Monthly Archives: February 2007

Inside the Lighthouse

Ranger Morgan kindly let us see the inside of the Point Reyes Lighthouse. Inside the lighthouse, we found a fresnel lens with an antique Swiss clock-like mechanism that rotated and generated the light. In its time, the system was something of a wonder, requiring technology and crafts people from several different nations. Think of the intracies of Swiss watch design combined with late Victorian optics.

This mechanism is no longer in use, have been replaced by a modern automated system.

I photographed the lighthouse mechanism with my digital fisheye lens, showing the spiral staircase (on the right of the image ) as well as the lens-and-clockwork mechanism. I used a tripod and a long exposure to stop the lens down for maximum depth of field.

Posted in Bemusements, Photography, Point Reyes

I Spy a Lighthouse

Point Reyes Lighthouse as seen reflected in the sun glasses of Park Ranger Craig V. Morgan. (You can also see me taking the photo.)

Posted in Bemusements, Photography, Point Reyes

Wet Poppy Bud

Yesterday morning the rain stopped and the sun came out. This poppy bud attracted the attention of my camera and lens. Poppy buds are so naked and so sensual. This image reminds me a bit of the earlier photo shown below:

Wet Poppy Bud

View this poppy larger. Read the original story featuring this image.

View my poppy set on Flickr.

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Night Shadows

Rain was falling softly, a fine mist blanketing Berkeley. Inside, we had a fire going in the living room fireplace. Outside, the rich ozone fragrance of the falling rain mingled with floral smells from the gardens of California.

On our front porch, these shadows of camellia trees were created by street lights. Fire light bathed the scene through our open front door. Ambient light peaking through the clouds added to the weird mix of strange lighting.

I stood on the porch, sheltered from the rain, and exposed this image for thirty seconds. Who would guess that this image was shot in full night? Lately I’ve become more and more interested in what happens to long digital exposures at night time.

Some related stories: Night for Day, Marin Headlands at Dusk, Winter Sea.

Posted in Bemusements, Photography

Golden Gate Light

Panoramic Hill is partly in Berkeley and partly in Oakland. From high up Panoramic Hill you get oblique views of the Golden Gate, with the island of Alcatraz visually shoved in front of the bridge spans. This is a view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the opposite angle of the heights of Marin Headlands.

On this day the sun was setting in fiery reds and yellows. I had time for one tripod-mounted telephoto shot before the colors faded and the world of the Golden Gate turned back to haze.

Posted in Landscape, Photography, San Francisco Area

Golden Gate Passage

This photo was taken from below Hawk Hill, before you walk through the tunnel. I like the way the freighter steaming out the Golden Gate gives a sense of scale to the immense channel of water, the over-arching bridge, and the city kissed by sunset in the distance.

Posted in Landscape, Photography, San Francisco Area

Golden Gate Bridge from Hawk Hill

To get to the World War 2 era battlements on Hawk Hill, high on the Marin Headlands beside the Golden Gate, you first pass through an endless tunnel. Coming out on top is like a rebirth, and in the crisp winter air the Golden Gate Bridge and city lights look magical. I like the way airplanes draw lines in the sky, almost like fireworks, in this time exposure.

Posted in Digital Night, Landscape, Photography, San Francisco Area

Camellia Decolletage

I really like this close-up of a wet camellia, and I realized that I hadn’t blogged it yet. Here’s a broader view of this camellia blossom.

Posted in Flowers, Photography, Water Drops

Patterns on a Wall

The start for this image (above) is a photo of a peeling stucco wall (below). I photographed the portion of a wall in the late afternoon of a recent Sunday on a walk around my neighborhood in a brief respite from being Mr. Mom. The combination of the peeling stucco and the shadows on it reminded me of Japanese Kanji characters.

Taking the original photo, I fooled around in Photoshop with layers, channels, and masking to come up with the abstraction above.

Here’s the original photo:

The Original Wall

View this photo larger.

Posted in Bemusements, Patterns, Photography

Iris Scans

These are captured using a flatbed scanner at high resolution. That’s right, folks! These are not digital photographs, they are scans in the literal sense. I find myself surprised at the detail you can get this way, the large size of the resulting files, and the apparent dimensionality of the result.

Iris Scan 1

View this scan larger.

Posted in Flowers, Photograms

Poppy Scans

These two images are Photoshop composites of high-resolution flatbed scans and conventional macro photos.

Poppy Scan 2

View this image larger.

Posted in Flowers, Photograms, Photography

Pacific Sunset

Sunset. Is it the end of the day, or the beginning of night and the next day? Is a sunset a cliché, or does the sunset provide the possibility of flamboyant provocation? You decide.

This sunset captured from the dunes above North Beach on Point Reyes a few miles south of the Point Reyes Lighthouse, and slightly to the left and a little earlier than my Winter Sea image.

Posted in Landscape, Photography, Point Reyes

Point Reyes Lighthouse

The sun setting way out over the Pacific, I took this image with a tripod stopped down for maximum depth of field from the top of the stairs overlooking the lighthouse at Point Reyes on a rare fog-free day.

Posted in Landscape, Photography, Point Reyes

Winter Sea

Julian had no school on Monday, so we headed out to Point Reyes to watch whales and take some photos. Winter is great for photography on Point Reyes. There’s much less fog than in the summer in this most-Western and often fog-bound peninsula jutting out into the Pacific.

As the sun set, we stood on a bluff on North Beach overlooking the Gulf of the Farallones. This time exposure turned the hard-charging Pacific breakers to soft white and brought out colors in the waves not visible to the naked eye.

I’ve found that digital landscape time exposures at dusk or in the night are highly unpredictable because the sensor picks up light that is present but not within our visible spectrum. In this case the effect is a bit like an expressionistic water color.

Some other interesting low-light time exposures: Approaching Rain, Marin Headlands at Dusk, Starry Night, and Beyond the Visible.

Posted in Digital Night, Landscape, Photography, Point Reyes