Category Archives: Monochrome Photography

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!

San Francisco Streets – Mid-August 2015


Summer in San Francisco is always unpredictable weather-wise. Mark Twain’s famous quote is the the “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” It’s always about the fog – and whether it’s dominating the local weather – or whether an onshore high pressure area is keeping the fog at bay.

Today was one of those beautiful summer days in San Francisco – where the two were roughly in balance. There was fog offshore along the coast but it was clear over The City. These kinds of days make for a delightful time – not the coolish foggy overcast but also not an overly warm day either. In other words, just perfect.

I got a late start this morning heading up to meet my friend Doug Kaye – deciding to meet up at 101 California and then heading to one of our favorites for lunch: Tadich Grill. This classic San Francisco restaurant continues to delight – great food at great prices served with attitude. I had the Ahi Tuna Salad special – and it just doesn’t get any better.

After lunch, Doug and I headed up California Street for some street photography. Couldn’t be much better than today!

Triplets - San Francisco - 2015

Window Stripes - San Francisco - 2015

Chicago - 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

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!

Exploring New York City Streets with the Fujifilm X100T


I’m just back from a beautiful week of street photography in New York City. Here’s the story about this remarkable week.

My friend Doug Kaye and I happened to learn about photographer Peter Turnley during a visit last fall to the new Leica Store in San Francisco. Their first exhibition was of Peter’s work – and we were truly struck by his wonderful work, all displayed in black and white prints.

After that visit to the Leica Store gallery, we began learning more about Peter and his work – and about his workshops. Sometime late last year we both decided to sign up for Peter’s New York City workshop to be held in June 2015. Doug and I had thought we were pretty much done with workshops – but we both really appreciated Peter’s work so we signed up. We weren’t disappointed – this was a beautiful workshop, one which I would highly recommend.

I’m still thinking about the teachings Peter shared with us during the week – and will post more about that soon. Meanwhile, here are a few of the images that resulted from Peter’s encouragement – all shot with my Fujifilm X100T.