Appreciating the Magical Reflections in San Francisco

Reflections - San Francisco - 2013

One of the best times to go out shooting pictures is right after it’s rained.

Rain adds saturation to colors – and the rain also leaves behind these magical looking glasses called puddles.

For me, photography is all about this kind of magic – those special elements that come together at a venue and surprise us with a new point of view. Puddles bring reflections – and reflections bring magical ways of seeing.

Being out on a morning after the rain is one of the best times for a photographer. You just have to be open to it – open to seeing it, right there, on the ground before you. Mostly, you need to get lower – to fill out the reflection, to combine the upper (real) and lower (reflection) portions of the image into the right balance.

This image is from a recent photo walk with Doug Kaye at San Francisco’s Embarcadero Center – one of our favorite venues. It was shot with my Nikon D600 and tweaked in Photoshop CS6 using Nik Color Efex Pro 4 (Detail Enhanced and Pro Contrast), Topaz Simply 4 (Black and White II present – mostly in the reflection half of the image) and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 where the final tweaking was done – adding midtone structure and the color.

I thought about taking out that patch of fog in the upper right – but, somehow, it works for me just to leave it alone as a point of interest. Actually, for me that patch of fog is part of the magic!

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