Paddling under the Golden Gate Bridge

The old pill box is at 2:52 if you want to skip right to it.

The tides and current can be murderous. The fog is legendary. And then there’s that suspension bridge. When you put them together on the wrong day paddling a kayak from the San Francisco Bay out into the Pacific Ocean to Point Bonita could be a recipe for disaster. With some careful planning, however, the recipe turns into delight. Delight is what a couple of buddies and I had on a recent overcast Saturday morning.

By the numbers we paddled about 8 miles from Fort Baker to Bird rock, just past Point Bonita, and back. The tide was only about a foot and the wind was under 5 miles an hour, just right for some unique views of the Marin coast, the bridge, and the gate to the mighty San Francisco Bay.

The headlands have a few extra secrets to reveal from three feet above the water surface. The most obvious is being up close and personal with seals and anything else that swims or flies by. The big rocks that look small from the bridge or the viewing parking lot make an impression. Although the natural topography and wildlife are exciting, our paddle started with the overwhelming size and scope of manmade objects.

One of the overwhelming impressions driving or walking over the bridge is the height and size of the two towers. Paddling next to the north tower and under the roadway accentuated this effect and left me feeling small and insignificant. The numbers don’t really do the experience justice. My kayak is 17 feet long and sitting inside I’m about 3 feet above the surface of the water. At 746 feet tall and 8,981 feet long, it is imposing to look at when sailing by, but paddling next to the tower with a base of 33ft by 54ft and a load of 61,500 tons is a humbling experience. Feeling like an ant next to the tower and the realization that the force of the current and the immoveable steel structure reminded me who was going to pay the price of a slip up or collision.

The low slow pace of paddling had other benefits including seeing the unseeable. Before the construction of the bridge the northern side of the bay was protected by Fort Baker. Pill boxes and other defensive reinforcements for ammunition and various generations of artillery were placed throughout the hill and positioned to stop an unknown enemy from entering California’s best sheltered port.  Unseen by pedestrians and motorists, a low placed artillery casement remains behind the north tower, on view for slow moving, hand powered boats and a reminder of days when the safety of the Western coast of the United States was protected by short range, manually loaded and non-guided ordinance (see the video above).

It seemed fitting that two of the three kayaks on our Saturday morning trip were wooden.

Being right on the water made for a few interesting low angle pictures of the Point Bonita Lighthouse as you can see.

When I started kayaking over 20 years ago, I never dreamed I would have some of the experiences I’ve been privileged to participate in central California. From paddling with grey and humpback whales, to being completely surrounded by a pack of dolphins and seals to paddling under the Golden Gate Bridge, I count myself one lucky fella.  

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Morro Bay Birds

I was recently at Morro Bay on California’s central coast. The four-mile bay is a favorite for vacationers from San Juaquin Valley cities of Fresno and Bakersfield to escape the summer heat and enjoy the beach. It is also mid-state situated for Bay area residents to be close by and far away at the same time. A popular activity is to rent a kayak and paddle the calm waters of the bay. I did exactly that on a casual Sunday morning bringing my Nikon D7100 and 80-400mm lens, comfortably situated in a dry bag for protection while paddling. I was on the hunt for large, interesting birds. On a trip ten years earlier, I had seen an osprey so I knew if I looked carefully, I could probably spot one and maybe get his picture.

 On a stake in the middle of the bay I saw an osprey I think was looking for a late breakfast at about 8:30am. He couldn’t seem to get his eyes off the shallow bay waters. I set up a safe and legal distance away, pulled the camera out of the dry bag and waited.

Have you ever wondered how the photographers in the 50’s and 60’s captured amazing wildlife pictures with manual focus lenses?  It turns out their secret is also our secret. They committed to the shot early by pre-focusing on an area within the frame and waited. Using their knowledge of depth of field and the distance scale on the lens, they learned how much space they had to have to remain sharp and keep the background pretty shallow. Pre-focusing the auto focus lens gives us the same advantages. In doing so, you have committed to leaving all the shots that don’t fit into the pre-focus zone, but the reward is going to be more keepers.

This is exactly what I did. I pre-focused on the pole and bird and waited for his move. Where else did I have to go on a lazy Sunday morning? This pelican flew into my focus zone, so I took his picture and continued to wait for the osprey to make his move. Still nothing. From the background I noticed a couple in a double kayak approach the bird from behind and I knew this would be my chance. They got too close and spooked the bird and I was ready. Focus lock was quick, due to the pre-focusing while I was waiting, and by tracking him I never lost focus.

