August 19, 2014

Pigeon Point Lighthouse -- a photog's Mecca


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photo by Donald Kinney

Well, yes, thanks for asking… I DID take a little fast mid-of-night trip down the San Mateo Coast.

ALL photogs go to Pigeon Point Lighthouse. They just DO, and no reasonable explanation has ever been found. Some say it is a right-of-passage, and others go less for snaps and more to absorb darkness and salt-laden-air. A new excuse for each long, very long exposure. And often, I will admit in my case, it could be the bad-boy thrill of staying up past bedtime.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Not a new image^^^taken on another mid-of-night outing, Nov, 2011.

source of the following: Wikipedia
Pigeon Point Lighthouse is one of the most picturesque lighthouses on the Pacific coast. The tower stands on a rocky promontory and has long been a landmark for ships approaching San Francisco Bay from the south. This headland, and hence the lighthouse, took its name from the ship Carrier Pigeon that wrecked here in 1853.

The lantern room of the tower is no longer equipped with the original first-order, 1000-watt Fresnel lens. No longer illuminated for demonstration purposes, the lens has 24 flash panels, is composed of 1008 hand-polished lenses and prisms and is capable of producing over 500,000 candlepower illumination. It was manufactured by the Henry-LePaute company in Paris, France and was first lit at Pigeon Point at sunset on November 15, 1872.

Originally the tower was equipped with a lamp that burned refined lard oil (pig fat). In 1888, that lamp was replaced with a mineral oil (kerosene) lamp. To produce Pigeon Point's assigned characteristic of one white flash of light every ten seconds, the one (1) ton lens rotated one time every four minutes. When observed from a distance, this resulted in the appearance of one white flash of light every ten seconds. The lens rotation was originally powered by a clockworks and 45 pounds (20 kg) weight. In 1926 the lighthouse was provided with electricity. Modern innovations were incorporated and the kerosene IOV lamp was replaced by a 1000 watt bulb, the clockworks by an electric motor and an electrically operated fog signal was eventually installed. The lighthouse has been designated California Historical Landmark number 930.

In 1972, the United States Coast Guard mounted a 24-inch aerobeacon on the front of the tower (now replaced by a smaller beacon) and officially retired the Fresnel lens from regular duty. The First order Fresnel lens is no longer lit to celebrate special occasions, such as the annual lighting of the lens, which usually occurred in mid-November (closest Saturday to November 15) the date of the original first lighting in 1872. The lens was removed from the top of the tower in November 2011, to now be displayed in the fog signal building, adjacent to the base of the lighthouse. The light outside the lens room, mounted on a small verandah at the top of the 100-foot (30 m) tower, rotating with six beams, is still an active aid to navigation. Updated information, garnered from the recent lens removal crew, has produced new numbers for the weight of the lens...long reported to be four tons. In actuality that figure was the complete shipping weight of the lens and its rotating clock works. The correct figures are as follows: lens weight, one (1) ton; the clock works, one (1) ton; and the seventy-eight (78) wooden shipping crates to contain such, two (2) tons; total, therefore, being the reported four tons.

The tower has been closed to tours since December 2001 because of the collapse of brickwork supporting outside access metal walkways on the top of the structure. Cast iron was used rather than steel with the unfortunate result being that cast iron absorbs water rather than repelling it like steel, thus the walkways are severely rusted, as are the major binding ring bands at the base of the tower! The California State Park system has promised repairs, but it is estimated that even if funds were available, it would be seven to ten years before the repairs would be completed. In July, 2010, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) stated that of the $3.4 million she requested for her district through the Fiscal Year 2011 Interior and Environment Appropriations Act, $250,000 will be allocated to restore the upper portion of the lighthouse.


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Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2       
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August 18, 2014

Painted bridge, the wilds of west Marin


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photo by Donald Kinney

Out in the wilds of west Marin we have one bridge in particular that has been sprayed and brushed with a lot of paint over the years. The 130' concrete span was built in the 1930's and is on Pt.Reyes Station to Petaluma Road, crossing Nicasio Creek below Nicasio Reservoir Dam. Platform Bridge Road branches west. Thousands of cars cross this narrow bridge each day.



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photo by Donald Kinney

The bridge is now in an arty pleasant state in its long and colorful history of being sprayed and slathered with paint.



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photo by Donald Kinney

For now… the theme of this painted bridge in west Marin County seems to be about peace and harmony with our streams, trees, and air. The way our impact on the land and environment is supposed to be.


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Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2       
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August 16, 2014

on the road again...

I'm on the road today (Sunday)
--blog and the usual foolishness will return Monday morning.


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August 15, 2014

Mt. Tamalpais -- swaddled in a veil of fog


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photo by Donald Kinney

Our Sleeping Lady, Tamalpa, was particularly beautiful Wednesday morning.


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Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2       
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August 14, 2014

three nice photos, if I say so myself


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photo by Donald Kinney

Early morning, pointed east.


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photo by Donald Kinney

Camera turned west in the afternoon.


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photo by Donald Kinney

A burst of color, after the sun sank.


NOW would be the time to celebrate:

celebration sounds - mouse over keys --or click on key to repeat 3 times... drag keys to create key combinations -- I made numerous sound-effect keyboards when I was learning FLASH® about 8 years ago.

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Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2       
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 1       

August 13, 2014

stand-up paddle-boarder at China Camp


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photo by Donald Kinney

Oh, the things I sometimes see while out there driving WAY too many miles and burning up WAY too much gasoline. The other morning I spotted a man watering a group of sunflowers towering over his head by more than a foot. I suppose I could have slammed on the brakes and approached the fence-line surreptitiously, like a hunter stalking game with a rifle; but he definitely would have seen me coming and the image would have ended up looking contrived. Or, he might have yelled a few nasty words in my direction to ward me off. Yes, it has happened before.

One morning I was in the Redwood studded area of deepest Lucas Valley when I decided on a nice shot of a beautiful home amongst towering Redwoods. I was hand-holding my monstrously frightening 70-200 zoom when the resident came out, approached me, and started accusing me of trying to shoot into her windows. Oh she was mad, and nothing I could say was able to assure her that I was NOT shooting into her windows. I wanted to photograph the general scene; which I believe I had every right in the world to do. With cellphone in hand she began screaming, yes screaming at me that she was calling the sheriff--fair enough warning for me to get back in my car and leave. I'm sure she got my license plate, but since she had forgotten to place me under citizen's arrest and wasn't packing heat, I thought the best thing for me to do would be to just get out of there. I never heard anything of it from the sheriff, and I hope I didn't spoil her day; but it did leave me a bit shaken and concerned.



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photo by Donald Kinney

On Monday I spotted this stand-up paddle-boarder paddling away from the shore at China Camp, and I figured that if I waited long enough she would return, passing through glistening waters. If I was lucky, I thought, she wouldn't see me trying to snap her. Fortunately, I heard no hostile words of complaint. She seemed to be ignoring me completely. Either she didn't see me, or just didn't care.


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Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2       
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August 12, 2014

standing in darkness -- a very fine occupation


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photo by Donald Kinney

Oh, I've worked. Yes, I have worked. And I've had some rather interesting jobs, and I've worked with some even more interesting people. Yes, indeed, I've worked. I've worked hard. But oh, I suppose my employers might have had a different opinion.

In 1969 through 1971 I served in the U.S. Army at the undeniable request of the President of the United States; Richard Milhous Nixon. Oh, they sent me to Fort Bliss, Texas; to train on a mobile missile launcher system called Chaparral, and I even launched one $80,000 missile at White Sands Test Range in Arizona. But when I got deployed to Germany (yes, I somehow avoided Vietnam) the first thing they asked was if I knew anything about typewriters. Cautiously I responded YES, but my caution was based on a book I had been reading; "The Draftee's Confidential Guide" which related a story about a group of recruits who had raised their hands when asked by their sergeant if they knew anything about typewriters. Unwittingly, they had volunteered to unload a truck full of typewriters. Fortunately, for me, my job changed from Chaparral crew member to company clerk-typist, working in a warm office typing up voluminous Article-15's, Court-martials, and duty rosters.

--So, why am I telling you this Army stuff? To prepare you for THIS story about the honorable man I worked under in his orderly-room; Master Sergeant Carmen. One day after a particular hectic day of typing I remarked to Sergeant Carmen that I needed a vacation, to which he quickly replied; "Kinney, you've been on a vacation since you got here." 'Nuff said.



