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Photography Stanford

Now at Cantor: Outside Looking In

Last year The Capital Group Foundation gifted a remarkable collection of over a thousand 20th century American photographs to the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford. Cantor has been exhibiting from this collection – beginning with last fall’s display of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston photographs. Today the next exhibition is now up – with photographs from John Gutmann, Helen Levitt, and Wright Morris.

Each of these photographers has a distinctive style which this exhibition mixes beautifully. I was not familiar with Gutmann’s work – but really enjoyed discovering how he captured moments from unique perspectives. Levitt’s New York City photographs (in a mix of both black and white and color) are more familar. Morris’ photographs from the American midwest are uniquely different yet again.

Here’s one of Gutmann’s photographs on the cover of the brochure available at the exhibition which is sitting in my lap. Such a great image with that hand coming out of the broken window!

If you’re able, be sure to visit Cantor between now and April 26, 2020. Cantor doesn’t charge admission – making it a delight for me who lives about 10 minutes away enabling frequent visits! Parking can be challenging up until 4 PM during the week but very available on most weekends. Cantor is open six days each week – closing on Tuesdays.

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Lightroom Palo Alto Photography Photography - Fujifilm X100S

Ah Evvia!

Ah Evvia - Palo Alto - 2013

One of my favorite local restaurants is Evvia at 420 Emerson St. in Palo Alto. A long time favorite, this restaurant serves up great Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. In addition to the great food, the setting is also superb – with lots of texture, color and ambiance.

Here’s a shot from a lunchtime visit last August when I happened to take along my then-new Fujifilm X100S. I happened to have a table right across from the oven – and loved this scene with the bread and bread baskets piled high and the copper cookware hanging from the rack above.

This image is straight out of the X100S (shot as a JPEG) with a bit of vignette added in Lightroom 5.

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Palo Alto Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II Photoshop

New Photoshop Learnings from Jaime Ibarra

I recently took a 1:1 workshop with Jaime Ibarra – wanting to learn more about his technique for post-processing images. His approach to post-processing is strikingly different – and one which I enjoy. And he’s also an amazing photographer as well!

Jaime and I spent a couple of hours together via Skype video talking about both his approach to photography, some new challenges for me, and then his approach to post-processing images in Photoshop. I’ve been to several photography workshops over the last couple of years – but this one was really unique and different – and I learned a lot!

Frankly, I expected our time together would focus mostly on post-processing – but we spent a lot of time upfront talking just about photography, what it means to us, how we approach it, how we’re challenged by it, etc. That discussion was surprising for me – and enlightening. Great fun. Perhaps even more useful to me in terms of my wanting to learn about portrait shooting than the post-processing techniques Jaime subsequently shared.

So, what did I learn? Here’s an example of an image I both shot and post-processed earlier today using some of what I learned from my workshop with Jaime. The colors are different – not exactly unusual, but different. Different enough to matter and capture the mood. The venue is the California Avenue Farmers Market in Palo Alto. The image is titled “Karmel Korn” – shot with my Canon 5D Mark II with the Canon 135mm f/2 lens.

Kettle Korn -Palo Alto - 2011

Thanks to both Trey Ratcliff and Victor Cajiao for introducing me to Jaime.

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Compact HDR HDR Photography Photography Photography - Black & White Photography - Canon PowerShot S95 Photomatix Pro Stanford

The Power of Black and White – Canon S95 HDR

Maybe it’s the visit to the Ansel Adams show with Chris on Saturday that has sent me over the edge, but I’m continually intrigued by how one can take a color photo and turn it into a much more powerful black and white image.

See the photo below – it’s #3 from my initial Canon S95 HDR post earlier this morning.

Rodin's Gates of Hell @ Stanford

Frankly, I didn’t spend much time on this photo – the point was to provide it (a traditional HDR post-processed shot) as a point of comparison with the new in-camera HDR feature built-in to the S95.

As I was looking at it, I wondered how a conversion to black and white might look – now that I’ve become acquainted and familiar with Lightroom 3’s excellent Black and White Mix controls.

So, I gave it a shot – here’s the result – after about 10 minutes of tweaking in Lightroom:

Rodin's Gates of Hell - Canon PowerShot S95 - HDR

Obviously, it’s the same subject as the original photo – Rodin’s Gates of Hell – but it’s been transformed into a more powerful photograph through the conversion to black and white.

I also experimented for the first time using the new Lens Correction features in Lightroom 3 – to remove the distortion in terms of angle, etc. that I had in the original image. It now looks very close to a direct, head-on shot at the scuplture.

Finally, I tweaked it in Flickr – using Picnik to add a museum frame around it – dressing it up a bit.

I like the result. What do you think?

You may also want to view my Flickr set of Canon S95 HDRs taken this morning at Stanford.

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HDR Photography Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II Photomatix Pro Stanford

Shoot HDR on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II – Rodin’s Gates of Hell

IMG_0088_89_90_tonemappedHere’s my first attempt at handheld HDR photography using my new Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

The setting is Rodin’s Gates of Hell at the Cantor Arts Center on the Stanford University campus.

I love their description:

“The Rodin Sculpture Garden is open all hours, with lighting for nighttime viewing. Admission is free.”

I took three raw shots while seating on the ground, holding the camera as steady as I could, using Aperture Priority with three high-speed shots on the 5D Mark II.