Notre Dame

Notre Dame
Notre Dame Cathedral’s interior before the fire (1999)

Given the sad news about the fire at Notre Dame in Paris, here are some pics from our visit there in 1999. Shot on negative film, some of these have deteriorated (hence the purple splodges).

After the fire, several sections of the roof have collapsed. Below is a illustration of the parts which have collapsed. The part of the roof at the top of the pic is no longer there, and there’s a pile of debris on the chairs in the foreground.

Notre Dame Burnt
Showing the parts damaged in the fire
Notre Dame Windows
The windows (which are still there)
My favorite photo of the interior, “Prayer”
Votive Candles
Votive candles
A service in the Cathedral
The daffodil garden at the back of the Cathedral




Comparing the same picture taken with the fisheye lens and the Nocticron.


Purple II
Purple II
Purple II




I was surprised I liked the straight version of “Rails” better, it shows more curvature. That’s the subject, rather than distortion added by the lens.

Straight Up

Love in Concrete
Love in Concrete

As a counterpoint to the fisheye lens, I tried taking the same pics with another of my lenses, my favorite: the “Nocticron”. That has a lot going for it as a lens, not least of which is it renders straight lines as straight, and much sharper pictures. Only having the one lens makes you look at things differently, and pictures become more obvious.

The experiment was interesting, some work much better with one lens or the other, some are just impossible to do with one lens or the other. I tried to get one like the one above with the fisheye, and failed for reasons which are not obvious. With the Nocticron, it was my favorite picture.

Cherry Blossom
Cherry Blossom
Lost Toy
Lost Toy
Gates: Again some interesting light

Something Fishy

Fire lane
No parking in the fire lane

I got a new lens. This one is a “fisheye” lens, one that distorts straight lines to get more in the picture. It’s also not officially a lens, but an accessory. It’s so small and compact, it’s sold as a body cap. That means I can put it in my bag and not notice I have it with me.

As a lens it leaves a lot to be desired, but is fun to use (in moderation). You get a lot in the picture, and not all subjects show the distortion, like the pic above. You can get a different perspective. Reds seemed to show up especially vividly, whether that’s the lens or the light, I’m not sure.

Sand: Some subjects make the distortion more obvious.
New construction, the fisheye used because of the wide view.
All bent out of shape



I was playing with the “depth of field” the fast lens offers, so the subject swims in and out of focus. This emphasizes the depth of the subject. It’s a bit of a photographic cliche, but it’s amusing.



Lanterns across the street in Chinatown

We went out walking at twilight on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, we didn’t have anything particular in mind, but the light was interesting. On Sunday we deliberately went to see Chinatown, hoping for a good show as it’s close to the lunar new year.

Chinatown was decked out in lots of red lanterns. I used this as an excuse to use my “faster” lenses (the ones which are better with less light). Unfortunately, the red of the lanterns didn’t always show up in the pictures, looking more orange, or even yellow. All the lanterns are actually red if you go see them in person.

Looking back up Grant Avenue, with a pagoda outlined against the sky
More lanterns in Chinatown
Spooky lighting on Giannini Plaza
Interesting frescoes in the lobby of the Monadnock building on Market Street
The moon peeking out between the interesting juxtaposition of the ultra modern Jewish Contemporary Museum and the old St Patrick’s Cathedral
“Stubby”, what we took to calling the Salesforce Tower on Mission St. The top is actually a giant video screen and shows various scenes.
Another interesting juxtaposition, of the old cathedral and a modern hotel
A construction crane, one of many, making an interesting diagonal statement.


The Bridge
A classic view of the Golden Gate Bridge seen from the overlook on the coastal trail at Lands End

We had no plan for the weekend, but on Saturday decided the Bay Bridge was close by, so went down to the Embarcadero to take some pictures.

On Sunday, we discovered there was a bus directly to Lands End, the northwest corner of San Francisco, and you can get great views of the Golden Gate Bridge from there. As usual, when we’re in the City, it was brilliantly sunny. The locals says this is unusual weather.

A strong view of the Bay Bridge, seen from almost underneath on the Embarcadero
A wider view of the Golden Gate
Oakland under the main span of the Bay Bridge
Most of the Western Bay Bridge, showing how long the main span is

A Weekend in San Francisco

A little late for Valentine’s Day, Cupid’s arrow missed the Bay Bridge

We spent the weekend in San Francisco, mainly just because. We did some wandering around and I took a few pics.

The door of the Hearst Building on Market Street
Ferry Building
The Ferry Building seen from down Market Street
Sun on Sea
The sun shining on the sea, through cypress trees at Lands End. The Cliff House is just peeking out.
Rocks in the surf at Lands End

Super Blood Moon Eclipse

Living up to its name of a blood moon. This is about 1 minute after passing totally into the Earth’s shadow.

There was a lunar eclipse today. As the moon is very near perigee (i.e. the closest it gets to the Earth), it appears larger than normal, aka a “Super Moon”. The eclipse is also total, aka a “Blood Moon”; the moon turns red due to being illuminated by light passing through the Earth’s atmosphere.

Unfortunately, it was mostly cloudy and rainy today, so I gave up on the idea of photographing it. Then the clouds parted briefly, just as the moon was entering totality, I managed to snatch a few pics, and then it clouded over again.

A wider view of the eclipse as clouds were gathering


While we were in Monterey, I shot the sunset.

Sunset on the Monterey Peninsula.

As I was getting into the car to go back to the hotel, the sky did this.

Red clouds
Red clouds at dusk

And a kiss on the beach

A kiss on the beach at sunset