Lighting is everything…plus a little bit of luck

Lighting and composition are constantly stressed in the photo courses and classes.  Lighting is the tricky part as it changes constantly…revealing and hiding scenes as it passes…sometimes in a manner of minutes, if not seconds The scenes in these photos are from a well known location in downtown Petaluma.

I have walked past it frequently and did not take much notice of something until early one morning, something caught my eye while I was on the other side of the street.

To introduce you to it I will start with a closeup…

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Know what it is? Petaluma residents should 🙂

Let’s back up a bit to see if it comes to mind…

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Perhaps I should back up some more…

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 OK, let’s try a full view…

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 The gate to the Lan Mart…usually open during business hours, but as you can see

these photos were taken before opening…

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American Alley…Images…Art springing to life…or life imitating Art?

While processing photos from recent “walk-a-rounds” in Petaluma, these two photos from American Alley struck me as a possible combination.

First, a photo taken at American Alley and Western Avenue…

American Alley & Western Avenue

American Alley & Western Avenue

Then this photo of one of the panels of Fernando Nugent’s WPA Mural at American Alley & The Golden Concourse…

 American Alley & The Golden Concourse

American Alley & The Golden Concourse

While the above scenes are not in proximity, I elected to see how they might work together.  Through the magic of photo editing I offer two versions for your consideration.  You decide! 🙂

VERSION ONE

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VERSION TWO

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Cape Fear… A Matter of Perspective

A photo of the same scene can take on a different meaning or tone, depending upon where you stand and what you “frame” in the viewfinder. 

For example, consider our favorite restaurant in Duncans Mills, California..

Cape Fear Café (Duncans Millsm CA

Cape Fear Café (Duncans Mills CA)

But if you change your position slightly, you can achieve a different result….

Cape Fear Café (Duncans Mills, CA)

Cape Fear Café (Duncans Mills, CA)

All I needed was for a few crows to cross in front of the lens and it would have been a perfect day!

A flower by any other name…

…may be…could be…a weed!

The above notwithstanding, even weeds have their moments in the garden…

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The flowers are spectacular and turn into seed clusters the size of tennis balls…

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With a little finesse, I managed to peek inside the seed cluster…

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READER NOTE: Since posting I’ve learned that the plant in question may be a wildflower varietal known as Goat’s Beard.  If you can identify or clarify, feel free to post a comment!

Community Bulletin Board…Up Close & Macro!

The community bulletin board in Point Reyes Station, CA is a source of local advertising, announcements, and…messages. The postings change regularly, not unlike the tides of the ocean.

Point Reyes Station Community Bulletin & Message Board

Point Reyes Station Community Bulletin & Message Board

For this submission I offer a photo gallery of close up views of the board focusing on the pins and staples from previous postings.

PHOTO GALLERY

  • Click on any photo below to start the gallery
  • The gallery may take a minute to load, depending upon your connection speed!
  • Navigate between photos using the left and right arrow keys, or by clicking or tapping the arrows on the left and right.
  • Click “view full size” below any image to see the photo directly outside the gallery.

Close up…Macros

Photo opportunites come in many forms and circumstances.  Ordinary items and scenes can take on new meaning if you look at them a bit more carefully.

For example, a community bulletin board…

Community Bulletin Board, Point Reyes Station, CA.

Community Bulletin Board, Point Reyes Station, CA.

Or, consider a sleeping cat…

Cat's Paw

Cat’s Paw

CornerStone Sonoma…whimsical landscapes, gardens and shops

Frances RIvetti’s March article about Cornerstone Sonoma (Click on>>Inspirational Gardens of the World’s Finest Landscape Artists and Designers – Cornerstone, Sonoma) inspired me to make another visit to check out Cornerstone for new photo ops.

Of course, there were changes since my last visit in 2010. Alas, the Blue Tree is no longer there and my only memory of it is documented in What the…??? A Blue Tree!!! 

But the spirit continues to operate in full force…

SLIDESHOW

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GALLERY

Photos from the street…

“Street Photography” is a style or type of documentary photography “…that features subjects in candid situations within public places such as streets, parks, beaches, malls.”–Wikipedia  Also see What is Street Photography for another view on the subject.

Frequently, street photographers are not “discovered” until well after their demise. See Vivian Maier

Whatever Street Photography may be, I offer five new “street” photos for your amusement. 

