Images & Observations

Street Life

Exuberance

Street Life

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 46mm ISO 320 1/25 f/8 Lr4, SEP2; PsCS6

Happy young men mugging for me on their bikes at The Shoppes, Chino Hills, California.  This is what you call  a suburban biker gang in these parts.

To view in high resolution or to purchase this or similar images, please click: http://goo.gl/qou1r


“Please… Have some dignity.”

Street Life

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 200mm ISO 320 1/25 f/11 Lr4; PsCS6

Affectionate best buddies, South Main Street pedestrian promenade, The Shoppes, Chino Hills, California.

To view in high resolution or to purchase this or similar images, please click: http://goo.gl/qou1r


“I’ve got your back.”

Street Life

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 150mm ISO 320 3-bkts f/11 Lr4; PsCS6

Two buddies keeping an eye on the passing scene on the South Main Street pedestrian promenade at The Shoppes, Chino Hills, California.

To view in high resolution or to purchase this or similar images, please click: http://goo.gl/qou1r


Seen It All

Street Life

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 70mm ISO 1600 1/30 f/11 Lr4, SnapArt3; PsCS5

A mature couple taking in the scene of shoppers passing through, children frolicking in a water fountain and families enjoying a band concert at The Shoppes, Chino Hills, California.  I’m not sure if this would not have been better rendered as a straight black and white image, but I thought the added paint like texture and brush strokes with this oil paint treatment better suited the subjects and the feeling of having withstood the tests of time this couple gave me.  What do you think?


Generations

Street Life

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 200mm ISO 1600 1/25 f/16 Lr4

Captured at the outdoor shopping plaza The Shoppes in Chino Hills, California.


Who Needs A Trailer?

Street Life

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 56mm ISO 200 1/125 f/11 Lr4; PsCS6

Seen on Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia, California.  Is he moving?  Going camping? Hoarding? A Boy Scout (Be Prepared)?  He does seem to be patriotic.


Keeping The Lights On

Shop Windows

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 15mm ISO 1250 3-bkts f/16 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

What could be better than sitting at home in front of the television than going out to experience life in the real world.  Anticipating that moment when the man in the candy store window loses his balance and comes crashing out on to the sidewalk.  It beats watching paint dry.


Tucking In To An Early Supper

Nikon D7000 1-24mm @ 24mm ISO 800 3-bkts f/20 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

A spring evening just off of South Lake Avenue in Pasadena, California and four compatible souls tuck in to a quiet supper under a clear sky.  The interloping photographer unnoticed.

Please click on the image to view in high resolution.


Four Dandified Dummies & One Working Stiff

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 19mm ISO 800 3-bkts f/20 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

On South Lake Avenue, Pasadena, California.  A real man doing an honest day’s work contrasted by a merchandiser’s ideal of a fashionably and expensively clad gentleman.


Hanging Out With Dad

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 14mm ISO 800 3-bkts f/20 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS

The scene is the South Lake Avenue shopping district in Pasadena, California.  Life couldn’t be better for a young girl than a leisurely afternoon window shopping ride with the family dog and dad towing us in a red wagon.

Please click on the image to view in high resolution.


Hanging Out #76

Street Life

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 75mm ISO 640 1/25 f/25 Lr3, TpzSim; PsCS5

One more image from the plaza off the Laemmle Theater in Claremont, California.  Wednesday’s image and this one were captured in mid-October, bringing to mind one nice attribute about life in Southern California, you can dine or relax outside any time of the year as long as it is not raining, and if there are some conveniently located outdoor heaters for those cool winter nights.

To view in high resolution or to purchase a print, please click on the image.


Hanging Out #54

Street Life

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 200mm ISO 640 1/20 f/25 Lr3, TpzSim; PsCS6

Another image from the street in Claremont, California, this time in the plaza adjacent to the Laemmle Theater.  A nice little oasis hidden behind some commercial buildings, a hotel and the theater.  After capturing frames of people hanging out in the plaza, and some of the surrounding architectural elements, Judy and I and my sister had dinner outside in front of a Mexican restaurant that backs up to this plaza.  The food was nothing to write home about, but the ambiance was very relaxing.  We did get some good coffee later from the Coffee Bean & Tes Leaf that also backs up to this plaza.

I really enjoy our visits to the “center villages” of some of the towns in the Los Angeles basin, such as Claremont, Glendora, Monrovia, Orange, and look forward to visiting other locales that have also preserved or re-developed their original town centers.  Old Town in Pasadena is another great venue for capturing street life and period architecture, if not a bit more fast moving and urbane than these smaller towns.  It seems to me that life and fulfillment from your environment is a lot simpler and easier and more pleasant in the non-Disneyfied, non-freeway-accessible, non-malled (enclosed or strip), non-high-voltage entertainment and shopping venues that have proliferated in our urban areas.

To view in high resolution or to purchase a print, please click on the image.


Hanging Out #683

Street Life

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 100mm ISO 1250 1/125 f/9.0 Lr3, TpzSim; PsCS5

Captured on the street in Claremont, California last May.  The scene played out on a weekend afternoon in a small plaza in front of the local bank branch/Starbucks.  A quartet of street musicians were set-up and playing in the plaza.  Other locals were standing or sitting on lawn chairs.  The music was not memorable, nor were my shots of the musicians, but this trio did catch my eye.

please click on the image to view in high resolution or to purchase a print.


A Hero Has Gotta Eat, Too

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 22mm ISO 400 3-bkts f/11 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

Just down the street from the corner pizzeria in Claremont Village is the saloon where the local legends and heros go to relax, refresh and recharge.  These may look like mere mortals, and maybe only in their own homes are they heros, or legends only in their own minds, but you never know a book by its cover, and you can’t judge a person just by his looks, only after you have learned of his deeds should you judge a man.