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photo by Donald Kinney

But at work I used to often look out the windows at interesting cloud formations passing over. And I'm sure my co-workers heard me say it a million times--"on a day like this Ansel Adams would be out photographing".



photo by Donald Kinney

But Kitty never worked, at least not in the traditional specter. She would often tug on my heart with love, but how could anyone confuse that with work--it was pure dedication on her part, but maybe she just didn't know any better. And she LOVED to play. Even if it was only from the living room to the kitchen, she would prance and run. A very fine cat indeed. One time I even saw her balance the moon on her nose.


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Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2       
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August 11, 2014

yeah, I had to wait for this one


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photo by Donald Kinney

Oh, I knew it was gonna happen. And it did. But it sure took a long while.



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photo by Donald Kinney

444 snaps, and about an hour earlier this was the scene. Gray and ominous.


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Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2       
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August 10, 2014

at Point Reyes Station -- getting a bit "arty"


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photo by Donald Kinney

The town of Point Reyes Station had its beginnings when the railroad arrived in 1875. Originally known as"Olema Station", its name changed to "Point Reyes", then to "Marin", then back to "Point Reyes" again, and finally sticking with "Point Reyes Station" in 1891. Fifteen years later the town was almost completely destroyed in the 1906 earthquake--as the San Andreas fault runs north and south, about a quarter mile west of town.



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photo by Donald Kinney

I'm not absolutely certain of this, but I'm guessing the bricks on the left are pre-1906--in part of the wall that survived the destructive quake; contrasted by the different size, misaligned, and newer looking brick on the right.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Getting a bit arty here… This new non-skid floor--suitable for slippery cow hooves--is part of the old barn shown in the top photo. The barn is part of public open space and has been undergoing a restoration by volunteers for more than a decade, with funding for materials coming from TARP funds.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Inside the barn this piercing design of light caught my eye. For a moment, but only briefly, I felt like I might need to replace my baseball cap with an artist's beret, or my worn out green shirt with a smock smeared with green paint. When I returned to reality I remembered that photography comes with its own set of baggage--no need for me to complicate matters with the self-inflated title of "artist".

Reminds me of a story about one of my idols--Edward Weston--who died in 1958. In the 1930's while a gallery in New York City was preparing for Weston's first major exhibition, he received in the mail a proof-copy of the exhibition's catalog for his approval. He immediately balked at the blurb beneath his name on the cover, calling him a "photographic artist". Angrily he fired off a terse note to the gallery instructing them to change "photographic artist" to simply "photographer".



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Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2       
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August 09, 2014

Nicasio -- Thursday afternoon and Friday morning


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photo by Donald Kinney

It was Thursday afternoon--and the sun was putting on quite a show.

Well, at the rate the water level is dropping with the drought, there won't be much left in Nicasio Reservoir soon. We "Marinites" are a thirsty bunch and the amount of rain we got this season hasn't amounted to diddly-squat.




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photo by Donald Kinney

Friday morning I decided to swing by the other side of the "lake" to see if Mom-Nature might be showing more of her tricks. I'll let you be the judge.


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Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2       
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August 08, 2014

the pink morning skies of Wednesday and Tuesday


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photo by Donald Kinney

This was Wednesday…
I'm a little behind on my photo processing, and I still need to get to another version of this taken a few minutes later when the red fire-ball finally appeared, casting a long reflection on San Francisco Bay--but I'm guessing I'm going to prefer this more subtle version after all is said and done.



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photo by Donald Kinney

This was Tuesday…
I'm not sure if we ever saw the sun on Tuesday or not, but I settled for this subtle and brief pink glow over the northern part of San Pablo Bay.


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Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2       
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 1       

August 07, 2014

group photo show at San Geronimo Community Center


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photo by Donald Kinney

Posterized and perhaps overly fooled-with, this is San Geronimo Valley Community Center, over-the-hill and just west of Fairfax, California; my adopted hometown. Showing now, and through August 28th is a group exhibit by 18 local photographers including [insert drumroll here] yours truly. Others participating are Al Ardelle, Laurence Brauer, Norm Catalano, Vicki Chase, Donn DeAngelo, Gaetano DeFelice, Chris Ducey, Marie Eisen, Richard D. James, Michel Kotski, Anne McClain, Dan McKenna, Peter Pennypacker, Grace Rogers, Tom Tabakin, Joe Thibodeau and Devin Wilson.

The dove design in the foreground of the building (above) is a memorial to the amazing singer, Kate Wolf, who lived in San Geronimo Valley but died in 1986 of leukemia.

