Ken's Photo Blog

Previous entries: [Links] [July 2007] [May 2007] [March-April, 2007] [Jan26 - Feb. 4, 2007] [Jan. 20 Mtn Bike] [Jan. 16 Vertigo] [Days of Jan. 1-12, 2007]

Aug. 28, 2007

Lunar Eclipse

8/27/2007 Papai photo, full moon, hours before the eclipse began. 8/28/2007 Papai photo, 3 AM PDT, moon in total eclipse over N. California.

Total lunar eclipse -- above photos: full moon hours before the eclispe began; then the reddish moon in total eclipse, 3 AM local time.
To get these shots I used my longest lens, which zooms to 200mm (it's a Canon EF 70-200 2.8L lens). The full moon at left was shot at 1/500 f/2.8 ISO 200 while the shot of the moon in the dark of the earth's shadow was just 1/6 at f/3.5 ISO 400 (30 times dimmer)! Astronomers say this is the longest or 2nd longest total lunar eclipse of the past ten years. The moon looks orange because that is the remaining little sunlight that bends around and filters through the earth's atmosphere and barely illuminates the moon during an eclipse.

Aug. 23, 2007

New Cameras

AUG 2007 new Canon 1Ds3 camera This has been a big week for digital photography -- notably Nikon and Canon releasing new DSLR bodies, a full frame (FF) sensor in each, and the first ever FF for Nikon! More on this now: Canon announced a new flagship body upgrade, their 1Ds Mark III which is now 21 MP. It's very expensive, around $7,000 and won't be shipping for two months. Nikon announced their new flagship, the D3 at 12 MP ($5,000) and it is more of a pro sports shooter camera. The Canon 1Ds3 is mostly aimed at high end pro wedding photogs, runway model shooters, and also upscale advertising and landscape photographers.
Links here for both new cameras -- Canon 1Ds3 and the Nikon D3.
Canon also announced their new upgrade body for the 30D, it's now called the 40D and is 10MP resolution; it can capture Raw format in 14 bits of data (older models were only capturing Raws in 12-bit mode).
KJP-Self square portrait, May 2006 If money were no object I'd have one of each of these new FF bodies (and would have to buy a lot of Nikon lenses since I own none). Also why should I or any Canon shooter CARE that Nikon finally announced a FF camera? Because it's good for competition! Canon needed a serious threat; they've never had one in that FF space. Excellence. Now the game is on and those striving for best quality cameras will see nothing but positive fall-out (innovation + price competition) these next couple years.

Aug. 17, 2007

Mt. Tamalpais

June 1995 Ken Papai photo of Mt. Tamalpais, scanned from print
Aug. 17, 2007 Ken Papai photo Mt. Tamalpais State Park
Nine of us headed up to the summit before noon today--and wow, was it fun up on top today! Excellent weather and top notch views. A bit of haze when looking towards SF but going to the summit and standing around the lookout tower there is one of the best experiences the Bay Area has to offer.
Aug. 17, 2007 Ken Papai photo Mt. Tamalpais State Park
Afterwards we had a late lunch at the famous Mill Valley restaurant the Dipsea Cafe. If you want to view dozens of historical area photos dating back to the 1890's go to the Dipsea and check out the old photos framed on the wall as well as lots of photos from the Dipsea foot race.
Aug. 17, 2007 photo at Mt. Tamalpais State Park trail to summit Aug. 17, 2007 photo at Mt. Tamalpais State Park, hut at summit
Aug. 17, 2007 photo at Mt. Tamalpais State Park, where Ken & Cindy got married Aug. 17, 2007 photo at Mt. Tamalpais State Park shooting
Aug. 17, 2007 photo Mt. Tamalpais State Park, returning

Aug. 15, 2007

Sonoma Valley Olive Oil

Aug. 15, 2007 Ken Papai photo at Gloria Ferrer in Sonoma On the agenda today: B.R. Cohn wine and olive oil tasting; sandwiches and assorted from Glen Ellen market deli; patio lunch and wine tasting at Imagery Winery; Jacuzzi Family wine and olive oil tasting; sparkling wine on the valley overlook patio at Gloria Ferrer. This was a very fun birthday celebration! Later we had dinner reservations at Boca in Novato and experienced a nice room for our large party of eleven. Steaks there were excellent.
Part of our group (Jeff & Ellen and kids) explored Muir Woods and Tiburon.
At the right: Aug. 15, 2007 Ken Papai photo at B.R. Cohn - olive grove B.R. Cohn olive grove at the winery...

Aug. 14, 2007

Back to The Rock

Aug. 14, 2007 Ken Papai photo at Alcatraz Island We'll be taking the ferry later this morning from Pier 33 out to Alcatraz and touring the prison. I was just out there two months ago. The fog never really burned off of the bay today but the weather out on The Rock wasn't so bad. Ten of us took the 11:30 boat over and we had a great time!
Aug. 14, 2007 Ken Papai photo at Alcatraz Island old dock Afterwards we visited the Presidio and Pres a Vi for wine then did an excellent BBQ grilling of skewers as these photos below illustrate.

Aug. 14, 2007 Ken Papai photo of dinner prep Aug. 14, 2007 Ken Papai photo of dinner prep grilling
Aug. 14, 2007 Ken Papai photo of dinner - dining

Aug. 12, 2007

Tiger Wins Again

Aug. 12, 2007 Ken Papai photo from CBS HDTV - Tiger Woods wins the PGA in Oklahoma Tiger Woods won his 13th Major today, the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, OK. It was very hot and humid but he led this tournament since Friday afternoon after smoking the field with a 63. I spent a lot of time in front of the tube watching his 4 hour victory lap.
I pulled some tired, old and stalky annuals out of the front windows' flower boxes -- maybe replace with some autumn bloomers? I planted these annuals from seed -- I went through three packs of different flowering species seeds and semi-randomly put them in the boxes' dirt and they all grew and bloomed and were pretty fun. It's the most gardening I've done all year.

Aug. 12, 2007 Ken Papai photo from CBS HDTV - Tiger Woods, trophy, wins the PGA in Tulsa, OK

Aug. 11, 2007

The Toronado 20th Anniversary

Aug. 11, 2007 Ken Papai photo - Sierra Nevada beers at the Toronado beer bar in San Francsico As far as I or my beer snob aficionado friends are concerned, the Toronado is the best beer bar on the West Coast. Thanks for 20 great years David Keene! Being a "beer snob" is a good thing; it sets you apart from the corn & rice factory super light "beers" of Bud, Miller, Coors, Heineken, Moosehead, Beck's, and their ilk.
Back to the subject at hand -- I'll be at the T today for part of the celebration. There was a nice article in the Chronicle yesterday with an interview of David.
As it turned out, the party was definitely awesome -- seemed like close to twenty special beers on the sign on offer at tap. There was no way I was going to hang for long at this party but just being there for a little under two hours seemed special.
June 2006 Ken Papai photo - IPA beer at the Toronado beer bar in San Francsico I got a fun photo standing next to Pete Slosberg (Pete's Wicked Ales) and as I left a veritable who's who of Amercian brewers were planning on attending the T later in the day.
Aug. 11, 2007 Ken Papai photo - Wine tasting at Pres a Vi in the Presidio, San Francsico Photo at left -- Later I picked up Cindy near Union Square and we went to Pres a Vis for a little bit of wine tasting.
Some more photos from today:
The sign at 547 Haight Street.
Interior, early moody long exposure brew shot.
Congrats sign from new Belgium Brewing.
Quaffing a Russian River Blind Pig IPA with longtime barkeep Steve in the background.
Interior opening and very early bar scene looking to the street.
SN Celebration Ale in the Toronado 20th Anniversary commemorative glass.

