Photography San Francisco/California

So Alive in San Francisco

So Alive - San Francisco - 2013

A wide angle lens is sometimes a wonderful thing – depends on the venue and whether you’re lucky.

For this shot, I had one of the greatest venues and I got lucky. I had recently swapped lenses on the borrowed Fujifilm X-E1 I was shooting with. Most of my morning was shooting with the 18-55 mm “kit lens” – which I thoroughly enjoyed. But then I switched to the Fuji 14mm f/2.8 lens – and got some amazing shots.

This is a wonderful combination – love it!

Lightroom Photography San Francisco/California

Enjoying Lunch at San Francisco’s MarketBar

Lunch at MarketBar - San Francisco - 2013

Sometimes you just get lucky. That’s the lesson you learn over and over again in street photography. You need to be there. You need to be present in the moment. In that decisive moment.

As Doug and I were walking to lunch we passed by the outdoor terrace of MarketBar at the Ferry Building. It’s a beautiful venue and I quickly snapped this shot using my borrowed Fujifilm X-E1 with the gorgeous Fuji 14mm lens mounted at the time.

I loved the shot – so cropped it a bit in Lightroom and then opened it in Photoshop CC. Applied a bit of Oil Paint filter and then did a final touch of post using Nik’s Viveza 2 to adjust saturation and structure.

What a great place for lunch!

Photography San Francisco/California

A Perfect Spot for a Company Meeting – San Francisco’s Embarcadero

Company Meeting - San Francisco - 2013

As Doug Kaye and I were walking back toward San Francisco’s Ferry Building – and lunch at one of our favorites, Slanted Door – we passed this group enjoying themselves along the wall. I took a quick shot with the Fujifilm X-E1 I had borrowed from Doug and we walked on. I have no idea whether this crew is actually a company meeting – but it’s fun to think that it might be!

I mentioned to Doug that seeing them reminded me of one of my favorite shots from a trip to New York City several years ago – I called it “Bookends“.

Tonight I processed this a bit differently. I put it through the simplification process that actually removes detail from much of the image – in this case everything below the horizon was “simplified” using these techniques.

You might not notice it – but if you look closely you’ll see a sailing ship heading west abeam Treasure Island. Good fun along the waterfront in San Francisco!

Photography San Francisco/California Stages

On Stage along Embarcadero in San Francisco

In Gear - San Francisco - 2013

When I’m doing street photography, I’ve come to appreciate looking for a stage – a venue where, as the photographer, you can just fade into the background and let the subjects walk into your frame. When it works, it’s magical. It takes patience and time – but it’s often worth the investment.

Doug Kaye and I were walking along the Embarcadero in San Francisco – shooting with two “mirrorless” cameras instead of the big digital SLR’s (DSLRs) we usually carry. These new cameras are a delight – much smaller yet great performers. I was shooting with a Fujifilm X-E1 with the “kit” lens.

Doug and I met at the Ferry Building and walked along the Embarcadero down to Red’s Java House. Just across from Red’s, I found a “stage” – and sat down to try to capture something interesting. Among the 30-40 shots I took, I particularly liked this one – the attitude of the women, how they were marching along in formation, etc.

I simplified the image a bit using a technique I’ve mirrored from just one genre of work by Chris Hilgert. It removes details but leaves the core image elements in place. Beautiful.