloved dory. The hull is dark green. I figure I've got about 750 miles in her this season so far.


Dentist 02
From my recent expedition into the uncharted howling wilderness of the Excelsior.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Door Is Always Open

My Door Is Always Open

I somehow managed to get in to the otherwise off-limits Hunters Point Naval Shipyard this past weekend and drove around undisturbed for about an hour or so, just snapping away at all the abandoned decrepitude. I kept waiting for someone to come along and ask what I was doing or tell me to get the hell out of there, but no one ever did. This is probably my favorite shot from that excursion... though now I wish I'd been a little bolder about exploring some of the interiors there. It's a photographer's paradise!

Martini Monday

Cosmopolitan 02
Actually a Cosmopolitan this week--a much maligned drink, but pretty darn good if you make it right:
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • 2 parts unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 2 parts triple sec
  • 4 parts vodka

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday: Lines and Circles

Shadows of Table and Chairs

Nothing abandoned this week, just the shadows cast from a table and some chairs on the patio at Regusci winery in Napa. Shadow Shot Sunday is here, and some of last week's entries are here. Enjoy!

Shadow Shot Sunday

Olmsted Point 10
Glacial erratics at Olmsted Point, Yosemite National Park.

Go ahead--give in to the urge to Shadow Shot Sunday. All the cool kids are doing it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Being Seen Around Town

Actually, It's Rude

Recently some of my photos have been showing up on a local site affiliated with the SF CBS bureau called Eye On Blogs. That's basically a one-woman operation run by Brittney Gilbert, and all I can say is, thank you very much, Brittney! I'm always happy to have my pictures posted where more people can see them, and I very much appreciate that she thinks they're good enough to be included in some of her posts. This is the most recent one to show up there, and is my personal favorite of the past week.

Patriotic Trout

Patriotic Trout 02
On the lawn of the Mono County Courthouse.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Into the Mist

Telephone Poles 01
Taken from Twin Lakes Road (near Bridgeport) at the turnoff for Hunewill Ranch. Black and white version below the fold (can't decide which I prefer).
Telephone Poles 01 BW

Travel Thursday: Napa

Calistoga Vineyard

Yet another team-building offsite -- which, at least in this instance, is corporate-speak for "Let's get 30 people together on a bus and send them off to drink wine all day" -- has me heading up to Napa today to get my grape on. I'll try to keep the shots in focus, at least in the early part of the day, and then report back to the elders at some later date.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Was Looking at the Black and White World

SF Window

A window display for a leather shop on Howard Street makes a rather bold statement.

Line 5

Line 5
Bus shelter at Park Presidio & Fulton.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rainy Season

28th Floor 091013
It can't seem to decide whether or not to rain today. The weather was much less indecisive last Tuesday.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Have You Seen Your Sofa, Baby, Standing in the Shadows

Have You Seen Your Sofa Free, Standing in the Shadows

An abandoned couch casts eerie shadows in an urban alley. Have a seat, it's Shadow Shot Sunday! While you're relaxing, check out some of last week's entries here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bamboo Red

Bamboo Red

I was out shooting at sunset last night and came upon this doorway. The shot turned out even better than I'd hoped.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Glimpsed alongside a mimicking sculpture at Centre Pompidou

Travel Thursday: California Academy of Sciences

Blue Abstract

I went on a "team-building offsite" with my group last week to the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. It's a great museum that includes the Morrison Planetarium and Steinhart Aquarium, among other features. Here are a few of the shots I got while I was there.


Turtle & Fish

Aquatic Still Life

Head Above Water

Jellyfish Plural


Orange Butterfly

Seahorse Rail

Gator Reflected

Porthole to Sutro

At Home He Feels Like a Tourist

Blue Angels 10
Blue Angels practicing for their show last Friday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We're So Happy to See You

We're So Happy to See You

The door to the Rite-Spot Cafe, 17th and Folsom Streets.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Drink Up, Lads!

The Phoenix

I know Tom needs a martini today, because he missed out on the Guinness here yesterday.

Wind in the Trees

Wind in the Trees
Another of my "Impressionisms in a Hurry." This one, made with a tripod in my backyard, is better large.

Martini Monday

Golden Martini 01
Posting it early, because it's going to be a very long day before I get a real one...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday: Mr Coffee Hits the Street

Mr Coffee Hits the Street

People leave the strangest things on my street. A late afternoon shot of this abandoned coffee maker seems like the perfect entry for Shadow Shot Sunday. To see some of last week's work, go here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Having a Bad Dream

Having a Bad Dream

A juxtaposition of different types of art makes for something perhaps a bit nightmarish in Myrtle Alley just off Larkin Street...


At the Marché des Enfants Rouge

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Travel Thursday: National Parks

Crater Lake
Crater Lake National Park, designated 1902 (taken August 2005)

Yes, of course ('of course' to anyone who knows me) I've been watching the Ken Burns series (still making my way through it on DVR). It's perfect for me, not just because of my love of wildness and natural beauty, but because we were raised on the National Parks.

But it's bittersweet, because the happy memories I relive as I watch it are inextricably tied to our parents. I absorbed from them the idea that National Parks were special, that the magic phrase 'National Park' meant we were in store for something amazing. At home I would browse the big book with the pictures of the National Parks and dream of visiting Crater Lake or Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone or Bryce Canyon or Carlsbad Caverns.

In 1969 we did an epic family trip from New Jersey to Wisconsin to Wyoming to New Mexico to Colorado and back--visiting Devil's Tower, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Flaming Gorge, Dinosaur, Carlsbad , Rocky Mountain, and probably some I don't recall right now.

In 1975, I first visited Yosemite on a drizzly weekend with my father and my best friend; at Glacier Point we watched patiently as the clouds parted a little at a time, revealing bits and pieces of the grandeur. In 1978, we spent a week visiting Sequoia-Kings Canyon. In 1993, all of us grown and some with children, we all got together in Yosemite. Again in Yosemite in 2003, the last time we were all together--parents, kids, and grandkids. And other trips in between.

Personal history aside, it's a great story, and Burns gives it its due. "America's best idea" might be hyperbole, but only just. The execution hasn't been perfect, but despite all the compromises, the well-intentioned mistakes, the philosophical confusion, and the often unclean hands, the National Parks idea is extraordinary and admirable.

Mesa Verde 02
Mesa Verde National Park, designated 1906 (taken August 1969)

Half Dome and the Clark Range
Half Dome and the Clark Range from the top of Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, designated 1890 (taken January 1991)

Manzanar 07
Manzanar National Historic Site, designated 1985 (taken March 2008)

Point Reyes Beach
Point Reyes Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore, designated 1962 (taken in 2000)

Redfish Lake
Redfish Lake, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, designated 1972 (taken June 2004)

Moro Rock 06
View from Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park, designated 1890 (taken August 2009)

Chasm Lake
At Chasm Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, designated 1915 (taken August 1969)

Zabriskie Point 05
Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park, designated National Monument in 1933 and National Park in 1994 (taken March 2008)

Bridge and City
Marin Headlands, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, designated 1972

Above Grouse Meadow
Grouse Meadow, Kings Canyon National Park, designated 1940 (taken August 1999)