Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pacific Coast Air Museum

For $5 you can hang out at the Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa :) It's right next to the Charles Schultz Airport (airport code STS, You can fly to Portland, Seattle, or LA). Also, they do air shows there every year in August :)

You can see an actual F-14 from the movie Top Gun. They said the serial number checks out so I'll take their word for it:


I didn't know that the F-5 was actually used to simulate MIGs at Top Gun... Now it makes more sense that they used em in the movie as "MIGs"

They have old planes... lots of old planes:

F-4's:

Intruders:

Even a Harrier!


I think it's pretty cool that all these Jets are just sitting around in a field in Santa Rosa... Of course, no Santa Rosa attraction is complete without Snoopy stuff:


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Valentine's Day on The Rock

For Valentine's day, I went to Alcatraz with Krissy and we ran around the island. We took BART from Berkeley and arrived at Embarcadero around 10:15. The walk from Embarcadero to the Ferry building/Pier 33 was pretty scenic. There was a farmers market getting set up, but I didn't manage to get any spontaneous/impressive pictures from that, unfortunately... Along the way to Pier 33 (where the Alcatraz tour departs), we came across this big wooden door.

After converting to B&W in photoshop, I think it turned out pretty cool. (Thanks Krissy for being persistent, and getting me to take a couple pictures of the door).

On the ferry ride from Pier 33 to Alcatraz, a ton of seagulls were following the boat. This one in particular was looking at me wondering where I was going:


As we got nearer to Alcatraz, I started snapping away at the island. Even though it was drizzly on and off, the lighting was pretty nice:


On the island, we ran around and followed the audio tour. We paused here and there to snap more shots. For the majority of the day I had my 40-150mm lens on, but I decided to switch over to my 14-42mm to take some wider shots:


I feel like I often find it easier to just zoom around and snap narrow photos, but I want to train my eye to see wider pictures... I'll run around with the 14-42mm and force myself to get some practice with wide-angle shots.

but... speaking of wide angles, I got lucky with this one... I didn't have a tripod or monopod with me, but I did manage to find a little flat surface on top of a handrail. I switched my camera to complete manual settings (manual focus, aperture, and shutter speed) and started snapping a series of 10 photos. I stiched them together in Photoshop and cropped out the unnecessary bits, and voila:


For all the pictures, you can click on them to get larger sizes... else, you can always go to http://mattaphore.deviantart.com and download my full-size images. (After you click on a picture, there's a link bar on the left-hand side that lets you 'download')

If you're lazy, but want to see the full size large panorama picture, the link is:
http://fc46.deviantart.com/fs40/f/2009/053/e/b/SF_Panorama_from_Alcatraz_by_mattaphore.jpg

All in all, Valentine's day was awesome. We topped it off with a clam chowder sour dough bread bowl and then hopped BART back to Berkeley :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

All the cool kids were trying it...

I had to give HDR a shot... After having "qtpfsgui" installed on my machine... I decided to take some shots at different EV's to see what would come out... I must say, that qtpfsgui is a pretty neat program...

Here's what I took from Fabian's front yard (click for larger size)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Full Moon

Today I looked up in the sky and the moon was full.
I decided to try out the Sunny 16 rule... you know... f/16, ISO100, 1/100...




I think it turned out pretty decent... I tweaked with the levels a little bit with photoshop... raised the blacks... lowered the whites...

I also shot a copy of it in RAW, but fiddling around with the RAW version doesn't do too much for this picture... I think it can add a little more power to other shots, cuz you can 'develop' the shot the way you want... but for this picture, I just fiddled with the jpg version.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Cotati and SSU

So yeah, I bought a Hoya Single Coated Polarizer (one of the cheapest at Looking Glass) for my trip to Yosemite... thinking that the snow would be nice and crisp and the skies would be clear and blue... but that didn't work out... so this past weekend, I had my first real chance to make use of the polarizer...

I went up to Cotati and visited Krissy... she showed me around SSU's picturesque areas, and I snapped away.

First, testing out the polarizer:




Here's what I came up with: (Click for Full Size)

details:
150mm, f/8, 1/200 sec, 400 ISO