Finding Shadows

After watching Sean Tucker talk about Shadows, I wanted to see how I have used shadows in my street photography this year. Not just really high contract images, but actual shadows to highlight a subject. I love using very high contract and shadows whenever possible, but the small towns I shoot in, just are not heavy in shaded areas. Overall, I find it easier to crush the blacks and make an image very contrasty, and I will do a blog entry for that soon.

Below are a few of the images I found this year, that use shadow. As I reviewed my work, I can see more shadows being used later in the year, as my skills improved.

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Testing the Fujifilm X-T3

I now have the Fujifilm X-T3 in my hands and I was able to take my first images. Overall the camera is very similar to the X-T2. A few under appreciated changes have made shooting with this new camera a joy to use. First is Bluetooth. I don’t have a need to sync my photos to my phone, but the Bluetooth connection has enabled seamless geotagging of my images, a feature I lost when I moved from Nikon to Fuji. The X-T3 also added an electronic 3D level, which is a nice feature when you are shooting handheld.

Another note. A lot of people have asked if you can use an X-T2 L bracket on the X-T3. I have confirmed the Really Right Stuff bracket does not fit. I contacted them and I am told pre-sales will start within the next 2 weeks for an updated L-Bracket.

Below are a few jpg images with minor edits. RAW support is not in Lightroom yet, so I am stuck working with jpg for a few more weeks. I can’t wait to start working with the RAW files.

 Deer Creek Tribute Trail in Nevada City.

Deer Creek Tribute Trail in Nevada City.

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 Acros film simulation.

Acros film simulation.

 Acros film simulation.

Acros film simulation.

 Acros film simulation.

Acros film simulation.

Reno Balloon Races

After years of wanting to visit the huge balloon festival in Reno, I decided it was time to check it out for myself. The morning started out at 3:30 as the ballons begin to arrive.

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As the crowds grow and the people arrive, the balloons begin to coordinate and glow together.

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 Sun soon rises and this added an entirely different glow to the balloons

Sun soon rises and this added an entirely different glow to the balloons

 Almost 100 balloons rise at the same time in a very impressive display.

Almost 100 balloons rise at the same time in a very impressive display.

 Around 7:30am the event starts to break up and everyone begins walking back to the parking lot.  This balloon hovered over the lake to give everyone a chance to take photos on the way out of the park.

Around 7:30am the event starts to break up and everyone begins walking back to the parking lot. This balloon hovered over the lake to give everyone a chance to take photos on the way out of the park.

Classic Yashica Mat Film

I have a couple of old Yashica Mat Twin Lens Reflex cameras and every once in a while, I like to break them out as a way to slow down and take a different style of photo. 

I really enjoy the square aspect ratio that comes with the camera, along with the manual focus. I get my exposures by using an iPhone light meter app.  I send my film to http://www.thedarkroom.com for processing and scanning. 

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Woodland Sunflowers

All photographers have a bucket list of places they want to photograph.  The Woodland sunflower fields is one of those places.

While the sky wasn't very exciting, I am still happy with the "hot summer" look I managed to get from a few of my images.

 I used photoshop to blend multiple exposures to keep as much of the image in focus as possible. 

I used photoshop to blend multiple exposures to keep as much of the image in focus as possible. 

 This old oak tree is the element that makes this field super popular with photographers. 

This old oak tree is the element that makes this field super popular with photographers. 

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 All of my images from this trip were taken with the Fujifilm X-T2, while this iPhone X image produce really outstanding color. 

All of my images from this trip were taken with the Fujifilm X-T2, while this iPhone X image produce really outstanding color. 

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Oregon Creek Covered Bridge

I recently discovered this covered bridge about 20 minutes outside of Nevada City.  The Oregon Creek is along the Yuba River in North San Juan. It is part of the Tahoe National Forest.  

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The bridge originally opened in the early 1870's and was totally restored in early 2018.  I searched the web and found that the bridge was closed to traffic before it was rebuilt, because it was in such bad shape. 

 The rebuilt bridge uses some of the same wood that was used in the original bridge. 

The rebuilt bridge uses some of the same wood that was used in the original bridge. 

Under the bridge you will find a beautiful creek that is used for fishing and swimming. 

