Pier Reflection

Location: Lake Cunningham, San Jose
Time: Sunrise
EXIF: Canon EOS 7D | EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM | 10mm | f/16 | 1/3s | ISO 100

I have been to Lake Cunningham Regional Park several times and always came up with a couple of good shots. The core group (except one person) decided to go to Lake Cunningham for Sunrise. One of those days where there was a lot of debate the previous night about where we should go for Sunrise. I didn’t feel like going anywhere far. So, I told the group that I am heading to Lake Cunningham as I wanted to execute a particular shot. Basically, I tried this shot last time but didn’t’ quite get it so wanted to try it again.

The group asked about potential shots we could get there and I sent them a few shots I took last time I was there. They were all interested and wanted to join. One of my friends came to my place and we carpooled together. Lake Cunningham is just about 15 minutes from my place. We met with the other two at the park.

When we go there, I realized that the shot I wanted to execute wasn’t possible as the Sun’s azimuth changed. I realized that where I thought the Sun was going to come up is not where it actually will. We did see a lot of clouds and colors already started to pop. All four of us went in different direction to find a comp we liked.

The last few times I was here, I wanted to get the reflection of the Pier. Unfortunately, the lens I had wasn’t wide enough and the Sun didn’t line up. This time around I had an ultra-wide lens that I knew will help me get the entire reflection. I also saw that the Sun was lining up nicely behind the Pier and all the action was happening behind the Pier.

I positioned myself in a place where I thought I’d be able to get full reflection. The place I was standing was a boat dock, which was covered with bird poop. I am not kidding. The entire dock was covered in poop. There was absolutely no way for me to step on the dock without stepping on poop. Of course, I stepped on poop. Anything for a good shot J

Apart from bird poop, there was another problem. The dock was moving for wind, waves, and when anyone walked. I knew that setting up the tripod wasn’t going to work. I waited for my friend to get off the dock, stood still and fired a few shots.

Looking at the Camera LCD, I realized that I got some good shots. I never trust the Camera LCD though. So many times, I have trusted that only to come home and realize the shots were not sharp or out of focus. This time around, I did end up with a good shot. I bracketed the shots so I merged the 3 shots in Lightroom and processed using my normal workflow.

Sunrise Serenity!

Location: Lake Cunningham, San Jose
Time: Sunrise
EXIF: Canon EOS 7D | EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM | 10mm | f/16 | 1/2s | ISO 100

One of those situations where Escaype predicted high numbers for inland areas. Whenever this happens, I scramble to figure out where to go. There are only few inland options that I have found so far. I definitely need to explore a bit more and find a few options in the San Jose, Morgan Hill, and Gilroy areas. As usual, I was debating whether to go and more importantly, where to go.

After a bit of back & forth, I decided to head to Lake Cunningham as it was within the area of focus provided by Escaype. I thought even if the sky doesn’t light up, I can get a shot that I messed up last time. Basically, there was a reflection of a boat that took but didn’t realize while shooting that I didn’t frame the entire reflection.

When I got there, it was still a bit dark and I was the only person in the park; at least as far as I could tell. I started exploring to see if there’s any unique comps that I can achieve. I tried getting to the pier to get the reflection but the area was close off. I really didn’t feel like jumping the barricade.

While I was walking around, I suddenly see colors popping up. I ran to this location where I knew I could get some reflection. Most of the colors were happening to the right of this frame. Unfortunately, that’s where the parking lot is. I didn’t want to shoot the parking lot.

I tried to include as much color as I could without including any distracting elements. I have shot from this very location before so I tried to create a slightly different comp. I could see pink colors everywhere. It was a very serene and calm scene. I still was the only person in the park. I enjoyed this Sunrise quite a bit. The sky didn’t burn but the subtle colors were superb.

 

Gold Lining!

Location: Lake Cunningham, San Jose
Time: Sunrise
EXIF: Canon EOS 7D | Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM | 18mm | f/16 | 1/4s | ISO 100

As I have mentioned in my previous posts, one of the biggest challenges these days is deciding where to go. Especially, when Escaype forecast comes with high potential to an area that I am not very familiar with.

That was the case Saturday night. The Forecast came up with very high potential but only for inland areas south of where I live. Monterey was out of question as the high potential was only for inland areas. I didn’t know any good areas. I talked to a few friends but we all came up empty handed. We thought we’d check out Alviso Marina but that was outside of the Escaype mapped area.

We thought about checking out CA 152 as we have seen good sunrise while driving. But didn’t know of any spots to park and we didn’t want to take any chances. So, I decided that I’d go somewhere local as it will be known location and I can wake a bit later.

So, when I woke up in the morning, I debated between Santa Teresa Park and Lake Cunningham. I didn’t know if Almaden Lake Park was open so didn’t even consider that. I decided to check out Lake Cunningham. When I went there, I was basically the only person in the park. At least, in the area that I was walking around.

I was walking around to see if there’s any good comp. Nothing jumped out at me so I kept shooting, trying different things. While I was trying to find a good comp, I noticed that the colors started changing. For a few minutes, the entire sky turned pink except the horizon, which had a golden glow. I decided to use the tree’s reflection in my comp. I tried a couple of shots.

This is a 3 shot blended in LR. Processing was pretty straight-forward. All the colors were already there. All I had to do was slightly enhance it.

 

Sunrise at Lake Cunningham!

Location: Lake Cunningham, San Jose

Time: Sunrise

EXIF: Canon EOS 7D | Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS SM | 10mm | f/8 | 1/50s | ISO 100

One of the biggest challenges within the core Photography group is deciding where to go for Sunrise or Sunset if weather is predicted to be good. We were in one of those debates deciding where to go for Sunrise. Escaype recommended going inland so I decided I’ll try out Lake Cunningham, which is about 15 minutes from home. Almost all (expect one) of the core group decided to join.

I have been to Lake Cunningham for Sunrise before. It was sometime mid last year. I got some decent shots. I was experimenting with a Variable ND Filter but I didn’t like that at all. It has a huge color cast. My goal was to repeat some of the shots and try to execute some new comp ideas,

We got there and we all went to one corner of the Lake to setup our tripods. Even though the colors started appearing, the comp wasn’t quite right. I started moving around and got a couple of different shots but nothing seemed right. A couple of us decided to go into the pier to shoot some boats that were docked. The pier was closed but we decided to jump in. I got a couple of good shots from here but after coming home realized that I didn’t get the complete reflection of boats. I wish I had.

I then moved to a different location and noticed that the clouds and trees were reflecting very well on the lake. So, I decided to setup my tripod and capture this hot. I wasn’t sure if was a keeper but thought it was an interesting comp.

I came back home and processed this multiple ways. I tried to not end up with a really ‘purple’ looking image but the colors were really purplish that day so decided to enhance what was there. Overall, a great morning shooting with the core group. Every time I go out with my Photography friends, I have a lot of fun. We discuss different comp ideas and processing techniques. I wish we took some time to review some of our photos so we can comment & critique. Hopefully, we’ll get to do that soon.