From the Hip!

Posted on May 20, 2014

This was “literally” shot from the hip while waiting for a table at a very busy Mexican Restaurant in Los Angeles,CA last weekend. I think she was a little scared of the IR focus light from my camera and she ran off right away after the capture. I was a little afraid she was going to tell her parents I took a picture of her and they would confront me. But everything was just fine and she was running around again in a couple of minutes.

As I just start printing for my next book and I’ve come to realize how dark my images are. So I’m paying very close attention to my histogram in this image. It’s a balance of lighting the shadows while keeping the grain to a respectable level. At some point you just have to embrace the grain and except it for its own beauty.

I’m taking a slower approach to my latest book project and I’m printing out each image and manually putting together the book. This is different from past book projects as the images never left the computer until the printing of the book. So as I print out each image, I’m not only making sure it’s the perfect exposure, I’m also finding nice little things in the image that I missed before. In the end, this slowing down and really paying attention to each individual image will make for a much better book.

SONY, ILCE-7, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA
1/100, f/2.8, ISO 6400

Streets of San Francisco

Posted on April 14, 2014

Lately I have mostly been working on our web design business so I haven’t had much time with my camera. However, I thought I would take a moment for a little experimentation in Lightroom as a change of pace…
I wanted to try something very different for me. I mostly work with the normal aspect ratio for 35mm film and I tend to like deep shadows and very contrasty midtones. Therefore, I went in the opposite direction, Cinemascope! It is great for giving movies a cinematic feel and it works great for stills too. For the color processing, I was thinking of the movie “Bullitt” which was filmed in the same area I took these photos, North Beach and Embarcadero. The low contrast film look really adds to the storytelling quality of these images.
I came up with a few shots that look like they could be stills from a movie. So here you go some faux stills from my non-existent “Streets of San Francisco” circa 1968 film.

SONY, ILCE-7, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA
1/60, f/5, ISO 100

A Woman’s Gaze

Posted on March 25, 2014

Even with all of what going on around in the city, I find it amazing that people can have an inner calm about them. As I was waiting to cross the street, I noticed this woman gazing at the advertising billboard. I liked the stillness of her gesture and how she seems within herself as the rest of the traffic walked by behind her. That idea of being so deep within ones self is one of my reoccurring themes and shows up in most of the more successful photos.

My photo walks are more of a meditation than anything else. I have to forget that I’m looking for a photograph before I can really realize the moment and capture it. If I go out and pressure myself into having to find a photo, I normally come home with a lot of captures but no real photographs. Even going out with a specific theme in mind has very limiting results. I found that it’s best to go out totally empty and open to everything. I have to clear my mind and not let it wander toward anything that’s not in the present moment. Focus becomes more important in more ways than one.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/350, f/1.7, ISO 50

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