Thursday, April 29, 2010

San Francisco Moonset

This image finally happened.

I've been envisioning this one since I moved to the Berkeley Hills last July. For every full moonset since then, the moon has been too far north or south, the weather hasn't worked, or I've been out of town. This morning, everything aligned, including one of the clearest mornings I've seen from the Berkeley Hills.

The first light of sunrise is just touching the skyline in this image, but just 10 minutes earlier there was a beautiful alpenglow and the moon looked like a giant luminous pearl in the sky. It wasn't quite close enough to the skyline then for the image I wanted, though.

It looks like the weather has cleared up in the Bay Area, hopefully for good. I'm ready for summer!

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 100-400L, f/5.6 @ 1/200, ISO 400.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Towering Moonrise

Towering Moonrise, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

I took my brand spankin' new 5D Mark II for its first test drive this evening, and wow, I'm impressed!

I was afraid that my plans to capture the full moonrise with the Bridge and skyline would be scuttled by this nasty little storm system we have moving through the Bay, but tonight was a night when patience paid off. I waited for an hour past moonrise for the thick clouds to move when they finally cleared enough to see the moon... and it appeared right above the south tower. I quickly nabbed a couple of shots before the clouds obscured the moon again. The weird ghosting is because a cloud passed over the moon during the exposure, and the moon moved that much during the 25-second exposure. It's a little weird, but I thought it was interesting.

Anyway, back to the new toy! My favorite thing about it so far is the stunning native resolution and color saturation, which blows the 5D classic out of the water. The huge, sharp LCD is awesome, although it encourages far too much chimping :) The negatives are minor, but they're there: the delete button is where the playback button was on the 5D, so that'll take some getting used to, and hopefully won't involve accidental image deletion. The camera is a little bulkier in my small hands. And the menu system is way too complicated... I preferred the 5D's. I haven't upgraded the firmware, though, so that might be resolved in the new update. I can't wait to put it through its full paces.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 100-400L, f/6.3 @ 25s, ISO 50.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

California Sunset

California Sunset, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

Taken a few moments before this shot, and before the mirror fell out of my 5D.

This may be one of the last images taken with that camera. I bit the bullet and ordered a 5D Mk II yesterday. I am beyond excited!

The only bummer is that I'm going to Sedona this weekend for the first time ever and will probably be without a camera. Oh well, I'll try to enjoy the beauty and ignore the "MUST PHOTOGRAPH IT" itch as much as possible :)

Canon 5D, Canon 100-400L, f/5 @ 1/25, ISO 50.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Night Falls Over Marin

The end of last night's brief, but beautiful sunset.

I actually shot this image "blind". In the middle of shooting this sunset, I looked through the viewfinder and saw an off-kilter view. I took off the lens and looked inside and the mirror in my 5D had come loose! I took it out so that it wouldn't damage the inside of the camera, but then of course I couldn't see through the viewfinder. Supremely frustrating, especially in the middle of a gorgeous sunset.

I Googled the mirror issue and learned that it's a fortunate/unfortunate kind of situation. Unfortunate because it's a pretty common problem with the 5D, but fortunate because it's such a common problem that Canon will fix it free of charge.

The only problem is that I have to send the camera in for a couple of weeks... bummer.

I've been waiting to buy the 5D Mark II for way too long, so this may finally push me into buying it. Ironically (or appropriately?) I filed my taxes yesterday and my refund is almost exactly the cost of a Mark II. Hmmm, what to do??

Canon 5D (without mirror!), Canon 100-400L, f/5 @ 1/40s, ISO 160.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Soft Summer Sunset, Golden Gate Bridge

I went back into the archives and edited a few more photos from the incredible summer sunset last September 2nd. Here's a view from the Berkeley Hills toward the Golden Gate with the gorgeous soft pinks and purples of a late summer sunset in the Bay Area.

Canon 5D, Canon 100-400L, f/9 @ 1/10s, ISO 50

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Missed: Morning Rainbow Over San Francisco

I live in the Berkeley Hills, just below the Lawrence Hall of Science. Conveniently, the view from my roofdeck is nearly identical to the webcam view at the LHS, so I often check it out. The LHS webcam page also streams a timelapse of the previous day's webcam shots. Since the weather in Bay Area is different nearly every day, I love checking out the timelapse video. When I checked it a few mornings ago, I saw this captured on the LHS webcam:

A rainbow over San Francisco, just minutes before dawn. Amazing, and apparently a rare phenomenon. What a sight that would have been! Unfortunately, I was asleep and missed it... but it is still amazing to see caught on the webcam. Maybe one day...

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Walk in the Woods: Humboldt Redwoods State Park

One of California's most incredible natural assets is its old growth coastal redwood forests. My favorite spot to hang out in the redwoods is Humboldt Redwoods State Park. I love wandering among the big trees in my favorite groves, enjoying the lush understory of ferns, rhododendron, and wood sorrel. It seems to me a perfect place for fairies and leprechauns... I'm always half-looking for a pot of gold amongst the ferns ;-)

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring Greens, Mt. Tamalpais

Bolinas Ridge is always stunning, but it's hard to beat when it's covered in a blanket of rich velvety greens in the springtime. Time for a picnic!

Canon 5D, Canon 24-70L, f/10 @ 1/40, ISO 50.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Golden Gate Lineup: Vertical Lines

Here's another shot of the Golden Gate Bridge lineup that I shot last month on a beautiful, clear spring evening from the Marin Headlands. One of my favorite things about this image are the graphic straight lines in the bridge and in the streaming traffic lights. The Golden Gate Bridge is graceful from almost every angle, but from head on, most of its lines are at 90 degree angles and the bridge takes on a more rigid character. I also like how these rigid straight lines contrast with the wild coast just beyond the bridge.

Tomorrow morning I'll be cruising out under the Golden Gate on a whale watching excursion to the Farallon Islands. In all my life in Bay Area, I've never seen the Farallons up close. I'm excited!

Canon 5D, Canon 100-400L, f/18 @ 30s, ISO 50. No filters.

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