Author Archives: scott

Sizing Flickr Images with the WordPress Twenty Twelve Theme

I’ve just installed the new WordPress Twenty Twelve theme on my blog here. Twenty Twelve is a responsive design – meaning that it works well across not just traditional computer displays but also on mobile devices with much smaller screens – exactly my goal.

This is a significant upgrade from the old, original WordPress Twenty Ten theme that I have been running for a couple of years since migrating this blog from Typepad to WordPress.org two years ago this month. That theme didn’t dynamically adjust in response to smaller screen sizes – and with so much more of the visits coming from mobile and tablet devices, I needed a new theme that worked well with them.

With the responsive design of this new theme, I’ve noticed one glitch. I frequently embed an image – using embed code I copy from my Flickr portfolio. The code Flickr provides includes a hard coded height and width in the HTML based on the selection I make when copying it – historically I’ve been using 640 px wide images because that was the original width of this blog’s main content column. When viewed on a tablet or mobile phone, these images were being squished – with their aspect ratio being changed to “fit” the image.

To fix this problem, I need to edit the HTML inserted in the post to change the height to 100% and to remove the width specification. Once that’s done, everything scales beautifully!

My First Image Posted to Google+ – June 30, 2011

Yesterday, Doug Kaye took a look back and found the first image he posted last year on Google+. I just did the same – and came across my first image posted to Google+ – a shot of Tesla coils from Maker Faire 2011 in San Mateo – see below.

Later in July 2011, I blogged about Google+ here for the first time – see “Thinking about Google+“.

Tesla Coils - Maker Faire 2011 - San Mateo

Photography Explorations: Filling the Frame

Derelict - Inverness - 2012

On Saturday, I took a drive up to Point Reyes – motivated by the Open Studios held this weekend. There were a few photographers having open studios – including my friend – and black and white photographer – Marty Knapp. Before heading to the open studios, however, I stopped by a few of my favorite sites in Inverness and at Pierce Point Ranch out on Point Reyes.

First stop was the FV Point Reyes, a popular site just behind the Inverness Grocery Store. Screen Shot 2012 05 28 at 7 44 51 AMMany photographers have shot this forlorn fishing boat over the last few years. I made a quick stop here – spending at most 10 minutes – shooting hand-held with my Canon 5D Mark II with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens – and my iPhone 4S.

I first captured the usual iconic shots of the boat – from about a half dozen angles as I walked around the bow. As I was about to leave, I noticed how lovely the light was on the cabin of the boat itself – and that motivated me to go in closer and to “fill the frame”, not worrying about capturing the whole boat itself.

This image turns out of be one of what I consider the best of my recent photos – with the beautiful light, the great detail of the boat’s “grunge”, the bokeh and moodiness in the sky behind, etc. I titled it “Derelict”. A great example of one of the basics of great photography: “fill the frame”! The major point about filling the frame is that our minds will deal with the missing elements – it’s certainly easy to see that this is a fishing boat – and, given it’s tilt, that something’s amiss!

Screen Shot 2012 05 28 at 7 49 38 AMHere’s another image – one that was more heavily post-processed including a texture overlay – of the FV Point Reyes that I posted last summer.

PS: If you’re in the US, hope you’re having a great Memorial Day weekend! We had one of our grilled tri-tip dinners last night that was wonderful – a bit more more on that later once I update the menu on my Scott’s Kitchen web site.

PPS: Here’s a straight out of the camera shot of the FV Point Reyes – taken with my iPhone 4S. Sort of sets the scene for the closeup shot above!

FV Point Reyes Inverness 640px

Mad Men in Chicago – iPhone 4S at Work

Mad Men - Chicago - 2012

I continue to be amazed at the beautiful photography that’s possible using just the iPhone 4S and a few of the photo adjustment applications that run on it.

This is my latest example – titled “Mad Men – Chicago – 2012” – an image shot with my iPhone 4S inside the Sixteen restaurant at the Trump Hotel in Chicago. Tweaked using Nik’s Snapseed application on the iPhone, it features a lovely contrast between the old city landmarks outside and the sleek windows and diners inside. A bit of tilt-shift treatment also added in Snapseed adds just enough blur up top and down below to keep things interesting!

