Happy 75th Anniversary Golden Gate Bridge! Fireworks Over the San Francisco Bay!

Sunday May 27, 2012 marked the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. In celebration of this American icon, there was a whole day of celebration at key sites along the waterfront along the San Francisco Bay and plenty of revelry around the city. The most exciting of which, were the 75th anniversary fireworks show! It was super special as they organizers added a special dose of a fantastic light show to go along with the fireworks. We had a key vantage point from the top of Nob Hill, and of course my camera, tripod and I happily joined in the celebration. Here’s my ode to this amazing icon of San Francisco, America and human ingenuity! Happy Anniversary GGB!

 (Niall David)

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See the full gallery here.

Instagram :: March 2012

The Instagram project continues, a daily experiment. The monthly update to recap March 2012.

Beer, beaches, broken tapes, vintage things, puffy clouds, pianos, St. Patty’s Day, music and creativeLIVE all caught my attention this past month…

 (Niall David)

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See the full gallery from March here.

 

March has 11 images.

You can find me on Instagram as nialldavid.

A few great ways to keep up on Instagram images is joining Instagram, posting your images and following your favorite photographers! There’s also my favorite: Statigram, as well as WebstagramFollowgram, and the Instadesk application for Mac OS X.

 

Instagram :: February 2012

One of my little personal projects continues: my obsession with Instagram. And here is the monthly update to recap February 2012.

Emmy Awards, meowers, parking tickets, vintage things, herbal teas, flowers, music and stormy weather all caught my attention this past month…

 (Niall David)

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January has 18 images.

You can find me on Instagram as nialldavid.

A few great ways to keep up on Instagram images is joining Instagram, posting your images and following your favorite photographers! There’s also WebstagramFollowgram, and the Instadesk application for Mac OS X.

See the full gallery from February here.

Instagram :: December 2011

Holidays, a new year, road trips, glorious hikes in the redwoods of California and a trip to NY. All of that kept me pretty busy in December. Still loving iPhoneography through Instagram, and absolutely loving the Snapseed app from Nik Software, where I process at least half of my mobile images these days.

 (Niall David)

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December has 12 images. Weak amount I know :/ Working on focusing on quality and not quantity lately.

You can find me on Instagram as nialldavid.

A few great ways to keep up on Instagram images is joining Instagram, posting your images and following your favorite photographers! There’s also WebstagramFollowgram, and the Instadesk application for Mac OS X.

 

See the full gallery from December here.

Instagram :: November 2011

 

Mural painters, a trip to New York City, some good coffee, a broken car window, Disneyland and a double rainbow. All that and more in the month of November…

 (Niall David)

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November has 34 images.

You can find me on Instagram as nialldavid.

A few great ways to keep up on Instagram images is joining Instagram, posting your images and following your favorite photographers! There’s also WebstagramFollowgram, and the Instadesk application for Mac OS X.

See the full gallery from November here.

Instagram :: September 2011

 

I feel like it was kind of a weak month for Instagramming for me… :/ Somehow I only snapped and posted 6 images in September. Eeeks! I’ll have to pick it up!

On a happy little side note, I purchased a few old school vintage film cameras and I’m excited to get closer to my roots again. Hoping to have some scans to post sometime later this year. Happy Instagramming!

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

September has 6 images.

You can find me on Instagram as nialldavid.

A few great ways to keep up on Instagram images is joining Instagram, posting your images and following your favorite photographers! There’s also WebstagramFollowgram, and the Instadesk application for Mac OS X.

See the full gallery from September here.

Zack Arias One Light Workshop Comes to San Francisco!

This past weekend I was honored to host as the City Representative for Zack AriasOne Light Workshop here in San Francisco. Repping meant organizing and booking the studio, models, food, catering, supplies and other logistics. Though I understand more now why good planners are well paid for taking care of business, it was more than worth the adventure to become part of the experience at this incredible workshop.

 (Niall David)

If you know anything about me, you know that Zack is one of my icons of photography, so you know I was living on cloud 9 all weekend. He is a sharing photographer – tells all, and keeps it real. Over the past few years, I’ve read most of Zack’s blog posts, seen tons of his videos, spent entire weekends glued to the computer during CreativeLIVE seminars (Studio Lighting and Foundations of a Working Photographer), and practiced many of his techniques on my own shoots as I grow into my own style. Living the experience in person was a treat of epic proportion.

