In June of 2014, I was up in northern California – in Humboldt County – for a workshop with Michael Frye. That time of year is pretty magical along the northern California coast – with the fog coming in overnight and – sometimes – burning off in the mornings.
On this particular day, we were heading south along California Highway 1 to our first stop. This image was captured in the car – following Michael’s – with my iPhone 5s heading into the morning light. One of my favorites from the trip!
A while back while watching one of Kelby’s videos with Jay Maisel, Jay mentioned some other photographers whose work he enjoys. One of them was Fan Ho – who Jay thought was copying his work until he learned that Fan was older than him!
We recently visited an exhibition of Vivian Maier’s photography at a gallery on Geary Street in San Francisco – and down the hall was the Modernbook Gallery which has published a couple of books of Fan Ho’s work and had several examples hanging in their gallery. One thing that pops out when you look at his work is how often his images are shot into the light – and, as a result, have striking contrast between the bright and dark tones in the image.
This is a cheap example of a Fan Ho style shot – along San Francisco’s Embarcadero. Shot with my iPhone 5s and post-processed in Lightroom 5.
We recently had a wonderful dinner at the Village Pub in Woodside – a top favorite of ours.
On this occasion, we happened to be seated at a table that provided me a direct view into the kitchen through the wood fired grill and the table of wines in front.
Shot with my iPhone 5s – I’ll remember this image for a long time as a great memory of a special evening at the great Village Pub. Oh, and here’s what I had for dinner: “Grilled Pork Chop / Roasted Apples and Bacon Braised Savoy Cabbage” – wonderful!
Here’s a different view of San Francisco’s Ferry Building taken from Pier 1. This was my first time on Pier 1 – one of those beautifully restored artifacts along San Francisco’s Embarcadero.
This image is from my iPhone 5s – post-processed in Lightroom with VSCO Film and a couple of other special presents.
Here’s another iPhone 5s image shot from a bench in front of San Francisco’s Pier 3 with my iPhone 5s. Actually, this is three images overlaid on each other.
I selected the three images based on the placement of the people in the frame. I used Photoshop’s auto-align layers feature to get them into alignment and then applied layer masks to isolate the subjects. The monochrome conversion was done using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 along with some dodging and burning to adjust highlights, shadows, and contrast – along with a touch of toning.
The image isn’t perfect – if you look closely, you’ll see a few flaws. It’s one of those 90 percent complete solutions!
I continue to delight in how great the whole renovation of San Francisco’s Embarcadero has turned out to be. Recently, I found a bench and just sat down and began taking pictures with my iPhone 5s as people walked, bicycled, ran, and skateboarded past. This was a great “stage” – with no parked cars along the curb and the interesting convergence of the Embarcadero Center buildings in the background. And that locked up bicycle provided an interesting element to “the set”. If you’re curious, this bench is just outside Pier 3 – a few steps south of the entrance to Hard Water.
After capturing this in my iPhone 5s, I post-processed it in Lightroom 5 applying a VSCO Film emulation and a bit more tweaking done in Photoshop CC.
For thirty years, I’ve been having business lunches at the Fish Market in San Mateo. The restaurant has two venues – the regular restaurant downstairs and the Top of the Market upstairs. Top of the Market has long been the business lunch venue.
I recently met a colleague for lunch there. I got there a bit early and snapped this image with my iPhone 5s while waiting for him to arrive. I love the two guys on the pier – sort of a Huck Finn aspect to the image. I’ve added a painterly touch to add more interest – and to simplify the image.