Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena is now 100 years old!


Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena – 100 years old

The work day was coming to an end and I was near the historic Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena. I stopped near by and took out my camera for a few impromptu photos.

According to the plaque on the bridge, it was built in 1913, yup…100 years ago. Unlike newer bridges, this one has character. Not very long, only 1,486 feet. It spans over the Arroyo Seco (dry creek), but this deck arch bridge has beautiful Beaux Arts arches and very cool light poles and railings.

I’m not sure how tall it is, but trust me, it’s tall enough. So much so that this bridge is nicknamed “suicide bridge” or “666 bridge”. Sad I know. They added a suicide barrier, but every once in a while it still gets shut down as police try and talk someone out of jumping from it.

This too is probably why some people say it’s haunted. Apparently in the early years, before the suicide barrier was constructed, there were many people who jumped from this bridge. So I can see why some feel it was haunted, but when I was there, nope…no ghosts!

So much for the negative side of this bridge, on the positive side it’s really a great bridge to get that old style feeling. Especially if you’re filming a movie or doing a photo shoot. It’s not uncommon to see either of them happening here.

As for the photo above, they were a group of kids riding along while I was taking a few shots of the bridge. Although we normally only post one photo, today I added a few more below of the Colorado Street Bridge. Continue reading Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena is now 100 years old!

Foucault Pendulum in the Griffith Observatory Rotunda

Griffith Observatory

Foucault Pendulum at the W.M. Keck Foundation Central Rotunda – Griffith Observatory

If you’ve ever been to the Griffith Observatory, you of course have seen this large Foucault Pendulum as you enter the main building. It swings slowing from each end of the circular area demonstrating the Earth’s rotation to the visitors.

According to the Griffith Observatory’s website, the brass ball weighs 240 lbs and is suspended by a 40 ft long cable. It then:

“swings in a constant direction while the Earth turns beneath it. The pendulum is mounted to a bearing in the rotunda ceiling that does not turn with the building as it rotates with the Earth. A ring magnet at the bearing gives a little tug on each swing of the pendulum to keep the pendulum in motion. As the day passes, the pendulum knocks over pegs set up in the pendulum pit and indicates the progress of rotation”

Interesting isn’t it? If you wait and watch if for a while you’ll see exactly what it’s trying to prove.

Here’s a tip, take your time when you’re at the Observatory, like the pendulum rushing your visit will limit the amount of fun and knowledge you’ll get out of it.

My wife and I make it a habit to visit at least once a year. You never know what you’ll find. For example, not too long ago we captured a crazy stunt as a man walked out onto a roof ledge in order to plank on the side of the Griffith Observatory.

As for the picture above, capturing the moving pendulum in low light is a challenge.  The only option is to use a high ISO or a flash. I chose to go with a high ISO of 1250, a flash would have produced shadows and uneven light.

If you look closely (viewing the larger image) you can see that the ball needs a little dusting, the specs are visible. Plus, my reflection and that of the visitors are also seen on the top of the ball. I’m the one with the camera on the lower right next to the blue color coming from the open front main door.

Micky’s Fun Wheel at Disney’s California Adventure Park

California Adventure

Micky’s Ferris Wheel at night at the Disney California Adventure Park

Yesterday I headed over to the Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim. We had perfect weather and also the same plans as thousands of other people, because the place was packed with visitors. It took us over and hour and a half in line at the new Carsland ride. Crazy!

I took over 200 photos, but the night shots were the best. There’s something about the lights and configuration at this park that makes it fun to shoot.

The challenge for me was to capture the night scenes without a tripod, yet not use a high ISO. So I improvised. I constantly looked for places where I could set my camera down, compose a shot and shoot at 100 ISO but with a longer exposure time. It worked! Well most of the time.

The top image with the reflection of the Micky Fun Wheel turned out great. However, my “almost” best shot is below. If it were not for the end of the ledge (left lower side, where I placed the camera down), the image would have been my top pick.

Tip on how to take night pictures at Disney Parks

I know this has been said a million times before by others, but for those people out there who are taking pictures at night with a flash, remember, an on camera flash cannot reach and brighten up a subject that is as far and as tall as this ferris wheel. This is the right way to accomplish it:

  1. Use a slower shutter speed (in my case it was 2 seconds long)
  2. Use a stable tripod (or ledge in my case)
  3. Use a low ISO speed (I used 100).
  4. Aperture setting will depend on distant from subject and what you want to be in focus. (In my case I used f/3.5)

And remember, never hand hold a camera with a shutter speed slower than 1/30th of second, chances are it will be blurred. Best thing is to use a tripod or place your camera on something stable, like a table.

Continue reading Micky’s Fun Wheel at Disney’s California Adventure Park

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