One More Batch…

Of street portraits, from last month’s StART On The Street. The Nikon D300, and 70-200 f/2.8 VR. Once again, Adobe Lightroom 5.2-

Looking performers up.

Looking performers up.

This gentleman was in black and white a few weeks ago. You can now see how colorful his getup was.

This gentleman was in black and white a few weeks ago. You can now see how colorful his getup was.

Serving food up.

Serving food up.

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Taking customer orders.

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Kung Fu Academy!

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Taking a call.

Roller Derby, vignetting courtesy of Lightroom preset.

Roller Derby, vignetting courtesy of Lightroom preset.

A nice digital diversion with Lightroom. Back into the darkroom, soon.

Learning Lightroom 5.2

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Gathering before a group plays a set.

As mentioned earlier, Lightroom offers the photographer a powerful toolbox of endless creative potential. There is no question that digital image editing software can be somewhat daunting, and frustrating. Adobe, with its Photoshop/Creative Cloud suite of products, is undoubtedly the king of the hill, the 800 pound gorilla. Many third parties have developed add-on’s, in the form of presets, for Lightroom. OnOne is one such developer. Their vignetting options really do work well. More stuff I shot with the Nikon D300, 70-200 f/2.8 VR, at StART on the Street-

On One Software makes some great presets for Lightroom, including many that are available for free.

Roller Derby! OnOne Software makes some great presets for Lightroom, including many that are available for free.

You can even add some grain, and effortlessly desaturate images, if you like, maybe, the pushed Portra 400NC kind of look I was able to create with this one-

Isn't this supposed to be fun?

Isn’t this supposed to be fun?

I mentioned in the last article that the program seems to have a very radical sharpening engine. I wrestled with the following portrait, almost finding it to be too sharp. The beautiful light of this early fall day seemed to be a specular highlight engine of its own.

Deep conversation.

Deep conversation.

The program contains beautiful, easy to use, black and white conversion presets. High contrast, low contrast, red filters, orange filters, multiple looks. Always a fan of higher contrast, the Lightroom B&W presets might be enough reason alone for a photographer to invest in this software. An early attempt at such a conversion, this reminds me a lot of the look of Ilford Delta 100:

Banging on the drums.

Banging on the drums.

Lightroom might bring some fun back to digital photography.

Bus Stop – Color Digital Street Photography

My Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR lens just returned from a visit to Nikon in Melville NY. I had them replace the front element, as the coating was literally fading away. The lens, being a zoom, also needed a good internal cleaning. Over time, dust can make its way into the barrel of a zoom lens. When there, Nikon notified me that in addition to these, they found that the focus needed recalibration. As the lens is under Nikon’s fabulous 5 year warranty, they did hundreds of dollars of work, at no charge. One note here- the lens works on both digital bodies, and the newer style Nikon AF film bodies where aperture can be controlled on the camera’s command dial. The N80 is a perfect example.

This weekend, I decided to carry it with the D300, alongside the F3, and a kit of primes. I shot a roll of FP4, and recently acquired 35mm AiS (more on that in a future entry). I had not shot digital in a while, but had to see how things looked. A few of the shots here may look “soft”, as I really was pushing the limitations of the VR system. 1/30th handheld is asking a bit much, even though VR does provide tremendous benefits. So, this bus stop in downtown Worcester became the testing ground.

There are some characters at this bus stop. As this was not my original targeted subject matter, I blasted a few off, hoping that some lunatic wouldn’t come running at me, telling me not to take their picture. As a 70-200mm lens on a DX “crop sensor” body is actually a 105-300mm (1.5X crop factor), it gave ample breathing room. Considering I only took about 15 digital photographs, they resulted in some fun results.

This guy apparently had the money for tattoos, but has to play the drums for cash. Maybe he "needs" more of them?

This guy apparently had the money for tattoos, but has to play the drums for cash. Maybe he “needs” more of them?

Those are boxes of watches on the sidewalk to the right of the guy in red. He is looking to make a sale.

Those are boxes of watches on the sidewalk to the right of the guy in red. He is looking to make a sale.

Making his pitch. As evident by the customer's look on his face, Watch Guy is asking too much.

Making his pitch. As evident by the customer’s look on his face, Watch Guy is asking too much. He is NOT impressed.

Waiting for the bus.

Waiting for the bus.

Pointing out Watch Guy.

Pointing out Watch Guy.

All aboard! I need to get back here, next time, with film.

All aboard. I need to get back here, next time, with film.

A Place For Digital Photography- The 9th Annual stART On The Street Festival

stART On The Street (www.startonthestreet.org) is street photography nirvana. Of course, New Englanders are not typically known for their friendliness, and are maybe some of the rudest, reserved, and stodgy folks in the USA. So, a street photographer can have a hard time. This festival, held in Worcester, MA every September, not only lends itself to it, they encourage it. As the two rolls of Tri-X that I shot in the Nikon FE-2 are in the fridge, yet to be developed, thought I would post a few (gasp) digital shots. These were taken with the Nikon D300, and 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens. For once, taking photographs of interesting people in Massachusetts on the street is possible, without getting yelled at. The hardest part of choosing which ones to post was the “tagging” component. Honestly, I do not know how digital photographers do this without going out of their minds. Anyone who says digital post processing is “fun” is completely out of their mind. It is laborious, tedious, and time-consuming. But, I am pretty happy with the results.

These are right out of the camera, with NO post processing/Photoshop. Film has taken away the urge to post process, simply for the sake of doing so. It has helped take away to boost shadow detail, clone stamp, and sharpen. And, saved a lot of time. Shooting is a lot more fun.

Tony Vacca (www.tonyvacca.com)

Tony Vacca (www.tonyvacca.com)

Abdou Sarr (www.tonyvacca.com)

Abdou Sarr (www.tonyvacca.com)

Leaders Way Kung Fu Academy (www.leaderswaykungfu.com)

Leaders Way Kung Fu Academy (www.leaderswaykungfu.com)

The Poets Asylum (www.poetsasylum.org)

The Poets Asylum (www.poetsasylum.org)

Central Mass Roller Derby (www.centralmassrollerderby.com)

Central Mass Roller Derby (www.centralmassrollerderby.com)

WPI Jazz Ensemble (users.wpi.edu/~jazz/jazz_ensemble.html)

WPI Jazz Ensemble (users.wpi.edu/~jazz/jazz_ensemble.html)

Strings

Just wanted to post a couple more favorites here from Saturday night’s performance of The Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra at Institute Park, Worcester, MA. I am convinced that live music makes for some of the very best photographic subjects for film. Would love to do some live jazz, as the late, great William Claxton is one of my all-time favorite photographers. The man lived, ate, and slept Kodak Tri-X. By the way, you can link to this wonderful orchestra’s website, and read more about how to help support them, at www.masymphony.org

A Violinist Makes Adjustments

A Violinist Makes Adjustments

Double Bass

Double Bass