Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hoboken Train Station

I've been quite impressed with the output of the Fuji X Pro-1. Just have a look back at my posts for the past two months and you might thnk I'm a fanboy. I'm not, but the camera is really good. I'm always quite impressed with the images after I've optimized them in color, just before I convert them to b/w. So, for a change I thought I'd leave them in color for this post.

A few days ago I went out for a few hours with a buddy and we decided to spend some time in Hoboken, NJ. We walked around the park area that looks out onto the Manhattan skyline, and into the New Jersey Transit station which has been very well preserved.

It was around 9PM on the day before Memorial Day, so the waiting room was almost empty except for a few lonesome travelers. The waiting room was well lit. But I wanted to create a mood of late night gloom.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Woman With A Hat

I seem to always be attracted to people wearing hats. The day was quite breezy and I had trouble keeping my own panama hat from being blown away. A gust of wind had come and my intention was to get a shot of the woman securing her headwear. Alas, my had was riding lightly on my head also and I fired the shutter a moment too soon (but I saved my panama). The hand gesture tells a different story. 

One of the biggest challenges in creating a b/w image is separating the primary subject of the image from its surroundings and background. As a color shot, the tones in this image were different enough so that wasn't a problem, but when I converted to b/w everything looked to be flat and the same tonality. Our eyes naturally are attracted to the brightest, sharpest and most contrasty tonalities in an image. I couldn't make the woman's blouse brighter because it was a dark color. The truck to her left was not far enough behind her to separate her by blurring the background. So it had to be done with contrast.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Shameless Self Promotion

This blog was spotlighted today, Sunday, on!  which is a blog dedicated to the Fujifilm X-Pro-1 camera. These have been a difficult few weeks for me, so it's nice to get some recognition.

Shooting street images is the food that feeds my soul. The food that feeds my belly, however, is much more materialistic than spiritual. So I have begun exploring possibilities. Shooting journalistic stories is not a viable possibility anymore - I'm just too old - but since I have a knack for photographing people, I want to put that to use by photographing social events - private parties, social gatherings at churches and synagogues, dinners - that sort of thing. It's going to require a marketing effort on my part, and I'm not very skilled at that. I've been called the King of Shmooze my a number of my friends, and I hope to use that to some effect to network and get the word around that I'm available.

This is an exciting veture for me. Scary, because I need to get out of my comfort zone, and because I need to generate income. But usually, after the anxiety of the unknown wears off a bit, I do pretty well rising to challenges.

I have several bodies of work that I am beginning to prepare as e-books. The Lightroom Book module is quite a flexible tool for creating them. The first will be I Hear A Voice Calling - Photographs of Bill Monroe. That's almost done. The second will be Manhattan Diaspora - New York's Lower East Side. And the one(s) following that will be of my street photography. I'm not at all sure how I'll market the books, but it will probably involve paypal. Stay tuned for more info in later posts.

Now, here's your treat for reading this far and bearing with me. I shot this last week in the Brooklyn River Park that is part of the DUMBO neighborhood. The gentle nonchalance of the man grabbed my attention. The background was in dark shade and the sunshine gave him a glow that screamed out for a shot. As always, the b/w conversion was made with Nik SilverEfex Pro 2. Thank you Nik for all of your amazing plugins. The flexibility afforded by Nik Software has allowed me to fulfill and expand my creativity.