A Year In Photography

A Year In Photography

It's been a year now since I picked up a camera and begun learning photography. This post is to review my progress over the last year.

 

The Early Days

Composition in the beginning was rudimentary and lacked polish. Whatever gems I made were the result of dumb luck and instinctive talent.

Suisun Waterfront - Not a good composition. The water just isn't interesting enough to include so much into the frame.

A much improved composition. The lights reflecting in the water add visual interest and leading lines up and down the frame.

Katie & Matt at the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park

Buddha in the Tea Garden

Bridges are a common target for photographers, and I live near a great one: The Golden Gate. Composition: I had initially walked into Battery Spencer and the point closest to the north tower. The disadvantage I saw there was a sharp angle to the road deck. I walked to the right (westward) about 30 feet to get a broader shot of the deck and two towers. 

This is my photo of the Golden Gate Bridge, there are many like it but this one is mine.

Manual Bracketing 


My early photos didn't have much range of light as my camera could only cover 2 stops of light in auto bracketing. I found a workaround by Trey Ratcliff using his Sony NEX-7 for HDR and adapted it to my camera. That produced better results immediately.

 

Railroad to Mordor. One of the first shots I took with manual bracketing. The broader range meant longer shutter speeds in the brighter exposures, streaking the clouds.

The Training Ground

I live in the Bay Area town of Suisun, CA. The city has redeveloped its waterfront into a gem of sights in the last 15 years.  

Other Opportunities Present Themselves

I intended to get a great night shot of the Golden Gate Bridge and white I still haven't achieved that, I did come across some interesting visitors the the bridge.

 

Golden Gate Bridge Visitors

Storytelling


"A picture is worth a thousand words", a common saying but very true. A good photo tells the story of a person, place, or an object in that moment in time.

 

Waiting for a train...

An early photo of storytelling. A man eagerly awaits the approaching train on an early evening. So many questions arise from this photo: Where did he come from? Where is he going. How much of his life has been spent waiting for trains on his daily commute? Is it worth it?

Merry Kombat!

Christmas with the family. My Aunt made the Ninjabread men and cousin made the tree.

Ninja! Vanish! In my belly... 

Dude, where's my boat? - With Jeremy Lasher

My next visit to the bridge I was expecting a spectacular sunrise under the bridge but the San Francisco fog didn't cooperate.

Jeremy Lasher accompanied me on a hike from Marin Headlands into San Francisco.  Then I got this shot of the Palace of Fine Arts (of Kevin):

Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

Which led to a conversation with Jocelyn. 

Jocelyn photographing a sunset.

Jocelyn didn't believe I took the above photo of the Palace of Fine Arts. 

 "'They"? I took this :p

 "'They"? I took this :p

So I dragged her off to my next adventure, Devil's Punchbowl Falls in Angwin. Which was inspired by my friend Puko, who attends college there and hiked with his camera to the waterfall a couple months prior.

Devil's Punchbowl Falls, Angwin CA

Shoot your friends - Portraits, Action, Fun

Fireworks

Shot on manual and bulb mode with a remote cable trigger.  I turned off the in camera noise reduction (Dark Frame Subtraction) which fires a second shot of equal shutter speed to map the hot pixels on the camera sensor as it heats up during long exposures.

Time Lapses and Star Trails

My remote shutter cable has a timer and intervalometer built in so I can take some time lapse shots. Some of my early source files were assembled in iMovie which doesn't offer a decent frame rate. Later I discovered Time Lapse Assembler which offers more flexibility in frame rates. 

For my next time lapse I shot star trails. I had intended to shoot the Persied meteor shower and was unsure if my GX1 could even handle the high ISO range needed. I headed out to Lake Solano and got just the star trails which were stacked using StarStax and Time Lapse Assembler. 

Star Trails and Astrophotography with Lumix GX1

Star Trails and Astrophotography with Lumix GX1

Independence Day Fireworks in Suisun

Independence Day Fireworks in Suisun

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