I was looking for a photo of the osprey grabbing a fish and flying away with it in his talons or mouth. Who knows if it would have happened without the other kayak coming into the scene? Even though he flew away without breakfast, he didn’t get away completely.

It’s all about the light

Several years ago, I was at Morro Bay paddling with a friend. We had a great day of conversation and Pacific Coast paddling early in the day. As the afternoon wore on, we decided to go north of the bay to explore. As heat inland drew the moisture toward the coast the inevitable afternoon clouds rolled in; at the beach, cool and overcast, a couple of miles inland, hot and clear. As we retuned back toward Morro Rock on highway 41, we stopped on the coast at Cayucas Pier.

As we stood on the side of the road, a sliver of sun broke out from the clouds and illuminated the wharf. Photos like this only last a short time and I quickly grabbed a camera and took this photo. Not only did I like its uniqueness, I like the light.

A short time ago I was back at Morro Bay and as we wandered up the coast for a short trip, we passed Cayucos Pier. Let’s stop and get a photo, I said, as a contrast to the one a decade ago. Here it is.

Taking nature photographs can be a challenge when the light doesn’t work out or the sky is too orange due to fires miles away. Sometimes I wish I were back in the studio where I can control both the direction and quality of light. However, knowing about how to control the light means being able to recognize when it happens naturally. It also means you might have to move your point of view or position to “make” the light behave the way you want.

I couldn’t have staged the light for that picture a decade ago. But I knew it when I saw it. Remember, your camera doesn’t take the picture, you do.

Technology or craftsmanship?

I was recently at Morro Bay on the central coast of California. In addition to wanting to get away for a few days and try out my newly carved two-piece Greenland paddle, I wanted to take some pictures. Morro Bay was in rare summer form with sunny comfortable days devoid of overcast clouds or low hanging fog, very unusual for the central coast in the summer. With all that beautiful blue sky I decided to do some sunset shots. Not another sunset! You say. I know they are all over the internet. I usually avoid the urge because I have so many; this was my chance to play with the sunset colors off the water and focus on the edge of Morro Rock. My plan was to focus on a little rim light on the edges of the old volcano core.

The first night we saw wonderful orange and blue reflections off the bay as we ate dinner. We were about midway in the bay and I made a commitment to enjoy the moment without the camera. We would take pictures the next night. The conditions were identical to the night before but my position along the bay, closer to the northern end my Morro Rock made for a different point of view on the bay. The oranges and blues of the previous night were just a memory as the angle of view had changed. At some point I decided to get a starburst as the sun set along the side of the rock. At that point I had two choices: take out a starburst filter or do the shot without the added filter.

Use a starburst filter or stop down the lens?

A starburst filter is etched to make the sun follow the lines scratched onto the face and create the effect. They come in 4 through 16 points. One disadvantage of using the filter is that you sacrifice sharpness in the rest of the photo. If the focal point of the picture is only the starburst this isn’t an issue. But if the starburst is only to add mood the sacrifice might be too big. I decided to go with a clean lens.

The starburst effect is caused by refraction of the light as it passes through the lens. A large aperture leaves the photo with an orange or yellow sunset blob. The method to get the burst is to stop down the lens to f16 or smaller. Of course, you run the risk of lens flare when you do this. The way to handle lens flare is to try different angles and change the focus of the lens to something else other than the sun. Adjustments also need to be made to “fool” the in-camera meter or it will meter the sun and everything else will be black. The opposite is also true, metering something dark will clip or blow out the sun. I recommend looking at the photo through aperture priority, check the histogram, and then go to manual for final adjustments or use the +/- EV on the camera.

Here we are. I didn’t know if I really accomplished my task until I downloaded the picture to the computer. Like many photographers I have GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) which results in a loss f spendable income in my wallet when I see the new thing that promises to transform my photography. Usually, all I really needed was more education or to slow down and make photos instead of taking them. This was certainly the case here.

