You are currently browsing the archives for October, 2009.
A very busy October is slowly coming to an end. The weekend of the 16th, 17th, and 18th was spent driving up highway 395 to Lee Vining and spent Saturday shooting around Bodie. But on the way home, I took a short detour through the June Lake area and shoot the fall color.
This scene was right next to the road. I got out of my car, turned around, and it was waiting to be captured. As I stood there looking at it, I immediately noticed and liked the dark green pine tree in the middle of the yellow with the semi-green aspens in the upper left.
I was very impressed with the color in the area and all along the eastern Sierra. I am going to have to plan trip up there next year.
I still have lots of images from both the ill fated trip up the 395 and the Morro Bay Photo Expo with George Lepp and will be posting LOTS more images over the next few weeks.
Posted 3 years, 7 months ago at 9:57 pm. Add a comment
It was an interesting weekend that started out well, got a LOT better, then took a disastrous, almost fatal, turn.
I took a trip up to Bodie State Historical Park last weekend to participate in their last photographer’s day of the year. Photographer’s day is held every third Saturday of the month from April to October. The cost is $50 and for that they open the park up at 6:30am instead of the usual 9:00 and close it at 6:30pm instead of the usual 4:00. Although, I have heard that they don’t really ask you to leave until you are actually done.
I was prepared for snow and bad weather after the week’s storm, but the roads were dry and, yet, there was snow on the ground to give the images more character.
I left SoCal at about 5:30pm Thursday afternoon, staying in Ridgecrest for the night. I got an early start at about eight o’clock and continued up highway 395, stopping in Galen Rowell’s Mountain Light Gallery for my traditional look at his gallery as I pass through Bishop. I am always amazed by his work and the work of the guest artists that are exhibited. I strongly recommend stopping at his gallery to every photographer passing through the Bishop area.
- Fall Color at Convict Lake
I stopped by Convict Lake in the Lee Vining/Mammoth Lakes area and took some images there. I tried out my new Lensbaby and captured the fall colors around the lake before traveling to Mono Lake and taking some pictures at the South Tufa area. After that, I checked into the Lee Vining Lake View Lodge. Ok, there is no lake view, but…
Saturday, I got up at 4:45 and was out the door by 5:30, arriving at Bodie by 6:20. Checked in, got to the parking lot, then hiked up the west side of the valley to get the sun rising over the town. After that, I went back into the town and shot pictures of different things in the morning light. By noon, I was mostly shooting macro and using the Lensbaby to while away the time until the afternoon golden hour when I hiked back up the west side of the valley to get the sun setting on the town.
- Bodie Before Sunrise
After a good dinner at Whoa Nellie Deli in the Mobil station. (It’s really good food. Honest.) I went to bed and got a good night’s sleep, waking up at seven and getting on the road at about 9:30 after a good breakfast at Nicely’s in Lee Vining. I took a side trip up into Yosemite to see the affect of the snow on Tuolumne Meadows and the high country. Above 9,000 feet there was lots of snow. Below 9,000 feet there was almost nothing. I still got some good shots of small streams and lakes with the mountains and snow in the background.
- Tenaya Lake
Finally, I started home. After four hours of driving, I had just past Ridgecrest when some idiot in a white Dodge Ram pick-up tried passing in a no-passing zone forcing me off the road, up an embankment, and into a sign post. Ironically, the sign I drove through was “PASS WITH CARE”.
The X-Terra is probably totaled and the CHP officer said that the only reason I am not dead or busted up is because of my decision to put my car into the dirt and then my skill at keeping it upright. To top it off, the bastard took off, making it a “none collision hit and run” accident. Fortunately, two local kids from Ridgecrest stayed and were witnesses for me to the CHP.
My wife picked me up after a two-and-a-half hour drive from home and we ended up spending the night back in Ridgecrest before driving home Monday morning.
The bottom line: I’m glad to be alive, well, and to have come home with some great pictures. I will be posting a few here over the next few weeks.
Posted 3 years, 7 months ago at 10:30 am. Add a comment
I was asked to shoot a charity basketball game between the seniors and the staff to benefit scleroderma victims. I like this kind of event. The kids have fun and so does the staff. Plus, it goes to a good cause. Here are a few images from the evening and a short analysis of the problems and possible solutions follows that.
You can see all of the images at The Nature Light Photography Gallery.
What Did I Learn?
This was a new challenge. I have never shot sports inside before. Water polo and swimming? Yes. Softball? Yes. Rodeo? Yes. But never indoor basketball.
I have read where the lighting situation inside most high school gyms is difficult. JEEZ!! Is that true!!!! My plan was to take my SB600 and shoot with a fairly fast piece of glass, the 70-200 f2/8. It worked. Kind of.
