Plasma Cutter

A welder puts finishing touches on a project at The Box Shop in Hunters Point, San Francisco. Interesting fact, a plasma cutter (seen above) makes an arc of electricity which heats up pressurized air to 45,000 degrees Fahrenheit. For reference, that’s almost 5 times hotter than the surface of the sun!

Shooting At Night – Post Processing

Wrapping up the series that started with a post about equipment and continued with a detailed post about camera settings… There are a few topics also worth covering when it comes to post-processing photos taken at night. Those topics include color balance, brightness, halos, posterization, and noise management.

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A City At Night

With night shots…it’s so tempting to correct. How do you go about it? Clarity? The luminance thing in Lightroom? This shot uses neither of those, just an exposure adjustment….I say, be careful of using the heavy handed tools. How do you deal with short exposure night shots?

Neighborhood Pets

Shooting At Night – Camera Settings

Continuing the series on night shooting that started here (equipment)…  and wrapped up here (post processing).

I wish there was some easy way to describe  in a few words how to to set up the camera to take night shots, but there isn’t. Everyone’s technique varies. In fact, my technique varies, depending on what I’m trying to do and whether I’m thinking clearly that night.

After the jump, my thoughts about shooting at night:

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Spotlight On Patrick Power

A few months ago I stumbled across San Francisco photographer Patrick Power’s photostream on Flickr. I stopped to admire his honest portraits and straightforward views from the street. And yesterday I had the privilege of shooting with Patrick. We wandered the upper and lower Haight - and I had a chance to peer through his Rolleicord and view the city through his remarkable viewfinder. It was a good day.

I present Patrick to you with his own words:

“Years ago, I swore I’d never live in San Francisco since, you know, why would anyone want to live where a major earthquake is about to happen? But in 2006, I had a voucher for a free round-trip flight from United Airlines and decided to use it to come here because A. it was about as far from East Lansing, Michigan as I could fly within the contiguous U.S. and 2. besides Paris, I probably had more Flickr contacts in San Francisco than in any other city.

Of course, I fell In love with the place.

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Shred N’ Butter: SF Rec & Park and Karl Watson Kick Off New Skateboarding Program

Yesterday, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD) joined professional skateboarder (and longtime friend of mine) Karl Watson in an outreach to the youth at the Tenderloin Children’s Recreation Center on Ellis Street. Watson and RPD staff spoke to youth about the importance of being active and pursuing their dreams.

The event was a kickoff for a new skateboarding program RPD is launching called “Shred N’ Butter.”

Founded by RPD staff member Daynin Gordon, “Shred N’ Butter” will help develop skateboarding for youth in various neighborhoods throughout San Francisco.

Daynin reached out to Watson for help after learning that many of the youth who signed up for the program did not have skateboards of their own. Watson and his charity organization, “Karl’s Causes,” helped out by donating 10 new skateboards and accessories to the program.

After presenting the skateboards, Watson and other local skateboarders took to the course and gave pointers to some of the beginner shredders, RPD staff included.  Watson’s performance was no doubt inspiring and moving for all who attended.

RPD’s “Shred N’ Butter” program begins this summer. For info,, or call Tim Roff, RPD Program Coordinator, at (415)666-7020.

Special thanks to Theo Palmer, Connie Chan and Karl Watson for inviting me to attend this most uplifting event.

More Photos HERE

Private Rope

I was out snapping in the Mission yesterday and there’s my photobud Jeff standing around, so I took the shot.

Check out some of Jeff’s amazing fight photos on his web site. He has a great eye for snagging moments you’d never see watching the action live ringside or on TV. After you’re through with his fight pix, check out some of his other pix on his site

Powell St Band

Shooting At Night – Equipment

I started shooting at night a little over two years ago. In fact, this shot, taken in Golden Gate Park, dates back to the summer of 2009. I’ve learned a lot about night shooting since then… and while I’m still climbing the learning curve, I thought this would be a good time to begin a mini-series about Shooting At Night.

Part 1 will be about equipment. Part 2, the camera settings. Part 3 will cover post processing, including how to avoid banding in the sky and annoying halos around buildings (yes, there is a little bit of that above). Please join me in the comments and add to the discussion.

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Self Contained

Self contained shipping apparatus.

On The Waterfront

The Port of Oakand – the fourth busiest containerport in the United States. I – and just about everyone else I know – would love to get in closer and get some pictures. But security is tight and the port is surrounded by tall fences.

My World

Then a Clown Showed Up

The clown really had no business being there, but then again there was a king and a witch involved.