I wrote earlier this week about the beautiful light that Doug Kaye and I found recently in this “street” near the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco’s Financial District.
This is another image shot with my new Fujifilm X-E2 that took advantage of that magical light. Originally, I thought I’d process this image in color – as that ketchup bottle just pops in red – but, instead, I converted it to monochrome in Photoshop CC using Topaz Simplify 4 and then applying a touch of Photoshop’s Oil Paint filter.
I really love the tonality of this image – and the subtle textures that the oil paint added to the glow of the metal.
There’s a wonderful street – more like an alley for pedestrians (no cars) – in San Francisco that just lights up this time of year with reflected light shining off of the Transamerica Pyramid. It’s Leidesdorff Street – and you’ll love it!
Doug Kaye and I discovered it this week – and we almost got lost in shooting because the light was so special. The reflected light in San Francisco’s Financial District this time of year – with the low sun angle – made for many interesting venues – but I think this was perhaps the best.
This image is one example – the rider heading north on Leidesdorff Street into that reflected light from the Pyramid. Doug first noticed this spot – one of those places we call a “stage”. We love finding these places – with very special light or a most interesting background – and just move across the street and wait for something interesting to happen – such as this man riding by on his bicycle.
I shot this with my new Fujifilm X-E2 using the “kit” 18-55mm lens. I’m still learning the best settings on the X-E2 for street photography with this lens – so the rider is a bit blurrier than I’d prefer – but it’s still a great image with that wonderful light.
Here’s another image shot with the new Fujifilm X-E2 – this time it’s a morning scene on San Francisco’s Mission Creek – looking down toward the bridge and, beyond, AT&T Park.
The image was shot handheld with the X-E2 using the 18-55mm “kit” lens. I post-processed it using a touch of Topaz Simplify 4 and a bit of the Oil Paint filter in Photoshop CC – to both remove some details but also add back in a touch of subtle texture (click on the image to open a larger version). A final bit of cinematic toning was applied in Lightroom using the Split Toning panel.
The iPhone 5s has an amazing camera – here’s an example from a burst of about 30 images. I call it “On My Way”.
A wide angle lens is sometimes a wonderful thing – depends on the venue and whether you’re lucky.
For this shot, I had one of the greatest venues and I got lucky. I had recently swapped lenses on the borrowed Fujifilm X-E1 I was shooting with. Most of my morning was shooting with the 18-55 mm “kit lens” – which I thoroughly enjoyed. But then I switched to the Fuji 14mm f/2.8 lens – and got some amazing shots.
This is a wonderful combination – love it!
Sometimes you just get lucky. That’s the lesson you learn over and over again in street photography. You need to be there. You need to be present in the moment. In that decisive moment.
As Doug and I were walking to lunch we passed by the outdoor terrace of MarketBar at the Ferry Building. It’s a beautiful venue and I quickly snapped this shot using my borrowed Fujifilm X-E1 with the gorgeous Fuji 14mm lens mounted at the time.
I loved the shot – so cropped it a bit in Lightroom and then opened it in Photoshop CC. Applied a bit of Oil Paint filter and then did a final touch of post using Nik’s Viveza 2 to adjust saturation and structure.
What a great place for lunch!
As Doug Kaye and I were walking back toward San Francisco’s Ferry Building – and lunch at one of our favorites, Slanted Door – we passed this group enjoying themselves along the wall. I took a quick shot with the Fujifilm X-E1 I had borrowed from Doug and we walked on. I have no idea whether this crew is actually a company meeting – but it’s fun to think that it might be!
I mentioned to Doug that seeing them reminded me of one of my favorite shots from a trip to New York City several years ago – I called it “Bookends“.
Tonight I processed this a bit differently. I put it through the simplification process that actually removes detail from much of the image – in this case everything below the horizon was “simplified” using these techniques.
You might not notice it – but if you look closely you’ll see a sailing ship heading west abeam Treasure Island. Good fun along the waterfront in San Francisco!
When I’m doing street photography, I’ve come to appreciate looking for a stage – a venue where, as the photographer, you can just fade into the background and let the subjects walk into your frame. When it works, it’s magical. It takes patience and time – but it’s often worth the investment.
Doug Kaye and I were walking along the Embarcadero in San Francisco – shooting with two “mirrorless” cameras instead of the big digital SLR’s (DSLRs) we usually carry. These new cameras are a delight – much smaller yet great performers. I was shooting with a Fujifilm X-E1 with the “kit” lens.
Doug and I met at the Ferry Building and walked along the Embarcadero down to Red’s Java House. Just across from Red’s, I found a “stage” – and sat down to try to capture something interesting. Among the 30-40 shots I took, I particularly liked this one – the attitude of the women, how they were marching along in formation, etc.
I simplified the image a bit using a technique I’ve mirrored from just one genre of work by Chris Hilgert. It removes details but leaves the core image elements in place. Beautiful.
The area of lower Pacific Heights in San Francisco has these wonderful splotches of old Victorian homes.
This is one example – shot with my Fujifilm X100S during a recent visit to the neighborhood with Doug Kaye.
Post-processed in Lightroom 5 with VSCO Film.
Another image from a recent visit to lower Pacific Heights in San Francisco with Doug Kaye.
This lovely staircase corner – and that window – just captured my eye!
Shot with my Fujifilm X100S – post processed using VSCO Film in Lightroom 5.