Category Archives: Black and White

Simplicity along San Francisco’s Kearny Street

Lunch - Kearny Street - 2014

San Francisco’s Kearny Street is one of our favorite photographic stages – there are a couple of whole blocks that have no parking on the eastern side of the street – the side which is also well lit during the day. You can stand on the other side of the street and just wait for interesting things to happen.

Here’s one from a recent visit with my friend Doug Kaye. I enjoyed the shapes in this image: squares, rectangles, triangles – and cones! The simplicity is the shot.

Shot with my Fujifilm X-T1 and the 55-200mm zoom, I post processed it in Lightroom 5 using VSCO Film.

Another View of the Olive Grove at Filoli

In the Grove #2 - Filoli - 2014

A few days ago I published another version of this image shot at Filoli with my Fujifilm X-T1. It was somewhat unsatisfying to me – not sure why but it just was.

After asking my friend Doug Kaye for his thoughts, I worked on it again in both Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC – working to remove a couple of branches in the middle that I thought distracted from the “tunnel effect” of the composition. I also, learning from Doug’s feedback, used some dodging and burning to adjust the contrast selectively in various areas of the image – trying to improve the sense of dimensionality.

I think this one is better – but I’ve decided to set it aside for now and will likely come back to it again with another try!

The Olive Grove at Filoli

In the Grove - Filoli - 2014

Another image from my Fujifilm X-T1 on a recent visit to Filoli.

The X-T1 is my new favorite camera – a joy to use and it produces some beautiful images!

Processed in Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC – monochrome conversion using VSCO Film – and a touch of platinum toning.

Lunchtime at San Francisco’s Ferry Building

Lunchtime - San Francisco - 2014

Friday’s weather was drizzly in San Francisco. Perfect for my kind of street photography. Rain’s an unusual event this year in the City – but when it comes, it sets a whole different tone – umbrellas come out, we seem to walk faster and closer together, the reflections capture our eyes. Special times.

We were walking from the Vivian Maier exhibition at a gallery on Geary Street down Market Street to the Ferry Building and lunch at Slanted Door. I was walking slowly – trying to take in the sights on this special drizzly day.

Shooting the folks coming across a crosswalk can be fun – especially on this kind of day. This image was shot across from the Ferry Building with my Fujifilm X100S. It’s lunchtime, let’s go pick up something – and enjoy it!

Channeling Vivian Maier on San Francisco’s California Street

Rainy - San Francisco -2014

We recently saw the Vivian Maier exhibition at the Scott Nichols Gallery in San Francisco. We’d seen the documentary film “Finding Vivian Maier” a week before.

At the exhibition, many of her photos struck me in terms mostly of composition but also with respect to tonality and how she used light/dark. A favorite – which also had some truly beautiful film grain is this untitled image of a woman laughing. She’s totally out of focus in the shot – but the story is there nonetheless.

As we were walking down California Street in the rain recently, I was about to snap an image of the cable cars when this man, coincidentially another photographer, walked in front of me. I thought the shot was a throw away – but decided to channel a bit of Vivian Maier into the shot – with tonality and adding grain in Lightroom. While it’s certainly not up to Maier’s composition, it’s a fun image – and that smile on his blurry face makes me smile!

Along the Waterfront in San Francisco

Bikes - San Francisco - 2014

Here’s a quick shot taken earlier today in the gentle rain along San Francisco’s waterfront at the Ferry Building. The rain brings reflections – and a whole new treat for the eyes!

Shot with my Fujifilm X100S as we were heading into the Slanted Door for lunch! Monochrome straight out of the camera, adjusted in Lightroom 5 and a bit of platinum toning applied in Photoshop CC.

A Favorite Tree at Filoli

Camperdown Elm - Filoli - 2014

At the end of the Bowling Green at Filoli is this beautiful Camperdown elm tree. I’ve shot it many times – with leaves and without, in morning and afternoon light.

This image is a recent one shot in afternoon light with my Fujifilm X-T1. Converted to monochrome using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.

Cosmopolitan San Francisco

Cosmopolitan - San Francisco - 2014

Here’s another iPhone 5s image shot from a bench in front of San Francisco’s Pier 3 with my iPhone 5s. Actually, this is three images overlaid on each other.

I selected the three images based on the placement of the people in the frame. I used Photoshop’s auto-align layers feature to get them into alignment and then applied layer masks to isolate the subjects. The monochrome conversion was done using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 along with some dodging and burning to adjust highlights, shadows, and contrast – along with a touch of toning.

The image isn’t perfect – if you look closely, you’ll see a few flaws. It’s one of those 90 percent complete solutions!