Posts tagged “Street

Welcome to the Party (Two Photographs)

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There was a point made about street photography, which was that the best photographs make the viewer think (or put another way imagine). In this photograph I used a technique that spotlighted the highlighted main player. Discovering all the odd places right at home is fun in itself, getting the photo to speak is also wonderful.

Antique Shop Reflection (Two Photographs)

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I have taken photographs of the windows of antique shops ever since I got my first camera. I even had a few published back when in Italy. There are two sides to these photos, the first is thanks to whomever put the display together and the other is what I bring to them. There was a distracting bit of ceiling and I removed it. The top and bottom lighting needed fixing and I used neutral density filters in Lightroom. In the black and white I did not want the statue to get too ethereal. Two different visions from one shot of an impressive assortment of hand-me-downs.

Reflections and Some Updates (Two Photographs)

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I took these photographs with my Fuji camera. Through the camera I could see how these reflections could be seen as rather abstract and interesting. Some news, my Apple IMAC was on its last legs so I purchased a new one. On-line you will often see videos and photos of photographers sitting in front of IMACS doing processing. They are a delight to use with one exception. Apple IMAC screens were very hard to color calibrate. If a screen is not color calibrated you cannot get any accurate printing or have any certainty how your work will look on the web. Recently I bought aXRITE iDisplay Pro and it makes what was formerly a headache a much easier process. Calibration is a must for serious photographers. Another point I wanted to make is that I intend to write more about close-up/macro photography as I have had a lot of questions about that. I will also be taking a closer look at Skylum’s (formerly MacPhun) Luminar 2018 and seeing how it can fit into my workflow. It’s getting quite inhospitable outside, so these seem like good ideas 🙂

Yosuf Karsh (Two Photographs)

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Karsh is one of the greats. He specialized in portraits taken with wooden box cameras and he photographed the great Presidents (e.g Eisenhower) Authors (e.g. Hemingway) , Politicians (e.g. Mandela) and everyone in between. His studio was in the Hotel Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, and this statue was placed there recently to mark his life’s work. I never met him and never visited his studio, but I took Mandela to the studio to get his portrait taken. My favorite story about Karsh was his photograph of Churchill, the iconic scowl – an easy look up on Google. The scowl came from Karsh taking Churchill’s cigar away. While I have the colour photo here, Karsh was for the most part a black and white photographer and I spent some time getting the B&W to meet my expectations.

Quirky and Unusual (Three Photographs)

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Walking around with my camera I am always looking for things out-of-place, quirky, odd, and amusing. I think every city at any given time has the potential for this. Not everyone’s sense of quirky is the same, so I am careful not to offend, if necessary I will alter the photo to protect the innocent.

People (Three Photographs)

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Big events are a great time and place for people shots. These were taken on Canada Day. I would like to do more of this type of photography circumstances permitting; and the Fuji XT-2 is perfect for this.

Windshield Reflections (Three Photographs)

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One thing I discovered during a recent car show were the reflections in the car windshields. Interesting abstractions and distortions, that time and opportunity permitting I will try again.

A Constant Amazement (Two Photographs)

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If anyone is wondering why I post the same photograph in color and black and white, these photos should explain the reason.  They say that some photos need color and others are best viewed in tones. It is equally true that a color and black and white photograph of the same scene can result in two very different images. This is one case, where there are two very different outcomes and my inclination is for monochrome.

Photographer’s Block (Three Photographs)

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I understand writer’s block, photographers block not so much. Cold wet days, with flooding and other challenges is neither the fault of the camera or photographer. I took these in the few nice days we had in early spring. There isn’t always something to photograph but you don’t really know until you look and focus your attention. As a result, photographers sometimes do not make the best companions when they are intent on their work.

The Power of Color (Four Photographs)

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None of these photos would work particularly well in Black and White. Color in circumstances like this has power, but it has the power to overwhelm and become the story. To overcome that increasing contrast and more application of detail extraction than normal help. Both of these techniques were used here. The idea is that if you can get enough detail, then the color while still vibrant does not overwhelm the picture. I have also used some creative cropping to capture the part of the image of most import to me.




More Murals of Montreal (Six Photographs) and a word on filling the screen

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These were all taken with the Fuji 18mm F2 lens. That is the equivalent in angle of view to a 27mm full frame lens. In using the Fuji I am literally filling the screen, which limits my cropping options. I did crop these photos, but I would have preferred the latitude of a wider-angle lens. I believe mirror-less is where cameras are heading. The control possible in-camera as the technologies improve will move more people to these cameras from DSLRs, even more than considerations of weight.







Montreal with the Fuji (Four Photographs)

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It would be wrong to assume from these photos that Montreal is all grunge; it’s just that I shot some grungy photos. One of my main concerns about the Fuji was editing, I had heard that there were problems with sharpening the x-trans sensor files as well as some other issues. Some people continue to say that Adobe products do not handle those files very well. As a result I have been very interested in processing more Fuji files with Lightroom, Photoshop and my Macphun plug-ins. I am sure I would get a different outcome if I tried another suite of software, however, these files turned out the way I wanted them and I think that is what counts. I have a workflow for Nikon files and now a workflow for Fuji that are very similar and I can predict (that is shoot) knowing what the end result after processing will look like. I have a few tweaks to make to my technique (moving back a bit to allow for creative cropping) and some exposure issues. This is just part of the learning curve with a new camera.






