Shots and Thoughts

Photos and comments as I explore my passion for photography. Written to and for myself as a journal to track major moments and minor observations as I continue to evolve my visual art. 

Visual Interview

With a tip of the hat to Jesse Freeman, I thought it would be interesting to follow his format and make a Visual Interview. This was fun but also insightful on how to respond both directly and artistically. It also was an exercise in self reflection.

  1. Who are you?

  2. What is your favorite way to waste money?

  3. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

  4. When are you the happiest?

  5. What did your first kiss feel like?

  6. Where is home?

  7. Which body part do you have the most affection for?

  8. What is your favorite vice?

  9. How do you define adulthood?

  10. What is your favorite time of day?

  11. Who is your favorite person?

  12. What is the most important thing in any relationship?

  Who are you?

Who are you?

  When are you the happiest? Hmmm JK.

When are you the happiest? Hmmm JK.

  How do you define adulthood?

How do you define adulthood?

  What is your favorite time of day?

What is your favorite time of day?

  Where is home?

Where is home?

  What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

  What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

  What is the most important thing in any relationship?

What is the most important thing in any relationship?

  What is your favorite vice?

What is your favorite vice?

  What did your first kiss feel like?

What did your first kiss feel like?

  Which body part do you have the most affection for?

Which body part do you have the most affection for?

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Who is your favorite person? 

Family Photos

Family photos are so fun to shoot and deliver as I know over time they gain more substance. Looking back 10/20/30 years at a family photo evokes emotions and memories.

 Los Gatos | 2018

Los Gatos | 2018

Pro tip: Shoot at 1.8 or so by stepping back and isolating the group. Leading lines, right light all part of the set up. Then rotate and shoot again. A good rule of thumb is take the same number of shots as the number of people, so 4 images in each pose for the above group. Unless kids or dogs, then you can never shoot too much.

Emotions

Maybe to have an emotional photo you need an emotional connection, an emotional moment.

 2018 | San Jose

2018 | San Jose

 2018 | San Jose

2018 | San Jose

 2018 | San Jose

2018 | San Jose

Pro tip: Lean in when these shots start to happen. My preferred shot is low, wide and tight with the 28mm. Capture the gesture, the moment.

Kansas City

A quick trip back to Kansas City to check in on my father, now 90 but doing really well. I don’t know if there are enough images here to make a project but maybe a couple of visits would add to the content/context.

 2018 | Kansas City

2018 | Kansas City

 2018 | Kansas City

2018 | Kansas City

 2018 | Kansas City

2018 | Kansas City

 2018 | Kansas City

2018 | Kansas City

 2018 | Kansas City

2018 | Kansas City

 2018| Kansas City

2018| Kansas City

Pro tip: Black and white works for this project. Shot on the Leica M10-P with 28mm lens, my own post with SilverEFX pro workflow.

Family Photos

I always enjoy making holiday family photos with clients as I know the photos will become even more important over time.

 2018 | Baker Beach SF

2018 | Baker Beach SF

 2018 | Baker Beach SF

2018 | Baker Beach SF

Pro tip: I shot these with the 35mm Fuji lens, good choice for family style shots. Shot about 1600 images, worked these down to 300+, shared 70+ with client. Everyone happy!

Executive Headshots

Modern head shots don’t need to be cheesy or boring. Mix it up to deliver a range of images for the client. Colin from Apple was easy to coach in front of the camera.

 San Jose | 2018

San Jose | 2018

Pro tip: The black magic tee shirts works its magic again. It makes everybody look cool.

Holiday Photos

Three generations for the family holiday photo, delightful!

 San Jose | 2018

San Jose | 2018

Pro tip: When shooting stay connected with the client, not hiding behind the camera. For me the best photos are emotional not sterile. To get there the photographer needs to be emotionally connected.

Vacation Photos

I always feel tension when we go on holiday as I want to shoot in a new, exciting location but at the same time it is family time, I need to be present.

 London | 2018

London | 2018

 London | 2018

London | 2018

Pro tip: I made the right decision to focus on the family for this trip and just grab a few shots when available. I only took the Fuji X100F, not super versatile with the fixed 35M lens, but was light weight and easy to carry. I brought 4 batteries and the charger, but only used the one battery I started with. No regrets, we had a super time together. But I did miss my Leica…

Wedding Day for Audrey

I shot the wedding and reception for Audrey this month, a delightful day for a beautiful couple.

