More People Watching on Pier 39

Embarcadero means a “place to embark”. Looking up this information led me to this 1906 documentary, A Trip Down Market Street. Click on the link and travel down the road. Taken from a cable car weeks before the 1906 earthquake. It is amazing to see what traffic was like then.

My friend and I walked down the Embarcadero to Pier 39. Stop for lunch and do more people watching.

_DSF1216

Vendor stocking his shop

_DSF1225

So many food choices. Go healthy or not?

_DSF1228

Careful those knives are sharp!

_DSF1218

Up, up and away. Having Fun!

_DSF1265

Cute shop on Pier 39

_DSF1271

Love the vest

_DSF1290

Throwing a kiss. Spray paint sidewalk artist has music, movement, and spirit!

_DSF1296

Balloon artist not happy to have a photo taken. Oh well.

_DSF1284

So many cell phones. What is so interesting?

_DSF1268

Watch out for Gulls!

_DSF1286

Old Port Gate frame the ship

_DSF1299

Explanation of height restrictions on the Segway

_DSF1305

Serious driving skills being tested

_DSF1307

And the winner is…

When you grab some fast food you are warned to watch out for birds. They are known for helping themselves to your delicious seafood and sour dough bread.

_DSF1315

Gulls Rule at the Fishermen’s Grotto

 

 

_DSF1329

He earned his tip

Arriving at Pier 41 to take the ferry back to Vallejo.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fun day and lots of fun images to add to my memories.

 

San Francisco People Watching

It is summer, and in Fair Oaks that means it is hot. A photography meet-up group planned to meet in Vallejo and travel by ferry into San Francisco. Great escape from the heat, and great way to capture some images with my new Fuji x100f.

The Vallejo Ferry goes to the San Francisco Ferry Building or Pier 41 near Fisherman’s Wharf. The drive is easy, and parking early on this Saturday morning was simple. The parking fee and round-trip ferry ride cost $22.00 (for Seniors). Cheaper than finding parking around the Embarcadero. I like hassle free travel.

_DSF1149

We pass under the Oakland Bay Bridge

_DSF1157

Satisfied with the image

Arrived at the Ferry Building and right away the group scattered. I like to spend the day photographing with a friend, and so Anne and I forged ahead. Preparing for this day I decided that I would focus on little stories or interactions between people. There was no shortage of people out enjoying the day. The San Francisco Ferry Building was getting busy when we arrived just before 10 a.m.

_DSF1167

Artisan Cheese discussion

_DSF1170

An interested by-stander

_DSF1171

Sampling some chocolate

Lighting was tricky, and we decided to head out to walk the Embarcadero. Plan to meet @ Pier 41 for our ferry ride home at 4 pm.

_DSF1175

He shows me what he was eating. Looks yummy.

Families, tourists, and locals crowd the street.

_DSF1205

The little red haired girl caught my friend’s eye. I was interested in how the rest of the family reacted to her getting the attention.

There are lots of ways people travel down the Embarcadero.

_DSF1214

Many tour buses allow for on/off possibilities

_DSF1206

A modern version of a rickshaw

_DSF1190

Go-cart tours stopped in traffic

_DSF1185

Skooter power

_DSF1189

Attention Grabbers from Alcatraz

_DSF1297

Segway tourists take off

My friend and I click away as we walk down the street.

_DSF1201

Spotted this lone man waiting to cross the street

_DSF1202

Having trouble taking everything with him into the restroom

It is about lunch time, and we arrive at Pier 39.

I leave you with the promise to post more from this adventure soon.

Street photography is fun! Where do you go when you want to capture your images?

 

 

 

 

 

Nature and my camera (Part 2)

Sacramento is located 2 hours from the Northern coast, and during the hot summer days this is a welcome relief. This location takes a bit longer (about 5-6 hours). The central and northern coastal beaches are beautiful, rugged and cool.

_DSF0728

The fog is dense. Feels like cool misty rain.

We drive north  on Highway 1 from Cambria, and about 4-5 miles north of Hearst Castle and come to Piedras Blancas Rookery.  This is a most amazing place.

_MRF2056

Elephant seal line the shore, take over the beach.

The seals started coming to this beach in 1992 when one pup was born. In 2016 5300 were born. There are always some seals here, and we arrive at a time when the seals are molting. Shedding and growing a new skin layer. When at the rookery the animals fast, and they conserve their energy. No eating or drinking at the Rookery.

_MRF2060

Different colors represent molting stages

_MRF2050

_MRF2045

“Make way. I’m coming through!”

_MRF2004

“Don’t mind me. Just out for a stroll!”

_MRF2026

Young juvenile males sparring on the beach. 

_MRF2048

Sparring at the shoreline the juveniles are playing. This time it is not serious. 

 

_MRF2020

Males sparring in the ocean

_MRF2047

Time to cover up.

_MRF2067

I’ll just quietly make my way down the beach.

_MRF2041

Do you mind if I get some sand on you?

