Bridge To Nowhere Leads Me Somewhere

December 31, 2009 by ·  

Bridge To Nowhere, San Diego

Bridge To Nowhere In San Diego, CA

        2010 is about three hours away as I write this, so I must be brief and I must be quick. Ever since I filmed San Diego trolley police arrest a man for smoking at the 12th & Imperial transit station on September 5th, 2009, and was subsequently told that I was not allowed to take pictures of this particular event by the arresting officers, I have come to believe that photographer’s rights really are under attack in the Unites States.

        When San Diego trolley police hassled me while filming them doing their job, I was on their side, but they tried to prevent me from filming.

        Getting back to the title of this post… I have read several reports of photographers being detained and arrested for taking pictures in a perfectly legal manner, with bridges and train stations in particular being hot spots for ignorant police or security guard intervention. With that in mind, perhaps San Diego’s Bridge To Nowhere can be some sort of metaphor that will be my own bridge to somewhere.

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My List For 2009

December 31, 2009 by ·  

Macro shot of paper & ink

My Final List For 2009

        As the final day of 2009 has less than 7 hours left, I made sure to write a list of personal things I want to remember. A small portion of this list is above.

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Photography For Fun

December 23, 2009 by ·  

San Diego Sunset

Sunset As Seen From Downtown San Diego

        Just to the south of my subject lies the Hilton, and immediately to the north is PETCO Park. The sun was just above the frame of the photo, so a tiny aperture and a shutter speed of 1/1200th was necessary to capture this particular moment in time.

Arteries

Blood Vessels Under High Magnification

        Macro photography is a favorite style of mine because it makes small things look so big! With macro photography, people get to see something totally new and relatively different.

Alien life form extends it's hand

Alien Visitor Attempts To Make Contact

        There are two things you should do when dealing with a life form that is not from Earth. First, do what they say. They’ve traveled very far, and don’t need to deal with your attitude. Second, don’t be afraid. The distance traveled by an alien is inversely proportional to the likelihood of them probing your butt.

The Sun Posing As The Moon

Fast Shutter & Photoshop Make The Sun My Bitch

        The orb in the photo above is the sun. I have opted to cross-dress his highness as a lunar queen because… As the title says, the sun is my bitch.

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San Diego Trolley Station

December 22, 2009 by ·  

12th & Imperial San Diego Trolley Station

San Diego Trolley Station – 12th & Imperial

        My short term goal is to get a shot of trolleys going in both directions, blurred by a long shutter. The scene above is a two second exposure, so I think it is doable, if I just keep my eyes open.

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San Diego Bay Parade Of Lights 2009

December 21, 2009 by ·  

San Diego Convention Center Steps

Steps Of The San Diego Convention Center

        I was at the San Diego Bay Parade Of Lights on Sunday, and since the parade started over an hour late, I had time to get some shots of non-boat things. As it turns out, they would be the gems of the evening. I didn’t get a single decent shot of any of the boats.

San Diego Bulidings, Christmas 2009

Shaky Monopod & Too Short Of A Shutter

        I have a Benro MA-91 aluminum monopod with fold out stabilizer legs that just don’t cut it for long exposure shots. The monopod stands up on it’s own, but it is never rock solid like a tripod, whether you are holding it or not. It was no help at all for taking shots of moving boats at night, all lit up as if Clark W. Griswald was at the helm of each one. For good shots of these boats I needed a lot of shutter time AND a firmly planted camera. The Benro just doesn’t provide it. High ISO on my camera is so noisy that it hurts me and makes me sad, so it was not considered as an option. Even with me bracing the monopod, 1/10 shutter was all I could count on to be clear with this tripoded monopod. I then placed my bag on the ground and my camera on the bag and took another shot. Since it was rock steady, I was able to use more shutter time and get a better photo. So… The pic above was 1/10, hovering over 5 feet above the ground on top of a Benro monopod posing as a tripod. The shot below was taken with the camera on firm ground with 1 second of shutter time. That’s what I got instead of boats on the night I went to a parade of Christmas-lit boats: Buildings and steps.

San Diego Skyline, Christmas 2009

San Diego Skyline With One Second Exposure

        There are a few lessons here, the first being that fold out legs on a monopod are no substitute for a tripod when doing night photography. Another lesson would be a willingness to find something else to shoot if your original subject, your equipment or even your own mad, photographic skills fail you. The boats were out of my reach so I turned around and shot the Christmas city skyline instead.

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The Surface Of An Alien Planet

December 15, 2009 by ·  

Water Canals On Earth-Like Planet

Water Evidence On An Alien Planet – As Seen From An Orbiting Satellite

        Back in the 1970’s, NASA launched a series of deep space probes. Mostly forgotten today, some of them have finally managed to reach planets outside our own solar system. The image above was taken from 150 miles above the surface of a planet named “NIROBI”. The visible geographic features could be giant, wind-swept sand dunes or even a series of canyons made by liquid water.

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South Bay Power Plant

December 3, 2009 by ·  

South Bay Power Plant, San Diego

South Bay Power Plant On A Colorful Night

South Bay Power Plant

South Bay Power Plant

        The southeast area of San Diego Bay is the home of South Bay Power Plant. It is not a desalination plant. Somehow, back in October I got it in my head that this facility removed salt from seawater. I took a night picture of it and wrote a blog post about it, titled, Night & Day With Salt & Dinosaurs, but it turns out it was factually incorrect. Oh well. This new and better information called for a new and better photo. The shot on the left is the image from the post I just mentioned.

        I like the colors and the composition of the newer shot are much better than the first. I was still over a mile away, from the power plant , so you have to give it up for the super-zoom! This was a 10 second exposure, with my camera sitting on a thick fencepost made of brick.

        Some slow shutter speed photography tips are: Turn off any anti-shake features on your camera, use a tripod and use the 2 second shutter release delay. If you don’t have your tripod, then set the camera on a firm surface. Multi-second exposures can not be hand held!

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