Note: Individual photos may be enlarged by clicking on them…

"Nope--Not Open" And when they are open, they simply move the "n" below the "e." Point Reyes Station, CA © Frank Simpson

 
 

"The Hitchhiker" Perhaps the glove owner was on a coffee break? Kentucky Street, Petaluma © Frank Simpson

"Vacancy" Is it descriptive or prescriptive? Would it have another meaning if it were a mortuary? Point Reyes Station, CA © Frank Simpson

"Flight of the Phoenix" Western Avenue, Petaluma. The illusion of the crow emerging from the graffiti tag is created by my luck in capturing the crow in flight at just the right moment. © Frank Simpson

 

"Secret Message" No I am not taking up the task of once again photographing graffiti tags. However,I did like this overall scene. © Frank Simpson

 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

Photo Perspectives–Mill Valley Art Festival & California Academy of Sciences

For October I thought I would post a few words and photos about the Mill Valley Fall Art Festival in the Old Mill Park and the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. I will not attempt to present a full coverage spread of either–there is not enough file space for that.

(NOTE: Individual photos below may be enlarged by clicking on them!)

MILL VALLEY FALL ART FESTIVAL

The Art Festival has always been a personal favorite given the quality of the exhibitors and the redwoods setting in the Old Mill Park…

© Frank Simpson, Petaluma, California

A closeup of the tree lanterns

© Frank Simpson, Petaluma, California

Art takes many forms…

© Frank Simpson, Petaluma, California

CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

Suffice it to say, The Academy will occupy you with wonders and sights (a rainforest, a white alligator, an aquarium, etc.) that will generate many return visits.  Perhaps a few photos will tempt you.

A bird with attitude…

© Frank Simpson, Petaluma, California

Part of the aquarium as seen through a side staircase…

© Frank Simpson, Petaluma, California

In the rainforest…

© Frank Simpson, Petaluma, California

 Mysteries of the deep…

© Frank Simpson, Petaluma, California

SLIDESHOW

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Tasting Petaluma…

Recently, I was invited to a preview tour of some of the eateries and restaurants participating in the upcoming Taste of Petaluma to he held on August 27, 2011.

Now I am not one experienced in the art of food writing–frankly, I thought they confused me with someone else when extending the invitation. 

So I went. 

Now, I am not going to attempt to describe the various offerings, and I certainly will not name any of the establishments except to say that they were all very hospitable, not to mention enjoyable. I can report that there are two that I will definitely go back to…which, I suppose is the overall purpose of the main event on August 27th.

Of course I took a camera and made several photos. One series focused on the table…and hands. I could not resist playing with them and creating a few collages and composites.  Think of it as an exercise in photo illustration.

© Frank Simpson

SLIDESHOW

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It came out of the mist…

A photo exercise in perspectives and light…perhaps also an exercise in perception?

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THE “REALITY” BEHIND THE PHOTOS

  • The metal fins or sails (The Mysterious Craft) are part of the fountain at the waterfront in Tiburon, CA. 
  • The “emerging life forms” are from the Community Garden at Point Reyes Station, CA.
  • The yellow blossom and pumpkin are from the St. James Community Garden, Petaluma, CA
  • All photos were off the camera with only minor adjustments in contrast. In addition, the first photo from Point Reyes Station was partially cropped at the bottom to remove objects on the horizon.

January…In Color & B&W

Some photographers maintain that the true test of the quality of a photo is whether it also holds up in black and white. Others will say that some photos, while they do not hold up in the B&W format, may stand in their own right as color photos.

My only contribution to this discussion is to suggest that B&W photos can sometimes convey a message unique to the medium.  Consider these recent scenes from Petaluma’s Prince Park…

In the alternative, the same photo in B&W does present a different visual tone…

It was a dark and stormy night...”

Fountain Play

At the end of the last photography class it was suggested that we “focus” on something that we see regularly and attempt to capture it from a different perspective. The Village Shopping Center at Corte Madera, California, has several unique fountains with several water effects.  This is just one part of a larger fountain array…

Some of the water effects attract the naturally curious… 

She valiantly tried to capture the oscillating water bursts and managed not to get too wet.

The Box Show

The Box Show at Gallery Route One in Point Reyes, CA (For Details, Click Here) features many unusual pieces of art–all based on the same sized box.

While I make no claim to being an artist, I did have some fun with the sign outside the gallery promoting this year’s show.

The photo is presented here just as it came off the camera.  No tinkering or editing.  The illusion of a three-dimensional cube suspended in mid-air is created by the angle of the photo, the lighting, plus a touch of luck.

What do you see?

Sometimes what one perceives depends upon position and perspective. So, what is this?

  • An exotic new low water plant?
  • A wet sheepskin?

Give it your best shot before scrolling further…

By changing the viewing angle slightly, does it now become clear?

Take a look…

Yes, it is a goose…one of the sentinels in front of the Community Center at Petaluma’s Lucchesi Park…