Vacation: San Francisco (Day 1)

For me, photography is as much about recording memories as it is about making art.  A little cheesy, maybe . . . but true.  This is why I sometimes include photos in my blog that are slightly blurry, a little noisy, or snapped with my iPhone.  Memories = history and anyone can tell you that I love history!

In early December, I was able to share my love of history with Jonathan’s grandfather when we traveled to the San Francisco area for AGU’s annual conference.  We also share a birthday, which is why we brought him a copy of my favorite book- Flyboys, by James Bradley.  Getting to meet them and the rest of Jonathan’s California family was a great experience, even if my photographic skills weren’t quite up to the task!

We were able to meet them in Danville, CA in early December because AGU’s Fall Meeting is held in San Francisco.  Over 23,000 people this past year!  Jonathan and I arrived in San Francisco the weekend before the Meeting began and were able to take in some of the sights on that Friday.  Below are some shots from our loooooong walk to Hyde Street Pier from Union Square (including the big hill we walked up!)

The day was gray and overcast, but the even lighting was excellent for photography.

Once at the pier, I snapped some great shots of the historic boats with the idea of some more realistic HDR shots in mind.  I’d experimented with HDR previously, but was somewhat dissatisfied with how unrealistic some appeared.  For the below photos, I changed my bracketing from a full stop to 1/3 of a stop, which produced a much better/realistic result.


These are my favorite shots from the day!  They’re both HDR, but edited two different ways.

IMG_7152_3_4_tonemapped- Balanced

IMG_7146_7_8_tonemapped- Enhanced 2Love this tugboat- Hercules!

IMG_7189_90_91_tonemapped- Balanced

Below are more shots of the city and an example of how one must carefully keep track of the three photos that result from bracketing.  The first and third images turned out well, but clearly the second is an amalgam of the two.  I had accidentally combined photos from the first and third images . . . but I think the mistake results in an interesting photo.

The day was chilly, but Jonathan was a great sport- even taking me to the Mexican Museum.  Anyone who has seen the instructional Spanish language show “La Catrina” will recognize Jose Guadalupe Posada’s “La Calavera Catrina” below!

After a long day, we treated ourselves to hot chocolate at Ghiradelli Square and bought some tasty stocking stuffers!

One response to “Vacation: San Francisco (Day 1)

  1. Pingback: Vacation: Alcatraz & San Francisco | Kara Smedley Images·

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