Tale of Two Portraits

Sometimes it’s sunny. Being a California beach, more often the day starts overcast and cool. Surf City (north) is a busy place. From Santa Cruz’s boardwalk with its arcades and carnival rides to the main surf attraction, Cowell’s and Steamer Lane, opportunities in this California beach town are as vast as the people who play here on the weekend. There really is recreation for everyone. In the 1960’s Cowell’s, the close in beach, was the focus for all things surfing. Long boards, tandem surfing, and the new surfer pop sound on the radio with the likes of Jan & Dean the Beach Boys and the Ventures were the rage. The close of the 60’s brought with it shorter surfboards to catch the bigger waves and extended the beach to Steamer Lane where the surf is regularly six feet plus. Largely abandoned, Cowell’s returned to a family place again which is largely remains today. Fast forward to the 2000’s and the surf culture has to share the space with Stand Up paddle boards and kayaks.

It is safe to say that everyday people line the cliff to watch surfers and paddle boarders. The view from the cliff is spectacular on a day when the surf is big. The curious, the wishers and wanna-to-bes, the tourists, photographers, and the just-out-of-the -water or soon-to-be-in-the-water observers are all there. For a sea level view, a kayak is a great platform for getting an up-close view of some of the surfing activity. Stable, enclosed, and small, it provides the opportunity to be at the same level as the action. With its enclosed decks, a kayak is also a safe way to transport the camera and lens you really want to use.

This first portrait not only shows the lucky guy who caught the wave but gives us a peek into the rules on the water. Our gal with the orange top is looking to see if she gets to join or not, in this case not. Two heads closer in the frame echo the missed opportunity of an already taken wave.  He cliff in the background shows one of the reasons the surf is so big.

In addition to SUPs (stand up paddle boards) the surfers are joined by kayaks, sculls and outriggers, small power boats and the growing population of sea otters in the same area of the cliffs at the edge of the big surf.

Sometimes referred to as the puppies of the sea, weasels in the water, and a few other things, the otters are plentiful. What ever you call them they are cute. Once hunted nearly extinction for their fur, they have rebounded in the past twenty years thanks to legislation targeted at saving the species. From the ocean surface it’s impossible to see them diving to find the shell fist that make up the majority of their diet. But it’s not hard to see when they found their prey. Frequently, it’s the clanging of a rock against the outer shell that reveals their location floating among the kelp. As pretty cleaver little fellows, they pick up a rock to help them open the closed shell and feast on the fleshy animal enclosed inside.

Whether hanging out in small rafts or groups of other otters or teaching and protecting their young, they always have an eye on the sea for predators and opportunities. Floating among the kelp or purposefully wrapping their body in kelp to help their midday floating naps, they hang out all over the fringe of the Steamer Lane surf zone. You don’t have to ask them to say cheese, just wait for a glance in your direction. This pup is probably just about ready to strike it out but like all moms, it looks like she’s having a problem cutting the apron strings.

Ahem, just another Saturday morning paddle in northern Monterey Bay. Wait while I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.

Alviso-San Jose’s Port

A sea port in San Jose? Your kidding, right?  Alviso was established in 1852 is at the south end of San Francisco Bay and early in the American era became the port of entry for goods and passengers coming to San Jose. And why not? The Spanish established San Jose as a breadbasket to feed the other missions around the lower bay from near-by Mission Santa Clara, up the east side of the bay to Mission San Jose in Fremont, and north to Mission San Francisco. Each of those missions were accessible on foot making the exchange of goods a day’s walk away. The continued farming culture of San Jose would be acknowledged later as the area to the south of the city became known as “Blossom Valley”.

Of course, a boat needs a place to load and unload and people generally don’t like to wade through the muddy shore to disembark from the ship to the city. And so, the port of Alviso was born. Today it is situated at the end of a four-mile channel at the base of San Francisco bay. When you visit look for the  remnants of the port days by looking for left overs from canning business, abandoned warehouses, the South Bay Yacht Club, and a public marina. The commercial port of Alviso was short lived. The arrival of the railroad in the 1860’s resulted in competition for freight and passenger traffic. The port didn’t last very long as favorable passenger and freight rates by the Central Pacific made the commercial port largely insignificant.

