Posts Tagged ‘america’

It’s been a long long time since I had a chance to post. Work and family had kept me fairly busy. Still had a bunch of backlog of pictures I had taken in the past couple of years that have not been edited. Likewise, I did had a chance to post some of them up on Flickr. Just didn’t have any chance to write about them.

Even though I haven’t been shooting, I still have been doing some reading about street photography. Especially some blog post by Eric Kim. One of the skills I’m always timid to try was approaching people and ask them for their portrait. One of my buddy recently moved back to the States. He’s the one I blogged previously about how I got started in photography. With the recent passage of the equal rights marriage on Friday and the Pride Parade happening on Sunday, it was just as good of a chance to dust off my Leica and go hang out and shooting with my buddy. Likewise, there would be ample opportunities to mingle with the people as well as people that are just dressed for the occasion.

To make sure I work on the goals I set out to do, I brought only 1 camera and 1 lens. I choose to bring the 35mm f/1.4 Summilux so I can get up close to the people I’m shooting. Likewise, the Leica M240 since shooting in color was a must for such an event. I did contemplate about bringing my film Leica as a backup camera, but I know I’ll end up focusing too much on which frames I want to shoot and miss all the decisive moments.

I had 2 criteria I set out to do.

  1. Talk to people before I shoot. Looking to get the eye contact in the camera.
  2. Add multiple layers of complexity in the composition.

I can’t say I achieved it in all the frames, but overall it was a good experience.  Likewise, all the folks were beautiful, wonderful, and very friendly subjects.

Enough blabbering.  Here are the photos and commentary.  Remember, you can always click on the photos for larger image and camera settings off my Flickr account.  All photos were only lightly retouched and/or cropped in Lightroom.

Love Won
Love Won

This was the first frame I captured right off the Powell Bart station.  It was a good start to the theme of the rest of the day!

Rainbow
Rainbow

The other trending theme of the day.  Lots of vibrant colors and jovial groups of people.

Ahead Merging
Ahead Merging

For those that have followed the blog or seen some of my work.  I like to shoot streets.  Literally.  With the right angle, they are visually appealing (Well, to me anyways).  Likewise, be able to find something that always conveys the theme of the Pride Parade.  We are finally merging all diversity and creating equality.

Selfie Stick
Selfie Stick

Now days, you wouldn’t be able to go to any events or destinations without seeing one of these.  But for this couple, I’m sure the selfie sure will create lasting memories!

All Ages Welcome
All Ages Welcome

It was a great sight to see how true the statement on the banners says.  EQUALITY WITHOUT EXCEPTION.  This is truly crossing not only gender, race, orientation, but even AGE!

 Wrap Around
Wrap Around

There were plenty of Rainbows!

Disco Inferno
Disco Inferno

And Dancing!

Freedom
Freedom

And People

Clusterphoia
Clusterphobia

And More People

Diversity
Diversity

More Dancing

Shall We Dance
Shall We Dance

Even more dancing

No Turning Back
No Turning Back

This was one frame I really wanted to capture.  But I don’t think I was able to fully convey the multiple meaning in the photo.  The US rainbow flag was fully extended when the cable car wasn’t there.  As soon as the cable car passed by, the flag dropped.  The message I tried to show was Cable Car = SF.  US Rainbow flag = Equality with out exception.  One way Sign/No Turning back = we are finally progressing.

Grip
Grip

Here is yet another missed opportunity.  After taking this frame, I notice there was another couple to the right of them.  Both couples were arm in arm, very focus on the parade.  As soon as I got the picture I wanted framed up, a pink tutu girl on the cellphone stopped right in my frame blocking the arm position of the couples I try to capture.  When she finally walked away, both couples had already dropped their arms.

Black and White
Black and White

I wanted to capture a portrait of each of the LGBT.  Starting with this one. [L] It was the hat that drew my initial attention.  Further more, it was the contrast in the black and white shirt that created a sub-context of Racial equality.

All American
All American

[G]  This was a lovely couple.  Showing the true meaning of America, where equality is achieved in race and orientation.

Boogie Night
Boogie Night

[B] It was deliberate pose he did, showing it all.  I was playing on the store name behind him to insinuate “Peck Cashing”

Smoke a Fag (Brit)
Smoke a Fag (Brit)

[T] I intentionally put a controversial title for this photo.  He was very kind.  He even took a break from smoking to pose for me.  I only wished I had capture the full body in the frame.  He had on a lovely black 5 inch heel.

Peek-a-Boo
Peek-a-Boo

As I approach this gentle-lady and asked for a portrait, I was surprised on what happened next.  Though it was fitting with the face half veiled and the bottom exposed.

Thor’s Uncle
Thor's Uncle

Even Thor’s Uncle showed up.  It was fitting especially we’re in the Leather Alley “The Fetish Zone”!!

Hog Riders

It wouldn’t be a SF event with out the Police presence.  Especially one donning a black leather jacket.

Chasting the Law

And more police presence to make sure no Chasting of the Law happens!

Danke Schön

If you made it this far reading and viewing my photos.  I like to say Thank You!  This was an interesting capture as there were a plethora of street venders selling everything.  Funny part was you have these old Chinese ladies selling all exactly the same cereal, can food, juices.  While you have Mexicans selling bacon wrapped hot dogs.  Then you have the Brothers selling waters and beers out of igloos.

Anyhow, it was an eye opening experience for me.  This was an experience beyond what I originally setup out as a photography expedition.  I’m really glad I was able to participate as part of history and celebrate Diversity and Equality without Exception.  Likewise, I like to thank all the subjects that graciously allow me to capture their portraits.

