Thursday, April 05, 2007

The City By The Bay

Since I'm heading back to the San Francisco Bay area in June, I thought I'd dig out the pictures I took on my last trip out there. These were some of the last pictures I ever took with my Kodak DC 4800, a 1 megapixel 3x zoom digital camera. I didn't know much about photography, but I had already figured out that if you took a lot of pictures, you'd get some good ones. So over 7 days in California, I took 6000 pictures. My strategy worked pretty well, since I got some great pictures of my stay. I hope to get many more during my upcoming trip, but looking back at what I got then, I can see that I've got my work cut out for me. I've also learned to manipulate my photographs a lot better after the fact, so many of the shots that I wasn't happy with four years ago, I can now tweak a bit to get something I really like. So let's see, what have I got here? The first picture above is the classic SF shot, from a place called Alamo Park. Those little Victorian houses are called the Painted Sisters, or something like that. You might remember this view from the opening sequence to Full House, or maybe you've just seen it on a thousand postcards. I love taking pictures that look like postcards. It means I'm doing something right to get a shot that someone would be willing to put a stamp on and mail back home.
The Golden Gate Bridge seemed to always be shrouded in fog. I was lucky enough to get back to it on my last day in SF (this was taken on the second day), and it was clear that time. Stay tuned for those shots.
The coastline around the Golden Gate Bridge is remarkably undeveloped. I think part of that is foresight by the city, the stewardship of the US government who long held this spot as a military base, and lots of blind luck. I certainly intend to spend more time here on the next trip. Ever turn of the trail yields an incredible new vista.
This was probably my favorite shot of the whole trip. I actually have a framed print of this hung on the wall of the condo. These are the cables that support the deck of the bridge. I stuck the camera out there and pointed it up. Nothing fancy, but it looks cool. The year I turned 13, my dad took me to California. He was a truck driver at the time, and we got out there in about four days, spent a few night in a hotel awaiting a return load, then headed back. We didn't get to stop many places, but I remember driving across the fabled Golden Gate Bridge. i was surprised that what I had always thought were single giant cables holding up the bridge were actually four distinct cables. Maybe that's why I took this shot almost 20 years after that first visit. By the way, today is Dad's birthday. Happy birthday, Dad!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

1: yes, trails are ever turning!

2: you started talking about how you've learned better post-production manipulation. it totally sounded like a lead in to a before/after show of skill ....