“San Francisco has only one drawback. ”Tis hard to leave” ~ Rudyard Kipling
Bay Bridge (above and below) as seen from the Yerba Buena Island
“San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth.” ~ William Saroyan
Lombard Street Looking up
Lombard Street, Looking down the Crookedest Street. You can See Coit Tower and Bay Bridge at a distance.
Cable Car (above and below). Crossing of Market ans Powell where the Cable Car Originates from and Stops at. They spin the Cable car for it to start over. The platform below rotates
“You are fortunate to live here. If I were your President, I would levy a tax on you for living in San Francisco!” ~ Mikhail Gorbachev
San Francisco as seen from the Marin Headlands
The Other side of Marin Headlands.
The ultimate travel destination for me would be one perfect day in San Francisco. There’s no city like it anywhere.” Larry King
After the sightseeing in and around Anchorage on day 1, we drove to Denali National Park and preserve the next morning. The drive was very pretty and scenic. There were low lying clouds , mist and rain on the hills along the road. It was a little gloomy if you were alone, but we were about 5 of us so it was a lot of fun. The problem with Alaska is that you don’t get cellphone signals and even GPS doesn’t work once you are out of the main city area, so if you are planning a trip make sure you do your homework on the route before you leave.
Denali NP is centered around mt. McKinley which is the highest mountain in North America. Its originally called Denali , which means “The High One”. As a tourist you need special permit to drive your personal vehicle inside the park. You can only go up to the first 15 miles after which for the next 91 you have to use the Park’s services.
The image above is of the Savage River Trail head. You can park your vehicles here and do this trail or hop on to the Park’s bus service and go further into the park. The reason why the park bus is used is because the wildlife there has gotten used to these buses. The animals treat them like any other rock, tree or object and are not intimidated by it. This is because these buses have always been there, ever since that particular animal was born, so they have sorta become part of their environment. These animals recognize these buses but not the humans sitting inside it, so be careful, don’t jump out and be quiet.
The bus allows you to get off at certain scenic locations to get the view of the Park and the Tundra. The above image was shot from one of those viewing areas. You can see the hills with low clouds entirely covering the Alaska Range and the Tundra.
if you are lucky and the weather is clear you can also see Mt. McKinley from the moving bus. We weren’t so lucky because the clouds were too low, but we did see a glimpse of the North Tip. The first image was shot on our way in and the other on our way back.
When in the bus you also get to see a lot of wildlife if you are lucky. The bus driver stops for you and you can take as many photos as you like as long as your are quiet and stay inside the vehicle. We say plenty of Caribou, Moose and Doll Sheeps in the way. infact we even say a grey Wolf at the beginning at Savage river entry point.
The image below shows how low and dense the clouds were. This image was shot at another of the scenic/break areas on the way.
Finally we reached mile 66 which is the Eielson Visitor Center. There is a small ranger led hike , where the Ranger basically explains the climate, the soil, the permafrost, wildlife etc etc. I would recommend this trail because then you will really appreciate what the Denali NP is all about. And the best part is that its free. Its also a beautiful viewing area as you can see from the images below. These images are of the Tundra, and the Alaska Range.
We stayed about 3 nights in Denali. There were a lot of activities we did like cycling in the park, rafting, hiking etc. After that we were on a our final leg to Kenai peninsula to catch a cruise to see the Glaciers.
Finally made it to the Last Frontier in July. Alaska was on my list for the last 2 years, but somehow the plan never formalized, in fact I was way too lazy for my own good. It is one of the largest states in the United States and the least populated as well. The population increases during the summer which is the peak of tourism. People from all over the world come there for work and to run their own business.
Alaska was exactly as I thought, as a matter of fact more beautiful. Anchorage, Denali National Park and all the other places we saw in between. Surrounded by Hills, Mountains, lakes, water inlets from the Pacific, wildlife pretty much everything you would want to see as a landscape/nature photographer.
Day 1 in anchorage, my friends and I went on a long beautiful drive along the Seward-Anchorage highway (South). The drive is very beautiful, with the bay (Turnagain Arm) on one side and hills of the Chugach State Park on the other.
After about driving 4o miles we reached Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. We got lucky, because we had no clue about this center. We just happened to be there and it was definitely worth it. We got to see some beautiful Alaskan wildlife.
