Sunday, December 30, 2012

a nocklebeast retrospective of 2012



I'm not waiting for an entire cycle of the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar to compile another nocklebeast retrospective.  Another winter solstice has passed. It's time.

 striving
striving

Time for another collection of the year's best photos.

croc
croc
 
Much like last year, this year's set is dominated by roller derby.  I shot all or parts of over seventy bouts this last derby season. I curated a photo set of my roller derby favorites during the year, adding few photos from each bout to the set. This year something like 600 photos were listed in this set, and I have trimmed it down to a little less than 400. I made a best of 2012 photo set from the best of the non-derby photos and the best of the favorite derby photos, here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nocklebeast/sets/72157632212536688/

Here are some highlights from that set.

it's okay, I know the way
it's okay, I know the way

lookin' Fierce
lookin' Fierce

 Jane Hammer leads the Oakland Outlaws in introduction laps to Bay Area's season opener against the Richmond Wrecking Belles. 
Jane Hammer leads the Oakland Outlaws in introduction laps to Bay Area's season opener against the Richmond Wrecking Belles.

 that's how points are scored in roller derby
that's how points are scored in roller derby

 what happens when the DJ plays Tom Jones during halftime
what happens when the DJ plays Tom Jones during halftime

pippi hardsocking
pippi hardsocking

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave!
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave!

 Robbin Banks tries to get by Avida Sane
Robbin Banks tries to get by Avida Sane

 gaga
Gaga

Bettie the Kid
Bettie the Kid

jonny demonic is not lead jammer.
jonny demonic is not lead jammer.

he's pointing at the lead jammer, he's not the lead jammer himself.

 hellaluna gotta penalty
hellaluna gotta penalty

My first bout playing with off-camera flash.

 Smalls of Fury chases Eve L. Twin
Smalls of Fury chases Eve L. Twin

One weekend I found myself without my two digital cameras, and so I shot four bouts in one weekend with film.

big showdown
big showdown

 mbdd_steinwreckers_vs_southcounty_L2066372

 special agent utah is poised to re-enter play from the penalty box
special agent utah is poised to re-enter play from the penalty box

The thing about shooting 17 bouts in three days  (over six thousand photographs) you hardly remember taking them all.

 01_Wasatch_vs_AngelCity_L7019479
gaga

But there are a couple that you hope turn out okay (but it's kinda hard to tell for sure on the Leica M8's little tv screen on the back of the camera... because that monitor is soooooo six years ago).

 sexy beast!
sexy beast!

lulu gotta penalty
lulu gotta penalty

'Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance

the life of a roller derby fan is always intense!
the life of a roller derby fan is always intense!

I knew her when she skated for little ol' Santa Cruz
I knew her when she skated for little ol' Santa Cruz

Since I don't have any training as a photo-journalist, I'm slow to warmup to the shoot tight, crop tighter, tell a story in a nanosecond approach to photography.  For better or worse, I'm not afraid of a little visual complexity.  Sometimes photos just have a lot of moving parts and all parts of the photo are subject.
 
 13_Wasatch_vs_Arizona_L2069104
 
After a while at Westerns, I was able to think outside of the "fast glass" exposure paradigm and think of alternatives.  It's rare that the thought of "sunny sixteen" will cross your mind while shooting roller derby. There's a lot of light at the Craneway during the day of the autumnal equinox.

B-Train and Rachel Rotten in nice light
B-Train and Rachel Rotten skate backwards in nice light

Last year at Westerns, I didn't have a photo credential, and so the only photos I took were a handful of fancy phone photos. Since then, I've wondered what I would have done when seeing skaters not skate away from the jammer line for minutes at a time.  I probably would have taken a few photos of the skaters doing nothing, and then I'd probably get bored, and turn my attention to the angry fans. In fact, I'm a little dissappointed that no photographers got a photo of me shouting, "SKATE! GOD-DAMMIT!"

This year, at Westerns, the annoying strategery was the passive offense.  The blockers on offense stand there watching their jammer try to get through defensive blockers during a power jam.  Once a pack of blockers set up camp within about 20-30 feet of  my (fixed focal length) lens, it's just a matter of clicking the shutter often enough and then editing the photos to get the best photo of the blockers and the jammer trying to breaking through the line in the same frame. I think this is Carmen Getsome's third pass on that power jam.

 I may have to stop taking these photos of passive offense
I may have to stop taking these photos of passive offense

sometimes unicorns are a little spazzy
sometimes unicorns are a little spazzy

hellaluna
hellaluna

The full set of my roller derby favorites of the year 2012 is here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nocklebeast/sets/72157628625225169/


taxi
taxi

The full set of the best of 2012 is here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nocklebeast/sets/72157632212536688/







 


 

 



 











Thursday, December 20, 2012

A few brief comments on the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail (MBSST) Network Draft Master Plan

Here are a few brief comments on the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail (MBSST) Network Draft Master Plan.

Yes, please use engineering design standards for the rail trail.

I agree with policy objective 1.2, "Make the trail functional as a transportation facility" in section 2. And I specifically agree with policy objective 1.2.3, "Construct the trail according to Caltrans bikeway standards as described in the Caltrans Highway Design Manual, Chapter 1000, Bikeway Planning and Design and other standards manuals."  There's really no point on spending tens of millions of dollars on a bicycle facility that isn't useful for cycling on or cannot meet minimum engineering standards.

Beware of substandard existing facilities.

a good place for a walk

It is not clear from figures 5-23 and 5-24 in section 5 or from the photos on pages 4-40 and 4-36 in section 4 if the new sidewalk next to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary building will be incorporated into the rail trail.  The MBNMS sidewalk is only 6 feet wide.  There is no clearance between one side of the sidewalk and a fence. And on the other side of the sidewalk, there in only one foot of clearance between the fence and the sidewalk.   If this sidewalk is used in the rail trail, the sidewalk will need to be widened and the fences moved in order for the rail trail to be compliant with Caltans standards for two-way bike paths.  Or the rail trail will need to bypass this sidewalk.

The Beach Street roundabout.

riding the sedgeway

The proposed configuration of the Beach Street roundabout and the rail trail seems particularly problematic in figure 5-24.  The roundabout configuration is different than the previously proposed roundabout designs by the City of Santa Cruz.  In previous proposals, the bicycle traffic was more separated from pedestrian traffic.  In the previous design, northbound cyclists coming from the Boardwalk approach the roundabout and could enter the roundabout in the place where vehicle traffic coming from the Wharf enters traffic.  In this proposed rail trail design, approaching and entering the roundabout in an integrated way with the rest of traffic from the northbound rail trail is no longer a choice for cyclists. 

Also, southbound rail trail cyclists approaching the Beach Street roundabout from the MBNMS building are riding to the right side of a right-turn lane (the right turn from Pacific onto Beach, up the hill). This configuration will likely result in "right-hook" bike-car collisions.

It would be nice to see bicycle traffic and the rest of the vehicle traffic integrated at the Beach Street roundabout like it is at the nearby Depot Park roundabout at Pacific and Center. However, this isn't a goal for the rail trail design, I hope that (literal) barriers are not placed in front of cyclists who choose to use the street.  Do not place bicycle-killing speed-bumps or speed-tables at the bottom of the downhill at Beach Street.

 Avoid flooding at Nearly Lagoon

can you get there from here?

There is no mention of the elevation of the rail trail near Neary Lagoon on page E-5.  The rail is elevated above where the lagoon likely floods during winter.  The rail trail should also be elevated to the level of the rail to avoid flooding of the rail trail during winter.






Sunday, December 2, 2012

Santa Cruz Holiday Parade 2012

highlights from the Santa Cruz Holiday parade which didn't get rained out

bike and hoop

When I'm listening to the music of a military band.

dressed real sharp,

dog!
dog!

under appreciated fact: bats provide free safe pest control. a little california bat can eat 600 mosquitos an hour!
under appreciated fact: bats provide free safe pest control. a little california bat can eat 600 mosquitos an hour! That is one tall bat!

sea creatures

sea creatures

under appreciated fact: the starfish is the clingiest of all sea creatures!
under appreciated fact: the starfish is the clingiest of all sea creatures!

scout troop

 santa cruz public library book cart brigade.

santa cruz derby girls!

cloudy!

betty biteme

what the crazy train to christmas town is all about
what that crazy train to christmas town is all about.

icelandic ponys! in California!
icelandic ponys

use in event of global warming
use in the event of global warming

singing

bouncing unicycle

army of unicyclists

parade_L2071450

parade_L2071451

tootin' his horn
horn tootin'


the full flickr set is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nocklebeast/sets/72157632151405494