Category Archives: Photography

Berkeley Street Seens: A frog on Shattuck Ave.


Spotted on the sidewalk whilst on our way to hoist a pint with pals in downtown Berkeley:

4 September 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 21.8 mm, 1/400 sec, f5.4

4 September 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 21.8 mm, 1/400 sec, f5.4

And now for something completely different


Namely, volcanic eruption.

From RT:

Aerial Iceland volcano footage: Lava fountains, huge smoke clouds

Program notes:

The alert warning for the area surrounding Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano was kept at orange on Tuesday, indicating that it is showing increased unrest with greater potential for an eruption. Since August 16, a series of earthquakes in the area have created breaks in the Vatnajokull glacier, which is northeast of the volcano. The tremors have created cracks in the glacier, allowing streams of lava to pour through. In the past 72 hours, the volcanic activity has increased dramatically, with the lava now covering an area of more than four square kilometres.

 

Forget selfies: Nowadays it’s gotta be dronies


We begin with a clip from Bloomberg News explaining just what a dronie is and looking at a piece of hardware for the task:

See the $1,300 Drone That Can Take Your ‘Dronie’ Selfies

Program note:

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone tries out the $1,300 drone that can take your picture.

Now on to the dronies, which you can find in growing numbers of YouTube, Vimeo, and other video posting sites.

First up, from Scandinavian vlogger Olli Huttunen:

Dronie for my mother 70th birthday

Program note:

This dronie is for my mother. She had her 70th birthday and we where celebrating that with my brother and my sister and their families. Nice group!

Next on to the Eternal city with the Alvin Ang:

Dronie at the Colosseum

Program note:

A dronie taken during our holiday at the Colosseum. Thank God for a safe flight and safe flying conditions :)

No birds were harmed during the taking of this video. Just some curious birds that kept flying round the craft :)

And from Scotland [soon to be independent, or not], via vlogger NadTob:

Dronie Kilchurn Castle (from the air)

Program note:

Dronie @ Kilchurn Castle, Scotland. We used the beautiful scenery of the Kilchurn Castle in Scotland to take a video shot from above.

Another ruin dronie, this time in the United Arab Emirates from vlogger Kim Marc Krüger:

Dhayah Fort #Dronie

Program note:

First #dronie with a P2V+ at Dhayah Fort in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

And from E.T. Phoned Home:

Dronie at Piedmont Park in Atlanta Georgia

Program note:

This was our first attempt at a Dronie. The dronie was taken at Piedmont Park in Atlanta Georgia.

Next, a Texas dronie from Steve Behen:

Dronies in the Hood

Program note:

Mckinney Texas Dronie with a Sunset.

To close, from vlogger Daniel C:

Moms Backyard Dronie

Program not

July 4, 2014 Backyard Dronie

Reports: Ferguson, Missouri, and militarized cops


Three video reports, two from Democracy Now! and one from RT America, look at the Washington-fund-and-armed militarization of American police and the ongoing war on photographers and journalists by police unhappy with their reports.

From Democracy Now!:

Program notes:

Protests are continuing in Ferguson, Missouri, over the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager who was shot by police on Saturday. But the mood in Ferguson has changed drastically over the past 24 hours. On Wednesday night, the city looked like a warzone as police fired tear gas, stun grenades and smoke bombs. Police arrested at least 10 people, including a St. Louis alderman and two journalists. But last night the mood was less tense after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon put an African-American highway patrol captain, Ron Johnson, in charge of security in the town of Ferguson. Johnson marched with protesters and ordered the riot gear put away. We go to St. Louis to speak with the Rev. Renita Lamkin, who was hit with a rubber bullet by police on Wednesday while attending the protest, and Patricia Bynes, Democratic committee member of Ferguson Township.

[Editor's Note: Rev. Renita Lamkin was incorrectly identified during the interview. Democracy Now! regrets the error.]

From Democracy Now! again:

Cops or Soldiers? Pentagon, DHS Helped Arm Police in Ferguson with Equipment Used in War

Program notes:

The events in Ferguson over the past week have sparked a national debate over racial profiling and the militarization of local police forces. On Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder said, “I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message.” What Holder did not mention was the federal government’s role in supplying local police forces with military-grade equipment. The New York Times reports Department of Homeland Security grant money paid for the $360,000 Bearcat armored truck on patrol in Ferguson. Most of the body armor worn by officers responding to the Ferguson protests was also paid for with federal money. We speak to Radley Balko, author of the book, “Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces.” “When we take domestic police officers and we train them like soldiers and we give them military gear and we dress them up like soldiers and we tell them they’re fighting a war — a war on crime or a war on terror — they’re going to start to see themselves as soldiers,” Balko says.

And from RT America:

Controlling the narrative: Ferguson police target journalists

Program notes:

Journalists reporting on the unrest in Ferguson, MO were in the crosshairs of police Wednesday night, with violence and intimidation directed at many prominent journalists. Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post made headlines after being confronted, assaulted and arrested without reason or justification given, while a crew from Al Jazeera America was targeted by SWAT forces who fired tear gas directly at the team while filming a protest. Christopher Chambers, a journalism professor at Georgetown University, explains to RT’s Ameera David why law enforcement seem to be targeting members of the media.

