Curiouser and Curiouser!

Photography

Dropbox vs Google Drive – A Frustrated Photographer’s View

As with anyone who deals with a large amount of photo and video media I have a fair amount of trouble managing all of my files, especially since disciplining myself to properly sort said files once I am home from whatever photography excursion I have been on has largely been a task that I have failed in.

Often I am not intending to go on an excursion with the express purpose of taking photos and video but inevitably this is what I do… I have that wonderful device called a smartphone with me everywhere I go…. lo and behold, I return from wherever with many photos and videos. “I will just sort these out later” I say to myself and the digital files upload to my iCloud and Dropbox.

I was pondering this very conundrum this past weekend as I had holed up at home because I was not feeling well and was exceedingly bored. I decided that whilst resting I would be productive and finally sort all of my photos and videos into properly dated files, and perhaps also by subject matter or location. Little did I know that I was about to embark on a journey that would lead to nowhere but frustration.

Dropbox has been a tool that I have used for years and thought nothing of sitting down at my PC to do a little folder housecleaning. I logged on to the website and began my task, quickly noticing that everything was taking a LONG time to click through. Checking a box of a file to move… 10-30 seconds for a checkmark to appear… okay, well perhaps my computer is lagging for some reason… click out of the browser and into a program – no problem. Try another website… fast as fast can be… go back to Dropbox, click “move files” – two minutes before any sort of indication that there was something affected.

4-1/2 hours later and I had barely made a dent in my organization – I was left with frustration and a long but friendly email to Dropbox was written. In the meantime, I am not one to let grass grow under my feet as I wait so I looked to my Google Drive account, where I also have a few files stored.

Three years ago I had moved away from a trial run with Google Drive to Dropbox again because at the time Drive was not an effective way for me to move my digital media from my phone or my camera – it was unreliable and tedious, with the app often hanging and then crashing which made it un-usuable for my particular needs. I had hopes this time that perhaps a few things had been improved and I was not disappointed!

Google made a Drive app specifically for photos and videos and oh my have I been pleasantly surprised! Fast reliable transfers and it even sorts things by date and location, along with a proper way to search for your photos whether it be by that date or location but also by person! It finds photos of people and asks you for their names so you can search by name too! That part is simultaneously awesome and a little creepy as well.

After the app backs up all of your photos, it asks you if you would like it to also delete the media from your phone – 32,524 media files still remain there because I cannot bear to delete a one of them… maybe tomorrow!

Addendum: There is so much more to the Google Photos App that I want to talk about, so look for a proper review soon!

 


Boo is BACK!

WELL HELLO THERE!

Last year my domain lapsed… a long and uninteresting story for you, Dear Reader and I will spare you that misery.

Sufficient to say that what seemed to be a minor miracle happened in the form of my BEST FRIEND and SWEETHEART Chris revealing that he had retained my domain AAAAAND had my archived posts! JOY OF JOYS! My backups had been lost on an external hard drive that failed two years ago and ever since this domain lapsed I had been lamenting the loss thereof, but now NOW I can relieve all of those memories in blog form once again!

My plan going forward is to update here weekly and possibly more often if I feel inspired to wax long about some topic or post a bazillion photos. Speaking of photos, I do have a Mini Rant: Instagram is starting to displease me more and more as they have introduced more of the Facebook-like features such as only showing you the most popular photos in your feed and not having photos in chronological order. My own photos visibility has DRASTICALLY shrunk as well… my posting habits had slowed down quite a bit and for the first few photos I posted in the past couple of months my photos were receiving above average likes… mostly from random people and not my followers. Now, I am receiving BELOW average… usually I receive around 20 likes but for the past two or three I have had… 7 – 15 likes.

Seeking attention or popularity is not what I am all about regarding Instagram… I just want to connect with other photographers but it seems that the algorithm is specifically designed to under-expose your posts to prompt you to post more content which would in turn might motivate users to open the app more often, thus increasing the probability that you will interact with their advertisers. Shady in my opinion, but effective because human nature is, if nothing else, quite predictable.

Aside from FaceBook’s disagreeable tactics in regard to Instagram, that app has also become a place where everything is a cookie-cutter copy of certain styles and content. I am tired of the buildings, food and fashion all under white-washed filters. To be fair, when this style was first gaining popularity (particularly with VSCO app users) I did give it a fair shake and it wasn’t for me… I know that some very much like that aesthetic. The intent of mentioning this style is not to poke fun at people’s preferences but rather to point out that there is more and more of the same sort of photos being published on Instagram and not the creative variety that was prevalent in the early days of the app.

Noticing the sameness has caused me to take a thoughtful look at my own Instagram grid and I think that perhaps my own photography could use a boost of creativity so I am making it my challenge this spring and summer to push my creative boundaries in regard to my photography and video editing along side regular blog posts – keep your eyes peeled for more content here soon!


Day #74 – A Photo A Day 2013

Another quick post for the day!

I snapped a quick photo as I was driving east on Hwy 14 in Vancouver, WA – Mt. Hood is in the distance:

IMG_9453

Tangled FX with multiple effects layered, then I did a bit of a tilt-shift effect to soften the clouds and bring the focus down to the vanishing point.


Day #71 – A Photo A Day 2013

Trains are a never ending source of fascination to me and in particular I really like the BART Powell St. Station in San Francisco. Part of this may be a connection to it since my very first BART ride destination after leaving SFO was to that particular station.

I also really like the lines of that particular stop – so many textures and since the tunnel is so long at that point it gives me a chance to get really nice lines in the (excessive amounts of) photos that take of the station.

Warped Speed - at the Powell St. BART Station

Warped Speed – at the Powell St. BART Station

This was taken as I was waiting for BART to take me to SFO last weekend. I really wanted to capture the motion of the train as it was coming in for a stop and I felt inspired to not only run it through Tangled FX but also played around with it in ElastiCam, made by Lucky Clan. I only warped the windows of the train to give it a sense of faster motion while maintaining the integrity of the lines of the rest of the train.

ElastiCam takes a bit of getting used to, not that it’s difficult to use – quite the opposite actually, but fine-tuning just how sensitive you do or do not want the effect to be to the touch of your finger takes a bit of time. At first I found myself over-applying effects, but once I got used to gently dragging and adjusting the strength of the effect, I found it to be extremely fun and satisfying to watch the transformation to my photo.


Day #70 – A Photo A Day 2013

Quick post today – I have much left to do today (I’m in Portland visiting family and friends!) but I’m still committed to making my daily posts!

Today’s is #3 from the #7faceless challenge that Sumsion challenged us to on Instagram:

Day #3 of the #7faceless Challenge

Day #3 of the #7faceless Challenge


Day #69 – A Photo A Day 2013

My hike to/on Mount Sutro yielded more shots than I originally thought. As I have gone back to look at all of the pictures that I snapped that day I was pleased with more shots than I anticipated so that means that I’m not done posting photos here from that day. 🙂

Lupine Leaves on Mount Sutro

Lupine Leaves on Mount Sutro

I used a subtle effect from Tangled FX to give those lupine leaves just a little more definition and then converted the picture to black and white. Simple, quick and easy! The leaves already looked really fuzzy (and in reality were really really soft!) but I wanted that definition to really stand out in the photo since the tactile sensation is impossible to actually transmit through the viewing of a picture.


Day #68 – A Photo A Day 2013

Since I posted a rather serious picture yesterday it seemed fitting that I post Day #2 of Sumsion’s #7faceless challenge – it’s a much more light hearted post!

