Black and White Filoli Fujifilm X-T1 Monochrome Photography Nik Software Photography Photography - Black & White Photography - Fujifilm X-T1

A Favorite Tree at Filoli

Camperdown Elm - Filoli - 2014

At the end of the Bowling Green at Filoli is this beautiful Camperdown elm tree. I’ve shot it many times – with leaves and without, in morning and afternoon light.

This image is a recent one shot in afternoon light with my Fujifilm X-T1. Converted to monochrome using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.

Filoli Fujifilm X-T1 Photography Photography - Fujifilm X-T1

The Main House at Filoli

Main House - Filoli - 2014

When I’m at Filoli, I try to avoid the people. But this image – with the beautiful little girl enjoying herself – brings life alive!

Shot with my Fujifilm X-T1.

Filoli Fujifilm X-E2 Gardens Lightroom Photography Photography - Fujifilm X-E2 Photoshop CC VSCO Film

The Garden Path at Filoli

Garden Path - Filoli - 2014

A couple weeks back I headed to Filoli for my first visit this year – with my trusty Fujifilm X-E2 in hand. I’d decided to shoot the whole time with just the 14mm Fujinon prime lens – a beautiful wide angle lens.

Here are two versions of the same image from the X-E2. The top version has been processed in Lightroom with VSCO Film 05 which adds a film like quality to the overall image.

The version below is that same processed image but after a pass through Photoshop CC and a touch of the Oil Paint filter applied. I like both versions a lot – but find the visual interest added by the oil paint filter keeps my eye more engaged looking at the painterly version!

Garden Path - Filoli - 2014

Black and White Filoli Fujifilm X-E2 Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White Photography - Fujifilm X-E2 Photoshop CC

The Olive Grove at Filoli

Olive Grove - Filoli - 2014

Filoli has a wonderful grove of olive trees outside the Visitor Center. I shot this image with my Fujifilm X-E2 – and post-processed it using Photoshop CC, Nik’s Silver Efex Pro, and more. A bit of platinum toning tweaked the color just a bit.

Berkeley Cuba Faces of Cuba Filoli Photography Rodeo Beach

Picking Five from 2013

Picking Five from 2013

[Note: First published earlier today on 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…

Filoli Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II

An iPhone Street Shooter at Filoli

Street Shooter - Filoli - 2012

Here’s an image I captured at Filoli in February of 2012 with my Canon 5D Mark II – a woman shoot the magnolia tree with her iPhone. I loved how her iPhone case matched the color of her hat!

This image has layers from the separation of her from the background – and a bit of gesture as she aims and shoots her iPhone.

Film Filoli Fujifilm X100S Gardens iPad Lightroom Photography Photography - Fujifilm X100S Photoshop CC VSCO Film

Back to the Garden

The Garden - Filoli - 2013

I made a quick visit to Filoli this morning on a very warm day here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Wanted to try out a new Toshiba FlashAir SD Card in my Fujifilm X100S. I have the 8GB version of the card – Toshiba has just announced a 16GB version which is also faster (Class 10 vs Class 6) – but it’s not yet available.

My goal today was to be able to take some shots, upload them from the camera to my iPad mini, do a couple of quick edits and then upload them as a new set to Flickr. Everything worked fine – I shot 28 images (before the heat got to me!) and headed into the café to upload them off the camera to the iPad and then on to Flickr. All told, it took me about a half hour to do this – roughly 1 minute per image. The combination of moving these 6-7 MB Jpeg files around twice took longer than I expected (the FlashAir uses WiFi to the iPad mini and on the iPad I was using the Flickr app to upload over Verizon LTE cellular.

In any case, mission accomplished! <a href="Derrick Story likes to call this combination the “nimble photographer”. Not sure I felt very nimble today in the heat – but it was fun and a walk in Filoli – even a short one – is always a lift for the spirit!

When I got home, I transferred the images off the SD card into Lightroom 5 and then did some editing using VSCO Film presets. A bit of dodging and burning in Photoshop CC, a quick border addition, and this image was finished.

Filoli Gardens Photography Photography - Nikon D600

Filoli’s Garden in Late Winter

Garden Walk - Filoli - 2013 by Scott Loftesness

This image of Filoli’s beautiful garden walk was taken on March 2 – a few weeks before Spring officially arrived.

Black and White Filoli Monochrome Photography Nik Software Photography Photography - Black & White Photography - Nikon D600 Photoshop

Monochrome Bones at Filoli

Camperdown Elm #2 - Filoli - 2013

Here’s an initial monochrome version of the Camperdown Elm photo from my walk at Filoli a couple of weeks ago. Handheld shot with my Nikon D600.

For this version, I used Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2 do to a black and white conversion, darkening the lawn area up front and adding a bit of color to the highlights.

The “bones” of this tree are so beautiful – and the morning light that morning at Filoli was just right to light it up.

Filoli Photography Photography - Nikon D600 Photoshop

That Camperdown Elm at Filoli

Camperdown Elm - Filoli - 2013

I headed out this morning to Filoli – the beautiful estate and gardens in Woodside. This time of year, Filoli is known for its daffodils – and other bulb plantings.

I had my Nikon D600 in hand – which was just back from Nikon USA service having had its sensor replaced. This was a costly repair – for what I thought was a defect in the new camera that should have been fixed under warranty. But that’s another story. I wanted to get back out into the field with it – and see how it performed.

As I was walking Filoli, the light down this lawn area toward the distant tree – a Camperdown Elm – was especially beautiful. As I had done in Havana, I had the D600 in auto-everything – shooting in P mode with auto-ISO, auto-focus, etc. The camera opted to capture this image that I composed at 85mm at 1/800 at f/7.1 and ISO 1600.

Out of the camera, the image looked good – but it was a bit “flat” – with not much contrast between the light and dark areas. That’s what good cameras do – but the images often look a bit boring as a result.

Over the last couple of days, I became acquainted with some of the post-processing techniques of Aaron Nace. Not sure why I hadn’t come across him before – as he’s a master of Photoshop technique. But I hadn’t. One of his free tutorial videos was especially interesting to me – and I used some of his technique in post-processing this image – with the goal of making its tonal range much more interesting to the eye. I really like the result.