Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘sf

A Big Win For San Francisco

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Well, there you have it. The Giants won the World Series with a 4 game sweep, and San Francisco went crazy! I observed the pandemonium from the back seat of a friend’s car, stuck in traffic in the city:

Go Giants!

…and go Suki! I tried to put a Giants hat on her here but she wouldn’t have it.

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Canon 1D X + 24-70mm f/2.8 II (night shots) | 300mm f/2.8 IS II (Suki shot)

Written by Jonathan

October 28, 2012 at 11:27 pm

The Golden Gate’s 75th Anniversary

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Olympus OMD E-M5 + Lumix G Vario  7-14mm f/4 at 13mm | 1.6 sec, f/5, ISO 200

This past Sunday marked the 75th anniversary of what is my opinion the most beautiful bridge in the world. After a long hike up the Marin Headlands in the afternoon, we settled down at an ideal spot to view the evening’s fireworks show. To stay light during the long hike, I left the dslr at home and brought along my smaller Olympus OM-D E-M5 to cover the event. The show was beyond amazing! I originally thought there’d be fireworks out over just the water with the bridge as a backdrop, but I had to pick my jaw back up off the floor when fire started shooting from the bridge itself.

On the drive home, I discovered that the OM-D has a pretty neat image overlay feature. I used it to cobble together some composite images in-camera, which you can output as JPEG or RAW files. It’s a great way to kick your fireworks photos up a notch:

Happy 75th, Golden Gate. I’ll never tire of photographing you!

Written by Jonathan

May 29, 2012 at 6:48 am

Hanging Out. That’s it.

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  Fuji XPRO-1 + 35mm f/1.4 XF R 

Sundays. They’re always extremely, incredibly, ridiculously busy. But not this past Sunday, when we decided to do absolutely nothing. at. all. Except for hang out at Four Barrel. Hey, we all need a lazy day to recharge every now and then, don’t we?

Forgot to charge the XPRO-1 after shooting with it the night before, so it died before I could take more than one frame (above). Doh. Took the following spread with the X100, which I still love! Hey, it’s lighter, smaller, quieter, and at least to me, prettier than the new XPRO, so it stays in the bag:


 Fuji X100

I always get a kick out of how much attention Suki gets when she’s around crowds of people.

“Is that a fox-wolf-coyote-jindo-akita-teddy-bear-basenji-finnish-spitz!?!?! No wait, isn’t that one of them Shibu Ibubus?!?!?!?!?!” Followed by lots of pats on her head and scratches behind her ears. She loves it.


 Fuji X100

Not a good year for Suki so far, though. She’ll be out of commission for two weeks while she recovers from yet another bout with allergies that flared up right after we enjoyed this one lazy day together. Cone of shame!

Written by Jonathan

April 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Food Trucks and Pink Peonies

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Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 35mm f/1.4G | 1/4,000 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Off the Grid is awesome for two reasons: great food, and Suki is allowed. The large, 30 food truck Off The Grid Market is held every Friday night at Fort Mason here in San Francisco. It was windy and drizzle fell on us the whole time, but oh well. Let’s eat!


Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 35mm f/1.4G | 1/2,000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 800

Bridget and I had a very interesting dish: spicy curry chicken over sweet potato waffle fries. Sort of reminded me of the Pork Fries at Broken Record. Great stuff. We also got to meet up with artist and blogger Karleen, along with her husband. We spent most of our time with our cameras pointed Shibaward:


Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 35mm f/1.4G | 1/1,600 sec, f/1.4, ISO 400

Suki had no issue doing “roll overs” and “shake paws” with her new friends. Impressive!

I’m sure you can see from the last three images that Suki is quite a tolerant Shiba!

I should probably mention that the images in this post are all processed in Lightroom 3 using Cara Rose’s “Suki” preset, a custom preset inspired by the artist’s first encounter with Suki. Cara was kind enough to send me the preset as a gift! The punchy contrast and warm glow it applies to my images was perfect for combating tonight’s dreary weather. The “Suki” is available as one of 12 custom-made presets in Cara’s San Francisco inspired preset package, which she sells here. Thank you, Cara!


Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 35mm f/1.4G | 1/2,000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 800

My little X100 stayed in the bag most of the evening, mainly due to all the drizzle. It still found its way into curious hands, however. Make sure to check out Karleen’s work at pinkpeonyphotography.blogspot.com.

Dinner at Broken Record

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Broken Record – San Francisco, CA | Images: Fuji X100

I’ve been coming to Broken Record for some time now and am never ever ever ever disappointed with the dining experience. I heard some good things about the food not long after they opened, but when we first visited the place, I was a little skeptical. From the outside it just looks like your typical bar, nestled in the middle of a neighborhood where you wouldn’t really expect to find fantastic food…uhhh…


Fuji X100 | 1/40 sec, f/2, ISO 1600

Cross through the bar, where they have whiskey on tap (yes, on tap), and you’re met with a cozy little dining area. Behind the counter, a tiny kitchen where two people crank out dish after dish. Trust me, when your crawfish grits, pulled pork sandwich, beef and bacon burger, or roasted beet salad hits the table, you’ll know this place is special.


