June 30, 2009

Pride Parade, S.F.


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photo by Donald Kinney

Pride is all about love, but it starts with a family -- of which we are ALL a part...



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photo by Donald Kinney

Good cops -- bad cops...   These must be the good variety...



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photo by Donald Kinney

The truly happy...



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photo by Donald Kinney

And of course, the truly outrageous...


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June 29, 2009

Legion of Honor, S.F.


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photo by Donald Kinney

On Saturday I ended up at truly one of my favorite places -- the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

If you didn't know by now, I'm a real sucker for pretty ladies, like the ones in these paintings.



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photo by Donald Kinney

The Legion of Honor displays an impressive collection of 4,000 years of ancient and European art in an unforgettable setting overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

The same $10 admission ticket will also get you into the fabulous DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park if you show up on the same day -- but museums tend to wear-me-out so I've only taken in both museums in a single day once.



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photo by Donald Kinney

The Legion of Honor was completed in 1924 and is a three-quarter scale adaptation of the 18th-century Palais de la L├ęgion d’Honneur in Paris..

The major donor of construction money and art to the museum was Anna Bretteville Spreckels, the wife of the fantastically wealthy sugar baron.   You wouldn't think there was so much money to be made by having a monopoly on sugar, but apparently there was.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Time goes on, but there are some eternal lessons to be learned from some of the art in the museum...


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June 28, 2009

fog


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photo by Donald Kinney

That's our beloved Mt. Tamalpais shrouded in our equally beloved fog.

So why do we love our fog so much?   Because it provides natural air-conditioning.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Fog on the north end of the bridge.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Fog on the south end of the bridge.



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photo by Donald Kinney

The fog stretches across San Francisco Bay like a dragon.   This is very common sight.


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June 27, 2009

people and their art


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photo by Donald Kinney

I spent a good chunk of my life working in an art supply store (the now out of business Creative Merchandisers in San Rafael) so when I see an artist painting outdoors I always have to look and see if it's someone I used to know.   I didn't recognize this fellow, but he was definitely having a pleasant afternoon of Plein Aire painting at China Camp.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Dogs playing with frisbies and kids getting burried in the sand -- beach art for sure!



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photo by Donald Kinney

I believe relaxation is an art that few of us ever master.   This poor fellow may be down-and-out but I think he has great technique.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Oh, being an old bachelor I'm certainly no expert on this type of thing, but I think this is called the art of love...


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June 26, 2009

up and down Telegraph Hill


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photo by Donald Kinney

Early on Wednesday I found some free parking on Bay Street down by the Embarcadero, so I mosied over to Levi Plaza to contemplate the brutal stairs leading up to Coit Tower.   A little voice within me said;  "Do it".

Oh, I've been up and down these stairs before -- it's a steep climb but there are beautiful gardens all the way up -- not so evil of a climb if an old guy like me just takes his time.

There are two other sets of stairs that scale the east face of Telegraph Hill.   Perhaps you've heard of the independent film "The Parrots of Telegraph Hill"? -- well, the Parrot-Guy, Mark Bittner, lived in this area near another set of stairs.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Click on this link If you really need to see a shot of Coit Tower, but this is a view of the San Francisco skyline from Coit Tower.

The Transamerica Pyramid is 853 feet tall, beating out it's rival -- the BofA building at a mere 779 feet.   But the BofA building (555 California Street) sits on higher ground.   Now, to you and I, having the tallest building in San Francisco may sound insignificant, but for top executives it's something of a pissing-contest.

Here's a Wikipedia link to a list of tallest buildings in San Francisco.



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photo by Donald Kinney

From Telegraph Hill there's no place to go but down, so I made my way down into Northbeach and across over to Chinatown.   I'm not sure what's inside these tightly wrapped little packages, but I bet it's absolutely delicious.


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June 25, 2009

around town


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photo by Donald Kinney

Square plates in Northbeach.   Round food is out -- square food is in.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Low-profile storefront in Northbeach -- it could be an artist's studio.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Facade at Pier39.   Get there early enough and you might not spot a single tourist.   Take a look at today's Daily-Duo to see a photo of the Sea Lions at Pier39.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Old tracks leading to the round-house on the Embardcadero...   Not too many years ago, San Francisco was a bustling shipping port -- and the Beltline Railroad was an essential part of getting freight to and from the Embarcadero.   These days ships off-load at the more economical and logistically superior Port of Oakland.


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June 24, 2009

vegetation


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photo by Donald Kinney

Obviously, this is a plant from Outer Space...



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photo by Donald Kinney

Some worlds have no color...



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photo by Donald Kinney

And other worlds do...


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June 23, 2009

San Francisco walls


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photo by Donald Kinney

This is a portion of the entrance brickwork at Xanadu Gallery on Maiden Lane.   I would have shot the entire building facade, but there was a nasty shadow across half of the entrance -- I'll have to catch it another day -- an overcast day would probably work out just fine.

This building was designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright in 1948 and features a spiral staircase that is very similar to the one Wright designed for the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

You can see a photo of the entrance to the building at:
http://www.xanadugallery.us/building.html
And you can learn more about Xanadu Gallery at:
http://www.xanadugallery.us/sf.html



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photo by Donald Kinney

Some folks might not realize that Chinatown's Grant Street continues over into Northbeach.   It's lined with interesting looking restaurants, botiques, antique and artifact shops, and a specialty cake shop right next door to a gallery with the name of Live Worms.   This is a music store (if you couldn't tell), near the intersection of Green and Grant.



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photo by Donald Kinney

I don't have any information on this mural, but it's near the corner of Grant and Columbus.   The taggers have been fairly respectful and somewhat kind to this piece of art over the past couple of years.



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photo by Donald Kinney

This is Lappert's Ice Cream Parlor, on Columbus Street.   It never seems to be open when I pass by -- I wonder if I'm the only person in San Francisco who would buy an ice-cream cone at 7AM.


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June 22, 2009

Riding Blackie, Tiburon


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photo by Donald Kinney

I heard one of these boys in the distance saying;  "Wait until he finishes taking his pictures", so I knew something was up.   And then it was revealed -- they were there to ride Blackie.   It was quite a struggle climbing on -- a bicycle makes a (fairly poor) ladder.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Blackie lived to the ripe old age of 40, which I understand is unusual for a horse.   And Blackie was a proud and accomplished horse -- in his youth he had served as a cavalry horse at the Presidio in San Francisco.

You can read more about Blackie at:   http://www.tiburonpeninsulafoundation.org/blackie.htm



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I don't think the owner of this house would have appreciated me ringing the bell, but if I was granted two questions I would ask the owner, (1) how much money they have, and (2) where they got it.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Oh, maybe I'd ask a third question -- "if they were happy"...



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photo by Donald Kinney

And about this point the police would have been arriving -- but if I had been able to ask just one more question it would be; "What time is lunch"


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June 21, 2009

"My" Lagunitas Creek


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photo by Donald Kinney

I've known about Lagunitas Creek here in Marin County most of my life, but it wasn't until six or seven years ago when I resumed shutter-bugging that I really fell in love with the place.

And yes, the Lagunitas Creek is my creek -- most of the time I'm the only person out there enjoying it.



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photo by Donald Kinney

When the mood strikes, you'll find me out at the Lagunitas Creek, usually early in the morning.   I've learned that for the the best reflections the water must be in shade -- the color comes from the nearby illuminated vegetation and sky.   Generally, you want the position of the sun (even though you are in the shade) to be at your back.   Cloudy days are not very good for photographing this sort of thing.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Using an ISO of 100 (for minimum noise) in such low light conditions means that I usually need to shoot wide-open (f-4 on my 70-200 "L"), and all of that adds up to a very shallow depth-of-field.

Hope you can't tell that I sharpened (with Photoshop) the holy-heck out of these.   I also boosted the "color luminance" quite a bit, but that's supposed to be a secret.



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photo by Donald Kinney

I call this sort of thing "abstract water"...

You can see more Lagunitas Creek photos on my "big" site at:
http://www.photoarrow.com/big/98/98lagunitascreek.html
and
http://www.photoarrow.com/big/97/97lagunitascreek.html


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June 20, 2009

turning golden at China Camp


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photo by Donald Kinney

This year is going fast -- not only for me, but for the Volunteer Oats -- they've already shed their seed and are now busy exploring various shades of golden-yellow.

We'll have another bumper-crop next year, as we do every year.



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photo by Donald Kinney

On Thursday, Tomate Farcie supplied a URL for this old fable:

The Oak and the Reed

The Oak spoke one day to the Reed
"You have good reason to complain;
A Wren for you is a load indeed;
The smallest wind bends you in twain.
You are forced to bend your head;
While my crown faces the plains
And not content to block the sun
Braves the efforts of the rains.
What for you is a North Wind is for me but a zephyr.
Were you to grow within my shade
Which covers the whole neighbourhood
You'd have no reason to be afraid
For I would keep you from the storm.
Instead you usually grow
In places humid, where the winds doth blow.
Nature to thee hath been unkind."
"Your compassion", replied the Reed
"Shows a noble character indeed;
But do not worry: the winds for me
Are much less dangerous than for thee;
I bend, not break. You have 'til now
Resisted their great force unbowed,
But beware.
As he said these very words
A violent angry storm arose.
The tree held strong; the Reed he bent.
The wind redoubled and did not relent,
Until finally it uprooted the poor Oak
Whose head had been in the heavens
And roots among the dead folk.



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photo by Donald Kinney

With Rattlesnake Grass mixed in.



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photo by Donald Kinney

And it may look like a jumble, but everything is in it's proper place.


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June 19, 2009

24th Street, The Mission District


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photo by Donald Kinney

This is a small portion of hundreds of these newspaper portraits -- they're all taped to the inside of a window on 24th Street.

24th Street seems a bit different from the remainder of the Mission District.   It's tree-lined and nicely shaded -- probably (?) fairly close to what you'd find in Mexico.



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photo by Donald Kinney

It was early Sunday morning when I was spooking around, but all the laundromats on 24th Street were bustling with activity.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Evidently, competition between laundromats on 24th Street is fierce -- the signpainters seem to be keeping busy.



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photo by Donald Kinney

These last three photos were taken on Balmy Alley off of 24th St.



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photo by Donald Kinney

I believe Dona Diabla was a film made in Mexico in the early 1950's.



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photo by Donald Kinney

When you are a cool dude you need a cool hat... --But I guess I'm just not cool -- I've been wearing the same baseball cap for the past eight years -- I'm wearing it right now -- it says "Dodge"


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June 18, 2009

Ridgecrest Boulevard, Mt. Tamalpais


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photo by Donald Kinney

Oh shoot, I should have gotten a shot of the twisty and rollercoaster-like road up here.   It's a very popular location to shoot car commercials



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photo by Donald Kinney

Every afternoon, weather permitting, the sun spreads a glow on the Pacific.   That's the equally-glowed-upon Bolinas Lagoon in the lower part of the photo.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Volunteer-oats bend and twist in the wind, but never seem to break.



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photo by Donald Kinney

And if you don't come back from Mt. Tamalpais with at least a half-dozen volunteer-oat stickers in your socks, you probably didn't do enough hiking around on top of what we locals call "The Mountain".


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