Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘city

Life With The OM-D

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I totally love the Olympus OM-D. The Pana-Leica 25mm, Olympus 12 and 45mm M. Zuiko primes, and the body itself all fit in my camera bag with plenty of room to spare, so I can take the entire kit wherever I go.

The OM-D checks a lot of the right boxes. Fast, responsive, quiet, well-built, small, light, good-looking. It’s weather-sealed, has a great tilt and swivel touch screen, an awesome EVF, plenty of physical control points, plenty of amazing lenses to choose from, and the new 5-axis stabilization works so well it’s scary.

Grainy-Filmy look brought to you by VSCO (Kodak Portra 800). Black and whites are out of camera. I’m really looking forward to logging more time with this system.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 | 12mm f/2 | 25mm f/1.4 | 45mm f/1.8

Written by Jonathan

July 22, 2012 at 11:47 am

Suki…Unleashed!

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Fuji X100 | 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200

Such a historic day for Suki, and as you can see, she’s quite happy about it. Today we granted her the most off-leash freedom she has ever had. There’s no better place in the city to do this than at Fort Funston, an old military outpost located at the south end of San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. The area is full of wide open space, sand dunes, trails, and of course, there’s the beach.

When Suki was younger we let her off leash at this same park, and quickly regretted the decision as she bolted off into the horizon with no regard for her pack (her comparatively slow-moving human parents). Most Shiba owners have at least one Shiba-bolting horror story to tell….I have like…20. In fact, I took my opening photo of my 52 weeks project at this location. Check out the image here. See the leash? Yeah, I totally didn’t trust her back then.

But while I’d still never ever let her off leash on a city street (it’s not legal anyway in SF), I’ve come to trust the bond Suki and I have built over the years. She definitely knows we belong to each other, and while Bridget was feeling a little hesitant today, I knew that Suki wouldn’t ditch us this time.

So, at peace with the entire concept, we stepped out onto the ice plant and set her free:


Fuji X100 | 1/80 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200

The image above represents a very memorable moment for me. She actually bolted ahead of us, turned the corner and disappeared. Before I could even call out to her, she reappeared just as you see her above. That’s right. A Shiba Inu waiting up and making sure her humans are following….for reals?!?!

From that point forward, it was all smooth sailing:


Fuji X100 | 1/280 sec, f/4.5, ISO 800


Fuji X100 | 1/280 sec, f/5, ISO 800

Suki is definitely the recon member of our family, scouting ahead from time to time but never forgetting to pull back and let us catch up, even stopping when we stop:


Fuji X100 | 1/340 sec, f/5, ISO 800


Fuji X100 | 1/850 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Thrilled with the entire situation, we continued onto a trail from the dunes down to the beach. At this point Suki had burned off a significant amount of energy, and now more relaxed, stuck even closer to us:


Fuji X100 | 1/950 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Unlike the puppy Suki of old, today’s Suki won’t chase absolutely anything that runs (above).


Fuji X100 | 1/340 sec, f/5, ISO 400

A simple “let’s go, Suki,” and she snaps away from what ever she’s doing and follows. If I didn’t have these photos I’d swear none of this was real, just an awesome dream.

The following are a few of the images I took at the beach, processed into black and white in post:

When we were done at the beach, it was a long climb back up the cliff. We took the stairs, and Suki…well, eventually got on the stairs, but not before breaking a few rules. In the image below, she’s looking at me as I yell out “hey silly, you do NOT qualify as wild life! Get back on the stairs!”


Fuji X100 | 1/320 sec, f/5, ISO 800 (flash on)

Such a beautiful area to bring the dog, and such an exciting day for Team Suki!

One side note: I’m getting a lot of questions and emails about what picture settings I use when I shoot with my Fuji X100. I’ll go ahead and answer that question here once and for all. I’ve mentioned this before, but for most of my recent blog posts that involve shooting simple snaps and documenting life etc, I find it easier to work with the JPEG files from the camera than to shoot everything in RAW. So when I’m not shooting RAW, I use these picture settings:

Film Sim: Astia
Dynamic Range: Auto
Color: High
Sharpness: Hard
Highlight Tone: M-Hard
Shadow Tone: M-Hard
Noise Reduction: M-Low
White Balance: Auto
WB Shift: +2 Red, -2 Yellow

I make slight curve adjustments in post to my taste, and that’s it. Depending on the situation, I sometimes use the Provia film simulation as well. The other question I get a lot is “does the X100 produce great JPEGs?”

YES.


Fuji X100 | 1/420 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200

I’m proud of you Suki. Today you have proven yourself off leash. =)

Smitten!

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Fuji X100 | 1/80 sec, f/2, ISO 800

After a pretty late dinner this evening, I headed with some friends to Smitten Ice Cream in San Francisco. Now, there are lots of places to get a pretty good scoop of ice cream in this town, but Smitten is really quite special.


Fuji X100 | 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 800

Each cup of Smitten’s awesome ice cream is made to order and served out of a small kiosk in Hayes Valley. The kiosk itself was constructed out of a recycled shipping container. How cool is that? And yes, I said the ice cream is made to order, as in they make the actual ice cream when you order it. They use these interesting-looking, liquid nitrogen packing machines that steam like a crazy science experiment while they churn a fresh batch of ice cream for you in about a minute.


Fuji X100 | 1/60 sec, f/2, ISO 1000

The folks at Smitten claim that using something as crazy cold as liquid nitrogen (-320 degrees F!!!) results in smaller ice crystals and therefore a creamier consistency.  They must know what they’re talking about, because the Salted Caramel ice cream I had tonight was hands down the creamiest ice cream I’ve ever had.


Fuji X100 | 1/60 sec, f/2, ISO 2500

The wife had malted vanilla with cookie crumbles on top. Yummmm. Smitten always has Vanilla and Chocolate flavors on hand, and provides other flavors as rotating weekly specials. Reason enough to keep coming back.

Check out www.smittenicecream.com!

Written by Jonathan

July 2, 2011 at 9:47 pm

A Day in Glen Park

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Olympus PEN E-PL2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7

Seems like there are more and more farmers markets popping up around San Francisco lately. I found out a few days ago that for the first time this past Sunday, a market would be set up in the small neighborhood I grew up in, Glen Park. Such a big place in my heart for this little neighborhood.

To my fellow San Franciscans: weren’t the clouds crazy beautiful yesterday? My goodness. We never get clouds like this! While the wife perused the market, sampling the local produce, I snapped away:

The Glen Park market was relatively small, so it didn’t take long for us to be done checking it out. All that gazing at food made us pretty hungry….

More clicks on the way to La Corneta, the local neighborhood taqueria. Not the best in the city, but hey, they made a killer quesadilla for us today:

Stomachs full, a little more shooting. Even though I spent so many years of my life in Glen Park, I never get tired of just walking around town in this area. Come to think of it, I’ve never really done a photowalk here o_O

That ugly building on the left is the Glen Park Bart station…why is it so ugly??? Oh well.

Took a coffee break at Bello. This cafe is relatively new for the neighborhood, and I actually hadn’t tried it yet until today. Seems like they’ve jumped on the “individually-hand-brewed-drip” bandwagon that’s become very popular among the city’s elite coffee houses. It was a decent cup, but it still had nothing on a cup of Blue Bottle, Ritual, or Philz.

We left the area for a couple hours, and came back for dinner at Gialina, Glen Park’s gourmet pizzeria. As with many SF neighborhoods, Glen Park didn’t used to be this…hip. Before this place was Gialina, it was one of those greasy, ghetto pizzerias. Times have definitely changed for the better around here =)

Gialina is always packed during dinner rush. I’m surprised we got the best seats in the house, at one of two tables by the window. Yes!

Potato and Pancetta pizza. “Potato!?!?” Was my first thought when I ordered this pie for the first time a few years ago. Crispy carbs covered with thin slices of more carbs? Extremely…delicious…. We also ordered a roast pork chop, perfect with a glass of the house red:

Three scoops of Bi-Rite Creamery snickerdoodle ice cream for the lady, and an afogatto for me. Perfect finish. My Nikon FM came along for the day as well. Still trying to get through a roll of Ilford HP5 that I’ve had loaded in the camera for about a week. Strange that I can completely drain my digital camera’s battery in a single day, but it takes me forever to work through a roll of 36 exposure film.

Good night, Glen Park!

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All Images: Olympus E-PL2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 (all JPEGs)

Written by Jonathan

May 15, 2011 at 8:35 pm

The Blue Bottle Kiosk

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Olympus E-PL2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7

Time off work for a visit to the doctor’s on a Friday. Gotta love it. After my appointment, I had some time to kill before picking up the wife from work, so I decided to coffee up.

Tucked away along a small city street in the heart of Hayes Valley lies a Blue Bottle Kiosk. No big signs proclaiming its whereabouts. It’s Blue Bottle for crying out loud! All the locals know exactly where it is.






After I ordered a cup, I turned around and saw….a Shiba Puppy! Though Shibas are increasing in popularity here in SF, it’s still pretty rare that you see one on the street. This is Ichigo, a 7 month old, male Shiba:



I wish I had my Shiba with me, but this little guy would have probably tried to run from her =P
Unlike Suki, Ichigo is very shy, so I couldn’t go right up to him. I took a few snaps and–

“Sir, your latte is up!”

Yummmm….and served in a 100% biodegradable, custom-logo-printed, natural-colored hot cup. When you’re done, you can toss it right in the green compost bin along with its corn-based, polylactic acid lid. How very green…and expensive,which probably filters down into the price we pay for this brew!

Oops, cash only, and of course I didn’t have any. The super-cool barista apparently thought I had a pretty trusting face, so she let me take my coffee and go grab cash at the nearest ATM. Oops again. Card wasn’t working…so I had to huff it to my nearest bank. Oh well, photo walk!






Haha, how can you not take a picture of this guy? (right)

All images in this post were taken with my new Olympus PEN E-PL2. Apparently Adobe just made available a release candidate of the latest Camera Raw that supports the E-PL2′s raw files, but I haven’t downloaded it yet, so these are all out of camera JPEGs.

One of the things I noticed about shooting with a smaller camera is that people usually don’t notice you using it. The extra stealth over my DSLR is pretty refreshing out on the street.


….and oops, I took too long getting cash, so Bridget just took the bus to meet me back at the kiosk, where I had more coffee…oh yes. There she is in the background, waiting for me to stop dancing around my double shot with my camera and just drink it already. Mmmm…love coffee.

I wouldn’t typically do a blog post about a trip to the coffee shop, but I’ve been trying lately to focus a little more on the every-day, seemingly mundane things that I do when it comes to my photography. There are a few blogs that have inspired me quite a bit in this regard. Check’em out:

Pink Peony Photography, Karleen Su

A Happy Day, Jacqueline Jaszka

Saaediaries, Kelven Ng

These fellow blogger/photogs are just fantastic when it comes to still life…and putting diptychs together, which I’m totally lame at doing myself. At least giving it a try is forcing me to do more vertical shots =P

Seriously though, all three have a talent I envy for turning the ordinary into something extraordinary, which I think should be the goal of every photographer.

Have a great weekend!

Off The Grid

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Dinner is served on the street tonight! San Francisco’s “Off The Grid” is a mobile market of gourmet food trucks that serve lunch and dinner weekly at various locations in the city. Tonight, the trucks converged on Upper Haight.


Yep, it’s cold in SF, but that doesn’t stop people from bundling up and getting in line for some taco truck action. These aren’t your typical roach coaches though. Gourmet, organic….hey, any trendy food buzz world you want to throw in the air, this mobile market has you covered.


The trucks line up in a circle surrounding the “dining area.” Basically a bunch of plastic chairs randomly strewn about on the street.


Where do you think I ate tonight? Best Sisig tacos I’ve ever had, ever! Every taco should have Sisig in it. Too mouth-watering to photograph. I think I finished two of them during the walk between the truck and my seat!


A little bit of live music adds to the ambience.


Of course, one of the most important reasons why I love dinner on the street is that I can have Suki with me. I’m not sure how she feels about it though. Can you tell she’s irritated that I won’t share my Sisig Tacos with her?

All images tonight courtesy of my D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G. Even though I’ve been loving my time with with the Olympus E-PL2, there’s a limit to its abilities. Trying to stop action and quickly auto focus under nothing but dim artificial lighting, with ISOs between 1600 and 3200, I was in D700 territory at tonight’s market. It’s worth noting, however, that the E-PL2 is so light and compact that I had it with in my bag as well.

Written by Jonathan

March 3, 2011 at 11:44 pm

NYC at Night

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Just another post with images from my short trip to New York last month. We stopped by 30 Rock and paid too much to head to the top and photograph the view. Sure was breathtaking from up there!

We got there at around 6:15pm which was only minutes before sunset. All I had to work with was city light and a dusky sky. No tripods allowed meant really high ISO shooting up there.

From the bottom of the rock looking up, and boy is it a long way up!


After that we passed through Times Square on our way back to our hotel in Brooklyn Heights. Favorite lenses for that area were my 50mm 1.4 and 16mm fisheye. More wide aperture, high ISO action!

Bridget, always holding shopping bags. I’m sure there’s some camera equipment in that purse though. =)

The next morning it was coffee, camera, and walking the Brooklyn Bridge. I miss NY already! No exif data on these shots right now since I’m posting from work. =)

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Camera Specs: Nikon D700 / Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.4G / Nikkor AFS 16-35mm f/4 VRII / Nikkor 16mm f/2.8

Written by Jonathan

November 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm