Some days at San Francisco

San Francisco cable cart

I went to San Francisco last week and after the few things I had the compromise to do, I decided to walk around the city and practice my photography skills.

I stayed at a very cheap hotel, not knowing well the surroundings, let’s just say that 9th and Mission street is not a very touristic neighborhood to be. Luckily the hotel room was nice, clean and functional, so I decided not to cancel my reservation and stayed there.

Walking down Market street I stumbled upon a farmer’s market at Civic Center. It’s nice to see all the natural products by local farmers being sold there. I used to go to something similar in Mexico with my grandmother when I was little, so it kind of brings back some memories.

Farmer's market at Civic Center

Cello player and seagull

Horse statue

There was a kind of “food corner” in the market, lots of different options, mixed food scents in the air, it all made me hungry. I was in a very touristic mode, so I wondered if I could get a classic american street hotdog. I know, this is not New York, its California, so I couldn’t find any hotdogs (at least not right there). I found crepes, lots of mexican food (which I refuse to take, since for me it’s…well, just food, but with a crappy taste), and vegetarian options. Then I saw a Greek food stand, and I’ve never before had greek so I tried that. I enjoyed it a lot, very tasteful, loved the lamb and pita. Still, why aren’t there a traditional hotdog cart?

Greek Food stand

Then I bought some tickets for the musical Hair at the Golden Gate theater. The actors on stage interact with the audience a lot and the music is great (oh and there was this brief moment of full nudity on stage). I’ve only seen the movie before, and expected the play to have the same storyline, but it doesn’t. It’s the same topic and all but very different storyline.

Hair musical at Golden Gate Theater

Cable cart

Later that day, I saw the Occupy San Francisco movement by the Federal Reserve Bank building.

Port of San Francisco

Men statue

The next day I took another long walk (about 28 kms) all day along the bay and returned just in time to do some shopping around Union Square. I intended to take a tour to Alcatraz, but I couldn’t make it. I didn’t had the schedule at hand, so if you’re planning to take the tour, don’t be like me and visit the Alcatraz cruises website to have the information ready beforehand. It was a great sunny (but not hot) day and I hope the photos came out great as well.


Embarcadero street

49ers Flag

Seagull by the bay

Golden Gate at distance

San Francisco city sunshine

Street silver demon

Dog man

Street jazz players

Ended the day with some shopping around Union Square, where there was ice skating going on.

All in one band musician

Union Square's skating

View from Union Square's Cheesecake Factory


Although it is always nice to have some self time and walk around a big city observing and taking pictures of all the interesting things (and some not as interesting) around you. If I didn’t have my camera, I don’t know what I would’ve been doing by myself around the city. Unfortunately, I’m not in any of my pictures, since I had no one to photograph me.

Cart by night

Travelling alone can get boring sometimes. The good part of it is that I got to do exactly what I wanted, go wherever I wanted and walked kilometers with no one else but myself to complain about it. I really enjoy those silent reflexion moments for one self.

Night street view

Have you gone travelling alone? What activities you like to do on those trips to not get bored or homesick?


Monterrey Monster Trucks

Car smash jump

On Saturday I went with my roommate to the Monster Trucks event at Monterrey, Mexico. We had a great time and it was the first event of this kind for both of us, so we didn’t know what to expect.

Nasty Boy Monster Truck

I recently bought a new lens for my Canon T1i DSLR camera. Since I’ve been frequently taking pictures of ballet dancers on stage, the “standard” 18-55mm EF-S lens didn’t allow me to take close up pictures and I had to sit at the front row on every show or else I would have very wide shots with small subjects in my pictures. So I finally decided to buy a 55-250mm IS lens. Even though its not a great telephoto lens, it was decent enough in features and specially in price. Telephoto lenses are very expensive!

Bounty Hunter driver saying hello

Since I haven’t had any ballets to photograph yet, the monster truck event was the perfect occasion to give my new lens a try. I have to say it was great to finally have a lot of zoom. I got crappy tickets and I was pretty far high from the main arena, but that made my lens test more interesting, and here are the pictures I took that day.

Car smash

Vertical challenge

Fire presentation

Vertical jump

This pink monster truck was operated by a woman driver. She was the best driver of all! She interacted a lot with the public, and even though most of the audience didn’t speak any English, she made them all cheer for her and love her.

Heart breaker monster truck girl driver

Also, she did the best, most impressive and longest jump in the whole show. The truck didn’t survive the jump, after landing the rear axle broke, but it was very impressive to see how far she jumped. At the end she won the first price given by the audience applause.

Mega jump!

I also took some videos, but I had trouble with the auto focus button unfocusing completely and back into focus while shooting as you will notice on some videos. So I ended up switching to manual focus for all videos and tweak the focus slowly myself so I won’t loose the image completely every time my subject moved farther or closer.

You can see more pictures at my Flickr page and more videos at my Youtube channel.