Downtown Disney: Sparkling lights and neon signage
Last week I shared photos and a short film on Flying over California. Today I’m sharing more of the photos from this trip. I stayed in a hotel in Garden Grove, about a 10 minute drive from Downtown Disney. I highly recommend visiting during the evening so you can walk around and see the sparkling lights. Watch the short film below to get a glimpse at Downtown Disney at night.
A sparkling sandwich
I was drawn to this one sign in particular. It’s a funny name, Earl of Sandwich, but the lights of this restaurant are enchanting as they sparkle in the evening.
Always look for the light
I fell in awe of the purple lighting of the Disneyland Hotel (you can get a better feel for it in the video above). The silhouette of the palm leaves added to the mood of the moment. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, always look for the light and capture these moments. I look at this photo and I’m immediately taken back to the moment. I can hear the kids and their parents walking by. I feel the crisp cool air breeze through my hair. I see the colors, the light, and time stands still.
Despite the christmas colors, I love the charismatic nature of this sign.
Last month I went on a short 5 day trip to Southern California. My journey started one early Thursday morning when a plane left the terminal at the San Francisco airport and headed south on its route to Santa Ana. I have many photos and short films to come of Southern California, I can’t wait to share it with you.
Flying over California
The first series I want to share with you of this trip is the getting there part. Travel is not just about the destination but the journey too. I created a short film from take-off in San Francisco to landing in Santa Ana. There are plenty of aerial views of California and cloudy scenes for you to experience. Press play below to take part in the journey!
Flying can be a surreal experience. I always try to get a window seat to admire the world from above. You experience some of the most humbling thoughts along with the views.
One photograph and a world of a story
To continue along the journey through California, here are some photographs captured. While I do love film (or “moving pictures” as they once called them) photography will always be my number one. No journey would be complete without documenting it along the way.
It’s true when they say a picture is worth a thousand words. One photograph sparks a world of a story inside you. We all see something different and that’s the beauty of it. But when you put several together to make a story to fill in the gaps for your viewer it’s a powerful feeling you accomplish. Scroll through the photos and tell me, what story do you see?
And the journey continues
This is just the beginning of many more photographs of Southern California. Next week I’m sharing a little magic of Disney, sparkling lights, and neon signage! Until then, tell me about one of your favorite travel moments in the comments below.
On the southeast end you can visit the Golden Gate Welcome Center to check out views of the Golden Gate Bridge with Marin county hills in the background. In the video and photos below you’ll get a glimpse into the Welcome Center and the view of the Golden Gate from this vantage point.
Photo Editing Timelapse
While editing these photos I created a timelapse video to share my photo editing process with you. Watch the video and then scroll down to check out the final edited photos below.
Final Edited Photos
Of course I immediately gravitated toward the signage. The emblem of this sign in particular sparkles in the light.
The color of the welcome center information and store building matches the Golden Gate.
The Welcome Center includes a store where you can browse an unlimited supply of Golden Gate and San Francisco related souvenirs from books and postcards to t-shirts, trinkets, and more. Here’s a small sample of what you might see when you visit.
There’s the Bridge Cafe which is open during the week from 9 am – 6 pm. It happened to be closed this day which explains the vacant space (perfect for photos).
There’s plenty of statues and sculptures offering historical information on the Golden Gate. This piece in particular is a mosaic that changes and shows the progression while building the Golden Gate.
And last but not least, the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge.
Have you ever tried out the iPhone time-lapse video mode? It works the same as shooting in normal video mode except after you hit STOP it automatically saves the clip as a sped up version from what you shot.
This is helpful for those of us who love creating time-lapse videos (one of my favorite uses for time-lapse videos are sharing my photo editing process) but maybe don’t have access to software to create and edit our own. It’s also a lot quicker for on-the-go travel. You can press record to film, shoot for as long as you want the time-lapse clip to last, and it’s done when you press STOP. No need to export to your computer, edit with software, and then export again to share. It’s that simple.
Some ideal uses for the iPhone time-lapse mode are sharing via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or any of your favorite social networks. Since the video is automatically saved it’s easy to retrieve from you camera roll to share. If you’re looking to learn more about time-lapse video editing and explore the possibilities, this is a way to get your feet wet.
San Francisco’s Golden Gate
Here’s a sample of what the you can do with the time-lapse mode from your iPhone camera. I filmed the video handheld for about a minute and a half (thankfully the iPhone video has stabilization built in), just long enough to watch the boat speed past under the Golden Gate bridge. I also added a few black and white clips from behind my DSLR camera to set the scene and showed a couple of photographs of the Golden Gate at the end, also shot with the iPhone camera. It’s a short film but a small sample into more of what I’ll be exploring and sharing here in the future.
Have you experimented with the time-lapse video mode with your iPhone camera or do you prefer to use other editing software and third party apps to create and edit your own?
Where is the perfect cup of coffee in San Francisco? This is a tough question to answer. I’ve been to many coffeeshops in San Francisco and it’s tough to nail down a favorite. Each one has its own vibe and I connect with many for various reasons. A few weeks back I tried out Four Barrel Coffee for the first time. Four Barrel has three locations total in the city, the one I went to is on Valencia street within the Mission district. Even from their website you can sense the personality in you’ll find when you walk into this coffeeshop.
Coffee and Photoshop
Two of the best things, right? I’ve chosen a select few photos from this coffeeshop visit to share with you and show you. In this time-lapse video you’ll see the photos from raw and unedited to the final photos you’ll see below. The Perfect Cup is definitely another photography and video series in the works. I’ll be sure to continue it with other San Francisco coffeeshops :) But for now, enjoy a cup of your own while you watch this short film.
The perfect cup
And here are the photos you watched me edit right before your eyes.
Four Barrel Coffeeshop
Here are are a few other shots so you can get a better glimpse of the atmosphere of Four Barrel.
Beautifully engraved wooden signage adorns the inside of Four Barrel. Plenty of original illustrations and a hand-crafted touch in the design elements of their signage and products. There’s a special (somewhat) covered section of outdoor seating if you prefer enjoying your coffee while watching the streets of San Francisco. And my favorite shot from the lot. I love how the signage covers the anonymity of the two people, creating more of an abstract idea of interaction.
Where have you found the perfect cup of coffee in your city?
Last week I shared part of my editing process with you using the Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop. ACR is a specific dialog window that launches when you try to open RAW image files with Photoshop, for Canon that’s a CR2 file and for Nikon it’s an NEF file. Shooting in RAW on your DSLR camera means you have capture all image data recorded by your camera’s sensor when taking a photograph. If you shoot in JPEG, even the highest quality version, the image is compressed and loses information. With RAW files you can produce the highest quality image and correct problems in the editing/post-processing phase that might not be possible with the JPEG version.
If you don’t normally shoot in RAW you may not be familiar with ACR but you in last week’s video post you can get a glimpse into what it looks like and the possibilities when processing. But now that you’ve had a chance to see the photos in their pure and unedited form, today I’m showing you the final outcome of the photoshoot in the Mission of San Francisco. Take a look below for a virtual walkthrough of the neighborhood.
The Mission San Francisco Photography
Do you shoot in RAW? If not, have you thought about transitioning to gain better control of your photo editing?