30 June, 2011

Ice Cream

I was walking around in Oakland one afternoon and spotted this person at a Dreyer's shop, near the Rockridge BART station.

27 June, 2011

Learning to Swing

Found myself at a playground this weekend, where a woman was trying to teach a little girl how to swing without needing someone to push her. The woman was clearly having a great time, and she would exaggerate her kicks, while throwing her head back to make eye-contact with the girl.

26 June, 2011


Spotted these folks pressure-washing the stairs to the Powell Street BART/MUNI station on Thursday night.

23 June, 2011


So, I picked up a Fuji X100 around a month ago and I've been keeping it with me ever since. I love that it's small and light enough to take everywhere, but it's still large enough that it still has space for my hands.

I've actually had my eye on it since it was announced the day before Photokina, last year. I was hoping they wouldn't mess up what was so clearly a camera that I wanted, but as the saying goes, "hope is not a strategy." The hardware is amazing, but the firmware is a disaster.

Thankfully, The Fuji Guys recently announced on Twitter that there will indeed be a major firmware update, so we'll see how that goes whenever it shows up. They're listing a new major feature of the update every day, so check them out if you're interested.

Finally, I've shot and posted a bunch of photos I've taken with the X100 here on the blog. In reverse chronological order:

21 June, 2011

Lenny Kravitz visits YouTube HQ

Two weeks ago, Lenny Kravitz stopped by YouTube HQ to play a set with his band and entertain a short interview. He and his band were in the area while supporting the Oakland, CA stop during the band U2's 360° tour. Kravitz has an upcoming album, "Black and White America," set to be released later this year.
The YouTube office is an interesting venue, because there's tons of natural light on the stage, and also there are tons of places to sit and stand. Here, two people pull up a seat on a walkway behind the stage.
There were cameras all over the place (including my own). Lenny did a great job of engaging the crowd during the performance. They switched up a few of the songs, so what we heard that day wasn't just a mixture of old classics with some new tracks, but rather each song was a unique performance in and of itself.
The band really seemed to work well together. At times, they seemed to be jamming, but they always stayed in sync. Here, all the band-members keep their eyes on Lenny while waiting for the end of a song.
The interview covered the gamut from Lenny's former albums to fashion, his youth to his hair. Lenny's charm shone during the interview, such as at the point depicted above when he mentioned how interviewer Donovan's shoes went well with his jacket.

During a question I found particularly interesting, Donovan asked for Lenny's thoughts on the advent of iTunes and similar technologies which enabled consumers to buy a single track from an album, rather than needing to purchase an album in its entirety.

In his response, Lenny likened his albums to works of art. While a sculpture might have a particularly nice arm, he pointed out, the artist's intent is for viewers to see the work in its entirety. Likewise, Lenny responded that even though some people might buy individual tracks, he still designs each album to be enjoyed in its entirety, even down minutia like the lengths of gaps between successive tracks.
The musicians had lunch in the YouTube cafe after the performance, and it was interesting to see how their on-stage persona differed from or matched how they behaved without the spotlights. I was particularly struck by the drummer, pictured above. On-stage, he seemed to be enjoying himself, but in a restrained manner that still enabled him to concentrate.

Once the interview was over, though, he started hamming it up with whoever was paying attention. He went out of his way to offer to take pictures with people, and subsequently started dancing with a woman who I believe was trying to shuffle him along so that band could get back on the road.

You can find the rest of the images here. And finally, a note. If you know the names of the band-members, I would love to know. I was able to find that the guitarist with the big hair is Craig Ross, but the pianist, bassist, and drummer are still mysteries. Leave a comment if you know, thanks!

19 June, 2011

Sleep on your Feet

Two Caltrain conductors take a moment to rest as the train nears the 4th & King station, at the north end of the line.

17 June, 2011

Take wing

Spotted a bird while walking around the Googleplex. The motion makes it a bit more interesting than I expected.

15 June, 2011

Pizza My Heart

Pizzas were practically flying out of the oven this past Friday night at the Pizza My Heart on Palo Alto's University Avenue. This was shot at 1:25 am Friday night/Saturday morning.

14 June, 2011

Autocross: more than just driving

One of my favorite quotations about photography originated with Brooks Jensen of LensWork Magazine: "The premise of LensWork is that photography is more than mere craft. Photography is, or can be, a way of life." That premise is accurate, and really, the same thing is true of autocross. It's more than just driving.

I first explicitly realized this two years ago, and mentioned it in my post "Go.". Now, two years down the line, I still find new situations (such as the one pictured above) that reinforce that original realization: you definitely go to drive, but you also go to hang out, to meet some new folks and catch up with some old ones, and maybe even to pass your love of cars on to someone you also love.
This is Praneil, who dominated the AAA class. For reference all six of his timed runs were faster than the third-place time, and he beat second place by a full 0.3 seconds. Here, he spots a cone out of his window as he comes around a sharp bend.
The neat thing, though, is that when you drive fast, you end up back at interactions with other folks. Above, Brian Cheung (right) shakes hands with Rodger Ball (left) after seeing the Fechner Cup for the first time after Rodger refinished it. After having placed first in the club's 2010 Top Driver Shootout, Brian's name will be inscribed on the side of the trophy alongside the previous winners.