Fuji X100 | 1/40 sec, f/2, ISO 2000

Above: cold asparagus with warm prawns and crab meat over a white truffle aioli. Below it a warm chocolate brownie with ice cream. Incredibly good stuff.


Fuji X1001/20 sec, f/2, ISO 3200

The “Nachos Gringos,” pulled pork over waffle fries with a cheese sauce. We get this every time without fail. Oh, and on a photographic note, the Fuji X100’s image quality at high ISO blows me away!

Not bad for a little bar in the Crocker-Amazon area of SF! Don’t believe me? Take a look at the Yelp reviews. Yummmm…

The Broken Record
1166 Geneva Ave, San Francisco
www.brokenrecordsanfrancisco.com

Written by Jonathan

July 6, 2011 at 9:44 pm

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

Fuji X100: Crazy Dynamic Range

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Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/600 sec, f/11, ISO 200

One of the things that frustrates me most about compact cameras is that their dynamic range is so limited compared to DSLRs. Not so with the Fuji X100. It  sports a larger, APS-C sized sensor for dynamic range no small-sensor compact or even m4/3 camera can touch. In addition, when you set the camera to auto-dynamic range and let the it control your ISO, the X100 works some serious magic, expertly juggling highlights and shadows in extreme lighting conditions with surprisingly natural results.

This weekend I threw some tough, contrasty scenes at the X100 to see what it could do. The image above is a good example. There’s some really hard sunlight hitting the side of the building, and the side facing away from the sun was in shadow. Notice, however, that there’s detail all over the frame, from the brightest portions of the sun-facing windows to the insides of those dark balconies. I think a couple of the windows at the top of the building are clipped, but it still looks very natural.


Fuji X100 – 23mm,1/680 sec, f/2, ISO 800

I purposefully looked for hard light next to dark shadows this weekend. I know for sure that my EPL2 would  have clipped highlights like crazy in the image above, but again, detail everywhere with the X100.


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/80 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

Even though light from the ground is illuminating the underside of this palm, the leaves were still much darker than the sky. Great balance here straight from the camera.


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/900 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400

The pavement here is really hot in contrast to the dark tones on the train, yet there’s still detail on both areas of the frame.


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/450 sec, f/11, ISO 800

How’s this for contrasty? If you look really close, you can see that the hard shadow on the right of the frame is not clipped, there’s some detail from the blue window frame in there. Wow.


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/2,200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800

This one was taken in mid-day sunlight. You might notice the seemly odd ISO choice of 800, however. The camera is automatically underexposing to protect the highlights  (sky and and sidewalk) and using the high ISO setting to bring out shadow detail. It works extremely well. Nikon and Canon DSLRs do something similar with their Active D-Lighting and Highlight Tone Priority systems, respectively.


Fuji X100 – 23mm, Program AE, 1/640 sec, f/9, ISO 400


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/800 sec, f/8, ISO 800


Fuji X100 – 23mm,  1/1,800 sec, f/8, ISO 800


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/1,100 sec, f/11, ISO 800


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/640 sec, f/2, ISO 400

You know, I don’t typically seek out contrasts in tone like this. Doing so was a fun exercise.


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/500 sec, f/2, ISO 400 -2/3EV


Fuji X100 – 23mm,  1/450 sec, f/6.4, ISO 400


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/480 sec, f/4, ISO 400 -1EV


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/400 sec, f/2, ISO 400 -1/3EV


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/60 sec, f/5.6, ISO 640


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/250 sec, f/2, ISO 400

Just some random portraits from the weekend. Skin tones look absolutely dead on with the X100, even using Auto White Balance.


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/70 sec, f/8, ISO 200


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/450 sec, f/8, ISO 200

Still tweaking the camera’s image settings to get the JPEGs looking the way I want them. I think I’m almost there.

More random shooting from the weekend:


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/170 sec, f/2, ISO 400 -2/3EV


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/110 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/950 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800 -1.3EV


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/600 sec, f/2, ISO 200


Fuji X100 – 23mm, 1/320 sec, f/2, ISO 400 -2/3EV

That’s it! Just another quick note: I’ve heard lots of bad things about the camera’s firmware and menu interface. To be sure, it does seem quirky at times, but I can’t say I’m all that bothered by it. Somehow I just have a blast with the camera every time I pick it up. I do get the sense that this is not a camera for everyone, however. I think its really a matter of knowing thyself before you buy.

One thing kinda bugs me though:

The camera has film simulation modes. Provia is supposed to be a standard mode, Astia is supposed to reproduce softer tones with less contrast and saturation. Strange thing is, pictures I take in Astia are definitely more contrasty and saturated than images taken in Provia. What gives? Did a switcheroo happen when the firmware was written? Is Provia supposed to be Astia and Astia Provia? Wierd.

Written by Jonathan

June 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm