Saturday, November 15, 2008

That Glorious Golden SunSet

well, everyone know I rarely capitalize titles here, so something must be up ~ indeed for the surprise! The other night I was on the road almost all day. I had dropped off my car to get new tires in anticipation of my drive late next week to Eugene and through of the snowy mountain passes. The Cascade Mountains are steep on I-5 and I am not planning on taking the "elevator" down, sliding all the way down into Oregon.... then a friend picked me up so I wouldn't have to sit there for the duration of the tire installation. A week before I had purchased a PCI card for my desktop to enable eSATA functions for my newest external hard drive but that sadly crashed my PC faster and more frequently than the famed PC vs Mac commercials. Even after I downloaded the newer drivers off the company's website it continued crashing, and even the two simple (you idiot) emails from the company with the possible trouble cause and solution didn't help, crashing my PC again... so I took it back to Fry's in Palo Alto and instead picked up a PCI card with USB2.0 slots which my desktop desperately needs (not that I saw any increase in speed but at least now those pesky annoying messages don't pop up any longer). As I type this, I'm burning the image files of last night's sunset to a CD, and also listening through internet radio to my favorite spanish team play.... Real Madrid!

But I'm getting ahead of myself..... :-D

After getting the new USB card, I again went to the BayLands Preserve in Palo Alto to see if I could find some birds to photograph, but unknowingly arrived almost at the peak of high tide so few if any birds were there. It was still a great day with the hot sun floating in a clear sky provided a nice respite from the noisy busy City.

So nice was the walk and silence that it was worth walking the long wooden path we took, braving the cobwebs that had drifted onto the path and hung there seemingly on an invisible breeze. To me, there seemed to an endless amount of seen and unseen spider webs that we walked through... and now and then we would feel a spider crawling on exposed skin, or hanging from hair or clothing. Even this reminded me of the countless spiders floating on a dreamy breeze in Spain, and later in Eugene.... sigh.
The waters were calm and almost mirror-smooth but without birds, so I started snapping away at the water and still scenes before my eyes.
calm changed to rippling abstracts as the tide started to drain

Staying there almost three hours, finally received a call stating my car was done and waiting. The tide was starting to change and what a shame that I would be leaving just as the birds returned....

Returning by freeways in the starting rush hour, it was a hassle and by chance, had to switch from I-101 to I-280 in order to return to get my car with new tires (expensive!).... By time we arrived at the tire shop the sun was low in the sky and as I spotted clouds, I decided to head to the Presidio Bluffs to capture the setting sun. As I neared the ocean in the busy traffic the clouds were already flaming orange and I thought I was going to miss the sunset completely.

Imagine this: Your only goal in life for the next few minutes is to get close enough to anywhere where the sun can be seen, and while driving, your eyes are seeing other places nice for future fotos, checking out clouds for their intensity, and even watching traffic also. Now this driver is getting lost, never having driven in this area within the past century, driving into streets that lead nowhere and now thinking: I'm going to miss the sunset! Finally reaching the Great Highway that parallels the Pacific Ocean, I have a sense of relief and disbelief: relief that I am closer to my goal and can actually see the sun... DISbelief as I now realize the traffic is bad here too, there's no place to pull over and possibly too long before I reach an intersection where I can get to a parking area on the beach..... and again the fear of missing the sunset!

Another mile I spot an unpaved part left of the highway, trails of many other vehicles which have turned into this area also, and I get into the left lane to get into this area between the highway.... park and get the camera, then rush/run without getting hit across a busy two-lane highway to a small parking strip with a lot of cars already parked and LOT of people sitting or standing but all watching the intensity of a gorgeous sun already more than halfway below the horizon.

I have never in my life seen so many people watching a sunset! Usually I am the only fool watching and snapping pixs - here there were more than 20 and on the beach 30 feet below me were about 20 more.... what a shocking surprise!!

After about 30 minutes there, the sun having set, disappearing in a slight sliver of golden light, topped with layers of wind-shaped layers of clouds reminding me almost of the great layers of Jupiter..... I am talking with my friend who after 15minutes finally appears, not having parked where I parked and drove on to find a spot to turn around and that was faaaaaaar.

