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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and Fort Point

Tonight’s Giants game was a sad state of affairs. To go back a bit, the Giants and Dodgers rivalry dates all the way back to the late 19th century in the team’s New York days. To date, this rivalry tops all the other rivalries, including the Yankees-Red Sox and Cardinals-Cubs. So, any time these teams meet up in the regular season, its intense and played hard. Then there was tonight’s game…

In an effort to stay positive, I’ll briefly comment on the GOOD of tonight’s game. Zito had a good start and I still think that this will be his year. He had good command of various pitches and his curveball was as filthy as ever. Joaquin Arias went 3 for 3 and scored the Giants only RBI. That’s about it, Giants fans!! Could we have won tonight’s game? Sure, but unfortunately the rules of baseball wouldn’t allow for Joaquin Arias to pinch hit for EACH AND EVERY POSITION IN THE LINEUP. Our bats were more than silent, they were asleep. We proved that we lack the ability to make adjustments, so teams will continue to exploit our deficiencies. That’s the BAD.

Here’s the UGLY! The Giants led the league with 33 errors in the few weeks that baseball has been playing. Watching tonight’s game was as gut wrenching as my son’s little league games with all the busy bodies making error after error. After I couldn’t watch any more and stepped away, I turned the radio on to hear how incredulous the announcer was at everything that was happening and continued to happen through the top of the 9th. I don’t know folks, but it can only go up from here, right???? Hello?? (crickets….)

Anyway, I got to thinking today what I want to get out of this blog. Better yet, what topics do I want to discuss and what target audience am I going after. As delicious as constantly ranting about the Giants sounds, I think that would get a little old and I wouldn’t get many followers other than those that agree with my rants or would like to add their point of view.

So, let’s work back to the reason I chose the title of this blog and get back to camera and photo “stuff”. What I would love is to be able to combine all of my loves into one blog that I could get a broad audience following and have the conversations go wherever…and back. Obviously, focused  on photography (pun intended). So what are these loves, you ask? Well, I love the Giants, so we’ll talk about the Giants and I’ll share my ballpark photographs as I post new material. I love San Francisco and the Bay Area!! This is the best city ON THE PLANET!! Activities to enjoy and photograph abound. So, we’ll talk about the City and I’ll share my favorite spots with you. Do we stop there? NOPE. So let’s not only talk about the photography and points to consider when you are visiting these sites and others like them, but discuss different techniques that work for me for getting the shots I enjoy taking.

I’d welcome your comments as well, since I think this would be a great forum for thoughts to be shared and questions to be answered. Listen, I don’t have the answers to everything, but someone out there does. Let’s ask the questions that get people thinking and excited about photography. The digital world we find ourselves in today is the most exciting time in photography, other than the invention of the camera. The thought of being able to instantaneously inspect, evaluate and determine if another shot is required all as the action is happening is priceless. I wasn’t even into photography when digital cameras were non-existent and I still am grateful for this.

Another thing I always loved was a show called “Bay Area Backroads.” It aired on the weekends up until a few years ago and was hosted by Doug McConnell. It was basically about him uncovering all the little nooks and crannies of the Bay Area that most people overlook and exposed their beauty. I loved watching that show and thinking to myself that I wanted to head out to those spots. So, can I be your Doug McConnell? Probably not, since I am still learning the Bay Area one day at a time, but I will certainly show you the spots that I love and will constantly check on new spots to photograph and possibly get someone out of their couches and out the door to the beautiful outdoors of the Bay Area. If there is a spot that is one of your favorites and would like to see my photographic interpretation, please feel free to send me the details and I’ll get right on it!!

So what about Fort Point? I happened to stumble across Fort Point this weekend while my son was at a classmate’s birthday party celebration at Crissy Field in the Presidio. I had probably noticed the structure once or twice while in the Golden Gate Bridge area, but just probably didn’t realize what it really was. Now that I had the time to check it out up close and personal, I am sooo glad I did and want to tell everyone else about it.

The spot where Fort Point now sits has been the site of some form of defense for the San Francisco coastline dating back to the Spanish era of possession of this land. As it changed hands from Spain to Mexico to the US, the site has seen a few different structures all meant for the same purpose. The structure that we now see that sits underneath the Golden Gate Bridge was erected just shortly before the Civil War. From what I was able to read during my short time through the Fort, it was fortified for the Civil War to defend against a possible Confederate attack of the Bay Area that never came. After the Civil War, the structure took on several other purposes, such as a bunker, barracks and training facilities. Eventually, the structure stood silent and has since been named a historic site.

Although it has it’s museum-like theme with staged rooms to give a feel to what a Civil War era soldier would have lived with, the Fort operates in a very open manner without structured tour guides or pre-recorded tour via headphones. I did notice a few volunteers dressed in Civil War attire that were interacting with the little ones along with occasional volunteers that were walking around to assist patrons. They have a small bookstore/gift shop with many cool posters and books that relate to the Fort and Bay Bridge above.

I would say that this place merits a good part of the afternoon to be able to take it all in. There’s plenty to read about on the walls and plenty to keep the kids entertained for a few hours with all the gun powder rooms, canons and stuff that goes “boom”. On the way out, please be sure to drop a few bucks in the donation bucket.

Below are a few of my favorite photos taken this last Saturday. As you can probably already tell, I look for the interesting view points in my photography. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wide-angle touristy shots, cause I took plenty of those too. But, in an artistic endeavour, I will focus on this type of view-point. All of the indoor shots were taken at high ISO without the use of a tripod or image stabilization. Finding a way to “act” as a tripod to take some of these proved to be interesting, but you do what you have to do to get the shot. One good way that I have found to mimic a tripod when one isn’t around is to find a wall to lean against. If you lean on the wall so that it supports your weight, you can usually find added stability to press the camera up to your face and create sufficient stability to take a shot under low light conditions. Obviously, the higher the ISO your camera can go and the faster your lens is all goes to help the situation. If you happen to have high ISO, image stabilization and a fast lens, you might even be able to take shots like these while moving…HARDLY!!



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