About Me

My photo
Ansel Adams once said that a true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words. He then went one to write volumes about his photographs, and he would apparently talk about them to anyone who would listen. So much for pithy quotes. Since this is my blog, I will ignore Ansel Adams, and I will use this space to share the stories behind some of my favorite photographs: what I saw when I created the images, how the photos came to be, and why they are important to me. Consider this a behind-the-scenes look at my creative process. If you like what you see here, please visit my photography website: RobertBurnsPhotography.com

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Waiting for Customers - San Francisco 7-31-09

This is another one of my rediscoveries, or “rescue photographs” as I like to call them. Last summer, my wife and I traveled to San Francisco, and I decided to do some street photography in China Town. Walking along the back alleys, I encountered this barber reading the newspaper during a lull in activity. I liked the composition, although I ended up cropping it just a bit. The original showed the entire sign; the crop is a bit more intimate. However, I thought the light was too flat, and so I abandoned the photo and focused my attention on other photographs that excited me more, like those of the Golden Gate Bridge. Using the pseudo-HDR grunge technique on this photo has been revelatory, to say the least. If you are saying to yourself that this looks more like a painting than a photograph, then I agree. I always considered this photo to be a Norman Rockwell moment, but until now, I had not realized its full potential. Notice the details in the newspaper and the shoes. The colors are unrealistically vivid. The shadows are deep, and the lighting is dramatic. The grit of the back alley is palpable. For me, this slice of ordinary life is ten times more exciting than the Golden Gate Bridge. Canon 50D  Single photo processed as a pseudo-HDR image in Photomatix Pro, then tone-mapped twice using extreme settings to produce a grunge look. Nik CEP Darken/Lighten filter applied. f/8 1/13 sec. ISO 100 24-105mm lens @ 35mm Click here to view more pseudo-HDR grunge images.

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