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Monterey, California, June 2009
© 2009 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

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I went on one of Dave Wyman's excellent photo tours that ran from Friday, 12 June 2009 through Sunday, 14 June 2009. Here is Dave's trip description.

Here are some of the snaps. I explain what cameras and settings I used under each photo, but far more important than the camera is composition and paying attention to timing and lighting.

I have a page of tech details if you care.

Here we go!

 

Thursday, 11 June 2009: San Luis Obispo, California

The photo tour starts at 2PM tomorrow. It's an 8-hour drive from my house, so I popped up the night before to San Luis Obispo so that I knew I could make it to our starting point in Salinas on time tomorrow.

Budget Motel SLO

Budget Motel, San Luis Obispo, 5:02PM. Canon SD880 IS, f/5.6 at 1/1,000 at 5mm (28mm equivalent on 35mm film), auto ISO chose ISO 80, -2/3 exposure compensation, cloudy white balance to add warmth, vivid mode, camera tilted so bottom of motel is parallel to bottom of frame.

 

Grate

Grate, South Side of Marsh Street, 5:20PM. Minolta CLE, Leica 40mm f/2 Summicron-C with 39mm B+W 81A filter, Fuji Velvia 50 as processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/8 at 1/90 in auto mode. details.

 

colors

Violet and Yellow, South Side of Marsh Street, 5:40PM. Minolta CLE, Leica 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit-M with 39mm Hoya 85C filter, Fuji Velvia 50 as processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/5.6 at 1/360 in auto mode. details.

 

SLO BBQ

San Luis Obispo Farmers' Market, 6:40PM. Canon SD880 IS, f/2.8 at 1/160 at 5mm (28mm equivalent on 35mm film), auto ISO chose ISO 80, -2/3 exposure compensation, cloudy white balance to add warmth, vivid mode.

 

buble gum wall, San Luis Obispo

Bubblegum Alley, San Luis Obispo, 7PM. Minolta CLE with Leica 12 008 21mm finderVoigtlander 21mm f/4 M with 39mm Hoya 85C filter, f/4 at 1/4 second hand-held, Fuji Velvia 50, processed and scanned at NCPS. details.

 

McLintock's SLO

F. McLintock's Saloon and Dining House, 686 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, California, 8:30PM. Canon SD880 IS, f/2.8 at 1/8 second, hand-held, at 5mm (28mm equivalent on 35mm film), auto white balance, auto ISO chose ISO 250, vivid mode.

I have never had better steaks than I've had here over the years. My first visit was in 1993 and I've been going back ever since. The red neon isn't that bad for photos, either.

 

Friday, 12 June 2009: San Luis Obispo to Monterey

Budget Motel, 12 June 2009

Budget Motel, Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo, California, 7:51AM. Canon SD880 IS, f/5 at 1/800 at 14.8mm (35mm film equivalent of 85mm), auto ISO chose ISO 80, -2/3 exposure compensation, cloudy white balance to add warmth, vivid mode. details.

 

OConner Pet Hospital, SLO

O'Connor Pet Hospital, Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, California, 8:30AM. Contax 645, Zeiss Sonnar T* 140mm f/2.8 (equivalent to an 85mm lens on 35mm film) with 72mm Nikon A2 filter, hand-held at 1/90 at f/8 (aperture-priority auto), +0.3 exposure compensation so orange looks orange instead of brown (orange is a lighter color and needs more exposure to stay that way), ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. details.

 

Neon, SLO

Metal Works, Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, California, 8:30AM. Contax 645, Zeiss Sonnar T* 140mm f/2.8 (equivalent to an 85mm lens on 35mm film) with 72mm Nikon A2 filter, hand-held at 1/90 at f/2.8 (aperture-priority auto, ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. details.

 

Kauai, San Luis Obispo, CA

Home in Kaua`i, Hawai`i, as seen in San Luis Obispo, California, 8:30AM. Contax 645, Zeiss Sonnar T* 140mm f/2.8 (equivalent to an 85mm lens on 35mm film) with 72mm Nikon A2 filter, hand-held at 1/90 at f/5.6 (aperture-priority auto), ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. details.

 

Outspoken Bike Shop, SLOhttp://www.cambriabike.com/

Cambria Bike Outfitters (next to Outspoken Cafe), 1422 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, California, 11AM. Contax 645, Zeiss Sonnar T* 140mm f/2.8 (equivalent to an 85mm lens on 35mm film) with 72mm Nikon A2 filter, hand-held at 1/90 at f/5.6 (aperture-priority auto), ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. details.

I met Dave Wyman in San Luis Obispo, and we traveled north together to Salinas to meet the rest of the group.

Heck, I also bumped into reader Bruce Johnson at the auto parts store on Higuera street who recognized me. I was busted! I was surprised; San Luis Obispo wasn't part of the outing, it just happens to be on the way up to Monterey.

