I mentioned that I went and checked out the MIHO Gastrotruck last week, well, there was also a coffee truck which was parked right behind it. Sadly, it was about 85 degrees out and, people not really being in the mood for hot drinks, the barista was left to his own devices for most of the time that I was there. I'm not sure what this woman ended up ordering, but I was waiting to get an iced tea when I snapped this picture.
Nikon D40, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX lens
f/2.8, 1/640, ISO 200
He Plays Harmonica, Too
I mentioned Boone in Friday's post. As you can see, he was quite a character up-close. Turned out that he was pretty good with that harmonica, as well. I wonder what he's up to right now.
Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G lens, in aperture-priority exposure mode. Aperture f/1.4, shutter 1/1000 sec (0 EV), ISO 200. Post-processing in Aperture 3: curves for highlight recovery; levels to darken blacks and brighten midtones; dodged over the subject; burned over the background.
Thoughts for improvement: I would have liked to be half a step back so as not to clip the brim of his hat off. Also, this probably would have been better stopped down to f/1.8 or f/2.
Just before I got back to my car on my last photowalk, I heard the sound of a ukulele coming from across the street. I stopped and turned, and saw this guy waiting for the bus. (Oddly, this was actually the second ukulele player I ran into that morning, but that's another story.) He saw me raise the camera to my eye and struck a pose, then shouted something as I started to leave.
We yelled at each other across the street for a minute, but the traffic was just too loud, so I ran across. Turned out that he was trying to give me his email address to send him the photo. I introduced myself. He said his name was Boone, and he told me about his ukulele, which he said he found in a dumpster and fixed up himself. I took a few closer shots, then we shook hands and parted ways.
I sent him the photos the next day, but I never heard back from him.
Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G lens, in manual exposure mode. Aperture f/8, shutter 1/400 sec, ISO 200. Post-processing in Aperture 3: cropped; exposure +1; levels to brighten highlights and midtones.
Thoughts for improvement: This shot was taken from really far away, so I ended up having to crop out a lot, which, combined with the fact that I underexposed due to being in a hurry, meant a lot of extra noise and softness. I would have liked more contrast and sharpness.
(Excuse the pun. I couldn't help myself.)
Toward the end of my photowalk a couple of weeks ago I passed by a fast-food restaurant. Peeking in through the window, I was struck by the way the light wrapped around this guy--it almost looked like a painting.
Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G lens, in manual exposure mode. Aperture f/8, shutter 1/400 sec, ISO 200. Post-processing in Aperture 3: straightened and cropped; curves for exposure adjustment and contrast.
Thoughts for improvement: The outside of the building may be a little hot--I can't quite make up my mind about that. I'm also not sure whether a horizontal crop might work better.
Shortly after I took this picture, this woman--who I thought was way too engrossed in her coffee and headphones to notice me--gave me the stinkeye. I guess if you pick a table all the way at the back of the coffee shop at 7:30 on a Sunday morning, maybe you're looking for a little solitude.
Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G lens, in manual exposure mode. Aperture f/2.8, shutter 1/125 sec, ISO 200. Post-processing in Aperture 3: straightened and cropped; -1 exposure; levels to set black point and white point.
Thoughts for improvement: Would have been nice to get just a touch further to the right so as not to cut off the car in the reflection.
This is the other reflection shot I took on my downtown shoot two weeks ago. I'm not sure this one works quite as well as the one I posted on Monday, but I still like it. I'm definitely going to have to develop a real series around this idea.
Technical information: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G lens, in manual exposure mode. Aperture f/1.4, shutter 1/1000 sec, ISO 200. Post-processing in Aperture 3: cropped in close; several curves layers for highlight recovery, black point, and contrast.
Thoughts for improvement: For a couple of reasons, I wish I had gotten in much closer. First, I don't particularly like the fence and the man's shoulder in the foreground. Second, I ended up cropping out about 3/4 of the image, which makes for a much lower resolution final image.
I didn't get a chance to get out and shoot this weekend, so this week we're taking another trip through the archives.
I took this photo in August at the San Diego DSLR club's group shoot in Belmont Park. It's not an ideal technical image, what with the lens flare ghosts from pointing the camera straight into the streetlamps. I keep coming back to it, though, because I think it represents a turning point in my approach to photography--this was the first time I ever approached a stranger and asked if I could take his picture.
Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX lens, in aperture-priority exposure mode. Aperture f/1.8, shutter 1/40 sec (+0 EV), ISO 1600. No post-processing.
Thoughts for improvement: As I mentioned, the ghosting is a little awkward. I should probably also have toned down the lights in post a bit.
Ocean Beach Sunset
Each of the past two weekends I've taken a couple of hours to myself to wander around and take pictures. One of the nice things about this activity--other than the photographs, of course--is that I'm getting to know the city a lot better. Most of the places I've gone for pictures I've driven through before, but to really get a feel for an area, there's nothing quite like being out there on your own two feet.
Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX lens, in aperture-priority exposure mode (matrix metering). Aperture f/8, shutter 1/400 sec (+0 EV), ISO 200. Post-processing in Aperture 3: straightened and cropped; several curves and layers adjustments brushed in over the sea, sky, and foreground; cloned out a dust spot.
Thoughts for improvement: I like the effect that the sun flare gives on the left side, but it makes the photo feel a little unbalanced, since the left and right sides don't match. Possibly I should have taken a lower angle and panned left more, though the sun was already low enough that I probably couldn't have gotten gone much further left without shooting directly into the light. Also, if I'd waited twenty minutes or so, the sky might have been a little more colorful.
"Everyday" is an adjective. "Every day" is a noun phrase. This doesn't really speak to the subject of the photo, but I feel like corporate copywriters should know the difference.
Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G lens, in manual exposure mode. Aperture f/4, shutter 1/500 sec, ISO 200. Post-processing in Aperture 3: cropped; curves to bring up exposure; levels for contrast.
Thoughts for improvement: The truck kind of wrecks the composition, so I wish that weren't there. I also wish I had been closer, so that I wouldn't have had to crop so much out--it's left me with a fairly low-res image.