Picking Five from 2013

Picking Five from 2013

[Note: First published earlier today on InMenlo.com: A few great memories from photography explorations in 2013]

Looking back over a year is something many of us do at this holiday season. I’ve enjoyed looking back at 2013, as it appears in my Lightroom catalog of images captured over the year.

I find it sort of amazing that Lightroom reports I’ve taken 7,697 images in 2013. Good grief! I recently put together a Flickr set of the top 100 images of mine from 2013 based upon views and votes as favorites. But I wanted to also do a more personal look back, choosing just five images from my photography explorations this year.

Much of my joy of photography, by the way, comes from long walks taken a few years ago with InMenlo co-founder Chris Gulker — a very talented photographer who taught me well.

So, here we go… Continue reading “Picking Five from 2013”

That Postcard Shot – San Francisco Skyline from Berkeley Marina

Morning Glory - San Francisco - 2013

Last August, Doug Kaye and I met up at the Berkeley Marina for one of our photo walks. I didn’t think it was such a great venue at the time – but, now, in December, looking back at some of these images, I think we had a good couple of hours there!

This is a shot from the shoreline of the marina looking at San Francisco – with the sailboat, some interesting hues and colors, and a layer of trees in the lower left foreground.

Shot with my Nikon D600 – post-processed in Lightroom 5.

Ah Berkeley!

Ah Berkeley! - Berkeley - 2013

We’ve got a lot of Berkeley in our family! I went to Cal in the late 60’s during the protest movements featured in this sculpture by Scott Donahue on the east end of the Pedestrian-Bike bridge that spans Interstate 80 in Berkeley. Ah, memories…

Shot with my Nikon D600. Post-processed in Lightroom 5, Photoshop CC, and Nik Analog Camera.

The Explorer

Explorer - Berkeley - 2013

Yesterday, Doug Kaye and I met up for one of our regular photo walks – this time at the Berkeley Marina. To be honest (!), there’s not a lot of interesting photographic subjects at the marina. We found a few – as photographers always do – but we weren’t exactly captured by the opportunities for great shots.

As we were heading back to our cars, we walked up the hill in César Chávez Park where we found a group of kids enjoying what seemed like a summer day camp experience. I happened to notice a boy off to my right and took one quick shot. I captured the image – but didn’t “fill the frame” or study the subject – I just took one shot.

As I looked at this image in post-processing, I thought it really needed a very tight crop – along with a monochrome treatment. Thus, this result. I titled it “Explorer” – as he seems completely engaged in exploring that rock below him!

This has a bit of platinum toning – but only in the darker tones using a luminosity mask in Photoshop CC. Some High Pass sharpening helps to focus the eye on the subject – and the border keeps the eye inside the frame. I just love the late morning light on his back!

Pablo on 4th Street

Pablo on 4th Street - Berkeley - 2013

Doug Kaye and I met up for one of our irregular Friday photo walks today – this time in Berkeley. We did a bit of shooting down at the Berkeley Marina before heading to 4th Street and a great lunch at Zut!

Heading to lunch, we walked a couple of blocks and, along the way, came across this bronze sculpture – which, as it turns out, is named Pablo and is the creation of Mavis McClure.

I thought the light on Pablo was pretty special – and sat down to try to capture what interested me. Angular light across the face is almost always special and interesting – and Pablo’s oversized hands and the light on one of them just added more visual interest for me.

I opted to crop it to a square image, adding a black border, and processing it in Lightroom 5 as a monochrome image. As I look at this image, I’m sure Pablo’s thinking good thoughts!

It was great for me to get out shooting again with Doug today – brightened my mood and brought on good thoughts! Doug captured a shot of me composing this image.

The Campanile at UC Berkeley in HDR

UC Berkeley - Campanile by Scott Loftesness

We stopped by the UC Berkeley campus this afternoon and captured a few shots of the Campanile (Sather Tower) – post-processed as single-shot HDR from the RAW photos taken with my Canon PowerShot S95.

It was another lovely day in Berkeley, cool enough for a light jacket but with a lovely set of clouds in the sky.

The four HDR photos I post-processed are here in this Flickr set.

Here’s an earlier set from last May – with the trees in bloom, etc. It’s interesting how my post-processing has evolved to be more subtle – these earlier photos now look over processed, over saturated, etc. to me!