Posts Tagged ‘Black and white’

New York New York!

New York has always been an great place for photography.  We originally had a family trip planned in 2011 that fell through so there were a lot of flight credits that we had to used up before it’s one year expiration.  Tough problem to have right?

New York has always been a favorite destination with my wife.  With all the shopping, sight seeing, and exploring all the foodie spots, what’s better way to burn off the airline credit with an extended weekend in New York.  Within one week left to spend the credit, we booked and took flight!

Here is the link to the entire NYC set in Flickr

New York City
Flickr link:
http://flic.kr/s/aHsjC3U7iY

Turbulence

With the new 16mm Sony E-mount lens in-tow, I had to capture something during flight.  I love the ambiance of the Virgin America interior with the glowing comfort color lighting.  Just by slightly twisting of the perspective with the lady peaking back at me gave me a uneasy feeling during flight.  Of course, the flight was fine and very comfortable with the large screen between each seat.

Sony NEX-7 + Sony E-Mount 16mm f/2.8, ISO 1000, f/2.8, 1/60 sec, No Flash
Turbulence

Buildings

New York is filled with contrast.  I also taken a habit of shooting out of my hotel windows.  As soon as I looked out of the window, I knew this would a b/w shot.  The old red brick building contrasting with the modern white apartment/office buildings.  The old twin water towers with the light water stains.  Truly giving me the feeling of New York homology.  As a trend I try to build with my black and white shots, keeping the Yin with the Yen balance.

Sony NEX-7 + Leica 35mm f/1.4, ISO 100, f/8, 1/1600 sec, No Flash
Buildings

NYC Glow

I wouldn’t be doing New York any justice if I didn’t include any landscape city view picture as a top 3 pick.  This one was shot on top of Empire State building.  Originally we took the ride up to the top not expecting to be staying around that long.  Then it dawned (Pun intended) on me.  Wouldn’t it be a great picture to capture the sunset off the Empire State building.  I must give a lot of credit to my lovely wife for hanging out with me for an hour on top the Empire State building waiting for the sun to set.  Also, for her to fend off people trying to squeeze into my perfect spot!  Prior to the count down of sunset, I already scoped out the areas I wanted to shoot and the shot I was looking for.  Figuring out the correct exposure was tough.  With the sun right in your face, trying to capture enough detail of the city as well as the sky.  The make the entire process even more difficult, finding a spot to prop since I didn’t have a monopod or a tripod.  At the same time trying to shoot with people constantly bumping into you.  Atlast, one of the shot came out exactly as I imagined.  The glow from the sunset lighting up the streets while the City lights are slowly getting brighter.  At the same time capturing the blue sky with the white clouds.

Sony NEX-7 + Sony E-Mount 16mm f/2.8, ISO 100, f/8, 1/320 sec, No Flash
NYC Glow

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As part of last minute planning, I was able to finally get away from the kids and enjoy a New Year Countdown with the wifey. I must say, with all the people at the Embarcadero in San Francisco, it was the most peaceful experience I had alone with the wifey in a long time. Of course, I had my trusty M9 and 35mm Summilux with me so shoot in lower light weren’t much of an issue. Knowing potentially large crowd, I wanted a wider lens and I also didn’t want to risk my Noctilux getting bumped while surfing through the crowd. Well, here are some snap shots I took.

The count down wouldn’t be a count down with out a cont down. No better count down then have the cross walk signs count it down for you.

Title: Count Down
Count Down

Likewise, it wouldn’t be any event in San Francisco without police presence. The next three photos show the full force!! Sucks to be the guy that pulled over right in front of the Ferry Building.

Title: Presence
Presence

Title: Sucks to be you
Sucks to be you

Title: 2
2

It wouldn’t be street photography if I didn’t capture any count downers on the street. Look for the duality of the scene!!

Title: Puff Puff
Puff Puff

Title: Pair
Pair

Last 2 shots should be viewed side by side as a set. I call it a mirror image of the bay bridge.

Title: Look
Look

Title: Paint
Paint

And of course!! Happy New Year to everyone!! Hope everyone has a wonderful 2012 and continue to shoot lots and lots of photographs!!

Here ares some more Noctilux goodness. These were taken on Sunday in San Francisco ChinaTown. ChinaTow anywhere is always a great place for street photography. Plenty of interesting things and people to shoot. Not to mention the one in San Francisco is always filled with tourist with cameras. With proliferation of DSLR, it seems like almost everyone has one around their neck. This makes using a Leica a lot easier since it just doesn’t stick out! Well, maybe not in this case. A silver M9 with a Noctilux isn’t exactly small nor light. But it was the perfect lens for that day. It was overcast which allowed me to shoot mostly wide open at f/0.95. The only draw back was the rain. It was drizzling so most of the time, I had the camera tucked in my jacket until the decisive moment to whip it out, focus, and click. I also made the mistake of carrying a full size umbrella with me. This made moving around quite difficult. I found a way to secure the umbrella on my belt, but everytime I bend down to get a lower perspective, the damn thing gets caught on the street and falls over. Thus not too many shots were taken.

First on deck. This is call dedication or propaganda depending which “camp” you’re from. This was taken at that park right across from the Hilton. These are Falangong activist doing chi gong. What I found interesting was the rain gears!! and of course… Cue the Music!

Title: YMCA
YMCA

This is probably my favorite of the set. This truly shows the amazing quality of the Noctilux. It’s ability to bring a 2 dimensional photography and gives it a surrealistic 3D look. It just pop! The composition key I used in this photo was contrast as well as using the white sign post and the white crosswalk stripes to frame the 2 main subject.

Title: 3D
3D

With the recent Occupied Everywhere protest, there’s bound to be over abundant of trash everywhere.

