The 12th Annual Edwardian World’s Faire | Edwardian Ball – Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA

What a treat and what an honor it was to photograph the 12th Annual Edwardian World’s Faire through SF Station! The Edwardian World’s Faire is part of the Edwardian Ball, an event that will take you back to the turn of the century (the previous century!), and have you schmoozing and galavanting with the most well-dressed crowd you’ll ever see.   Everyone in attendance were too nice for words, and I’ll just have to let the pictures tell the story of the times we had… See you next year!

 

 (Niall David)

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See the full gallery here.

See the gallery on SF Station here.

Instagram :: August 2011

Stories of peat monsters, construction, travel and music, August was a slow month for me on Instagram. My photography business has been picking up and I’m working with a real camera way more than I’m using the one in my iPhone for leisurely snapping. Kinda bummed about the lack of an IG gallery this month, but happy that the reason those little square crop images are missing from my life recently is an exciting one. It’s been years in the making, and something that I’m very proud of.

 (Niall David)

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August has 12 images.

You can find me on Instagram as nialldavid.

A great way to keep up on Instagram images is Webstagram.

See the full gallery from August here.

Bay Area Girls Rock Camp Band Photos | Summer 2011

Last month I took on a very exciting and rewarding personal project – photographing the 16 bands of the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp… in 8 hours.

A very musical friend of mine, Jamie Freedman, mentioned that the organizers of the BAGRC were looking for a photographer to capture portraits of the bands during their last week of camp, and I naturally jumped at the chance to work with these young talented musicians. It was a exciting and incredibly fun task of setting up 16 30-minute photo sessions over two days, and keeping the schedule on track. In the end, the 80 campers, dozens of organizers and I all had a lot of fun making these photographs come to life. Special thanks to Executive Director, Carey Faye-Horowitz, for inviting me to photograph the bands, and for graciously helping me out with scheduling and organizational logistics.

Click the link after these images to view the rest of the post, and for links to the entire gallery of portraits, candids and other memorable moments:

Broken Record

 

 (Niall David)

Comic Smash

 

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untitled

 

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Sheered Sheep

 

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The Argument

 

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The Nom Noms

 

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His Name is Tina

 

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The Chestnut Monkeys

 

You can find out more about the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp here: http://www.bayareagirlsrockcamp.org/

See the full gallery of portraits here.

Check out some of the candids and other memorable moments here.

More band photos after the jump (click here)

Whitney Nichole Performs for Google at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA

One of those really cool experiences you don’t often get to enjoy – spending the evening at the headquarters of Google.

Whitney Nichole performed with Abigail Picache and Kevin White at the Friday afternoon social last week, and it was a treat to join in on the experience. Everything at Google is really sweet. The campus (affectionately known as the Googleplex) is beautifully situated in Mountain View, CA and it’s all it’s cracked up to be. The employees are treated to a wonderful work environment all day every day, and once a month a Friday afternoon mixer and concert! Great food, great people, and of course great music.

Thanks to Googler, Jason Shafton, for inviting Whitney to perform for everyone at TGIF in Charlie’s Cafe!

 (Niall David)

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See the full gallery here.

Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay Sunrise & Sunset Panoramic Photography

I’ve been seemingly obsessed with creating Panoramic images over the past year or so. I tried it out a couple of years ago, and to be honest I kinda sucked at it. Exposure was all off, and even the wonders of Photomerge in Photoshop couldn’t properly align and setup my images : ( Practice makes perfect, and though I’m far from that accolade, I have taken mentorship from a few pro photographers I admire as well as multiple attempts at it to heart, and I typically don’t make an image of a landscape these days without trying my hand at a pano during the shoot. The one thing that’s still a big pita, is that sometimes they take a lot more time on the computer than I’d like to complete a ‘single’ image. I didn’t quite get into photography to be a computer technician, and for an average shoot, most of my digital images take 1 minute or less to post process in Lightroom or Photoshop (sometimes none), but for some reason, I’m happy to spend an hour or more, often at midnight once I’ve gotten the rest of my work done, to finesse a group of images into a spread I can be proud of.

 

Sunrise view of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay and the City of San Francisco from Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA. 4 image panorama.