And then it was time to head back. We had to go to the airport to pick up another friend with whom we left for Denali the next day ..
I hate to say it but I’m kinda bored of Sandy Hook beaches now. I have over 10 unique images from there and wanted a change. So, I logged on to Google Maps and started some prelim scouting of the Jersey beaches. The closest one which I have not seen was Ocean Grove. I noticed a fishing pier there and decided that’s what I am going to shoot. I check the weather app on my Android, and it seemed like its going to rain heavy that day. There was a heavy overcast. That kind of turned me off because with the over cast there won’t be any sunset. After pondering over that thought I decided to go anyways. I was hoping that may be last min the clouds might break open and i’ll get a dramatic sky, and if nothing else I can try some B&W shots.
I loved the above composition. I noticed those small curvy lines on the beach sand because of the low tide moving in towards the pier. I decided to use them in the composition as leading lines. As you can see it gives a nice depth to the image. With just a little contrast in LR I was able to put this together. Since it was a long exposure shot, I got some nice highlights, so decided to try out a B&W version of the same image.
Here are two more shots of the Pier. In the first one I stacked two images, one for high tones and one for shadows. I liked the moss on the rock jetty next to the pier and wanted to highlight those. SO I composed the image such that I get the rocks in the foreground of the image. And then the other one just before night. The tides came in so thought will take a long exposure shot here giving that misty feel on the water surface.
In between the shots I noticed these Gulls. The thing about shooting these Gulls at the beach is that they are so common and there are so many regular shots of these birds. So I sat there and waited for one of them to do something interesting. Luckily for me this one just was about to take off and spread its wings. The funny thing is that it did not take off. For some reason I felt that it was trying to intimidate me because with the wings wide open it kept staring at me. May be she didn’t like what she saw🙂.
In my posts you will see a lot of photographs from Sandy Hook Beach in New Jersey. There are few reasons for that – a. Its very close to where I live, b. every time I have gone there I have got atleast 1 unique shot and c. there are plenty more opportunities there in terms of flora and fauna as well.
Last Friday I woke up early at around 4:30 so decided to drive back and catch the Sun rise. I check the weather and it seemed great. There were supposed to be broken clouds and that is perfect for sunrise because that gives a lot if unique opportunities in terms of light. But unfortunately it wasn’t my day. When I started from home it looked promising but when I reached, there was a lot of fog. Visibility must be less than 1/3 of a mile. I thought since I am already here will just wait it out and hope it might clear up. I was there for an hour and a half and got nothing. Well not exactly nothing….
It occurred to me that this might be perfect for Black and White images..
So, the world population is reaching a 7 Billion mark this year and according to Nat Geo a Typical Person is around a 30 yr old Hans Chinese man. By 2030 a typical person would be from India. No matter which country has the largest population count and no matter which country is going to take the prize in the next few years, but a majority of them “I think” make it a point to come the Times Square in New York😀 .
Every time I go to the Times Square, its always over crowded and you find people from all over the world there. I’m not surprised they call it ” The Crossroads of the World”. The big TV screens and the billboards, animated Neon and LED lights all over and the famous Broadway street with many theaters and the Big Ball drop on New years and much much more makes up Times Square.
I was a reading a quote from a famous photographer who said that the most beautiful photographs he has taken cannot be printed or shared on a computer screen but are embedded in is brain. There are some moments that cannot be captured by the camera although we try our best. I got myself into a similar situation this past Friday. I had just finished my last office call for the day and it was almost 5 pm. I looked out my patio and saw and approaching storm, the winds were high and the clouds were getting darker. First I thought its too late to go anywhere, but then I Google-d for the Sunset time and I had about 45 min and the beach was just 30 min away. I just picked up my camera ran to my car and drove to Sandy Hook Bay.
Video below will show you the situation I got myself into🙂
Winds were at 40 miles per hour, and the sun was setting and a heavy storm was approaching. I was worried about my Camera because of all the sand blowing. By the end of it the camera was fine but I was covered all over with sand🙂 . But it was definitely worth it. It was beautiful.
I am not sure if these photos do justice to what I saw and experienced there.. you had to be there to believe it ..
Anything with a definite line can be a leading line for example Fences, bridges, even a shoreline can lead the attention of the viewer.
This images are of Venice Fishing Pier in Florida (west coast) ..