Saturday, December 26
The confused house in my neighborhood from my November 1 post that included Christmas decorations under their Halloween cobwebs got their holidays right this time. As I walked by, I saw lots of twinkly lights and no bats, candy corn, or other October 31 paraphernalia.
One of my absolute favorite restaurants in DC is the Amsterdam Falafel Shop in Adams Morgan (http://www.falafelshop.com/). They had the inspired idea to install a do-it-yourself garnish bar with over 20 options -- from the traditional hummus, cucumbers and tomatoes, to the less traditional baba ghanoush and roasted cauliflower. Gone are the days of dry, tasteless falafel. If yours ends up that way, you only have yourself to blame. Genius! Not to mention delicious. I was a little out of practice, but the one pictured was pretty good all the same.
Inspired by unbelievably low fares a few weeks earlier, I made the somewhat impulsive decision to spend the weekend in Washington, DC. And I mean weekend -- total time on the ground came to about 30 hours. When I bought the tickets, I thought that it would be nice to catch up with friends and enjoy the chilly late-fall air. I ended up getting more than I bargained for, arriving just in time for the first snowfall of the season.
Thursday, December 24
All Stanford Product Design Masters Program 2nd year students are given two weeks to design and create a personal statement for exhibition at an event held early every December. My friend Danika is a 2nd year, and this is her project -- a multi-level community garden completely constructed and planted by her. Each plot represents another student in the program.
Jerry models the latest in bear fashion at Etsy's Handmade Ho Down in San Francisco, a collection of craft artists selling their wares for the evening in a multi-level nightclub. I try to ignore the fact that he plans to wear it to Cal football games.
Sunday, December 13
The latest in my apartment decorations -- magnetic photo ropes from Photojojo. They do a great job filling empty space, and they're so easy to update that I'm hoping to change the images on them frequently, kind of like a rotating exhibit at a museum. This first installment is of postcards sent to me from around the world.
Doing something active outdoors during the long weekend has become a Thanksgiving tradition. This year I hiked down to Stinson Beach from Mt. Tam State Park. The beach was crowded with people enjoying the beautiful weather. I chose this photo as my favorite because I like the color and the clarity of the ripply reflections. More photos from the hike and the beach can be seen here.
Monday, December 7
Sunday, November 29
Saturday, November 28
Few things are more rejuvenating than having dinner with a big group of friends after a long, seemingly endless week at work. The nine of us spent a couple delightful hours eating, catching up, and laughing at our table at Tamarine. The silliness continued after dinner. This is the restaurant's entrance.
Before she worked at DreamWorks, the surfacing coordinator worked on the special effects in New Moon. The lighting coordinator I work with decided that was something we should celebrate on the movie's opening night. I wish I had been involved in the prank, but I take solace in the fact that someone I manage was the instigator.
Friday, November 27
I stopped to watch the divers at Avery Aquatic Center on the way to yet another Stanford basketball game. The temperature was in the mid-fifties, and the poor divers had to cycle in and out of the pool and the evening air. Brrrrrr. Because the chain link fence was in the way of the action, I spent a few minutes playing with focus, seeing what would happen if I focused on the links or on the action beyond.
I'm intrigued by how abstract this image is. Looked at from above (click here), the dark circle with light radiating out of it looks almost like a solar eclipse. At this angle, you could say the sun is in front of the flames, with the black spokes serving as its rays. (I think it also looks like a six-legged spider. Or a flower.)
At the last basketball game I attended, I liked the ghostly images of action captured with long shutter speeds. My hands weren't very steady, so the photos looked like blurred shapes on an even blurrier background. I used a stable surface this time. The results still aren't quite where I'd like them to be (I think I left the shutter open too long), but I'm getting closer.
Tuesday, November 24
My friend Lindsay and I enjoyed a tapas dinner at Laiola in the Marina. I finally got to cross the restaurant's pan con chocolate with sea salt and olive oil off 7x7's list of 100 things to eat before you die in San Francisco. (It was #31, and it was amazingly tasty.)
Monday, November 23
This is Hinckley. He is a very rambunctious puppy. When I heard he was coming to visit me, I read up on pet photography techniques. The advice to get down on their level was good, but I wasn't told how to prevent puppies from bounding over to investigate the weird clicky thing invading their world. I wish this was in focus, but I thought it did a good job capturing Hinckley's personality. More very cute puppy photos are viewable by clicking here.
What a beautiful San Francisco weekend afternoon! I took a break from a whole lot of walking to take some photos of the fountain at Yerba Buena, right between the Metreon and the SF MOMA. I had a lot of fun playing with long shutter speeds (this one is f/22 for 2 seconds). The influx of light on an already sunny day caused some of the photo to blow out, but I like the colors and contrast that emerged when I manipulated the levels.
Sunday, November 15
I tried my hand at sports photography at the first Stanford Men's Basketball home game, an exhibition against Sonoma State University. I learned that it's hard to get the focus right as you're trying to capture the more athletic moments of the game. Most of the photos that turned out best were from the quieter moments -- the referee, a player crouching as he waits to enter the game, free throws, the home team bench. I chose this as my photo of the day because I like how the framing with the court in the foreground makes the very tall players look small.
More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/26588367@N02/sets/72157622811448996/
For the second consecutive year, my work organized an event called "PDI-Con", where DreamWorkers could showcase and admire their artistic endeavors outside the world of animation. This year included a interactive component in the form of a giant blank canvas and markers so we could create our own art at the event. This was one of the early drawings before the canvas filled up (viewable here).
Saturday, November 14
It finally happened. It took 11 months and 3 days, but I forgot to take a photo. I blame my water heater. The pilot light went out, and all my re-lighting attempts failed. I was so frustrated and distracted that my daily photo completely went out of my head. I took this the next morning.
A house on my block was indiscriminate in the decorations they put up for Halloween. I thought the juxtaposition of holidays was funny, so I took this photo. Given the fact that Christmas commercials started airing on tv and sparkly displays of red and green appeared in most stores on November 1, it's also a sadly accurate reflection of the start of the holiday season. (I'm a strict day-after-Thanksgiving observer.)
I did dress up for Halloween, not in a costume, but for Christine's wedding. She dressed up, too, as a beautiful and very happy bride. I chose this photo for the big smile on her face. It captured the essence of the event better than the invitation, the cupcakes (they were delicious), or the random photos that I discovered on my camera once I uploaded them (thanks, Patrick).
Sunday, November 8
PDI/DreamWorks hosted a Halloween lunch and costume parade for their employees and their families. The employees were creative -- one was dressed as a beer bottle and served his own home brew and another was a "Peep Show" showcasing the sugary bird-shaped Easter goodies. The kids were just plain cute.
The LSJUMB* made an appearance at our pre-game tailgate. It was classic Band -- the Tree smiling and dancing (although the fangs were new) ... the Dollies ... the drum major running around campus in a wetsuit and flippers ...
*Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band