A Lazy Sunday at Cantor

We are having a lovely early June weekend here in the San Francisco Bay Area and it was one of those perfect lazy Sundays to visit the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford.

I recently broke the femur in one of my legs and am just now getting to the point of being able to get around using just a cane and without the seemingly ever present walker that I’ve been using. Cantor is a perfect spot for taking it slow while getting in some good exercise walking both indoors and out. It’s a perfect place for some iPhone photography along the way!

The inner courtyard has a new piece that’s very striking in its isolation:

A lunch of shiitake mushroom soup at the Cool Cafe hit the spot with just enough sustenance to keep me going. Next to me on the patio we’re a couple reading – they looked like regulars who enjoyed the ambiance of reading under an umbrella while overlooking the lovely lawn view adjacent! Put me in the mood to do the same! (I’m currently reading Bitcoin Billionaires!)

In one of the indoor galleries are paintings from two favorite artists: Edward Hopper and Georgia O’Keefe. Here’s the O’Keefe work:

And the Hopper piece:

Out in the Rodin Sculpture Garden it was lovely parking myself in the shade, reading a bit and watching the visitors explore. Along the way I noticed the sunlight on one of my favorite small sculptures in the big Gates of Hell:

Here are a few more images from my walk at Cantor today – and a few more over by the main Quad and Memorial Church:

Magic at Stanford

I took advantage of yesterday’s Presidents’ Day parking enforcement holiday to take a walk around the campus. As I was coming into the Quad, I happened across what appeared to be a model shoot underway – with a lady in a red dress standing in the sunlight under columns.

I captured the image with my iPhone Xs Max and edited it on my iPhone using Adobe’s Photoshop Express – which includes a wonderful variety of tools to get creative with images – including adding reflections. Fun!

Dramatic Architecture in Black and White

Packard - Stanford - 2011//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Over the holidays, I spent some time working through the post-processing techniques of Joel Tjintjelaar.

Joel’s a master of long exposure black and white images – along with dramatic architectural images. His techniques have evolved – from using lots of hard selections to now using a combination of a few hard selections along with luminosity masks to shape the light in his monochrome images.

This is an early example of my application of some of Joel’s teachings. It’s the David Packard Electrical Engineering Building at Stanford – captured with my tiny vest pocket Canon Powershot S95 almost five years ago.

Solo

Solo - Stanford - 2013

This image from 2013 was shot at the Cool Cafe inside the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford. I love the symmetry of the square treatment, the glow on her hair and shoulders and the umbrellas outside.

Carleton Watkins in Yosemite

Carleton Watkins - Cantor Arts Center - 2014

The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford has an exhibition of the photography of Carleton Watkins – a landscape photographer who was among the first to capture the essence of Yosemite.

While walking through the exhibition on Sunday, I captured this image of a portion of it – which, coincidentally, has an image of Three Brothers on the far wall just above the woman’s head. That version is from the 1860’s – here’s my version from a few years ago! Shot with my Fujifilm X-T1 and processed in Lightroom 5.

A Bit of Solitude at Stanford Memorial Church

Solitude - Stanford - 2014

I recently took a Sunday walk on the Stanford campus – something that was an almost weekly occurrence when Lily was alive. We always had a great time – she made lots of new friends and found lots of interesting smells along the way. And I got some nice exercise – which I’ve been missing!

On this Sunday morning, I had my Fujifilm X100S with me. Here’s one of the images – taken in the small area behind the Stanford Memorial Church. A great spot for peace and quiet – and for reading.

I post-processed this in Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC – applying a bit of a painterly effect.

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!

Checking In with the Fujifilm X-E2 at Stanford

Checking In - Stanford - 2013

On Sunday, I often like to take a walk around the Stanford University campus. Parking is usually easy on weekends (except game days!) and there’s so much to explore. I can get a nice hour long walk in and capture some interesting images along the way. Lily and I used to do this regularly – and I still miss her whenever I’m walking Stanford.

Here’s a shot taken with my new Fujifilm X-E2 at Stanford this past Sunday. I was walking around the Quad when I noticed this young woman coming towards me – right in the middle of the walkway. As she got to the stairs, she stopped, looked at her smartphone and began talking – clearly she was in a FaceTime video chat with someone. I thought the like was very beautiful with the striking contrast with the shadows – and snapped this image with the Fujifilm X-E2.

When I got home, I post-processed the image a bit using both Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC. For shots that tend to be “busy”, I often use Topaz Simplify 4 to remove some of that busyness – and I did that on this image. If you look closely (click on the image to see a larger version), you can see that there’s lots of detail in the center where she is but that as you move out to the edges the details fall away and you just see the major elements of the image. That’s Topaz Simplify in action.

I also applied a touch of cinematic toning (orange-ish highlights, blue-ish shadows) using Lightroom 5’s split toning panel before declaring the image complete!

That Rock Band on Sunday Morning at Stanford

Stanford Memorial Church

When I’m out shooting, I have lots of fun looking, shooting and enjoying. Photography is such a rich, deep pursuit – it’s a delight.

This morning I needed to get out and exercise so I headed over to Stanford – with nothing more than my iPhone 5s. A superb camera – in my pocket. As I headed into the Quad, I noticed this group ahead. Not sure why, but it struck me – another rock band visiting the campus! Perhaps they’d like a cover shot for their next album? I obliged – and smiled.

Nothing better than good photographic fun on a beautiful Sunday morning at Stanford. Superb.

How about you – a great Sunday?