Title: Occupied
Occupied

Here is a shot of Henry standing in front of a red door with red brick wall. The red colors always shows great contrast in black and white photography. I snap this shot mianly for the directional sign juxtaposing Henry’s walking path.

Title: Confused
Confused

Here is another common theme that you will always see in ChinaTown. It’s not the news paper reading store owner or the abundance of Chinese herbal medicine. I thought Chinese herbal medicine has a cure or preventive for almost every ailments? I guess he must have skip a few bitter drinks?

Title: Rogaine
Rogaine

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!

So here is the last set I had of the fun day at the park. This is more of interesting thing my camera told me to take. The Central Park in San Mateo had a nice Japanese Garden. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to go back soon to do a full set like I did with Kelley Park in San Jose.

I’ll start the set with something HARD. This tree was just begging to get taken out of context. Childish, perhaps but definitely no ED over here.

Erect

Here is a sign that’s very low to the ground. I think it was a sign to tell the kids not to feed the fish. Yes, I know. This would probably be an award winning picture if there was actually a kid in the picture. I didn’t have a kid handy at the time, but I love the geometric shape and the wood texture with the burnt carving enough to get on the ground to snap the shot.

Starving Koi

This was a little sitting area in the Japanese garden. Once again, the juxtaposing of the circular paper screen with the vertical wood planks and the branch breaking the harmony of the scene.

Log

Rocks! I love the rock formations in Japanese Garden. It always gives me a sense of serenity when I look at it. Especially how the collective tiny pebbles contrast with the large stone steps.

Stoned

That’s it for this set.

I actually got a challenge from GetDPI.com on my post about Movie Look. I will be writing about that shortly. Stay tune!!

Once again, using any excuse to go out and shoot!! Day at the park with the kids turned into a great photo opportunity. Kids always makes good subjects for photography. I remember I mention during the Leica Akademie that I rarely shoot my kids. I shot everything from Formula One Racing to Studio Portraits to Weddings and everything in between. But rarely do I actually take picture of my kids. Taking picture of kids area all about capturing that decisive moment. Kids have expressions that are so natural. No wonder Henri Cartier-Bresson uses them as his subject all the time. I figure today would be a good day to start taking pictures of kids. I’ll eventually get around to take more pictures of MY OWN kids!!

Here are 5 shots that I thought was interesting.

Here is a mom that’s trying out the new full 8 megapixel iPhone 4s camera. Ok, the reason I know that was the brand spanking new iPhone 4s? I stay up till 3am to pre-order it for her so she gets it on launch day. I wonder how that picture turned out. I should have reminded her to take off the back plastic that was covering up the camera on the phone.

iPhone 4s

Here are two girls that I saw trying to get a drink at the fountain. They were really playful and just looks like a great photo opportunity to capture the moment.

Sip

I really like this picture. I’m always on the look out for the composition. Foreground, midground, background. Ok, this picture was not originally intended to be a violent picture. I had my son jump around by the bridge and I was trying to capture the two girls on the left side looking at him. This shot I got him right when he was jumping and spinning around. It just look like he was about to do a soccer kick on that little kids ass. In reality, he was no where near him!!

I'm gonna Kick your Ass

This one is probably my favorite of the set. I notice these two looking over the bridge. They look like siblings. The lighting was great and I found a gap between the trees that perfectly frames up the two.

Friendship Bridge

Here is a fun shot of the playground. I thought it was interesting to see someone play with the tic tac toe.

Tic Tac X

It was a fun day. I had fun taking pictures. I will be posting up another set that have more abstract scenarios without kids. Stay tune!

Here are some more street shots from Fleet Week 2011 in San Francisco. These are just things I found interesting while walking around in the crowd.

I found his gesture as well as all the typography on his shirt and store front very fitting. It was a decisive moment!!

“Yesterday won’t slow me down because I’ve been blessed with Today, a New American!! Doh!!”
Doh!

Here is another from the BART. I’m sure we see this a lot. But I just love the concentrated look on this women. Must have been a good book!
Shhh!

Not to talk Politics or if the title of this picture is PC or not. I must admit, I saw the shirt first. It was just ironic that a Black lady was wearing a black t-Shirt that depicted a “White” Obama. Then, considering how the economy is right now, I find this Obama ’08 slogan quite contradictory. I only wish she was standing next to a sign of Uncle Sam pointing fingers with “I WANT YOUR” “CHANGE”…

Leica-3.jpg

What drew me to this picture was something Will Palank told me during one of the Leica Academie Photo shoot. Always look for contrast. Whether it’s the basics like color, shape, etc. or more abstract like people. One of the example he gave was he would shoot a couple that has someone that’s tall standing next to someone that’s short.
Well, the first thing I saw when these couple was walking by was how straight up she was standing next to the gentleman with the walker. Of course, the age contrast, the race constrast. One thing I found interesting was how they both wore similar color pants and cloth.
Leica.jpg

I have couple abstract picture I shot that I’ll post up soon. Like I mention in the last blog post. I guess I’m taking Fleet Week as an opportunity to shoot people and not planes!!

Train by d.clin.design
Train, a photo by d.clin.design on Flickr.

Here is a Black and White set from the Oakland Train Yard photoshoot with the Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH

Location: Oakland Train Yard

Leica M9 + Leica Summilux-M ASPH

Train by d.clin.design
Train, a photo by d.clin.design on Flickr.

Here is a Black and White set from the Oakland Train Yard photoshoot with the Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH

Location: Oakland Train Yard

Leica M9 + Leica Summilux-M ASPH

Train by d.clin.design
Train, a photo by d.clin.design on Flickr.

Here is a Black and White set from the Oakland Train Yard photoshoot with the Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH

Location: Oakland Train Yard

Leica M9 + Leica Summilux-M ASPH