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Sky Ferreira

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Boone and Lori II

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Boone and Lori

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Diwali 2012

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Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead

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Backstage at Norah Jones

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Reggie Watts at Outside Lands

Valencia

On Valencia Street

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Steven Alan + Dossier

Not enough space to really capture it, but Clare Vivier was wearing the best outfit I saw tonight.

Leica M8 with 35mm Leica Summilux, processed in Apple Aperture

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Questions and answers

I took a few photos at a wedding shower for my friends Albert and Katherine the other day. Here is one of them.

Leica M8 with 40mm Leica Summicron-C, processed in Nik Silver Efex Pro

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Coco and Butter

Here’s my friend Coco and her dog Butter at Esprit Park.

Leica M7 with 50mm Summicron-M on Kodak Portra 400

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Don’t take my Kodachrome away

My buddy Boone and I received a some free rolls of Kodachrome on Christmas and had to shoot them in a hurry before worldwide processing of Kodak’s famous slide film stopped entirely. So, we shot them in a hurry, which led to several cliched shots, such as this one of the Golden Gate Bridge. But, holy moly, those colors!

Leica M7 with 50mm Summicron-M on Kodak Kodachrome

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Occupy

There two women got out of their car to watch the march down Grand last Saturday. Of course, they didn’t have much choice because the marchers had shut down the entire street.

Leica M8 with 40mm Leica Summicron-C, processed in
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Sunset, Dolores Park

I’m in the process of reviewing the Yashica Electro 35 rangefinder for Steve Huff’s website. It has a fixed 45mm f/1.7 with a tendency to flare—usually inelegantly. Fortunately, it behaved itself here and produced some nice flare.

Yashica Electro 35 GSN with Kodak Ektar 100

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Kodachrome (again)

While the basketball game went on, a boy chased a tennis ball towards the court. Perhaps, one day he will join the pickup games.

Leica M7 with 50mm Summicron-M on Kodak Kodachrome

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My year in photos: 2010

This was the first year of my life that I documented more with my photography than with my writing, especially if that whole picture = 1,000 words equation is true. Here are some of the things I saw in 2010, arranged, more or less, chronologically. For those of you who are curious about gear, I took most of the shots with a Leica M7, Leica M8, or Panasonic GF1. And I’m still waiting for my roll of Kodakchrome to be processed.

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Zip Zap Zap

Zip Zap may well be the best hair salon in San Francisco. Despite that, somehow, Lori, Boone, and I were able to get back-to-back-to-back appointments on a Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago. Here’s a shot of Boone getting his hair styled.

Leica M7 with 50mm Summicron-M on Kodak Portra 160VC

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Dave Eggers Gallery Opening at Electric Works

Here’s a shot from Dave’s opening at Electric Works in San Francisco on July 16, 2010. It appears that the couple in the shot read Dave’s drawing on the wall as directed at them.

Leica M8 with 50mm Summicron-M, processed in Apple Aperture and Nik Silver Efex Pro

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Ducking the kick

Here’s another shot from Boone’s Capoeira party. I used Sloppy Borders from Kubota to add the border. Is it too cheesy, too fake looking?

Leica M8 with 50mm Summicron-M, processed in Apple Aperture

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He looked to the sky and waited

Here’s a photo of Anupam from Boone’s Capoeira party last weekend. He had just launched a soccer ball into the air and was watching it, waiting for it to descend.

Leica M8 with 50mm Summicron-M, processed in Apple Aperture

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Waiting for the Bus

I had the opportunity to shoot a few rolls with a Leica M7 last week, and absolutely loved the experience of shooting film. At the risk of sounding trite, it made me more considerate of the images I was taking and more patient in the process of taking them. The time and cost of getting from film to prints or digital images was another story. However, once I saw the prints, I was bowled over. The texture, contrast, and color of Kodak’s Portra line of film is just outstanding. There’s something very cinematic about the prints, that I don’t recognize in digital images.

Leica M7 with 50mm Summicron-M on Kodak Portra 400VC

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Like film

I’ve been playing around with Nik’s Color Efex Pro recently and am really enjoying its color film presets, which emulate the tonality, curves, and grain of real color films. As I’ve mentioned before I’m a fan of Nik’s Silver Efex Pro software, and I think it’s the best way to perform digital black and white conversions. Here’s a photo of Lori processed in Aperture and Color Efex.

Leica M8 with 40mm Leica Summicron-C, processed in Apple Aperture and Nik Color Efex Pro

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Walking through the square

This group was walking through Alamo Square after Bay to Breakers when I photographed them.

Panasonic GF1 + 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens, processed in Adobe Lightroom

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Mid-race texting

I can’t think of another race in which a participant would dress up as a ballerina or stop halfway through to message her friends on her BlackBerry. But this is San Francisco, and this is Bay to Breakers.

Leica M8 with 40mm Leica Summicron-M, processed in Adobe Lightroom.

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Slow down

Boone took this picture of his wife, Lori, while we were waiting for a table at Gracias Madre. What blew be away about the shot is that is handheld it at 1/10 second, f/2, at ISO 2500.

Leica M8 with 40mm Summicron-C, processed in Silver Efex Pro

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Above the beach

A couple weekends ago Boone Spooner and I went around San Francisco taking several thousand photos for a little project we’re working on. While he was shooting for the project at Ocean Beach, I snuck off and grabbed a couple photos of this couple walking their dogs on the beach from the overlook.

Panasonic GF1 + 50mm Leica Summicron-R Lens

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The Leica character

I’m in the process of selling someone else’s 50mm Leica Summicron-R lens. However, I first decided to test it out on my Panasonic GF1. (I personally own a copy of this lens, but having another to sell inspired me to try it on the digital body.) It’s a 100mm equivalent on the 2x crop of the micro four thirds sensor, but it still renders colors and bokeh as a Leica lens should.

Panasonic GF1 with 50mm Leica Summicron-R, processed in Adobe Lightroom

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The best cheap camera ever

It’s often said that the best camera is the one you have with you because being able to get the shot even with compromised gear is better than not getting the shot at all. It’s a phrase that people use to defend iPhone cameras, and sites like Cellular Obscura show that cell phone cameras can, indeed, capture decisive moments. My iPhone goes with me most places, but I’m sure I’ll replace it within the next year or two.

However, before the iPhone and before digital pocket cameras, the camera that went everywhere with me was the Olympus Stylus Epic. It was small, stylish, and had better and faster optics than most point-and-shoot cameras produced in the 1990s. It spent five years in my backpack, going, literally, everywhere. Eventually, I stopped using it around the time I became more serious about black and white photography and also found a digital camera whose quality and controls I felt were up to my standards.

A couple weeks ago, I found the Stylus in a drawer. I popped in a new battery, rewound the roll of film that was in it, and had it developed. On that roll of T-Max 400 were a few decent shots, which I’ll be posting on this blog over the next couple weeks. The one in this post I shot on the street in San Francisco in 2001. I don’t know if I was driving or walking but I do know that this is the very sort of scene that you shoot if you have a camera and you don’t if you don’t. I had my camera, and you can see the result. It’s not great, but it’s better than nothing.

And twelve years after I purchased the Stylus, it still shoots as well as it did on the day I bought it, which I can safely assume is more than people will be saying about their Canon digital ELPHs and iPhone cameras in twelve years.

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Frances, the best new restaurant in San Francisco

A couple weeks ago, I went to Frances for Lori’s birthday dinner. And yes, it is the best new place in town. I took these images with the Panasonic GF1 and the 20mm Pancake Lens.

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Waiting for Superman, or something

This KRON reporter and her cameraman were waiting for their live spot on the local evening news to begin during the March 4 protest at the Civic Center.

Panasonic GF1 + 20mm f/1.7 Pancake lens, processed in Aperture

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Impeach Obama protesters: friendly but insane

Of course, you can’t go to any large gathering in San Francisco or Berkeley without seeing some vocal supporters of Lyndon LaRouche. And here they are at the March Forth protest at the Civic Center on Thursday.

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March Fourth

On Thursday thousands of people all over California and the country protests budget cuts to education. I went to the protest at the Civic Center in San Francisco, where this woman seemed to be hiding behind her scarf from the crazies.

Grain to the Max

Grainy on Haight

This photo had too much motion blur to look decent, so I added a lot of grain in Silver Efex to produce an acceptable result.

Panasonic GF1 with 20mm f/1.7 lens, processed in Silver Efex Pro.

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Lucky investing

This girl was waiting for the bus on Lombard in the Marina next to a large ad for Charles Schwab. I shot the photo with my Panasonic GF1 and did the post processing in Silver Efex Pro.

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Can’t you see?

This woman was riding her bike down Union Street in the Marina while these signs exhorted everyone to See.

Panasonic GF1 with 20mm f/1.7 lens, processed in Silver Efex Pro

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Suspicion on Haight

This guy is suspicious because I am pointing my camera at him on Haight Street. I am disgusted because he is smoking a cigarette. An eye for an eye, I suppose.

Panasonic GF1 + 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens, processed in Silver Efex Pro

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In the Sun

Joseph Arthur performed at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco on January 20, 2010, and I took some photos with my Panasonic GF1 + 20mm pancake lens. I took all shots at f/1.7 and ISO 1600. Post processing in Viveza for the color image and Silver Efex Pro for the black and whites. In the first photo, I added some contrast and structure to Arthur’s face with Viveza. I also used Dfine for noise removal. I shot the final photo of the people standing next to me from the hip.

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Follow directions

This guy was following the arrow, alright. If you looks closely at his eyes, you’ll see that he also caught me taking his picture. I shot this photo with the Panasonic GF1 and the 20mm pancake lens. I performed the black and white conversion in Silver Efex Pro.

Ugly Sweater Party (1 of 1)

How many ugly sweaters?

Boone’s sister Coco had an ugly Christmas sweater party a few days before Christmas. All photos were shot at ISO 800 with the Panasonic GF1. The color photo was colorized using a WoW preset in Lightroom.