Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Golden Gate and razor wire

I'm always trying to find unique ways to take photos of things people are used to seeing. This task is especially difficult with something as famous as the Golden Gate bridge. When I went last year there was some fog rolling in so I decided to focus on the details that were closer to me (and out of the fog).
I noticed that North end of the bridge they have high fences and a good deal of razor wire to prevent people from getting on the cables and climbing up the bridge. By including them in the photo the golden gate takes on a different look, as if it's a prison or something. The fact that the main tower is shrouded by fog adds to the mystery and harshness of the image.

[click photo to enlarge]
Canon 20D, 24-85mm 3.5-4.5, AV f 8.0

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Robyn in the light

This is a shot of my girlfriend Robyn with an interesting look on her face. I like the fact that she doesn't really have a specific expression on her face, it seems to add some mystery. I also think the sharp contrast between the lights and darks on her face and eyes gives the photo a lot of interest.
Even the fact that certain sections are slightly overexposed (her forehead and fingers) is ok in relation to the overall tone of the photo.
I added the darkened and blurred bottom righthand corner of the photo so there is some mystery as to what Robyn is staring at. To be honest I forget what it actually was (I think a plant).

[click photo to enlarge]
Canon 20D, 50mm 1.4, AV f 5.6

Monday, November 28, 2005

Young Sunflower

This is a sunflower I 'raised' from a seed. It's actually from a packet of 12 seeds Robyn gave me from her trip to Switzerland. Oddly 13 plants grew from the 12 seeds and all are about 3-4 feet tall now.
I took this photo about a day or two after this plant had started opening it's flower. The natural light and the closeness of the macro lens let you see the bright yellow of the petals and of the pollen on the inside. Hopefully a fresh and vibrant image to start your week.

Nikon Coolpix 5400, AV 2.8, Macro Mode

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Gate to the beach

I know it is getting cold in a lot of the US so I figured it would be nice to post a beach photo. This is the gate leading to the beach at my Uncle's house. As you can see there isn't too far to walk until you're in the water.
I like the blue color of the gates in relation to the ocean and in contrast to the sand. Also it's interesting that you can see the ocean through the small hole in the wall as well. Overall with the soft color in the sky (it was near sunset) and the subdued lighting the image seems like a peaceful invitation to head to the beach.

Canon 20D, 50mm 1.4, AV f8.0

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Abstract: guess what

An experimental shot of mine. I tried to use the camera to create a pattern of light and color that isn't easily identified as something you normally see.
I figured that rather than reveal what it is right away I would take your guesses. I didn't use photoshop or any other altering, what you see is what I saw in the viewfinder.

So feel free to guess in the comments section and i'll post the answer a little later (I'll be very surprised if anyone gets this one).

Nikon Coolpix 5400, AV 4.0

Friday, November 25, 2005

Two lamposts

One area of photography i've really wanted to explore and experiment with is black and white. While I took a lot of black and white photos when I made my own prints, since i've gone to digital I haven't as much.
I took this shot on Santa Clara's campus right after sunset yesterday when the lights had just turned on. I like how the light from the lamps contrast with the different shades of gray in the sky and the dark plants without dominating the photo.
All in all the image seems like so much more than the actual lamposts which just lined a walkway to a parking lot.
[Click photo to enlarge]

Nikon Coolpix 5400, AV mode 4.0, BW setting

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Somehow this shot of some preserved berries and grass seemed appropriate for Thanksgiving. Maybe it's the colors or how it looks like something that would be around in olden times. The shallow depth of field creates a more soft and artistic look without being too blurry.

Anyway enjoy the day and look forward to turkey leftovers for a while.

Canon 20D, 50mm 1.4, AV f 3.0

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Flags in a row

I took this photo in the grounds of the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans memorial near Penn's Landing earlier this year.
I realize this photo is a bit overexposed but I like the overall look of the image. I used a shallow depth of field to focus on just one of the flags and so the remainder of the flags appear very soft. As you can probably make out, the flags were placed along the entire walkway.