 (Niall David)

The mixer the night before was really cool, and was a great way to meet many of the attendees. I love the idea of the night before meetup as everyone has a chance to share stories and bond before jumping into the 15 hour workshop the next day. There was a great mix of photographers, from dabbling hobbyists to full time pros. Everyone brought a unique sense of being to the workshop and I’m sure everyone took something priceless away in improving their own craft.

 (Niall David)

The morning starts out with a quick rundown of all things photographic, from basic camera stuff like apertures, shutter speeds and ISO (no eyesooooohhhhh!), to more advanced topics like camera to subject distance, inverse square law, flashes & strobes, flash power, mixing ambient and strobes and all that good stuff. Once you get through the obligatory basics, the afternoon into the evening (about 6 hours) is spent shooting with a variety of modifiers with two models. Zack sets up each scenario with a demo that includes a pragmatic way of finding composition and exposure, and then the students take it away.

 (Niall David)

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All in all it’s an experience well worth it and then some. I’d absolutely attend again, and I highly suggest you make it happen next time Zack is in your neck of the woods. You’ll meet cool people, spend some time with a photo ninja, and pick up more skillz than you can handle all in the space of about 24 hours of your time.

Our lovely models for the day were Whitney Nichole and Maya Carina. Thanks to both of you for being so generous with your time and talent!

We Started in the studio with an umbrella and the Westcott 28″ softbox:

 (Niall David)

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And then moved it outside to ramble around the gritty alleys of the Dogpatch…

Zack setting up a grid spot shot:

 (Niall David)

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When it was my turn, I had to make it a point to catch a few of Whitney under the spot 🙂

 (Niall David)

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And then we pulled out “big momma” (the Westcott 50″ softbox):

 (Niall David)

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After the main instructional portion, we broke for a pizza dinner, then split up into 3 teams to go out in the dark on an assignment to “make some cool images of each other.” Fellow workshop attendee and street photographer, Felix Lim, was my subject for the the street image concept I had; one of the last captures I made was of him on the corner of 3rd street right as the MUNI T-Train train conveniently passed by.

 

A great deal of thanks to Zack and his team (Meghan Arias and Kara Pecknold) for putting together this great workshop. It was cool to meet Zack’s eldest, Caleb, who was a rockin’ assistant throughout the day. Cheers Zack, hope to see you back in SF soon!

 

See the full gallery of images from the workshop here.

San Francisco Skyline – Nighttime Views from Treasure Island

I don’t often go to Treasure Island, but today I just wanted to get out for a drive, and it seemed like the place to visit. A short jaunt from San Francisco, and dramatically placed right in the middle of the San Francisco Bay is the site of one of the most awe inspiring views of the city in the entire area. Second to only the Berkeley hills, this can’t be beat. Plus, if you’re already in SF, you can get there and back sans toll. I highly recommend this trip, worth it’s weight in unforgettable scenery of the City by the Bay.

I didn’t get out of the house until close to 4pm, but it was just enough time to get out there to catch the last few rays of sunset. I decided I wanted to get there for sunset, but once I arrived, I decided I’d stick around until after dark to catch some nighttime shots of the skyline. It was worth the wait, and the battering winds and extreme windchill… to capture some views on one of the first weekends with the holiday lights on.

I totally froze my butt off, but it was a nice way to spend some time semi-alone just working the long exposures. My tripod is crap and hopefully someday soon I can upgrade. I’d likely need to sandbag  50 pound scaffolding to withstand these winds without blur at 30 seconds +, but for now it’s cheapo Focal tripod to the rescue. Was cool to get out there at night again. This is also one of the few galleries where I include multiple versions of the same capture. I had a little fun with the post-processing on a few of these so included a few versions of a couple of them. Hope you enjoy 🙂

See the full gallery here.

Photographer’s notes: Nikon D700; ISO 100; Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens; F/8; Exposures between 2 seconds and 20 seconds.

Update – 1/5/2011 : A lesson in SEO. Set your filenames, headers/titles, keywords/tags, and categories (in that order of priority) and search engines will find you. Search Google for “best place to see sf skyline by night.” Yesterday I was the top hit. http://www.google.com/search?q=best+place+to+see+san+francisco+skyline+at+night&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=&oe=. Very cool.