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Posts tagged “photography


Pictures: San Francisco – Part I

Last month, during Memorial Day weekend, took a few days off from work and headed to San Francisco.

Never having been to California, this was a great place to have landed. The city is absolutely beautiful with great weather and being right on the bay makes for great views no matter where you are at. I can’t say I went to any museums or spent much time indoors because I was too busy walking and hiking the parks and trails in and right outside of the city. I even got to ride and hang off the side of the cable car seen above (yes, it’s a little nerve wracking at first – like, “What, you want me to rely on my upper body strength to keep me on this thing?” and “wait – is that lever our brake when going downhill?” or when you realize that when passing other cable cars, you can pretty much simply extend your index finger and touch the person on the car going the opposite way – yeah, you get over that soon thereafter and it ends up being a fun, touristy ride). These pictures are just the few I managed to go through and edit off one SD card. I hope to get to editing my other set of photos soon.

All pictures shot with a Canon 60D and a 17-55mm Tamron lens. Some quick edits in LightRoom and finally Photoshop CS4.

In case you haven’t noticed, yes, I like signs…old, new and in between. I think they are awesome 😀

Alcatraz above. Great place. I really wanted to ask the people there what they believed happened to Clint Eastwood after he and the others escaped…;)

Imagine being locked up and being taunted with the view above. So close, yet so far. Oh yeah, good luck surviving those cold, rough waters.

Ah yes, many beautiful, in very good condition “classic” cars out there. And below, the view from Twin Peaks (you saw some shots I took with my Mamiya in my previous post). In the middle frame there, is me, with my backpack filled with photo goodies, probably trying to get a shot for my Instagram feed. It’s also a picture my sister took, and she never takes pictures, so it was funny to see myself as she probably saw me the entire trip: stopped, with my camera out, composing, exposing, and snapping away.


First two rolls from my Mamiya (in San Francisco!)

The first time picked up and shot the Mamiya 645 I got off eBay – I got nothing. Why? Because I didn’t read the manual, didn’t read that I had to turn some little knob and that only THEN would the film would wind to the proper place, my exposure counter would be set to one and the camera would do its thing. Yeah – quite humorous and once I figured that out I realized that perhaps living in a 21st century digital world is making me dumber (who finds things out on their own anymore- just google, bing, tweet and the answer will magically appear).

Once I figured THAT out, I happily packed my camera for a small vacation across the country in San Francisco. And after seeing these pictures, I realize why film shooters love their film. Sure, they’re not perfect (would have maybe liked them overexposed by one more stop maybe) but there is such a range of colors and detail – amazing. Had I shot these with my Canon 60D, I bet I’d be spending a good while in Photoshop tinkering and trying to get the bright skies or the darker details properly exposed- and even then still left slightly unsatisfied.

These shots are right from the lab – no post processing! I metered with the on camera meter, and then overexposed one stop.

The photos below were shot with Fuji 400H. Nice film – using the on camera meter, I think maybe I could have overexposed more.  No? Yes? I still have a few rolls of this 120 film left, so I need to further experiment.  I see how the colors and contrast are quite punchy.  I remember reading in Jonathan CanlasFIND book that Fuji was good for blues and greens, so I made sure to use it when I knew I would be surrounded by those hues (that’s not all I learned, lol).

The next set of pictures were shot with Kodak Portra 400 (ok I love the results of this film, I shall be getting more!). Perhaps it’s time to invest in a light meter – I would have liked these exposed some more too.

Diana+ Experimentals

I ordered a Diana+ camera a while back and haven’t really gotten much use out of it – just because I know that being a “toy” camera, all kinds of good and bad stuff can happen to the pictures. However, after finally getting back the one roll it took me a few months to finish and send off for developing, I think I will have to take a day or weekend and shoot with this to see what kind of weird and possibly interesting shots I get. What I captured with this roll seems pretty ordinary and unexciting – but it felt weird aiming a plastic camera at things.  I did manage though, to get a little double exposure in the first shot below!

I’m not going to lie- I forgot to take the cap off several times, and would forget if I had wound the camera up or not in between shots and I probably moved the lever once or twice from “N” (normal) to “B” (bulb) mode. I also kept forgetting about a few other aperture and focus settings. Perhaps this is why I’ll personally keep shooting film for a while – so I can learn to slow down, think about a shot, compose, breathe…you get the point.

The photos were shot with Kodak Portra 800 and developed by The Darkroom. I started a flickr set and will keep populating that in the future.

Shooting more Kodak Portra 400, 35mm

Orocovis, Puerto Rico at sunrise

Took a while to get developed, but here are some shots from one roll of Kodak Portra 400 shot on a Minolta x-700. For the last few shots taken at Penn’s Landing on a very cloudy day, I used the on camera meter and then overexposed by one stop. As fun as it is to be working with film, it’s frustrating to not see what you’re getting right away.  I try to keep some basic photography rules in the back of my mind, but still…I don’t know exposures off the top of my head so I’m always wondering “will this shot come out the way I see and envision it?”  Guess why all I keep reading when it comes to film is, “practice and see for yourself!” At least these came out better than my last roll!

Winter sunrise here in NJ

Next few shots are from earlier in May at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, PA.

Strolling through Old City – iPhoneography Part I

Did a little – ok – a lot, of walking around Old City and then some this past weekend.  Even though having a few cameras on hand, I consistently used my phone throughout the evening.  Such an awesome little device, and with the help of a few apps, I got the shots below. I mostly use Snapseed for basic edits and Pixlromatic for filter effects.  You will see these trickle out on Instagram (@mjmercado47) throughout the week, or check out higher res versions on my flickr.

Photography of Laurent Nivalle

Yesterday, I saw some awesome Formula 1 inspired posters, which reminded me of the Le Mans Classic photos I had seen a few weeks back by photographer Laurent Nivalle.  I ended up spending quite a bit of time on his portfolio site and loving pretty much all of it. I am attracted to the retro feeling evoked, totally dig the lighting and composition in most of the photographs. I can’t quite describe it, but I  think they have an attractive, strong, masculine feeling to them.  I would love to be side by side this photographer to experience first person what he presents through the lens.

Get Inspired: Black and White Fashion Photography 1

I have recently come to really enjoy fashion photography.  I love the drama that fashion photography creates – especially the black and white photographs.  I came across some really great photos while browsing some fashion/photography sites – here are a few photos I enjoyed and that inspired.   I’m also realizing that I definitely need to refresh my wardrobe for Spring/Summer 2011!  It’s time to go shopping!

I always love photographs for Tom Ford and his collections.