Yesterday’s photo was all about a time in my life when things seemed dark and un-fixable, a very sad time for me. Today’s picture is all about where I am today – joyful and content, rejoicing in my life and in the wonderful blessings that I enjoy every day:

Dancing With Joy = #7faceless Challenge

Dancing With Joy = #7faceless Challenge

I really didn’t do much editing to this one – just added a vignette and toned down the colors a teeny bit.
It took SO MANY TAKES to actually capture my dancing without having my face in focus! I finally just twirled several times to get the effect I wanted and even then I took a lot of photos before I finally found one that seemed suitable within the confines of this challenge.

Life is good!


Day #67 – A Photo A Day 2013

Instagram has been one way that I have been sharing my photography for two years now and in those two years I have found quite a few amazing artists that have greatly encouraged me to continue pushing the envelope of my creativity.

One of people who has influenced me the most is Sumsion – I was going to link to his Statigram page, but he’s turned off public viewing, which is disappointing to me because I would love to share his work here as well. (he is simply amazing!)

Sumsion’s latest challenge is a self-portrait challenge but the trick is to not have your face in focus. So far, this has been a very difficult challenge for me!

This is my first submission:

Blown Away - for the #7faceless Challenge on Instagram

Blown Away – for the #7faceless Challenge on Instagram

When I uploaded this to Instagram, some people that know me in “real life” were concerned because it seemed a bit dark. I explained that this is not representative of me now, but rather that it was how I felt at a certain point in time in my past – I felt like who I was had been completely blown away, destroyed and empty. I was having difficulty deciding just how to begin this challenge until a conversation I had earlier that day reminded me of that dark time and inspiration hit me.

I knew immediately what I wanted to do with my self-portrait, and after a couple of hours of experimentation, I found the right combination of app layering to actually achieve what you see here. This was a difficult one to actually upload for public consumption on Instagram – I felt like I was revealing quite a bit of myself without telling all of the personal details and I felt a bit of trepidation as I hit that upload button.

Immediately after, I felt almost a feeling of relief akin to happiness in that moment.

These challenges that Sumsion has presented to his followers have not only been pivotal points that have pushed me creatively but have also been instrumental in self-exploration and have taught me quite a bit about myself, even as far as really revealing to me how I view myself both externally and as a person.


Day #66 – A Photo A Day 2013

On my walk on Mount Sutro two days ago there may not have been a view of the ocean, but there were quite a few eucalyptus trees and many wild flowers. The smell in the forest was so invigorating and it was so quiet and peaceful – it didn’t even feel like I was in the middle of San Francisco.

Along the trail in many places there were Forget-me-nots, which are one of my favorite old-fashioned flowers. I tried out the macro lens that I won from Photojojo and was very pleased to find that I could get less than an inch from the flower for a nice bokeh effect.

Forget-Me-Nots on Mt. Sutro

Forget-Me-Nots on Mt. Sutro

Again, I’ve run it through Tangled FX using two effects and blending the two pictures. I was lucky to have the sunlight actually show up for the few seconds that I was on my knees taking this photo.

I was disappointed that I didn’t have an ocean view for the sunset, but what a beautiful oasis this hill provides in the middle of the city! I think this may end up being a new favorite place to ofrequent.


Day #64 – A Photo A Day 2013

More fun with Tangled FX!

This is the “mountains” of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at Disneyland as seen from the queue during the nightly fireworks show.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Edit

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Edit

This pic obviously doesn’t have any fireworks, but the sky was filled with all sorts of smoke from them and it made for a strange hue when I took the picture.

I ran it through three different effects in Tangled FX and also let it color boost and WOW the effect was crazy! It almost looks like lava or something! I’m so in love with Tangled FX!


Day #63 – A Photo A Day 2013

At the risk of redundancy I am posting yet another pic edited in Tangled FX because I simply cannot get enough of that app!

I layered two different Tangled FX effects for this picture of one of the Chinese Dancing Lions at the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade.

