I Love a Parade!

DSCF1060Here on the mid-Peninsula of the San Francisco Bay Area – as in many places across the country, the fourth of July is a big day for parades. And, I love a parade!

We have a very big one nearby each July 4th in Redwood City – the organizers claim it is the largest parade in Northern California. I’ve enjoyed that parade several times over the last few years. For a street photographer, it’s great fun – although it can be a bit daunting logistically in terms of parking, etc.

On the other end of the spectrum is the Menlo Park 4th of July Parade – an event that focuses on kids and families instead of the big marching bands, drill corps, and parade floats. For a street photographer, it’s also great fun – much simpler logistically and a much shorter (15-20 minutes) event – but still a lot of fun.

This year I opted to go to the Menlo Park parade – along with InMenlo editor Linda Hubbard Gulker – see her post on InMenlo.com. I used my Fujifilm X-Pro 2 with the Fujinon 18-135mm lens for this photo shoot. I had face and eye detection enabled and, most of the time, shot in burst mode at 8 frames/sec. I came home with over 500 images from a 20 minute photo shoot – and then culled those down to about 15 keepers.

Good fun – always a delight to see the kids and their parents all decked out in red, white and blue having a great time together! I’ve included a few of those keepers below.

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My Visit to SFMOMA

One Way - SFMOMA - 2016

Yesterday I headed to San Francisco for my first visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) since its recent re-opening. It was a perfect day to do so – with light commute travel given the start of the Memorial Day weekend. I bought my ticket online for a 10:15 AM entry and was able to join as soon as it opened.

I’m a quick museum go’er – preferring to move quickly between rooms to get a sense and then circling back to look more closely at certain items that interest me. Definitely best done as a solitary pursuit as I’d frustrate a companion with my quick movements and subsequent zigging and zagging!

I spent about two hours exploring – and then stopped for an early lunch at Cafe 5 – which was lovely by the way!

I packed my Fujifilm X-Pro2 and X70 cameras in my shoulder bag – but, as it turned out, I only took pictures with my iPhone 6s. I enjoyed shooting light – and “light” – with just my iPhone.

Here are some examples. I’m looking forward to making another pass later this year!

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In the moment at 101 California

Scott Loftesness
Scott Loftesness

My photo buddy Doug Kaye caught me in the moment while we were both shooting in the bright Friday morning light in the plaza at 101 California in downtown San Francisco.

This plaza is a place we return to frequently – it’s just a delight – and the light is constantly shifting and moving across a tapestry of interesting people either traversing or taking a break and pausing for a few minutes. It’s one of those “life is good” kind of places.

Obviously, as Doug’s image shows, I was having a great time! One of these days I might get around to washing my jacket – it’s been all over the world with me and I’ve resisted “cleaning things up”!

Fujifilm X-Pro2 on the Streets of San Francisco

Flood - San Francisco - 2016

On Friday, Doug Kaye and I met up in San Francisco for one of our Friday Fotowalks (!) – a pretty steady ritual when we’re both in town at the same time.

I took the occasion to shot exclusively with my new Fujifilm X-Pro2 – this time with the Fujinon 18-55mm zoom lens installed on the X-Pro2 body.

For the last year or more, I’ve been shooting with fixed prime lenses – mostly the 35mm equivalent lens on my Fujifilm X-100T. More recently, I’ve added a Fujifilm X70 to the mix – with its 28 mm equivalent lens. But I decided to try the 18-55mm “kit” zoom on the X-Pro2 after seeing images from another X-Pro2 shooter on Facebook.

I was very happy with the results! The 18-55mm zoom has always been highly regarded – and it was a lot of fun to shoot with it again.

Some of the resulting images follow.

In the Light - San Francisco - 2016

Gliding By - San Francisco - 2016

Friends - San Francisco - 2016

New and Old - San Francisco - 2016

Here comes the Sun - San Francisco - 2016

Prep - San Francisco - 2016

Moment - San Francisco - 2016

At the Pantheon in Rome

Pantheon - Rome - 2016

While I was in Rome in April in a workshop led by Valérie Jardin, we spent a lovely morning at the Pantheon.

A couple of us, including my new friend Ken Lyons, found a lovely cafe and had a cappuccino while watching the crowds. A lot like watching the fire in the fireplace – interesting little insights here and there.

