Saturday, December 29, 2012

Farewell 2012

26/52 - Street Sheet by Wayne-K
26/52 - Street Sheet, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

I’m not one to establish New Year’s resolutions, as I find them rather pointless and arbitrary. To me, New Year’s resolutions are sort of like the motivational slogans we frequently see posted on Instagram and Pinterest. People post these cute one-liners, but most don’t truly have the dedication to achieve their so called resolutions. It takes much more than a catchy slogan to achieve one’s goals. True goals take determination, focus, and often times sacrifice to achieve. For those of you who have New Year’s resolutions, I apologize if I put a damper on it. ;-) By all means, please do focus on your resolutions in 2013 and best of luck in achieving them!

I don’t have any goals, per se for 2013. Photographically speaking, my plans are to continue to develop my skill and experience with film, to continue my ongoing pursuit of landscape images while trail running, hiking, and backpacking, and to give street photography a try. Regarding that last item, I’ve been reviewing the work and writings of Eric Kim and think street photography would be an interesting pursuit. I also plan on making my time on Flickr more productive by reducing the number of superficial, “non-quality” interactions, and increasing the quality interactions with a smaller circle of friends. Lastly, Instagram has been a major distraction and I plan on scaling back my time there significantly.

As 2012 rapidly comes to a close, I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year and a great 2013. Here are a few photos from our walk around San Francisco the other day.

Street Dancers

San Francisco

Waiting and Walking

Behind the Window

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sunol Regional Park

Water Under the Bridge by Wayne-K
Water Under the Bridge, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.
The weather is frequently overcast and rainy this time of year and the flat light isn’t great for the wide landscapes I enjoy shooting. While hiking at the Morgan Territory last weekend, I made a mental note to visit the Sunol Regional Park while the weather is overcast. Flat light on overcast days is perfect for photographing creeks. The winter storms have been frequenting the Bay Area for the last few weeks and I was certain the Alameda Creek at Sunol was flowing vigorously.

I frequently use slow shutter speeds to turn moving water into milky, mistiness and the low light (and a neutral density filter) allows me to slow the shutter speeds down. The diffuse light also allows for more pleasant exposures. The creek is lined with trees the contrasty light on clear, blue bird days creates deep shadows.

I decided to shoot my Nikon FM2 today with Kodak BW400CN black and white film. My brother has my light-weight, Benro travel tripod, so I dusted off my old Bogen 3001N tripod and used it instead. The Bogen is actually a much better tripod and it wasn’t too bad carrying it on the short one mile walk to Little Yosemite.

Here are a few photos from my trip to Sunol. The color photos were shot on my Panasonic LX5 and the B&W photos on my Nikon FM2.

Little Yosemite

Supper Time

Water Under the Bridge

Little Yosemite 1
Little Yosemite 2 Little Yosemite 3 Little Yosemite 4 Little Yosemite 5 Little Yosemite 6

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Morgan Territory

Got Milk? by Wayne-K
Got Milk?, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

Gore-Tex is a beautiful thing. The weather outside's been frightful, but I decided a hike would be delightful...and headed off to the Morgan Territory today. The trails are mostly clay and with all the rain we've had over the last few days, the footing was a bit goopy and slippery. But, it was exactly what the doctor ordered. Neither an apple a day nor Vitamin C can cure acute cabin fever. A hike, however, does the trick every time.

The sun rarely pierced through the thick layer of fog, haze, and clouds, so the light today was pretty flat. I shot primarily with B&W film and a yellow K2 filter to increase contrast, and I am interested to see how my shots turned out in this light. I also managed a few shots on my Panasonic LX5. I think the light worked well on the cow portrait, but it was definitely too flat for wide landscape shots.

Here are a few photos from my hike.

Oaks Along the Trail

Morgan Territory

Trails Through the Hills

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Simplified Post-Processing Workflow

San Francisco Bay by Wayne-K
San Francisco Bay, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

When shooting my Nikon D80 DSLR, I capture in NEF (raw) format and post-process my images in Lightroom 3. With my film camera, I have my negatives scanned by the photo processor and only use Lightroom 3 for cataloging and tagging my files (basically, I don't post-process my film shots). I was looking for a middle ground for my Panasonic LX5. Many of these images will be processed in Lightroom, but there are times I just don't feel like powering up the computer and expending time on post-processing.

I've been experimenting with post-processing on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Android tablet, using Snapseed. I customized two processing options in my LX, one for B&W and one for color. Both use less contrast and sharpening than the "standard" JPEG processing options in the camera. It's easy to add contrast and sharpening to JPEGs in post-processing, but very difficult to decrease it. Therefore, turning down contrast and sharpening up-front gives me the option to keep it low or to increase it later in post-processing.

It's only been a couple of days, but I'm enjoying the simplified workflow. The tablet boot up time is quick and Snapseed has enough functionality to be useful, but without being overly complex. I do wish, however, that Snapseed had noise reduction capabilities. The only issue I have so far is I'm finding a seven inch tablet a bit too small to post-process photos.

The wife and I had a "date day" today and caught the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train into San Francisco. We had a nice lunch at Waterbar and then spent some time hanging out in the Ferry Building. It was raining this afternoon, so hundreds of us packed ourselves like sardines in the narrow confines of the Ferry Building. I shot B&W film on my FM2 camera, but also took a few shots with my LX5 so I could play with it in Snapseed.

The opening photo was taken outside the Ferry Building, looking toward the bay. The photo below was taken yesterday, primarily to help me get acquainted with Snapseed.

Priceless Art Exhibit

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles – Almost

24/52 - Oak on a Hill by Wayne-K
24/52 - Oak on a Hill, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

My trip to Guam started last night when I realized the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) trains don’t run early on Sundays. Thankfully, my lovely wife drove me the 41.3 miles to the San Francisco International Airport this morning. After clearing TSA security, I proceeded to my gate for my 10:10 AM flight to Guam (connecting through Honolulu). I actually arrived before the 8:40 AM flight to Honolulu left the gate and considered taking that flight, as there appeared to be many seats available. However, I decided to stay on my original flight…a decision which would prove to be a bad one. I’ve taken earlier flights in the past and in some cases, the earlier flight encountered problems and got me to my destination later than if I had kept my original ticket. Unfortunately, that was not the case today. My flight was canceled and rescheduled for tomorrow. Had I taken the 8:40 AM flight to Hawaii, I could have taken an alternate flight from Hawaii to Guam. Bummer!

After getting my new flights sorted out, I proceeded to take the BART train to Pleasanton, followed by a taxi ride home. Anyone that knows me understands how important weekends are to me, and this was not the way I wanted to spend my Sunday. However, it was a beautiful day in the Bay Area and I decided to make lemonade out of lemons, and spent the afternoon running on the Pleasanton Ridge. Joining me was my Panasonic LX5, set to capture in raw plus B&W JPEG. I am testing various JPEG processing settings in the camera to see if I can get the results I want “in-camera.” It’s not there yet, but with further experimentation, I hope to get there.

BTW, after further consideration, I decided to cancel my trip to Guam. The flight delay will cause me to miss one of my customer meetings and it’s not worth the travel time or expense to travel thousands of miles for a one-day meeting.

Here are a couple of shots from my trail run today.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Motu'aina Ho'ike

Waihine by Wayne-K
Waihine, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

Motu'aina performed their annual ho'ike today at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center. The ho'ike is a Hawaiian performance or show, essentially their annual Hula and Tahitian dance recital.

Cameras weren't allowed inside the facility during the performance, so here are a few photos after the show.

Kami and Kevin


Hula Pals

Kami and Kevin