Pieces

Pieces

California and Kearny Streets, San Francisco

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X Pro 1, legacy glass and evening Street Photography, Chinatown and North Beach

This past Saturday evening I had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours in Chinatown and North Beach.  I decided that it would be a good time to see what my present street photography setup was capable of in low light.  The results were mainly satisfactory with a couple of hiccups, as is to be expected when shooting moving, uncooperative subjects in low light.

I have read and agree with many others’ findings about the X Pro 1 and its prime lenses for street photography – that the 35mm is too slow and its autofocus too inaccurate to be counted on when speed is crucial, particularly at night. Also, 35mm (52mm full frame equivalent) is too long for how I like to shoot, while 18mm is too wide.  I find that the 24mm lens, zone focusing, a generous depth of field and the X Pro 1’s OVF allow me to get many shots I might otherwise miss while the 35mm/1.4 dilly-dallies around trying to focus.  I love that lens and the images it makes, I just don’t love that its autofocus is slow enough in bright light to be noticeable and didn’t want to stake the evening’s results on that lens.

Another gripe is that the refresh rate of the EVF on the X Pro 1 gets awfully choppy and grainy the lower the light levels get.  In some of the brightly lit shots, it’s a non-issue.  In the case of the man on his phone in front of the shadowy sidewalk, it was tough to get the image in focus.  In fairness, that shot is more about the shapes and shadows than it is a portrait, anyway, but I’m a pretty harsh critic of what I create.

So, what’s the verdict?  Well, heck – I love this camera and lens combo at night, too.  Sure, I missed critical focus many times.  Sure, people moving around makes for great backgrounds with extra grainy/blurry people.  At 1/125, though, I think the results are good enough to share.

Post processing is done in LR4.2.  Although I’m a fan of black and white, for this exercise I eschewed black and white as I like several of these in color and feel that the colors contribute significantly to several of the images.

All from X Pro 1, Canon FD 24mm/2.8 SSC at f4.0 or f5.6, 1/60 or 1/125, ISO3200 or 6400.  Image
Shadow stencil

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Hops and Hominy.  Green Flash on tap.  Yes.

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Red

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Bad hat

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Collision Course

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Obligatory Lantern shot

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Flying Books and Pyramid, Broadway and Columbus

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This is Lewis, a frisbee spinner and self-styled wordsmith.  He came over and gave me his card, asking for whatever shots I happened to get of him.  I was happy to oblige.  Note the Banksy art above his frisbee on the building behind him.  It reads, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, call an airstrike.’


Calzone’s (I have zero html skills to get this to resize to 580px wide)

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Not that one, THAT one.

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Slice

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Green Street

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Tea bar

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Grub

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Away from All Trains

Marshall’s Beach, black and white

Marshall's Beach, black and white

Golden Gate Bridge in fog, Marshall’s Beach, San Francisco

From the archives. I remember this shot because I was with my kids on this day and was very excited to be out with them and my new X Pro 1 and a 24mm lens (my favorite focal length).

We walked down the 308 steps – according to my son, who is to be believed in such matters – to the beach, whereupon I pulled the camera out, shot this image and…the battery went from ‘full’ to two bars to flashing red to dead in a matter of about 15 seconds.

So that was that. We spent the rest of the walk on the beach not taking photos, which was just fine.

This week, San Francisco

With the holidays approaching and time commitments increasing, I’ve done little shooting and even less sitting at the computer reviewing and developing images.  It’s not laziness, just a lack of energy with my other commitments to dedicate much time to getting out.  This is what I’ve managed to capture over the last week or so.  There is so much more that I miss, however.

All shots with X Pro 1 and either the 35mm/1.4 or Canon 24mm/2.8 SSC.  Post in Lightroom 4.2 and Nik Color Efex Pro.

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Race

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One eye

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Calumet San Francisco

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Slowing

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Fútbol

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Signs

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Succulents

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Fixer Healey 3000 – Leading edge

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Fixer Healey 3000 – Cockpit

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Heath, 1 of 2

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Heath, 2 of 2

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Jump the white ones

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Chile Lindo