I got the day off from work.
Instead of sleeping in and lazing around in my underwear, I visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium for the first time.
I got a lot of use out of all three of my main lenses.
Go go macro!
( +4 )
The rest are here.
This one started with this article about the Wave Organ... but I was feeling too caffeine-withdrawn to leave the house before dusk. So I decided to just head over to the Embarcadero to take some familiar photos.
I think it's somewhere around Pier 1 that I make the conscious decision to keep walking... it's happened a few times now. So up to Ghirardelli Square, over to the Exploratorium again. This time I followed Yacht Road and saw the Marina from the other side before getting to the Wave Organ.
(Reminder to self: when taking photos when it's nearly pitch black out, if you carry&use your tripod and infrared range finder, you might end up with more than five usable photos at the end of the night. Including some of the thing you walked all that way to photograph in the first place.)
Bit rusty. Had fun though.
Requisite shot of Coit Tower, from Yacht Road
( +4, all familiar )
On Thursday, we were split about the drive up Mauna Kea, and it wasn't as much of a must-do for me as photographing the lava flows. So we went snorkeling again, this time at Anaeho'omalu beach, which was within walking distance of our hotel.
Afterwards the parents drove back, while Hiro and I walked a bit with our cameras, waiting for sunset. I photographed a sailboat and the sunset; Hiro also took pics of me taking pictures.
Damn sunspot/fingerprint smudge.
If only they made some sort of software in which you could edit digital photographs. =P
Guess I'm feeling lazy.
I think I had my polarized filter on for these last two.
Been a long time since I've been sailing.
On Monday, our petroglyph guide recommended we hike to the lava flows in late afternoon, arriving around sunset so we could see the lava glowing orange, then hiking back in the dark. That sounded perfect to me.
On Wednesday, we made the drive around to the other side of the island to the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
I ended up hiking most of the way alone, since my brother and mother had stayed at the hotel due to exhaustion and my father wasn't up for the treacherous terrain so soon after chemo. In a way, I was glad he decided to turn around, since I was worried for him, his balance, his general energy level.
It was three, three and a half miles one way. The first leg was paved, then reflective markers every few feet across large lava rocks. Then the markers stopped and we were guided by six plastic posts with blinking lights, spaced a third of a mile apart. These often disappeared from view until I made my way back to high ground and stopped to scan the horizon.
I tried not to think too much about how lava caves formed and how the tops of seemingly solid lava rocks would sometimes collapse.
I made my way to the rope barrier with time to kill before sunset. I ate my onigiri, took some photos, and waited. As more and more people arrived and ignored the rope barrier, and as I noted how my view was nowhere near as good as it could be, I, too, decided to disregard the "The rocks beyond this point could slide into the ocean without warning at any point" signs and made my way past the rope for a better view. We watched lava hit the water: huge clouds of steam; sometimes lava would spray high in the air as a particularly big wave hit.
This was one of the two times I wished for a stronger zoom in Hawai'i, but for the most part I'm in love with my new lens.
The hike back was difficult. My mind was no longer on collapsing rock; I was just concentrating on not tripping, not stepping into a crevasse. And yet I figure this wasn't the most dangerous photo walk I've taken ;-)
After today's blackout-induced non-rehearsal hanging-out beerness with BSM, I drove home, took care of some stuff, then grabbed my camera and a jacket and headed towards the water.
I missed sunset and it got very very veryvery dark. I went for long exposure times and stayed aware of my surroundings... and decided I'd keep going until I felt I couldn't walk anymore.
I ended up taking a 4+ hour photo walk... I'd guess over 10 miles. I'm a bit sore and the cabs passing me looked better and better after I found the Exploratorium and stopped taking photos... but managed to walk all the way back home to Loft Ness. I think that made up for a few too many days of not exercising.
Requisite pic of Coit Tower
( +10 )
I went to see The Fountain last night.
(Hostel II: I'm not a fan of Eli Roth's at all, but I may end up watching this in the theaters anyway =P ... The fact that Letters From Iwo Jima was filmed back-to-back with Flags of Our Fathers makes both of them more interesting to me. Not sure if/when I'll watch though.)
[the rain starts falling harder outside and my mind sidesteps for a moment as i marvel at my capacity for being self-absorbed. meta-self-absorbed, even. i'd consider it a failing if it weren't such a defining part of me (..., i think to myself, pondering the inner workings of my self-absorption).]
[[if a sponge were self-absorbent, would it only absorb itself, or would it absorb other sponges? would it grow larger and take on the memories and abilities of the sponges it absorbed? would it be a cannibal sponge or a highlander sponge? would we end up with a huge there-can-be-only-one sponge that can both clean your kitchen and act as a contraceptive? and would that sponge be my father? (never!!!)]]
Evidently my mind has snapped somewhere. Perhaps while viewing The Fountain and its interweaving, era-spanning storylines. Though I have my theories about that.
Did I mention it was very good? Beautiful. Parts of it seemed more like a dance than a movie. Or a play. Or a visual piece of music, but that all got woven back into the story. A scene close to the end got a little "Oh no, this is getting a little too 2001" but I think it recovered.
on the way home.
blurry b/c i hadn't stepped up to iso 1600 yet, but i like this.
( +4 )
[i: thanksgiving photo walk] Didn't follow through with any of the other photo walks I wanted to do, just yet. I'm still catching up on sleep and transfixed by football. Some days are just meant to be lazy days.
But I'm still proud of my Thanksgiving photos. I kept a bit more than a third of the shots I took; it was a pretty good learning experience since I mainly stayed in manual aperture settings and had to deal with varying light conditions.
San Francisco, CA
[ii: requisite bit update] I went back to the dentist on Wednesday to get imprints of my back teeth put in the bit, now that my jaw's settled somewhat... so I can chew better now. My mother's all about being health conscious, so I had to spend the entire first evening answering questions about the bit and my dentist. She listened to the recorded phone conversation I had with the bloodwork nutritionist folk and came with me to meet my dentist, and she feels better about it now.
One unexpected side effect: I'm completely unable to chew my fingernails and fingertips... maybe I'll be all hand model-y by the end of this. And I'm still sleeping well. This is worth my inability to speak without sounding like a complete retard. I mean, even more so than normal.
[iii: some links]
I went on a photo walk today. I was a bit impatient with things... I should have broken out the tripod for just about every shot. But I was surprised how much I used my wide lens (which is actually the much slower lens. Ah well).
i think this one's my favorite.
( larger, +4 )
I've been trying to get re-centered.
Eating healthier and more regularly. Exercising. Skipping clubs and
not drinking cutting back on alcohol. Earplugs to help sleep through the night. Walking the streets of my city, taking it all in. Everything that you don't notice when you whiz by at the speed of the information age comes into focus. I really love that... don't know why I've been neglecting to.
My new camera should be here soon... I've got some big photo walks planned.
I stopped to take this picture on my way up to Van Ness. Three tourists [?] stopped, looked up to see what I was pointing my camera at, and said "That's a good shot of the crane there," to themselves and pulled out their camera for a photo while I left, grinning.
Later I stopped at a new [to me] Mexican joint and ordered some excellent fajitas. An older lady stooped and put her face inches away from my plate and said, "What do you call that there?" and I replied, "Fajitas." "What?" "Fajitas." "I'll order that next time. Look at that. You even get tomatoes!"
( larger, +4 )
[i: wherein our hero measures the boot of a small car and eats sushi]:( I put on my robe and wizard hat )
Afterwards I walked back home. Took some more photos. Lingered around Japantown, which was mostly closed... I should go back there soon. I want to wander around North Beach sometime soon too. Getting to know SF one photo walk at a time.
I walked to the Embarcadero Center to see An Inconvenient Truth. Highly highly recommended. As in, go see this film. The nation's top climate scientists said Gore was accurate and one said he was being optimistic (link). I was dismayed to see much of Manhattan and my beloved SoMa underwater. I'm revisiting my CalTrain-and-bike to work idea.
Afterwards I was doubly glad I had walked; the half moon and clouds gave enough backlight for a nice nighttime photo walk. I'd love to be able to take nighttime pictures like these; it's partially talent/practice and partially gear. But I've decided to put off procuring a new camera until after I've made loft ness feel like home.
Still, (brainstorm:) it would be fun to get a hotel room in a highrise, get a pretty accomplice in vintage lingerie to lounge by an open window, framed by the billowing white drapes, lit by neon, and photograph via telephoto lens from the street and other highrises while communicating via walkie talkie. Someday. Maybe.
san francisco, ca
( +5 of sf, one of me )
This no ins/outs in my parking lot between 7pm and 6am Sunday through Thursday is one thing. The 4am-6am street cleaning is another. Once I get settled in and get comfy with my bike and it stops raining I'll be good =)
But after tracking down a cheapish overnight parking spot, I decided to do my very first, uber short (3 or 4 blocks?) photo walk here. S'fun. First of many I think. Total tourist. S'weird how different it looks, like turning an abstract painting upside down and seeing something completely new and fascinating.
View from the parking lot I parked in. There were some cool shots I missed on the way up the ramp.
No one's throwing stones here.
The view a block away from my apartment.
(the [mostly] empty house, before it gets fixed up... photos from yesterday (monday) and today)
I took a photo walk around Lake Merritt last night, on a complete whim. My little digicam held up pretty well despite my taste for low-light photography sans flash... but I'd like to pick up that SLR soon and take the exact same photo walk and compare.
Things came out a little grainy, but I like the reflections.
The lake almost looks like a painting.
( +10 )