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Black and White iPhone 14 Pro Max Menlo Park Photography - Black & White

Sunday Morning Zen

On my morning walk this morning, I came across this young woman sitting on the pavement adjacent to pond at Sharon Park – looking across the water to the fountain and a sunny Sunday morning sky.

The fountain in the pond was just re-activated a few days ago – and it adds so much to the image by creating a point of interest where otherwise there’d just be negative space. It was blessed with great timing – both her being there and the fountain now active again.

There’s a walkway behind where she was sitting which is elevated by about four feet so I walked around behind her on to that walkway and snapped a few photos with my iPhone 14 Pro Max. This is the most peaceful and Zen-like of them – and I opted to post-process into black and white to remove all of the color and focus the eye on just the contrast between light and shadow.

Hope you also enjoy this image!

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Black and White Half Moon Bay iPhone 11 Pro Max Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White

Ocean View

Here’s an example of the kind of both photography and photo editing that I’ve been doing using my iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Heading south from Half Moon Bay on Highway 1 a couple of miles on the right is Miramontes Point Road which heads down to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and, along the way, a parking turnout for coastal access to a paved walkway that winds through a golf course to a cliff area above Manhattan Beach.

On a recent overcast morning, I parked my car at the turnout and walked on a portion of this walkway where, along the way, it crossed a bridge which spanned a creek leading out to the beach. I used the built-in Camera app in the iPhone 11 Pro Max to make this initial photo:

I liked the framing that the tree provided but also, being a street photographer at heart, wanted to better capture the sole individual walking along the beach in the distance. So I switched to the telephoto lens on the iPhone 11 Pro Max and made this photo:

I found the composition of this image intriguing and opted to process it in black and white to remove some of the distraction of the colors – especially the green vegetation in the lower right. Using both the Photos app on my iPhone 11 Pro Max along with the Snapseed app I made this edited and framed version of that image:

As it turns out, I completely cropped out the lower portion of the image to remove all of the distracting vegetation and to better isolate the beach walker at the top of the image. I also removed the distant sky and much of the ocean to better balance the image.

It is amazing just how much fun photography on the iPhone is with the capabilities of these recent models! Being able to make images and edit them anywhere on my phone is a delight.

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Black and White Half Moon Bay iPhone 11 Pro Max Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White

Back to Fitzgerald

One of my favorite places to visit for a peaceful quiet time is the forest area at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach, California – just north from Half Moon Bay along Highway 1. I especially enjoy visiting Fitzgerald’s forest on overcast mornings – there’s something special about the soft light that adds to the moodiness of the place. Most days there aren’t others around – making the stillness and solitude of this location a real joy. With all of the current hubbub around the coronavirus outbreak, this was a wonderful place to just get away and enjoy some time outside and alone!

Here’s an image I made on a recent overcast morning visit using my iPhone 11 Pro Max. Edited in the Photos app and Snapped on my iPhone.

Below is another image made at Fitzgerald – this time looking 180 degrees behind where I was standing for the image above. This image was made with my Fujifilm X100V.

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Black and White Filoli iPhone 11 Pro Max Lightroom Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White

The Camperdown Elm

One of my favorite trees at Filoli is this Camperdown Elm that sits at the end of a long lawn that proceeds out from the Garden House.

Here are two images taken closer to the elm – one in color, one in monochrome – of that Camperdown Elm – both from the same image made with my iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Here’s another moodier monochrome version adjusted in Lightroom on the iPhone.

See this post for another view of this elm that I made at Filoli seven years ago.

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Black and White Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White Stanford

Ansel Adams and Edward Weston at the Cantor

Weston by Ansel Adams -— Adams by Edward Weston

Currently there’s an exhibition of over thirty prints by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford. Yesterday I stopped in for a docent tour of the show and enjoyed seeing their prints with Carol’s accompanying commentary.

She started with the two images above. On the left is Edward Weston taken by Ansel Adams. On the right is Ansel Adams taken by Edward Weston. In the exhibition the Weston prints are smaller – 8×10 contact prints in white frames and unsigned on the front while the Adams prints are signed and framed in black. A nice contrast.

The current exhibition draws from the Capital Group Foundation’s gift of 1,000 photographs to the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University that includes works by American photographic masters Ansel Adams, Edward Curtis, John Gutmann, Helen Levitt, Wright Morris, Gordon Parks, and Edward Weston.

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Black and White iPhone Xs Max Paris Photography Photography - Black & White Photography - Sony RX100M6 Street Photography

Paris Streets

During a brief layover in Paris recently I hit the streets with my iPhone and a Sony RX100M6 to see what I might see. Here are a few from a couple of hours on the street.

Capturing the Pantheon
Glance
I See
Two Pairs
The Couple
Intense Conversation
Rider
Making a Selfie
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Black and White Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White Portraiture santa fe

Gallery: Black and White Portraits from Santa Fe

Over the last few weeks I’ve been sharing some of the portrait work from my recent Santa Fe workshop (and one from a July 2018 workshop) on Instagram.

Here are a few examples in a tiled gallery – something I’ve been wanting to try.

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Black and White Lightroom CC Photography Photography Workflow Uncategorized

Finishing Touches

Recently, I’ve been doing a lot more post-processing of portraits that I’ve taken over the years. There are some finishing touches easily applied in Lightroom that can be very helpful in making a portrait look great. Here are some of my favorites…

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Before and After Black and White Lightroom CC Monochrome Photography New York City Photography Photography - Black & White

Before and After – That Glance

Just around the corner from Bryant Park is the main branch of the New York Public Library – the one with the lions out front! Inside is a nice small cafe – it was a lovely place for a couple of tired street photographers to rest their legs for a few minutes and enjoy a bit of liquid refreshment.

While we were waiting there, this lovely young woman came in and sat down across the room from us. The final image above – in black and white – was edited in Lightroom on my iPad, exported to the Camera Roll, imported into Snapseed, tweaked a bit further using Snapseed’s vignette and framing tools and then exported for posting on Instagram. This workflow took about 5 minutes start to finish.

Below is the original image in color straight out of my camera. It’s lovely on its own – and the slight tilt actually adds a bit of drama to the image. But I prefer the more portrait look of the black and white image.

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Before and After Black and White Lightroom Lightroom CC New York City Photography Photography - Black & White

Before and After – Ping Pong in Bryant Park

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One of my favorite places to photograph people in New York City is in Bryant Park. Over in one corner of the park there are a couple of ping pong tables which are usually occupied by enthusiastic players. Just watching them play can be mesmerizing! Trying to capture a good image from the scene can be challenging.

In this before and after sequence, the final black and white image above was created from the original below by editing in Lightroom on my iPad. I converted the image to black and white, adjusted the color sliders to get the tonality satisfactory to my eye, and then cropped and straighten the image to eliminate the distracting elements and focus in on just the player and his intensity – about to hit the ball back across the net.