Sunrise Excursion

December 30, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

This morning I woke up early, so I decided to take a little hike on one of our many hiking trails. I’d like to say it was for the numerous health benefits of hiking, but in actuality, it was to try out my new Sony a6000 camera, with a 16-50mm zoom lens. I also took some shots with a 55-200mm zoom lens.

After defrosting the windows on my car, I drove the 3 miles to the trail-head at San Francisco Bay Trail here in Palo Alto. I arrived about 20 minutes before sunrise. The first three pictures I took are below.
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Left: The first image I took with the new camera.
Center:  Bullet-riddled sign for the Bayland Nature Preserve.
Right: Bicycle statue commemorating a bike-loving patron (whose name I forgot to document) who was instrumental in establishing this trail.

As sunrise approached, I began to see a little color on the horizon.
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Left: Facing southeast from my embarkation point.
Center: Facing east.
Right: Facing northeast.

The trail parallels the CA-101 freeway. The place I was shooting from was between San Antonio Rd to the south and Oregon Expressway to the north.
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Left: Frontage road separating the freeway and the bike/hiking paths.
Center: Just a tree.
Right: The sun is peeking through the trees.

As the sunrise progressed, the ‘Kodak moment’ opportunities increased dramatically.
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Left: I hiked about 100 feet north, (I know, I know Ernie, don’t strain yourself), and took a picture of the sunrise through the ‘just a tree’ tree in the above photo series. Also, on the right side of this picture, you can see how well the bike path is maintained.
Center: I switched to the 55-200mm zoom lens and took a similar shot.
Right: If you look toward the center right of this image, you’ll see a solitary duckie moseying along on the marsh.

Next, I set out on the Bayland Nature Preserve hiking trail.
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Left: I found a few more honkers and quackers as I began my hike. They seemed perfectly content.
Center: I found this lonely mushroom/toadstool on the path. It seemed oddly out-of-place in this environment.
Right: There are a number of benches provided for one to rest their hiking-weary bones.

Alas, my hiking/photo-journalistic foray soon came to an abrupt end. About 1/4 mile into the hike, I came to a crossroads; and there was mud in all directions, so I had to turn around. Like I mentioned earlier, the bike path is well maintained; the hiking path…not so much. Even a week after our last rainfall, the trails were impassable. There is not much you can do when dirt and water merge in such great quantities…except wait.
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Left: Mud to the left.
Center: Mud to the right.
Right: Mud dead ahead.

I took a few more pictures on my way back to the trail head.
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Left: Water fowl.
Center: More water fowl.
Right: Foul water.

All in all, I am pleased with the new camera. There were a few auto-focus issues, and a few issues with auto-depth of field, (not pictured in this BLOG post). Those, however, were operator ignorance and not a problem with the camera itself. I can’t wait to really try all the features this camera has. They are too numerous to list here.

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