The Streets of San Francisco – Part One

“You wouldn’t think such a place as San Francisco could exist. The wonderful sunlight, the hills, the great bridges, the Pacific at your shoes. Beautiful Chinatown.  Every race in the world. The fleets sailing out. The little cable-cars whizzing down The City hills… And all the people are open and friendly.” — Dylan Thomas

2018 started off at a breakneck pace.  It’s funny how that seems to happen to me every year:  I slow down over the winter break, unplug a bit, and spend time with my girls.  Upcoming work in the new year is somewhere in the back of my mind but it seems so far away.  Suddenly it is Christmas, then New Year’s Eve, and just like that my girls are back at school and the dam that has been holding my work at bay gives way.  This is exactly how the beginning of January went for me this year, where I worked 19 long days straight on multiple projects, for multiple clients.

…but then there was San Francisco.

I am writing this post early one morning from that amazing city, a place I have loved ever since I first visited it countless years ago.  My window is open, the morning sun shining into the hotel room, and  I can hear the sounds of the cable cars filtering up from the city streets below.  It feels wonderful.  It feels like home.

This post is the beginning of a series featuring new street photography from San Francisco.  I’m not sure how long the series is going to be though.  Four parts?  Five?  There are so many new photographs to share, new stories to tell and new people to meet.  Let’s get started…

Note:   All photos in this post were taken with the Fuji X100F, using the Acros and Classic Chrome film simulations.

Click here to view part two of this series!

 

Vignettes of Amsterdam – Part Two

Last week I published part one of this series, a black and white photo essay from a recent trip to Amsterdam.  Black and white works so well when featuring photography from European cities, because, I think, of their timeless feel and their amazing architecture.

Amsterdam is a vibrant city though, full of life and colour in the late summer and early fall.  This was especially true for the few days I was in town to teach in September: we had beautiful blue skies, warm t-shirt temperatures and the city streets were alive, packed with people enjoying their last few summer days.  Long days in the sunshine were followed by late evening strolls on the cobblestone streets, drinks on a patio and conversations with friends and strangers alike.  Honestly, it would be an injustice to that beautiful city to not also feature a series in colour.

Most of the photographs in this essay were taken with the Fuji X100F, a few with the Fuji X-Pro2 and the 50mm f/2 lens.  All images, except the last one, used the Classic Chrome film simulation, with small adjustments in Lightroom.

I hope you have enjoyed this two part glimpse into life on the streets of Amsterdam.  Up next on the blog:  a new Street Tips article and a new interview coming soon!

Until then,

Ian

Winter is Coming

I missed the transition from summer to fall this year.  I’m not sure how, but one day it was oppressively hot and the next day it wasn’t.  My September was busy, including a trip to Europe to teach a workshop in Amsterdam and to shoot some personal photography in Paris… maybe that is why I missed it.  Suddenly the peaceful calm of summer, with its long lazy days, was replaced by the chaos of the fall:  work, dance lessons for my daughter, business trips, family events, booking weddings and workshops for next year, etc.

The transition from fall to winter feels different though, I can feel the change this time;  the days are getting shorter, the skies darker, the weather colder and the rain is pounding down.  Soon it will officially be winter vacation for my daughter and wife (who is a teacher), Christmas will come, there will be more rain and, I am sure, snow.

Is this happening faster each year?  I swear it is, and I have to remind myself to savour each day, each experience, each memory.  I have to remind myself to be mindful and present so that it doesn’t pass by in the blink of an eye again like the end of summer did.  My life is pretty amazing, full of opportunity, but it is so easy to get swept down the river by the current if I’m not careful.  As they say, it is about the journey – not just the destination.

Here is a short photo essay I took last winter, with one or two images thrown in from the year before but re-processed in black and white.  It won’t be long until the world looks like this again and I can’t wait.  My cameras are ready.