Candlestick Park SF Giants Opening Day from the Past

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This is Opening Day at Candlestick Park on April 12, 1993. The SF Giants played the Florida (Miami) Marlins which were an expansion team that started their first season in 1993.

SF Giants Opening Days are exciting. These Fans came early to see the events. It was a bright day at Candlestick Park which was unusual compared to the normal fog.  The cable car with past players was fun to see.

It is interesting to see the banners for advertisements under the bleachers. It’s good that Charles Schwab and Lee are still in business. How many of us still remember “the good guys“? Well I have good memories about “the good guys” since they were my former employer until they went out of business. I worked as a photographer in their advertising department. I enjoyed my job and shooting the different products and promotions for the corporation. It gave me good experience about product photography. I traveled to different stores to photograph special events. It was sad when the corporation closed.

Nevertheless, I also gained lifetime friendships with co-workers from the “the good guys”.  Pre-pandemic, I periodically would meet these good friends to enjoy good food and fun together. We worked in different departments, but shared fun and crazy times together.

A good photograph should trigger us to reflect, remember and ponder. It is easy to rush thru our day to accomplish our to-do list of tasks and forget to sit and reflect. Candlestick Park was a great place where many fans could learn about baseball or football with family and friends. I receive comments from fans who relish those moments at Candlestick Park. When I look at this photo, I feel the excitement of that Opening Day. I reflect about my days working at “the good guys”. I also look forward to new memories to attend a new SF Giants Opening Day as our pandemic restrictions change to allow our attendance at Oracle Park.

Displaying photographs which make us feel happy is important. Create a space to generate happiness and joy. Rotate pictures around the house or during different times of the year to keep happy thoughts. Our space should be comfortable and inspire us to be better and remember past lessons for future success.

Photos give us joy!

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly Surprise!

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This is the first time in my life I saw a Gulf Fritillary Butterfly. I have been a  butterfly observer in the San Francisco area my whole life, since I was a kid. It caught me by surprise when I saw this butterfly, as I was hoping to photograph Hummingbirds or Bumblebees. It was in our yard for about one and half minutes. I only had about 30 seconds to photograph it, when it landed on the flower of our New Improved Meyers Lemon tree. It looked like it traveled many miles as the wings were tattered. This was a very cool surprise visit from a butterfly I never knew existed until I identified this species looking on the internet.

When I was a kid, I would watch the butterflies in our backyard or when I went out with friends to play. I enjoyed seeing the different types of butterflies in the Bay Area. I tried to catch butterflies and keep them in. I used to raise Anise Swallowtail caterpillars, until they went through the transformation to a pupa to a butterfly. I did this because the caterpillars were disappearing and possibly eaten by predators. I then released them in the backyard. I love the colors and patterns on butterflies. My wife even surprised me at our wedding banquet wearing a Chinese dress with butterflies. It was my dream as a young adult to create a garden to attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees.

Whenever it is sunny and clear, I go to the backyard when the sunlight is at its peak to shoot photographs. Today I was getting discouraged about not seeing any hummingbirds. My wife snuck into the yard to clip a few branches of rosemary for dinner. She knows to keep quiet so not to scare any creatures. Just as my wife came to the yard, I spotted this special butterfly. I’m so glad I was quick to capture this butterfly’s pictures.

This butterfly is a good reminder that life is filled with surprises. I’ve always expected to see butterflies which are normally seen in San Francisco. It was exciting to see a different species of butterfly.

This pandemic has taught also a lot about surprises. We never expected to be home for over a year due to this pandemic. Never did we dream how this pandemic would effect businesses and our economy. Those who caught COVID-19 often have no idea how they got sick especially when they tried to be careful.

Surprises can be good and bad. I’m glad today I was blessed with a good surprise to see this special butterfly. It may have weathered difficult flights to get to San Francisco, but I’m glad it found my backyard. Perhaps if I did not attempt to grow my garden environment to shoot photographs, this butterfly would never have found the Meyers lemon blossom to take a sip of nectar.

