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giants-cardinals

road grays

pregame

hose

groundscrew

infield

safe
Giants lost, 2-0.

banksy

Banksy hit several spots in SF last week to the delight of hundreds of photographers and street art aficionados:
banksy chinatown

notice
I wandered over to Chinatown after work to check out the new piece and saw the property owner put up this notice saying they would clean up the graffiti after the police investigation. I suspect the real reason he put it up was to protect it from getting buffed, as it was drawing a fair number of photographers already.
banksy valencia
The other two were in the Mission, on Valencia and Sycamore.
banksy sycamore

banksy sycamore
Banksy put up a few others around SF, but I haven’t had a chance to shoot them yet.

japanese tea garden

Exploring the Japanese tea garden in Golden Gate Park:
blossoms

falls

door

maple

maple

flowers
Rest of the set here.

alex

Some shots from a session with an eight-day old client. I’d never done baby photos before, but Alex was quite a cooperative model:
small

three

alex

wonder

tiny

laugh
Full set here.

rainy days

It’s been a wet month:
red umbrella

rainy day women

bleak

2009

I uploaded just over 1,400 photos to flickr this year, nearly doubling my online archive. 2009 might have been a lousy year, but I made some significant strides in my photography. Below are my favorite shots from each month:

January (15 photos)
emotion
I took this photo at a Martin Luther King Jr. rally the day before President Obama’s inauguration for the San Mateo Daily Journal. There are all sorts of technical issues with this shot, but the SM Daily Journal ran it on their front page the next day. It’s always cool to see your photos in print.

February (19 photos)
lonely
This dog was too photogenic to pass up. Kind of a weak month for me photography-wise.

March (267 photos)
geisha
Took this in Clarion Alley as part of a San Francisco street art project. Love the greens.

April (76 photos)
black
white
Captured this diptych in downtown Palo Alto.

May (155 photos)
sunk
Of all my photos taken around Islais Creek, this tops the list. The original was too flat, so I converted it to monochrome and upped the contrast.

June (106 photos)
mauer
Joe Mauer doing what he does best. Twins beat the A’s 10-5.

July (265 photos)
pipes
A simple abstract taken in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco.

August (66 photos)
pine
A throwaway shot at first glance, I did some heavy processing in photoshop to bring out the contrast.

September (113 photos)
comet
One of the first shots with my new 5D Mark II. 13 seconds at f/9.0 just after sunset near the summit of Windy Hill.

October (136 photos)
pacific
The Marin Headlands were overrun by tourists as the sun set, but I managed to work them into the landscape.

November (134 photos)
abandoned
One of my best from the Drawbridge series.

December (39 photos)
james
My favorite from a portrait assignment for a local construction management firm.

My New Year’s Resolution for 2010: take more photos of people.

drawbridge, ca

A ghost town in the heart of Silicon Valley? I first read about Drawbridge a couple years ago, but didn’t get a chance to explore it until last weekend. Founded in 1876 on the rail line between Fremont and Alviso, Drawbridge reached its peak during Prohibition. Due to its relative isolation and the fact that nearly every resident was armed, local law enforcement didn’t bother making vice raids. Nearly every resident was armed. Water pumping and nearby salt evaporation ponds caused the land to sink into the bay, and people started to leave. Local newspapers published wild accounts of treasure left behind, bringing hordes of scavengers and vandals. The few remaining residents scared them off with shotguns, but it was a futile effort. Charles Luce, the last man in Drawbridge, left in 1979. In thirty years of abandonment, most of the buildings are in an advanced state of decay and sinking into the marsh. It seemed a good time to check out the ghost town before it disappears completely.
iron road
I was up by 5:30am and on the tracks heading north from Alviso an hour later. I had hoped for a beautiful sunrise, but the overcast light made for excellent landscape photography.
blue dawn

coyote creek
The only sound I heard was the occasional pop of shotguns as game hunters prowled the sloughs for waterfowl.
hunters
After a nearly three mile hike along the tracks, I came to the first abandoned structures. Drawbridge is technically closed to outsiders, but there’s nothing to stop people save for a few signs. The tracks are active, but only a couple Amtrak trains rolled through when I was there.
drawbridge

shack
The land surrounding the tracks is mostly salt marsh crisscrossed with small streams. A few of them are covered by pickleweed and nearly invisible, causing me to stumble and plunge ankle deep in mud. It’s not a particularly safe environment for high-end camera gear.
abandoned
Surprisingly, the place isn’t as overrun by graffiti as I would’ve expected.
SAC

welcome

layered
This place was the best preserved in all of Drawbridge. Pretty sure this used to be the kitchen.
kitchen

window

front yard

decay
More abandoned buildings are north along the tracks.
downtown

roof

Some great opportunities for macro decay photography.
pipe

spigot

arson
Around this time I noticed that the tide was coming in fast, causing the bay to seep out of the marsh and make further exploration difficult.
framed
The sun came out around noon, and by then Drawbridge was inundated by water.
telegraph
Rest of the Drawbridge set here.