Yesterday afternoon I took my first peek at the exhibit and I was truly impressed by the high degree of skill of almost everyone participating. It really is a GREAT show! 54 framed prints are hung in two large naturally lit galleries. I've already met a few of these photographers on previous visits, but I am looking forward to meeting more at the opening reception this coming Sunday, August 10, 4-7pm. You are invited! I'll probably arrive fashionably late at 5-ish and if you have nothing better to do and can find a way to get there, I would love to see you there. The center is located at 6350 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Geronimo, California. Please come help me sharpen my rusty schmoozing skills--I'll be the extremely shy fellow with the blue baseball cap.



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photo by Donald Kinney

I am deeply honored and appreciative that the Community Center's visual arts director, Larry Rippee, has 1) included me in the show--as I haven't resided in what we often simply call "The Valley" since the late 1960's;
and 2) I'm absolutely thrilled that Mr. Rippee chose to use my image; "Horse and birds at McIsaac Ranch" (above) on promotional material for the exhibit.

If you visit this blog on a regular basis you've probably seen this photo (above) before. In 2013 it received a "special award" with a monetary prize given by Digital Light Rain of San Rafael at Marin County Fair photography exhibit and competition. It was also part of my one-man-show at Mill Valley Library one year ago. The capture was a very special moment that just happened--I was snapping the horse and what we call "Elephant Mountain" in the distance when the birds took flight.



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photo by Donald Kinney

This (above) is another of my 3 images in the group show. Although this showing at the San Geronimo Community Center was not juried, the photo has appeared here on AphotoAday and managed to snag an Honorable Mention ribbon this year at Marin County Fair.



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photo by Donald Kinney

I also am showing this image of the village at China Camp on San Pablo Bay, east of San Rafael. You've probably seen it here before and it also won an Honorable Mention this year at Marin County Fair.

Sooooooooo, again, if you live close enough that you can make it to the opening reception (details above) it would really be great to see you. Or stop by anytime at the Center until August 28. You won't be disappointed. The San Geronimo Community Center always has great art shows and all sorts of live music going on. There is an abundance of talent in "The Valley", and the San Geronimo Community Center is the place to see and hear it.


NEW !
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2       
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 1       

August 06, 2014

finding designs in old Petaluma, California


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photo by Donald Kinney

Roughly 20 miles north of where I live is Petaluma, known to its original inhabitants, the Miwok Indians, as Péta Lúuma; which means hill backside and probably refers to Petaluma's proximity to Sonoma Mountain.

It is no longer true, but Petaluma still proclaims itself as "the Nation's egg-basket", although large factory-style egg production facilities west of town have generally replaced hundreds of old-style chicken coops on farms once operated by private individuals and collectives. In more recent times Petaluma has tried to define itself as "small-town U.S.A.", which is less true now than in the past, especially on the east side of Highway One-Oh-One.



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photo by Donald Kinney

While demand is not what it used to be, the cows and chickens of Petaluma and surrounding areas still depend on two large grain milling facilities.
This photo (above) is part of the side of a massive 50 silo grain storage unit operated by Hunt & Behrens Feed Mill. Nearby is another large grain mill--Dairymen's Feed & Supply Co-op.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Early last Saturday and again on Sunday I had great fun spooking around railroad tracks and looking up at the aging but artful grain conveyor systems. Great fun for a photographer… Photo-ops galore.


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Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2       
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 1       

August 05, 2014

beauty over there; and um, beauty over there


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photo by Donald Kinney

Well it was Sunday afternoon and it was time for a break. I've been busy cleaning 27 years of dust and grime off of every blasted thing here at the place formerly known as "Kittyland". Venetian blinds went out for cleaning today, and the carpet cleaner guy will be here soon. But I digress...

From downtown Fairfax I could see fog rolling over the ridge on "Tam". Way too much fog, I thought--and I was right… Thick as a brick with visibility not farther than my nose. It was wet, and it was wonderful. I resigned myself of chances of getting any photos. I was there to bask in the fog's coolness.

While starting to head down the other side of Tamalpais the fog gave way to sunlight. The epic struggle of fog gaining territory was well underway. I let out a gasp. Fog was spilling over the hill. About as dramatic as it gets.



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photo by Donald Kinney

I heard music. Turning around 180 degrees I noticed four ballerinas and one photographer above me shooting a video. Oh, they could see me and I could see them, but I tried my best to keep my composure. It was not easy...


NEW !
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2       
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 1       

 
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