UPDATE: On a related note, consider this chart from Reuters:

BLOG Noteworthy

PhotoPlay: Encountering a bellicose scofflaw


Back toward the end of our reporting days with the Berkeley Daily Planet, we set out one afternoon to cover a story, then made an impromptu decision to photograph of some of the properties of Reza Valiyee, a landlord who routinely flouted city zoning laws, transforming yards into concrete parking spaces needed to accommodate students who rented former single-family residence and small apartments transformed by more non-permitted construction into densely packed rooming houses. [For one former tenant’s account of life of one of Valiyee’s abodes see this post at Miheespeaking’s Blog, which also uses one of our photos without attribution.]

Even with the concrete paving expanses, the resulting dwellings grabbed more scarce street parking, irritating neighbors, who flooded the city with complaints.

Oh, and he also claims to have invented a perpetual motion machine.

A photographic close encounter

Here’s what happened when slowed our car and grabbed our camera to shoot one instance of concrete metastasis.

As I grabbed my first shot, an overall-clad worker alerted the gentlemen in center frame, who then stomped over his non-permitted curb cut, the non-permitted concrete expanses visible in the background.

13 August 2009, Nikon D300, ISO 320, 48 mm, 1/1000 sec, f5.6

13 August 2009, Nikon D300, ISO 320, 48 mm, 1/1000 sec, f5.6

It was, of course, Reza Valiyee, who thrust his hand through the open car window and made a grab for my not-inexpensive camera and lens, banging the Nikon body into our eyeglasses.

13 August 2009, Nikon D300, ISO 320, 18 mm, 1/4000 sec, f5.6

13 August 2009, Nikon D300, ISO 320, 18 mm, 1/4000 sec, f5.6

Needless to say, we kept shooting, getting this:.

13 August 2009, Nikon D300, ISO 320, 38 mm, 1/640 sec, f5.6

13 August 2009, Nikon D300, ISO 320, 38 mm, 1/640 sec, f5.6

Here’s how we described the 13 August 2009 encounter in a 20 August Berkeley Daily Planet story, which only used the last of the photos.

A reporter who drove past one of his properties Friday afternoon found himself in a momentarily tense confrontation with the scofflaw landlord.

Within seconds after the reporter began shooting photographs from inside his car of a Valiyee rental at the southwest corner of Ellsworth and Derby streets, a worker doing plumbing repairs spotted the camera and went to fetch Valiyee.

The pair approached the car, and both men repeatedly reached inside the car to cover the camera lens, the worker demanding, “Where’s your permit to take pictures?”

“It’s called the First Amendment,” the reporter replied.

Finally Valiyee told his employee to ease off, and he asked the reporter why he was taking pictures.

After he was told that neighbors had complained about illegal construction, Valiyee said, “All I am doing is providing housing for students who really need it.”

Street Seens: A remarkable Berkeley building


The run-down building at the northeast corner of the intersection of 65th Street and San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley has been transformed into what is perhaps the city’s most remarkable display of street art. We dodged traffic to grab a few shots.

And, as usual, click on the images to enlarge:

We begin with the fence to the north of the building facing San Pablo Avenue:

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 6.9 mm, 1/1300 sec, f3.9

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 6.9 mm, 1/1300 sec, f3.9

Next up, the building’s northern wall, which largely escapes the attention of passers-by:

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 6.9 mm, 1/1300 sec, f3.9

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 6.9 mm, 1/1300 sec, f3.9

The next four shots feature two scenes from the building’s San Pablo Avenue footage, first with this strange critter:

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 4.3 mm, 1/320 sec, f4

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 4.3 mm, 1/320 sec, f4

Next, more of the frontage:

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 13.3 mm, 1/400 sec, f5

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 13.3 mm, 1/400 sec, f5

And a detail of a door critter with a Freudian nose:

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 5.4 mm, 1/400 sec, f3.6

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 5.4 mm, 1/400 sec, f3.6

And this hidden detail, on the side of column, may explain the nasal condition:

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 5.4 mm, 1/400 sec, f4

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 5.4 mm, 1/400 sec, f4

Next, the western half of the building’s southern wall:

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 6.9 mm, 1/800 sec, f3.9

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 6.9 mm, 1/800 sec, f3.9

And the eastern half:

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 4.8 mm, 1/1000 sec, f4

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 4.8 mm, 1/1000 sec, f4

A detail:

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 41.3 mm, 1/500 sec, f5.6

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 41.3 mm, 1/500 sec, f5.6

And, finally, the fence to the southeast:

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 41.3 mm, 1/500 sec, f5.6

27 July 2014, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 41.3 mm, 1/500 sec, f5.6

From NASA: A Solar Filament Erupts


Via Astronomy Picture of the Day. And do click on the image to enlarge to its full spectacularity:

BLOG Solar flare

Explanation:

What’s happened to our Sun? Nothing very unusual — it just threw a filament. Toward the middle of 2012, a long standing solar filament suddenly erupted into space producing an energetic Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). The filament had been held up for days by the Sun’s ever changing magnetic field and the timing of the eruption was unexpected. Watched closely by the Sun-orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, the resulting explosion shot electrons and ions into the Solar System, some of which arrived at Earth three days later and impacted Earth’s magnetosphere, causing visible aurorae. Loops of plasma surrounding an active region can be seen above the erupting filament in the ultraviolet image. Over the past week the number of sunspots visible on the Sun unexpectedly dropped to zero, causing speculation that the Sun has now passed a very unusual solar maximum, the time in the Sun’s 11-year cycle when it is most active.