Striving for goals do give surprise blessings. 

Photos capture surprise moments!

 

 

 

Hummingbird flying in the searchlights

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What looks like search lights in the background are actually my Fan Aloe plant I just purchased at the Sloat Garden Center in San Francisco by the Zoo. The Fan Aloe (Aloe plicatilis) plant will produce orange/red flowers in a couple of years that will be attractive to Hummingbirds. The natural lighting in the yard reflected off of the Fan Aloe plant is showing as white versus the real color of grey/green.

Shooting photographs in natural lighting is the best. If it is a sunny day, I aim to sit in my camouflage clothes in the yard between noon and 3 pm for the best lighting. My desire is to utilize the free sunshine light to highlight the creatures and plants in my photographs. I do not utilize software to brighten or sharpen my photos – thus my website and company name of “untouched”. The positioning of the sunlight to optimize the photograph is key. Shooting quickly and frequently is important to get a good picture. I love to do rapid fire shooting of my camera to increase the chances of getting that perfect picture. Photographing Hummingbirds is tricky as they move very fast, are unpredictable, and can fly in any direction. More than half the pictures I take of them are not usable as they are out of focus or they are out of the frame.

This hummingbird looks pretty classy with the curved left wing shooting to the side and up. It is also interesting how the wing is positioned to the back side position. He is coordinated to control the wings in 2 different positions. I could not be as coordinated to have my arms going in different directions.

Being a photographer makes me a little obsessive about lighting, not just for my photography, but for everything. I want our home to be well lighted for my 100 year old mother-in-law who is our light police. If she sees the light on in an empty room, she will command to turn off that light. I installed motion lights in our interior stairs and entry into our home. Our hallways also have motion lights. I have nightlights in our bathrooms. I make sure the lightbulbs are energy efficient. Having the proper lighting is important. My wife would walk around in the dark previous to our marriage. Now she is happy with all the bright lights. I can even turn on a light from my cellphone.

Let’s utilize bright natural light in our photography and keep the lights on at home!

Photographs remind us to keep the lights bright!

 

Do the Bumblebee Jump!

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This smart Bumblebee is jumping from flower to flower getting her sweet nectar. Jumping can be tricky. No one wants to fall or miss the target. Fortunately, these flowers are close together making jumping easy for the bee. The bee jumps to food that is appealing. The bright flowers are alluring to the bee.

What do we jump to? Do we eye an interesting job for better position and money? Are we craving for a certain food like this bee is craving for nectar? Are we dreaming of moving to a bigger and more affordable home? Do we desire a different lifestyle that would be more fun?

Whatever it is we want to jump to, how can we accomplish the jump without falling and going “splat” in failure? Maybe one plan of strategy is following the example of this bumblebee. Take small jumps first. Create steps to reduce risk to get to your jumping goal.

It is desirable to want to go for it and take a giant leap to jump. Taking a giant leap means you have what it takes to make the jump. My wife worked in a chemistry lab environment. She wanted to jump to do computer programming. She took short jumps by taking a couple of courses in programming. Then she changed jobs to do scripting. Her next jump was to get into a programming job in her company where they trained her in the software application programming. She did not qualify initially for the jump. But she trained to become qualified.

If I had the ambition to run a marathon – (NOT) – I would need to run to build endurance. Due to my physical limitations, I know a leap to a marathon is not a wise jump for me. Our jumps need to be a realistic understanding of our limitations.

Consider what small jumps are possible to get to the desired “Giant” leap.

This pandemic has taught us that life is unpredictable. We need to redeem our time to make changes to improve life.

What will be your next jump?

Photos Teach us how to Jump!

 

Remembering Star Wars at Disney World

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We went to Disney World in April 2017 and absolutely loved going there and had a blast. We are longing to go traveling again but will not until we get our COVID-19 vaccine shots. We would love going back to Disney World and Disneyland in the future. Like many, we want to visit the new Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland. We never dreamed Disneyland would be closed like many businesses in 2020. It would be nice to go and visit later this year.