After coffee, Ken headed over to stand behind this obelisk and spent a couple of minutes lining things up – as I watched – and waited – learning from him.

This image was my result – shot with my new Fujifilm X70. It sure brings back great memories of that lovely bright morning in April in Rome!

Roman Holiday

Spritzes - Rome - 2016

Last week I was in Rome – in a street photography workshop led by Valérie Jardin. It was a very special week – with a great group of photographers from Australia, UK, Canada and the US.

This week in Rome was my third workshop with Valérie – having first joined her in the fall of 2014 in Paris and this past February in San Francisco for street photography workshops in both locations. She’s a great leader of these kinds of workshops – the best I’ve experienced.

For the workshop, I opted to go with minimal gear – my Fujifilm X100T, a new Fujifilm X70 and my iPhone 6s (with the Apple Battery Case). I left behind my interchangeable lens and bodies – wanting to just stay as minimal as I could. I was very happy with the results!

This was my first time in Rome where I had time to explore – and I loved it. The weather couldn’t have been better. Our group worked together part of the time and we had ample time to just go exploring on our own as well. A very special week with some wonderful memories was the result. I don’t think I’ve ever walked so many cobblestone streets in my life!

My Rome album is here.

Reader - Rome - 2016

Happy Together!

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Goodfellas - Rome - 2016

Your Turn - Rome - 2016

Bliss

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Trio + 1

Street Portraits – San Francisco Streets

Pals - San Francisco - 2016

Shooting street photography roughly splits into shooting with a fixed lens or shooting with a zoom lens. There are many other genres of course – but I like to think of heading out with my gear setup for one or the other.

For most of the last 18 months, my camera of choice has been the Fujifilm X100T – a rangefinder style camera that’s idea for the fixed lens genre of street photography. I’ve had a lot of fun with my X100T on the streets of San Francisco and other cities. Can’t recommend it highly enough for very enjoyable street photography.

But, there’s another style – I like to think of this as the Jay Maisel style of street photography. In this style, you want to go out with a long zoom lens – one that will enable candid captures from across the street. Today I went back to that long zoom style – shooting with my Fujifilm X-Pro2 using the Fujinon 18-135mm zoom. It’s a very different approach – but can also be a lot of fun. As I looked at my images from today, I was struck by the tighter portrait-like shots I captured.

Below are a few more images from today’s session on the streets of San Francisco.

Pals - San Francisco - 2016

Solo - San Francisco - 2016

Parasol - San Francisco - 2016

Life is a Mystery

Life is a Mystery - San Francisco - 2016

Yesterday Doug Kaye and I met up for one of our Friday photowalks in San Francisco. Along the way, we stopped by the Bank of America Building – at least that’s what it used to be called – at Kearny and California Streets.

The sun is still reasonably low in the sky – and it casts these dramatic light and dark shadows on the south side of the building. It’s a perfect stage – just takes patience to wait for a subject to walk into the frame. It was Good Friday – so there wasn’t a lot of pedestrian traffic into/out of this building in San Francisco’s financial district. But, we’ve learned to be patient – and I was rewarded when this woman walked out the door and into the frame.

The mystery part of the image for me is her quiet reflection in the column across from her on the right. I love her hair and hands in that reflection – balancing off her walking into the light. Sometimes we get lucky!

This image was shot with my Fujifilm X-Pro2 using the Fujinon XF35mmF2 R WR lens and processed with the Acros film simulation.

Here’s another edit of this image – suggested to me on Facebook by Theo Streibel.

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San Francisco with the Fujifilm X-Pro2

Experienced - San Francisco - 2016

The streets of San Francisco provide such a wonderful range of opportunities for street photography – it’s become a bit like an old glove that just fits.

Even on a mostly fog covered morning, we discovered opportunities to capture interesting images – with me shooting with a new Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 lens (35mm equivalent). I shot both JPEG and RAW – and post-processed a few of these images using Lightroom’s camera calibration for the Acros black and white film emulation.

I love the tonality of Acros – and want to spend more time shooting with it in camera. Meanwhile, the X-Pro2 has provided a new challenge – with a bit of a learning curve.

Morning Coffee - San Francisco - 2016

Glance

Dudes - San Francisco - 2016

Friends - San Francisco - 2016

Super Selfie - San Francisco - 2016