Aug. 5, 2007

Twice the BBQ

8/05/2007 Ken Papai photo, Matt BBQ grill on Sterling Way OK, I am an early adopter naturally. I've been doing my own Web site since early 1996. I estimate I am in the top 2% of Web adopters in the world. I still suck at writing HTML by hand but at least I can do it and have even 8/05/2007 Ken Papai photo, Glenn BBQ grill at Jill's in Tib. made money doing it (not much, it doesn't matter though). However, this is the first time in those 12 years I've had the fun to say "yes" and attend two BBQ parties in one day, and a Sunday at that! I really do put myself out there. Thank you Matt & Sara and thank you Jill!
Right now I am gathering ideas for my own little party -- red wine tasting, probably blind and from a numbered, brown bag. One idea is to limit the cost of the wine, with a minimum of $15 (to ban any plonk) to a max of $30 per bottle. Then if the cheapest wins c'est la vie! Some official party ideas are here. While Levy's excellent wine tasting party strategy is here.

Some of the BBQ peeps:

8/05/2007 Ken Papai BBQ photo 1 8/05/2007 Ken Papai BBQ photo 2
8/05/2007 Ken Papai BBQ photo 3 8/05/2007 Ken Papai BBQ photo 4 8/05/2007 Ken Papai BBQ photo 5

Aug. 4, 2007

Anderson Valley

8/06/2005 Ken Papai photo, Aug. 2005, Navarro grapes Today is Navarro Winery's annual open house to their club members. We went two years ago and had a blast! The winery and vineyards are located in the Anderson Valley, Mendocino County. Navarro also is doing barrel tastings of their premier Pinot Noir and offering futures for sale (you can pick up your order in a year's time, which is all the more reason for another fun visit).
Photo at left: the green grapes are from a vineyard tour we took in Aug. 2005.

8/04/2007 Ken Papai photo, Aug. 2007, Navarro Vineyards rising to summit
Navarro vineyards rising to the hilltop horizon. You can take a 4x4 truck tour to the topmost vineyards as we did 2 years ago.

Navarro offers an annual special wine tasting and picnic type setting with plenty of food -- e.g., the BEST spicy grilled chicken wings I've ever had. Afterwards the three of us (self, Cindy, & Linda) went to Goldeneye to taste their pinot noir and then to Meyer Family Cellars for syrah and port tasting.
Photos: Meyer tasting room and view from Meyer to the outside.
Meyer Family website.
Ken Papai photo 8/04/2007, Goldeneye Confluence vineyard
Goldeneye's Confluence Vineyard
which grows some of the BEST pinot noir in the valley. Goldeneye is a Duckhorn winery. They were tasting five Pinot Noirs at Goldeneye; the first was a rose' of pinot which of course was very refreshing and top quality. Then they tested their Migration and Goldeneye pinots followed by their two pricey single vineyard pinots, Confluence Vineyard (photo) and the Narrows Vineyard. I decided I liked the Narrows the best. These guys (Zach Rasmuson, winemaker) make some of THE BEST pinot bar none!
And, in sports news, Bonds crushed his 755th career homer this evening against the S.D. Padres. Nice job (and tomorrow, Sunday, Tiger crushed his opposition at the Firestone in Akron; he looks good heading into the PGA this week at Southern Hills in Tulsa).

Tasting Pinot Noir in the shade at Goldeneye
8/04/2007 Ken Papai Goldeneye Winery photo - the shade 8/04/2007 Ken Papai Goldeneye Winery photo - decanters 8/04/2007 Ken Papai Goldeneye Winery photo - tasting
Above: Decanters holding the Confluence Vineyard pinot and the Narrows Vineyard pinot.
"Goldeneye began making premium quality, cool climate Pinot Noir from its estate winery in the Anderson Valley in 1997. Blending grapes from four estate vineyards planted to 23 clones of Pinot Noir on 11 different rootstocks, Goldeneye is dedicated to crafting wines of refinement and elegance from a rich palette of terroir-inspired fruit."
Look for a new vineyard designate for the 2005 vintage release in March 2008: Gowan Creek.

Previous Blog Entries: [July 2007] [May 2007] [March - April, 2007] [Jan. 26 - Feb. 4, 2007] [Days of Jan. 13-25, 2007] [Days of Jan. 1-12, 2007]

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