Canepa Cars and Coffee: Collector Cars and Motorsports Museum

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and love cars, a visit to Canepa Cars and Coffee is an automotive viewing experience that’s on a whole different level than typical car events. This morning I saw three Paganis, more Porches than I could count, a Mitsubishi van with an LS engine, a classic Mini Cooper with a Honda engine, two 1963 split window Corvettes, two modded Suzuki Cappuccinos, a couple of BMW M6s, some classic Maseratis, Ferraris and Lambos, a bunch of amazing race cars, and a prototype Cizeta Moroder V16T. The V16T is one of the coolest cars I've ever seen in person. Photos below:


Lemons HootpieCon 2018 at Sears Pointless featuring Radwood

A recipe for a really fun day for automotive enthusiasts:

  1. Lemons Race: Take 150 themed junkers that cost $500 and put them on the track at Sonoma Raceway (a.k.a., Sears Pointless).
  2. Hot Rods: Put a small random car show with some hot rods in one parking lot.
  3. Radwood: Hold an 80's/90's themed car show in another parking lot where some folks dress up in period costumes.

Mix all of those cars and crowds and people together, and you get:
HooptieCon 2018: Where the Elite Meet with Heaps.

Much hilarity ensued.


USS Hornet Museum

I really enjoyed visiting the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, California last month. The ship is not usually crowded during the week, and knowledgeable guides are available to take you through the areas that are not available on a self-guided tour. In addition to a mix of aircraft from WWII through the 80's, there is also an Apollo splashdown display. The Hornet was the primary recovery ship for the Apollo 11 moon mission, and also recovered the crew of the Apollo 12.

If you plan to visit to take photos, note that large bags are not allowed because you have to climb up and down some steep, narrow staircases to access parts of the ship. Even a 2-3 hour tour is barely enough to scratch the surface of all the cool things to photograph on board. Enjoy the photos!


Traveler's Special: Fragments of a Desert and Coast Trip

October Road Trip: 7 days. 1,336 miles.

Berkeley to Fresno to Mojave to Joshua Tree to La Quinta to Borrego Springs to Palomar to Oceanside to Long Beach to Malibu to Ventura to Ojai to Taft to Gustine and home again.


Mare Island Night Photography: Composition Experiments

Last weekend I attended a bi-annual night photography meetup hosted by The Nocturnes on Mare Island. These events are a great way to learn more about the history of Mare Island, meet other night photographers, and go shooting without being hassled by security. There's also pizza.

I was in a headspace where doing something different with my compositions sounded fun. The results are below, with some brief commentary and technical info:

Every time I walk by this alleyway at a Nocturnes event, George Loo and Andy Frazer are there. Instead of shooting from the entrance to the alleyway, I walked a little bit further down. The simple composition still maintains the vanishing point from shooting from the entrance. I was happy with the interplay between the stripes on the pavement and the light from the windows.
[Nikon D750 with 14-24mm lens at 15mm. 15 seconds at f/11, ISO 200].

The box van and Brazil-esque building vents caught my eye. I was happy with the off-kilter near-far composition, but the shot needed something extra. So I waited for a couple of cars and trucks to drive through. Surprisingly, the orange light on the building was not overwhelming, and a warm yellow vs. cool cyan color balance did not require much adjustment. 
[Nikon D750 with 14-24mm lens at 20mm. 30 seconds at f/16, ISO 200].

If you've photographed Mare Island before, you'll recognize this building. I shot almost straight down to get this perspective of the parking lot lines layered over the building reflection in a puddle. There was strong light from the building behind me, so the tripod shadows needed to be removed in post. Again, the yellow vs. cyan color palette is integral to the image, as there was no moonlight.
[Nikon D750 with 14-24mm lens at 18mm. 3 minutes at f/14, ISO 400].

The forklift up on the block amused me, so I walked around the area trying to find an interesting composition. A six shot stack was taken for a 15 minute exposure. The images were processed twice in Lightroom - once for the foreground, and at +2.00 EV for the sky. I'm always amazed at how much detail I can bring up from the shadows with the D750.
[Nikon D750 with 14-24mm lens at 19mm. 2.5 minutes at f/16, ISO 100].

I pulled the camera off the tripod to see how this reflection shot would look, and noticed some lens flare playing across the water. I shot a few frames of this composition at different focus settings, to make sure everything was sharp. I tried rotating the reflection shots 180º in post, but prefer the way I shot them. Another fun night out at Mare Island!
[Nikon D750 with 14-24mm lens at 19mm. 2 minutes at f/16, ISO 200]. 


Joshua Tree Cholla Cactus Garden at Night

The Cholla Cactus Garden in Joshua Tree National Park is a great place to view a dense grove of cacti. The 1/4 mile hike is right off Pinto Basin Road in the southern end of the park. David and I visited the garden under an almost full moon, and were the only ones there. I setup my tripod to take a panorama next to some cholla that were quite tall. The anthropomorphic cacti swayed in the wind under the moonlight.

Click below to view 3 night panoramas from the Cholla Cactus Garden.

Technical Details: Nikon D750 with Samyang 12mm fisheye lens, Sirui N-2204X carbon fiber tripod, Nodal Ninja R1 panohead. 6 shots around at an angle, and 1 down shot (nadir). Processed in Lightroom, stitched in PTGui Pro, output in krpano.