To Alcatraz!!

When my friend Lisa visited, I took Monday off and we headed out with Pat (my husband) to Alcatraz. Pat’s from the Bay area, and we’d been coming back to visit his family for years before we moved here — but somehow we never made it out to that prison island. We were like those New Yorkers who never visit the Statue of Liberty. Sometimes you need a friend to visit in order to get around to the touristy stuff!

The day started pretty miserably — chilly and rainy — but around here, you never know what the weather will bring. So like a good San Franciscan, I dressed in layers: a trenchcoat, sweater (not just any old sweater though – a sparkly one!), and cami underneath, with a scarf that could double as a shawl. And I even wore jeans — a rare occurrence!

En route to Alcatraz. Photo by Pat

En route to Alcatraz. Photo by Pat

Oh yes, and I accessorized with bangles – I really love the red and pink combo. I knew we’d be walking around all day, but I also knew we’d be taking tons of photos. It is possible to be comfortable and still look good!

Bangles and sparkles. Photo by Pat

Bangles and sparkles. Photo by Pat

And guess what? By the time we reached Alcatraz, the sun had come out. That’s San Francisco weather!

Alcatraz - view from the ferry.

Alcatraz - view from the ferry.

Alcatraz has awesome views, both inside and out. I spent a lot of time just taking photos:

Alcatraz - storage door. And boy.

Alcatraz - storage door. And boy.

Alcatraz cell.

Alcatraz cell.

I briefly ended up behind bars . . .

Behind bars. Photo by Pat.

Behind bars. Photo by Pat.

. . . and even donned prison duds:

Prison chic? Modeling Alcatraz prison wear replicas. Photo by Pat.

Prison chic? Modeling Alcatraz prison wear replicas. Photo by Pat.

. . . but finally managed to escape outside with Lisa!

With Lisa at Alcatraz. Photo by Pat.

With Lisa at Alcatraz. Photo by Pat.

By the time we were ready to head home, rain clouds had started to gather again.

View from Alcatraz.

View from Alcatraz.

Luckily, we made it to the ferry just as the rain hit!

I highly recommend visiting Alcatraz — especially if you love to take pictures. Just make sure you wear layers, a raincoat, and bring an umbrella. I saw lots of tourists stuck with Alcatraz ponchos!

Sweater: Sparkling Personality Sweater, BB Dakota via ModCloth
Scarf: gifted
Trenchcoat: Burberry
Jeans: Banana Republic
Purse: Longchamp
Shoes: Aquatalia by Marvin K. (Water resistant! Perfect for San Francisco.)

(P.S. More photos available on my Flickr set.)

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How To: Snap a Great Jump Shot

I totally have a thing for photos of people jumping. Maybe you’ve noticed that, what with the photo on my “About Me” page and the picture I took of Hannah in a “Seen Style” post a few weeks ago. And here’s further proof:

Might as well JUMP!

Might as well JUMP!

Being captured mid-jump is kinda tricky. There are several ways a photo of someone jumping can go wrong:

  1. The photo is super blurry
  2. The jumper is partially out of the frame
  3. The jumper’s legs aren’t off the ground (or they are, but just barely)
  4. The jumper has an awful facial expression

Luckily, there are ways to help ensure you get at least one good photo. I’ve divided this up into things the photographer can do and things the model/jumper can do.

What the photographer can do to snap a good jump shot:

  • Use a fast shutter speed. This will prevent problem #1. If you’ve got a point & shoot, just make sure you take the photos in an area with lots of bright, natural light – the camera should default to a fast shutter speed.
  • Take some test shots with the person jumping, to get a sense of how much vertical and horizontal space you need. This helps prevent problem #2.
  • Take tons of photos, preferably in quick succession. This is a lot easier if you’ve got a rapid-fire/high-speed burst setting on your camera, but it can be done with even more basic cameras (the photo session might just take a little longer). This helps prevent problems #3 & 4. If you take a bunch of photos, there’s a decent chance that at least one of them will work out!

What the jumper can do:

  • Bend your knees! You don’t actually have to jump very high to make it LOOK like you’re jumping high. Just jump a little, but kick up your heels – it’ll make it look like you’ve jumped a lot higher than you actually have. This helps prevent problem #3.
  • Jump up and and down a number of times in a row (while the photographer continues to snap photos). This improves your chances of getting a good shot (one that doesn’t include problems #3 & 4). I’ve actually found that I relax a bit after jumping around, so it becomes easier to smile or ham it up, rather than grimacing!
Look! I'm levitating!

Look! I'm levitating!

Btw, I wouldn’t recommend trying jumps in high heels! Good thing I was wearing a pair of low wedges. :)

Peep toe wedges, Marc by Marc Jacobs

Peep toe wedges, Marc by Marc Jacobs

Oh, and for me, I’ve gotta be in the right mood. A sunny day & bright colors can go a long way toward making thing happen! The colors in this outfit kinda made me feel like celebrating.

Taking a breather to show off my outfit :)

The details, with fuchsia, gold, and cobalt

The details, with fuchsia, gold, and cobalt

That’s about it. I’d love to see your shots! And hear other tips if you’ve got ’em. :)

Skirt: Jeu de Paume Skirt, Tropical Wear via ModCloth
Top: Banana Republic
Cardigan: Banana Republic
Scarf: street vendor
Necklace: vintage
Belt: Zara
Tights: Hue
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet

Photos by Santina of Style by Santina