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.

Misty Morning at Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Misty Saturday - Pigeon Point Lighthouse - 2014

This morning I headed over to Half Moon Bay and then south on Highway 1 to the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. I was thinking I’d capture some of the fields of yellow that bloom in the springtime along the coast – but none of them motivated me to shoot! So I kept heading to the lighthouse – it’s always interesting and the weather can be hard to predict.

When I came up on it, it was swirling around in between the fog and the blue skies above – a very interesting subject to photography. The image above is one of the first. I’ve included a couple of others below. These images were shot with my Fujifilm X-E2 and Fujifilm X100S – and processed using VSCO Film in Lightroom.

A beautiful morning along the coast!

Aglow - Pigeon Point Light - 2014

Surf and Sky - Pigeon Point Lighthouse - 2014

Standing Tall - Pigeon Point Light - 2014

Sunshine at Princeton Harbor in Half Moon Bay

Sunshine - Princeton Harbor - 2013

This is one of those images that just pops for me. Doug Kaye and I were out exploring Half Moon Bay and environs. Along the way we walked out on the pier at Princeton Harbor – as the sun was beaming down on these fishing boats.

This was shot with my Fujifilm X100S – a superb camera – and tweaked in Lightroom 5, VSCO Film, and Photoshop CC.

All the World’s a Stage – and Sometimes You’re On It!

Listen to Me #2 - San Francisco - 2013

Earlier this summer, I picked up a Fujifilm X100S – a street photographer’s delight. The rangefinder design, its gorgeous styling and superb image performance make it a camera you just want to take with you everywhere.

When Doug Kaye and I go out for a photo walk in San Francisco, we’re always on the lookout for “stages” – great backgrounds that are just waiting to be filled with interesting people.

This is a shot in the park adjacent to the Transamerica Building (“the Pyramid”) in San Francisco. We had rich summer morning light flooding in along with some wonderful shadows – which help add depth to an otherwise two dimensional image. We also had four actors already on stage – nicely spread out! And then this woman walked across the foreground – wow, I couldn’t have scripted it any better – as she made her point to her friend on the other end of that pink cellphone call!

For this version of the image, I used a touch of Topaz Simplify in Photoshop CC to reduce some of the high frequency elements (trees) in the image. VSCO Film Velvia 50 was used to boost the colors a bit. A final pass of high pass sharpening was used to bring back the facial expressions of all of the actors!

Good fun!

Hard to Believe It’s Almost Christmas!

Christmas Tree - Menlo Park - 2013

I felt like I needed a walk this afternoon. I grabbed my Fujifilm X100S and headed down to Menlo Park’s Santa Cruz Avenue about 30 minutes before sunset.

I walked the avenue – camera in hand – and captured a few holiday shots. But I think one is my favorite – a Christmas tree shot through a store window. I had to do a bit of post-processing cleanup in Photoshop CC to remove some reflections – and then decided to apply a bit of a painterly feel to the image using a combination of Topaz Simplify 4 and Photoshop CC’s oil paint filter. I used a layer mask to keep the ornament details sharp and added a bit of burning to add some depth to the tree itself.

This one my be our holiday card cover for next year!

A Sharon Park Sunrise with the Fujifilm X-100S

Sharon Park Sunrise

As I headed out the door this morning to do a bit of grocery shopping for our dinner tonight I stopped by Sharon Park briefly. I love the low sun angle this time of year – and it was filtering through the trees from this particular angle which captured my eyes.

I post-processed this in Photoshop CC using a combination of Topaz Simplify 4, the Oil Paint filter, and some old fashioned dodging and burning to add a stronger sense of depth. Shot with my Fujifilm X100S.

Fujifilm’s X Series Wins New Fans – Including Me!

Fujifilm X-E2

Over the weekend, I wrote an article for our local Menlo Park blog – InMenlo.com – talking about my earlier experiences with the new Fujifilm X-E2 camera.

As I mentioned in that article, I’ve decided to shed my existing Canon and Nikon DSLRs (and all of the lenses) in favor of simplifying my photography gear down to two Fujifilm cameras: the Fujifilm X100S and the Fujifilm X-E2.

Today’s New York Times had an article by Eric Pfanner titled “As Digital Camera Sales Sputter, Fujifilm Finds Its Niche” that described Fujifilm’s success with its X-series of cameras “that blend Fujifilm’s digital technology with retro aesthetics reminiscent of the company’s analog heritage. At a time when sales of other cameras are slumping, the X series is selling briskly.” Pfanner’s article captures the moment for Fujifilm with these new cameras.

Here’s to Fujifilm’s Masazumi Imai, the chief designer of the X series, for the great work he’s done bringing these delightful cameras to market!

By the way, if you’re interested in purchasing any Canon (5D Mark II and lenses) or Nikon (D600 and lenses) gear, drop me a line and I’ll send you an inventory of what I have – I’m selling!

That Beetle at Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay

Beetle - Princeton Harbor - 2013

A few weeks back, Doug Kaye and I met up for lunch at Pasta Moon in Half Moon Bay and then headed our for some early afternoon photography along the Pacific coast.

One of the places we stopped was the Pillar Point Harbor area of Half Moon Bay – the home of a large fishing fleet that plies the Pacific for great seafood. I had my Fujifilm X100S rangefinder camera in hand as we walked out on the pier. We took lots of shots of the fishing boats – but this Volkswagen caught my eye – such a top notch example of that car line!

This image was post-processed in Lightroom 5 – cropped and then treated to a bit of VSCO Film emulation to enhance the color.

The San Giovanni

San Giovanni - Pillar Point Harbor - 2013

As Doug Kaye and I were walking out on the pier at Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay, I was drawn to the combination of the angle of the sunlight on the bow of these two fishing boats along with the yellow color of the closest boat (the “Sunshine”). I shot the image with my Fujifilm X100S.

In this version of the image, I’ve exaggerated both the color and the glow – through application of a cinematic toning in Lightroom. The highlights have a bit more orange in them than normal while the shadows have a bit more blue. The combination gives a film-style cinematic effect.

I then brought the image into Photoshop CC and added an Oil Paint layer at about 50% opacity to add some additional texture/shadows into the image. Finally, a 50 pixel black frame around the image to keep your eyes inside.