Not a week goes by where I don’t sit at the desk in our home office, peer out the windows of the sunroom at sunset, run to the other room, grab my camera and snap one, two, or a hundred images of our vista during the fleeting hours of daylight. Not traditionally a morning person, but once in a while I’m awakened in the early am. It’s a habit of mine that whenever I get up, no matter what time it is, I go over to the window, pull down the blinds with my fingers and peer out into the Bay. It’s something I’ve come to know and love, and I know it’s part of the reason I stay sane living in the hecticness of city life. On this particular day, I was blessed to see this display of clouds and golden sunrise over the city. I’d be lying if I said my first instinct was to grab the camera. With an hour or two left before the alarm was set to go off, I was halfway back to bed when my mind finally kicked my body into shape with my conscious saying “grab the camera and make a few images of this dude!” 5 panned images and a photomerge later we have the image of the sunrise above. A few days later I went up on our roof to capture the sunset in the 9 image pano below.

 

 

Sunset view of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay and the City of San Francisco from Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA. 9 image panorama.

Of course, like the rest of us I’m enamored by the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay. Partly because it’s one of the most beautiful bays in America, and partly because over the past two years, I’ve been blessed with a ridiculous view of it while living in the city by the Bay. For two years I’ve studied the weather (including the fog, the clouds, the wind! and the occasional lightning storm), the sun patterns, the shadows, the container ships, the sailboats, the buildings, the homes, the city, the Marin Headlands, the bridge traffic, and the neighborhood around us. All of these things have become as near and dear to me as the places where I grew up. I’ve never been so in love with living in a place in my life, not since moving away from New York and trying out all the places I’ve been over the last 15 years. My not so April fool, was capturing the image of the Golden Gate at sunset on April 1 below.

 

 

View of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay and the City of San Francisco from Battery Spencer in the Marin Headlands of California. 5 image panorama.

If you’re interested in learning how to shoot panoramas, you can start with the ever present and often helpful Google search for something like “how to photograph panoramic images” or something of the like. Of course, once you have a basic understanding, I suggest getting out there with your camera and giving it a try! A few words of wisdom I can offer from my experience:

 

  • Use a digital camera. Though this can be done with film, it’s well outside the scope of my skillz and this brief commentary. There’s another one for the photography bucket list…
  • Shoot vertical, portrait oriented images. This allows you to capture a larger spread top to bottom for your panorama. You’ll undoubtedly have to crop a bit on the top or bottom once you merge the images, and shooting vertical allows a lot more leeway once you get ’em all together.
  • Shoot in manual everything. Choose an exposure by locking in the ISO, aperture and shutter speed that works for most of your scene. This means some of it may be darker or brighter than you like. That’s OK because if you shoot it in RAW format, you can typically recover up to 2 stops of light in either direction in post processing before the quality of your image breaks down. Often, I prefer to underexpose instead of blowing things in highlights out. Once you lose it on the top end, it’s gone. I often find it easier to recover dark parts and shadows of the image (assuming the minimum amount of light necessary to bring back detail in post was captured). Sunsets and sunrises are notoriously difficult as one side of the sky is significantly brighter than the other as you pan, and sometimes I shoot for highlight detail and lower the exposure in post… Experimentation.
    • Example settings, if you’re going for daytime long distance grand vista panos like the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset photograph from this post: ISO 100-200, f/11, 1/125th sec. I went against my own advice (rules are made to be broken) and lived with the lack of detail in the highlights on the right side of the image as the low angle sunset light on the bridge was most important for me to protect in this capture.
  • When shooting, overlap each consecutive image by 1/3 to 1/2 of each frame. This is really important and one of the top 3 keys to any panoramic image. In order for Photoshop to merge your images in Photomerge, it has to be able to reference enough data across the images to figure out the scene and line everything up. In practice, I have greater success with overlapping more during capture, and then combining more images in Photoshop. 3 is the minimum, and have used up to 11. Some big ballers use 100 or more images, HDR techniques, etc. If you’re heading to be a baller, start by Googling “how to photograph hdr panoramic images.”
  • Use Adobe Photoshop (along with Adobe Bridge) or equivalent program(s). My method is usually quite simple: 1) Select the images I want to merge in Bridge. 2) Go to Tools –> Photoshop –> Photomerge –> Choose the ‘Auto’ option. Viola, most of the time if you shot it well, PShop does a great job of putting it all together.
  • Crop and publish. Orrrrr (more likely), develop using camera RAW settings (exposure, highlights, recovery, fill light, brightness, contrast, vibrance, saturation, etc.) as necessary, tweak, tweak, tweak, dodge, burn, crop, publish.
  • As you develop your panorama aptitude you’ll find what works best for you as you define and refine your style. Give it a try!

 

View the full gallery and larger renditions of the images above here. Or to really experience the full breadth of the scenes, you can purchase the high resolution images using the Buy button above, or come visit us for a session at the studio and view ’em on the big screen!

Kindness and Lies at Cafe Du Nord

Kindness and Lies do what they do best on stage at Cafe Du Nord during Whitney Nichole‘s Record Release party. More details about the show here.

 

 

See the full gallery here.

Whitney Nichole ‘100 Strong’ Record Release Party at Cafe Du Nord with Pebble Theory, Kindness and Lies and Keeley Valentino

I think one only can imagine how much I love the musical stylings of miss Whitney Nichole. Not only is she the best person I could be lucky enough to be spending my life with, but she’s also incredible on stage, especially when the energy of celebrating the release of her debut album ‘100 Strong’ is flowing through her veins… Her band that evening was comprised of Shelby Grolig (V0x), Adam Rossi (Keys), Kevin T. White (Bass), Abigail Picache (Drums), Julia Jurkiewicz (Cello) with guest appearances on ‘100 Strong’ by Ziva Hadar, Heather Pierce, Debbie Neigher, Ash Scheiding and Niki Marie.  The house was jam packed at San Francisco’s magical Cafe Du Nord and it was amazing to have Pebble Theory, Kindness and Lies and Keeley Valentino on tap for the show. Everyone came through with their A game and it was no surprise that this lineup carried the energy right on through the night. A few photos of Whitney’s set at the gig below, full gallery here. Posts with pics from sets from the other bands to follow!

 (Niall David)

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Amazing show Whitney, congratulations on the release of 100 Strong!

Available now (released today March 8, 2011!) on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and BandCamp, or (my personal favorite:) pick up a physical CD with complete album photography by yours truly and an amazing graphic design layout exquisitely composed by Reflectur.

 

See the full gallery here.

 

George Winston at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA | Article, Interview and Photos

Originally published on Examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/concert-photography-in-san-francisco/profile-and-photos-george-winston-at-the-freight-and-salvage-berkeley-ca

Recently, world-renown pianist George Winston treated the SF Bay Area to a magnificent performance. George is one of the nicest guys you would expect to be making a living as a recording and performing artist, and I was lucky enough to enjoy a delightful phone conversation and access to soundcheck during his recent visit to Berkeley, CA at the beautiful Freight & Salvage.

Preferring smaller intimate venues where an unmic’d piano stands alone on stage, George treated patrons of the newly renovated Freight and Salvage to a wondrous night of one of his “winter sets;” a mix of tunes from his own repertoire as well as classic songs from those of his mentors. We had a few moments to sit down, and I asked George some questions about his music, his life and career.

It was intriguing to me that in the early years of his music life, he didn’t set out to have a career in music, but diligently studied and played tunes from New Orleans jazz, blues and stride pianists out of pure love of the songs. His major influences growing up and in the early years were Professor Longhair, James Booker and Henry Butler. He feels he’s just now thoroughly understanding Professor Longhair’s style of piano playing, a lifelong dream of his.

 (Niall David)

I have always been a fan of George’s “Seasons” project – the series of albums he put out over a ten-year period (~1973-1983). It was no surprise to learn that his major inspiration for the seasons project drew from childhood memories and the influence of the seasons, topography and terrain on his life growing up in Montana. I got the sense from George that the series wasn’t entirely planned at the onset, but quickly became a long-term project, like most of his work. He wrote and recorded Autumn from 1973-79, December was recorded in 1973, Summer was a product of 1981, Winter was released in 1983 and Spring was a project from 1982-83.

 (Niall David)

I asked George about the moments and turning points that really stood out to him regarding his career in music. In the beginning, from 1961-67 he bought records, played them and loved simply enjoying music. The first step was being an avid music lover. When mentioning turning points in life, he lists 5 prominent memories:

  • The first time he heard the Doors in 1967 lead him to desire to learn to play the organ
  • Hearing Fats Waller in 1971 lead him to piano
  • Discovering Professor Longhair’s music in 1979,
  • James Booker in 1982, and
  • Henry Butler in 1985 forever changed what he thought possible with studying and stylizing music in ways “I just knew I wanted to do.”

George goes on to mention how he typically enjoys playing prominent composers music, more so than he feels he plays “like them.”

I knew I was getting sage advice when George said “I didn’t know what it was going to be, I just knew I wanted to do it.” Logistics, how to get there, etc. weren’t part of “the plan” per se, just getting out there and doing it was.

 (Niall David)

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Read More of the Article HERE…

Ziva, Niall David, and Jessica Perlstein at the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco

We all had a great time at the Red Poppy Art House this week. Live music from Ziva, photographic slideshows from yours truly, and live art by Jessica Perlstein. Thanks to everyone who came out in support of local art and music!

A little about the event in my previous post here:

http://nialldavid.com/2011/01/please-join-us-thursday-january-13-at-the-red-poppy-art-house-in-san-francisco/

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See the full image gallery here.

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