Sunday, June 8, 2008


Yesterday, Jeremy and I took a staycation (not a "steak-acation", as he had hoped)...I had heard about people doing staycations, where you basically act like you're on vacation in your own city and do things that a tourist might do. Well, believe it or not, even after 10 years of living in the Bay Area, I had never been to Angel Island! So, with the weather gods smiling upon us, we hopped on our bikes and headed down towards the ferry at pier 41.

We stopped first at the Ferry Building and bought some yummy Vietnamese meatball sandwiches, which we ate in the grass:




We were quite early for the ferry, so we rode down aquatic park, and then the Marina green...there were lots of people out and about enjoying the beautiful weather! Eventually we ended up back at Pier 41 to board our ferry. Like our walks, it felt like we were in a different city! The people are just so different in this part of town than in the Mission...makes for some really fun people watching!

We finally made it over to Angel Island and rode the perimeter of the island. First of all, WOW! I can't believe I had never been there...the 360 degree views of the bay are just stunning.



staycation-view of GG bridge from angel island

What a beautiful way to spend the day! We love San Francisco! We're totally visiting again!


P.S. I think I'm getting closer to fine-tuning the camera settings...I like these photos much more than the ones I took earlier in the week...
P.P.S. In case you're wondering how the heck I kept up with Jeremy on a bike, he rode his single speed...and he was still faster than me. But it did level the playing field quite a bit. :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Walk with Me

I've think I've mentioned before that I really love my job, but lately I have been struggling a bit with the lifestyle of a designer. Namely, that I spend all day sitting in a chair, staring at a computer. I notice often that when riding my bike home, it can be difficult for me to focus on distances further away than 2-5 feet. Additionally, the human body (at least not this human's body) isn't built to sit in a single seat for 9-10 hours a day. Another bummer is that I work quite late, not getting home until 7 or 7:30PM most days (oh how I envy people who leave the office at 5PM!!!).

In an effort to counteract all of these effects, Jeremy and I have begun taking walks after work, which is nice since the sun is setting so late these days. Not only is the light beautiful at this time of day, but it means that we get to explore nearby neighborhoods. Yesterday, I took my new camera out with me (Jeremy just bought me a Leica D-Lux 3!). The walk helps make my body feel better after a long day in a chair, but shooting photos helps counteract the computer-stare I've developed after looking at the screen all day. Plus, it really gets me ready for our trip...looking hard, noticing things I may not notice during our daily routine.

Last night we took a long stroll up and down the streets of Potrero Hill, and it was like discovering a different city! There were a lot of houses and other details that I may not have noticed if passing by in a car, and we wandered down streets we never knew of. Here are some photos I shot last night with our new camera:

I loved how the crack in the sidewalk extended all the way up to the doors:


This one I shot for Kara, who misses beauganvillia:

beauganvillia (for kara)

This was a crazy mosaic on a bench we found:


I love the soft colors and focus of this one:


The light was just gorgeous at this time:



All in all, loving the new camera, though I still need to fine tune the settings. The colors are not coming out as saturated as I would like. You might be thinking, "Uh, are you crazy? Look at photo 1 and 2, Hope!" OK, and I'll let you in on a little secret...I just found out about this tool called Picnik, which is kind of like an online, dummy-proof Photoshop. I don't love the editing capabilities, but their built-in filters are awesome!!! You can add vignetting or make the photo look as if it was shot with a Lomo or Holga. For example, in the beauganvillia image above, I added the "Lomo-ish" filter. Here it is as it came out of the camera:


Same with the image of the doors. I did a bunch of processing on that one...boosted the contrast, saturation, and exposure, then added the vignetting filter. Here's the original:


I'm not too sure if I will use Picnik often with both Photoshop and Aperture at my disposal, but it is a fun and easy way to add effects.