SF Giants vs D-Backs on 5/24/19 at Oracle Park

Tags

, , , ,

I was at the very top of the upper deck seats at Oracle Park almost a year ago. This was the second game I attended for the season. As is my custom, I went early to the game to shoot Oracle Park. This is an interesting shot from the left field corner. Unfortunately, the SF Giants did not have a good season last year. The SF Giants lost this game to the D-backs. The D-backs won 18-2. So this was the last game I attended. I was too discouraged to attend any other games.

Little did I realize that I would not be able to attend any SF Giants game this 2020 baseball season. No one would ever guess that we would not have any type of sports competition to entertain us.

This picture almost depicts a prediction of our current situation of an empty Oracle Park stadium.

I typically enjoy the solitude of taking pictures of a baseball stadium before all the fans arrive.

Now when I look at an empty baseball stadium, it makes me sad how our life has changed so dramatically. We cannot freely go out any place at any time. We need to shelter in place to protect ourselves from the virus and also not bring home COVD-19 to infect our family members. I am helping to take care of my 99 year old mother-in-law. It seems like our new normal is constantly evolving as our society learns more about this virus.

Nevertheless, I am thankful so far, all my family is healthy. I am thankful that we do not have any financial needs. I am grateful for the many video chats with family and friends to feel connected and not isolated.

Lastly, I am looking forward to the day when I can shoot Oracle Park with a full stadium of SF Giants fans, and we can cheer on this team I am currently missing.

Photos allow us to contemplate!

Remembering Willie Mays 75th Birthday at AT&T Park

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

How many of us had the privilege to be at Willie Mays’ 75th birthday celebration at AT&T Park? We are blessed we can celebrate Willie’s 89th birthday on May 6, 2020.

This was a fun time back on his 75th birthday! The 75 on the field was his cake. It was huge! We could witness him speak on his special day.

There was a colorful array of balloons released after Willie Mays spoke!

Willie Mays is my favorite baseball player. Why is he my favorite?

  • He is a 5 tool baseball player – meaning he possessed speed, power, hitting for average, fielding, and arm strength.
  • He is an Army veteran who served our country during the Korean War. He missed most of the season in 1952 and missed all of the 1953 season. Willie played baseball at Fort Eustis in Virginia during most of his service in the Army.
  • Even with all his honors and awards, he is just the “Say Hey” kid.

I admire Willie Mays for his humility even with all his accomplishments and awards. He is a real icon for us to look up to. Often times in our society, we are disappointed with the selfish motives from our country’s leaders or popular celebrities. But Willie Mays is the real thing. He is authentic and real.

I love the story where he charged $100 per an on-air interview. The normal charge was $25 for that era. He charged the $100 so he could split the money 4 ways with the last 4 players on the Giants’ roster.

Willie Mays is an unselfish man to admire in the midst of our self-centered society.

These photos show us a great man – Willie Mays!

 

May 4th – Celebrate Star Wars – Welcome a New Era!

Tags

, , , , ,

March of the First Order Storm Troopers and Captain Phasma
Darth Vader’s Tie Fighter

We visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Disney World a couple of years ago. I had a blast shooting the models at Star Wars Launch Bay. I love shooting the different models whenever I have the opportunity to go to either a museum exhibit, Disneyland, or Disney World.

The intricacies of the models fascinate me with all the detail. I can spend hours just shooting the various angles and dimensions of the models.

It was exhilarating to watch the storm troopers parade around Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Who could imagine that Disney would have to close their amusement parks due to this pandemic. Just as Star Wars allows our imagination to explore unknown galactic possibilities, we are actually living in our current unknown scenario.

The projected words at the Star Wars Launch Bay –

“…feel the power of the Force, binding us together. Our journey begins with an awakening. Welcome to a new era…”

These words echo our current crisis.

We are in this together. We are in a new journey…a new era! We do not know what our tomorrow will be like. We do not know how long it will take to control this Virus! A new era means a new way to do things better. It signifies new territories to learn, grow and find solutions.

Today, we can entertain ourselves with the distraction of Star Wars. We can celebrate May the 4th and look optimistically to a new Era!

Photos Encourage!

Candlestick Park Days Past

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Candlestick Park with the Sky Box at the top.

Candlestick Park with the Sky Box at the top.

I shot this Candlestick Park photograph during the 1991 SF Giants baseball season. I am hoping there will be a MLB season for 2020. There are still a few months where this could be a possibility.

It is hard to believe that it has been 5 years since Candlestick Park has been demolished. Some fans commented to me in reality Candlestick Park was an old stadium that was runned down. Yes this is true. The Stick needed to be replaced, and we needed an updated stadium to watch the SF Giants.

I also received comments that my photographs show off the highlights of the Stick. The pictures make Candlestick Park look better than it looked. Thank you for those compliments. To make an object appear at its best is an important goal for a photographer.

I shot Candlestick Park at its best during the various baseball games. I also shot Candlestick Park at its worst during its demolition period. I am so glad I have a large collection of images of the Stick during its life. I even sacrificed my safety and my camera equipment when I was mugged during the demolition.

So I possess a wide range of emotions when I think about Candlestick Park. Even with the bad memories, the good times still warm my heart. I have great memories of my father taking me to Candlestick Park to watch the SF Giants. I had the best times with my friends and family at the Stick.

What are you doing at home since we are sheltering in place? Maybe you can look at old pictures to bring back old memories. You could organize photos into an online or an actual album.

I know my memories molded me into who I am today.

Can you look back at old pictures to see how your past created who you are today?

Photographs are good reminders!

Butterflies are free but Grocery Workers are not!

Tags

, , , , ,

Red Admiral Butterflies are hard to shoot. They are fast and quick!

I rotated this picture, since I actually shot this Red Admiral 90 degrees with the vertical fence orientation. I am slowly growing my garden oasis to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Since we are sheltering in place, we take my 99 year old mother-in-law to our yard so she can walk around in safety. She spotted this butterfly. So I used my Pixel 3XL to shoot this photo. I love my camera on the Pixel 3XL. But there are limitations on what it can do. I do love Red Admiral Butterflies. So I’m glad I managed to get a few shots before the butterfly left our garden. I hope to be more prepared to shoot with my Canon camera to get better photographs of the Red Admirals.

My wife remembered the expression – “Butterflies are free”. But she did not remember where she heard it from. I Googled it and found out it is an old movie and play from around 1972. Goldie Hawn was in this old movie.

Butterflies are free info

It is nice to remember when we had the freedom to go anywhere anytime. Now we need to be safe and remain at home as much as we can. So when I watched this butterfly frolic around our plants, I was a little envious of its freedom.

We are spending more time on video chat meetings with family and friends. We met recently with my parents and brother. They wanted to wish me a “Happy Birthday”. Bad events seem to happen around my birthday – like this pandemic.

But we are gathering a little more with family as a result of the pandemic. It is bringing us together more. My brother is an employee at our Bay Area supermarket chain. He is a cashier at the supermarket. In the past, we would consider this job as no-risk. It normally is pretty stress free.

Now, a cashier, at a supermarket, is encountering many people. Who knows which of these individuals could be infected with COVD-19 and not be aware they are spreading the virus. Who would think this job could become stressful and risky.

Most supermarkets have installed plexiglass barriers in front of the cashiers. But my brother is upset since the plexiglass is not providing enough protection. Many customers will not remain behind the plexiglass. They often will go to the side of the plexiglass to communicate to the cashiers. My brother is wearing a mask and gloves. But he is concerned about the possibility of catching the virus and bringing it home to my parents.

Unfortunately, we all are not free like the butterflies. I am fortunate to be able to work at home. My wife is able to work her job at home.

But my brother is forced to go to work and be at risk at the supermarket. He doesn’t even have a little booth to be imprisoned in for protection from the customers.

When we go to the supermarket, can we all please be considerate of the cashiers? Can we only talk to the cashiers from behind the plexiglass? Can we thank them for their service? Can we try to keep our distance?

One day, we will hopefully be as free as the butterflies. But until that day, can we be considerate to keep our distance from the supermarket cashiers?

Photos Teach!

 

Why I love Lemons?

Tags

, , , ,

A few years ago, I bought an improved Meyer lemon dwarf tree and planted in my backyard. I always loved lemons. It does not matter what kind of lemon. I am fond of all types of lemons. But I do have a favorite. It is the Meyer lemon. Most lemons have a sour lemon taste. The Meyer lemon has a pure lemon taste with a slight tart flavor.

I wanted to grow a tree with great tasting lemons. Every year, the tree produces more lemons. The tree probably has over a dozen lemons with more buds appearing.

I love this tree since it is a dwarf. I do not have to worry about the tree growing super tall. The tree is the perfect tree giving me sweet lemons and is the perfect size.

Plus my wife has used the lemons to make the best lemon cheesecake, cupcakes and pound cake. Of course, she does not frequently bake for me since she wants me to keep healthy.

Lemons have a bad reputation. Most people associate lemons as being sour. A typical lemon needs sugar to compensate for the sour flavor. The lemon adjective refers to an object which consistently does not work correctly. i.e. a lemon car.

Many may consider we are living in a “lemon” scenario. In California, we have been mostly staying home for about 32 days. We live with apprehension of getting infected with the coronavirus. We go to the supermarket wearing our masks and gloves. We do not know how long this new lemon life will last. We grieve over the loss of the many infect individuals. We sympathize and are grateful for the many who sacrificially serve and work as essential individuals.

But living our lemon life reminds me to appreciate my family and friends. It seems I am spending more time texting, emailing or doing online video chats with a large number of people.

In the midst of a difficult and desperate situation in all of our lives, I am learning to love the sweetness of a lemon.

Lemons teach us to appreciate the sweet and sour aspects of life.

Without the sour experiences, sweetness can be a wonderful blessing.

Photos teach!

What COVID-19 is teaching us about Sacrifice?

Tags

, , , , ,

Today is Good Friday – April 10, 2020, as we experience the trials and tragedies of the spread of the coronavirus.

The cross is the symbol of sacrifice. This cross in the photograph is on Mount Davidson in San Francisco. This park is located at the highest peak in the city.

I went up to the cross a few years ago to shoot photographs for my Pastor to display at church. My photographs examine every angle of the cross. As I review my pictures of the cross, it causes me to examine my thoughts about sacrifice.

It is not a coincidence we are witnessing many examples of sacrifice today, as we celebrate Good Friday – the day of Christ’s sacrifice.

Medical professionals, law enforcement officers, fire & emergency workers, store clerks, and delivery people are sacrificing their lives during this crisis. Many are becoming sick and do not survive.

In my own family of in-laws, there is a pulmonary doctor who is very likely to contract the virus. We are praying he will survive.

Families are sacrificing by staying away from family to avoid infection.

See below link which is a story from the Today Show

ER nurse’s post of sacrifice

Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is the ultimate gift for all of us. As we witness the people’s sacrifices to help heal those with the Coronavirus and provide for the various needs due to this crisis, we are blessed with triumphs and mourn for the losses. Individuals are recovering and can look forward to a future because of others’ sacrifices.

Jesus Christ’s sacrifice not only gives us grace for this life now, but provides the promise of Heaven in the future with His redeeming power over our sin.

We appreciate and am thankful for the many individuals who are currently sacrificing their lives, so that others can recover and be healed. We thank the many who are providing food to those who lost jobs and are running out of finances.

Consider what the Cross means to you.

With all the bad things in the world today, can we ponder the events of “Good Friday”?

Can we consider the “Good” Christ gives us with his ultimate sacrifice? He can give each of us “Hope” in the midst of the crisis in today’s world.

Notice two of my Cross pictures are shot from the bottom looking upwards to see the light and the blue horizon.

I look up at the cross and see Christ’s light to open my eyes to His infinite possibilities for my future in His Care.

What do you see when you look at the Cross?

Photos Inspire!

Protection to Grow for Sky/Dwarf Lupine Seedlings

Tags

, , ,

I am trying to grow these seedlings for Sky/Dwarf Lupine in my garden. This is my first attempt to create an oasis where I can shoot photographs.

Since I am protective over my new plants, I am watching their progress. Well I noticed there was something nibbling these little plants. Fortunately, I remembered an idea to protect these plants from being eatened.