Dancing Lion at the Chinese New Year Parade 2013

Dancing Lion at the Chinese New Year Parade 2013

I really wish that I knew exactly how this app works – it’s so fascinating! This picture was already a little blurry because of the motion of the lion so I felt that it would be perfect to use the “blurred” effect to make it a little less noticeable. That didn’t quite give me the results that I wanted so I layered the “smooth fibers” effect over it as well to sharpen it up a little and to give the picture a bit more depth and detail.


Day #61 – A Photo A Day 2013

There are SO MANY photo editing apps that I have been wanting to download lately but I have been limiting myself to one or two at a time so I can fully explore them before moving on and adding another to my library of well-used apps.

I just purchased Tangled FX, and app that I’ve had my eye on for a few weeks now and let me say that this app has blown me a away for a few reasons.

1. It’s easy to use. Effect options are clearly marked and it’s not hard to figure out what process you want by looking at the toolbar.

2. Processing time is minimal. It’s only taking a few seconds for the chosen effect to alter the photo.

3. Customization. You can adjust the effect scale factor, color boost, contrast or gamma.

4. There is a wide selection of effect choices – 16 in all.

Today’s picture was modified in Tangled FX, and I layered two effects in Blender to get the look that I wanted:

Piggy Art In The Window of Gallery 16 - Edited

Piggy Art In The Window of Gallery 16 – Edited

I pass by Gallery 16 a few times a week, and FINALLY the shadows were just right so I seized the moment and got my shot! Immediately I knew that I wanted to use Tangled FX to modify the photo. The shadows already had rather soft edges but I very much wanted to highlight and exaggerate that.


Day #59 – A Photo A Day 2013

App Layering. It’s addictive. It’s highly rewarding and creatively stimulating, not expensive and most apps are really easy to understand and apply practically.

I’m doing another Before and After post today because the edit I did this morning is so drastically different from the original photo that I wanted to show the difference.

The Hawaiian Chieftain is again the subject photo of the day. This photo here was taken on my iPhone 4s, native camera app at approx. 4:45 in the afternoon.

Here you see it un-touched – no edits nor touchups of any sort, just the raw photo:

Hawaiian Chieftian Un-Edited Photo

Hawaiian Chieftian Un-Edited Photo

I went to bed last night thinking of this pic and how I’d like to edit it. As I found myself immersed in the process, the picture ended up becoming something much more different than I envisioned it to be in the first place and I built layer upon layer of editing and overall I am much more pleased with the finished result than what I had originally planned to do.

Hawaiian Chieftian Heavily Edited Photo

Hawaiian Chieftian Heavily Edited Photo

I started out in Photo FX where I added a bit of haze to darken things up a little. I then moved on to Iris where I added a bit of dirt, back to Photo FX to darken it a bit more. On to Filtermania 2, then Wow FX, back to Filtermania 2, again to Wow FX again, on to ScratchCam and that’s where I forget just how many more times I ended up going back into Photo FX and Filtermania 2. This edit has taken the longest of any iPhone editing I have done – there were just a lot of layers to play with and tweak until I got just the look that I was going for.

I really don’t know what I would do without Photo FX and ScratchCam – they are my staples, and the Dropico apps are quickly becoming favorites as well!


Day #57 – A Photo A Day 2013

Yesterday I learned that two tall ships were in town so OF COURSE today I had to go see them, since I have had a life long fascination with tall ships, pirates and the sea.

This afternoon I started the long walk to Pier 40. It was warm today and very sunny so I was particularly looking forward to a long walk that I routinely enjoy. Also, I hadn’t walked toward the tourist-y part of San Francisco in quite a while so I was ready to go.

It wasn’t as crowded as it would be on the weekends, and people were smiley and friendly. Lots of runners and bicyclists and people walking their dogs, apparently oblivious to the fact that THERE ARE TALL SHIPS IN TOWN! How could they not be heading straight there that very moment?! It boggles my mind.