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Last week was an exciting week.
On Wednesday, I started to see rumors circulating about the new Leica price increase. This was something I had heard a few month back, but nothing substantiating. Then I saw a tweet from Leica Rumor about a fairly confirmed price list increase that will start on January 1st.
Click here for the Leica Rumor post about the new price list

Knowing that I still have one more lens on my wish list that I wanted to add to my permanent collection, the rush is on to source that lens before the $500 price hike. Ok, maybe $500 hike isn’t that significant considering that the lens cost $10,495, but a hike is still a hike. Not to mention, buying a new copy of the lens is still as illusive as capturing the unicorn.

I already place a pre-orders a few month back at all the common places like Adorama as well as numerous others. All I ever get is a monthly backorder email. I knew to hunt the lens down will require more drastic measure. I decided to hit up Unique Photo in New Jersey. They’re the only online shop I found that lists Leica lenses ship in 1 – 3 weeks. Not to mention I lucked out with them last time when I ordered my silver 50mm Summilux. They were able to find and ship me one the next day!! So I placed the order knowing that they have a policy of charging the full amount first and you wait. With January 1st just a little over a month away, I figure this might lock me in to a lens in case they do get one.

Next morning. I got woken up by a phone call from the East coast. Last time with the 50mm Summilux, Unique Photo called me to confirm that I indeed placed an order for the 50mm Summilux because it was a high ticketed item. So I thought it might have been them again. I was still half awake. Instead, it was a call from ePhotoCraft. At first, I was quickly racking my brain on wtf is ePhotoCraft. Is this another one of those telemarketers? Instead, Eldar from ePhotoCraft said they got 2 Noctilux in, one is already sold, and see if I wanted the other one. Without any hesitation I said yes! As I jumped out of bed, my mind was racing. Trying to figure out WTH ePhotoCraft was. I quickly jumped on my computer and looked up ePhotoCraft. Everything was coming back. I remember googling Noctilux looking for the obscure photography store that I might be able to place a pre-order. This store came up in the 3rd or 4th page of search. The place seems like a legit brick and mortar Photography store in DC. They still listed the Noctilux for $9995!! And there was a specific link for pre-order!! So So I filled out their online form and seal my name on yet another waiting list. Not expecting that my number will ever be called.

So this morning call indeed turn out to be legit! As I discussed with Eldar on the phone on shipping method, I decided to fork over the dough for overnight. Two thoughts crossed my mind. If I had it overnight, it wouldn’t spend that much time bouncing around in the truck across the country and If the deal was indeed legit, I would find out the next day. With payment sent right away, the rest of the day was most restless. Waiting for the tracking number.
The tracking number finally show up in the system near the end of the day as I was leaving work. Looks like my lens should arrive any time the next day. Now it becomes a waiting game for the big brown truck!

Friday was painful. We had a special offsite at work that didn’t require me to get in until noon so I sat around all morning waiting for that truck. Knowing how irresponsible my local UPS delivery person is, I wanted to make sure I don’t miss this delivery. They UPS guy been known to leave package in random places around the driveway or not even walking up the stairs to ring the door bell. It doesn’t help that it was raining as well. Last thing I wanted to see is my crown jewel being soaked by the rain. As the clock tick on, no truck. By 11am, I had to leave for work. I forced my wife to stay home and stare out on the driveway to make sure big brown don’t miss us. I think I probably called and message my wife almost every hour while I was at work to see if it showed up. “Nothing” was the word of the day…
I knew my wife would have to go pick up the kid in the afternoon so as soon as I was able to leave the work offsite, I headed straight home to make sure someone was home. I continuously check the front door to make sure Mr. Brown didn’t do his usual thing. “Nothing”.

Shortly around 6pm, the wife called while on the way back from picking up the kid. There was a Big Brown truck next street over making a delivery. I asked her to follow it and don’t loose sight of him. With more common sense, she decline my idiotic request.

About 15 minutes later, I saw the big brown truck pulled up near my driveway. I literally ran out to greet him. YES~!! It’s here!!

This is not the first time I handled the Noctilux. I played with a few of them from the last f/1 to a couple f/0.95. But this time was different. This is MINE!!

Here is just couple shot of the unboxing.

Noctilux-Close

Noctilux-Close


Noctilux-Open

Noctilux-Open

Here are a few shots around the house. Since I got the lens right around dinner time, might as well make dinner my subject.

Title: Green Guts
Green Guts

Title: Fly Fish
Fly Fish

Title: 2 Dollars
2 Dollars

The next day, I had a chance to hit up a good Belgium eatery in the city for a late night snack. Frjtz.. If you’re a big fan of fries and crepe, this place is great!! Price is reasonable and food was excellent. Make sure you order the Mussels!! the ambiance was dark. Perfect to test out the Noct’s capability!!

Title: Good Eats
Good Eats

Title: Morning Fix
Morning Fix

Title: Cut Off
Cut Off

On Sunday, I was able to take the beast out for some walk around shots. It was raining so I want to make sure I didn’t want to get it wet. The good thing was it was cloudy so shooting wide open wasn’t an issue!!

I gather a couple friends to go shooting with me. We ended up in San Francisco China Town. Here is a Tryptych of Arvin shooting the shooter with his Leica M8.2 and Voitlander 50mm f/1.2

Title: Leica Tryptych
Leica Triptych

Since this post is getting long, I will do a separate post in a few days with the China Town pics!!

Stay Tune!