 San Jose | 2018

San Jose | 2018

Pro tip: I shot about 1650 images with 325 as keepers for the couple and family. Key is to anticipate and direct when required.

Creativity with IG

I am really enjoying the creative pop from pairing up photos together, then posting on my IG story line. The process of sequencing around composition, content, vibe, etc. to make a short story has been so fun, delightful.

 Tokyo | 2018

Tokyo | 2018

 Pro tip: Keeping my post processing consistent over the last few years helps maximize the pairing opportunities. Good practice for the next book or zine.

 

In Camera Layers

I shoot a lot, almost everyday so the camera is on/off, in/out of the bag, etc. Inevitably a setting will get tweaked and it takes me a little while to reset as needed. This time something happened on the settings that I had never seen and could not figure out how to delete, so I just keep shooting.

 Kyoto | 2018

Kyoto | 2018

Pro tip: It was an in camera multi shot setting! How cool and creative, I have now added it to my skill set. Sometimes you just have to go with the mistakes.

Ghost in the Street

They dart in and out of alleys and doorways, pros at avoiding the tourists and cameras. 

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Kyoto | 2018

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Kyoto | 2018

Pro tip:  Be ready for the shot, all camera stuff dialed in, including flash set up. Don’t forget fresh batteries to keep recycle time to a minimum. Then keep shooting!

Mobile Blog Post

Let’s see how this looks, ie field test! 

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San Jose | 2018

Pro Tip: if this looks good maybe there will be more blog posts? Post review from desktop, looks fine for blog post, lets do more.

True Black

As I look back on my B/W "style" one of the attributes is having some degree of true black in each image.

 Tokyo | 2018

Tokyo | 2018

Pro tip: I think this true black anchors the image and also makes multiple images hang together.

San Jose Obon

A fun night shooting the San Jose Obon festival last weekend. I think it was my 37th time to enjoy  the day, food and evening dancing. Of course I wanted to shoot it, with the objective of making an image I have never made in the past.

 San Jose | 2018 

San Jose | 2018 

Pro tip: Keep shooting, don't stop. Over 1K images in 90 minutes, probably a dozen cool shots. And that is why I don't shoot film....

Flash Bang!

A fun flash workshop this weekend in SF. We worked on the basic technical settings and also practical use with street shooting. The last day had us shooting the Haight Ashbury Street Fair in SF. Definitely an old school hippy SF vibe, a welcome relief from all the political news in the US. The workshop was a good shot in the arm to push my creative process.

 SF | 2018

SF | 2018

Pro tip: ISO 400, 1/250, F16 flash 1/2 power as a good starting point. Use it off camera, held at chest height with claw style grip. The practice shots were interesting in color, I will need to tweak my post production if using black and white. 

Layers of Legs

A fun night shooting in Tokyo. Actually I was tired, it was raining and frankly had to talk myself into going out to shoot. Glad I did as it was fun but also got some great shots.

 Tokyo | 2018

Tokyo | 2018

Pro tip: When in doubt go shoot. The motion, the engagement is the real payoff. Some cool shots are just extra, but appreciated!

Mood

A fun shoot with Faith who is starting a cool, new sports fashion line. She wanted updated shots for web and promotional marketing as the business plans to launch soon. I was delighted she asked for b/w images with a grey backgound, my favorite!

 San Jose | 2018 Japantown Studios

San Jose | 2018 Japantown Studios

Pro tip: Vanessa assisted me on the shoot and we had dialed in all the lights and camera settings prior as expected. We shot on the Nikon, Fuji and Leica, all with unique renderings. We got some good vertical shots also.

Kyoto

Back to Kyoto, cold and clear weather. Maybe I will get lucky and it will snow as I have always wanted a set of b/w temple shots in the cold.

 Kyoto | 2018

Kyoto | 2018

Pro tip: I have hat, gloves and scarf, ready to shoot.

High School

I had a fun time teaching a high school photography class yesterday here in the SF Bay Area. The kids had a lot of questions and we also got to shoot using the ProPhoto studio lights. Here are some of the images shot by the students.

 SF | 2018

SF | 2018

 SF | 2018

SF | 2018

 SF | 2018

SF | 2018

 SF | 2018

SF | 2018

Pro tip: Teaching, sharing is a step on the path to mastery. And of course I learn something from every student.