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MARE ISLAND, VALLEJO, CA -- Taken at the October Nocturnes AlumNight trip to Mare Island.

PowerPlant with Tree, Mare Island

I spent last night (and most of the day) over at Mare Island, near Vallejo, after being invited to an Alumni event for a group called "The Nocturnes" by fellow Flickrite SouthPaw42. The group, not surprisingly, specializes in Night Photography and this Mare Island Navy facilities, abandoned about 10 years ago, was the locale for this particular evening's shoot.


The island is pretty cool, but is in the transition from old Navy facilities to residential community, so a lot of these sights will be converted soon.


The building on the left is currently the museum for the island and was basically the starting point for the evening of night photography.


The color here came from two shots out of the camera. The sky originally came out a little dull since it was shot on AUTO white balance, so I used the in-camera color-balance adjustment to add back some blue. I blended the two exposures to sort of average them out before uploading.


I haven't segregated my night shots very well yet here on Flickr, but if you'd like to see more of my night/long-exposure shots click here.


Nikon D40 | Nikon 18-55@35mm | f/7.1 | 101s | ISO200 | Tripod

This image was taken at a gathering on Mare Island of alumni from Tim Baskerville's Night Photography classes.


Tim is a former student of mine who now teaches Night Photography himself and is the founder of The Nocturnes website:, which is a repository of the history of Night Photography and an up to date listing of current events - particularly for Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area.


High, wind-driven cloud ovrcast with low fog crawling about. Lighting from the Right: a very fierce Mercury Vapor Light shining at the tower. Lighting from the left - and the ambient light, is Sodium Vapor lights. 17 Minute exposure.

Another shot from the relatively recent Nocturnes Mare Island night shoot. It seems like all of my shots came from a small radius around the Naval Museum seen here, which was the starting point for out evening of shooting - I'll try to find another one at some point.


We finished eating dinner inside this building and then came out to shoot. It was a bit of a race to take all of the shots we wanted featuring the building's windows and lights before the turned everything off, and this one barely made it in time. Looking at it now it seems foolish to have set my tripod up in the middle of the street, but there really wasn't much traffic there anyways.


I've also tried doing a black and white version of this shot which actually came out quite nice. But I really like the still-blue sky in the background, especially in contrast to the bit or orange light through the windows so I opted to keep it in color.


Nikon D40 | Sigma 10-20@10mm | f/8 | 10s | ISO200 | Tripod

Another abandoned building out on Mare Island (abandoned Naval Base) in Vallejo.


Playing around with the gels here....painted the first set of stairs...then I figured what the hell...paint the furnace....that's fun...paint the next set of stairs.....then the third.......what else can I closed


It was the night photography foreground gods telling me the fun was over....too much is a bad you can see with the overkill on the stairs...


but it was fun

MARE ISLAND, VALLEJO, CA -- A Bic lighter in between the air-raid shelters at Mare Island. I originally said this was an LED flashlight, but now I remember almost burning the tips of my fingers off. It was definitely I lighter.


Update: Last weekend I tried this same technique at Sutro Baths, which is on the ocean next to San Francisco. Unfortunately, the wind kept blowing the lighter out.


For suggestions about how to photograph Sutro Baths, take a look at the California page of the Free Photo Guide website.

Mare Island, October 27. Minor color and brightness adjustments.

81 secs @ 5.6/ 17mm


This crane was the first attempt during my Mare Island series from October 27, 2007.


There was a lot of funky light being thrown on it and the lights across the channel from Vallejo were wreaking havoc with exposure time...but this is the best one I could get after about 45 minutes of struggling.




Save for the dorky bicycle pseudo security guard..this was uneventful and a good time out on the island. Thankfully his Three's Company "Mr Furly" style sniffing as he talked made it quite funny when he questioned us.

Mare Island, October 27, 2007. Nocturnes alum night. Photo was slightly brightened, but not much.

50 secs @ f8/ 10mm


not sure if I like the BW or the color version better......

A wider shot of the alleyway I shot in a prior Flickr posting. Mare Island on a full moon.