Spreckels, CA

Post Office, Spreckels, California, 5PM. Contax 645, Zeiss Planar T* 80mm f/2 (equivalent to a 50mm lens on 35mm film) with 72mm Hoya HMC 81A, hand-held at 1/180 at f/8 (aperture-priority auto), +0.3 exposure compensation, ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. details.

 

Spreckels, Calif. VOonteer Fire Department

Volunteer Fire Department, Spreckels, California, 5PM. Contax 645, Zeiss Planar T* 80mm f/2 (equivalent to a 50mm lens on 35mm film) with 72mm Hoya HMC 81A, hand-held at 1/125 at f/8 (aperture-priority auto), ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. details.

 

Saturday, 13 June 2009: Monterey, California

Our first stop was the commercial fishing pier in Monterey's usual wet overcast. I was too lazy to want to haul the Contax 645 around, so all I took was the Leica system for fun, and got some of my best shots of the trip.

Monterey is also home to the US Navy's Navel Research Laboratory, where they do a whole lot more than look at belly buttons. They've been working for decades on practical technology to make ships invisible, and it whacked-out three of our light meters! The US Navy first did this in 1943 (the fact that the US Navy has to deny it officially only confirms it really happened), and has been trying to make it more practical ever since.

One photographer's Nikon FM's meter passed out, so he grabbed his always trusty Sekonic, which had also mysteriously failed. Thinking it was a hoax, I grabbed my Gossen Digisix meter, whose LOW BAT indicator was flashing for the first time ever.

Why does fallout from the Navy's cloaking technology whack-out only dedicated meters and older cameras, but not newer digital and other cameras with more complex meters? Simple: dedicated meters and older cameras have much larger light sensing elements, while multi-pattern, matrix and digital camera meters use many more and smaller light sensing elements. Apparently whatever weird electromagnetic voodoo the Navy is brewing up is much more dangerous to light meters with more sensing area than meters with smaller sensors. You've been warned. Heck, I haven't even been able to find my Digisix since we returned!

Red

Commercial Fishing Pier, Monterey, Morning. Minolta CLE, Leica 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit-M with 39mm B+W 81A filter, Fuji Velvia 50 as processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/4 at 1/90 in auto mode. details.

 

Cleat

Cleat, Commercial Fishing Pier, Monterey, Morning. Minolta CLE, Leica 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit-M with 39mm B+W 81A filter, Fuji Velvia 50 as processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/4 at 1/60 in auto mode with -1/2 stop compensation. How do I know to use -1/2 stop on film without seeing anything as I shoot? Easy: it's a dark subject, so -1/2 is just about right. Otherwise the auto exposure system would try to lighten the blacks to gray. details.

 

Royal Fish, Monterey

Royal Seafoods, Commercial Fishing Pier, Monterey, Morning. Minolta CLE with Leica 12 008 21mm finderVoigtlander 21mm f/4 M with 39mm B+W 81A filter, Fuji Velvia 50 as processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/5.6 at 1/90 in auto mode with about +1/2 stop compensation, or maybe I did this in manual mode, having metered with the camera pointed down. details.

 

Orange Fork Lift Fork

Forklift Fork, Commercial Fishing Pier, Monterey, Morning. Minolta CLE, Leica 40mm f/2 Summicron-C with 39mm B+W 81A filter, Fuji Velvia 50 as processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/2.8 at 1/60 in auto mode with -1/2 stop compensation. How do I know -1/2 stop on film without seeing anything? Easy: it's a dark subject, so -1/2 is just about right. Otherwise the auto exposure system would try to lighten the blacks to gray. details.

 

Float

Float, Commercial Fishing Pier, Monterey, Morning. Minolta CLE with Leica 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit-M with 39mm B+W 81A filter, Fuji Velvia 50 as processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/4 at 1/60 in auto mode. details.

 

Blue and Green

Blue and Green, Commercial Fishing Pier, Monterey, Morning. Minolta CLE with Leica 40mm f/2 Summicron-C with 39mm B+W 81A filter, Fuji Velvia 50, processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/4 at 1/60 in auto mode maybe with -1/2 stop compensation. I also flipped the film horizontally; I prefer to lead your eyes up from the left instead of drawing your eyes out and to the right as originally oriented. I don't know if I was observant enough to notice the green in the cracks when I snapped the photo, but they sure make the photo work. details.

 

Square

Square, Commercial Fishing Pier, Monterey, Morning. Minolta CLE with Leica 40mm f/2 Summicron-C with 39mm B+W 81A filter, Fuji Velvia 50, processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/2.8 at 1/60 in auto mode, probably with -1/2 stop compensation. The cigarette butt is a perfect punchline to the photo: a detail you notice only after you've been looking around it for a little while. details.

