This weekend, I was reviewing some old film scans, and this specific image made me pause. I made this in 2018 with my Mamiya 6 (with a 50mm equivalent lens.) I used Kodak Portra 400 film.
It was around this time, my photographic eye started to develop. I started eliminating the excess from my frames and using the negative space as an element of the image itself.
Still, I have not been back to this location — Lake Merced — for morning photography in a while. It might be time for another visit. I wonder how I will treat this location after three years. I might also want to use a longer lens this time around.
November 15, 2021. San Francisco
There is nothing quite as good as starting your day next to the bay, listening to the slow and rhythmic break of waves on the shore. And it is even better when the fog hugs the distant hills and lingers over the bridge that has been Instagrammed maybe a billion times. The beauty of the morning inspired me to make some photos — and test out the technical mettle of the new iPhone 13 Pro’s various cameras.
….powered by the new image signal processor (ISP) in A15 Bionic for improved noise reduction and tone mapping, the iPhone 13 Pro lineup features the best camera system ever on iPhone. The all-new Wide camera has a larger sensor with 1.9 µm pixels, the largest ever on iPhone, for less noise and faster shutter speeds needed across lighting conditions, producing even more detailed photos. Coupled with the larger ƒ/1.5 aperture, the Wide camera on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max offers a massive improvement in low-light situations, up to 2.2x when compared to iPhone 12 Pro, and nearly 1.5x when compared to iPhone 12 Pro Max. Sensor-shift optical image stabilization (OIS) — unique to iPhone — is available on both models
The new Ultra Wide camera features a much wider ƒ/1.8 aperture and a new autofocus system, bringing a 92 percent improvement for low-light environments, producing images that are brighter and sharper. iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max also boast a new 77 mm Telephoto camera, offering 3x optical zoom for a total 6x optical zoom range on the camera system.
Apple’s claims check out. Most landscape photographers judge the camera by its ability to capture details and colors, for a good camera is the one that can produce files that transition from shadows to highlights with a minimum of fuss. And the iPhone 13 Pro cameras pass with top grades.
Later, upon returning home and looking at these images on an XDR display, I could easily see the impact of the bigger pixels giving the images smoother transitions between shadows and highlights. I also like that the colors are naturally deeper. I appreciated the lower noise in the new sensor — giving me the courage to make the fog a bit whiter during the editing process.
As I usually do with my mobile photography, I used the Halide Camera to capture images in RAW and used the Darkroom App to edit them on the phone. The edited set is a mixture of color and monochromatic images. I hope they convey the sense of calm and peace I felt this wonderful morning.
Through most of the pandemic lockdown, I was religious about my morning walks. It was the only time of the day I felt comfortable going out for a walk without a mask. Lately, that habit of going out before the sunrise had fallen off the wayside. I started to walk (and bike) during the day … Continue reading Shapes of San Francisco
We photographers are an odd bunch. When the weather is bad, we decide to leave our dwellings and go out in search of photos. Last week, after hiding in my cave for over a week, a rainy day allowed me to put the underused Leica M10 Monochrome to work. It was a chance for me … Continue reading A rainy day (photo) walk
It has been gray, rainy, and foggy in San Francisco — just the kind of weather when I go out and take photos. Yesterday, in particular, was really foggy. The visibility was really low. The whole city had a very monochromatic feel, and it was hard to get any real visual contrast. I don’t think … Continue reading A foggy start to the new year