Chasing Light on San Francisco’s Streets

Black and White - San Francisco - 2016

Yesterday, I met up with my photo buddy Doug Kaye at San Francisco’s Ferry Building for a couple of hours of San Francisco street photography. I was just back from 10 days in India – and, frankly, in a bit of a time warp still recovering from a bit of jet lag. In spite of my handicap, we had a wonderful time!

I opted to shoot with my Fujifilm X-Pro2 with the 35mm f/2.0 lens (50 mm equivalent). I setup the film simulation for Acros with the yellow filter – my favorite for street photography with people – and also tweaked the highlights to +1 and shadows to +3 to add more contrast to the JPEGs coming right out of the camera. I was shooting in RAW+JPEG but, as it often turns out, the JPEGs were just perfect coming out of the camera so they were the only images I imported into Lightroom.

We spent the morning chasing light – over the last couple of years our eyes have become pretty finely tuned to seeing the light – and looking for opportunities to exploit it in interesting ways. We walked from the Ferry Building up California Street to Kearny and then to Sutter before settling for lunch at one of our favorite spots: E&O at 314 Sutter.

Looking at these images from yesterday, I’m struck by the light/shadow captures. We took our time, shooting slowly along the way. Just a great way to spend a Friday morning on the streets of San Francisco!

Rays - San Francisco - 2016

Take Out - San Francisco - 2016

Stripes - San Francisco - 2016

Waiting - San Francisco - 2016

Confident - San Francisco - 2016

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.

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Fujifilm X-Pro2 on the Streets of San Francisco

Flood - San Francisco - 2016

On Friday, Doug Kaye and I met up in San Francisco for one of our Friday Fotowalks (!) – a pretty steady ritual when we’re both in town at the same time.

I took the occasion to shot exclusively with my new Fujifilm X-Pro2 – this time with the Fujinon 18-55mm zoom lens installed on the X-Pro2 body.

For the last year or more, I’ve been shooting with fixed prime lenses – mostly the 35mm equivalent lens on my Fujifilm X-100T. More recently, I’ve added a Fujifilm X70 to the mix – with its 28 mm equivalent lens. But I decided to try the 18-55mm “kit” zoom on the X-Pro2 after seeing images from another X-Pro2 shooter on Facebook.

I was very happy with the results! The 18-55mm zoom has always been highly regarded – and it was a lot of fun to shoot with it again.

Some of the resulting images follow.

In the Light - San Francisco - 2016

Gliding By - San Francisco - 2016

Friends - San Francisco - 2016

New and Old - San Francisco - 2016

Here comes the Sun - San Francisco - 2016

Prep - San Francisco - 2016

Moment - San Francisco - 2016

Street Portraits – San Francisco Streets

Pals - San Francisco - 2016

Shooting street photography roughly splits into shooting with a fixed lens or shooting with a zoom lens. There are many other genres of course – but I like to think of heading out with my gear setup for one or the other.

For most of the last 18 months, my camera of choice has been the Fujifilm X100T – a rangefinder style camera that’s idea for the fixed lens genre of street photography. I’ve had a lot of fun with my X100T on the streets of San Francisco and other cities. Can’t recommend it highly enough for very enjoyable street photography.

But, there’s another style – I like to think of this as the Jay Maisel style of street photography. In this style, you want to go out with a long zoom lens – one that will enable candid captures from across the street. Today I went back to that long zoom style – shooting with my Fujifilm X-Pro2 using the Fujinon 18-135mm zoom. It’s a very different approach – but can also be a lot of fun. As I looked at my images from today, I was struck by the tighter portrait-like shots I captured.

Below are a few more images from today’s session on the streets of San Francisco.

Pals - San Francisco - 2016

Solo - San Francisco - 2016

Parasol - San Francisco - 2016

Life is a Mystery

Life is a Mystery - San Francisco - 2016

Yesterday Doug Kaye and I met up for one of our Friday photowalks in San Francisco. Along the way, we stopped by the Bank of America Building – at least that’s what it used to be called – at Kearny and California Streets.

The sun is still reasonably low in the sky – and it casts these dramatic light and dark shadows on the south side of the building. It’s a perfect stage – just takes patience to wait for a subject to walk into the frame. It was Good Friday – so there wasn’t a lot of pedestrian traffic into/out of this building in San Francisco’s financial district. But, we’ve learned to be patient – and I was rewarded when this woman walked out the door and into the frame.

The mystery part of the image for me is her quiet reflection in the column across from her on the right. I love her hair and hands in that reflection – balancing off her walking into the light. Sometimes we get lucky!

This image was shot with my Fujifilm X-Pro2 using the Fujinon XF35mmF2 R WR lens and processed with the Acros film simulation.

Here’s another edit of this image – suggested to me on Facebook by Theo Streibel.

Life is a Mystery #2- San Francisco - 2016

San Francisco with the Fujifilm X-Pro2

Experienced - San Francisco - 2016

The streets of San Francisco provide such a wonderful range of opportunities for street photography – it’s become a bit like an old glove that just fits.

Even on a mostly fog covered morning, we discovered opportunities to capture interesting images – with me shooting with a new Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the Fujinon 23mm f/1.4 lens (35mm equivalent). I shot both JPEG and RAW – and post-processed a few of these images using Lightroom’s camera calibration for the Acros black and white film emulation.

I love the tonality of Acros – and want to spend more time shooting with it in camera. Meanwhile, the X-Pro2 has provided a new challenge – with a bit of a learning curve.

Morning Coffee - San Francisco - 2016

Glance

Dudes - San Francisco - 2016

Friends - San Francisco - 2016

Super Selfie - San Francisco - 2016

On the streets with the Fujifilm X-Pro2

Lantern

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.