San Francisco Fog / Portsmouth Harbor

Today’s post is a double feature.  The first image is a treat from home base for the next few days….the view of San Francisco Bay.  This is the fog that San Francisco is so renowned for….once it blew over, you could see Alcatraz just about dead center in the frame.  I’ll try to snap a good sunset shot before we hit the road for Yellowstone.

Below is a treat from a Portsmouth Harbor Cruise from the summer….what had been the sunset cruise that set sail at 7pm became more of a city lights cruise as the light had retreated as we made our way under the Memorial Bridge.  I didn’t quite mind though – as there was a beautiful crescent moon and the planet Venus hanging out just to its right.  This shot is one of my recent favorites – as it silhouettes two of Portsmouth’s icons under a summer sky.  The Memorial Bridge and the North Church mark the city’s skyline.

An Evening in Pacifica

As you may have heard – I’ll be spending the following week west of the Mississippi!  I’m in San Francisco for a few days and will be heading to Yellowstone (and driving through Grand Teton National Park).  My brothers and I headed out tonight with every intention of shooting the San Francisco skyline from Treasure Island (across the bay from the Financial District)…however the fog had different plans for us.  After exploring the area and some seriously windy roads, we decided to throw in the towel (thankfully – because my stomach couldn’t take it much longer).  We decided to head to a calmer spot south of the city – Pacifica.  Dave has some awesome shots of the pier at sunset….but we decided oceanfront and waves sounded pretty good….so today’s shots feature a couple night captures.  Above I went for a different black  & white treatment to play around with some different processing.

Below, I loved the evening sky and the stars and the stark contrast against our own planet’s beachfront.  Looking forward to sharing more from the voyage throughout the week.  Stay tuned!

Dusk at the Fish Pier

I felt like I’d been neglecting Prescott Park lately so I made a point to head down this past week.  I ended up spending nearly all my time on one of the piers…and I didn’t quite mind that I didn’t do much other shooting, the pastel colors of the sky were so interesting.  I also love this scene – it seems like there’s always a different array of boats, and I’m drawn to the reflection of the evening lights on the water.

The Walkway | Portsmouth Harbor Light

Today’s images feature the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse located at Fort Constitution…as seen from the outside.  (Earlier this week I featured the geometric beauty of the interior staircase).  If you haven’t been – I can’t encourage you enough to catch one of the open houses…if for nothing else than to take a stroll and enjoy the view from the top of the structure…and marvel at the really old structure (that has a fresh coat of paint).

The Post Office | Rebuilding Portsmouth

As you may or may not know, the giant hulking structure in this shot to the left (very clearly a federal building), is the Post Office of Portsmouth.  The Post Office and the other federal tenants inside the building are slated for relocation to a new space in the Pease Tradeport in 2014.  Normally, this really wouldn’t be very interesting except for some commercial real estate being vacant….HOWEVER, because the building will be conveyed to the city of Portsmouth – this means that a world of opportunity awaits and the city could get a drastic facelift.

As seen in this shot from Bow Street, the property goes from the front entrance of the building on Daniel Street (across from the Press Room), all the way to the street side on Bow St.  The parking area is massive, and as seen from above (google map below)…the parcel is huge and basically represents the largest redevelopment in Portsmouth since the redevelopment of Market Square.  Pretty exciting stuff on the horizon – let’s hope the process goes smoothly and the city gets a great upgrade.

Thanks to my good friend Brian Matiash for helping select a shot for today’s post…I’ve got a few in the queue and within an instant of seeing this one, it caught his eye (which says a lot since he’s got a ridiculously keen eye). Head over to his page to check him out.
View Larger Map

Out on the Porch

There’s not much that says New England like a welcoming front porch.  With these adirondack chairs in place flanking the front door, this looks like it’s probably one of the most relaxing places to sit with a morning coffee and a newspaper.  I loved the scene as it caught my eye while driving through New Castle the other day…and though it would be a perfect subject to share.  The real challenge is whether you can identify the property…pretty easily recognizable from a different angle, which I’ll feature at some point down the road.  In the meantime, welcome to the porch!

Moran Towing | Tugboats of Portsmouth

I think that everyone deserves a regular taste of the Portsmouth Tugboats (especially those of you great folks from far away that don’t get to drive past them each day).  I typically shoot the scene in a landscape frame….but I wanted to feature a vertical shot of everyone’s favorite tugs.  Thanks to Moran Towing for keeping the towing business alive and well in our tricky Piscataqua River…I’ve noticed a huge uptick in the frequency of freighters coming into town over the past few weeks.  This is a sure sign that fall is upon us….the sand & salt piles will continue to grow…and that the snow will fly again (despite our best efforts to forget winter each year).

Also, below is a shot of the Martingale Wharf project as seen from the waterfront.  It’s not until you get out on the water side of Bow Street and view the building head on, that you can fully appreciate how much the waterfront is changing.

The Staircase | Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse

As I wrote yesterday, New Hampshire has the smallest coastline of any oceanfront state in the US.  One of the treasures along our coast is the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse.  I decided to head over to the open house hosted by the Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse.  These great folks host an open house on Sundays throughout the summer…and I was happy to take advantage.  I’d been to a tour a few years back before I bought my beloved Canon 5d Mark II….and had been itching to get back to shoot the interior ever since.  Since the lighthouse is located on an active Coast Guard station, it had pretty tight security due to the significance of this somber weekend.

The lighthouse is just awesome…I’ll stay away from the technical aspects of the lighthouse and encourage you to take a tour to hear more about it.  The staircase is a marvel as seen from below with its rich brick walls and industrial stairs.  I’ll feature more from my stop later in the week…but for now I’ll let you enjoy the stairs and the window.

The New Hampshire Coastline

The New Hampshire coastline is the smallest of all the coastal states in the US with only eighteen miles of shoreline.  This weekend I went out on an early morning voyage with my brother, we grabbed a quick breakfast at The Golden Egg and then headed for the coastline.  It wasn’t the best light of the day, but the mid morning sun was great and the waves were interesting enough for some shooting.  This shot was taken near the sharp turn on Ocean Boulevard, past Ray’s Seafood heading south.  The waves gave us a few gifts, and made some threatening splashes to the rocks we were standing on over the shore.

I love how the coastline hugs the frame along with the motion of the splashing water.  I think this calls for a return visit during sunrise sometime soon…maybe later in the fall when it’s a bit colder with some biting temperatures.

Whaleback Lighthouse

A little lighthouse flavor to get your weekend started off right….

This shot was taken from a harbor cruise on The Heritage on a glorious summer afternoon.  It was the first time I was able to get up close and personal with Whaleback Light with my camera….gorgeous lighting.  I’m looking forward to my next visit.

This lighthouse was put up for auction by the Coast Guard not long ago, and is now owned and maintained by the American Lighthouse Foundation based out of Rockland, Maine (same folks who operate the Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse).

I also want to take a moment to remember all those whose lives were lost in the tragedy of 9/11/01.  Hard to believe it was nine years ago today.