The bay looked like a blue jewel glinting in the afternoon sun and it made me want to take a dip, despite what I knew the temperature of the water to be. I resisted the urge, partially because I wanted to reach my destination and partially because… well, I had no swimsuit! Onward I marched…

Past the Ferry Building, past Boudin Bakery, past In-n-Out – I almost stopped there but NO! I must resist! The ships await! (and because I like this pic, here is a shot of the Ferry Building! It’s an accidental shot, and I haven’t edited it)

Ferry Building - Accidental Photo

Ferry Building – Accidental Photo

I avoided pier 39 completely and went onto…. wait, where is Pier 40? This is 41, where The Balclutha, and amazing ship in her own right (and an original!) makes her permanent home.

The Balclutha is a National Historic Landmark and Pier 41 is in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park so I asked the park rangers if perhaps I had the wrong pier? No, Pier 40 was correct, and this is Pier 41… It turned out that Pier 40 IS JUST A FEW BLOCKS FROM MY APARTMENT!!! Arg! So I walked miles out of my way when I would have been at the ships in mere minutes.

The park rangers and I had a good laugh at the irony, and they explained the odd-even placement of pier numbers – basically the Ferry Building is the center and everything to the south of the Ferry Building is the even numbered piers and everything to the north of the Ferry Building is the odd numbered piers.

Disappointed, I started the walk home. Tours were due to end at 5 and I knew there was no way that I could walk there in time. (there was only a window of 1 hour for dockside tours) My feet were killing me – I already had some major blisters from a very long walk I had taken earlier in the week and I feared that I was forming blisters under my blisters… so I hopped on the F-Line and started home.

I hopped off at my stop and walked toward my apartment. I realized that I would have JUST enough time to get to the dock to spend a few minutes there so I decided to walk through the pain and make my way there. Fast walking and blisters do NOT mix but I cared not.

Finally I was there! 10 minutes on board the Hawaiian Chieftanso I didn’t have time to shoot many pictures but I took a few and talked with one of the ship hands. Everyone in the crew was dressed in appropriate attire for the late 1700’s early 1800’s as is evident to the photo I shot and edited below:

Aboard the Hawaiian Chieftan

Aboard the Hawaiian Chieftan

Shot with my iPhone 4s, edited in Photo FX, Iris, and ScratchCam.

10 minutes on board was not enough and I didn’t have time to go on board the Lady Washington… I’m going back tomorrow!


Day #56 – A Photo A Day 2013

We have arrived at post #2 for today, which is actually today’s post! Hopefully the website and internet access woes are behind me for a great deal of time.

I met @tatum22 and @diegoscott83 of Instagram fame on the instawalk_sf and they are a continual source of inspiration to me. They have this Monday tradition where they post “Meditation Monday” pictures where one of them (usually @diegoscott83) jumps in the air in a pose of levitated mediation and they have really perfected this!

Below is one of the shots that I took of @diegoscott83 doing just that at Fort Point right under the Golden Gate Bridge here in San Francisco.

@diegoscott83 "levitating" under the Golden Gate Bridge at Fort Point - Instawalk_SF 2103

@diegoscott83 “levitating” under the Golden Gate Bridge at Fort Point – Instawalk_SF 2103

There was a great deal of lens flare that I wanted to keep in the picture, but it was hard to tone down the outer edges of the picture and still keep the basic integrity of that awesome flare. I’m basically happy with how this turned out but I may re-visit the pic for a re-edit later.


Day #53 – A Photo A Day 2013

Goodness, my internet connection has been SO HORRIBLE this week, and it has only gotten worse! Much thanks that Philz Coffee here in SoMa not only has the best coffee that I have ever tasted (and tea!) but also has free WiFi access that is enabling me to write this post!

My horrid connection that (insert well-known broadband provider name here) has been providing to me lately has made me want to escape into a fantasy world where there is no packet loss and I don’t have to pay for my plentiful lightning-fast internet access. At this moment, I would also like this fantasy world to look nothing like this coffee shop – although it is decorated tastefully, I’d rather be in a moody forest right now, cavorting in flowing dresses and uploading photos to my hearts content, sweet breezes gently wafting through my hair and perhaps a bit of hauntingly beautiful music beckoning me toward it’s source…

Erm, back to the post…

Since there is no such place available, I have created this place – in photographic form – for my eye to wander to and in turn inspire sweet dreams to escape the reality of this daily purgatory fraught with continual internet connection disruption.

