October 25, 2014

the view from Slacker Ridge


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photo by Donald Kinney

I knew something was wrong with this image (above) when I used it as my header yesterday. A little cropping seems to have turned it into a more pleasing image. I finally realized that some of the sky and a bit of the right side of the photo needed to go.

That flat-topped peak is Hill 88, the main radar site for the Nike-Hercules missile station at nearby Point Bonita. This view was taken from Slacker Ridge, which towers above the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge. I don't come here often because the hike, although less than one mile, is extremely steep--a substantial workout for an old codger like me.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Up until 1977 the Bay Area was defended against Soviet attack with a ring of eight Nike-Hercules surface to air launch stations. The photo (above) is from my August 26, 2009 AphotoAday blog post titled "Nukes in Marin County".



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photo by Donald Kinney

Sunset from Slacker Hill... Imagine, if you will, the cloud being a contrail of a nuclear tipped missile, and the sun--a mushroom cloud on the horizon after the Nike-Hercules missile had found its target. Perish the thought that the radiation would have crept back towards the Bay Area, irradiating us all.


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October 24, 2014

Nicasio -- yet another foggy morning visit


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photo by Donald Kinney

As perhaps the luckiest-person-on-this-planet, each morning brings a yawn, and then, hopefully, a smile. Generally, I only have an hour or two before the sun rises, so I try not to dawdle. I have places to go, and the very best part of it is that I have the entire world to myself. Selfish of me, I know.



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photo by Donald Kinney

And I live in the fabulously beautiful county of Marin, California. I'm sure you have beauty in your area also. Dream about it if you must, sleepyhead…

Depending on the sky and weather conditions I have a wide choice of places I can go. My routes vary. It might be a fast trip to the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge, or a twisty ride up on my beloved Mount Tamalpais, or an adventure out to the Lagunitas Creek. But quite often I will first swing by Loch Lomond Harbor on San Pablo Bay. Then on to a circuitous route around the China Camp shoreline, out through Lucas Valley and up to Big Rock, and then out to the Nicasio area including a reservoir that has a lot more dry mud right now than actual water.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Yes, this is Nicasio Reservoir; Marin County's emergency backup supply. Curiously it is capable of generating its own micro-climate. A foggy surface is its specialty. I often find it quite surreal. As I mentioned; I am perhaps the luckiest-person-on-this-planet.


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October 23, 2014

Nicasio -- the way it works


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photo by Donald Kinney

sun cometh up...



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photo by Donald Kinney

fog; she arriveth...



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photo by Donald Kinney

trees been cutteth down; a long time ago...


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October 22, 2014

a fast splash, and some slow splashes


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photo by Donald Kinney

We only received traces of rain from this latest storm out of the Gulf of Alaska, but it certainly has been whipping up some impressive waves.
On Monday I buzzed up to the Sonoma coast and had a snap-fest.



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photo by Donald Kinney

On Tuesday I visited the fierce waves closer to home near Rodeo Beach.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Smokey-water is what I call this technique. For you photogs, here is the info; I used an 8 stop neutral-density filter which allowed a long exposure of 8/10th of a second, f-14, ISO-100, and -1 stop of exposure compensation.


Note: I found a few dozen comments waiting to be moderated that I somehow missed. Blogger is supposed to notify me by email whenever I get a comment, but apparently either their system is not working properly, or the problem is on "my end". In any case, I'll try to keep a better eye on it henceforth. I do really enjoy getting the comments. You can always leave a comment on my Facebook page if you aren't a Blogger or Google member. My email address is in left column. --By the way, please tell your friends about this blog so my ego and "stats" can swell to unimaginable proportions.


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October 21, 2014

Rodeo Beach -- new and old snaps


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photo by Donald Kinney

"A"photoAday might be a bit of a misnomer. As you know, I almost always post more than just one photo in these blog posts.

"Less is more" comes to mind--it is a rule of presentation, so I understand. But rules are meant to be broken! AND I want you to get your money's worth I have SO many images to show you. Otherwise, what WOULD I do with them? As it is, I have to discard about 99.5 percent of what I shoot.

I have a dear friend who once suggested that I might be showing too much of my work--that I should only show the very best. But how would I know what was good if I didn't run-it-up-the-flagpole to see-who-salutes. That is why your input is so vital to my success. The problem is that I can become personally attached to certain images. My experience of just being there can often sway my objective evaluation of my own images.



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photo by Donald Kinney

This photo [above] is not new. Snapped on January 12, 2010. I always let you know when I pull them up out of the archives.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Not a new image either. Taken on October 14, 2009 at Rodeo Beach.



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photo by Donald Kinney

These bubbles are old also. Shot on January 14, 2010. If you look closely [hint: click on image to see full-size image] you might be able to see a multitude tiny Donald Kinneys straddling the bubbly tide pool. Note to you photographers; for best results make sure your bubbles are in the shade.


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October 20, 2014

Coit Tower -- all lit up


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photo by Donald Kinney

I snapped this view of San Francisco on Friday morning, and because I was working with the camera and tripod so fast and furiously I didn't even notice that Coit Tower was illuminated in red. Oh, my first and best guess is that the color represents support of the San Francisco 49'ers, a football team which I generally couldn't care a rat's-ass about these days.

I'm not sure who has the concession or contract on colored lights, but lighting up buildings colorfully for one reason or another has become a regular occurrence in our fair city. When the San Francisco Giants (that's baseball) is on a roll, the town including City Hall turns orange.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Now, this [above] of a side of Coit Tower is not new, but snapped on September 11, 2011. Three guesses of what it commemorates...