A friend commented: “I expect Don Draper to walk in at any moment!”

Photography on the iPhone 4S is just so much fun!

Our BART Photo Tour

Turntable - San Francisco - 2012

Yesterday, Doug Kaye and I headed out for another one of our duo photo walks. These are always great fun – as we get to catch up and chat while having a fun time photographing things that we see. We usually pick a venue and work it pretty thoroughly – but this time we tried something different.

The weather forecast looked like it might be a nasty day to be out and about – so Doug suggested we try hopping on BART and then getting off at a couple of the more interesting stations to just see what we could find that might be interesting.

Sounded like a plan – we agreed to meet at the Powell St. BART station – me arriving from Daly City and Doug from North Berkeley. We both got there within 5 minutes of each other and could see some blue sky up through the exit. So, instead of staying underground, we headed outside to Market Street and began taking pictures.

The one above is of the Muni cable car turntable at Powell and Market Streets. This image was shot with my Canon PowerShot S100 and post processed using Adobe Lightroom 4. Because of the weather and our original plan of mostly being underground, we both left our big cameras behind and just brought along small cameras – the S100 in my case and a brand new Fujifilm X-Pro 1 that Doug had rented for the weekend.

From there, we walked down Yerba Buena Lane to Yerba Buena Center where we explored “puddle photography” – taking pictures of reflections in puddles of water, glass reflections, the kids’ carousel, and more such as this game board.

Game Board - San Francisco - 2012

After lunch at Mel’s, we walked back to BART and headed toward the Glen Park station – apparently known for its architecture.

After that, on to SFO Airport and the Aviation Museum there. I’ve been to that airport hundreds of times – but never to the museum! We had fun talking with the curators there and were able to have some fun taking photos of an Italian motorcycle exhibit in the large International terminal. From there, we headed home – to begin looking at what we had captured during the day – some 115 images in my case!

It’s always fun to see what we each captured and what (and how) we choose to interpret our images in post-processing. You can see some more examples on our respective Google+ pages (Doug’s and mine)!

Painted Ladies – Victorians in San Francisco

Painted Ladies - San Francisco - 2008

Here’s another view of the Victorian homes across from San Francisco’s Alamo Square known as the Painted Ladies. There are usually several photographers up on this grassy hillside shooting this scene with the combination of the Victorians in the foreground and the San Francisco skyline in the background.

On this particular morning in February 2009, there was a clearing winter store and the sun had just begun lighting part of the city as the clouds remained in the sky. I had been up on Twin Peaks as the clearing began where I saw the opportunity to capture some interesting light and sky in this classic San Francisco shot.

This image was post-processed first as a single image HDR (from my Canon 5D Mark II) using Photomatix Pro and then in Photoshop CS5 using a combination of techniques that accentuate the drama in the sky and the colors and lighting of the Victorians themselves. Click on the image itself to see a larger version.

Water Jugs – San Francisco – 2011

Water Jugs - San Francisco - 2011

These water jugs were shot at one of the restaurants at the Ferry Building in San Francisco while I was waiting for a friend to arrive. I took the image with my tiny Canon PowerShot S95 using macro and post-processed it using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2. I love how they have that glow!

The Wall – Menlo Park – 2010

The Wall - Menlo Park - 2010

Last year, I attended Sunset’s Celebration Weekend and, among the images from that day, I especially enjoyed this succulent wall. One of the exhibitors – Succulent Gardens – had put together this succulent wall that I found really interesting.

I took the photo with my tiny Canon PowerShot S90 (since sold and replaced with an S95). It’s been post-processed a bit more than usual – first I tweaked it in Nik’s Viveza 2 and Color Efex Pro 3 before adding just a touch of Photoshop’s Pixel Bender Oil Paint and then, back in Lightroom, gradients around all four sides with a bit of darkening and subtle blurring to keep your eyes from wandering off the edges! Hope it works for you – this is one of those images where there’s so much to see – a lot of visual interest! Click on the image to see a larger version.

When I began working on it, I thought it would be a good black and white candidate – but I ended up liking this color version better. For an example of a black and white – actually greyscale (!) version of a succulent, see this one taken in San Francisco in 2009.

Into the Core - San Francisco - 2009