Archive for January, 2010

Mysterious Published

Published in Digital Camera & Photo Buyer’s Guide 2010
Photo by Umme Salma Hamdani

See original image on flickr


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Photo by Shabbir Siraj

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With the recent stormy weather dampening things a bit in San Francisco, it was very difficult to have an outdoor photo shoot. But before the stormy week started, we had the opportunity to do an engagement shoot at Union Square with Rachel and Rachel.

Union Square, apart from being a historic landmark, falls under San Francisco’s must-visit places and is just one of the many notable urban spaces in the world. This 2.6 acre square is a central shopping, hotel and theater district of the city.  Two streets down is another major tourist draw: the cable car turnaround at Powell Street. What’s intriguing about the cable cars is that they are part of the only manually operated cable car systems on the planet.

The photo shoot at Union Square and the surrounding area was enjoyable, as we strolled about and tried to include some interesting things in our shots. A big heart sculpture at the corner of Union Square that depicted the Golden Gate Bridge on one side of it was one of them. The activist in me needs to mention that the heart on display is part of the “Hearts in San Francisco” project, which benefits the San Francisco General Hospital and was installed on Feb. 14, 2004.

Working with the couple was a pleasant experience! They were enthusiastic about the kind of shots we required of them and they brought a a few ideas of their own into the mix; such as the use of their cute, yellow scooter and colorful helmets. They even added a small dance move to the shoot while crossing the pedestrian crosswalk. We were able to get all natural and candid shots thanks to their fun and loving nature. Here are just a few images from our day out with the ‘Rachelz’.

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China Beach stone marker

A seemingly overcast and gloomy day can in fact turn out to be a fun and interesting one as we found out on Jan 10, 2010. China Beach, a secluded cove that is close to the Golden Gate Bridge, was the rendezvous point for a maternity shoot amongst rock outcrops and turbulent waves. The beach and its name have a history attached to them, which you can read about in the photo taken of the stone marker that’s placed at the entrance to the area.  (more…)

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The Ferry Building (click to enlarge)

San Francisco’s urban canvas is chock full of historic architecture and landmarks that are ripe for photography. One such structure is the Ferry Building, a major tourist attraction and a bustling marketplace that serves as a favorite haunt for locals. As its name suggests, it is an operational ferry terminal and is also home to a statue of a jovial M. K. Gandhi that faces the Bay Bridge. The statue is only dwarfed by the beautiful clock tower built in the center of the building.

Statue of Gandhi

The Ferry Building was the backdrop for our first ever engagement photo session with the lovely Ida and Mahir on the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2010. Like any photo shoot, it is always better to arrive early at the location of the shoot and especially so if you’ve never visited it before; this is helpful in quite a few ways as will be explained. Salma and I reached the landmark building early on and this enabled us to get a feel of its environs and bounce around ideas for shots; keeping in mind objects in and around the area allowed us to compose images in our heads beforehand. For example, we used a glass partition of a restaurant for an artistic shot that provided a play on reflection.

Meeting Ida and Mahir was like meeting old friends. The chemistry between the two of them made our work easier as we were able to focus more on framing them in the viewfinders of our cameras instead of giving directions throughout the session. A plethora of lenses were also the stars of the shoot; a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 for bokeh-licious portraits, a Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 for a variety of shots, and a Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 for some interesting wide angle shots.

The photo shoot lasted about an hour and after exchanging goodbyes with the couple, it was off to home and to the digital darkroom for a post-processing marathon. Some of the resulting images are featured below. Enjoy!

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Happy 2010! (Twenty-ten or two thousand ‘n’ ten, depends on how you say it)

The new year has given us a great start, especially when it came to finding work in San Francisco. We had the opportunity to meet wonderful people and be a small part of their life, all the while capturing their special moments. Last weekend’s highlight for us was a memorable visit to a gargantuan oil tank ship called Ice Energy, docked in Richmond, California. The awe-inspiring vessel and the views from the top deck were spectacular. A seperate write-up will be dedicated to the Ice Energy accompanied by lots of pics.

Here’s a sneak peek of three photo shoots that kept us busy in the past week. Images from the shoots will make their way on to the blog starting tomorrow.  That’s all for now,  all the very best to everyone in 2010.

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