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photo by Donald Kinney

And this photo of the Transamerica Pyramid was also snapped on that same evening of September 11, 2011. I really like this image--hope you do too.


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October 19, 2014

Hyde Street Pier -- playground of maritime photo-ops


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photo by Donald Kinney

Commercial fishing based at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf still goes on, but the area has largely been taken over by a dizzying number of tourist oriented shops and restaurants. To escape the general tackiness of the area, all we have to do is take a short walk west to Hyde Street Pier, operated by the National Park Service. Admission is only $5. Oldsters like yours-truly with a N.P.S. "senior pass" get in free.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Here we will find the well preserved 1886 square-rigger, Balcutha. By that date in history steam power had revolutionized the speed of shipping, but wind-powered boats such as the Balcutha remained the most economical way of moving freight vast distances on the highways of the sea.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Other water-craft on display is the 1895 schooner C.A. Thayer, the 1890 steam ferryboat Eureka, the 1891 scow schooner Alma, the 1907 steam tug Hercules, the 1914 paddlewheel tub Eppleton Hall, a furnished 1890 San Francisco Bay Ark, and the 1915 steam schooner Wapama.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Imagine my delight when I saw these rather artistic designs on the water. After a while I noticed some rather curious looks from other visitors who were probably wondering what-in-god's-name I was snapping.


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October 18, 2014

cat tails at sunrise -- Nicasio, west Marin


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photo by Donald Kinney

...



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photo by Donald Kinney

...



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October 17, 2014

Lands End and Point Bonita at the "Golden Gate"


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photo by Donald Kinney

Lands End says it all. Go any further and you are probably going to get wet!



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photo by Donald Kinney

Point Bonita--an accurate name also. "Bonita" in Spanish means "nice", "beautiful", or "pretty". I probably would have named it "dramatic".



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photo by Donald Kinney

And in this photo you can see both Lands End and Point Bonita. This is the entrance to the Golden Gate. The 2-1/2 mile width looks adequately wide in this photo, but heavy fog has always been a navigational problem. Over the years more than 300 ships have been unable to thread-the-needle, resulting in tragedy.



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October 16, 2014

Point Bonita -- an early morning visit


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photo by Donald Kinney

When I tell people I am an early riser--and I'm talking about really early--they probably think I am daft.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Not that I wouldn't like to sleep in like a normal person--and occasionally I do--but very early is a most excellent time of day. I appreciate the stillness and quietness. And the light at dawn is incredible--a photographer's delight.



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October 15, 2014

big waves -- Sonoma coast


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photo by Donald Kinney

Oh, I suppose it's sort of like the proverbial attraction of a moth to a flame.



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photo by Donald Kinney

But yeah, when they start warning us to stay away from the coast because of high and dangerous surf, I generally take that as a cue that I had better get out there and check on those waves.

Oh don't worry. I am well aware of the danger. Sneaker-waves can be of Biblical proportions. I do my very best to stay safe--after all, just this past weekend a fisherman was swept to his death from his perch on a rock at Rodeo Beach. May he rest in peace...



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October 14, 2014

the Blue Angels blew into town


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photo by Donald Kinney

Well, pictured above aren't the sexier and fancier F/A-18 Hornet jets, but I believe these are Scheyden-MX2 single-prop carbon-fiber acrobatic stunt machines capable of pulling 12 "G"'s. They were making some rather daring maneuvers above and through downtown San Francisco.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Yes, San Francisco has been "celebrating" Fleet Week, which is basically just one incredibly large public-relations effort on behalf of the United States military. Oh, the excitement!



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photo by Donald Kinney

Hey, never mind that these mock phalluses cost $57 million each… What's money when we can have a plane that will travel 2000 mph. For armament they include a six-barreled 20mm gatling-gun capable of spewing 100 rounds-per-second, plus a wide variety of heat-seeking and radar-guided missiles.



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photo by Donald Kinney

The F/A-18 is a fairly new jet design and is intended to replace our aging fleet of F-14's. Now, I don't want to get into a bunch of debatable 9-11 conspiracy stuff here, but maybe you, like me, are more than a little bit concerned that our nation's immediate response system of defense--the F-14's--were not available on September 11, 2001.



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October 13, 2014

the sky -- best art show ever


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photo by Donald Kinney

Oh, these snaps of mine pale in comparison, but I've seen skilled photogs make some really amazing images of the sky--especially night shots of the Milky Way, time exposure star traces, the moon, and something I'll finally believe when and if I ever see it--the Aurora Borealis.



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photo by Donald Kinney

So you see, a photographer's repertoire never stops building. At least that is the hope. It is a learning process, and one vital component is patience. Patience beyond the norm. Persistence also. I'll keep working on it...



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October 12, 2014

subtle images -- could there be any future?


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photo by Donald Kinney

I've become increasingly aware over these past dozen years or so that photography is a two-way street. Going this-a-way is the process of making the images, and going that-a-way way are thousands of eyeballs that in a perfect world would actually see the images.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Quite often I need to remind myself that I should please myself first and foremost--regardless if nobody "gets" it. I think my biggest mistake would be to cater to what I "think" my viewers would like to see. So, I simply shoot what interests me. Please shoot me the day I get too-full-of-myself, or start referring to myself as an "artist" or some other meaningless term.



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