Santa Clara County has cleaned up the old port and constructed a launch ramp for small power and sail boats. The Alviso Marina and Park is clean and new and even has a camp host. Look toward San Jose to the south and you’ll see a couple of old abandoned sail boats. The county has done a great job cleaning up many others that used to litter the port slough that serves as the port and the entrance of Guadalupe River into the San Francisco Bay. There’s plenty to do when you arrive. A nine-mile trail extends out to the lower part of the bay. Dogs are not allowed but walking and bicycling through the acres of wildlife puts you between spreading ponds and the slough. A little way north of the port is a commercial salt marsh. Amtrak’s main line from Oakland to San Jose goes through town and alongside the marina. Freight also travels along the line. If you watch the train go by and stick with it you will get the impression it is flying over the water in the distance.  

When you go take a windbreaker. Mornings are typically overcast as the moisture from the Pacific Ocean comes into the bay and doesn’t usually burn off until about 10am. The afternoon breeze sweeps down the bay and across all the south bay. The clouds blow or burn off nearly every morning and return every evening. The resulting natural air conditioner that makes the bay area a wonderful place to live can be a bit chilly at the two ends of the day. You’ll be glad you had the windbreaker or light jacket with you is you visit on either end of the day. Alviso is not a place to be in a hurry.

It is a good place for a casual or romantic stroll. It’s also a great place for a brisk walk, run, or bicycle ride. You can make it a family affair too. Walking, biking, running, sitting at the park benches or along the walkway for a snack or picnic is common. It’s a great place to look for wildlife. Keep an eye out for the ubiquitous Great Blue Heron or Great Egret, both with six-foot wing spans. Cooper’s and Red Tail hawks, and two species of owls are common also. A variety of shore birds like terns and green heron join the common sea gulls and variety of ducks and cormorants throughout the area. One small caution, the end of the bay is home to many species of plants and due to the small amount of flow from the Guadalupe River the smells in the area are not always pleasant.

Alviso is almost not part of the other Silicon Valley. The tech companies are building closer to the bay so it doesn’t even take a car to get from the newest buildings to the marina. It won’t be long and some workers will be able to do it during lunch. Who knows, maybe there will be some pressure to gentrify the port opening a new chapter to the community.

The best camera is the one you have with you. Over the several times I went to Alviso specifically to take pictures I had a variety of cameras with me. In no particular order these photos come from any of the following: Nikon D7100, Nikon AW100 (waterproof), Nikon N80 (shot with Fuji Superia 400), or an Olympus OM-D10 MII. All black and white frames were shot in color and converted in Photoshop.

I admit it, I’m a papparazzi

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Thar, she blows! I don’t care if I’m on the dock or in a kayak, and I’ll even pay to see whales in the beautiful Pacific Ocean. I call them the paparazzi boats. Like the photographers who chase stars for the supermarket tabloids, I arm myself with my best equipment, pay my $100 or so and eagerly await the intersection between our little boat and the everyday world of the leviathans of the deep.  Like the paparazzi, I’m looking to sneak a peak of the cetaceans and capture the moment on film, or sensor.  I don’t think of it in a bad way, I am a paparazzi whale photographer, and proud of it!

Today’s whales aren’t really whales at all. They are the biggest dolphins on the planet. I knew from childhood they did jumps and spins thanks to the TV show Flipper and all the advertisements for Shamu down the coast at Sea World. During my youthful days I thought people trained them to do the fancy tricks we saw but as I read more I came to understand the trainers simply worked with the dolphins and orcas to do their tricks on demand.

One day while paddling my kayak in Monterey Bay one fall day a humpback came up to our little pod of paddlers to pay a visit. I was hooked! Many people thing being 10 feet from a forty ton, forty-foot-long whale is crazy, stupid, or scary, but I was excited. We have orcas in Monterey bay, but I’ve never seen one. My orca sightings have always been in Puget Sound, Washington.

I take my equipment seriously when I put on my paparazzi hat. My list is not for the faint of wallet. Scrimp on the equipment and you might as well use your phone.

Use a crop sensor DSLR. The crop sensor makes my lens think it’s longer by half than it really is. It also gives me full control of the process and allows me to shoot manual, aperture or shutter priority. By looking through the viewfinder at the scene I don’t have to worry about a lag between the screen and the shutter. Next, I want the longest zoom lens I can afford. I also want a big storage card (whatever the model takes). If the trip is very good the other guests on the boat will be bored long before I will so I need to keep shooting. I also want a polarizer for my lens, probably a 77mm, which is the professional size.

Rent long expensive lenses. These photos were taken with a Canon 7D. I didn’t own the camera very long and never intended to invest in the Canon system, so I rented a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM lens from BorrowLenses.com. It cost me about $100 for the week. The 7D has a 1.6 crop factor giving me equivalent of a 640mm lens (400 x 1.6 = 640).

Shoot in shutter priority. It’s hard to know when and where a wild animal is going to do anything, and they aren’t in the frame very long. A rule of thumb is to set the shutter no lower than the size of the lens, in this case round the number to 1/500.

Avoid the temptation to only put the animal in the scene. Of course, you want some picture with the animal filling the frame if possible, but don’t limit yourself to the one composition. Part of the experience of being on the whale watching boat is the other boats that join in the chase. In the Sound, there is a lot of commercial traffic. Include other boats in the frame to provide perspective and help tell you r story. Did you know boat strikes are one of the leading killers of whales in the wild?

Do you homework before you go. You should know what you are looking for if you want good photos. Do the whales travel alone or in pairs? Do they travel I groups? In the case of a whale, how long does the species you are viewing disappear, minutes or long portions of the hour? One good example is the famous humpback tail. When that tail goes vertical s/he is going deep, and you may not see him for 15-20 minutes.

Bring a standard lens. Part of the story is the people on the boat and the inevitable dolphins surfing the wake of the boat. Your 300-500mm lens is useless in these situations. Interchangeable lenses are one of the joys of owning a DSLR.

Don’t spend all the time behind the camera. Enjoy the time with the whales, others on the boat, and the people who joined you on the excursion.

Enough of my advice. If you’re inspired put a date on your calendar to be a paparazzi yourself. If you see a photo you like put a note in the comments. They’re all for sale.

Calero Reservoir-The Other Silicon Valley

Cinnabar, quicksilver or mercury, it is all the same element. The hills to the south of San Jose used to contain a lot it, whatever you decide to call it. Most of the mercury, used to separate gold from the surrounding rock, was mined and sold during the California gold rush. While much of that cinnabar was mined there remains a significant amount left in the hills making fishing in the Guadalupe watershed hazardous for consumption. Eating those fish full of mercury is very hazardous to your health. Nonetheless, after percolation into the water table, the water is drinkable and that is why the Santa Clara County Water District made Calero Reservoir. At only 2.2 miles long it is not exactly large, but it is big enough for fishing (catch and release only) and boating.

Getting your boat into many lakes and reservoirs within California is a challenging process due to the zebra mussel, a prolific reproducing mussel and invasive species that clogs pipes and other apparatus used by municipal water agencies. A boat inspection and fee must be paid to confirm the vessel has no zebra mussel hitch hikers. I recently purchased another kayak and hadn’t been in Calero for several years. It is close to the house and I figured it was easier to retrieve a potentially leaky boat in shallow fresh water than to sink in Santa Cruz Harbor and Monterey Bay. Having paid the fees and passed the inspection, I put my new-to-me Redfish kayak in the water to check its nautical qualities.

Calero is a great wildlife viewing lake and well suited to paddle craft. A kayak is a great platform for photography, especially on a smooth lake. A talk with the ranger revealed a bald eagle nest resides alongside the bank which gave me something to keep a look out for, in addition to the dear, great blue heron and snowy egrets, an osprey, and other waterfowl. In fact, this is a great place for amateur ornithologists and casual bird watchers.

The reservoir is fed by four streams, mostly rain run off in the rainy season. Tule plants grow along the side of the lake make the stream entrances easy to identify. Over time they have intruded into the lake and consequently have made it more beautiful over time. The tule patches provide good fishing holes, give both paddle and power boats a place to go and are a good place for shore anglers to spend a day via a trail that circumnavigates the lake.

During my four plus mile round trip paddle of the lake to confirm the seaworthiness of my “new” kayak, I spotted a dear (actually, it spotted me) and a variety of waterfowl and plant life. I had a waterproof Nikon AW100 with me on the boat to record both video of the paddle and stills if the opportunity presented itself. As the comfortable summer morning approached noon, I took a few pictures of the lake and some of its guests.

