Images & Observations

Shop Windows

Urban Study #275: “We Buy Gold”

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 40mm ISO 640 3-bkts f/16 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

Sigal Diamonds, Third and “D” Street, LaVerne, California.  “We buy gold.”


The Day Spa

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 17mm ISO 640 3-bkts f/25 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

This facade and entry of the Peaches & Cream Day Spa were captured just up the street from the corner where we started a walk to capture shop windows, Foothill & Glendora Avenue, in Glendora, California.  (Depicted in the Waiting For The Light image from this past Monday.)  I had a heck of a time trying to get the horizontal lines straight in this image, lines towards the top seemed at odds with lines at the bottom.  There is a slight incline of this street as it heads up towards the mountains, I think I might have been better off if I had just made the roof line perfectly level, instead of compromising between the levelness of the roof line and the levelness of the baseline of the building.


Last Call

Street Life

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 50mm ISO 2500 1/13 f/4.8 Lr3; SEP2

The last customer of the evening at closing time at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Old Town, Pasadena, California.  I debated with myself about whether I would publish this or not.  This final image is about a 20% slice of a full DX frame from the camera, that I should have cropped in camera by using a longer focal length (and with the camera in a vertical orientation), so the detail quality of this rendering would have been up to my standards.  I liked the possible stories that this image conjures up so much that I decided to share it.  Next time I will be more deliberate, and think my shot through, before just clicking the shutter in reaction to the moment.

The shot was through a window and there is some reflection from some exterior lights that interferes with the image.  I did alter the tones in the man’s face because it was distorted by the reflected light (possibly some neon tubing across the street) but left a remnant of the neon tube in his hair (I did not want to manipulate this street life image more than necessary).  You can also discern some banding of the image from the reflected light. I have been thinking about distractive light reflections a lot recently while capturing more shop window images and I have come to the conclusion that while my primary interet is what is behind a shop window, that in real life as you look through a window unwanted reflections are usually present to one degree or another, so if I can’t cleanly eliminate them, I might as well accept them as part of the reality of the scene as we live it.


The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Shop Windows

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 18mm ISO 2500 3-bkts f/3.5 Lr3, HEP1; CEP3

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at the corner of Mercantile Place and Fair Oaks Avenue in Old Town, Pasadena, California is our bivouac for hot and cold coffee drinks when we are doing a photo walk in Old Town.  This shot was captured just after closing time on a recent weekday evening.


Marylinn’s Bridal Collection

Shop Windows

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 21mm ISO 2500 3-Bkts f/4.5 Lr3, HEP1; SEP2

This was at the end of a recent photo walk Judy and did through Old Town, Pasadena, California.  The shop is Marylinn’s Bridal Collection and it occupies the northwest corner of the Castle Green complex in Old Town.   The buildings that comprise the Castle Green complex were originally constructed during the last twenty years of the 19th century, when Pasadena become known as a major winter resort location for people seeking the health benefits of the Southern California climate.


La Bomba

Shop Windows

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 26mm ISO 320 3-bkts f/16 Lr3; HEP1

No florescent or neon electric signage needed here, just a bold paint job for La Bomba on Second Street in Pomona, California.  The color coordinated fellow on the right came in to the scene just in time, he was a delivery driver returning to his truck off of camera left.


Place Vendome: Attraction To Shiny Objects

Shop Windows

Nikon D7000 18-135 mm @ 26mm ISO 2500 1/80 f/7.1 Lr3

This is the window at the rear of the Place Vendome shop on the alley way between Miller’s Alley and Smith Alley in Old Town, Pasadena, California.  Just a straight forward image, no application of post processing filters, just minimal exposure and contrast adjustments.


Cache: Two Moody Interpretations

Shop Windows

Continuing the visit to Paseo Pasadena in Pasadena, California here are two interpretations of the image I captured of the Cache shop:

Nikon D80 18-135mm @ 18mm ISO 1250 1/20 f/4.8 Lr3; SEP2

I was trying to give some mystery and intrigue to the stairway and kept it dark during post processing.  For some reason my mind imagined pirates coming down the stairway looking for the cache of treasure.

Nikon D80 18-135mm @ 18mm ISO 1250 1/20 f/4.8 Lr3, SEP2; CEP3

In this version I experimented with the fog effect available as one of the Nik Color Efex Pro filters, imagining Cache as a warm, inviting grog shop on the end of a foggy pier.

I would really like to know which image resonates more with you, so please leave a comment indicating your preference.