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Santa Teresa Park

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Park Pictures

Santa Teresa Park Wildflowers, Spring 2002

Mine, Fortini, Stile Ranch Wildflowers, 4/11/08

Coyote Peak, Rocky Ridge Wildflowers, Feb-Apr. '08

Coyote Ridge Wildflowers, 4/13/08

Almaden Quicksilver Wildflowers and Views, Spring 2008, Part 2

Bernal Hill wildflowers and views, Feb-Apr. '08 Part 1, Part 2

Coyote Peak, Rocky Ridge, Feb-April '08

Mother's Day Walk, Fortini-Stile, 5/4/08

Outdoor Photography Class/Wildflower Walk, Bernal Ranch/Hill 4/4/09

Geocaching Class, Fortini-Mine-Stile Ranch Trail, 4/11/09

Pre-Mother's Day Walk, Fortini-Mine-Stile Ranch Trail, 5/3/09

Healthy Trails Hike, Fortini, Mine, Stile Ranch Trails, 5/9/09

Pre-Mother's Day Walk, Fortini-Mine-Stile Ranch Trail, 5/2/10

High-Dynamic Range Photography

HDR Experiments -1

HDR Experiments -2

HDR Hellyer Sunset

HDR Uvas Canyon Waterfalls

Santa Teresa Park HDR Sunset Pictures, Pueblo Area, 2/7/10

Ron Horii's Outdoor Photography Pages

Santa Teresa Park Sunset Pictures

Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch, Joice Trail, and Norred Trail, 5/21/10, 5/27/10

These HDR (High Dynamic Range) pictures were taken at Santa Teresa Park on 5/21/10 around sunset. We've been having a lot of rainy days lately, which is unusual for May. The nice thing about rainy days is that when the clouds break up, they offer some spectacular photo opportunities. I lucked out on this day. The clouds were breaking up right at sunset. I saw the rays of sunlight streaming through the clouds, and I headed over to one of my favorite spots to take sunset pictures: the Norred Trail at Santa Teresa County Park.

Sunsets have extreme ranges of light between the bright sun, the dark clouds, and the deeply-shaded foreground. It's virtually impossible to capture the entire range of light with conventional photography. HDR photography, using a combination of shots taken at different exposures, makes it possible. See the links to the left for more on HDR photography.

I grabbed my Olympus E-510 SLR and lightweight tripod and rushed over to the Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch. I took some pictures at the ranch, then headed up the Joice Trail to the Norred Trail. I setup the camera to auto-bracket burst mode, aperture priority, manual focus. The camera automatically took 3 shots at a time, changing the exposure by 1 ev at a time, which is the most it can do. The range of light, especially shooting straight into the sun required extra bracketing, so I manually adjusted the exposure up and down several ev's and took more burst shots. Afterwards, I processed the HDR pictures in Photomatix, then cropped, resized, and tweaked the contrast in Photoshop. Most of the pictures shooting into the sun are a combination of six shots, with an average range of about 5 ev's. The pictures below are in chronological order. They show how the light and clouds progressed over a period of about an hour.

Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch, 7:11 pm.

View from the Joice Trail, 7:14 pm.

View from the Norred Trail, path to Santa Teresa Spring is at the bottom, 7:21 pm. Two of the pictures that make up this shot are shown below.

This is one of the pictures that make up the shot above.  It is -3.7 ev's lower than the nominal exposure that the camera would automatically choose. The sunlit sky is exposed properly, but everything else is black.

This is another picture that makes up the previous HDR shot. It is +1 ev from the nominal. Note that the sky is washed out. The foreground is still a little dark because the camera's auto-exposure is averaging the scene, which is dominated by the sky.

View from the Norred Trail, looking down along the Santa Teresa Hills, 7:22 pm.

7:27 pm

Zooming in slightly, 7:33 pm

Zooming in, looking towards the Pruneyard Towers, 7:37 pm

Looking towards Communications Hill, 7:38 pm

Farther along the Norred Trail, showing the rocky hillside. Streetlights are starting to come on, 7:54 pm.

The trees around Santa Teresa Spring are on the lower left, 7:58 pm.

Santa Teresa Spring is below, the Albertson Parkway is on the right edge, Mission Peak is in the background, 8:00 pm.

Looking towards downtown San Jose, Santa Teresa Spring is directly below, 8:00 pm.

Looking back along the Norred Trail, 8:01 pm.

8:03 pm.

One last look towards downtown San Jose and Mission Peak, 8:08 pm

Heading down the Joice Trail back to the Bernal Ranch, 8:14 pm. Sunset was technically at 8:16 pm. The park closes at sunset, so I made it out in time.

Sunset Pictures 5/27/10

Every sunset is different, so after the storm on Thursday 5/27/10, the clouds were starting to break up, and it looked like we might get some good sunset clouds. I rushed back to the Bernal Ranch to take more pictures. Here are the results. See how they're a little different from the ones above.

The Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch

View from the Joice Trail

Looking down the Albertson Parkway towards the Hitachi plantsite. Kaiser San Jose is to the left. Mission Peak is behind it.

Looking towards the Pyzak/Bonetti Ranch and Bernal School

This is looking into the sun, but the sun is behind the clouds. This is a combination of 5 shots.

This is looking straight into the unblocked sun, overlooking the path to Santa Teresa Spring. The extreme brightness range required a wide spread of exposures. This is a combination of 9 pictures with a range of -4 to +4 ev's from nominal, 1 ev per step.

Another shot into the sun, a combination of 9 pictures, from -4 to +4 ev's.

Sunset is beginning to turn the clouds orange.

At sunset, the clouds are turning reddish.

The new and old barns at the Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch, taken 4/12/10:

This picture was taken right after a rainstorm. I saw that the storm was breaking up, so I headed to the Bernal-Gulnac-Ranch to take pictures. I noticed there was a small arc of a rainbow in the distance. I lined up this shot with the old farm equipment in the foreground, the new barn in the mid-ground, and the old barn in the background. In the far background is the rainbow and clouds lit by the setting sun. This picture took second place in the historical landscapes category in the photography contest sponsored by the City of San Jose's Historical Landmarks Commission. Click on the image above for a full-resolution version. This is the caption sent with the picture:

The Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch preserves one of the most significant historic areas in Santa Clara County. It traces its origin to Jose Joaquin Bernal, who came with his family with the DeAnza Party 1776 and later founded Rancho Santa Teresa in 1826. The ranch was handed down through his descendants, the Gulnacs and the Joices, until it eventually became protected as a County Park. Many streets, businesses, and institutions in this part of San Jose bear his family name and the name of his ranch. At the ranchsite is the family's ranch house, caretaker's house, and 2 barns, one of which has been restored and houses historic displays and a 4H rabbit project. The old barn will be restored in the near future, but now bears the worn, rustic look of decades as a working ranch building. In the yard are examples of farm equipment and an old griststone. Across the street is a typical suburban neighborhood. The neighbors can simply cross the street and step back in time more than a century.

Page created by Ron Horii, 5/23/10, updated 5/27/10, fixed 7/29/11