Oct 112011

Matt in the air

Photograph of Matt executing a move in the air

Just Two Guys With Their Skateboards And a Video Camera

While walking about and photographing San Jose, I ran into a couple of skate boarders who were practicing some moves and video taping themselves. I approached them and took some photographs. Like most chance encounters, there is always opportunity to get some great shots. And as always, I was left wishing I had taken more.

The two avid skate boarders were Matt and Brian. The two had taken turns video taping one another with their camera, performing board kicks, flips, spins, and various other moves. My daughter and I had spent so much time watching, as opposed to say shooting, that we only got a few good shots towards the end of their run.

What gets me is the amount of concentration they both demonstrated and strived for. While executing their tricks, they had on head phones to block out noise from around them, so that they could focus on what they were doing: launching themselves and their boards into the air with the intention of catching their boards with their feet and landing smoothly once both hit the ground again. Definitely something easier said than done.

Matt in the air

Photograph of Matt in the air

Less Gawking, More Shooting

While I have a few great shots of Matt getting airborne, I had watched Brian doing the same, but wasn’t able to get shots of him pulling off his moves. My bad.

Had I thought about it, I probably would have approached them earlier on and maybe spent a bit more time maybe setting up some cool shots, perhaps with both of them executing moves in tandem.

Definitely something to consider for the next time. Some other thoughts also include maybe having done a headshot of each of them and maybe using a hot shoe flash to freeze them better in the air as well as darken the ambient… pretty hard, considering the time of day this was all happening at, however.


Matt taking a break on his board.

Matt taking a break on his board.

You can check out more photographs of the two in the gallery.

Oct 102011
San Jose City Hall Glass Dome
San Jose City Hall Glass Dome.

Amazing Architecture

I’ve been posting a bit about various nature preserves and reserves around the California Bay Area. However, there are plenty of man-made areas to take advantage of and enjoy. Case in point, San Jose’s City Hall. If you’ve never been by here, you need to. On a calm and quiet Sunday afternoon, it is a white citadel of steel and glass to explore.

Vertical Panorama

The above image is actually a panoramic stitch of some 10 images, each weighing in at 12MP. The final image, corrected and cropped is a 400MB tiff file which exported as a 19MB jpeg. While I used Photoshop to do the merging of images for the panorama, I’m continually amazed at what I can do within Lightroom to handle things involving image manipulation. In this case, I wanted to bring out the joy of blue in the skies while giving life to the green shadow cast by the Sun backlit glass dome.

Shot with Sony A700 + Tamron 17-50/2.8. Hand held.


Great place for photography indoors, if you love the architecture This particular trip had the added bonus of skateboarders and a small group of “Occupy San Jose” demonstrators. During the weekday, this courtyard would be quite busy and full of people, so getting a clean shot would be much more difficult.

Oct 082011

Somewhere, along the highway heading north from California to Oregon, you will find a nice rainforest-like area. And at some point, to the left, you will see a mighty T-rex. Some careful looking will reveal some more dinosaurs peeking from behind the tree canopy. This is Prehistoric Gardens. Continue reading »