Images & Observations

Posts tagged “Shop

Red Hill Coffee Shop

Roadside Americana

RedHillCoffeeShop__20121016-DSC_0079-_P_Edit_© Wayne E Frost

Adjacent to Red Hill BBQ is the Red Hill Coffee Shop in Rancho Cucamonga, California.   When I captured this image I was attracted to the geometry of the bui;ding from this angle of view, the paint job, the signage and the character sitting on the bench outside the building.  A weird group of details to be attracted to, but the totality of the details and the overall scene trigger my mind to conjure up some interesting scenarios.

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Donut Construction Site

Roadside Americana

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 200mm ISO 250 3-bkts f/11 Lr4, TpzSim; PsCS6

Long before there were McMuffins there were donuts for “healthy” Americans to start their day.  Back in the day Winchell’s was a favorite stop for me when I was craving a crumb cake donut, and no construction barriers would have kept me from getting to a dozen donuts.  (I have been paying the price for that behavior ever since.)

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Taken To The Cleaners

Roadside Americana

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 48mm ISO 250 3-bkts f/11 Lr3, TpzSim; PsCS6

Whether to get dirty cloths clean or to undergo a fleecing, we all know what “taken to the cleaners” means.  I am certain that in this case it has always meant getting your fashionable clothes cleaned in Pasadena, California.  I don’t know where the locals take their unfashionable clothes to be cleaned, though.

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The Dog House

Roadside Americana

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 27mm ISO 800 3-bkts f/8 Lr4, Tpz Sim; PsCS6

Hungry, but a hamburger from In-N-Out does not appeal to you, just head next door to Big Daddy’s Fire Grill Pasadena, California  in for wood fired burgers, dogs and sausages.  I recommend the chili dog, a quarter pound hot dog slathered with a full bodied, lightly spiced chile.

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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.

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.

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Angry Bird

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 10mm ISO 2500 3-bkts f/16 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

When I first started post processing this I was thinking “Italian Flag”, and while it has all the right colors, they were not proportioned right.  Then as I looked at the image, more and more, it hit me, “angry bird!”.

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Portal To Antiques

Nikon D7000 10.5mm ISO 800 1/500 f/16 Lr3, TpzSim; PsCS5

I don’t know about the antiques inside, but this store entry says big time prices to me.  Judy is peering in the window in this image, the store was closed when we visited, which might have been very fortunate for the family bank account.

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Glassell Street Slalom Course

Nikon D7000 18-200mm @ 38mm ISO 800 3-bkts f/16 (4 panels) Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

A downhill ski slalom course is what the positioning of the light standards and green refuse containers along the sidewalk remind me of, or maybe a slalom course for roller bladers.  This final image is actually a composite of four HDR images that I lined up together, after flipping two of the images horizontally to create the symmetry.  Edward Hopper is one of my influences and his “Early Sunday” image was in the back of my mind when I conceived of this layout.

The stylistic direction that I have been going in is a direct influence of work by the painter Edward Hopper during the first half of the 20th century and also by the illustrator, Bruce McCall in contemporary times.  I like their choice of subjects, their techniques influence my use of saturated colors, simplified shapes and lines and the seeming flatness or lack of texture that I create in what would usually be considered textured or sculpted (multi-dimensional) objects.

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Black Friday Sale

Use coupon code “BFriday” this Friday, November 25 to receive a 30% discount on any prints purchased from my gallery which you will find at

The Shop At The Corner Of The Plaza

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 800 3-bkts f/16 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

This is the north east corner of the plaza formed around the park at the intersection of Chapman Avenue and Glassell Street in Orange, California (if you ask Google Maps to find “Orange, CA” it will put a map pin right in the middle of this park).  I am fascinated by the lines and geometric shapes in building elements, those and the perception of depth that I get from the shadow areas always makes me feel like my eyes are on an adventure.  Maybe it is something primeval in my soul, but certain shapes, lines, highlights, shadows and colors combined in the right circumstance, and I get  sense of well being and joy.

High Resolution Image here.

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.

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.

Brighton Shop Window

Nikon D80 18-135mm @ 22mm ISO 1250 3-bkts (+/- 2EV) f/4.8 Lr3, HEP1; SEP2

Today formally begins my periodic series of shop windows.   Since I first published the Patterson Hardware shop window I have begun to see more shop windows and the stories they tell as subjects worthy of capture in my camera, so as of today one of my official categories for this blog will be “Shop Windows”.  Which at times I find much more interesting than slick print or web advertisements for stores or products.  One could argue that window dressing in some venues has achieved the status of being considered high art.  Whether you accept that or not, I believe that you may agree with me that the way that individual shop keepers display their shop windows to the world can be a clever, whimsical, engaging exercise in the art of catching a passerby’s eye.