Dark Forest Beckons

Dark Forest Beckons

Again, photo taken with my iPhone 4s – I began by doing a few things in Photo FX – I often start in this app to tune the pic up a bit, if I feel that it needs it or if I want to enhance a certain aspect of the photo, before I begin layering other apps. Some of the current reviews of this app are less than stellar, but it seems that all of those have to do with the new version released for iOS 6 – I refuse to upgrade my iOS because I read and hear so many disparaging things about it that it doesn’t seem worth my while. So, I’m still very very happy with Photo FX.

Next, I layered effects in Filtermania 2 juuuuust hints of layering there – I didn’t want to alter the base picture too much but rather enhance it (and hide a few modern details that I didn’t want there) – next came Iris, which has apparently been re-worked by the creators to be called Laminar. I use Iris all of the time – easy to use and so many choices for editing. I’m afraid that I won’t like the new version after reading a few of the reviews – again, this is for iOS 6, so I don’t have anything to worry about as long as I don’t “upgrade”.

Lastly, just a hint of ScratchCam. I have played with the free version of this app enough that I now know that I really need to get the full version! I don’t know what I would do without you, ScratchCam!

Sometimes when I create a piece with one of my photos I am too critical. With this piece I can wholeheartedly say that I am really very happy with the way it turned out, and I hope that it pleases others as much as I seem to have pleased myself. (a rare thing!)


Day #52 – A Photo A Day 2013

When I am out and about, I really do need to be better at keeping track of where I taking random photos because if enough days pass I can tell you about where I was, but I’m not able to exactly pinpoint the exact location where a specific picture was taken.

For example, this bit of stencil graffiti that Chris and I discovered on our way to the basketball court on Saturday:

Tron Graffiti Stencil

Tron Graffiti Stencil

I know for certain that this was stenciled on the sidewalk between 3rd and 4th streets, but what I am NOT sure of is what street we were actually walking on – I want to say that it was Brannan Street but I’m not exactly confident in saying that it definitely was. (I’ll ask Chris – maybe he will remember)

Anyway, I take great delight in finding things like this in random places, especially when it has a geeky subject like Tron… what I can’t figure out though is what on earth does the Nike Swoosh (props to Carolyn Davidson) have to do with Tron???


Day #51 – A Photo A Day 2013

More fun with the Manga Camera app was had today with a pic that I took of my own eye around two weeks when my fisheye lens from Photojojo arrived.

On it’s own the pic was less than stellar, in as much as it was just my eye – BORING – but now that I’ve discovered this new app, it was time to make it a bit more interesting.

I’ve got my eye on things…

Pop Art Eye - Self Portrait

Pop Art Eye – Self Portrait

Before I ran it through Manga Camera I sharpened it a little in Photo FX, then after running it through Manga I went to Colormania and applied a couple of filters – that wasn’t satisfactory so I went back to Photo FX and added a bit more color and polarization and there you have it – a new and improved version of my eye! If only it looked that good in real life.


Day #50 – A Photo A Day 2013

As of late, Chris and I have used a great deal of our free time (free time? well, perhaps not, but we’re making time) to play Borderlands 2, an obsession that I think is not going to go away anytime soon.

I never did play the first one all the way through, simply because I didn’t have regular access to the 360 before we got married and we weren’t living in the same city. I kinda wish that I had, but after paying #2 I have to say that this is much better than the first one. (and I really liked that one!)

I think that my own obsession over Borderlands 2 is beginning to affect my creativity, because everywhere I look I’m imagining how things would look like if they were places in the game and I’m altering my photos to have a hint of that look.

