Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

On a Clear Day You Can See the Farallon Islands from the Sunset District – But on a Foggy Day, Maybe Yes, Maybe No

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

The biggest of the Farallones is in this shot, if you can spot it, 25 miles away…

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This was a much better than average day for looking for the Farallones…

Death of the Dust Trombone: Canon Replaces Legendary 100-400mm Telephoto Lens – Good-Bye Push-Pull Zoom

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Canon’s aging beast, the Clinton-era EF 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6L IS USM lens is no more – after 16 years of production, it’s being replaced by the EF 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6L IS USM II, a more conventional design. 

Here are some “dust trombones*” right here, back about a decade ago, all extended to the 400mm telephoto setting, the better to see the Blue Angels over Fort Mason, my dear:

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The thing about the old lens is that it offered IMAGE STABILIZATION (IS) plus an “ULTRASONIC” MOTOR (USM) (for fast auto-focus) in the same package. At the time, Nikon couldn’t keep up, so it would make you choose betwixt one feature or the other, if you were lucky. Nikon lost a lot of customers during the Aughts for just this reason.

Read all about it.

I’m sure the updated lens will be better (and of course, lots pricier) in most respects.

Adieu, push-pull lens.

*Pull it in fast enough and you can feel the breeze on your face, since all that air inside needs to go somewhere…

The Q! – How Any Monkey Can Use Photoshop on This Shot of San Quentin – The Miracle of the Healing Brush Tool

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

I’ll tell you, I know every street, alley and pathway of northern San Francisco and southern Marin, you know, like the back me hand, Matey. But this part of Marin, near San Quentin Prison, I don’t know that well, so I figured I’d take a shot and then later on ID those peaks on the ridge and also that massive-looking apartment-looking building on the right there. (Or is it a hospital? IDK, maybe. I think I’ve been there, actually. It sure is tall for Marin County…)

Anywho, here’s the shot – note those light poles with direct sunlight on them.

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I’ll bet the Spot Healing Brush Tool could clear things up in a jiffy. You just drag your mouse over the stuff you want gone and poof, it’s gone. Photoshop simply guesses at what it thinks is there IRL. It’s like magic, no skillz required:

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Is this acceptable? Well, sure. It depends on what you’re using a shot for. I don’t think this thing would fly with the San Francisco Chronicle, but for an ad or something, sure.

Just don’t release two versions of the same shot, ala Kent State, and you should be fine.

Probably.

My Small Beef with Nike’s Very Expensive, Very Stylized San Francisco Photo Shoot from Summer 2014

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Now when I say stylized I mean non-naturalistic, ala Soviet Realism or some old propaganda poster series.

But instead of selling The Revolution, Comrade, we’re selling shoes (and the Nike Lifestyle) to women.

Man, I can just see the crew coming up from Los Angeles* County, scouting out the locations, hiring the fitness models (not just models, fitness models, who don’t look very 415 at all), checking the weather forecast and then heading out all over the City, and then it’s clickety clickety at 11 frames per second on a full-frame SLR camera* (Canon or Nikon, one or the other) after telling the fitness bunnies to hop ever higher, and to pose this way and that way until it’s time for post, when some other crew picks out the “perfect shot” out of thousands and thousands and then we end up with this series of “aspirational” shots.

Who runs like this? Not anyone IRL

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Who runs like this? Not anyone IRL

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I can see Photoshop being pushed to its limits here, not that it’s bad or anything. The model on the right almost looks like a cartoon, almost like a female Jumpman

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Does Nike really “run” SF? Mmmm… I’m thinking these shots are from some other photo shoot. Very stylized, nevertheless:

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Who runs like this? Not anyone IRL

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More of the same

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N’sync! Did somebody have a clapper metronome to keep all the models in sync?

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What’s this?

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Don’t real people look straight ahead or down when they’re jogging? Yep, but not in the Nike Motherland, Comrade. We’re Looking Forward, Towards The Future!

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Very SF, but not a real runner

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Very SF, but not a real runner

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Not SF

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And here we go again, in triangle formation, to fulfill some dude‘s vision

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IDK, perhaps this aspirational fantasyland looks great Down South en LA or Up North in Oregon, but it looks a bit funny, stylized, over the top to somebody from the 415.

Why not use real women from San Francisco next time, Nike?

*One assumes. Prove me wrong!

August in Frisco: Photos of Tourists Taking Photos

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

A couple decades back, these two would have been Japanese tourists taking photos of every random thing possible. Today, they’re Chinese (based upon the loud ai-yaaahs).

Who will they be two decades from now? IDK.

OTOH, these conventioneers might be Japanese – I can’t tell. But I can tell you that the tiny flash on this DSLR isn’t effective when you’re photographing the top of a tall building, as dude was doing:

On It Goes…

Golden Gate Park Photo Shoot: Authorized or Not? You Make The Call

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

I can’t tell with this one.

I don’t think these people have the resources to deal with the all-demanding Rec and Park Dept, but it’s pretty brazen to be holding huge reflectors and shades as the Rangers drive back and forth, so I don’t know: 

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In any event, Golden Gate Park is a great place for a photo shoot, authorized or not…

The “Selfie Stick” Arrives in San Francisco – These Tourists Use One to Take Better Photos in Golden Gate Park

Friday, June 27th, 2014

See?

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Well, I know it’s a selfie stick because I seen them using it. In this shot above they are simply reviewing their results.

Actually, I heard about the “selfie stick backlash” afore I ever saw one. We’re moving through Kashmir Hill territory here, from June 2014:

“That is un-f***ing believable,” he said. My Hong Kong friend was surprised by our surprise. “It’s a selfie stick,” she explained. “They’re all over Asia.”

Oh, here’s one, and there are others.

In closing, selfie stick – it’s a thing!

Or, if you’d prefer, Selfie-Stick Fever – Catch It!

Oh let the sun beat down upon my selfie-stick, stars to fill my dream 
I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been 
To pose for selfies with the gentle race, this world has seldom seen 
They talked for days of my new iPhone 6, and all will be revealed 

Be Sure to Smile When You See Giant This Ladybug Crawling Up Your Street

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Although they’ll probably blur out your face anyway…

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Yowzer: Famous San Francisco Photographer David Yu Catches Our New Bay Bridge Lights Quite Well

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Photo via here:

From the right, you can see the Alpha, Bravo, Delta, and Echo towers of the Bay Bridge

Unsponsored Link: OMG OMG OMG, a 40mm SLR “Pancake” Lens Direct from Canon for $111 – Perfect for Food Photography!

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Actually, you can take pictures of anything with this tiny wonder, not just food.

In aggravation, these lenses are refurbished.

In mitigation, these lenses have free shipping.

These days, sometimes they’re in stock, sometimes out, but I managed to order one yesterday:

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Enjoy.