Low-light photography is the other reason, besides defocused backgrounds, for paying extra for fast lenses. So, taking advantage of that, I walked around Union Square and Market Street on Saturday night shooting with an f/1.7 lens wide open.

This busker at the edge of Union Square was singing songs from the Great American Songbook (“Cheek to Cheek,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” etc.) and doing it pretty well. So I put some money in his jar and took his photo.

Here are the Westin St. Francis and the Dewey Monument in Union Square.

Walking up Market Street, I saw steam coming out of this manhole. I’ve seen other photos that use that as an effect, so I waited for the right element to enter the frameā€”in this case, a bicyclist.

It was after 10 p.m. when I was out taking these photos. After a rainy day, the sky was overcast and the weather was balmy and calm in downtown SF at that hour. Even if I hadn’t gotten any good photos, the walk was worth taking.