A month of travel

A month of travel

I just finished a month of travel.  I spend two weeks in San Francisco then had a ‘layover’ in Tokyo for a weekend before heading off to Sydney and Singapore.   I am pretty used to hard traveling but that was a long stretch even for me.    This is just part of the cost of settling into a new job.  I was lucky enough to have time for photowalks in San Francisco and Sydney.   They are both cities I have not been to in a while and haven’t had time to explore so it was a good opportunity.  I will be visiting both of them often in my new company it seems.

I was especially excited for San Francisco as I could meet up with my friend Kathy and her daughter Morgan.   I met Kathy at the Jay Maisel Workshop in New York City last year and we have kept in touch.    I took this photo of her and Megan and plan to make it into a print for her…shhhhh don’t tell.  It looks especially good big as it has lots of nice film grain.

Today’s configuration:  Leica M6-J, Elmar-M 50mm f/2.8, Yellow Filter, TMAX400 for the black and white images.  Leica M9-P with various lenses for the color images.

Kathy and Morgan

I am continuing to enjoy shooting film.  The post processing is really slowing me down now as well.  After I scan the images, I need to be very careful in reviewing them.  My workflow goes something like this after scanning the images:

1. Crop the image: When you scan images they are not aligned 100% so you typically need to crop them in Lightroom.

2. While cropping:  It provides a good opportunity to check the edges of your photo and look for and remove any distractions.  It is amazing how the smallest things will throw a viewers eye off.

3. Sharpen:  It still takes me a while to get use to the difference in sharpness of film vs. digital.   I always throw my film shots into Photoshop and apply a SmartSharpen filter.

4. Dust: There is always dust with film.  I do my best with a brush and blower prior to scanning the images but you always need to do a very careful review for dust.  When I find some I use the Spot Removal Tool with the smallest brush I can to remove the offending dust.

5. Tag: Apply my Copyright Metadata preset, key word the image and apply any applicable star rating.  Key words help me to find specific images later which is helpful when you have 10s of 1000s.   Star ratings help me find my best.  I typically only use 4 and 5.   5 are my all time favorites and 4 are ones I really like.  I often switches images between 4 and 5.

Morgan enjoyed shooting my M9 and Noctilux a bit.    Actually I might have forgotten to give her credit for one of the images in my post from that day…

Morgan

We actually all got a bit lost and separated from the rest of the group on the Photowalk.   Not sure how I did that as the leader of the Photowalk.   The smily guy on the right is Russ who I also met at the Jay Maisel workshop…

ShootTokyo Photowalk

San Francisco

This is one of my favorite shots from San Francisco.   We were all walking back to our hotels and transportation after the Photowalk and came upon the Transamerica Pyramid just as the sun was hitting the aluminum panels on the very tip.  This might be my favorite photo I have taken all year.

TransAmerica Building in San Francisco

I don’t take a lot of architecture photos but maybe I should start shooting more.  This is one of the things I love about photography is there are always new directions you can take.

Transamerica Building

Cable Car in San Francisco

Cable Car in San Francisco

Cable Car in San Francisco

My friend Vince Mo from Google+ Photos came along for the Photowalk.  I first met Vince when he was in Tokyo and asked me to hold a Tokyo Photowalk with him.   We had an absolute blast.  I told him I would shoot a street portrait for him.  Now the thing about shooting on the street is you never know what might come into your scene…

Vince Mo

Such as a woman with an obvious fondness for butterflies…

Butterfly Woman

Vince being the true professional just went with it…

Vince Mo

Well played Vince…well played.

Vince Mo

Chinatown

Beer…featuring hamburgers.   My kinda place.

Sam's Hamburgers

San Francisco

I shot this one at the start of the PRIDE parade.  I had a ton of fun shooting the parade with my friend Kevin.  I actually got quite a few good photos of this girl.  I hope she contacts me so I can give her copies.

Pride Parade in San Francisco

My friend and colleague May in San Francisco…

May

Bang!

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

One of my collegues in San Francisco Ben was kind enough to give me a ride to my hotel in his very cool vintage Mercedes.  He was kind enough to pose for me in front of his car.  I am sending him copies of the images.   This is actually a habit I have gotten into with shooting film.   Printed film images just look great.   It’s a great way to connect with people.

Ben

San Mateo

San Mateo

I love the airport in San Francisco.  It looks like they are landing on the ocean!

San Mateo

I don’t know where I find time for everything in my day but I do.  I exercise, work like crazy, travel like crazy, photograph everything, blog about it, and make time for my family.  I read the Wall Street Journal daily, both US and Asian editions.  I also try to scan the major newspapers for headlines.   If you have ever flown into Singapore you would have seen on the customs form that it says in red bold letters ‘WE PUNISH DRUG TRAFFICKING WITH DEALTH’.    Well there is some good news for drug dealers, I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal last week that Singapore is contemplating a law that ‘will give courts the discretion to sentence some people convicted of drug-related crimes to life in prison with caning, rather than to death, provided they cooperate with authorities in a substantive way’.

I used to live in these apartments when I lived in Singapore…

Singapore

Singapore

Out my hotel window…

Singapore

I recently heard this story and love this.   Musician Dave Carroll took a United Flight a few years ago and they broke his guitar.  He tried for a year to get the issue resolved with the airline.  Those of us who travel a lot have hit one issue or another with an airline.   I know I have.   After hitting a brick wall Dave decided to put his musical skills to use and enlisted a few friends to help him vent his frustrations in a most amusing series of songs and videos.  15,000,000 views later I am sure United wishes they handled this differently.    They are very entertaining.  I highly recommend you watch these.   The world has really changed and companies need to think more on how they treat people.   Voices have very loud echos now…

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

In other social media news my friend Joseph Tame who I worked with at TEDxTokyo is fairly well known in Tokyo for his broadcasting/live streaming of his running of Tokyo Marathon.   He was hired by Nike to run 100 meters for every Like they get on their Run Like Me page.   Currently he has to run 256 kilometers in July but the month is only half over… Run Like Me

Thanks for stopping by today…see you again soon.

 

10 Comments

  1. Dave, thanks again for a fabulous photowalk! It will be so wonderful to have a tangible reminder of the day– I can’t wait for the prints to arrive:)
    p.s. That pic with Nancy and Russ makes us look totally badas*– love it!

  2. Great pics as usual Dave, I love the Transamerica Pyramid shot, it really is good. Well done.

  3. Yet another great set of shots, David. I especially love the ones in the tram.

    As to the pyramid, I reckon I’d like to see a colour version of it. Very catching.

    Travelling around so much, through airport security and X-rays all the time, isn’t your film getting damaged? Do you protect the film in any way?

  4. I like “your kinda place”! The signs themselves tell a story already.

  5. Thanks Carlos. I think B&W helped me in this case. There were tons of clouds at the tip which aren’t showing up in my picture but probably won’t in a color and ruin the image. My film is doing OK with all of my travels. I am not protecting them in anyway and all is working out OK. I try to put them in the mini bar at my hotel when I remember but mostly just leave them in my bag.

  6. Kathy – Welcome! I sent the negatives off to the Fuji Film labs in Tokyo for printing. They should be back in a week and then I will drop them in the mail. I do those our ‘Reservoir Dogs’ Photowalk photo.

  7. Dave, awesome photos, as always! You have a great eye :-)

  8. The Gardens by the Bay is open. You definitely should take a trip there the next time you’re in Singapore. It’s a great spot for photos, especially when the place lights up in the evening.

  9. Hey Dave, love your post, great shots as always. But I was wondering on how you do your sharpening on film pictures? Mind explaining or giving some tips on how you utilize smart sharpen?

    Thanks in advance for you reply.
    Cheers

  10. Bryn – I have actually stopped using Smart Sharpen. I think I was too use to razor sharp images in digital that I initially though everything look dull on film but over time I have some to appreciate that in my film pictures. If I do anything I sharpen to 100% in lightroom but that’s it.

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