El Dorado (CA), King Fire, Smokey Hills, Monochrome

•September 19, 2014 • 1 Comment
ISO100, 175mm, f/10, 1/125 sec

Logtown Ridge, El Dorado, CA

A quick post during an off day from work.  With the King Fire from nearby Pollock Pines still burning, the evening change of winds to the west and south brings the smoke back towards the Sacramento Valley and nearby foothills by the morning.  While driving home on Hwy 49 near the town of El Dorado, this smokey haze that is reminiscent of coastal fog provides a landscape of layered hills.

As I was shooting, another photographer on a motorcycle stopped by to chat.  He was on his way towards the smoke and fire to see what he could capture on camera.  Like he said, every if you go home without an excellent photograph, you are still out and about in the Sierra Foothills.  “Desert Dave” has a smugmug site >>here<<.  Check it out.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 175mm, f/10, 1/125 sec

El Dorado (CA), King Fire, Smokey Hills, Monochrome.  Logtown Ridge, CA. September 19, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Latrobe (CA), King Fire, Smoke, Pyrocymulus Clouds, Plane, Monochrome

•September 18, 2014 • 1 Comment
ISO100, 135mm, f/8, 1/320 sec

Latrobe, CA

There was a bit of debate this week on whether the puffy white clouds above the smoke of the King Fire were actually clouds or smoke. Thanks to trusty Wikipedia, the answer is: pyrocumulus clouds.

This continues to range on with only 5% containment with the fire itself tripling in size to 70,000 acres burned overnight (as of the morning of 9/18/2014). Fortunately thus far, no structures have burned with some edges of the fire stopped a mere 50 yards from homes.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 135mm, f/8, 1/320 sec

Latrobe (CA), King Fire, Smoke, Clouds, Plane, Monochrome.  Latrobe, CA. September 17, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

(*Vote for me!*) Sacramento (CA), Capitol Box Art, Weekly 3 Winning Entry

•September 16, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 28mm, f/4, 1/50 sec

Look out Jesse! – Sacramento, CA

Ok, stop what you are doing. right. now… and vote for me.  I don’t ask for much on this blog, actually, I have never asked for anything… except now.  As one of the 5 weekly winners of the Capitol Box Art competition, this photograph is now up against 4 others for the overall People’s Choice Award for the grand prize.

How can you help?  Go to the CADA facebook album (Linked >>HERE<<) and “Like” this photograph of Jesse about to have this red balloon snatched by the evil robot.

Besides helping me win, it will make Jesse super happy.  The idea of him being a model for a couple of hours sent him scurrying into his room to find the right outfit and throw gel into his hair.  Plus, he loves having bragging rights to tell the girls at school.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 28mm, f/4, 1/50 sec

Sacramento (CA), Capitol Box Art, Weekly 3 Winning Entry.  Downtown Sacramento, CA. August 31, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Camino (CA), King Fire, Smoke, Fire Glow, Vineyard, Long Exposure

•September 16, 2014 • 2 Comments
ISO200, 55mm, f/5.6, 30 sec

Camino, near Pollock Pines, CA

Once again these is another wildfire in El Dorado County, this is started in Pollock Pines northeast of Placerville.  The fire started small on Saturday, then quickly expanded midday Sunday to 3000 acres to the current 8000-9000 acres burned by Monday evening with only 5% containment.  The steep terrain leading down to the South Fork of the American River has proven to be full of fuel (trees) and difficult to access.  Evacuations began Sunday and continue as the fire expands east and north east near Hwy 50.

As is normally the case, I tried finding a vantage point on a ridge to be able to see the fire, but to no avail.  With this being a midweek spur of the moment after work outing, it was not worth putting myself at risk and driving another 15-20 minutes east along Hwy 50 as the fire itself was creeping back towards the highway.  Instead, I parked along the road in the Apple Hill area, hiked through some vineyards, avoided a skunk walking towards me oblivious to my presence, spent about 30 minutes viewing the occasion glow in the smoke, and remembering every so often to take a photograph.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO200, 55mm, f/5.6, 30 sec

Camino (CA), King Fire, Smoke, Fire Glow, Vineyard, Long Exposure.  Camino, CA. September 15, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

San Francisco, Conservatory of Flowers, Fan Palm, Monochrome

•September 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO400, 52mm, f/5.6, 1/25 sec

Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA

I had read and thought about going to the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park a few years back when I had a season pass to the Academy of Science nearby, but I was much more interested back then with photographing the sea life in the Academy’s Steinhart Aquarium than flowers.

Cut a few years later.  She is a big fan of flowers and the science behind it.  If there was a time to go visit the Conservatory, it was now.  Besides the flowers, which were challenging to photograph in the light obscuring greenhouses, there were also a vast selection of plants in the main section, including these giant 6-8 foot wide fan palms.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO400, 52mm, f/5.6, 1/25 sec

San Francisco, Conservatory of Flowers, Fan Palm, Monochrome.  Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA. August 08, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Sacramento (CA), Capitol Box Art #20, Light Rail Motion

•September 13, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 34mm, f/20, 1/6 sec

Downtown Sacramento, CA

I recently caught wind of a photography contest centered around the Capitol Box Art project in downtown Sacramento.  The idea of the project is to transform 31 utility/traffic boxes with art from selected local artists.  The thought being that art will deter the usual graffiti these boxes typically attract.

The contest involves using these art-covered boxes in photography.  5 weekly winners are selected by the Capitol Area Development Agency staff from the submitted entries.

While I enjoy shooting architecture along with the usual landscapes, photographing these boxes was much more difficult than I expected.  The background on some of these boxes (buildings, temporary fences, foliage) do not always allow for the isolation of the subject I hoped for.  Even shooting these boxes at night was challenging.  The wraps on these boxes are a plastic vinyl/mylar material that strongly reflects light.  Using a c-pol filter does not help much in reducing the reflections.

With all that being said, this image emerged after a couple of hours of shooting, walking from box to box.  This was the last box I was going to shoot for the day.  As I was planning the shot, I noticed the light rail pulling into the station to the left of this photograph.  I quick setup the tripod and camera, stopped down the aperture to force a longer exposure of the light rail as it pulled away from the station.  Three quick exposures later, I had an image I could work with.  Though this image did not win in the week I entered it, I did manage to win with another image the following week.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 34mm, f/20, 1/6 sec

Sacramento (CA), Capitol Box Art #20, Light Rail Motion.  Downtown Sacramento, CA. August 24, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

 
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