Black and White Hawaii Lightroom Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White Photography - Nikon D600

Fun with Reflections – Infrared Shimmer

Infrared Shimmer - Hawaii - 2013
Infrared Shimmer – Hawaii – 2013

One of the things I’m always looking for when out shooting is a puddle – something that can be used to shoot reflections.

Here’s a shot based on a big puddle – a hotel swimming pool – shot shortly after sunrise. I loved how the palms were shimmering in the surface of the pool’s water.

I used Lightroom and one of Trey Ratcliff’s Lightroom presets to process the image- Infrared Morning to help create the effect. Naturally, I also flipped the image upside down so that the trees look semi-normal!

Black and White Photography Photography - Nikon D600 San Francisco/California Street Photography

Shooting Reflections along the Embarcadero in San Francisco

On Edge - San Francisco - 2013

My friend Chris Gulker taught me late in his life to pay attention to light and shadows. It’s a way of seeing – being focused on the contrasts we see. Another thing I’ve learned to pay attention to are puddles – as they open another window on a subject. Often with an unusual perspective.

After we got back from Cuba, Doug Kaye and I headed to Embarcadero Center in San Francisco for another photo walk. This has become one of our favorite venues – so much great light, angles, people, and other delightful stuff.

As we were getting started this particular morning, we headed out southeast of the Ferry Building and started noticing the puddles along the way. Ah, reflections!

While Doug was capturing this shot – shooting with an Olympus OM-D, I captured him.

Black and White Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White Photography - Nikon D600 San Francisco/California Street Photography

Appreciating the Magical Reflections in San Francisco

Reflections - San Francisco - 2013

One of the best times to go out shooting pictures is right after it’s rained.

Rain adds saturation to colors – and the rain also leaves behind these magical looking glasses called puddles.

For me, photography is all about this kind of magic – those special elements that come together at a venue and surprise us with a new point of view. Puddles bring reflections – and reflections bring magical ways of seeing.

Being out on a morning after the rain is one of the best times for a photographer. You just have to be open to it – open to seeing it, right there, on the ground before you. Mostly, you need to get lower – to fill out the reflection, to combine the upper (real) and lower (reflection) portions of the image into the right balance.

This image is from a recent photo walk with Doug Kaye at San Francisco’s Embarcadero Center – one of our favorite venues. It was shot with my Nikon D600 and tweaked in Photoshop CS6 using Nik Color Efex Pro 4 (Detail Enhanced and Pro Contrast), Topaz Simply 4 (Black and White II present – mostly in the reflection half of the image) and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 where the final tweaking was done – adding midtone structure and the color.

I thought about taking out that patch of fog in the upper right – but, somehow, it works for me just to leave it alone as a point of interest. Actually, for me that patch of fog is part of the magic!