Reading Om

From Om Malik:

…my blog is about technology, a little about life, some photography, some analysis, and some personal interests, which range from fashion to baseball to travel and food.

His recent post about the camera business was particularly interesting. It’s an industry undergoing fundamental shifts – as cameras have become universal, in each of our pockets included with our cell phones.

He quoted Scott McNealy:

A long time ago, Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy quipped, “Technology has the shelf life of a banana. By the time you buy it, implement it and train people on it, it’s obsolete.” He was talking about servers, but I can’t help but think that his words are just as true for cameras.

Om recently shared some beautiful photos of Catalina Island made with his iPhone 11 Pro. Like me, he’s enjoying the camera system in this latest iPhone Pro!

Local Treasures: Fitzgerald Marine Reserve (San Mateo County)

When I’m looking for an hour of peace and quiet one of my favorite places to visit is Fitzgerald Marine Reserve along the shoreline of the Paciifc Ocean north of Half Moon Bay.

This morning I took a walk through my favorite part of the Reserve – a grove of old trees along a pathway that leads from Moss Beach to the ocean. I took a few photos along the way with my iPhone 11 Pro Max. I’m loving the three lens/camera system in this new phone!

Walking Loop at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

The entrance to a section of the California Coastal Trail is off Cypress Avenue. Just a short walk leads to this:

A few steps to the left through the tree line leads to this view:

Walking up the trail it’s worth taking a look back at that same fallen tree!

Here’s another from further along on the path:

I then headed over to the coastline trail where the ocean was alive with the waves from the storm.

And my final view before heading back up Cypress Street to my car:

A lovely hour or so away from it all! I encountered one other human along the trail. Otherwise it was a delightful morning stroll in one of my favorite spots along the Pacific coastline!

Nighttime Photography with the iPhone 11 Pro Max

A few months back I upgraded to the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max primarily for its new camera system. The new system includes three separate cameras and lenses which provide three different focal lengths. Apple calls them wide, ultra wide and telephoto.

Note: It’s ironic with today’s technology that this small handheld device includes three whole cameras and lenses unlike a more traditional camera where a camera body can accommodate different lenses. With the iPhone you get three whole cameras with their lenses.

Last night we attended a holiday event at Filoli in Woodside which began at 4 PM and continued into the evening. Filoli is all decked out in holiday lights and trimming this time of year and, for us, this was the first time we’ve seen it in all its splendor in the evening.

After darkness fell, I had the opportunity to try out night mode on the iPhone 11 Pro with excellent results. When the camera needs to use night mode it switches automatically into that mode and displays a small counter on the screen which tells how long you should try to hold the camera steady which it takes and combines multiple shots behind the scenes into the final image. It’s pretty amazing how well it works and, in typical Apple fashion, how easy it is to make great nighttime images.

Here’s an example taken of the main house at Filoli:

Main House at Filoli – Woodside, California

Here are a couple of other examples straight out of the camera that were taken earlier in the evening before the camera needed to switch into night mode/

Lawn and Swimming Pool – Filoli – Woodside, California
Main House – Filoli – Woodside, California
Gardens – Filoli – Woodside, California

How to make Snapshots that sell!

How to Make Snapshots That Sell

Today Doug Kaye and I walked to SFMOMA and took in the exhibition Don’t! Photography and the Art of Mistakes.

Near the start of the exhibition are several books displayed in plastic cases on the wall – including this one. The books all harken back to earlier days in photography when writing about mostly bad but also some good photography techniques were explained. The title of this one caught my eye – a very “click bait” title indeed!

The exhibition is fun to see. It’s organized into sections “by mistake” so that all examples of, for example, out of focus images are in one section. All of the images are interesting but it’s especially fun to see examples from many “famous” photographers including Ansel Adams, Man Ray, Cartier-Breslin, etc.

Along the way are quotes including this lament by Edward Steichen:

And words of wisdom from Alfred Stieglitz – Twelve Random Don’ts – I especially like “the world in its entirety is not a camera club.”

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.

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

The Artists in Bavent France

Recently, I participated in Valérie Jardin’s Normandy workshop and had the special opportunity to visit the artists working at the pottery in Bavent, a few miles from our home base in Cabourg.

The artists we very welcoming and open to our visit – it was a special time to be able to see them work and to capture a few portraits of them. Special thanks to each of the artists for being so generous with our group of photographers and to Valérie for enabling us to visit.

For making these images I used my iPhone. Here are a few of my favorites images from the visit.

The Potter
The Painter
The Jewelrymaker

The Aviva Yacht in San Francisco

The Aviva in San Francisco

Last Friday my friend Doug Kaye and I were out on one of our regular San Francisco photowalks – this time walking from the Ferry Building towards Pier 39. We had fun along the way outside the Exploratorium – watching these dogs strictly obey their dog walker – and some other street scenes.

Dogs at Attention – San Francisco’s Embarcadero

As we walked beyond the Exploratorium we came across this BIG yacht – the Aviva – docked at Pier 17 along the Embarcadero. According to Wikipedia, it’s 223 feet long (!) and owned by Bahama-based British businessman Joe Lewis.

It was interesting to find the yacht here – during the period that the Bahama’s were suffering under the onslaught of Hurricane Dorian last week. But perhaps it being here had something to do with the opening of Chase Center?

Here’s another, more artistic/painterly treatment of the Aviva:

The Aviva

Curvy

Last Friday my friends Doug Kaye, Steve Disenhof and I spent some time at the recently re-opened Salesforce Park in San Francisco. This park is above the Transit Center on the roof – elevators at either end bring you up to this roof top level.

One of the fun things to see at the park is a fountain (you can just see the holes for the nozzles in the white ring above) that’s triggered when a bus comes through the Transit Center below. There’s a glass wall behind the fountain that makes for some fun reflections. That’s a reflection of Steve walking in the upper right corner (with the hat!).

With this image, I tweaked it a bit in Lightroom, Photoshop and Topaz Simplify to give it a more painterly effect in black and white. The original image – shot with my iPhone Xs Max – is below: