Light, Tone and Gesture

Posted on November 11, 2013

As I was walking thru the dinning alley across the street from work, I saw the light coming thru the arbor that framed this little outdoor restaurant. It just happened that the waiter was taking a little break so I snapped a photo and just kept walking. I don’t even know if he realized I took his picture but knew I had a keeper.

This images has the three things I always look for in a successful composition; light, tone and gesture. I really like all of the directional light shapes that bring the viewers eye from the right side of the frame to the figure. It’s a really strong series of lines that could overwhelm the composition but it’s countered by the towel hanging from the waiter’s belt. It’s subtle but a really powerful compositional element. It wouldn’t have been the same composition without it.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/350, f/5.6, ISO 100

No Turns

Posted on November 8, 2013

On the corner of Kearny and Market streets in downtown San Francisco stands Lotta’s Fountain. The cast iron fountain served as a meeting point during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire aftermath. Today it serves as a memorial to all who died in that disaster. Commemorations of the earthquake, including a dwindling pool of survivors, are held every year at 5:12 a.m. on April 18. The rest of the year it just fades into the background.

It was a beautiful foggy morning when I took this. The buildings in the background seem to float in the fog while the fountain and the figures created and wonderful group of silhouettes in the foreground. You could read into this some meaning about how the latest generation ignores the past but it really was such a great San Francisco moment, I’m glad to have captured it and leave it at that.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/250, f/6.7, ISO 100

Streetcar on Market Street

Posted on November 7, 2013

This is one of my favorite shots of the last couple of months. I took it on Market Street in downtown San Francisco during the morning rush. The city runs a collection of these vintage streetcars from cities all over the world. I’m not sure where this one is from but the crest design looks European.

The great thing about shooting street photography in a city like San Francisco is everyone has a camera so no one pays any attention to you when your taking their picture. I normally shoot during the morning rush and people are so focused on getting to work that you can literally just get lost in a crowd.

This shot was taken from a median strip in the middle of Market Street. I was just standing there taking in all of the action when this street car rattled down the street, these old cars are really noisy. I tracked the car with my eye in the viewfinder of my camera and waited for the right moment. When the car was almost squarely in front of me, I noticed a couple looking out the window so I focused on them. They rewarded me with a quiet but stunning gesture and just like that the streetcar rattled down Market St.and the moment was over.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/500, f/2.8, ISO 200

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