Category Archives: Black and White

The Importance of Letting Your Photos Marinate!

Take Out and Delivery - Havana - 2013

A couple of years ago, Eric Kim wrote one of his wonderful blog posts on the notion of letting your photos marinate “in order to really discover if they are any good or not.”

One of the things I most enjoy is looking back through my Lightroom catalog at images I’ve shot a year, or two, or more years ago. Sometimes I’ll just remember a situation – and go searching back through my catalog to try to remember. It’s always striking to me just how often I’ll something completely new in those images.

One of my first examples of this took place over a year from my first trip to Havana in January 2013. I was wondering whether I could assemble a book of portraits from my images shot in Havana – none of which were actually taken as portraits. I wanted to experiment with both black and white and a square format style – and it worked out beautifully. I found faces – portraits – in images I’d previously overlooked. Like seeing with new eyes all over again. See my Faces of Cuba images.

Last night I was back in a Havana mood again – this time looking forward to my next trip to Cuba in January 2016. I came across these two images – both of which just made me smile and remember the moments when they were taken. Marinate indeed – these two have been down deep in my Lightroom catalog for almost three years – and they resurfaced last night to my delight.

Break - Havana - 2013

Short Film: Cuba Cubano Cañibano

Raúl Cañibano Ercilla - Havana - 2013

I’m looking forward to attending next week’s screening of the short film Cuba Cubano Cañibano – about the life and work of Cuban photographer Raúl Cañibano. The event is being held on Wednesday, September 23 in Palo Alto at The Mid Pen Media Center. RSVP if you’re planning to attend as space is limited.

My image above of Raúl shooting was taken in Havana in January 2013.

Revisiting Paris in the Fall

Paris in the Fall

Last fall, I attended a wonderful street photography workshop in Paris led by Valérie Jardin. On one of our morning walks, there had been a bit of rain overnight which provided a lovely sheen to the streets. By mid-day, it was gone and the day turned sunny and bright. Turned out to be one of the gifts – a morning after the rain with the payment still wet and the skies beginning to clear.

Last night I revisited this image to post-process it again. I’ve recently subscribed to and yesterday watched one of the courses about Photoshop taught by Adobe’s Bryan O’Neil Hughes in which he revisited many old techniques and brought to light new and better ways to do things. As I watched his lessons, I was using this image as my test case. One of the points he stresses is using a non-destructive workflow in Photoshop – something I’ve not been doing but will certainly make much more use of in the future. With this image, I’ve got all of the layers saved in the TIFF file which is now in Lightroom. At some point in the future, I’ll come back to it – and continue a bit more post-processing doing some dodging and burning through luminosity masks.

I’m having fun revisiting Paris as I post-process this particular image. It was a quick “grab shot” at the time I took it – as I had fallen behind our group and was trying to catch up. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky – this was one of those times!

August Streets in San Francisco

F-Line Friday - San Francisco - 2015

It’s August – and we’re back out on the streets of San Francisco.

Here are a few images from last week’s photo walk with my good friend Doug Kaye. All shot with my Fujifilm X100T – except for that image up top which is an iPhone 6 shot.

The light is shifting – we can sense it and see it – and we’re looking forward to the sun dropping lower in the sky each day into the fall. We love those shadows – in interesting light!

The reflections of light continue to capture our interest. We’ve become “explorers of light” – as we turn each corner, our eyes quickly assess the quality of the light – and we move in where it’s great and move on where it’s not.

Turns out that there’s nothing much better in life than getting out on the streets of San Francisco – with a favorite camera in hand, walking with a good friend, sharing a great meal, and digesting the results!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Fixtures - San Francisco - 2015

Heels - San Francisco - 2015

Reflections - San Francisco - 2015

Lean In - San Francisco - 2015


Featurephone - San Francisco - 2015

August Light - San Francisco - 2015

Hog Island - San Francisco - 2015

Two Views of the Paris Skyline

Deuce - Paris - 2014

I’ve been having fun going back through some of my images from a year or two ago – including the images I shot in Paris last October.

Here are two examples – of the Paris skyline shot from the Pompidou Center – and processed a bit differently to get to monochrome.

Thanks to Valérie Jardin for her beautiful Paris workshop!

October Light - Paris - 2014

Moments at Drakes Beach – Experimenting in Black and White

Moment - Drakes Beach - 2013

I been doing a bit of experimenting over the last few days with black and white conversion techniques. I particularly find the work of Joel Tjintjelaar of interest – see his Joel Tjintjelaar Flickr Stream and his BWvision web site.

Joel’s latest work is based on a combination of masking techniques – traditional “hard selections” combined with luminosity masking techniques pioneered by Tony Kuyper. I’m intrigued with the notion of applying these techniques to street photography and will be experimenting more to see if we can create even more vibrant black and white street photographs using modifications of Joel’s and Tony’s techniques applied to street photography.

Here are a couple of additional examples from my experiments over the last few days:

Luke - Drakes Beach - 2013

David W. Packard Electrical Engineering Building - Stanford - 2011

Lily and Me


This image was most likely shot in 2009 by my good friend – the late Chris Gulker.

We recently came across a roll of unprocessed film in one of Chris’ Leicas from that era – and my friend Doug Kaye had it processed.

Twice a week Lily and I would go for a 1.5 mile walk with Chris around his neighborhood – and then we’d come back to his place, have coffee and solve the world’s problems. Chris made this image during one of our problem solving sessions! Linda Hubbard Gulker put up with us as we did our thing.

We all miss Lily and Chris a lot. Those were very special times!