For example, here’s one that I edited today. I took this pic at 3rd and Market streets yesterday as I was walking home from the BART station:

3rd and Market St.

3rd and Market St.

I cartoon-ized it in an app called Manga Camera, then ran it through Iris, Colormania, Scratch Cam and then in Iris one more time to get the grunge effect that I wanted. I do wish that I could have gotten a more cell-shaded effect, but I have yet to find an app that will help me achieve that.

Nonetheless, I’m basically happy with the results, and I think that I’ve found a new obsession with Manga Camera!


Day #49 – A Photo A Day 2013

Visiting another city was on my list of things to do today, mainly because I wanted to go to a fabric sale at Joann Fabrics, and there isn’t one here in San Francisco.

We have a couple of fabric stores here, Britex which is AWEEESOME but expensive and another warehouse-style place on Howard St., the name of which escapes me at the moment.

The warehouse place always has a clearance section and decent prices, but I wanted specifically to catch the 50% off of clearance prices at Joann.

So, I hopped on BART and away I went!

Neither sewing nor fabric nor Joann’s has anything to do with today’s pic other than all of those things were my motivation for going out in the first place, but I digress.

Balboa Park BART Station

Balboa Park BART Station

This trip marks the first time that I have used BART for anything other than going to and from the airport and I thought that it was about time that I get outside of the city for a little exploration. (even if it was just a fabric store!)

I hopped on the first train to come along, which happened to be going to Daily City. What I learned along the way (and I figured this is what would happen) is that I had to get off at Balboa Park to catch another train that would go all the way to Colma. As it turns out, I had a little bit of a wait at Balboa and it ended up being the same amount of time that I would have spent waiting for the right train at the Powell St. Station. Oh well! That gave me time to play with my iPhone and take some pics!

This pic is of the station looking upward and at the sky, layered in the Blender app with an accidental shot that took of the platform in front of me… if you look in the upper right-hand corner of the pic, you’ll see a cigarette butt there!

After layering this pic in Photo FX, Iris and ScratchCam, the sky looks really stormy, but it was actually quite sunny out that day. I love how you can totally change the mood of a pic right there on your iPhone!

It was a fun little trip – I have now dubbed Colma “Dead Town” because in my walk from the BART station to the shopping complex where the fabric store is, I saw no less than 4 graveyards, and big ones at that. I SO need to go back there just to take pictures of gravestones!!!


Day #48 – A Photo A Day 2013

Chris and I have decided to do more things together that are physically active. When we were looking for an apartment here, we saw these basketball courts near one of the apartment complexes that we toured and made a note to go back.

Yesterday we went there to shoot hoops, and ended up going again today, vowing to make this our weekend morning tradition. We had such fun! It made me realize just how awful at shooting baskets I have become but it’s still fun nonetheless and I’m determined to up my skill level to what it used to be. (or at least try!)

Chris was getting some serious air time – he says that he wasn’t jumping high enough, but I was certainly impressed and of course I brought out the iPhone to snap some pics, much to his chagrin but he was still a sweetie and didn’t complain.

Chris - Michael Jordan Style

Chris – Michael Jordan Style

We played at the Berry Street Basketball Courts at the end of Mission Creek Park – there is also a sand volleyball court there too!

It’s underneath Highway 280 which provides some nice shade and an interesting setting. It’s clean and quiet and steps away from Mission Bay and a super nice walkway along the water, which is the route that Chris and I like to take to walk there.

I’m sure we will have many more happy one-on-one games there! It’s a nice spot.


Day #47 – A Photo A Day 2013

Mass transit is definitely one of the best ways to get around here in San Francisco, other than using my two legs to get me from point A to point B and the various options available here is a source of endless fascination.

There is the Muni which is the bus system here – that’s not so unusual except that they run off of electricity so they have connecters that go up to lines suspended above the city streets – similar to what you’ll see in Seattle.