 

Red, White and Blue

Red, White and Blue, Suckers' Pier, Monterey, Morning. Minolta CLE with Leica 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit-M with 39mm B+W 81A filter, Fuji Velvia 50, processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/4 at 1/90 in auto mode.

I cheated on this one. When I got my film back, the bottom edge of the lock was on the bottom edge of my frame. It was a little crooked, too. In Photoshop I enlarged the canvas (Opt+Cmd+C on Mac) and cloned the edges out enough so that I could use the Lens Distortion Filter to straighten it and crop it back a little. details.

We stopped for breakfast at about 10AM.

Bread Bowls

Salmon and Breadbowls, Suckers' Pier, Monterey, Morning. Minolta CLE with Leica 12 008 21mm finderVoigtlander 21mm f/4 M, with 39mm B+W 81A filter, Fuji Velvia 50 as processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/4 at 1/30 in auto mode. details.

After breakfast at the tourist pier, we headed out to Carmel Valley:

Field

Carmel Valley, California, Afternoon. Minolta CLE with Leica 12 008 21mm finderVoigtlander 21mm f/4 M,with 39mm B+W 81A filter, Fuji Velvia 50 as processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/8 at 1/125 in auto mode. I think I used two stacked filters or just one thick 1950s Leica 39mm polarizer, which lead to the slight vignetting. details.

 

Oak, Carmel Valley ROad, Calif.

Oak, Carmel Valley, California, Afternoon. Contax 645, Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/3.5 (21mm equivalent on 35mm film) with 95mm Schneider 81-One filter, hand-held at 1/60 at f/8 (manual exposure metered pointed down a little at the ground and with my hand blocking the sun), ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. The 35mm lens' 8-bladed diaphragm caused the 8-pointed sunstar. details.

After Carmel Valley we swung back another way:

Collard Greens, Arroyo Seco Road

Collard Greens, California, 6:20PM. Contax 645, Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/3.5 (21mm equivalent on 35mm film) with 95mm Schneider 81-One filter and 95mm screw-in Schneider gradiated neutral density 0.9 (note my incorrect orientation), hand-held at 1/30 at f/5.6 (aperture-priority auto), ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. details.

We wandered into an abandoned barn and didn't find any old Mercedes 300SLs, but we did find a Chevy that looks like it drove here from Bodie:

Old Chevy, River Rd 34 miles east of Monterey

Shades of Bodie, Some Barn Somewhere in California, 7:30PM. Contax 645, Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/3.5 (21mm equivalent on 35mm film) with 95mm Schneider 81-One filter, 4 seconds at f/11 (aperture-priority auto, -1/2 stop bracket), Gitzo 1227 tripod (carbon fiber, bought in 1995) with Bogen 3275/Manfrotto 410 geared head, ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. details.

 

Sunday, 14 June 2009: Monterey, California

First stop of the day: the Monterey Headlands:

Green

Frothplant on Iceplant, Monterey Headlands, Morning. Contax 645, Zeiss Sonnar T* 140mm f/2.8 (equivalent to an 85mm lens on 35mm film) with 72mm Nikon A2 filter, 1/4 second at f/32 (aperture-priority auto), Gitzo 1227 tripod (carbon fiber, 1995) with Bogen 3275/Manfrotto 410 geared head, ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. details.

After the Headlands we went to the aquarium, but first had lunch at a burger place around the corner.

Garbage Can

Trash Can, Monterey, California, 10AM. Minolta CLE with Leica 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit-M with 39mm B+W 81A filter, Fuji Velvia 50 as processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/4 at 1/90 in auto mode. details.

Now to the aquarium, just in time for feeding at the kelp tank:

Monterey Aquarium

Feeding Time, Kelp Forest, Monterey Bay Aquarium, 11:30AM. Minolta CLE with Leica 12 008 21mm finderVoigtlander 21mm f/4 M with 39mm B+W 81A filter, f/4 at 1 second hand-held in auto mode, braced against railing on upper level of aquarium. Fuji Velvia 50 as processed and scanned at NCPS. I left the top alone, but I used adjustment layer masks to lighten and warm the people sitting at the bottom. In my scans, they were very dark and blue compared to the water, which is the light source and supposed to look blue. details.

 

Homage to Jay Maisel's Window Washer

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Noon. (Note the same Columbian guy from Jay Maisel's Window Washer photo in the lower left.) Minolta CLE with Leica 12 008 21mm finderVoigtlander 21mm f/4 M with 39mm B+W 81A filter, Fuji Velvia 50 as processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/8 at 1/180 in auto mode. details.

 

Otter

Sea Otter, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Noon. Minolta CLE with Leica 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit-M with 39mm B+W 81A filter, Fuji Velvia 50 as processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/2.8 at 1/360 in auto mode. This was tough, since I had to shoot through wavy, thick plexiglas with manual focus as the little guy floated around. details.

 

Tables

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Noon. Minolta CLE with Leica 12 008 21mm finderVoigtlander 21mm f/4 M with 39mm B+W 81A filter, Fuji Velvia 50 as processed and scanned at NCPS, probably around f/4 at 1/8 in auto mode, hand-held braced against a railing. details.

OK, end of formal outing. Dave and I headed back south together and met this man along the way:

Salad Nuts, 14 June 2009

Man Strutting His Salad, Salinas Area, 3:42PM. Canon SD880 IS, f/5.6 at 1/500, flash forced ON, at 5mm (28mm equivalent on 35mm film), vivid mode. details.

I stopped overnight again in San Luis Obispo so I could get to sleep at a reasonable hour, and also so I could have some more world-class steaks at McLintock's.

Interior, McLintock's SLO, 14 June 2009, 7:31PM ISO 80 f3.2 1 sec

F. McLintock's Saloon and Dining House, 686 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, California, 7:31PM. Canon SD880 IS, f/3.1 at 0.8 seconds, hand-held at manually set ISO 80, at 6mm (35mm equivalent on 35mm film), auto white balance, vivid mode. details.

I didn't come back here to photograph; I came back to eat more steak! I held the SD880 on my table as I made enough shots to ensure I could pick a sharp one.

McLintock's SLO

F. McLintock's, 8:15PM. Canon SD880 IS, f/2.8 at 1/6 second, hand-held, auto ISO chose ISO 400, at 5mm (28mm equivalent on 35mm film), tungsten white balance, vivid mode. details.

After dinner I of course wandered around photographing.

Bike, SLO

Bike, San Luis Obispo, 8:21PM. Canon SD880 IS, f/2.8 at 1/15 second, hand-held, auto ISO chose ISO 200, at 5mm (28mm equivalent on 35mm film), -2/3 exposure compensation, auto white balance, vivid mode. details.

 

Creekside Brewing, SLO

Creekside Brewing Company, San Luis Obispo, 8:22PM. Canon SD880 IS, f/3.5 at 1/60 second, hand-held, auto ISO chose ISO 200, at 8.1mm (45mm equivalent on 35mm film), auto white balance, vivid mode. details.

 

Pub, San Luis Obispo

Pub, San Luis Obispo, 8:32PM. Canon SD880 IS, f/3.5 at 1/15 second, hand-held, auto ISO chose ISO 200, at 9.4mm (53mm equivalent on 35mm film), cloudy white balance to add warmth, vivid mode. details.

 

Romanian Cave Bear

Scary Romanian Cave Bear Skull, San Luis Obispo, 9:01PM. Canon SD880 IS, f/2.8 at 1/8 second, hand-held, auto ISO chose ISO 250, at 5mm (28mm equivalent on 35mm film), auto white balance, -2/3 exposure compensation, vivid mode. details.

 

McLintock's

F. McLintock's, 8:30PM. Canon SD880 IS, f/2.8 at 1/8 second, hand-held, auto ISO chose ISO 200, at 5mm (28mm equivalent on 35mm film), auto white balance, vivid mode. details.

 

Monday, 15 June 2009: San Luis Obispo

I got up today in San Luis Obispo and went for a walk in the morning light before I headed home.

Orange, Los Padres Inn

Orange Wall, Motel, San Luis Obispo, 7:15AM. Contax 645, Zeiss Sonnar T* 140mm f/2.8 (equivalent to an 85mm lens on 35mm film) with 72mm Nikon A2 filter, hand-held at 1/125 at f/5.6 (aperture-priority auto), ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. details.

 

Switzerland

Switzerland, San Luis Obispo, 8AM. Contax 645, Zeiss Sonnar T* 140mm f/2.8 (equivalent to an 85mm lens on 35mm film) with 72mm Nikon A2 filter, hand-held at 1/250 at f/6.5 (aperture-priority auto), ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. details.

 

SLO History Museum

San Luis Obispo County Museum, 8:50AM. Contax 645, Zeiss Sonnar T* 140mm f/2.8 (equivalent to an 85mm lens on 35mm film) with 72mm Nikon A2 filter, hand-held at 1/250 at f/5.6 (aperture-priority auto), ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. details.

 

SLO Library

San Luis Obispo, 9AM. High-Resolution version. Contax 645, Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/3.5 (21mm equivalent on 35mm film) with 95mm Schneider 81-One filter, hand-held at 1/90 at f/8 (aperture-priority auto), ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. details.

 

Warning

Warnings, Tree Chippers, San Luis Obispo, 9:10AM. Canon SD880 IS, f/4.5 at 1/100 second, hand-held, auto ISO chose ISO 200, at 12.5mm (70mm equivalent on 35mm film), vivid mode. details. enlarge.

 

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