I purchased this netting which I propped above the plants to prevent the critter(s) from snacking on the plants.

The rains came to naturally water these young plants. The drops on the netting look like beads on a string. I photographed this with my Pixel 3XL. It is pretty amazing the photos we can take with our cellphones.

It did take time for me to figure out how I should protect my plants to give them a chance to grow. I spent time to plan and place the netting over the plants. I did not realize I would have to protect these plants considering I live in San Francisco and not in the countryside.

Even though the protective netting was not intended to be pretty, the beaded rain gave a pretty up close look at this young garden.

Often times, we do not like to do the effort to obtain protection.

Recently, we are seeking protection by wearing masks in hopes of preventing further infection of the coronavirus. My wife made a cloth mask to wear when we go grocery shopping. I dug out an old mask from the garage. Wearing a mask is a little stifling. It is a little stuffy. It makes us warm.

But we need this protection. People are making fun masks to wear! There are designer masks now. Be pretty and protected in a fun mask!

Our people need to survive to grow and find a cure and vaccine to protect us.

Keep Protected! Keep Safe!

Photos are good reminders!

Setting Sun on Candlestick Park

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This is the late afternoon before a game at Candlestick Park. I shot this at the south west portion of the stadium. Notice the souvenir and concession stands on the left.

Have you ever noticed the shadows of objects as the sun sets? The shadows of objects become elongated. See the man with the orange jacket walking away from me with a long shadow. It can give an eerie feel to a picture.

Shadows can add an interesting dimension to a photograph. The contrast of the light and dark make shadows interesting.

The sun’s rays are radiating out in the upper portion and provide a nice contrast in this photo.

Showing the contrast with light and dark shades are a nice effect in a photograph.

In life, we need to understand the balance of light and dark in our perspective. We need the light to recognize and understand things in the dark.

We are faced with a critical crisis in our world today. We receive constant updates of this deadly COVID-19 Virus infecting many individuals. We are to remain inside to stay safe. These are dark times with many infected people. Those in the front lines of this battle are working with tremendous difficulties and challenges. We thank all of these people very much who work in the Medical Field, First Responders, Police and Fire Personnel, Grocery and Shop Clerks, Mail and Delivery People, Restaurants Providing Take out orders, and the many other essential people who are working and sacrificing their health and safety. 

We appreciate those who are seeking to find the solutions in the proper “light” to bring about healing.

My wife and I are praying for God’s light to reveal the answers to stop this dark virus and it’s spreading. Just as there is this darkness, there is light to provide hope.

Jesus Christ said in John 12:46 РI have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

Photos Teach!

Planting Sky/Dwarf Lupine Plants in my Backyard

Tags

,

So why is a photographer growing Sky/Dwarf Lupine in the backyard? All of us can wear “multiple hats”. One of my results from a Career evaluation revealed I could be a farmer. Thus it is true I do enjoy growing things.

We have a neighbor with a towering pine tree which has grown up as high as our building – 3 stories. This tree annually will grow onto yard and against our building. Unfortunately, our neighbor is not proactive to trim this tree.

So we hired a gardener to trim the tree. We decided we needed to clean up the weeds etc. in our yard.

Wishing to maintain the weed free garden, my wife suggested we should grow drought resistant plants. Then I started pondering how to create a garden to attract birds and butterflies to photograph.

One side of the yard has good sun and the other side has little sun. With the different areas of varying sun exposure has been a challenge in selecting plants. I feel putting together the different plants is like being an artist creating a painting with different colors and textures.

So I studied and looked for plants to create color and an environment that hopefully I can use to photograph in safety. (In case you do not know, I was mugged at Candlestick Park during the demolition – you can look at the story on this blog).

So one of my choices is this Sky/Dwarf Lupine – which will hopefully grow to be these pretty lavender plants.

Pictures of Sky/Dwarf Lupine

Hope you will follow my progress as I strive to create my own environment for my photography.

Consider how you can add “more hats” to your repertoire of abilities and talents. This is my first attempt to try to landscape a garden.

It is never too late in your life to try on a new hat. It could fit better than you imagine. I am hoping for a good fit as I try to wear a gardener’s hat.

Photos Inspire!