Point Pinos Lighthouse-

After 20 years, I finally got you, you bastard.

Though, still not perfect—I must be doing something wrong because the image isn’t as crisp as I think it should be at full resolution—its the best effort yet for this lighthouse that I’ve tried to shoot without a tripod, with a tripod in 30 mph winds that would knock over the tripod, and all from the wrong angle until I saw some other pictures from the angle above.

So I guess there still is a learning curve; maybe I should go for less manual (like manual focus) and more auto (like autofocus). A better tripod for sure, because I noticed that the weight of the D810 would cause some oscillating movement in the tripod that needs about 5 seconds to damp down. Better eyesight maybe too.

Fisherman’s wharf, Monterey, CA-

The Bay Area Rediscovery Project took us to Monterey last weekend. While the accommodations at Casa Munras were disappointing, the breakfast at Loulou’s Griddle in the Middle was awesome! You seriously can’t describe how big the pancakes are (bigger than the plates), or how nice and welcoming the owners are. And while you wait, you can walk along the wharf, where we saw dolphins feasting on something (anchovies?), leading one local to state that he had never seen anything like that in the 40 years he’s lived in Monterey. So that seemed special, but all i had was my three generation old iPhone 4. So while the new iPhone drops in a few weeks, in the interim, I suppose I’ll be taking the D810, the G12 and the iPhone with me whenever I step out.

I hope my chiropractor has some openings.

Santa Cruz-

Turning inland from the surfers, it seems that I apparently can take a decent shot with the new Nikon provided that the subject doesn’t move. I have to admit that I don’t even think that I saw the airplane in the picture on the left in the viewfinder. Pretty cool that the camera picked it up—and it wasn’t a blur.

Yay me.

Now if only the programmers at Zoner could add the D810’s file format so I don’t have to use a converter first, or god forbid, Nikon’s own software. Though in all honestly, NX2 isn’t that bad of an alternative to developing on the laptop. On the desktop, I seem to have enough horsepower and memory to satisfy Zoner with regard to the huge file sizes the D810 kicks out. Not so much on the laptop.

Santa Cruz, Surfing USA-

Let’s call it a learning curve; because admitting that I wasted an opportunity to take awesome pictures by forgetting that you need a fast shutter speed to take action photos would be too harsh.

In hindsight, how obvious was it that I should have set the camera to shutter priority? Shallow depth of field might have even made the photos look even better. Because how often do I get down to Santa Cruz when the weather is perfect, the waves are perfect, and the crowds thinner than the crust on a Neapolitan pizza?

Hopefully the frankenphotosizing hides the motion blur and lack of focus, or rather leverages these “flaws” as elements of “artistic license.”

Briones Regional Park-

Announcing the launch of the great Bay Area Rediscovery Project.

The mission: to remind ourselves of why this is one of the best places on Earth and shake off that blasé feeling.

The goal: once a month, maybe more, get out and explore, even if you’ve been there before. Go for a hike and refuel at local eating establishments nearby.

The first foray: We first stretched our legs at Briones Regional Park. It has always been there, we’ve always driven around it. Time to finally venture in. A short 5 mile hike later, hungry, we headed to Kabab Burger over the hill in Layfayette for some tasty falafel, schwarma, and lemonade with mint. Then back over to Berkeley Bowl West for a first time walk through and purchase of dried garbanzo beans for homemade hummus (keeping with the Middle Eastern theme), after a quick stop at Looking Glass Photo for a new camera bag.

All in all, a good first effort.

Orange hour on orange Friday

Orange hour on orange Friday

Alrighty then. Now the pressure is on.  

So how do these things work?  

It did take me to submit an RMA for returning the filters before I thought that I should try to fit them the other way around.

Oops. 

So now I’m in the Nikon family after 20 years in the Canon family.  It’s a bit weird. 

And after laying out more than 5 large, I’m a bit concerned that I can’t see a histogram until after I shoot.  My G12 can, why wouldn’t the D810?

Alrighty then. Now the pressure is on.

So how do these things work?

It did take me to submit an RMA for returning the filters before I thought that I should try to fit them the other way around.

Oops.

So now I’m in the Nikon family after 20 years in the Canon family. It’s a bit weird.

And after laying out more than 5 large, I’m a bit concerned that I can’t see a histogram until after I shoot. My G12 can, why wouldn’t the D810?

Flashback

After a bottle of white burgundy (Marsannay), some duck hearts, and a huge gougère at the Urchin Bistro, I’m having a moment and flashing back to Avant Comptoir and munching on boudin noir and some other really amazing stuff.

Oh French food… You are so tasty.

Camping in the Truckee/Donner area last weekend, I was a no show for the barbecue dinner. But can you really blame me? For shots like these, it was worth missing the food and instead sitting there on my own in a ravine for three hours taking over 70 shots.

When I got there, things looked promising with cumulus clouds in the distance to the east. Then, to my dismay, a layer clouds broke off and covered the sky promising the dullest orange hour ever.

But faith and patience paid off as the clouds parted and stitched themselves into the most glorious display imaginable. Indeed, even without the oil paint filter—these look like oil paintings!

It was entirely worth the cold dinner that awaiting me back at the camp.

Oh dear; the frankenphoto processing is getting out of hand.