Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

One-Day Vacation in Sausalito

with 8 comments

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 at 31mm f/11, ISO200 20.0 Seconds

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 at 31mm f/11, ISO200 20.0 Seconds

Today was a vacation day. No cleaning, no cooking, no organizing, no studying, no work, no doing anything that HAS to be done. Our destination? Sausalito California, a quick 2o minute drive from our house. We found the spot above for some dawn shooting as we pulled into town. The weather was perfect even before the sun came over the horizon, and the clouds over the bay reflected beautiful golden and red color as the sun continued to rise, while fog slowly enveloped the San Francisco skyline:

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 at 20mm f/11, ISO200 1/20 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC at 20mm f/11, ISO200 1/20 Second

The morning time is a good time to meet the locals, who are also out with their dogs (we brought Suki along), and is a great time to enjoy some peace in the town before the tourists start crowding the sidewalks from the late morning on.

I had the camera with me the entire time, of course, and took the opportunity to do more testing of my new Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC, checking out its bokeh quality as well as sharpness at its widest aperture. I ended up being quite pleased with both:

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC 50mm f/2.8, ISO200 1/320 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC 50mm f/2.8, ISO200 1/320 Second

Here’s Suki being herself while we ate breakfast outdoors by the waterfront. Though she moves a lot, the sophisticated auto-focus in the D300s kept up with her erratic behavior, and the Tamron was up to the task as far as focusing speed. The above shot was taken at f/2.8, and I was pleased with the sharpness of the shot, even at a 1:1 magnification at her eyes.

As I mentioned, we ran into other furry friends as well:

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8, ISO200 1/250 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8, ISO200 1/250 Second

We were especially excited when we met the following dog. Below is Kuroman, a black and tan Shiba Inu we met during our stroll. I just called him Kuro for short, which means “black” in Japanese. Born in Japan and bred into a champion show dog, Kuro was an absolutely stunning Shiba:

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8, ISO250 1/160 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8, ISO250 1/160 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 at 50mm f/2.8 ISO200 1/500 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 at 50mm f/2.8 ISO200 1/500 Second

While Kuro has a black top coat, his undercoat, like Suki’s, is white. So stray white hairs are easily seen on his face, which is especially funny when he puts on his “serious” face. Despite his stern look, he is a goofy guy with a wonderful temperament, and Suki got a long well with him right away:

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8, ISO200 1/160 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8, ISO200 1/160 Second

Kuroman’s owner actually just lost her red Shiba Inu, who only two weeks ago died of old age (16 years!). She was so excited about seeing Suki that she invited us over to her house nearby so Suki and Kuro could play, which they did, for nearly two hours!

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8, ISO3200 1/1000 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8, ISO3200 1/1000 Second

With all that black fur, Kuro heats up much quicker than Suki. So after short bursts of play like you see above, he’d run for cover inside the house and relax:

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 20mm f/4 ISO2000 1/80 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 at 20mm f/4 ISO2000 1/80 Second

Kuro is much more easy to photograph than Suki. When he relaxes, he REALLY relaxes, and he doesn’t mind the camera one bit. So I kept shooting funny portraits of his handsome face!

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/5.6, ISO 200 1/60 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/5.6, ISO 200 1/60 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/4 ISO2200 1/80 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/4 ISO2200 1/80 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 at 31mm f5.6, ISO2800 1/80 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 at 31mm f5.6, ISO2800 1/80 Second

Suki wouldn’t let Kuro rest forever of course, and would soon start pestering him to wrestle! The dogs continued this way while we talked with the owner about the joys and hilarious memories involved in living with a Shiba Inu. When we parted ways, we were told that Suki is welcome whenever we want to bring her over to play with Kuro, which was nice, because that house was fabulous (it is Sausalito after all). I’m pretty sure her four-car garage is bigger than my entire house…check out the area where I pulled my car into her property:

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 23mm f/16 ISO200 1/200 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 23mm f/16 ISO200 1/200 Second

After this we headed to Mill Valley and ate some local organic food, including some salted chocolate and Guinness (yes, Guinness, and it DOES taste like it too) gelato. I went back for a second cup of the salted chocolate…it was THAT good. There’s a lot more about this day that I really wanted to write about, but I’m absolutely exhausted….gotta get to bed. Maybe I’ll write more tomorrow. Good night!

Written by Jonathan

October 18, 2009 at 9:26 am

8 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Reading your blog is fun, Jonathan, especially there are a lot about dogs like today’s post;)
    I’m learning English, so your diary helps me a lot!
    Lovely dogs you met! About the white fluffy one, is that dog a pomeranian or a Japanese spitz? They weren’t popular for years but these days they regain its popularity I hear.
    It’s good for Suki to encounter a good friend:)) Kuro seems gentle:)

    And these beautiful dawn photos make me wanna visit California! In fact I’m thinking of visiting France this winter if possible, but California is very attractive to me now.

    akane

    October 18, 2009 at 12:49 pm

  2. Thank you Akane! I’m glad you found it interesting, and I hope it helps you practice! It’s funny, when I visited Japan last year my friends would say “please speak to me in English so I can practice!” And I’d say “ぼくは日本語を練習したいだけど!” haha

    The white dog is actually an Alaskan Eskimo. They do look like pomeranians don’t they! We actually met dozens of dogs that morning and had a great time. Kuro was an amazing dog. After having met him, we are considering adding another Shiba to our family ^_^

    Have you ever been to California? If not, you’re overdue for a visit! Even though I love traveling to other places, I never get tired of the diversity and beauty that can be found in the areas around my home.

    Jonathan

    October 19, 2009 at 2:05 am

  3. Wow, the white one looks too small.. Oh, I see. I mistook an Alaskan Malamute for an Alaskan Eskimo;p A malamute is a big kind, right?

    Then, you’re gonna adopt another dog?;))

    akane

    October 22, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    • Yes, malamutes are really really big! Suki got along so perfectly with Kuro that we’re really thinking about getting one more to keep her company when we’re at work. We’ll see! =)

      Jonathan

      October 22, 2009 at 5:43 pm

  4. I LOVE your Sausalito morning shot!!! as well as your pup Suki. Great photography and you were able to capture the Sausalito in all it’s glory and the city is hidden under the fog – would never know SF was there. Great job again and a fun blog to read.

    • Thank you so much! Sausalito is such a beautiful place, and it was worth it to roll out of bed so early to capture the beauty of the sunrise there.

      Jonathan

      October 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm

  5. Thanks for redirecting me to this blog. I am so glad i found your shiba inu blog and coincidentally, I’m also thinking of buying my first slr camera. Your pictures are inspiring me to do it sooner! Any pointers you can give someone just starting out? Do you know of any good websites that I can study on to see what kind of camera fits my needs?

    I like the picture of the black shiba with Suki unfocused in the background!

    Melissa

    November 19, 2009 at 3:15 am

    • Thank you Melissa, nice meeting you and Niko! So you’re looking into a new camera? First thing to do might be to drop buy a local camera store and get your hands on a few models. This will give you an idea of what feels right to you. I’ll shoot you an email with more details. Thanks again!

      Jonathan

      November 19, 2009 at 6:11 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: