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.





Photographer David Burnett at Kepler’s

David Burnett

Photographer David Burnett spoke with Angie Coiro today at Kepler’s Book in Menlo Park – part of her In Deep Radio series. A selection of Burnett’s photographs are currently on display at Cafe Borrone. He also spoke this afternoon at Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center.

Coiro is a great interviewer – and David is a great story teller. The combination was just delightful! While just an hour, this interview could have gone on for two or three more – listening to Angie’s questions and Burnett’s stories.

A couple of the highlights for me included Coiro’s introduction of Burnett where she used the phrase “collectible whispers” to describe his photography. Burnett suggested he might just use that wonderful phrase for a book title!

Another was his description of his JFK photograph – shot as a young man in Salt Lake City. When he first looked at the film he shot that day he thought it wasn’t worthy – but 35 years later he went back and found the negative and found it told another story – an example of how photographs often aren’t technically perfect but are still powerful images.

Hearing Burnett describe photographing Olympic runner Mary Decker’s fall in the 1984 Olympics made me appreciate what he later called “the speed of life.” Sometimes it just comes together – and you’re in the right place at the right time – and it’s a gift.

There was a lot more – this is a very special interview worth listening to!

I met David last summer while attending a Peter Turnley workshop in New York City. I captured Peter and David heading out – with Dave shooting all of us from above! When I met him today and showed him this image – he said “Oh, you’re in my photo!”


On the streets with the Fujifilm X-Pro2


My Fujifilm X-Pro2 arrived a few days ago – and I headed out today on a very wet and ugly day in Menlo Park to take my first few shots with this new camera.

I mounted the Fujinon 35mm F2 lens on the X-Pro2 body and put the camera into Acros film simulation mode. On Crane Street in Menlo Park is the Nativity of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church – one of my favorite local places for architectural images.

Here’s an example – one of my first images shot on the X-Pro2 – shooting with the 35mm lens wide open at f/2.

Birthday Boy

Chris Gulker - Menlo Park - 2010

Today was my friend Chris Gulker’s 63rd birthday.

I had the great good fortune of meeting Chris a few years before he died in late October 2010. We had a wonderful routine of twice weekly Tuesday/Thursday 1.5 mile walks around his neighborhood. I’d bring along Lily, our Cavalier King Charles spaniel, and the three of us would make the route together. Lily exploring all of the smells and sounds, Chris and I talking about the tech and photography news of the week. It was just wonderful.

Today is Chris’ 63rd birthday. This image is from October 11, 2010 as he was showing me some of his beautiful black and white prints from his years as a photographer in Los Angeles. Such a gentle man and a great teacher.

One of my local favorites: Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park

Cafe Borrone - Menlo Park - 2014

One of my favorite local spots in Menlo Park is Cafe Borrone. I’m often there early for breakfast and sometimes, with colleagues, for lunch. Great food, great location, beautiful light, art, music. It’s a delight.

Today I headed over to Cafe Borrone for an early lunch – actually breakfast – and, as I was leaving, captured this image of the plaza with my iPhone 5s.

On my way around the corner, I noticed that the new area soon to become Borrone Marketbar was beginning to be revealed – and I snapped this shot below. Looking forward to the launch of the Marketbar! You can read more about the Marketbar here.

Borrone Marketbar - Menlo Park - 2014

Merry Christmas 2013!

Red - Allied Arts - 2013

A few weeks ago I went for a walk at Menlo Park’s Allied Arts Guild – one of my favorite local places. It’s good therapy for mind and soul to just walk the gardens there.

The Guild had their holiday decorations up – and this particular image has become one of my favorites. Shot with my Fujifilm X-E2 and post-processed in Photoshop CC with the Oil Paint filter to add some texture. I love the range of colors and lights/shadows in this image. Peaceful.

I hope that you and your family have a wonderful – and peaceful – Christmas season this year!

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!