 This is a panorama made up of 5 images. Because my tripod wasn't totally level, you can see a little distortion in the bridge shape. 

This is a panorama made up of 5 images. Because my tripod wasn't totally level, you can see a little distortion in the bridge shape. 

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 When you cross the bridge, you will find a large parking lot with bathrooms, park tables and a sandy beach that gives you access to this large open section of the river. You can swim and even use the rope swing. 

When you cross the bridge, you will find a large parking lot with bathrooms, park tables and a sandy beach that gives you access to this large open section of the river. You can swim and even use the rope swing. 

Dad's Restoration Project

My dad has been a geek since his early teenage years, with a love of all things ham radio. He supported the family by owning a small business that sold ham radio equipment. I grew up around dusty old ham radio equipment. I can still remember the unique smell you get from these antiques and seeing my dad work on these antiques bring up a lot of childhood memories.

He is retired now, but he still has a love for radios and radio equipment. He recently developed a passion for morse code keys, the history behind them and restoring these little communication devices.  Most of them come to him covered in grease and dust. He takes each one apart and restores them back to working condition. 

 Just a sample of over 100 in my father's collection. 

Just a sample of over 100 in my father's collection. 

Many of the 100's he has collected were made in the early 1900's and 1940's.  Below is a small handful that he has already restored or are in different phases of restoration.

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 The graphics on this box are really amazing. Inside is all the original documentation and equipment, in original condition. 

The graphics on this box are really amazing. Inside is all the original documentation and equipment, in original condition. 

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 This device uses a punch tape to transit sounds. It was used for training. 

This device uses a punch tape to transit sounds. It was used for training. 

 This was a military device, still waiting restoration. 

This was a military device, still waiting restoration. 

 Another still waiting to be restored. 

Another still waiting to be restored. 

Roadside Nevada County

Nevada county has a few roadside attractions that are unique and fun to visit:

 Grass Valley robot

Grass Valley robot

 This Tin Man and Tin Woman in Nevada City play Wizard of Oz music when you push his bellybutton. 

This Tin Man and Tin Woman in Nevada City play Wizard of Oz music when you push his bellybutton. 

 Rough and Ready has an entire mini town dedicated to Gold Mining history. 

Rough and Ready has an entire mini town dedicated to Gold Mining history. 

 More from Rough and Ready

More from Rough and Ready

 Clark's in Nevada City

Clark's in Nevada City

 Old Shell station in Penn Valley (Bridgeport)

Old Shell station in Penn Valley (Bridgeport)

Nevada City Dark Tourism

I always find cemetery shooting to be a challenge. I don't always know what compositions will work best to bring out the details of the old headstones and statues. This week I decided to try shooting with the Fujifilm 80mm macro lens and I think it was a perfect choice.  I think this will probably be my goto lens for future cemetery visits.  A few samples are below.

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Long Exposure on the South Yuba

I recently purchased a Lee Filters ProGlass 10 Stop filter. This impressive Lee Filter is designed to eliminate pink color casting found in many other 10-stop filters.  I am very happy with the results produced by the filter on the Fuji X-T2. I didn't have to spend any time changing white balance in lightroom or tweaking the image to remove unusual pink colors. 

 South Yuba River in Nevada City.  13 second exposure. f/16. ISO 100. 16mm lens. Mid day sun. 

South Yuba River in Nevada City.

13 second exposure. f/16. ISO 100. 16mm lens. Mid day sun. 

When using the almost totally black 10-stop filter, the Fuji X-T2 is able to accurately calculate exposure time with the normal light meter. I didn't need to spend any time calculating the exposure time before shooting, unlike using the Nikon D810, which requires the use of an exposure conversion chart. I was also able to compose the shot and lock focus, without removing the filter from the camera.  Just one more reason why mirrorless is ahead of DSLR cameras. 

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7 Portraits, 30 Minutes

I had the opportunity to shoot High School Prom photos in Auburn yesterday.  After a long search for an ideal location, we settled on The Ridge golf course, which is surrounded by beautiful oak trees. 

The biggest challenge for the night, beyond having only about 30 minutes to shoot 7 different kids, was the wind and cold. I think the temp was around 55 degrees. These are a few of the 30+ images I edited. 

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