This is the Brighton store at Paseo Pasadena, Pasadena, California.  That is my daughter on the right side, keeping an eye on her mother who is bargain hunting in the store.  The contents of this store  for sale had zero interest for me, but my eye was attracted to the iron work, the chandelier in the store and the light reflecting off of the tiles on the walkway.  As with the majority of my images in this blog, this shot was hand-held.

Guns, Ammo & Gifts


Nikon D80 10-24mm @ 24mm ISO 200 3-bkts f/22 Lr3 HDR Efex Pro

After capturing some images in Piru, Judy and I headed down the road to Fillmore, California and spent some time wandering around the area surrounding Central and Main.  Fillmore is roughly 50 miles northwest from Los Angeles and at least 30 years behind the greater Los Angeles area in terms of population density and land development; a significant amount of developed land in the Fillmore area is still given over to agriculture.  As evoked by this image, the pace of life, personal priorities and values are reminiscent of an earlier, some might say, simpler time in our history.

As I stated in my “Storm Over City Hall” posting one of the subjects I want to explore with my photography is of images that convey a sense of life in an earlier time in our history and when we strolled around Fillmore this was one of the images that was presented to me.  So rather than a dramatic visual image expressing artistry that dazzles the eye, I give you a much more subtle, documentary image, that might convey your mind  back to Another Time, which is the latest category I have added to the blog’s image inventory.

I initially rendered this image in sepia toned black and white, but the lettering in the shop windows got lost in that image, so the final image was rendered with a mono-toned color palette,  with a bit of emphasis on the warm color tones.  The goal was to capture a contemporary image and make it look like it was captured long before today.

The Fruit Bowl; A Photoshop Exploration

Nikon D80 18-135mm @ 112mm ISO 800 1/50 f/5.6 Lr3 PScs5

I am just now beginning to explore the tools available from Photo Shop CS5, and have been enjoying myself practicing with some of the tools available with this robust application.  I was in my family room recently keeping my  sister company as she was preparing dinner for us one late afternoon, and after getting some shots of her peeling potatoes I zeroed in on the fruit bowl.

When I captured this image, the fruit bowl was sitting on top of a half height wine refrigerator that had a black surface, behind this was the cooking island   with maroon colored cabinet work, a white tile top surface and other items you would typically find on a stove top.  A very unattractive and distracting background.

When I first processed the image in Lightroom I cropped out the background elements that displayed above the fruit, but that led to a very constrained aspect ratio and an overall poor composition.  Then I decided to find out what I could do with Photo Shop.  The first thing I did was place the cropped image on a larger canvas, giving some “shoulder room” on the sides of the fruit bowl and adding height to the background.

Original image.

I then sampled the maroon color that was in the background cabinet and used that color to fill the background of the expanded canvas.  I then painted in more color in the background and along the edges of the bowl and the fruit, doing this in an iterative process, and kept my  brush at less than full opacity.  In the process of cropping and painting I had destroyed part of the left rim of the pewter bowl and ended up using the cloning tool to reconstruct it.  I also did some cloning on one of the yellow apples.  I also used the blurring and smudging tools to a small extent, but the smudging tool is a bit tricky, and some of that I had to go  back and fix.

As this is the first time that I have used Photo Shop to such radical effect I am quite happy with my results, Photo Shop allowed me to take a non-descript image and make it pleasing and interesting to my eye.  This exercise also brings home the fact that you can do so much with your images after you have initially conceived them, and you should not be too quick to label any image in your Lightroom catalog as a reject.

Never Let A Threat Of Rain…

Nikon D80 10-24mm @ 10mm ISO 200 f/11 3-brackets Lr3 HDR Efex Pro 1 Color Efex Pro 2

deter you, always have a Contingency Plan.

Speaking of contingency plans, always keep an open mind and open eye for image capture opportunities beyond the obvious, the positioning of myself and the camera for this image is just a few yards past where I was positioned when I made the image for the previous post in this blog.   It is important to be aware of your periphery, and significant what you can do with a wide angle field of view, and the angle of camera positioning.