I am fortunate I have these old photographs from Star Tours and Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney World. When my wife saw these old pictures, she loved the colors and the lighting to highlight the characters. She loved the reflections from the shiny animated drone.

The photographs reminds us how we were entertained while standing in line for Star Tours. We repeated this ride to discover the different scenarios of Star Tours. Our goal would be to experience all the scenarios.

I could spend hours in Star Wars Launch Bay shooting photographs of the models and characters. It is amazing to the see the detail and intricacies of the ship and weapon models. I cannot imagine the designing of the models to seem so realistic.

Lighting in these displays are key to reveal the best of these Star Wars objects. When shooting these types of pictures, choosing the correct frame where the light is shining the best to highlight and the shadows are not obtrusive is important. It takes practice to take the ideal shot. Taking lots of photographs is key to getting the best shot.

We all need pictures to highlight the great moments in life. Especially in this pandemic times, these pictures help to remind us about our formal normal lives. They also give us hope of a free pandemic post life when we can return to vacation trips and relaxation away from home.

Keep taking pictures to remember the good and challenging times of life. We all need to spend time experiencing our life thru pictures.

Feel free to send comments if you have photography questions. I would be glad to answer any questions.

Photos Highlight our Good Times!

 

 

Candlestick Park during the 1991 Season

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Candlestick Park looks perfect here. It is perfectly groomed with stripes and plaid patterns. It is a serene site without the fans or players. It is all prepared to welcome everyone and allow them to enjoy the baseball fun. There is much appreciation to the ground keepers and the crew who cleaned, groomed and maintained Candlestick Park. Perhaps many of the fans forgot how much work it took to make Candlestick Park look perfect.

Yes Candlestick Park got old over time. It got tattered and worn. Why do so many fans have such good memories about the Stick? It’s true it became an old worn stadium.

Candlestick Park was perfect because it was accessible to all. I could walk up to the ticket window on game day and just buy a ticket. An affordable ticket could easily be purchased. I did not have to plan weeks in advance to attend a SF Giants game. The Stick made us feel at home. It was comfortable. So all of us could come with family and friends to have a good time together. We grew up at the Stick watching football or baseball. The Stick was always there for us. It was a comforting place to hang out.

During this pandemic, we could not physically be with a lot of family and friends. We learned how to connect via remote meetings via our devices or computer screens. We’ve had a good time with our virtual gatherings. But there is nothing like an actual gathering. Our challenge is to be there for our loved ones to give support. We’ve had family members who were sick and physical health problems. We lost loved ones during this pandemic year. We physically could not give support to our family and relatives. We found ways to compensate. We cooked meals for those who were sick or disabled. We sent cards. We’ve done grocery shopping for others.

Regardless of a pandemic, physical distance naturally separate family, friends and relatives. Physical distance can cause distance in relationships. Adult children want independence and naturally move away. Friends move away to find affordable housing or a new job. Often there is a lack of support when there is physical separation in close relationships.

Personal stress can also cause separation in relationships. There are lots of reasons which separate close relationships, and people are not there for each other. Elderly parents feel alone due to the lack of attention from adult children. This pandemic has taught us how we all need support from others.

Who can we reach out to help whether it is someone in our family or a stranger? Are we a support to our family? Do we seek to find out how members of our family, relatives or friends are doing during this pandemic? Or were we distracted with our personal problems that we cannot see the world around us and the need to love and help.

Remember how Candlestick Park was there for us. Can we be present for someone else? Can we provide support and help to others? Do we seek to convert our care and love into actions of support?

Photos Teach Us to be There!

Bumblebee zipping with whipping wings!

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This Bumblebee was searching for some nice Spanish Lavender nectar from its flowers. They are relentless in their search for nectar. I shot these 3 photographs within about 3 seconds. It is amazing how fast the bee is able to whip his wings around as he is flying towards the flowers. Initially his wings are behind and within a second the wings are curving forward. I never imagined the curvature of the wing going forward until I started photographing the bees in action. The bottom of his legs resemble a pitchfork with the missing center teeth. It is pretty astonishing how fast bees fly.

Once upon a time, we zipped around town to eat at restaurants. We ate at restaurants to celebrate special occasions or just to take a break from cooking. For a whole year, we’ve been cooking and actually enjoying our meals. We’ve learned how to make healthy waffles out of oatmeal. We love our thick wild ahi tuna fish sandwiches. I asked my wife where she wants to go and eat after we all are vaccinated, and things feel safer. She was not sure where she wants to go. We realize restaurants need our business, and therefore prices will need to be higher. Our food bill is already high even though we try our best to save our pennies. But if we ate our wild tuna fish sandwich at a restaurant, it would be a lot more than what we paid for the entire piece of fish. We have gotten too accustomed to home cooking now.

It will be another adjustment for us to go back to eating at restaurants, since we are enjoying our own cooking. Zipping around the Bay Area will be a change, since we enjoy our current traffic free driving. We mostly just go to grocery stores. All our other shopping has been online. My wife has not cared much about buying clothing, since we do not go out. We do not miss all our former zipping travels. Zipping around our area will be different in our post pandemic future.

Observing the bee zip and whip around my garden reminds me one day hopefully later this year, we will be zipping and whipping around in freedom. Maybe we will go to In-N-Out for a hamburger, fries and milkshake which we have missed for a long time.

Photos remind what zipping around was once upon a time!

Welcoming 2021 SF Giants Opening Day – Finally

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This is Opening Day at Oracle Park more than two years ago on April 5, 2019. The SF Giants played the Tampa Bay Rays that day. We are looking forward to when we can go back to baseball games in person this year. This photo was shot after the line-ups were announced and Renel Brooks-Moon, the public address announcer for the San Francisco Giants, was at the podium in front of Home Plate.

We all miss watching live baseball. It has been a long year without a regular baseball season. I wish I shot more photographs at Oracle Park when I was in attendance for a SF Giants game.

My cousin is so generous and thoughtful to invite me to go to games with her. We have a good time enjoying the game and an ice cream sundae. I usually arrive a couple of hours before the game to roam around the stadium and shoot pictures. I am excited about returning to Oracle Park to shoot more photographs.

There is nothing like enjoying a SF Giants baseball game with family and friends. It is a fun time to eat garlic fries and our free soda if we sign the agreement not to drink alcohol. Let’s hope the SF Giants will have a good season.

Hopefully things will progress so this pandemic will end. 2020 was characterized with unexpectant events. 2021 has also started out this way too. But the expedition of providing vaccines is improving. So we hope nothing will stop Opening Day from happening.

Let’s hope we will see Renal Brooks-Moon on Opening Day to announce the 2021 SF Giants. 

It is nice to look back at this picture to remember what life was like once upon a time. We all need pictures to give memories to make us feel good. Opening Day will be different than this picture. The crowd will be minimal due to social distancing. But at least the SF Giants will have fans to cheer them on.

We took it for granted that we could choose to attend any SF Giants Game. We never thought baseball would be shut down due to a pandemic. Let’s be grateful for the good moments in life. We learned life can change suddenly. Activities we thought would always be available – could be taken away from us.

Keep photographs to remember the good moments in life!

Photos teach us to be grateful.

 

 

Flight of the Bumblebee

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Here are a series of shots of a bumblebee’s sucking nectar and traveling around the flowers. I enjoy examining the bee’s positions in each shot. If this was a video, it would be harder to distinguish the different positions. So it is nice to take a pause to examine how they move.

This musical composition was written to depict the chaotic and rapidly changing flying pattern of the Bumblebee.