97 secs @ 5.6/ 16mm


This is my first shot from the Nocturne's night event out at Mare Island on 102707. There were some really talented folks out there and I learned a ton about my night shooting. (Andy Frazer) invited me out and I owe him a big dinner or something. He has some great night shots and was patient with me as I stumbled around all night.


Not much post processing here.....shot in RAW and picked a nice 2800K temp. The green is from some cool gels Andy had and I wouldn't let him have them back they were so cool to use.


This site is really interesting from a historical point of view. Rosy the Riveter worked here, Nuclear Submarines were launched, refueled and built, 1880's naval ships made of wood docked here, and WWII ships were repaired, built and armed. Amazing stuff to experience.....


This polaris?? rocket was too tough to pass up....the item in the left of the frame is a ship mast I supoose..


more to come

MARE ISLAND, VALLEJO, CA -- Taken at the October Nocturnes AlumNight trip to Mare Island.


We got lucky that night. Someone just left the gate open for us. We worked right underneath these beasts.

MARE ISLAND, VALLEJO, CA -- Taken at the October Nocturnes AlumNight trip to Mare Island.

Second to last image from my Mare Island shoot....


These were super cool...I wish I had more time to photogrpah them but it was getting late....


These are bomb bunkers....from WW2 and the Cold War...there were tons of these in a central grassy park on the island.....super thick concrete and two doors...nothing else inside...crazy to think how many times and how many people took shelter in this bomb bunkers during air raid drills or nuclear missle threats.....


This was shot under a full moon.....converted to foreground lighting at all on this one...the moon took care of it for me....


VIEWING L A R G E is always a good option

MARE ISLAND, VALLEJO, CA -- Taken at the October Nocturnes AlumNight trip to Mare Island.

MARE ISLAND, VALLEJO, CA -- Taken at the October Nocturnes AlumNight trip to Mare Island.

MARE ISLAND, VALLEJO, CA -- One crane and two palm trees. I lit the trees with an LED flashlight. The crane was lit with ambient sodium vapor lighting.

MARE ISLAND, VALLEJO, CA -- This is one of the big cranes along the drydock at Mare Island, a former Naval shipyard near Vallejo, CA. I think this was the crane named "D1".

Taken on Mare Island by Jan DeLano

A set of bomb bunkers at Mare Island...


Debated about this one for a while....meh...I'll put it up and let you be the judge

MARE ISLAND, VALLEJO, CA -- Taken at the October Nocturnes AlumNight trip to Mare Island.

MARE ISLAND, VALLEJO, CA -- Taken at the October Nocturnes AlumNight trip to Mare Island.

The backlightign here was fun to play with....the stars were covered by the clouds but I think its obvious this is a night shot here.

1.5 minutes @ 5.6/ 12mm


This is another shot from a Mare Island Series on October 27, 2007. This was a "nocturnes" event and I was with a group of photographers trying to get "the" shot of the evening.


These cranes used to load and haul supplies, munitions, and heavy cargo onto naval ships during Mare Island's hay days.


There was a tremendously bright light behind one of these that I had to try to block out with the leg of the crane...


This was taken near 2230 hours under a full moon with a sigma 10-20mm




October 27, 2007 Vallejo, CA

Buildings at the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, CA.

Photo by Charity Vargas

Not my finest moment here...but between some occasional clouds, cars, and some decent light pollution a few trails showed up here....


This was a quickie in terms of my preferred long shots....


Foreground highlighted with a few gels and painted with a flashlight.....a little noisy but it is what it is


These are some barracks on Mare Island that had some cool palm groves out front


Mare Island, October 27, 2007, Nocturnes alum night. Photo was altered slightly (brightness and color).

Behind building 680 on Mare Island

79 secs @ f9/ 16mm


Mare Island in Vallejo California.


Shot under a full moon.


Part of the Nocturne's Alumni gathering....


fun group and great place to shoot....


best if viewed LARGE

This was a popular spot during The Nocturnes Alumnight at Mare Island. Couldn't swing a tripod without hitting a night photographer. Photographer ghosts in the large view.