This past Saturday, I was treated to a wonderful day of roaming around San Francisco, surrounded by a cadre of fun and amazing photographers – it was a reunion of sorts from the +Google+ Photographer’s Conference that happened earlier this year.

After walking through various parts of downtown, I felt my overall attention span waning a bit – like I was having some mental fatigue. I’m not sure what it was but I definitely felt interest levels start to dissipate. Maybe it was because I had already shot a bunch of architecture or, more likely, it was the onset of a food coma from the delicious Indian food (and grilled cheese sandwich) that I ate.

And that’s when I remembered the photographer’s bag o’ tricks. There are all sorts of fun little experiments that we can employ whenever this lack of creativity begins to show up. In my case, I started going on a feverish rampage to pan along with any interesting vehicles that sped by me. Fortunately, because I was in San Francisco, this meant photographing the bright and fun trolley cars that zipped by.

Panning, in particular, was a really fun exercise because it required a lot of discipline, trial, and failure. But with each attempt, I felt myself learning something new and saw results improve rather quickly. The best part about this was that it immediately made my attention and creativity spike back up – like a second wind of energy.

So, next time you’re out and are feeling like you are in a doldrum, just remember that you’ve got your own bag o’ tricks. You just need to dig in and see what you pull out.

A personal thanks to +Amy Heiden, +Tressa Crozier, +Michael Bonocore (and Rocky),  +Chris Chabot, +Lisa Donchak, +Barry Blanchard, +Ed Sweeney, +Joe Ercoli, +Toby Harriman and, of course, +Ricardo Lagos for making my Saturday so freaking awesome.

Google Maps Location Info
37.78860, -122.40230

In terms of processing
This is a single exposure taken with my Canon 5D Mark III and Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM pancake lens.

I applied Fashion Passion and Blue Dawn to the trolley car and masked in Grunge onto the street so that it was help make the car pop. Tonal Contrast was applied globally. All done in Perfect Effects 3 by +onOne Software.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.1.

In album Urbanity and Architecture (1 photo)

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