Wikipedia’s reference to The Flight of the Bumblebee

YouTube track of The Flight of the Bumblebee

It is pretty amazing how the wings flex in different angles and spread in interesting shapes. I would never have noticed the wing patterns of the bumblebee without these photographs. I used 1/8000 of a second shutter speed to try to freeze the action. The still frames display their remarkable wing span which is unexpected. Seeing the wings span larger for a small creature shows how they can fly in interesting patterns.

The chaotic and rapidly changing flying pattern of the Bumblebee is an analogy of our current times. We live in chaotic times with this pandemic. The rules keep changing of what we should do to keep safe. We are wondering when we qualify to get a vaccine. We were searching to see how as home caregivers to my mother-in-law, it would be possible to get vaccinated. Every vaccine site has different requirements or no requirements. Some of my aunties waited hours on the phone attempting to get an appointment. It is a little maddening trying to figure out how to get a vaccine.

We live in rapid change. It’s been one year since my wife was told in her office to pack up her laptop and work from home. She was concerned about focusing on work from home. But she learned to adapt and enjoy working from home. There is a lot of multi-tasking. But it helps to keep her sharp. Now the surroundings around her office are filled with tents and more homeless people. She’s afraid to return to the office due to the recent Asian assaults. She does not want to walk to the office from the bus. It has not been determined what management will decide about returning to the office. So much has changed during this one pandemic year. It boggles our minds thinking about all the events from the past year.

Crime is on the increase. In our neighborhood at the local grocery, someone tried to carjack a 75 year old woman in the parking lot. On Nextdoor.com, many neighbors regularly report about garage break-ins. It is alarming the number of racial attacks occurring. It is unnerving how we need to keep watching our backs when we go outside.

How do we deal with chaos and the constant change in our world? Do we look a little like this bee?

Maybe the clue is to go after the sweetness. The bee is flying crazy going after her sweet nectar.

In the midst of chaos, can we create sweetness in life?

Recently my aunt passed away unexpectedly. My wife and I went thru my old digital picture files and created a video for my aunt’s family and my relatives. Due to COVID-19, we did not gather for a funeral. So we thought this was a good way to grieve and also give sweetness to the family.

Give and create sweetness for others and yourself!

Photos teach us to change chaos into sweetness!

Camouflage Hummingbird Rare Sighting in my yard

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I photographed this Hummingbird last week as this was the only time he came in the yard. He flew in for a few seconds and hid behind the plants and flew out quickly. They are easily spooked by loud noises and or quick movements. This is why I try to be as quiet and still as possible. The problems with living in San Francisco, is the amount of noise in the neighborhood. It is not conducive to photograph Hummingbirds or other birds that are easily spooked.

This hummingbird is peeking thru the flowers in my yard. You can see his eye look out at me in the midst of the leaves and blossoms. It blends pretty well with the greenery. It is amazing how these creatures blend in with the scenery.

I miss seeing these hummingbirds in my yard. I am trying to figure out why they are missing. I am guessing it is too noisy lately, and they are not comfortable flying in to visit. Discouragement is not a good feeling. It causes confusion in pursuing goals. Wondering if my plans will be futile is my fear.

I was reminded life is constant change. This Pandemic life reminds me how events keep changing. So whatever is keeping the hummingbirds away will hopefully change. I am praying they will return and come out of hiding.

I can identify with this bird wanting to be hidden. I do love camouflage clothing. I wear camouflage hoping to welcome the hummingbirds into my garden. I want to blend in with the birds and do not want to scare them off. Being a good host means thinking about pleasing your guests. This has been my goal to provide sweet flowers for the hummingbirds. Recently the local news has publicized the need to be careful of bird feeders. They are getting dirty and causing harm to the birds.

SFGate Article about Dying Songbirds

I hope this is not the reason why I have not seen many hummingbirds in my garden.

Especially in our current world where Asians are being attacked, I want to be hidden in camouflage. I would fight back if I am attacked again. But I don’t want to fight or be attacked. I would prefer to be hidden and invisible.

Stay tuned to see when the hummingbirds will return to my garden.

Photos teach us hiding can be good to feel safe!