Fuji XT-2 Trials (Six Photographs)

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While I am very happy with the Fuji XT-2 camera, there are always a few things to learn. It has a tendency to under expose. Bracketing three photos might help, three photos are taken (almost as quickly as one) with different exposures. This gives me a lot to work with. It is a technique that some pro street photographers use. Probably a stopgap measure until I learn more about how the Fuji measures exposure. None of the film profiles is similar to what Nikon calls “flat”. A “flat” or “normal” film profile would give more latitude in editing with the widest dynamic range of light. That said, Adobe Standard or the existing Fuji Film simulations do a great job, and Tonality Pro remains an effective tool for B&W. Noise reduction seems either unnecessary or does more damage than good, this is probably a good thing as it removes a step in my process. While menus let you to save a number of settings in banks or to a quick change screen, they don’t seem to be the settings I want easy access to, not a major issue and one typical of other cameras I have used. The seagull was taken with the 90mm lens, the General with the 23 f2, and the rest with the 35mm F2. To be clear, the best camera is the one you have with you and that was why I bought the Fuji; a flexible camera I can carry with me almost all the time.






Working in the Hot Sun (and a few words on auto-focus)

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This was taken on a highway where construction was halting traffic and it was hot with the sun beating down. You could forgive the workman both for his boredom and his fatigue. It was taken through a car window with an OMD-5 Mk11, and a 12-40mm lens. The camera’s options for focusing have made me think a lot about focus. From the days of Fresnel screen to auto-focus and now focus peaking we have come a long way. I am far more trusting of auto-focus now than when it was a novelty. Camera companies have added a lot to the focusing mechanisms, such as auto tracking, image stabilization and continual focus. I find the latter two most effective for my own work. Cameras now come with more focusing points than ever before and sometimes it’s a bit too much to work with. The center focusing point is always the most sensitive and I tend to use it at the expense of fully composing my shot in camera. However, I do get sharper images as a result. The current debate is over how fast the focus is and whether the lens “hunts” for focus. If the focus is faster than I can do it manually I am happy. I do use manual focus in some close-up work for precision. It is important to note that most lenses “hunt”. One tool on some lenses that helps with this is a focus limiter that allows you to select a range of focus for the auto-focus to use, e.g. at the closer end of the spectrum. The worst lenses focus fast and lose focus faster. When all is said and done we want our photos to be sharp and some use tripods, external releases etc. but we should also look at the tools built into our cameras and make the most use of them. Having done that and experimenting I am finding hand-held shots more successful than ever before.

Standing Out in the Crowd

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Some people just stand out in a crowd and a big smile does not hurt. This is one of a series of photographs I took on Canada Day this year. I used a 105mm lens because it is a good focal length for portraits and for less obtrusive street photography, especially in crowds. While 35mm is standard for street photography, it requires you to be quite close to your subject which might not be a good idea in a crowd or if you are after candid people shots. One famous photographer uses the Nikon 70-300 for this sort of thing, not a lens I am a fan of but very workable and one of the more durable lenses made by Nikon.

Double Take

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I think festive days like our national holiday deserve a bit of levity. It was the boy’s expression that struck me. This is one of the potential components of street photography; there can be more than one element of interest within the area of focus. It helps tell a story. This is one of my series of black and white photographs from July 1.


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This is another in my set of portraits from Canada Day. I really have no idea what the woman was handing out; I liked the sense of movement and action. I separated her from the background with a few field blurs and the rest is pretty straightforward (conversion in Tonality Pro by Macphun).

Dancing in the Streets

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This is another one of my street portraits from Canada Day. None of the people I photographed really noticed I was shooting them and in this case the woman was posing for someone else as if no one else was around. The huge crowds were in front of her and I am sure I was not the only one noticing her “moment”.


Sadness and a Tiara

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This is another in my series of Canada Day portraits. In a place chaotic with people, noise and movement, I saw this woman. She appeared profoundly sad. The contrast with her dress and against the white board wall made her look all the more alone in the crowd.

Wig On a Sunny Day

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I have posted some street portraits I took on Canada Day, at one a week I have a few more to go. I chose to do them in Black and White because the garish colors distracted from the subject, in color the bright red and white wig becomes the focus of the shot and not the face or the reflections in the glass. So with this picture I learned another lesson, Black and White can help focus attention on your intended subject and remove distractions.

Face in the Crowd

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Over the past weeks I have put up some street photography all taken on the same day, in crowds, with a 105mm lens. The 105mm is great for portraits and on the street it gives you some room and is less confrontational than the traditional 35mm. I know at least one famous photographer who uses a 70-300 f4-5.6 lens for just this reason. It gets you close to your subject while enabling you to move around and find an appealing angle.

Random Cowboy (and a Response to a suggestion)

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I am a big fan of street photography but like concert photography the options are increasingly limited as people and artists shut down photographers. Street photography means getting people, stories and portraits – in other words faces; hard to do without being seen even when shooting from the hip. One area of photography I have not had the opportunity to try as much as I would like is portraiture. Street photography is a poor substitute. This photograph is of someone in a crowd that I was able to isolate against what I felt was an interesting background. I blurred the background a bit more to keep the focus on him.

Earlier this week it was suggested that I do my color photograph of the Miridae Plant Bug from Monday (original: ) in black and white. Here it is:

Sah[es and Other things in B&W

Working Hard

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There were reasons I wanted to lose the color in this photograph. It was taken on Canada Day and the color scheme of red and white with the performer standing out in black struck me as verging on parody. In Black and White the subject and his intent, are fully evident. It’s the mob behind that may be disconcerting.

A Comment on Subject

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This photograph was taken on Canada Day in Ottawa. I was trying to capture the overall scene and hoped that the reflection in the balloons would be more noticeable. That aside, at events it is always great to capture that one indisputable photograph will clearly give the context to the story. While I think the color here is important, this photograph easily lent itself to a  softer Black and White treatment.