Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Let it rain! El Niño brings much needed relief to San Francisco

The big story of year so far in the Bay Area are the El Niño rains that FINALLY arrived this month.  The constant rainstorms (11 storms so far in January) will hopefully break the multi-year drought in California.
 I've regularly been out and about the streets of San Francisco grabbing photos (and videos) of the rain for weather articles on the SFGate.
I love shooting feature photos in the rain.  It's a bit of a challenge because I usually end up taking my images in the same several block radius around the Chronicle building.  However, if you keep your eyes open and your camera ready, there are fresh photographs to grab everywhere.
 Around the Powell Street cable car turnaround, the lighting can be exceptionally beautiful before the sun rises.
And you never know what unusual sight you might see on the turnaround!

Some of the rains storms have packed high winds...
...and some have a deluge of rain.
In others storms, the precipitation is so light you barely need to carry an umbrella.
I don't think I'm alone in hoping the rainstorms continue for months!

Just make sure to have your proper rain gear to help you stay dry!

If you have a few seconds more, check out this video I took last week of a rainy commute in San Francisco:

Monday, December 7, 2015

Union Square menorah lighting ceremony

 One of my favorite annual events to photograph in San Francisco is the lighting of the 25-foot tall Bill Graham menorah in Union Square.   
 Every year Rabbi Yosef Langer, executive director of Chabad of S.F. lights the menorah.  But first he lights candles through the crowd with a large torch.
 bringing light and smiles in his wake.
 After that, Rabbi Langer climbs the stairs and lights the menorah.
If you get a chance check out one of the nights before hanukkah ends!
Also view more photos here.

Monday, November 30, 2015

2016 Cal Football Season

It was a fun season photographing the Cal football team which had its first winning season in several years.
Lead by projected first round pick quarterback Jared Goff the Cal offense was a high-octane affair always fun to watch.
 They packed the fans into the stadium.
And delivered plenty of cheers even in games they came short.

 Besides the action on the field I loved photographing the action in the stands...
...and during halftime.
 But nothing was as amazing as the final home game for Cal when they came from behind to beat Arizona State on a last second field goal.
 One of the most incredible football games I've ever photographed and a ton of fun.
Looking forward towards next season!!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A look behind the lens: photographing the Cal women's golf team

I'm one of the photographers for UC Berkeley sports department. I take head shots and group photos of different teams throughout the academic year. On photo day for the Cal Women's Golf program, the school took video of the event.  You can watch me in action, behind the lens, above!

Above: one of the fun group photographs I took of the team.  Here are the rest of the group photos.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

USA and Mexico fans at the CONCACAF Cup

The USA national team didn't get the result it wanted in the CONCACAF Cup, but for the USA fans, it was good night.  
For the first time in many years the US Men's soccer team had played an important match in Los Angeles, there were thousands and thousands of American fans in the stands supporting them.  The atmosphere was completely different than the 2011 Gold Cup final at the Rose Bowl.
In this 2011 photograph from the Gold Cup Final the US Soccer supporters section was this small area consisting of probably no more than 1000 fans.
During the CONCACAF Cup the USA fans and American Outlaws covered a whole end of the stadium.
The other amazing part was although there were some moments of heckling and arguing between the USA and Mexico fans, it was mostly good natured.

 Even though with the improved numbers of USA fans at the stadium, the overwhelming was pro-Mexico.
I'd estimate that the numbers were about 65 percent pro-Mexico...

 ... and about 35 percent pro-USMNT.
 When the teams walked on the pitch for the start of the match...
 ...the Mexico fans were definitely louder singing the national anthem.
 But the USA team sure didn't look intimidated.
 After all, in recent years the USMNT has had the uncanny ability to beat Mexico 2-0 in important games.

Unfortunately the American Outlaws fans barely starting beating their drums before Mexico scored.

 But urged on, the USA fans continued to cheer...
...and were rewarded with a quick goal to tie the match back up.
 After the first 15 minutes the match turned into a tactical game with the USA defending...
...and the Mexicans attacking.
 At the half fans caught their breath...

...and shared a drink or two.
 In the second half the USA and American Outlaws urged on the USMNT.

 As USA fans chanted "USA!" the Mexico fans right next to them would chant "Me-xi-co!"
 Mexico had the run of the game in the second half and its fans were left ruing several missed goal scoring opportunities.  
The game than went to extra time and Mexico scored a goal. And it looked like the USA were done.
 But a beautiful combination play by the USA breathed life back into the American fans' hopes.
 They cheered on their team to finish off extra time and take the game to penalty kicks.
 But with only a few minutes left on the clock the USA fans were looked on in disbelief as Mexico scored a clincher.  
 With so few minutes left on the clock there was no way for the USA to respond and the American fans trudged out of the bowl dejected...

...as the Mexico fans celebrated.

But in the end the real remarkable story really wasn't the result, but the fans.  The USA fans came out in numbers, the Mexico fans in even greater numbers. And in large part the fans were passionate and good natured. They gave their all for their respective sides and could hold their heads up high after the game.  

Now I doubt that the next World Cup Qualifier between Mexico and the USA in Azteca will be a love fest, but it really felt, at least for one night, in this game, that the fans of both nation treated each other with respect.  I liked that. And hope it for more as the greatest soccer rivalry in CONCACAF continues.