A S C R A P B O O K O F S O L U T I O N S F O R T H E P H O T O G R A P H E R
Reviews of photography products that enhance the enjoyment of taking pictures. Published frequently but irregularly.
15 February 2013
San Francisco is full of surprises and Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve is just one of them. Last Saturday we took a hike in the forest that sits in the middle of the city behind the University of California.
There are seven main access points but only street parking. Public transit is convenient and you may even be able to walk to the reserve. A typical hike covers less than two miles in about an hour.
We entered from 17th and Stanyan, hiking the Historic trail along the north face with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and west face with views of the Pacific. The views are obscured by the eucalyptus but you can still see something.
We followed South Ridge and Nike Road to the summit, a grassy meadow with no view at all. Then we walked down East Ridge and along a surface road to join up with Historic again and find our way out.
While we encountered only light traffic, some of that is mountain biking and there isn't much room to get out of the way. We had two near collisions on our walk but fortunately were able to hear the bikes coming long before we saw them.
Yes, there's poison oak. Stay on the trails.
As for the photos, we miscalculated. It was a bright sunny day so we put on a polarizer and didn't bring a case to put it in if we took it off. So we left it on.
It was useless in the deeper recesses of the forest where glare and reflection are nothing but rumors. And it wasn't any help in the open either, for the same reason. So it just functioned as a neutral density filter. Which we didn't need.
A scan of the camera JPEGs was disappointing and we left the images alone for a few days. But we shot Raw+JPEG and vividly recalled the scene, so we gave it another shot in Photoshop CS6.
The slide show displays rough cuts of our favorites. We're excited to tweak of few of those a bit further than the basic Camera Raw adjustments we made for the slide show.
As we wandered the trails, we were tempted to imagine Ishi walking ahead of us 100 years ago. He lived on the UC campus below the forest during the last years of his life and it isn't inconceivable he climbed these trails occasionally.
But even if he didn't, it's hard not to imagine others who did. And as the evening fog swirls in, you may even think you can see them again.