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HDR – LA Photo Walk with Trey Ratcliff

February 29th, 2012 No comments

No HDR processing

Last Sunday evening I went on a photo walk with my friend Simon. The photo walk was at the Santa Monia pier. It was organized by Trey Ratcliff of StuckinCustoms.com. Trey is a big proponent of HDR image processing. HDR is where you take multipul exposure of the same scene and they smash  all the best pixels from each exposure into one image. While the technique is interesting it almost always looks too fake to me. I tried to come up with a good HDR image but below is the best I could do.

HDR Processing Applied

 

I have seen very few HDR images I like. The best ones are where the effect is applied very subtly. Where you cant tell for sure of anything has been done to the image. I will continue to experiment with HDR. Its another tool in my photo bag.

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Night Photography in West Hollywood

February 11th, 2012 No comments

I did a photo walk with the Light Chasers meetup group last night in West Hollywood. We took some night shots of the Pacific Design Center. I have not shot digital in a while so I thought I should post some of my work.

West_Hollywood-6.jpgWest_Hollywood-2.jpgWest_Hollywood-4.jpgWest_Hollywood-3.jpgWest_Hollywood-1.jpg

Vivian Maier

January 21st, 2012 No comments

I went to a gallery in Hollywood  today to see some of Vivian Maier’s photographs. When I learned about her six months ago I became a instant fan. She was a Chicago nanny that spent most of her spare time taking pictures in the streets of Chicago. She was a very private person and never shared her photographs with anyone. Her photography was discovered by a real estate agent when he bought a box of her negatives at a storage locker auction.

Her work is like a time capsule from mid twentieth century America. She had a unique ability to capture the moment in her photographs. Although she was a very private and reserved person she took many self portraits. Most of her work was shot with a Rolleiflex medium format camera so the image quality is very good. I think in time she will be recognized as one of the greatest street photographers of her time.

Self Portrait

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One day, One roll of film and a Pentax Spotmatic camera

January 21st, 2012 No comments

 

On the new years day 2012 a friend and I decided to do a film shoot. It was his idea. We would shoot one roll of color print film and get it processed all in the same day. We started at his house at about noon. We started by heading to the beach in Santa Monica but traffic was jambed on the 10 freeway so we decided to head down the 405 to Randy’s donuts instead. From there we discovered a small park off of Sepulveda boulevard about 100 feet from the start of one of LAX’s runways. We spent a few hours taking pictures of planes landing. We had dinner at In-n-Out burger across the street from the park. Then we headed back to the San Fernando Valley to burn the last few frames on the roll. We used the last frames experimenting with light painting in a meto bus station parking lot. Then we tried to get our film processed at the nearest CVS but found out they no longer process film. We had to drive to Encino to the last CVS in the area that processed film. Here is the gallery containing the images I made.

 

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Yashica D – Twin Lens Reflex Camera

July 15th, 2011 No comments

Old sign in downtown Los Angeles - Yashica D TLR - Fuji Across 100 B/W film

 

Recently I purchased a Yashica D TLR camera at the Pasadena Bargin Camera Show. I took the above photo while on a photo meetup with the The Light Chasers of SoCal. I choose the Yashica D because I wanted a cheap medium format camera that I could easily carry around. I already have a Pentax 6×7 medium format camera system but its just too heavy to carry around or use without a tripod. The camera has no built on light meter so I use my Pentax 1 degree spot meter. The lens is a 80mm f3.5 which is very sharp. The only negative about this camera is that advancing the film and cocking the shutter are two separate operations. That means you can forget to advance the film which will result in a double exposure.

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Studio Lighting: Head shots

July 15th, 2011 No comments

Equipment: Norman P200 strobe heads, Nikon D80,  Photoflex umbrella’s and a Wein flash meter. Retouched the pictures in Adobe Lightroom and head shot layout done in Adobe Photoshop CS4. Lighting setup was two strobes about 45 degrees up and out from the model. White bounce card on the dining room table (white cardboard scavenged from Costco’s bin). Camera in manual mode ISO 100, shutter set to 1/125 second and the aperture  of  f8 determined by the light meter reading. Took about 200 pictures. Here are the two best shots:

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Yashica Electro 35

May 21st, 2011 No comments

I bough this Yashica Electro 35 camera on Ebay for $25. I had to replace the light seals and build a battery adapter for it. It was originally designed to use a 6V mercury battery which is no longer available in the United States. I made the adapter from some plastic tubing and a small wad of aluminum foil. Now it can use a readily available 4LR44 6V alkaline battery. One of the great things about this camera it its lens. Its a 45mm F1.7 lens. It is extremely sharp. The other good thing is the exposure  meter. It does a very good job getting great exposures. One drawback is the only exposure mode is  aperture priority. That means you sent the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed. You can adjust the exposure however by adjusting the film speed (ISO) if needed. This way you have a little more control over the exposure. I am very happy with this camera and have shot many rolls of black and white film thought it. Here is a example shot I took at Father’s Office in Culver City, CA:

 

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Digital Photography – Glass ceiling in Union Station

May 17th, 2011 No comments

This is a shot of a glass ceiling in Union Station – Los Angeles, California. It was shot with a Nikon D80 using the 18-135mm kit lens. Union station is a great place for street photography and architectural photography. It is also easily accessible via the metro. I would like to go back and do some HDR experimentation. You need to sign a release if you want to use a tripod.

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The Presidents Photographer

May 6th, 2011 No comments

If your into photography you will find this amazing National Geographic documentary  interesting.

Watch the full episode. See more The Presidents Photographer.

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Darkroom: Fountain in front of Father’s Office

May 4th, 2011 No comments

This is a fountain in front of Father’s Office in Culver City, CA. This was shot made with Fuji Neopan Acros 100 film. I used my Pentax 6×7 with a 105mm lens. I wanted the water to look softer. I could not get a long enough exposure because this was in afternoon day light so I used a tripod and a Hoya ND8 neutral density filter. This was scanned from a 8×10 print that I made in my home darkroom. I really like the smooth tonality and detail you get with a large medium format negative. The print shows this much better than the scan here does.

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