Category Archives: San Francisco/California

San Francisco’s Ferry Building from Pier 1

Ferry Building - San Francisco - 2014

Here’s a different view of San Francisco’s Ferry Building taken from Pier 1. This was my first time on Pier 1 – one of those beautifully restored artifacts along San Francisco’s Embarcadero.

This image is from my iPhone 5s – post-processed in Lightroom with VSCO Film and a couple of other special presents.

Cosmopolitan San Francisco

Cosmopolitan - San Francisco - 2014

Here’s another iPhone 5s image shot from a bench in front of San Francisco’s Pier 3 with my iPhone 5s. Actually, this is three images overlaid on each other.

I selected the three images based on the placement of the people in the frame. I used Photoshop’s auto-align layers feature to get them into alignment and then applied layer masks to isolate the subjects. The monochrome conversion was done using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 along with some dodging and burning to adjust highlights, shadows, and contrast – along with a touch of toning.

The image isn’t perfect – if you look closely, you’ll see a few flaws. It’s one of those 90 percent complete solutions!

On Stage along San Francisco’s Embarcadero

Pier 3 - San Francisco - 2014

I continue to delight in how great the whole renovation of San Francisco’s Embarcadero has turned out to be. Recently, I found a bench and just sat down and began taking pictures with my iPhone 5s as people walked, bicycled, ran, and skateboarded past. This was a great “stage” – with no parked cars along the curb and the interesting convergence of the Embarcadero Center buildings in the background. And that locked up bicycle provided an interesting element to “the set”. If you’re curious, this bench is just outside Pier 3 – a few steps south of the entrance to Hard Water.

After capturing this in my iPhone 5s, I post-processed it in Lightroom 5 applying a VSCO Film emulation and a bit more tweaking done in Photoshop CC.

Checking In

Checking In - San Francisco - 2014

It’s certainly getting easy to catch shots like this – part of what I call “Checking In”.

This one was shot at San Francisco’s Citibank Center – the sharp focus is on the close in chair – with the woman in the background in soft focus with a bit of a painterly touch.

I really like this look. Shot with my Fujifilm X-E2.

Going Ear to Ear along San Francisco’s Market Street

Ear to Ear - San Francisco - 2014

Part of the joy of street photography for me is how unpredictable it can be. You turn, see a good opportunity for a shot and try to capture it – in the decisive moment as they say.

Here’s an example – the shot I composed was waiting for the distant fellow talking on his iPhone to get into a certain spot against that wall – acting as a stage. I was shooting with a telephoto from the curb of Market Street. As I’m waiting, this guy closer up walks right in front of me just as I’m snapping the image.

At first look, I thought the image was a throw away – he’d ruined my shot. Instead, considering it later, I actually like the image – they’re going in opposite directions, the closeup guy provides some sense of depth to the image, etc.

I processed it in a high key style using Lightroom 5 and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. Shot with my Fujifilm X-E2.

Terminator Salvation and Laffing Sal at San Francisco’s Musée Mécanique

Terminator Salvation - San Francisco - 2014

While wandering around the Fisherman’s Wharf area recently, we came across the Musée Mécanique – an amazing collection of old coin-operated mechanical delights from days gone past. Admission is free, it’s open 365 days/year – but you’ll need to make change and get some quarters to play some of these old timers!

Walking through the place is a trip down memory lane – bringing back memories of San Francisco’s old Playland at the Beach, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and those east coast seaside towns along the Jersey shore. In my family, the boardwalk at Seaside Heights, NJ was the star attraction back in the 50′s and 60′s.

This is an image taken with my Fujifilm X-E2 and pretty extensively worked in Lightroom and Photoshop to deal with the high contrast nature of the image. I wanted sort of that “gangsta” style – and a final touch in Nik Color Efex Pro 4′s Glamour Glow added the finishing touch.

Below is an image of Laffing Sal – a longtime attraction at San Francisco’s Playland at the Beach. My photo buddy Doug Kaye remarked at how small she seemed – his memories of her from his childhood is that she was “so much bigger”! She looks pretty huge to me in this shot – also taken with my Fujifilm X-E2!

Laughing Sal - San Francisco - 2014

Lobster Eye and Crab Shooter at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf

Lobster Eye - Crab Shooter - San Francisco - 2014

Here’s a fun shot from a recent visit to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco with my photo buddy Doug Kaye.

We were walking along outside where for as many years as I can remember they sell these shrimp cocktails, fresh crab, sourdough bread bowls with soup inside, and more! It’s quite a marketplace in action and fun to just stand and watch.

One of the stands had this really big lobster – and I caught this image of Doug shooting the crab while I focused on the lobster’s eye.

Shot with a Fujifilm X-E2 and processed in Lightroom 5 using VSCO Film 05.