Canon 20D, 24-85mm, 3.5-4.5, AV 3.0

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Not too complicated here, just a photo of a fork in a piece of fresh watermelon. Something about the rich color and texture made it seem interesting.
I like the distortion of the size in proportion of the fork to the fruit caused by the close up lens. Also I was surprised how this looks like a studio shot when all I used was a white plate and some simple side lighting.

Nikon Coolpix 5400, AV 2.8f, macro mode

Monday, November 21, 2005

Floating Jellyfish

I took this photo at the amazing Monterey Bay aquarium in Monterey California. The town is one of the best I've ever visited and the aquarium is definitely the best I've seen.

I was surprised how easy it was to take photographs throught the thick glass and with low lighting. The only minor side effect is the small square of light on the top of the jellyfish. This photo really captures how delicate jellyfish are and how the literally float through the water.

Canon 20D, 24-85mm 3.5-4.5, AV f 3.0

Sunday, November 20, 2005


I took this photo in Santa Cruz, California earlier this year. It was near the end of summer and somewhat early in the morning so the rollercoaster near the beach wasn't running and the food stands weren't open.
I was surprised how bright and colorful all the signs and structures ended up in the photos I took. It almost looks like a poster or an advertisement. In case it's not obvious the cutoff sign is for hot dogs.

Canon 20D, 24-85mm 3.5-4.5, AV f11

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Unknown Flower

I'm not really an expert on flowers, if anyone knows this one feel free to comment. The diffused light on the flower gives the photo a calm look without being too bright. As I often do I used a shallow depth of field to focus only on the flower.

Have a good weekend, i'll try to post tomorrow.

Canon 20D, 50mm 1.4, AV f2.8

Friday, November 18, 2005

Sunset in water

This photo is one of my favorites. I took this on a rocky beach in India right as the sun was setting. I like how the light pink of the sun is reflected in the water and how that contrasts with the rough, dark rocks. Also the composition leads you back to where the surf is hitting the beach.

Canon 20D, 50 1.4, AV f 5.6

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Penny drop

This was kind of an experimental shot testing the high shutter speeds of the 20D. It's just a penny I dropped into an overfull glass of water. By putting the camera in high speed mode I took a number of frames and chose the most interesting ones. As you can see I had to use a shallow depth of field in order to use a high shutter speed and as a result some of the droplets are not in focus.
I think the image is interesting with the light coming off the penny and the shape of the water being displaced.

Canon 20D, 75-300 4.0-5.6, TV 1/4000

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Reflection of Philadelphia

I took this photo on South Street in Philadelphia (near Phil-a-Deli). It's interesting to see the different things that are reflected in the window and that you can actually see through the building and out to the other side in certain sections.
The sky and the light on the building add a sense of depth to the image as well.

Canon 20D, 24-85mm 3.5-4.5, AV mode f8.0

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Serious in the sun

This is my cousin's daughter posing for a photo in India. As you can see she has a very serious look (it may have to do with the fact that her aunts made her get changed and wear makeup for the photo).
She's normally a happy smiling kid so the fact that she just stared at the camera makes the photo more interesting.
The soft natural light coming from the window and the slightly soft focus give the photo a nice look.

Canon 20D, 50mm 1.4, AV f5.6

Monday, November 14, 2005

Cruise ship

I'm back to posting after a weekend off.
I thought this was an interesting shot from San Francisco. This was the port for cruiseships (near the Fisherman's Wharf) and this one was boarding.

I can't really tell exactly what is interesting about this photo, it just seems different from what most people see on a daily basis.
Too bad the one lady's head at the bottom messes up the balance in the photo but maybe i'll photoshop it out later.

