Matching Imagination with Reality at The Painted Ladies

The first time I had been to San Fransisco, I had just picked up photography as a hobby.  I managed to carve out enough time on my road trip to spend about half a day in San Fransisco and ABSOLUTELY fell in love with the city, but didn’t have enough time to actually DO anything like visit The Painted Ladies or catch a Trolly.

That was 4 years ago.

This last weekend I made my way down to The Bay Area to visit my wife who is working in Cupertino for a few months.  We took a day trip to SF and I was finally able to play tourist.  We rode the cable car, went to the Golden Gate Bridge, ate sour dough bread and even made our way to the Painted Ladies and the Tanner’s house from Full House.

While riding up the hill, hanging halfway out of a cable car and singing ‘Everywhere you look, there’s a heart (there’s a heart!) A hand to hold onto…’, Pictures of the Tanners rolling down grass hills and having picnics in front of The Painted Ladies flashed through my head.  You can imagine my surprise, then, when we got to the park over looking the houses and finding nothing but dirt and tourists.  This isn’t what I imagined.

As it turns out, they are completely renovating the park.  I guess that, plus the fact California has been hit with a long lasting drought, doesn’t add up to picnics in front of The Painted Ladies.  It was somewhat bleak.  And the high numbers of tourists like myself made getting a shot of these beautiful houses that was ‘picturesque’ damn near impossible.  So, as I’ve heard many many times in my film-career… I fixed it in post!

Before

The Painted Ladies Before

After

The Painted Ladies After

Now that’s more like it!  Getting rid of the tourists and covering the dirt up with grass really cleans up this vantage point.  I’ll admit that there is a certain charm for the original photo, but it just didn’t represent what I had THOUGHT I was going to find at the top of the hill.

Which version do you like better?  The original?  Or the photoshopped version?  Let me know in the comments below!

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