A Time to Reflect

In the Jewish religion, Yom Kippur is the time of atonement. How can I contribute to the upcoming year?  I like to look at this as a time to slow down and reflect on the past year, and think of the coming year. The past year has been one of change. Moving to a new home, watching a new life being brought into my family with the birth of my grandson. My brother certainly made some changes as well. He and Leti moved into a new home, married, and my niece gave birth to her daughter making my brother a first time grandfather. Happy, life affirming changes.

The last part of the year brought one additional unanticipated change. My 16 year old granddaughter is currently living with us. I am back in the parent role, and I find that this is harder to  accept. There is a time for everything, and I planned this time for travel. With this delay I am going to continue to plan to travel, eventually. I guess I am trying to act logically, and not be so emotional about this turn of events. Logic pushes me to take positive steps toward my end goal.

Step 1.  Develop a way to communicate with fellow travelers. I know that I can only speak English. So I am using my computer to learn some Spanish. Maybe I’ll look at being able to speak some Hebrew. Who knows.

Step 2. Photography will be high on the list when I decide where I want to go. I plan to travel with my mirrorless cameras. I just sold my Olympus OMD E5 gear and purchased a Fuji XT2 camera and the Fuji X100F. I plan to use this time to become very comfortable with my gear. This also helps my emotional health.

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When I traveled overseas in 1964 I packed my things in a bright red Samsonite suitcase. It was easy to spot on the luggage carousel.

Step 3. Keep an eye out for places to visit. I plan to start making a list of where and when (best season) to visit my destinations. Facebook is one place to view good photographic places. Another place I check out are the many Flickr sites. And I’ll do some travel reading.

I just received my first passport, as an adult. So as far as travel goes I am quite new to foreign travel. My last time overseas was when I was still in high school over 50 years ago. Kind of funny the way life works out. When I left Karachi in 1966 I was thinking that I would work in the airline industry and be able to travel all over. When I graduated from college my husband and I even made plans to move to Israel. It has been over 40 years since I made the move from New  York to California. Vacations out of California didn’t take me very far in the United States either. Traveled back to New York, to Florida to visit In-Laws, Indianapolis to visit family, and to the Hawaiian Islands. I guess I have some catching up to do.

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Planning on hopping on the People Mover when the time comes!

Meanwhile I’ll enjoy the year ahead. Photo time, dog time, and time at home with my husband and granddaughter.

Who knows what the year 5779 will bring? May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.

Any suggestions as to where I should set my sights? I’ve got time to plan!

 

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.

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Vendor stocking his shop

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So many food choices. Go healthy or not?

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Careful those knives are sharp!

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Up, up and away. Having Fun!

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Cute shop on Pier 39

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Love the vest

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

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

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So many cell phones. What is so interesting?

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Watch out for Gulls!

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Old Port Gate frame the ship

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Explanation of height restrictions on the Segway

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Serious driving skills being tested

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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.

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Gulls Rule at the Fishermen’s Grotto

 

 

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He earned his tip

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

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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.

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We pass under the Oakland Bay Bridge

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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.

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Artisan Cheese discussion

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An interested by-stander

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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.

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He shows me what he was eating. Looks yummy.

Families, tourists, and locals crowd the street.

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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.

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Many tour buses allow for on/off possibilities

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A modern version of a rickshaw

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Go-cart tours stopped in traffic

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Skooter power

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Attention Grabbers from Alcatraz

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Segway tourists take off

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

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Spotted this lone man waiting to cross the street

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Different colors represent molting stages

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“Make way. I’m coming through!”

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

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Young juvenile males sparring on the beach. 

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

 

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Males sparring in the ocean

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Time to cover up.

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

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Do you mind if I get some sand on you?

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Love the way I captured the sand motion.

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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.

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At peace. 

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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.

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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!!!

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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.