Saturday, March 28, 2009

California Academy of Sciences -- Nightlife

Thursday Night Nightlife at the Academy of Sciences (www.calacademy.org).
It's a wonderful event for the 21 & Over... for $10 you get to run around the academy of sciences while consuming alcohol... and the best part, there aren't any little kids!

I'll be going again for sure... Most important lens to bring = Macro. (Unless you're also interested in taking pics of the architecture...) I was just focusing in on the little guys when I went.

Here's what I got...
A frog hiding from the 21&over crowd:
A pretty pair of butterflies:
A butterfly working off the extra nectar that it ate:
A frog that you shouldn't lick:
A butterfly and its potential meal:
Rockfish!
Lizzard
Cockroaches!
Albino Alligator
And last but not least, and Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

The 'new' California Academy of Sciences is awesome. For only $10 on Thursday nights (and, I believe, $8 if you already have membership), it's definitely worth it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Walking Around Campus

I walked around with Sheppy today. He has a sprained ankle but he was up for an adventure.
We started making our way to Telegraph to see if there was anything interesting going on...but with it being spring break, everything was pretty quiet. Today I paid more attention to graffiti and I came to realize that there's a ton of random crap everywhere you turn...

From the not-so-artistic scribbles:


to some wanna-be Banksy stuff:


We decided to go to the top of the Unit 3 parking structure to see if we could look down on any interesting scenes... I think there's a lot of potential for some cool tilt-shift style photos from the top of the parking structure... we'll have to wait till more students return...




Then we made our way to campus:


Sather gate is almost completely back:



I asked some people if I could take their portraits.

^You should see the full size of this one at http://picasaweb.google.com/mattaphore/AroundCampus#


All in all it was fun. We went to a Jamaican Restaurant for dinner...
Go Bears!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Skating Berkeley

Today was a beautiful day, perfect spring break weather. I'm bummed that my spring break doesn't coincide with Krissy's but I'm trying to make the best of it.

I brought my Oly to lab with my 50mm macro, juts for kicks. I got some labwork done, and took a quick coffee break with some labmates. At Brewed Awakening, I decided to shoot the condensation on a pepsi can:



After coffee, I decided to go study with McCoy & his friend Stacie. I managed to do a minimal amount of work, but McCoy and I came up with a great idea for the sunny day: "Go Skate & Take Pictures"

Here are the highlights:

I got some pretty decent use out of my fisheye adapter. This is originally why I wanted it.

McCoy throwing down his mad skillz:

All Done :-)


Look out, Transworld Skateboarding!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

San Francisco Bike Safari

aka. Hipster photo-hunting. aka The quest for the Chrome Bag Store.

Today Sheppy and I took a bike trip to SF to take pictures of all things hip (including hipsters).

We began our ride at the Embarcadero BART station and rode to the Ferry Building to check out the Farmer's Market. Along the way Sheppy was doing his impersonations of Hipsters and Fixie Culture with his nice road bike.


When we got to the Ferry Building market thing, I came across some pretty chard. There's a lot of potential at the market for pretty pictures... I think one of these days I must check out the Berkeley Farmer's Market (both the Shattuck one and the other one next to the BART Station/Post Office)


A girl who was with her boyfriend saw my hand-painted shoes and told me she liked em... I think he was jealous and he wanted a pair too:


I also decided to take a shot of my bike, since it's completely assembled now. It's a Nishiki Custom Sport, circa 70's/80's


We rode on to Pier 39 to see if there were any Sea Lions around. There were many more out on the docks, compared to Valentines Day when Krissy & I went.

Smelly little sausages:


We rode on up to Lombard Street to ride down the crookedest street, as well as to tackle the hill that leads up to it.



We were already in the right neighborhood for Coit Tower, so we rode up to the top of Coit Tower:

I saw a datum thingy, so I took a picture of it. Krissy & friends like datum points for surveys. This one didn't say USGS, but I'm assuming that U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey markers have lots of data recorded too...


We then made it down to Broadway, where the kinky stuff happens:


Passing by the Transamerica Pyramid, I took my last picture of the day:


We wanted to find the Chrome Messenger Bag store, but we couldn't find it.
We tried calling 1-800-GOOG-411 for Google's 411... It told us that the Chrome store was on 580 Fourth Street... But we rode past this stupid place at least 3 times, and we didn't even see it... I distinctly remember passing by the Bamboo Reef Dive shop, but wtf... Where's Chrome? Where are the Hipsters?

View Larger Map

*sigh*... Their store page even says 580 4th street... Maybe that Dark Building with Red Trim was the store :( The Paper was still covering up the window and it looked empty...

What to do? Next time we can try again...

For more pictures and full-size versions, see My Picasa.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Woah! 50mm f/2 Macro!!!

Today I received my 50mm f/2 macro lens. Right now, I am blown away. I look forward to our future together... We will explore the world and see awesome sights. For those of you tech enthusiasts, dpreview.com did an awesome review of this lens and the numbers are awesome!

Sunny day in Berkeley, 30 minutes between a meeting and class... that means go take photos for a lil bit!

I found this pretty plant near the Band House... at the corner of Ridge & LeRoy.


I found this telephone post @ LeRoy & LeConte, across from Tellefsen Hall.



Pine cone near the City Car Share/FlexCar spot (behind Etcheverry)

I fiddled around with the aperture to see what this bad-ass lens could do



Macro draws me towards texture.


Gabriele's watch & arm hair...


Sheppy's watch at f/2.0


Sheppy's watch again, this time at f/8


Tennis Ball! Look closely to see the fuzz!
All I can say is Wow. That was totally Awesome.
I don't have a ton of time right now to play more with this lens, but I promise I will come up with a lot of new pictures soon!