Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A "light traffic day" in San Diego...

Now here's a sight you seldom see on California Freeways.

No cars. None. 

Not even one pulled over onto the shoulder.

You didn't really see it like this either. 

I used a bit of camera trickery to make this odd - and eerie - traffic alert.

During a recent visit to San Diego, I planned an experiment standing on the Cabrillo Bridge leading into Balboa Park.

Here are the logistics of making the cars disappear: 

On a bright sunny day, I took my Canon S90 camera that had been adapted to accept dark ND (Neutral Density) filters and hiked out onto the Cabrillo Bridge soaring high above what I remember as Highway 395 (heading up to Poway).

I have a tiny - but strong and effective - tripod always attached to the camera and spread its small legs on the bridge railing to hold it steady for a 6-8 second shot with the darkest filter in place. 

I used the timer to trip the shutter so there was not even slight movement.The long exposure meant that anything that did not stay still for the entire time would not appear.

One shot shows traffic slowing on the downtown exit ramp and two disabled cars naturally were not moving at all.

Those who have stood on that bridge can recall seeing the aerial gondolas moving silently above the nearby San Diego Zoo.
Here I used my other compact camera with a 20x optical zoom to bring it closer. 

When post-processing yesterday, I enlarged that close-up shot to an extreme blow-up. 

The Canon sx260 held the image sharp and made this possible.

Many photographers carry a much larger camera  called a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) and a bag bulging with additional lenses.

And, often, lug a large tripod that can accommodate the weight of the big camera and lens.

I travel much lighter and usually have my small camera in a pouch hanging on my belt.

This day, I had two very light cameras with me and a small array of dark filters.

I had in mind the type of shot I wanted to make the cars disappear and it worked just as I imagined it would.
Finally, from the bridge, I watched planes on final approach heading down to Lindbergh Field.

Plane after plane rumbled by and I snapped quite a few, adjusting the focus as they came into view, low over the treetops.

Back home at my computer, I "doctored" this Japan Air Lines plane with some extreme colorful effects.

I use several Plug-in image modifiers from Topaz and played with this silvery plane in a bright sky frozen in place above green Balboa Park.

Back when I lived in San Diego, I had heard the story about the Eucalyptus trees that had been imported from Australia.

Railroads needed trees to make millions of wooden ties for tracks.

These trees grew very fast so they were brought to this country.

Unfortunately, as they grew, they twisted so were totally unsuited as supports for railroad tracks.

They ARE used extensively as wind breaks though in fields where strong winds could damage crops so the trip from down under was fruitful.

They are all over Balboa Park with their colorful variated bark and distinctive leaves.

It would not have made sense to walk across that bridge and NOT venture further into the park on this beautiful day ..but let's save that for another posting.

Click on the photos for more details.

Hey, with no cars, nobody is speeding or tail-gating.

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At Wed May 21, 04:34:00 AM , Blogger malik aayan said...

Thank you so much for posting. I have been looking for something like this..solar energy

At Wed Jul 22, 07:42:00 AM , Anonymous Tankless water heaters said...

That picture of the tree is pretty


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