It’s Still Brooklyn
July 2, 2013
On my last trip to New York City, I drove out to Brooklyn specifically to capture this one image before heading back to Boston. I think it’s a perfect perspective of the Brooklyn Bridge framing the Empire State Building. I can’t think of anywhere else where you can combine these two iconic images into a single composite that says New York.
Last time I was in this area was more than thirty years ago. I attended a high school not to far from here. Let me just say, this neighborhood has changed. The people look different now, the street sounds different and it even smells different. Despite the gourmet food stores, boutiques, and coffee shops at every corner, this view of the old bridge and the street paved with cobblestones remain the same and it’s still Brooklyn. The bridge is up for sale if anyone is interested.
This was an impromptu portrait of Ashley, a fellow portrait photographer. While waiting for a model to get ready, Ashley was positioned between two constant lights we had just set up. I asked her to turn around, look directly at me, lowered her chin a little and took this shot. I had her pose in this full perspective to put as much emphasis on her eyes as possible and less on her nose. Ashley has a perfectly lovely nose but when I want the focus to be on the eyes, this is my go-to pose. Due to the low output of this type of lighting, my ISO was bumped up to 400, which allowed for an aperture of f/4 at 1/100 sec. EF 70-200mm f/4 IS lens was used on my 5D Mark II set on manual.
In post, I used CS5 to remove spots and smudges from the background and made it completely black. I also removed stray stands of hair, sharpened and increased the contrast in her eyes. I did not retouch her skin as I normally do with my portraits.
May 26, 2013
An image of a couple walking along an alleyway under the Brooklyn Bridge captured in 1/5th of a second with an ISO of 3200. Technically, it’s not much of a photo and not a single area in focus. Yet, I was reluctant to delete this along with other mis-shots and 1-star images. Even now, a few weeks later as I am reviewing the images again from my last trip to New York, I pause on this image.
If it wasn’t for the face that was staring back at me, this would have been in the trash a long time ago.
While at Baker Beach trying to get that perfect shot of the Golden Gate Bridge, there was this guy standing on the rocks, right in the middle of my frame, shooting into the ocean. I thought he would just take few shots and get out of the way, but he kept snapping away, one shot after another. How many images of the same sunset can you take? I’m standing with my tripod and my feet sinking into the sand from the waves that are coming in. While waiting, all I could do was take a few photos of him – shoot the shooter. He did eventually get off the rock and gave me a chance to go away with few beautiful images. Looking at the photos now, I’m sort of liking the “Photographer at Golden Gate” image. I guess I should have thanked him.
Baker Beach, CA
April 30, 2013
With this recent series of photos of the Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach in San Francisco, I must have captured this bridge from all possible angles, except for an aerial view and one from the bridge itself. Of all possible views, this series from Baker Beach is my favorite. Though this view of the bridge must have been photographed a million times before, this was my first time and it was special. I can certainly scratch off Golden Gate from my bucket list now.
I timed my photo shoot so that I would see the sunset off the Pacific Ocean. As always, I lost all track of time and before I knew it, it was after 8pm and I was worried that my car was locked in the parking lot with the gates closed. As I was rushing back with all my gears, I passed by this puddle and I just couldn’t resist. I pulled out my tripod and spread the legs as wide as they could go to bring the lens close to the ground. I was hoping to get more of the bridge in the reflection but it just didn’t work out. I think the puddle itself was recessed into the sand and it just didn’t allow the right angle. I made about 10 images, each around 6 seconds, f/18 with ISO at 100. I still had my circular polarizer on my 16-35mm though with the sun almost below the horizon, it really didn’t do much.
The rest of the photos from this series can be seen in the Travel Portfolio section on my website. These photos are also available for sale in my Art Store if you want to contribute to my Carbon Fiber Tripod Fund.
This was taken near Point Reyes National Seashore in Northern CA.
This decaying old ship makes a great subject but I was there at the worst time possible. This image was taken at low tide in middle of a wet, gray afternoon. I was either hoping for a nice sunset, a more interesting sky or at least high tide so I can include some reflections from the water. This was taken with a 16-35mm with a polarizing filter set on a tripod. My tripod (and myself) kept sinking into the mud so I couldn’t stay in one spot too long. The drive from San Francisco was long and treacherous to say the least. I have to think more about whether this one is worth a second trip.
While out in San Francisco for business, I had a chance to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway towards Big Sur. While crossing over a narrow bridge, I noticed a valley under the bridge scattered with bright white flowers. I crossed the bridge, back tracked and pulled the car over on a dirt shoulder. After several minutes of exploring, I finally found a way to get down to the hidden spot and capture this surreal scenery. The white flowers turned out to be Calla Lilies growing wild by a freshwater stream that led out to the Pacific Ocean. Incredible.