Canon 20D, 50mm 1.4 lens, AV mode, f 8.0

Friday, November 11, 2005

Sequoia Moss

This photo is of moss growing on a Sequoia tree in Sequoia National park (located a few hours south east of San Francisco). Sequoia trees are the largest living things on earth and a tree called "General Sherman" is the biggest.

The neat thing about this photo is the detail you can see in both the moss and the bark. The strong side lighting was tough to get since the huge trees block out a lot of the available light. Luckily as the sun set some light got through between some trees and illuminated the moss.

Canon 20D, 50mm 1.4, f5.6, AV

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Tree in the Keys

A nice peaceful shot of dried tree in the Florida Keys. You may pick up the right side of the tree has a pinkish tint from the setting sun. I'm not sure where the holes in the tree came from but they make the texture more interesting.

As you can see the water in the Keys is very clean and has a beautiful shade of light blue. If you haven't been down there, definetely give the Keys a chance (as long as it isn't hurricane season).

Canon 20D, 50mm 1.8, AV f4.0

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Hops thinking

This is a closeup of my rabbit Hops (temporarily in Robyn's custody). This is one of his rare quiet moments when he's not tearing apart some carrots or a magazine.
I like this photo because the tone of the black and white and the strong but diffused light create a calm setting.
Also Hops looks like he's thinking about something important.
I used a Canon 20D, 50mm 1.4 lens at 2.8 aperature in AV for this shot.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Not a very complicated photo here. I just wanted to capture the rich color of the sunflower while focusing on the detail in the middle of the flower.
I made sure to adjust the depth of field so that the entire flower wasn't sharp. This way the details stand out more.

I used a Canon 20D with a 50mm lens and a 5.6 aperature in AV mode.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Blue door in India

This is a photo I took in India this summer of a family friend, Selvum. This is a building near a coconut farm where he works (the tool in his hand is used to cut coconuts down from trees).

I like this photo because it seems very complete to me, the lighting, the depth, the color and the composition all seem to work together.

I used a Canon 20D and a 50mm 1.4 lens and shot in AV mode with an aperature of 16 or so.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sunset Cactus

I took this photo on a lonely stretch of road somewhere near Joshua Tree National Park. The sun was setting and there was literally nothing but dessert for miles around.
I like the look of the cactus (I think that's what it is) and how it is dark but still has detail to it. The shape and colors in the clouds really sets this photo apart for me.

I used a Canon 20D with a 50mm 1.4 lens for this shot.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

San Diego

This photo was taken from Point Loma lighthouse which overlooks San Diego. I set the camera to a wide aperature and made sure the bird and the branches to the right were sharp. I like how the silhoutteted bird and branches contrast with the soft blur of San Diego in the background.

I used a Canon 20D with a 50mm 1.4 lens in AV mode with a 1.8 aperature for this shot

Friday, November 04, 2005

My eye

Not too much explanation needed on this one, just a closeup of my eye. My 40 watt desklamp is the lighting in this photo(you can see it in the reflection of my eye). I like the sharpness of the lens of my eye and how you can see the detail there.
I intentionally avoided staring right at the camera to avoid the typical "stare right into the camera shot"

This was taken with a Nikon Coolpix 5400 in AV mode with a 2.8 aperature.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Golden Gate bridge

This is a photo of the most photographed thing in the world, the Golden Gate bridge. I took this picuture of one of the two main towers on an especially foggy day.
I like how the extreme angle focuses your eyes on the architecture and the details.
I thought this angle would use the fog to my advantage by exagerating the height of the towers.

[click photo to enlarge]

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


This is a photo of my girlfriend Robyn while we waited for a cab outside a casino in Las Vegas.
I like the contrast between the the brightness in the foreground and the plain background.
The composition works because the elevated angle condenses the different elements well.
We'll see if Robyn comments on this photo.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bright sunset

While this photo is a bit overexposed the overall look reminds me of how bright and strong the sun can be. Plus even though the sunlight dominates the photo you can still make out the flower completely.

This photo was taken near Munnar in India which is famous for growing tea.