Of course there are the Cable Cars that are the quintessential mode of transportation that you see in connection with San Francisco all of the time. They’re beautiful, and I have yet to ride one – can you believe that? I need to start doing all of the touristy things!

There is BART – the Bay Area Rapid Transit which I use often and is very convenient since there is a stop not too far from my apartment.

There is Caltrain, which takes you places in the Bay Area outside of the city – oh goodness I need pics of those trains! (I am in love with trains! I totally understand Sheldon Cooper’s obsession)

Then there is the bus-type-cable-car-ish-on-rails-thing – what are these things called! I love them! They look so retro, like 30’s or 40’s or 50’s retro. Sleek and colorful, they really add to the fun atmosphere of the city and I HAVE TO RIDE ONE!

Retro-Bus-Thing

Retro-Bus-Thing

This was taken near Market Street and The Embarcadero – I’ve obviously altered this photo, as there are not that many stars visible in the skies above San Francisco.

Don’t these things look romantic! They make a lot of noise going down the street – they’re on rails and derive their power from electric lines above the street. I need to see the inside of one! I’m guessing that I’ll be as impressed with the inside as the outside. Ha. It takes so little to please me.


Day #46 – A Photo A Day 2013

This past week has been a fun one! So many photos shot, and so many that I need to sort through and edit… and certainly many that I’ll need to trash too. 🙂

Today I’m posting a pic that I shot and edited on my 4s on Thursday when I was at the Raygun Gothic Rocketship. I just can’t stay away from that spot – I have already taken SO MANY pics of this thing, and I’m sure that I’ll probably continue the trend of redundancy with more. Perhaps I should apologize in advance for too many rocket pic posts in the future.

Raygun Gothic Rocketship Up Close

Raygun Gothic Rocketship Up Close

I ran this pic through Photo FX, then Iris, then back to Photo FX again. I REALLY wanted to do a grunge-y effect on this one, but I was so happy with the results of my tinkering that I felt that any further modification would have displeased me.

Every time I visit this awesome piece, I want to climb inside and see what’s there – there IS a door!


Day #44 – A Photo A Day 2013

A few weeks ago I discovered an awesome website called SF Fun Cheap where there are listings of tons of free or cheap events happening all around San Francisco and the Bay Area and since then I’ve found many great things to do which has introduced me to several awesome people.

As we only know just a few people here it’s nice to find venues that make it easy to meet people with similar interests. It’s not a meetup source but so far a few of the events have made it possible to meet some really nice people.

I went to an event this evening at the Ferry Building – it was scheduled to start at 5:30, but I walked to the waterfront early so that I could catch a few shots of the Raygun Gothic Rocketship, one of my favorite places so far here in the city.

It was COLD. I didn’t think about the fact that it can be a few degrees cooler there despite the fact that it’s only 4-5 city blocks from my apartment, so I was FREEZING after spending a half hour in my hoodie next to the water. So, I walked a few more yards down to the Ferry Building and walked around inside to warm up.

It was time for the event to start… I didn’t see anyone gathered yet, and from the information on the event page, it was going to be obvious when they arrived. Minutes passed… I was not going to go outside and freeze again so I just hoped that they hadn’t changed the meeting place… checked Facebook… no notice there.

I patiently waited at the doors… watching from my nice warm spot, people filling in and out of the building as the ferries came and went – no one even noticed me, which was good because I was snapping shots of people walking without anyone noticing. 🙂

Suddenly, they appeared! The first person I saw was a girl in a cute black and red tutu with hearts all over it… I walked outside, and was glomped by a lady in a huge heart costume! Free hugs for all! The First Annual Operation Street Love was in session!

Crack A Smile!

Crack A Smile!

Only 6 people showed to give random people hugs… a smaller turnout than was expected based on the responses on Facebook, but 6 was still fun! They hugged commuters, scared tourists off with their offers of hugs and high-fived joggers, spreading love and smiles everywhere. I hope that there is a bigger turnout next year – people need to have a reason to smile more.