As always, click any of the images above to see a larger version or to get a print. You can check out the rest of the images here.

11 June, 2011


Last month, my friend Mimi invited me to the 3rd annual Iron Stomach Triathlon, held at Berkeley's Tilden Park. There were three competition classes, Hero, Princess, and Relay.

The order of events was simple: swim, eat donuts, bike, eat burgers, run, drink beer, cross the finish line. The rules were also simple: you throw up, you're disqualified. Hero competitors were tasked with 4 Krispy Kreme donuts, 1 double-double (with fries) from In-N-Out, and 2 PBRs. Princesses had 2 Krispy Kremes, 1 single-single, and 1 PBR. Relay teams went parts on the Hero food challenges.

You can find all of the images here. Also, click on any image below to jump to that image in the set.
GO! The competitors start running toward Lake Anza for the swim as the timer starts her watch.
Competitors work on downing their burgers between the swim and the bike ride.
Rudy Ramirez, one of the Hero competitors, gets ready to shotgun his second PBR before crossing the finish line. He was by far the most enthusiastic about drinking the beer after the run, and he demonstrated the only proper way to spew beer before the finish without getting DQed.
For the folks who hadn't had enough (or were watching rather than competing), there were two rounds of donut eating after the triathlon ended. This would have been pass interference, but the ref was looking the other way.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the photos here.

Kitten vs. Sleep

This is An-An. Much like a human baby, An-An spent some time fighting before being ambushed by sleepiness. It was the most adorable thing ever.

09 June, 2011

Preview: Lenny Kravitz

Lenny Kravitz and his band played a live set at the YouTube headquarters yesterday, which I was fortunate enough to attend. More to come

08 June, 2011


These are some flowers from work.

06 June, 2011

Back from the Grave: BYOBW 2011

At long last, I got my photos online from this year's running of the Big Wheels. Check out all of the photos at doppler-photo.net/byobw2011
This year's BYOBW featured a cameo by the King of Pop himself. He was probably my favorite character of the bunch, since he'd periodically stop and whip out some of the MJ's own dance moves in traffic.
Two folks also brought tandem drifting to Big Wheels. If BYOBW has been missing anything, it's this (ok, maybe not). Either way, the blue guy definitely wins on style points.
And finally, a veritable blast from the past. Inspector Gadget showed up, but even though he was better equipped, MJ was the one who took flight during one of the impromptu dance sessions.

Again, check out the rest of the images here. Enjoy!

05 June, 2011

Vegas: so long, for now

Well, that's it for Vegas, and that's it for my little experiment. We arrived Thursday morning, had a great time, and finally got home Friday night after a long delay. As for the experiment, I'll probably try to keep posting a few times a week, but definitely won't aim for daily posts.
Here's a quick linked index to the Vegas posts:
  1. Prologue: PAW: Ripple
  2. Vegas: an experiment
  3. Vegas: some people
  4. Vegas: some more people
  5. Vegas: silhouettes
  6. Vegas: Bouchon Bistro
  7. Vegas: family
  8. Vegas: service
  9. Vegas: smoke
  10. Vegas: architecture
  11. Vegas: O, Cirque de Soleil!
  12. Epilogue: Vegas: so long, for now

02 June, 2011

Vegas: O, Cirque de Soleil!

During our trip, we had an opportunity to take in the Cirque de Soleil show "O", which used a permanent set in the Bellagio hotel. Having been to a number of traveling shows of theirs, there is absolutely no comparison; "O" blew them all away.

The show was basically all about water, and the stage itself was a concentric ring of three or four moving platforms that could be lowered beneath a deep pool of water below. The show featured acts spreading the gamut from synchronized swimmers and fire poi spinners to trapeze artists, 10-meter platform divers, and a pair of washed-up mimes.
This is one of the mimes. During a short slap-stick performance leading into the beginning of the actual show, the two carried this huge flotation ring around the audience area, at times squeezing through the already-packed rows of seats.

On their journey, they basically tried to get audience members wet, what with a spray bottle they used to "clean" as they went, and certain spots in the theater where varying quantities of water dropped from the ceiling.
Throughout the show, the lighting and sound were spot on. Judging by the patch-panels behind him, this guy was at least controlling the sound, if not the lights as well.
The route the two mimes took lead them around and through the audience before finally depositing them on-stage. At that point, this one managed to convince us that we were an orchestra of applause and he was our conductor. After a little bit of this game, he picked up his slightly ineffective umbrella, deflected a deluge of water at the crowd, and exited the stage.
After the mimes' skit, the plot of the show began, at which point they asked us to stop taking photos. A woman descended from the sky dropped a fluttery handkerchief on the ground, and the show began.