Waiting For The Light

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

It was an early summer evening in Glendora, California when we came upon this scene.  The light changed to green and the woman went on here way, and we proceeded across and up the street to capture shop windows in the fading light.


Maternal Guardian Squad

Street Life

Nikon D7000 28-300mm @ 122mm ISO 640 1/500 f/5.6 Lr3; SEP2

This toddler has nothing to worry about, he can just sit back and enjoy the ride and take in the sights.  He has the MGS (Maternal Guardian Squad) protecting his back and flanks.  No rational person will ever try to get between a mother and her child, and this mother is unambiguously demonstrating this precept with her gaze.  It is a reality of life though, that once they reach puberty, there becomes less and less that a mother or father can do to protect their child from the risks in life, the best that can be hoped for is that beginning early in their child’s lives, parents can encourage critical thinking and a foundation of adequate moral and ethical values.


Indecision

Street Life

Nikon D7000 28-300mm @200mm ISO 640 1/640 f/5.6 Lr3; SEP2

This scene could be somewhere in the United States, or not.  When I was thinking about the image and what to title it, the image conjured up quite a few dramatic scenarios in my mind.   Are they looking for something or someplace?   Are they checking if they have been followed?  The woman is protective of the baby, the man seems nonchalant with his hands in his pockets.  What are they gazing at?   The mark on the woman’s left arm has me somewhat baffled, I did not put it there.  Is it some sort of tribal marking?

What potential story is triggered in your mind when you view this image?


Multi Tasking

Street Life

Nikon D7000 28-300 mm @ 210 mm ISO 640 1/1000 f/5.6 Lr3; SEP2

A man on a mission?  Or just taking a walk while on the phone?  I’m leaning towards the latter as a few moments after he went striding past me he returned, going in the direction that he originally came from, still using the phone.  Or maybe it was just a short mission or a guy who needed directions.


Each In Their Own World

Street Life

Nikon D7000 28-300mm @ 150mm ISO 640 1/100 f/5.6 Lr3; SEP2

At the same time that Judy and I were taking a break from a photo walk in Riverside, California I captured a series of images of this trio also taking a break in the shade.  The father had been trying to interact with his son, which I had captured in earlier frames, but the son seemed to have a very short attention span, and in this image the father has finally given up his efforts to engage his son, it would seem in frustration.  (Which is only my interpretation, yours may differ.)


A Lady Never Forgets Her Pearls

Street Life

Nikon D7000 28-300mm @ 135mm ISO 640 1/500 f/5.6 Lr3; SEP2

These ladies, which I am guessing may be mother and daughter were seen strolling down Main Street in Riverside, California the same afternoon that we encountered the “Bridal Shoot’, which proved to be a productive day in terms of capturing Street Life images.  More of which I will share in the coming days.


Bridal Shoot

Street Life

Nikon D7000 28-300mm @ 250mm ISO 640 1/800 f/5.6 Lr3; SEP2

It is actually too hot to be out on the streets in Southern California this week (expected to reach 108 in Chino as I write this) so I am sharing some Street Life images captured this past May, when it was cooler and photo walking was bearable.  We first encountered these three people about a hour and a half earlier that day in front of the First Congregational Church.  I am not sure if they were completing a class project, if the photographer was building his portfolio, or this was an actual commissioned shoot, but I am certain that by this time the “bride” may have been feeling a little hot and tired, traipsing all over downtown Riverside, California in her big, flouncy dress.  The fake flower bouquet getting damp and eventually dirty in her hands, her hair flying all over, standing in the warm sun.  I hope the resulting images were worth the effort.

I was stationed in my power chair in the shade of an adjacent storefront when I captured this scene on the pedestrian mall section of Main Street, just south of Mission Inn Avenue, which happens to be a good location to stake out for Street Photography.  Judy was even smarter than me, she was inside the store getting a cold smoothie.  This image received straight forward processing, with minor adjustments in Lightroom and B&W conversion performed by Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.


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.


Chill’n At The Equator

Street Life

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 26mm ISO 2500 1/6 f/3.8 Lr3; SEP2

The Equator was originally a stable in the 19th century, and since the revitalization of Old Town, Pasadena, California that began in the late 20th century the building has hosted various hospitality based businesses.  They bill themselves from what I can gather from their web site as a restaurant/club featuring Asian fusion food and of course a full bar.  Equator is located on Mills Place which is nearly just an alley in Old Town, adjacent to Mills Alley, which is a real alley.  This short street is much more typical of the North End in Boston, than of some Disneyfied  entertainment venue typical of the greater Los Angeles area.

No special post processing here, just some selective tone adjustments to bring out more clarity of all the human images, particularly of the fellow actually inside the building.  I was intrigued by the elaborate chandeliers that are visible through the windows and I like the image of the hairless guy leaning against the wall.


Street Side Contemplation

Street Life

Nikon D7000 28-300mm @ 300mm ISO 320 1/400 f/5.6 Lr3; SEP2

Judy and I spent another afternoon back in Riverside, California recently capturing some architectural images and street life.  This image presented itself to me while I was waiting for Judy who was fetching a yogurt smoothie from a sandwich shop near the intersection of Main Street  and Mission Inn Avenue.  This is a good area hang out and  find tourists, local shoppers, kids and business people passing by throughout the day on the two block section of Main Street that is closed to automotive traffic.

During post processing I used the global Brighten slider in Silver Efex Pro to  lighten the image overall, particularly the cars in the background and the street pavers in the foreground, and also applied the blue filter to lighten up the black car in the background.  I then used selective control points to move the Brightness slider in the opposite direction as the background slider movement to darken the man; brought up the contrast on the man.  I applied a cyan tone and a reverse vignetting effect on the corners to brighten them.