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

The Sleeper

Posted on November 6, 2013

Taken at the Aquarium in Monterey while I was visiting with Michele to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. I’m not sure but this was probably someone’s grandfather and he was just catching a couple of winks after a busy day. That aquarium is such chaotic place with all of the children running around, I’m really surprised anyone could sleep thru the commotion going on there. But maybe this a modern version of Rip van Winkle and the man has been sleeping there for 40 years. Think about what a surprise he’s in for!

The composition is about contrast of line, shape and color. The environment is a series of leading lines that direct the viewers eye to the focal point, the sleeper. There’s no question as to what the subject is so the eye is drawn right to it. I placed the sleeper purposely on the right third to create some tension and give the viewers eye something more to see. I kept the colors muted and cool to emphasize the sleeping theme but still kept a contrast of warm and cool colors for a little interest.

SONY, NEX-6, DT 35mm F1.8 SAM
1/60, f/2, ISO 100

Motion Blur

Posted on November 5, 2013

Panning is one of the great joys of still photography. It takes a lot of practice and luck to capture a good image so I try to take a couple of these on every photo walk. The real trick to creating a successful panning shot is to start your camera moving first and then press the shutter while the camera is in motion. That way you get a nice, fluid movement.

I really like the silhouette of the bike rider in this image. The little flip of his coat tail gives it a whimsical feeling. I got really lucky to have caught the blur of the tire spokes, I don’t get that very often. It really adds to the feeling of motion. The blurred figure in the foreground was distracting to me at first but the soft focus has a great effect on the composition. The viewer is forced to look past him and focus on the bike rider. Also, it creates some distance between the viewer and the subject and safely places the viewer on the sidewalk as a part of the crowd.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/90, f/5.6, ISO 640

By Tags