Morning Glories

Along San Francisco’s Embarcadero is an outdoor sculpture titled Cupid’s Span by married artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. According to Wikipedia, it sits in Rincon Park and was installed in 2002. The sculpture is made out of fiberglass and steel. The artists said that the piece “was inspired by San Francisco’s reputation as the home port of Eros.” See the artists’ website for more information.

As I was walking by on this particular morning, the fog was just beginning to break up and the sun beginning to peek through. I looked for an interesting angle to try to catch the sun just behind the bow – and took this photo with my Sony RX100M6. Post-processed in Lightroom and Snapseed (to darken the image and add some drama) before posting to Instagram and here on my personal blog.

Photorealistic

Recently I’ve been playing a bit more with image modification that takes a photo from its straight out of the camera look and modifies it to emphasize more interesting parts of the image: typically light and color.

Much of this process involves simplifying the image using tools that remove details (which I often find add distraction to the essence of an image. I’ve been encouraged by some of what Eric Kim has been doing.

On my Mac I used to experiment using Topaz Simplify for this kind of work. But today I’m almost always editing quickly on my iPhone and sharing the results to Instagram. It’s amazing how quickly this yields fun results.

Here are a few recent examples made using the Priism app.

Revival

It’s been a while since I have done any posting here – like five months! It’s time to get things rocking again. Lots of recent street photography – mostly shared on my Instagram page. I’ll share some of those images here along with some of the back stories behind them.

Let’s get started with this image from today: the magical staircase at the Mechanics Institute on Post Street in downtown San Francisco. I was walking from the Montgomery Street BART station to Apple Union Square when I walked by the Institute and was reminded by a friend’s post from this location that he shared on Facebook. A quick duck inside the front door, past the elevators into the staircase – and then simply look up! I used the Halide camera app shooting in RAW and post processed in the Darkroom and Snapseed apps.

Channeling Edward Hopper at Stanford’s Cool Cafe

Lone Diner - Cool Cafe at Stanford - 2013

We headed over at lunchtime today to meet friends at Cool Cafe – Jesse Cool’s delightful cafe at the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford. I’ve recently had foot surgery (hammertoe) so I opted to grab the tables for the four of us while the others ordered.

While waiting, I happened to look left and noticed this lovely shot – which I captured with my iPhone 5s and adjusted using a couple of the iPhone adjustment apps including Instagram. The colors and effect reminded me of the beautiful work of Edward Hopper!