Photo from May 18, 2008

My friend Andrei called me and said that today was Bay to Breakers. A friend of ours, Kara, invited us to Orange Photography which back then was on the race route and would set up a free photo booth. But by the time we got there the race was long gone.

Kara introduced me to Gene Hwang, one of the co-founders, and after helping them clean up, we drove to the panhandle to see if we could catch the tail end of Bay to Breakers.

One of the great things about this event is that every stranger enjoyed their photo taken. Thus, armed with my Leica and Nikon, I started snapping away. At one point, this pilot in a sick costume started to salute me until I snapped her photo.

My only criticism is that it looks like she’s piloting an F4, but the mirrorshade aviators really are a great touch.

At that point her commander, Lt. Thurston, noticed me too and they allowed me to take a portrait of them.

Top Gun
Bay to Breakers
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G
1/1250sec @ ƒ2.8, iso 200, 24mm

Now I didn’t realize the Navy flew any F-117s and I’m not sure why a lieutenant is sporting captain’s bars, but from the naked people I saw, I’m sure everything is okay on Bay to Breakers day.

I’m now a huge fan of DxO Viewpoint’s ability to do perspective correction on the edges of portraits and group shots which is why I used DxO to process the image. But what you are probably most interested is in my choice of film color rendering. Generally for portraits, color negative film is better because it doesn’t generate as contrasty an image. Among them, I feel the the king of outdoor portrait film is the Kodak Portra series. Porter film brings life to outdoor skin tones without over-saturating the reds like Fuji does. Even then, it mutes some of the greens which makes it poor for landscapes, despite my choice of the Kodak Portra™ 160VC (vivid color) setting. Here is the original RAW in Lightroom default processing:

Yes, the foliage is a deeper green but at the price of distorted arms and a flat skin tone.

I really should batch process these images in DxO, but I haven’t learned a quick system in Lightroom of doing groups and picks like in Aperture. I took a lot of fun photos this day.

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