In which I take some ordinary street shots and overprocess them for fun.

Vancouver likes street culture, especially around The Main (which is central and can’t be ignored but not actually anyone’s Main street). I took the kids down to the the “Main Street Shift Autumn Festival” on Sunday and came back with pix.

They’re nothing special; I’m mostly just showing off what you can do with a Fujifilm X-E1 in a pinch, with extra glamor from the nifty Nik Silver Efex software that I get for free because I’m at Google.

Food · It ain’t a street party without street food; my 7-year-old had a cinnamon-apple-tart, an organic popsicle, and a mango lassi. My 14-year-old and I had pakoras from the Varinicey truck, which I totally recommend. On top of being tasty, spicy, and onion-loaded, they were vegan and free of all sorts of things I suppose are bad for me. Everyone in the truck was totally white; it’s a Pacific-Rim thing, baby.

Alley Music · This event, unlike others which sprawl block after block, confined itself to two but included the alleys alongside, which I think is sensible. These are alley photos, starting with the singing women.

Four women singing at Main Street Autumn Shift

It would have been polite to find out the name of the band but I didn’t because I assumed I could online but I couldn’t. Their harmonies were divine and the faster they sang the better they sounded.

When you look at this you’re pixel-peeping because it’s a tiny piece of the capture; couldn’t get that close with the 35mm F1.4. Even after the crop it still looked a little too creamy so I added noise and subtracted color with Lightroom. What a sensor!

For some reason this audience faction was up against the graffiti off to the side of the band.

Audience at Main Street Autumn Shift

Once again the Fujifilm capture was overimmaculate, so I turned Lightroom’s “Grain” setting way way up which may not exhibit photointegrity but was definitely truer to the back-alley essence of the thing.

Walked away from the singers I looked up; oh my goodness! I suppose other cities must have this kind of wire-carrying structure in their downtown-ish parts, but I only see them in Vancouver.

Wires over a Vancouver Alley

The picture out of the camera was just black silhouettes and flat grey sky, but I liked the shapes. Here we combine the Fuji’s remarkable data depth with the awesome power of Nik’s Silver Efex preset #24, entitled “Full contrast & structure”. Then I fiddled a bit with the blacks and sharpness. I cackled audibly when I found this preset; I’m so glad Google decided to leave the product intact.


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From: John Cowan (Sep 17 2013, at 07:23)

"definitely truer to the back-alley essence of the thing"

That is, truer to what Prairieboy thinks a back alley event should look like on film, rather than what this one actually did look like. This reminds me of the critical response to Samuel R. Delany's work: people who specialize in African American fiction tend to ignore him because his work is "not black enough". His response is that because he's (a) African American and (b) writing fiction, criticism that ignores him is ignoring part of its subject matter.


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September 16, 2013
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