Mare Island Cranes Full Moon 360 Panorama

A 360 night panorama of cranes in front of the dry dock at Mare Island Naval Shipyard

A 360 night panorama of cranes in front of the dry dock at Mare Island Naval Shipyard

At last night's Nocturnes full moon alumni event on Mare Island, two large cranes were positioned in front of the dry dock. Click the image above to see the interactive 360 panorama shot in the historic core area of the Mare Island Naval Shipyard.

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Swiss Rock: A 360 Panorama of Madonna Inn Room 135

Madonna Inn Room #135 - Swiss Rock

Madonna Inn Room #135 - Swiss Rock

This 360 panorama shows room #135 at the Madonna Inn, better known as Swiss Rock. Alex Madonna was Swiss, and the Madonna Inn features a few rock rooms with stones gathered from the surrounding farmland. You can also view 3 additional rooms in the 360 tour including Misty Rock, Rock Bottom, and What's Left.

Technical Details: This 360 panorama is composed of 6 shots around and 1 shot down using a Nikon D750 with a Samyang 12mm fisheye lens. I used a Nodal Ninja R1 panoramic head on a Sirui N-2204X carbon tripod. Five shots were taken at each camera position, 2 stops apart. The resulting images were processed in Lightroom, blended in Photomatix Pro, stitched in PTGui Pro, finalized in Photoshop, and output using krpano.

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The Best Books That I Read In 2016

goodreads 2016 year in books.png

The image grid below shows the best books that I read in 2016. The list is heavy on graphic novels, and also includes some amazing photography and art books. Most images are linked to Amazon, but maybe your local bookstore or library has a copy. Special thanks to Mike Emmons for turning me on to so many weird and wonderful works of art that are disguised as comics. Check out Goodreads to see what I'm reading in 2017.

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The Rosetta Stone: Unexpected Archaeology and Childhood Artifact as Artistic Metaphor

Artist: Joe Reifer
Venue: Sixth Grade History
Title: The Rosetta Stone
Created: 1982, Los Angeles
Medium: Plywood, clay, acrylic paint, typewriter correction fluid
Associated Work: History paper on the Rosetta Stone (missing)

Stored in Los Angeles from 1982-2008. Loaned multiple times to local students between 1989-2006. According to the curator, this artifact never received a grade of less than an A. The Rosetta Stone was professionally boxed and moved to Arizona in 2009. Moved in the same archival container to the Palm Springs area in 2016. Excavated and photographed by the artist on October 23, 2016, and subsequently destroyed.

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In Memory of Steve Harper: An hour at Steve's Rock, Olmsted Point, Yosemite

Steve’s Rock, Tioga Pass, Yosemite National Park, 1981

Steve’s Rock, Tioga Pass, Yosemite National Park, 1981

The reason I have been honored by my students naming this magnificent boulder "Steve's Rock" is because they knew how many times I photographed it, and how many times near the end of the exposure of eighteen or more minutes, an airplane would fly across the sky making a strange white line across the whole image, totally ruining the composition - and I would have to start all over again! Overhead is a major flight path towards some airport.
 
This HUGE boulder is sitting just above Tioga Pass at 8,500' Elevation overlooking Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley. It was stranded along with the great boulders around Olmsted Point during the Ice Age. -- Steve Harper

 

In memory of Steve Harper, Olmsted Point, Yosemite, 2016 -- by Joe Reifer

In memory of Steve Harper, Olmsted Point, Yosemite, 2016 -- by Joe Reifer

To honor the memory of night photography teacher Steve Harper, I drove to Yosemite for the full moon this month. As I headed up Highway 395 to 120, a huge glowing orb was rising above Mono Lake. I parked at Olmsted Point, and took in the view down the valley to Half Dome. Then I hiked up the hill to take some pictures.

I didn't end up shooting Steve's rock until late into the night. I imagined how his famous image from 1981 looked. I remembered that the camera was at a low angle with the rock on the horizon line and positioned between the trees. I crawled around in front of the rock with my camera, and it felt like a photographer's version of a Buddhist prostration.

I wanted to bring my own sense of composition to the photo, because that's what great teachers like Steve inspire you to do. After some experimenting, I ended up with the camera closer to eye height, and opened the shutter. I laid down on the ground for a while to look at the stars, and listened to Can's Ege Bamyasi.

An hour later, my late night meditation on Steve's rock completed, I drove back down the hill to Lee Vining to get some sleep.

 

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The Signal Room: 360 Panoramas of an Underground Art Space on Yerba Buena Island

A 360 panorama of The Signal Room on San Francisco's Yerba Buena Island

A 360 panorama of The Signal Room on San Francisco's Yerba Buena Island

Back in February I heard that a group of artists was throwing underground events in The Signal Room -- an old naval signal tower on top of San Francisco's Yerba Buena Island. A friend knew the way in, and we spent an evening watching the sunset and taking photos. I've never met Eugene Ashton-Gonzalez, who was the ringleader behind these efforts. I really appreciate the magical transformation of this unique space with amazing views. Being able to turn around and see both spans of the Bay Bridge, the San Francisco skyline, and the Golden Gate off in the distance was fantastic.

I shot some 360 panoramas to remember how the place looked. The San Francisco Chronicle did a short documentary video on the space that's worth watching. There are no longer events taking place at The Signal Room. The tower now has security, and is slated for demolition this summer.

Update: The Signal Room was knocked down in early July.

Technical Details: Each of the 3 panoramas is composed of 6 shots around and 1 shot down using a Nikon D750 with a Samyang 12mm fisheye lens. I used a Nodal Ninja R1 panoramic head on a Sirui N-2204X carbon tripod. Bracketing at 2.0 stop intervals, 5 shots were taken at each camera position. The resulting images were processed in Lightroom, blended in Photomatix Pro, stitched in PTGui Pro, and output using krpano. Enjoy the panoramas!

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The Racers Line: FR-S and BRZ in Almost Every Color

A 360 panorama of The Racers Line featuring almost all of the colors of the FR-S and BRZ.

A 360 panorama of The Racers Line featuring almost all of the colors of the FR-S and BRZ.

The Racers Line is an performance auto parts and installation shop in Concord, California. Owned and operated by top notch mechanic Neal Wiebmer, The Racers Line specializes in the FR-S/BRZ/GT-86 platform, but also works on other performance cars including BMW, Porsche, and Lotus.

Neal has put in a lot of track days in a Scion FR-S, and really knows the FT-86 platform inside and out. Whether you're looking to add more power with a Jackson Racing or Edelbrock supercharger, or want to get your suspension dialed in for an HPDE session, Neal is the man.

The best part about having work done at The Racers Line is that you can make an appointment and hang out while the work gets done on your car. I always learn something, and leave with new ideas for future upgrades.

Neal wanted some new photos for The Racers Line website, Facebook, and Instagram. He asked a group of customers with different colored FR-S and BRZ to show up, and I took some photos. Thanks to Neal for herding the 86s, and to Paul for the great behind the scenes photos.

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