_MRF2065

Love the way I captured the sand motion.

_DSF0721

A docent from Friends of the Elephant Seals provides information. Docents train for 20 hours and commit to 4 three hour shifts a month.

Male elephant seals develop their distinctive nose (Proboscis) after they mature at 5 years. The nose is part of their status during the breeding season.

_MRF2040

At peace. 

_MRF2013

Able to get a good view from a safe distance. I am using a 150mm lens. Equivalent to 300mm since this is my Olympus OMD E5 camera. Pictures are not cropped.

_MRF2023

All quiet on the Central Coast of California

One of the best parts of this experience is that there is no fee. Plenty of parking, easy access, wheelchair accessible,  knowledgeable guides, no reservations, and the ability to safely watch these magnificent animals. WOW!!!

_DSF0722

Amazing place. Elephant Seal Rookery now covers two beaches. Docent will point out best spot if they see you are a photographer!

For more information follow my links provided above. You can even watch the elephant seals be web cam.

Can my camera lead me out of my comfort zone?

I grew up watching my Dad talk to everyone he met. At times I felt a bit embarrassed. We would be stopping at a grocery store and the conversation would start with the cashier.  I would think, just pay for the milk and bread already. Standing in line my Dad would strike up a conversation with the people waiting behind us.

Well I find that lately I am following in my Dad’s footsteps. This is particularly true when it comes to my dog. My Libby acts as quite the ice breaker. Her friendly demeanor draws people to her. I love sharing her with others. When my parents were in an assisted living setting I always visited with my dog. I kind of miss taking her there. When I am at a pet store I start conversations from treats, training, leashes and everything in between. Rather than be bored waiting on line I look around, and inevitably I’m in conversation. Sometimes I find I have a question to ask, or an opinion to state (My 2 cents worth!). I shop by myself, and if I have trouble deciding I will ask anyone around. Lately I can’t find helpful sales people around. The shopping experience has changed, but that is a conversation for another day.

I am often told that I look like someone else. This has happened on both coasts of the country. It has happened when I was 40 years younger, when my hair was long, short, straight or curly. No not me, I reply. Then I am asked if I am related to … No and I have no sister. Have you ever been mistaken for another person? Another conversation starter.

How does this relate to my original question? Well I bought my new camera with the intention to get into bringing personality into my photography. A simpler camera, an easy way to change settings, a totally silent shutter, and a less invasive look helps. Having a big camera with a powerful zoom can capture people without their knowledge. Stand back and peek at the world. Less confrontational. Until they turn and see your big lens pointed at them, I fear. More of a paparazzi feel to the image. May make for an interesting story. This may be something I am over thinking, and I need to change my attitude.

This image was taken with a zoom lens. Not sure if the natural feel would have been there if they were aware. I felt safe capturing the moment.

1503_01_davis_022

My street photography tells a story!.

For me to capture people close up I will need to bring myself into the game. This is where I move out of the comfort zone. But if I start with my new found use of conversation with people I meet, I may get a more satisfying photograph. Then I will have a story behind the image to remember. That will be “the connection”.

Looking through my over 40,000 images I am currently drawn to the photographs with people in them. Now I want to  review why I like them. I am not talking about my family photos. That is a different set of circumstances.  I am looking at some of my landscapes where I included people in the image and the landscape provides the environment.

In the middle of Old Sacramento this couple would not have noticed me. Again, I was using my zoom lens.

1301_17_Old_Sac_001

Eyes for you!

I also need to look at location and situation where people and environment come together. Festivals, city streets, group gatherings parades all provide good opportunities. Here are some photographs I have taken over the years.

Renaissance Fair

0806_28_RenaissanceFayre_4466

What did I do wrong?

0806_28_RenaissanceFayre_4510

Playing with fire

0806_28_RenaissanceFayre_4476

Father & son juggling

4th of July Parade

0706_29_Folsom4thParade_0157

Folsom 4th of July Parade

0408_07_Seattle_0160

Street performer in Seattle. A tip provided the incentive, and a face to face encounter!

0408_07_Seattle_0172

This time no eye contact. 

Captured this couple in the mining town of Columbia. They had finished shopping. Some post processing added an old time feel.

1303_28_DaffodilHill_020

Quietly seated among the daffodils

1102_ColorContrast_039

Silhouette at McKineley Park

1609_30_AppleHIll_4461

Through the corn maze

Captured from a distance or from the back is easy enough for me, but now I’m looking to up my photography and make the connection.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With my 35mm viewpoint found in the Fuji X100F I can capture the person in their environment. Find a good location and wait. This is one street photographer’s approach. I need to be comfortable with my new camera’s capability. Many street photographer’s share their images in black & white. Usually I focus on color, so I may need to study what makes the black & white process pop.  My raw files can always be changed to black & white later.

Not sure how conducive the suburban or rural life will give me similar settings. Luckily Fair Oaks brings back Fiesta Days this weekend and  I plan to be there making a connection.