Botanical Garden

20160922g-6518-editI’ve been testing the 35mm f/1.4 lens this week. Wanted to consider a prime lens that was fast. It is that. It’s small, light and sharp although I wouldn’t claim it is a lot sharper than my 18-55mm lens. The lack of a zoom really bothers me – there were shots I couldn’t get because by the time I backed up to frame what I wanted, the foreground was not what I wanted. The picture was shot at f/2 – not even wide open. I like the narrow depth of focus.

Bottom line, however, is I don’t see it as a lens I’d use a lot. Yes, there are places it would be good to have but, right now, I don’t see it. The Gallery from the Garden is here.

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The Canyons of FiDi

20160913g-6260-edit-edit-editStill on a b+w kick, I journeyed into the canyons of the financial district last night. I learned a new trick and wanted to try it out. I was listening to a Derrick Story podcast in which he suggested an interesting way to approach b+w photography. Turns out, those of us with “modern cameras” – read mirrorless – can see things in b+w as we’re taking the picture. It’s simple – set the jpeg mode to black and white. Then, looking in the viewfinder you will see, that’s right, black and white. Story’s argument is that it gives you a new way of seeing. And he’s correct. I use raw + black and white so the raw file is still in color; just the jpeg is black and white. Cool.

That said, there were a couple of pictures that I liked better in color. So, the gallery has both types. Enjoy.

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Timing is everything…

20160829G-6085 I noticed the clouds looked great Monday night as sunset approached so I hustled over to a vantage point where I could see Telegraph Hill. This picture is one from the evening. Obviously it was an incredible sunset. It was interesting to watch the colors change as the sun went down. The gallery of my favorite shots from the night starts with two panorama shots taken just after I got there. (All shots were hand-held and I used Lightroom to make the panoramas.) After that, you can follow along as the sun sets with the last shot taken after the sun had set. Enjoy

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Chinatown and more

20160825G-5799-EditContinuing my black and white phase along with night photography, I wandered Chinatown for a while last night. As always, I managed to get distracted by some other shots on the way.

In this case, I used Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 to change into black and white again but with a different look than the North Beach sequence. Still experimenting with what look I like. You can see my selections from the evening here.

Question: Would a Buddha go into bar?

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North Beach at Night

20160822G-5604-HDR-EditThis week I went to an exhibit of Fred Lyon’s photos. Lyon photographed San Francisco in the 1940s and 1950s. I recommend the exhibit which is at the Leica store, 463 Bush, San Francisco.

Seeing the exhibit inspired me to try my hand at some night time photography. So I walked around North Beach for a while. In the spirit of the 1940s, I’ve converted the photos to B+W. Apparently, I’m in a B+W phase now. The Coit Tower picture above is similar to one of Lyon’s photos.

You can see my other choices from the night here.

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