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First, let me wish each and every one of you a happy and prosperous New Year. I’ve been looking back over the thousands and thousands of shots that I’ve taken in the past year to come up with some of my favorites.  Some of them are faves for obvious reasons, and some are favorites for personal reasons.

So, take a looks at some of my faves and enjoy!

El Capitan in the Late Afternoon – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro @18mm – Exposure: 1/125 sec @ f/11 ISO 100

Waiting for Spring – Camera: Toyo Field 45CF – Lens: Rodenstock 150mm f/5.6 Sironar-N MC w/Copal #0 Shutter – Exposure: 1/8 Second @f/64 – Tripod: Benro A-169 w/B-0 Ball Head – Film: Kodak Ektachrome 100G Professional – Scanner: Epson V750-M Pro

Yosemite Winter Storm – The Valley Floor in Black and White – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro @50mm – Exposure: 1/30 sec @ f/3.2 ISO 200 – Black and White conversion in Photoshop CS4

Yosemite Winter Storm – Tunnel View No.4 – Large Format Film -Camera: Toyo Field 45CF – Lens: Rodenstock 150mm f/5.6 Sironar-N MC w/Copal #0 Shutter – Exposure: 1/8 Second @f/64 – Tripod: Benro A-169 w/B-0 Ball Head – Film: Kodak Ektachrome 100G Professional – Scanner: Epson V750-M Pro

Yosemite Winter Storm – Branches and Bokeh – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 – Exposure: 1/250 sec @ f/2.2 ISO 200 – Conversion to Sepia Tone done in Photoshop CS4

I’ve always considered myself fortunate to be one of the few that can say that Yosemite National Park is their hometown. Yes, I was born at the hospital in the park back when it was Lewis Memorial Hospital. My father was a park ranger in Yosemite at the time. Unfortunately, I was not raised in the park as my parents divorced when I was quite young. Fortunately, most of my mom’s family has worked in the park at one time or another…I’m about the only one that hasn’t. My maternal grandmother, who recently passed away, worked in Yosemite for fifty-three years. Having family working in the park allowed me the ability to spend a lot of time there over most of the past fifty years.

The above shots were taken in Yosemite over a two day period in February 2011, during a major winter storm that hit the area. I shot with two DSLR’s, as well as a medium format and large format film cameras.

Blue Hour at The Bridge – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro @18mm – Exposure: 30 seconds @ f/16 ISO 100 – Tripod: Benro A-169 w/B-0 Ball Head

This shot was taken on the pier at Fort Point in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which most of is the old US Army Presidio in San Francisco.

Little Shack on the Plains – Black and White No.1 – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro @31mm – Exposure: 1/2000 sec @ f/2.8 ISO 100 – Black and White Conversion in Photoshop CS4

Little Shack on the Plains No.2 – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro @18mm – Exposure: 1/60 sec @ f/22 ISO 100

I came across this old building while traveling through southern Idaho on my way to Wyoming. I shot first with my digital so that I could post them that evening when I got to my hotel room. However, before I could get any shots on film, the sun went behind the clouds until I got tired of waiting for it to reappear and started back on my way. Most landscape shots are done in landscape orientation, but with the wonderful cloud formations in the sky, I feel that the shot in portrait orientation works just as well.

Tango No.1 – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM @163mm – Exposure: 1/1000 sec @ f/4 ISO 250

Tango is a Border Collie that belongs to a friend of mine. I was actually at their house to take shots of a litter of puppies that one of their other dogs had. But, I just couldn’t resist taking a few shots of such a photogenic subject as Tango.

Sabella & LaTorre – Camera: Mamiya C220f – Lens: Mamiya-Sekor 80mm f/2.8 S w/Seiko #0 Shutter – Exposure: 1/60 @f/8 – Film: Ilford Delta 3200 Professional – Scanner: Epson V750-M Pro

Since going back to shooting film for most of my personal and fine art photography, I have been trying out many of the new film emulsions that have come out in the past few years. This shot with taken on my first outing with my Mamiya C220f and was my first time shooting Ilford Delta 3200 film. Many years ago, I wouldn’t have thought to have shot with any film faster than 400ASA because of the grain. However, even though digital has taken a lions share of the photography market, film technology continues to make great advances and now 3200 speed film is just as sharp of 400 speed film from many years ago. I was able to shoot at night, hand held, and have shutter speeds fast enough to not worry about blur from camera shake. While many of the new DSLR’s have the ability to shoot at high ISO settings with minimal digital noise, most of the professional models are too pricey for most peoples budget. I picked up a like new Mamiya medium format camera, with the latest model 80mm lens that Mamiya made for their TLR line for only $300USD. While there isn’t color film available at 3200ASA, I’ve gotten very acceptable results pushing Kodak Portra 800 a full two stops.

Photographer at Hawk Hill – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro @50mm – Exposure: 1/5 sec @ f/3.5 ISO 100 – Tripod: Benro A-169 w/B-0 ball head

San Francisco at Blue Hour – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM – Exposure: 15 sec @ f/7.1 ISO 100 – Tripod: Benro A-169 w/B-0 ball head

After many months of being closed for repair and renovation, Conzelman Road in the Marin Headlands had finally reopened. However, my favorite spot to take photos from no longer has a place to park. So, I headed further up the road to Hawk Hill and grabbed several wonderful shots, including the two that you see above.

United States Coast Guard Cutter Hawksbill – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L w/1.4 Extender @203mm – Exposure: 1/1600 Second @ f/5.6 ISO100

With dark clouds and rain falling on Sausalito for a backdrop, the US Coast Guard Cutter Hawksbill is bathed in sunlight while patrolling San Francisco Bay during the Thursday rehearsal for Fleet Week 2011.

The Blue Angels Diamond Formation on Film – Camera: Canon EOS-1N HS w/PDB-E1 – Lens: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM – Exposure: Not Noted – Aperture Priority Mode – Film: Kodak Ektar 100 Professional – Scanner: Epson V750-M Pro

With a backdrop of grey storm clouds that menaced most of the Thursday afternoon rehearsal, The Blue Angels come roaring over San Francisco Bay in the famous Diamond Formation. Luckily, the weather cooperated during the warm-up for Fleet Week 2011. Not the same could be said for the Sunday airshow as the marine layer coming in through the Golden Gate cause the Blue’s performance to be cancelled.

Visual Distortion – Close Up – Camera: Canon EOS 50D – Lens: Canon EF 400 f/5.6L – Exposure: 1/640 Second @ f/7.1 ISO100

As an aircraft approaches the transonic range, shock waves begin to build up at certain points on the aircraft. These shock waves cause distortion of light waves and a great example of this effect can be seen in this shot.

Shock Wave – Camera: Canon EOS 50D – Lens: Canon EF 400 f/5.6L – Exposure: 1/1250 Second @ f/7.1 ISO100

An F/A-18F Super Hornet from VFA-122’s Tactical Demonstration Team doing a high speed pass over San Francisco Bay during Fleet Week 2011. Strike Fighter Squadron One Two Two is based at Naval Air Station Lemoore and is the Fleet Replacement Squadron which trains pilots and Radar Intercept Officers, as well as maintenance personnel on the Super Hornet. When I was flying with the 194th Fighter Interceptor Squadron in Fresno, we would routinely take our F-4 Phantoms up against the F-18’s out of Lemoore.

The scientific name for what is occurring that causes the moisture in the atmosphere to be visible in the shock wave as the aircraft is in the transonic region of flight is called the Prandlt-Glauert Singularity.

Colors of Fall No.1 – Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT (350D) – Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM @200mm – Exposure: 1/250 Second @ f/4.0 ISO200

Homeless and Hungry – Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT (350D) – Lens: Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM – Exposure: 1/160 Second @ f/2.0 ISO100

One of the things that I try to do when I go street shooting is to include people such as this gentlemen. He may not be as sparkling and shiny as the displays in the windows of Macy’s or Saks Fifth Avenue, but he and others like him are just as much a part of Union Square as Macy’s. I normally do not give to individuals on the street and donate instead to organizations that help those on the street. One exception is when I capture a portrait of them, as at that point in time I feel that they are giving something to me. What I drop in their cup is my way of simply repaying them for showing me a slice of humanity that too many of us choose to ignore in our day to day life.

Thank You – Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT (350D) – Lens: Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM – Exposure: 1/400 Second @ f/2.0 ISO100

I guess that my being a veteran has me feeling a special bond with this gentleman who was working to make a buck on the street corner at Union Square in San Francisco. Sometimes I wonder what separates myself from someone in his position and to tell you the truth, I don’t always have an answer.

Next time you meet a vet, take the time to shake their hand and thank him or her for their service…especially those that are disabled due to their service to their country.

I took the two previous shots on a day that I went street shooting at Union Square in San Francisco to capture the hustle and bustle of shoppers out making their Christmas purchases. While I did get plenty of those, the images that I got of these two gentlemen seem to be the ones that strike a chord with me the most.

I hope that you have enjoyed my little walk down memory lane. May 2012 bring nothing but happiness and health to you and yours!