Not having spotted either the osprey or eagles, I decided to return for an evening photo session to take advantage of the golden hour. During my return trip I had the chance to enjoy the soft golden shades of the late day sun, chat with a few anglers, and listen to boaters and personal watercraft people talk about “that photographer with the really big lens.” For the evening session I brought out my Nikon D7100 that was matched with a Nikon 70-400mm zoom lens most of the time. The crop factor on the D7100 is 1.5 making the field of view equivalent to 600mm on a 35mm or full frame camera. There is a lot to see at this local reservoir and it provides an opportunity to slow down and enjoy both nature and what people do in wild, natural settings.

I am sure I’ll be returning in the coming months, camera in hand and boots on the trails. Due to COVID the county has temporarily suspended the entrance fee making trips easy and convenient.

Oh yea, the boat. Here it is a couple of days later at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, CA

Postcard from Stuart Island

It starts at about San Luis Obispo. The desert that meets the Pacific in Southern California and the O.C. gives way to taller trees, the coast line gets tall and hilly, and the fog is blocked by the coastal range; the water gets cooler and the mammals change. By Big Sur whales, sea otters, and elephant seals rule the coastal waters and smaller fish seek the protection of kelp forests that mirror the forests on the land. From the Central Coast all the way up past Victoria Island British Columbia the fog mingles with the trees and sometimes creates an almost other worldly mist that shines through and illuminates the sun’s rays between the branches of Redwoods and conifers.

Walking Path, Stuart Island

Today’s postcard comes from Stuart Island in Washington state. After paddling from San Juan Island to Stuart the previous day we pitched our tents in a public campground for the night but were greeted by a morning rain. The summer in Puget Sound is both beautiful and sunny but also frequently rainy. Marty, our kayak guide, gave us a short-day hike to the top of the island with the expectation of a paddle after it cleared up. In addition to getting our minds off the rain, it gave us a chance to see if the orcas that had left the Strait of Juan de Fuca had returned. (They didn’t and we were skunked for the four days on the water.) Along the way to the island summit I took the above picture.

Reed harbor, Stuart Island, Washington

When I returned to sell the photo back in the Bay Area, most potential customers asked where in the local coastal range I had taken the picture. “Not here”, I replied, “it is in Puget Sound.” Over the years I have come to recognize this view throughout the Redwood band in California from Big Sur and Santa Cruz at Basin State Park, to the Avenue of the Giants near Eureka.

I’d like to be in the San Juan Islands right now. Instead of giving you COVID 19, please accept my postcards from Stuart Island, sans the gas, ferry fees, and ten-mile kayak paddle.

Postcards-Austin, Texas

Today’s postcard comes from August 2006. I was in Austin, Texas visiting family and we went over to the University of Texas. It was late August it was hot and compared to California, a bit muggy. We visited the university library (of course I’m a history teacher) and the LBJ Presidential Library (did I mention I teach history?) In ’06 the university was in full swing moving online and we saw old card catalogs sitting on the floor with nothing to do. Every drawer was empty. We also saw a couple of interesting monuments which left little doubt what the university thought about the Civil War and the Lost Cause with statues of Jefferson Davis (President of CSA), Albert Sidney Johnston (Confederate general) and Robert E. Lee on display.  These were in stark contrast to the display of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Great Society information in LBJ’s library. But on this hot and muggy afternoon I was interested in other things.

Armed with a new Nikon D50 and two lenses, I was on my own little photo safari and my hunt required prey that was not a typical touristy spot. I found these willing subjects in a pond on campus. The dragonfly seemed to fly over to me and smile so I took his portrait. A science education colleague of mine said I should submit it for a biology textbook cover.

These turtles had more choice about being in the water or out than we did, and their presence seemed to mock us poor humans who were hot, sticky, hungry, and generally a bit miserable. As though laughing at our predicament, they crawled out of the pond, climbed on each other and played a little game (not really right to call it leap-frog is it?) and  then slid back into the water. For our part we went across the street and had a burrito.

In 2006 I had no idea photography would become such an important part of my life. I purchased a DSLR on purpose because I knew I wanted interchangeable lenses and I wanted to look through the lens before pressing the shutter. Both of those wants led me to a digital single lens reflex camera. These two photos were taken with the kit 55-200mm lens. Seeing them fourteen years later reminds me that the stock equipment is frequently very good and my desire to spend much more money on professional glass is not always justified by the outcome.

I hope you enjoyed these two postcards from the University of Texas, Austin. Maybe you’ve been to Austin. Did it make an impression? Don’t forget it’s always better to give than receive postcards.