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Monthly Archives: March 2010

seven.

Nice days like today make me think about how fantastic the islands are all year ’round. This shot was taken last year while vacationing in Maui, at the top of Haleakala summit. You have to wake up pretty early in the morning (think, several hours before sunrise) to make it up there in time for this sight, but it is well worth it. Well, at least it’s worth it once per Hawaii trip.  :)

Oh, and that warm weather I was just alluding to? It doesn’t exist up there during those sunrise hours. It’s actually more like winter – 30°F plus wind chill. There’s a little shelter at the top for viewers to take in the sunrise or sunset from, but that’s a no-go if you want worthwhile pictures. I wish I had taken a picture of me sitting outside in the freezing cold while everyone else was inside, talking about that crazy man freezing his fingers off out there to get a photograph!

Anyway, for a beautiful, sunny, spring Saturday…we go to number seven:

house of the sun
house of the sun

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eight.

Hard to believe that March is soon coming to a close. Hope you’ve been enjoying the spring weather, break (for some of you lucky students), and sports! The start of the 2010 MLB season will be upon us shortly – I know I’m counting down. Oh, and who can write anything about Bay Area sports these days and not mention SMC’s Gaels? I didn’t go to the college, but my loose connection from HS has made me a fan (admittedly, kind of a band-wagon one). Since my usual favorite is already out of the NCAA tourney (Kansas – what happened?!), it’s all on the Gaels now.

In any case, keeping up with our ghost of photos past…here’s number eight:

just a boring little squirrel
just a boring little squirrel

Sometimes it’s the simplest photos of the most common sights that somehow make an impression on you. Maybe it’s because I’m in a spring mood today and the sight of green grass and wildlife remind me of that March-May time. The story of this shot is humorously typical of how good frames can come when you don’t particularly expect it. I was out in the south bay for a little hangout with two other friends, including a photowalk around the grounds of Santa Clara University. We spent most of our energy focusing on the beautiful architecture on campus and chasing a fairly portly cat around who playfully posed every so often. It wasn’t until we were headed back to the car when this little guy showed up, and I quickly pulled my camera up to snap off a few frames just for the heck of it. If I remember correctly, I was actually just about to stash all my equipment away. When I got the chance to finally review all the photos from our day, I chuckled to myself as it became obvious that for all my fiddling around with different angles and perspectives of the wonderful buildings, this was clearly one of the better, striking shots of the day. Of a ground squirrel. On the lawn. One that easily could have not happened.

So that advice that tons of other pro photographers give about never putting your camera away until you are absolutely, positively done? Yup, they’re right. Even when you think you’re done, moments worth capturing can show up! So I admit, part of why this made my list is the lesson behind it. There are shots out there that I like better, absolutely. But this one taught me a lesson that’s helped me not to miss a lot of other, more fantastic moments. And for that reason, it’s a favorite.

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nine.

Continuing on with our review of some of my favorite shots from the past few years, here’s number nine:

preparation
preparation

You’re looking at Jason Varitek of the Boston Red Sox as he goes through his pre-game prep in the bullpen. I mentioned last time that a lot of “favorites” came from my trip to the east coast a couple of years ago, and well, this is another one of them. While I’m not a fan of the BoSox – actually, they’re an enemy – I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Fenway. What a fantastic ballpark. And it’s really remarkable how fun it is to watch a ball game there considering it opened in 1912. Old doesn’t automatically mean cool or fun. We visited the old Yankee Stadium during this same trip and while I appreciated the history (built 1923), it felt more like a concrete prison in some places than a ballpark.

Anyway, back to the shot: yes, I realize that VTek’s bee-hind is hanging outside of the frame. Aspiring photographers, this was a mistake – don’t replicate it. If not for this shortcoming, I’d have ranked it higher on my list. Nevertheless, I love this photo because it really captures the quiet, methodical prep many ball players go through even before we get to singing the national anthem. Quiet is relative, of course. I was one of a dozen or so spectators who hung themselves over the rail above the pen to either snap a photo or get his attention. I was lucky to get this shot at all, really. Live view was the only way I could get some idea of whether I was getting the frame I wanted (thank you, technology), and like that – the moment was gone. Some other things I love about this one: the depth and contrast (almost feels 3D), the footprints in the background (from VTek’s footwork practice), and the lovely brown earth-tone of the dirt (did I say contrast?).

I’ll leave you with a quick bonus share – here’s three other shots from that game:

waiting for my chance
O’s in the pen

Mr. Boucher's seat
Mr. Boucher’s seat

fenway
fenway

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Let’s count ’em down!

After many iterations and plenty of work, the blog is ready to go! If you’re reading this, thank you and congrats! This is post number one of hopefully many, many, many more to come. I’m excited to share my photos, thoughts, experiences, and more with you all and hopefully you’ll enjoy getting to know me as we go.  :)

Now, how to kick things off properly? Let’s take a look at my favorite photos from the past few years as we look forward to favorites yet to come! So, without further delay, I bring you photo number 10:

um...high iso rocks.
St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York

Majestic, isn’t it? You’re looking at the nave of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. This is one of many favorite photos that came out of my first trip to New York, two years ago. From a photo-nerd perspective, this was a truly fascinating shot in that it was hand-held, high-iso, and manages to retain remarkably high dynamic range. But you don’t need the nerdy info to appreciate the awe of this place. There’s an intriguing mix of solemn darkness with bright, colorful light wherever you stand. You can’t help but be silent as you try to take it all in – or at least, that’s how I felt! I’m told that the whole thing is made from brick and covered in marble. Crazy. It was completed in 1878, making it truly Civil War era architecture. What a contrast to Rockefeller Center, just across the street!

Alrighty folks, that’s it from me for now – but stay tuned for more countdown!

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