I'm so glad you found me! I'm a San Francisco photographer, and this blog charts my journey in the ever-evolving world of photography. One of the things I love about photography is that it's a journey, not a destination. I'm constantly learning and meeting wonderful people. Please peruse the blog to your heart's content, then check out my website and feel free to contact me! (I love hearing from you.)

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow." – Imogen Cunningham

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” – Edward Steichen

Anatomy of An Image, Week 6

Ok, so I missed some weeks in this series, but bear with me. The holidays are upon us and it's all gotten a lot busier pretty quickly. That being said, let's get to it!

The Basics
Camera: Canon 60D (a little pre-thanksgiving present to myself/investment for starting my own photography business, which I am very excited about. Can we call this the official statement? Folks, I have registered with the City of San Francisco, I am legally a business owner! How exciting is that???)
Lens: old faithful, 17-55 f/2.8 IS (I swear, I do own and use other lenses. Just maybe not with quite so much gusto)
Focal Length: 17mm (on a crop sensor: about 28mm on a 35mm camera 'full frame')
Aperture: f/7.1 to get the appearance of everything in focus
Shutter Speed: 1/13 of a second, which is easy to handhold with the awesome IS of the lens
ISO: 640, because it was almost dusk and pretty dark by now

The Story
I was out with Miguel for our last photowalk together before he went back to Colombia last Saturday, and we were walking through the financial district of San Francisco taking shots of various buildings, just-lit Christmas trees, basically whatever caught our fancy. And we were on our way to the Hyatt hotel, which he had been in a few days earlier and said had some fantastic decorations. I begged and pleaded for a 5 minute detour to the Transamerica Pyramid as the light was so lovely, and of course being a native I had never really taken a picture of the place. (Isn't that always the way?) Anyway, being the gentleman he is he acquiesced, and this is the result.

Aren't those clouds off the hook? They were like that all afternoon, completely fake and Hollywood looking. I have another picture coming that shows them off to more advantage that will just blow your socks off.

The Composition
I've decided that when I do my anatomy posts, I'm going to be focusing more on the composition and why I chose it. I think as photographers the hardest thing to learn is how to find your eye. For me mostly it's been a lot of trial and error, and then also a lot of reading. Most of what I learned about composition took a while to sink in, but once it did, it made a huge difference. (For those who are interested, may I recommend one of my favorite photography books of all time, The Photographer's Eye by Michael Freeman? Loads of useful information in that one.)

Anyway, this time I decided that since I couldn't possibly take an image that captured the whole building, what I wanted was one that gave the feeling of extreme height, and of reaching toward the sky. So I got down on my knees to get the most dramatic angle, positioned myself close to the corner of the building, and tried to center the beam in my viewfinder. A lot of people will tell you that a symmetrical composition is no good, but I disagree. I think symmetricalness without purpose is boring, but if chosen thoughtfully it can be quite effective. Here I wanted to focus on the elongated triangle created by the building, and I felt it would only be strong enough visually if it was symmetrical.

And can I just say that I love the light at the top of it, and also those.clouds.are.incredible!

The Feedback
It's a weird thing being a blogger sometimes. Sometimes I feel like I'm just talking to myself. Let me know what you think of these posts. Are they helpful at all? Anything else that you'd like me to talk about?