Transformation — Land’s End turns chilly


Watching the waves on the old seawall of Sutro’s Bath

It’s always a pleasure to visit Land’s End where San Francisco meets the Pacific, but you never know what weather you will find. In these shots we see Summer turning to Fall when the haze and fog fill the air, and it was chilly.

Cheers and happy Thanksgiving.


Follow this link, transformation, for bloggers responses to the Weekly Photo Challenge.

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Peek — Halloween in Palo Alto


Traffic Cone – Halloween in Palo Alto

Take a peek at this figure hiding behind a traffic cone. What’s going on?

It’s all a part of Halloween in Palo Alto — four blocks were closed to traffic and most of the home owners prepared special effects (one home had a haunted house, another a rock band, yet another was showing movies), and all were passing out candy.

Here is a gallery of iPhone snapshots taken during the festivity.

This is how to celebrate a family event. We had a great time.

Cheers, Carto

Take a peek at the other entries in this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: Peek.

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Stanford at Night


Hoover Tower from the roof garden of the McMurtry Building, 2017

I’m taking a short course in the History of Photography at the new McMurtry Building adjacent to the Cantor Center for the Arts. The class is held in a projection room that is just off the 3rd floor roof garden. The above shot was taken after class — the Hoover Tower beacon is reflecting from the smoky sky from the brush fires burning North of San Francisco.


Sunset from McMurtry Art and Architecture Building, 2017

Ten minutes late because of traffic, I caught the end of a smoky sunset. Below, the nearly empty art and architecture library is a quiet place to study in the evening.



Art and Architecture Library (2nd floor) and Art Studio (1st floor), McMurtry, 2017

Hand held photos, processed in Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop and Aurora HDR, please click on any photo to enlarge.

Cheers, Carto

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Layered — A City in the Sky


Handwoven Tapestry (detail), sheila o’hara, 1985?

The skyscrapers in Sheila O’Hara’s tapestry float mysteriously on a field of red. An abstract freeway flows through the buildings into a starry sky. Is this the future for San Francisco? This tapestry was on exhibit downtown, several years ago, long before the city plan and the new skyscrapers.

Here is another photo of Sheila’s work (a speeding motorcyclist):


Nite Flite, a speeding motorcycle, handwoven tapestry by Sheila O’Hara, 1985

Nite Flite is crafted of handwoven wool, cotton, rayon and lurex, and woven by Sheila on a computer-assisted loom called a compu-dobby.

Visit her on the web to see more recent work at Sheilaohara dot com:

Welcome to the latest incarnation of the Sheila O’Hara web site with stunning landscapes and dancing sheep, and many of Sheila’s other fiber fantasies that she has been weaving since 1976.
— from her web site.

Cheers, Carto

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered.

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Waiting — Horses Crossing


Horse Crossing, Spring 2017 in Pearson Arastradero Preserve, Palo Alto

Two horses cross the road while cars wait. The horses are returning to the stables that replaced the site formerly used by the Stanford Artificial Intelligence  Laboratory (SAIL) from 1965 to 1991. Horses now tread where robots once roamed. Quite a switch for technology oriented Silicon Valley. The lab, of course, didn’t disappear, but moved to main campus (see, Computer Science).

The photo above is a detail from the photo below, which was taken last March after the heavy winter rains had stopped.


Hiking trail along Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, 2017

The Pearson Arastradero Preserve is an especially nice place to hike (photograph) in spring. The colors in this photo were emphasized in Lightroom and Photoshop CC (probably, excessively so!), but the photo deserved a little extra punch because the day was so exuberant.

Cheers, Carto

Here is a link to the WordPress Weekly Photo challenge: Waiting.

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Corners — Box-like Homes are Trending



Modern Minimalist home in Palo Alto, 2017

All corners, that’s my take on this large residence in Palo Alto.

Most new homes in Palo Alto are much larger than the home they replace; many are two story with a full basement. And, a popular style is a modern minimalism, quite distinct from the Mediterranean and Craftsman styles used by builders in the 30s and post-war eras when much of Palo Alto was built.

Here is a photo gallery of a few new homes in Old Palo Alto that are a within a few blocks of my one-story Tudor style home of the 30s.

Cheers, Carto

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is “corners”, here.

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Elemental — Earth and Fire, Ceramics as Art


Wood-fired Stoneware by Peter Voulkos, 2016, Palo Alto Art Center

Above is  a detail of a large wood-fired stoneware sculpture by Peter Voulkos. The piece stands almost 4 ft. high, and is 2 feet wide and weights over 150 pounds. Imagine muscling that around a studio and into a kiln.

Peter was born in Bozeman, Mt and went to Montana State College. I attended the same school a few years after Peter (he went to school on the WW II GI Bill and I on the Korean War GI Bill). I never met Peter, but knew his brother Manny who owned an all-nite diner where I and other vets often ended up after the pubs closed.

Later, after moving to California, I got the urge to learn ceramics and made a few pieces that are still littering the shelves around the house. Here is a gallery of some of the shelves.

Peter’s work is on permanent display in the Anderson Collection at Stanford, and the De Young Museum in San Francisco.

Cheers, Carto

This week’s challenge is “Elemental” — You know: Earth, Fire, Water, etc. Check it out here.

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