Monday, March 03, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ghost Town of Bodie

Bodie is a ghost-town on the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range. The town was built some time in 1867 because of discovery of gold-bearing-ore in the nearby mountain. Because of the gold rush, the town was expanding rapidly. "Bodie had the amenities of larger towns, including two banks, a brass band, railroad, miner's and mechanic's unions, several newspapers, and a jail. At its peak 65 salons lined Main Street, which was a mile long. Murders, shootouts, barroom brawls, and stagecoach holdups were regular occurrences."

As the gold supplies ran out, the town became pretty much dead by 1932 and was designated to become a historic state park in 1962.

Bodie is a good place to visit during the summer and early in the fall. It is located about 20 minutes drive from Lee Vining (Mono Lake), Mono County. And Eastern Sierra Nevada is the my favorite location in California which including Yosemite, Mammoth, Lake Tahoe, Bishop, Plumas, etc...

Skylight - Cityscape

Here are some skyline photos of some big cities in California

LA Skyline. This is a panoramic photo composed of 4 different frames put together. What annoyed me the most was the distortion from the 18-55mm kit lens that make the building tilt on a side. Personally, I think LA skyline is the least attractive one.

San Diego skyline looking from Coronado island. Coronado island is a small island in San Diego county. The island has a lot of good restaurant and bar. To get to this place, you make a right as soon as you off the long bridge. Then park in some residential area and walk over toward the ocean. This is also a panoramic photo composed of 5 different frames capture using my kit len (18-55mm)

Last but not least, San Francisco skyline. This 9-frames-panoramic photo was taken from Treasure Island. The wind was cold as ice, but the pain was worth it. Treasure Island is a small turn out in the middle of the long Oakland bridge (I think that's the bridge name). I took these photo using 70-200mm lens.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Flowers (Some random flowers photos)

Here are some random flowers photos that I took, just putting up to fill the blog (my blog was empty, I need post hehe ).

Wild Iris.

There are more than 300 different species of Iris in the genus. So, I don't know this flower scientific name. If you do, please tell me. However, I took this photo last spring in Bridgeford, CA (about 2 hour drive from Bishop on Highway 395). I was going there to catch the spring flowers display. But it was unlucky for me. The cold hail few days before had killed all of the flowers. So there was no "field of flowers" for me. I guess I will come back next year or sometimes later.

Canon 30D, 70-200mm F4L, @ISO 100.

Roses are red. This rose was shot in a studio setup. I was setting up for our products shots and wanting to have something for my love for Valentine. I stole the Valentine roses from one of my coworker and use it for the shot. I used 2 lights for this shot (Tungsten flood light). I sprayed some tap water on the flower to give it a "morning drop" effect. Oh man, photograph roses is harder than I thought, but well, here's the result.

Canon 30D, 24-70mm F2.8L lens, capture at minimum focus distance. I wish I have a macro lens.

This field of Callas Lilies was captured last year. This is Garrapata state beach about 2miles South of Big Sur/Monterey (one of the most beautiful beaches in California). This place is very hard to find because they're just a small turn out on the Highway 1 (Pacific coast highway). After about few minutes of hiking down the cliff, you'll see this field of flowers blooming white. They're normally bloom in Mid Jan and early Feb. This photo was capture on 01/22; yet most of the flowers were wilted already.

I was so focus into taking the photo and forgot all the POISON OAK along the way. I suffered for it later. Both of my hands were numb and they felt like someone pouring ice on my hand. The feeling is really annoying. But I found out that you can buy some solvent from local pharmacy store for $5 and wash it off . No pain, no gain, I guess.
I came back this year about the same time, but it was raining so bad and there were almost no flowers blooming (that's so sad). After 8 hours of driving, just to find out that there is no flowers haha.

Newport Pier - NewPort Beach

Newport Beach is one of the "hottest" beach in Orange County. People usually go here for food and bath in the sun or fire. I used to go here several time a week but not anymore (lazy I guess).

There are a lot of people fishing at the end of the pier. Most couples will come here just for a walk during hot summer day. Parking meter is free after 6pm but it's hard to find parking during summer. However, there are two other piers like this one in the area: Balboa Pier and Huntington pier. They are pretty much the same, but I prefer Balboa pier more because they're less crowded and parking is plenty.

Fishing on the pier doesn't require license but be sure to check out for some fish that you cannot keep otherwise you will get charged. Most of the fish you can find here is Pacific mackerel (greenish color). There is also a restaurant at the end of each pier for those who love to sit back, relax and enjoy the sunset.

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse - Cabrillo National Monument

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse in Cabrillo National Monument.

It was a while back when I visited this place in San Diego. This light house is on a high cliff overlooking San Diego city. It was built in 1855 and was using for 36 years until a new lighthouse was built because there was too much fog and cloud which often obscured the light.

On the side of this light house, there are several beach access path that lead to the Tide Pool at bottom of the cliff. The Tide Pool here is so lively and a good location for young children to explore.

Inside the lighthouse, there's a classic-spiral-stair case that lead to the top of the lighthouse where the light is. It's very hot during the summer and the place is usually packed with people.

I think the park entrance fee is$5 and they open from dusk until dawn. As soon as the sun set, park rangers will kick people out of the park.

However, they're seem to be nice with photographer hehe; so they will let you stay for a bit longer to capture the last light of the day. The lighthouse is so beautiful in sunset. The low warm light from the sun below the horizon hit the side of the building, creating a wonderful glow. It's definitely worth the trip if you have never been to this lighthouse before.

Note: I took these pictures a while back, about a year or so. But never have a chance to put them up until now. :) So the info is a little outdated. And don't mind my English (I know it's bad).

The camera I used here is Canon Digital Rebel (300D if you're not in US) and 18-55mm kit len that go along with the camera. I lost this camera a while back but this was my starting camera.

Crystal Cove State Park California

The late afternoon was great, not too cold for Feb. I wish there was more cloud in the sky. But too bad, it was clear all day, yet just a few cloud showed up when the sun was set.

I dropped the Cokin filter holder and 3xGND into the sea, luckily I have a spare one. Otherwise, I couldn't take this picture. However, I had to hold it by hand, and
surprisingly it was much easy than I thought. Maybe I'm going to handhold it from now on unless the exposure was too long (my hands get tired easily).

Crystal Cove State Park located on the right side of Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway in California) just 2miles south of Corona Del Mar. Park entrance fee is $10 for a small vehicle; though I got in for free this time.