As a street photography, you’re always trying to look for stages – places of visual interest against which you can shoot an interesting image. Finding a stage is one thing – being patient enough to wait for something of visual interest to walk into it is another.
On this particular morning in San Francisco, Doug Kaye and I were finding stages – but the pedestrian traffic was so light that we got frustrated waiting for something to fill the stage.
For this particular shot, I got lucky. I happened to like the stage of the stores’s display window behind – and captured this shot very quickly with my Fujifilm X-E2 as this young woman – in her bell bottoms – walked across the stage. Perhaps not the greatest illustration of this technique – but you get the idea!
I post-processed this in Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC – applying a bit of Topaz Simplify 4 and a touch of the Oil Paint filter to add a bit of interesting texture.
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.
While exploring San Francisco’s Financial District with Doug Kaye, we came across this group of seven guys eating lunch on the steps of Bentley Reserve building on Battery Street. This is one of those lovely old classic bank buildings with columns and all.
I saw these guys as we were about to cross Sacramento Street – and captured this shot. The light was wonderful and they were having fun. Sometimes you get lucky – and this time I did with the look on the faces.
I decided to process this image using a simplification technique that removes details and enhances the overall structure of the image. It helps remove distracting details and often delights. This time it did.
Shot with my Fujifilm X-E2 and post-processed using Topaz Simplify 4 and Photoshop CC.
Doug captured a straight-on shot of these seven – here’s his image!
While I enjoy crystal clear sharp images for most of my photographs, I’ve also developed a taste for a more painterly look for some of my images.
This painterly look is something that can be applied in Photoshop – using either the new Oil Paint filter in Photoshop CC or using the Topaz Simplify 4 plugin. They’re different – and the results are different but both can yield very pleasing results.
There’s something that my brain likes about removing sharp details – and simplifying an image – and that’s what these painterly effects do. Instead of crisp details, those details fall away and just the major elements remain. The effect can be quite subtle – such as in the image above – or more dramatic – such as in the image below. For me, photography encompasses a wide range of techniques – and that painterly look is one I sometimes enjoy in my images.
Both of these images were shot earlier today along San Francisco’s Embarcadero using a Fujifilm X-E1. Doug Kaye and I once again enjoyed exploring one of our favorite San Francisco neighborhoods – along with a late lunch at our favorite: Slanted Door!
Yesterday I posted a re-edited image shot taken on the Ferryboat Eureka at the San Francisco National Maritime Historic Park in late August with my Fujifilm X100S.
One of my friends commented that he thought the image was “Hopperesque” – referring to the painting style of American artist Edward Hopper.
His comment made me want to try two alternative treatments of this same image – one adjusted in Photoshop CC using Topaz Simplify 4′s Buzsim filter. The second adjusted in Photoshop CC using the Oil Paint filter. You can see both treatments below – frankly, I like both of them better than the original! Both versions are below – click on the image to go to Flickr and see a larger version.
Here’s the Topaz Simplify 4 version:
Here’s the Photoshop CC Oil Paint version:
Which do you prefer?
Another image from our first morning in Havana last January – a bread shop just opening up.
For this image, I did a lot of tweaking in Lightroom 5 before bringing it into Photoshop CC. I used the Topaz Simplify 4 filter to soften some of the areas of the image and and few other tweaks.
This afternoon I joined a Google+ photo walk in San Francisco. While the main group headed west towards Fort Point, Doug Kaye and I (along with his wife Cessna) peeled off and headed over to the Palace of Fine Arts – another one of our favorite locations.
Here’s an unusual shot from that venue – an ice cream vendor shopping his goodies. Shot with my Nikon D600, this was post-processed in Photoshop using several techniques – including using Topaz Simplify 4 to soften up part of the image and Lab color to brighten up some of the colors. This is a modification of a technique I first saw used by Chris Hilgert on Google+.
Once in a while, I’ll snap a quick shot on my iPhone and, sometime later, come back and look at it more closely. This is one of those images – shot yesterday at Sharon Park in Menlo Park while out for a walk with Lily. I had just come back from the Menlo Park Library where I’d spent an hour or two looking through some of their great books – including a huge book on the French Impressionists and a large 1974 collection of Ansel Adams’ images.
Perhaps some sort of combination of those two is what I saw when I snapped this shot while on the go with my iPhone 5. I opted to post process it using Topaz Simplify 4 – with the Black and White I preset brought back into Photoshop in Luminosity blend mode. I then added an Oil Paint layer – that impressionist effect working a bit of its magic on me!
This was a lucky shot – two pink cars with a pink building in the background – in Central Havana a few weeks ago! Shot with my Nikon D600 and adjusted in Photoshop CS6 using Topaz Simplify, Lab color, and some contrast/sharpening tricks.
This is one of my favorite shots from Havana. As Doug Kaye and I toured the Museum of the Revolution with the rest of our group, some ceremonial music started playing and I peeked out the window to see this honor guard marching across the street. I loved the sun angle and their shadows.
In this version, I did a quick pass through Topaz Simplify 4 – using one of the black and white presets – and then brought it back as into Photoshop using a Luminance blend mode. A beautiful example of how Simplify works its magic!
You can see the original here.