Sunday Photo Post…by request

I spent the sunny day yesterday as part of a City College of San Francisco photography class. It was a full day photo walk class through part of the City.

I was excited about this class because when I started shooting, I was all about the nature shots…but I’m moving steadily into more urban themes and this was a great chance for me to improve my skills.

Wow, did I learn a lot. There were actually two instructors, one a professional portrait photographer who really helped us understand about light and how to make people look great.

The other a professional landscape photographer who helped us understand that to take a good landscape photo, you need to have a point of focus.

Both were amazing teachers!

Anyhow, I’d posted on Twitter yesterday that I’d been up and down some of the grander hills in San Francisco, and Twitter friend @pcon34 asked to see a few photos on the blog.

So here you go pcon! A few of my faves.

I’ve only done some very minor corrections on the photos and haven’t cropped or Photoshopped anything.

Click on any of the images to see in various sizes.

Down at Fisherman’s Wharf, you can find lots and lots of good rusty things. The relentless wind off the water sees to that. This was a quick snap at the side of a shed where we had been working on portraits. This chain just caught my eye and the photo has become one of my faves of the set.

A little rust is a pretty thing

More fabulously rusty. I was endlessly fascinated by this thing. I have no idea what it is…but it must be valuable. There is a pretty new lock on it.

Rusty but valuable

This is the hill leading up to Coit Tower. The photo was taken from the roof of the Art Institute of San Francico on Russian Hill. There are a million photos of Coit Tower and I wanted something different. Here, I was trying to make it look like those photos you see of the building covered hills of Greece or Brazil. This one is The Good Man’s fave of the set. This small size doesn’t do the photo justice. The full sized version is a lot of fun.

My City

I wasn’t totally into this photo when first downloaded, but I keep coming back to it. It has something working for me that I can’t quite put my finger on. I may play around with the colors and cropping to see what emerges. These are windows at the Art Institute of San Francisco.


The Exploratorium has many fabulous outdoor experiments located all around Fort Mason. This one, the wind arrows, helps you see how the wind moves in different directions depending on height. I caught the arrows in a rare moment, heading mostly the same way. For me, what I love about this photo is the sky! It’s CLEAR and blue. No clouds, no fog! Heady stuff!

Wind Arrows

A white-crowned sparrow singing his tune at Fort Mason. This was near the end of the day and the photo is a skosh out of focus. Ah well, what it lacks in technical skills, it makes up for in capturing the attitude of this little fella. A friend and bird expert says that Mr. White-Crowned Sparrow should have migrated by now, so she’s a bit worried that I saw him. Here’s hoping he finds his way….

I gotta be meeeeeee!

Anyhow, if you’re still with me, thank you for looking at my photos! If you want to see more, there is a set on Flicker, click here

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  • Natalie

    I think my favorite is the birdie.
    I shall name *him* "marysir" which, by the way, is my word verification. So many implications…

    Nice work!

  • pcon34

    I love all of 'em…they each have their own soul including My City…very Mediterranean (one of my most fav qualities of SF is the Monaco vibe) in fact I might make a move to Sausalito so everyday riding the ferry I can soak it in! Great eye with the rusty chain and shiny brand new lock…great contrast (reminds me of my dad and his wife…lol!) The fiery fowl and the windows are real bitchin' with the brass in the background…AUsome stuff! Keep shootin'!!!!!

  • Karen Fayeth

    Nat – I love that little bird too. So tiny, so full of attitude. He had a really fascinating song too, so I was totally charmed.

  • Karen Fayeth

    Pcon – that ferry ride back from Sausalito is one of the most pretty things ever. Especially at the holidays when all the building are lighting up like gigantic presents.

    Thanks for the encouragement!!

  • Anonymous

    Nice pics, Karen.

    I specially like the one of the exploratorium wind sculpture. I like the perspective.

    What kind of camera do you have that takes a 3×2 pic?


  • Karen Fayeth

    Ephraim – hey! Thanks for the encouragement! I'm happy you like the wind arrows. I was unsure that someone who hadn't seen the sculpture would understand what was going on there. Your input really helps!

    Not sure about your question… I use a regular ol' Canon Rebel Xti with a 28-135 lens. My gear is about four years old. The size of the photos on the blog comes from the Flickr application resizing the docs.

    Thanks for the comment!

  • Anonymous

    I thought that all digital cameras generated a 4:3 digital image.


    Your camera makes a 3:2 digital image.

    I don't know why. It seems like an anomaly except that all (?) 35mm cameras make a 3:2 image. Measure a slide. Possibly, also, because the lenses chosen were for 35mm cameras initially.

    On the wind sculpture, in thinking about it I think that the show is more a show of the performance of the bearings than of the wind. Unless the bearings were carefully designed to critically damp the rotation from the wind forces the overshoot of the rotation will present a pretty picture but not so much from the actual wind direction.


  • Anonymous

    It's still a helluva good picture!


  • Karen Fayeth

    Ephraim – Interesting bit about the digital cameras that I didn't know. Thanks!

    As for the wind sculpture, it was decently hard to get a photo where none of the arrows were blurry. They were swinging around near constantly.

    Here's another not as good photo where you can see the arrows whipping around.

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