While the flash did freeze the action fairly well, focus was a bit of a problem. The lens wouldn’t lock on to subjects well and fast enough. I think this is due to the very low light conditions and the difficulty of following the subject.
I basically planted myself under one basket and shot from a seated position. The length of the lens made it difficult to keep the subject in the viewfinder as they came closer to my end of the court and the proximity of the players made good composition difficult. You can see my results here.
You can see the limited field of view and difficulty of composition.
I brought my 50mm f1.4 also, but it limited my ability to isolate the players or what I wanted to shoot. I also had the D70 kit lens, a 18-70mm f3.5-4.5, but I didn’t think that it was fast enough. But I wasn’t getting the shots I wanted or needed, so I tried it.
I was surprised. It focused quickly, the flash froze the subjects well, and the images were usable!! The subjects weren’t too close for a good composition and I could compose fairly well.
With a wider lens, the composition is better.
The only problem was that the on camera flash left some weird shadows behind the subjects. It’s not the lens, but me not utilizing the flash well.
Harsh shadows caused by on camera flash.
I think I really need a better flash, something like a SB900 and some sort of remote to fire it off from a distance. I have seen sports shooters utilize two flashes mounted on stands placed at the corners of the floor and triggered by remotes such as Radio Poppers or Pocket Wizards. I would like to try that set-up next time.
The bottom line is that next time I WILL get the flash off of the camera and try to get two flashes that I can work together to improve the lighting situation.
All-in-all, I think it was a good shoot. OH, and the staff won!!!
Posted 3 years, 7 months ago at 11:19 am. Add a comment
Walking toward the pool to officiate a game. Hoping it wouldn’t rain, but knowing that it already has recently. Then I noticed this puddle with the reflection of the sky and part of the railing.
Posted 3 years, 7 months ago at 5:35 pm. Add a comment
It’s been a while since I got an iPhone photo up. I’ve been kind of busy preparing for school and my upcoming trips.
I was in our copy room and saw the wrappers for the reams of copy paper on the trash can. I love blue and yellow and I liked the pattern.
Again, except for the tagging of this post, everything was done on the iPhone.
Posted 3 years, 7 months ago at 9:36 am. Add a comment
This is going to be a great month. I have three events planned that I am really looking forward to attending.
The first is a photographer’s day at Bodie State Park. I discovered Bodie in late June and fell in love with it. I find the fact that a town of its age and location is still standing. As an environmental science teacher, I like looking at the town and wondering what it must have been like to live there with all of the waste, trash, and other cast-offs created by placing several thousand people in close proximity.
I like wandering around the town and wondering what it must have been like to live there during the height of the boom. The sounds, the smells, the people. It must have been overwhelming in some ways and really difficult in others. I’ve never lived through a winter in the area, but I have heard that they are REALLY hard and demanding. Summers are hot. Life was hard. And there are reminders and remnants of past lives. Everywhere you look there is something that was a part of some one’s life and I always wonder how they used it and how it affected their.
On photographer’s day, for $50, they open the park up at or just before sunrise and close it down at or just after sunset. This allows photographers access to the town and park without a lot of people and at a time that is most advantageous to the golden hour in lighting. I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can get from the situation.
A week after going to Bodie, I am going to the Morro Bay Photo Expo hosted by George Lepp. I heard about this on Twitter and signed up early this year. While there are several social events, I signed up for as many workshop/classes as I could fit into my schedule. I figure that for a relatively cheap price of $75, I was going to get as much photo education as possible, so I skipped the social events and signed up for lots of photography information based workshops.
The weekend culminates with a one day seminar lead by George Lepp. I am REALLY looking forward to this. I have been reading his column in Outdoor Photographer every chance I get and now I have the opportunity to listen to him in person. That should be educational. I’ll be writing more about what I am taking and why later.
Finally, on the 27th, I will be attending Dane Sanders’ REAL TIME COMMUNITY with Dane Sanders, Scott Bourne, and Chris Becker.
I have heard Becker speak before at a SMUG (Smugmug Users Group) and he is very well know for not only his photography, but his business prowess and community building skills.
I first heard of Scott Bourne on a podcast and over the last few years have come to respect Scott Bourne for his knowledge and insight into and about the photography industry. He is one of my favorite Tweeters and ALWAYS has something important and educational to say.
I don’t know Dane Sanders’ work well, but I know he is VERY well respected in the photographic community and I want to hear what he has to say about the photography business.
Of course I will keep you posted as the month progresses.
Posted 3 years, 7 months ago at 1:29 pm. Add a comment
I just posted Josh’s senior portrait shoot at Nature Light Photography. Take a moment and take a look.
Posted 3 years, 7 months ago at 11:47 am. Add a comment