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

Is There a Bird in That Tree?

I was walking home today from work (feeling very virtuous as I usually take the bus), and I saw this cat. Pulled out my camera, and I took a few shots, this being one.

Walked a little further and I saw a guy very intently photographing something on the sidewalk with a little point-and-shoot. I strolled by him with my hulking DSLR nonchalantly, feeling like 'please don't notice my huge camera!'

At which point he says, "Are you a photographer?"

duh duh DUHHHHHHHHHHH tension builds, what do I say??

A couple of months ago I might have said, "I'm an amateur." or "I want to be a photographer." or "Sometimes." or just "I love photography." BUT NOW? I have a photography business. I get paid to take pictures, which is just amazing and wonderful and terrific and comes with scary accounting software and filing and invoices and . . . yick. But still. Amazing. So I said "YES."

And then we had this great five minute street-corner conversation about film vs digital photography (he used to be a film shooter), and the different signature looks of different cameras, and whether art was dying. We got totally philosophical on the street corner! (To which I said no. Just changing, thankyouverymuch.)

And anyway, did I mention that I love San Francisco? Well, I do.

*PS New logo/watermark. What think you all?

Black and White Reveal

Bet you're tired of this photo by now!
In the end, it seems that most commenters chose the color version as their favorite, and I can't say that I blame them. What prompted me to do all this blacking and whiting was a very interesting article by Mr Jake Garns about the 'unsupported' nature of most digital black and whites. His point was that in most black and white printing of the past, other colors were introduced into the process, whether in the paper or the inks or what have you. This created a richness that digital black and whites simply don't have. He suggests using the duotone feature in Photoshop to give more richness to your blacks. The tutorial is here. I suggest you check it out.

So I decided to do my own experiment. I gave you the color image (1), then a duotoned image (2) (which most of you referred to as 'sepia' in the comments, close enough). And then the image with a black and white layer added to it in PS (3), with a curve to bring out all the details in her eyes and clothing and give the contrast I felt the image needed.

My favorite was the simple black and white conversion in Photoshop. I'm not sure if I did the duotoning process wrong, or chose the wrong colors for the image, but I felt that it lost a lot of detail and became pretty muddy. However, it's not a tutorial I'll forget. I may look it up one more time.

Confusing all of this, of course, is the issue of monitor calibration, and the fact that these images probably looked pretty different depending on which monitor you looked at them on, since there's a lot of fine detail in the highlights that could easily be lost on an overly bright screen.

And then that brings us to image number 4, the one in this post, which I processed in Silver Efex Pro. I feel like this one captures the detail on her face best. But is it my favorite? I'm not sure.

*Still not sure about this new comments option. Lots more people did comment on the last post than usual, but it seems not to be working for some people. Let me know.*