My car is still parked there in the middle and now it's dark, my blinker still flashing, my cell is in the car too, and the GPS is on and its brillant screen can be seen even from where I stood. Twenty minutes later, I am still there, watching the last of the gold as it softly disappeared from the sky, when my friend turns and says: there's a police car next to your car! So, I go walking over toward my car, other cars on the Great Highway zipping past at 50mph or faster.... the officer sees me and though we cannot hear each other, sense that he's asking me if that's my car... I finally cross the highway and he asks me about the keys still in the car, to which I show him my camera and mention: sunset.... right away he understands ~ this probably happens a lot I keep thinking ~ and he just smiles and turns around heading for his car, then driving into the dark with a wave....

Do you think it was worth it all? When have you seen the storms of Jupiter before your eyes? When was the last time you had a purpose in life.... My passion is in my Photography... the only thing that keeps me alive, yet miserably content I can capture such scenes and more.
did I say how I loooove pelicans?

Monday, November 10, 2008

shoot!!! shoot!! shoot!

After talking to an East Bay model for many months and in the meanwhile many things happening on my side and with her life, today finally got a chance to meet and actually shoot with her!! Does this mean my bad luck in finding SF models to photograph is now done and dead? I don't think so - I've been in contact with another East Bay model whom I also finally met last week at the photography club meeting; she always previously sounded so excited to meet and possibly shoot together.... I met her at the meeting and though she spoke to me there, I haven't heard a word from her since. So much for sincerity and interest!!

So, I drove over the bay bridge where the traffic was slow; I could see the slow traffic crawl along as I drove on the Embarcadero and seeing this, had my camera on the car seat beside me to grab on the off-chance of a pix of the City from that evelated bridge. Traffic was slow due to a stopped car near the Yerba Buena Island exit, and by time I got up on the bridge it was moving better so didn't get a chance to use the camera to snap a picture - the view from the bridge is sooooo fabulous!!

Thanks to GPS, I found her place very easily and we quickly started shooting. When I am in the home of a model, I hate to be demanding, so I stayed where the light was good ~ it was ~ and where she was most comfortable.
This young model has the most lovely eyes and a very luscious form, and wish we had worked together sooner when the outdoors in the warm sun would have been great, but that has now left us.... After starting in color, I soon switched to shooting in monotone and really like the results.

I then left to get downtown where a fellow flickrite was having a photo exhibit but the place was closed. As I was in the East Bay and downtown, I decided to walk around and snapped the interesting buildings and more. At one point, I again spotted the zeppelin this time flying the Oakland skies, and could easily hear its engines and propellers working.
Nobody even noticed it flying and it seemed I was the only one even excited to see the zeppelin. I continued shooting the downtown Oakland buildings and found a lot with interesting ornamental details, even one that looked like a pig or a boar's head on a building!!! I was also surprised to see a new building with lots of lovely reflective glass with the logo of at the top ~ I didn't realize was in Oakland!!

So, covering a small area of about five to seven blocks, I wandered lost but content with camera in hand. Granted, my other heavy camera was in the shop being repaired for the same problem twice, but I was happy having a backup to use! Stumbling around wondering about the homeless I saw on the downtown streets, I wondered about my personal safety... they didn't seem as friendly in SF so I wondered..... but I didn't have anything to worry about... and continued snapping away. At one tall modern glass-enclosed building, a security guard came out asking me to depart the area and not take any pictures - wow, maybe I can send some carrier pigeons over there, all with cameras....

I drove off then to Central Avenue to gas up before driving across the bay bridge to return home. I also stopped at the little lookout point there taking some pixs of the gorgeous clouds out today!!!!
I couldn't believe how fabulous these clouds were, and wondered if I should shoot the sunset again.... but after arriving home and downloading the pixs, I kept a close eye out the window and as sundown approached, the low clouds and fog came in and I didn't even see a bit of orange.... sigh. A good sign: the other day I found a folded five-dollar bill on the street ~ others had even passed in both directions by the same spot before I did... the last time I found money on the street was in Spain and it was pouring down wet! Now if only the California lottery would help me too!!
Enjoy the pictures!!!!