Boudoir Shoot With the Amazing Diandra Godiva!

I have been a fan of Diandra Godiva for over a year.  I would describe her as a 50's style or vintage glamour model.  According to Diandra she grew up in Northern California and had an interest in dressing up and taking photos since a young age.  She prefers a vintage esthetic and lifestyle.  She sings Karaoke and performs burlesque for special events. I discovered her on Instagram and hoped some day i'd get the chance to work with her.  This last week I was able to do just that.  

Fuju XT1, 56mm f1.2 lens, natural light.

I have had nothing but positive experiences working with models and this shoot was no exception.  Diandra was amazing to work with.  Her carefree nature and love for her craft shows in every image.  I like to think I have a relaxed style of shooting.  I want the model as comfortable as possible, knowing that this demeanor fosters a return through the lens.  In other words, you get what you give.  For me this was one of the most fun photo shoots I've done.

Fuju XT1, 56mm f1.2 lens, natural light.

I love natural light.  There is something to be said for keeping it simple.  I am very comfortable with using off camera flash and have used it for many shoots.  When it comes to Boudoir shoots I prefer the look of natural light.  I shot with the Fuji XT1 and for this shoot I used the Fuji 56mm f1.2 R lens.  Shot mostly wide open, there is a slightly soft nature to these images that works for me.  

Fuju XT1, 56mm f1.2 lens, natural light.

Diandra takes me back to my youth, watching old Marilyn Monroe films like "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "Some Like It Hot".  I am already working on plans for my next shoot with this amazing model.  I hope you enjoy these images as much as I did creating them.

Fuju XT1, 56mm f1.2 lens, natural light.

Fuju XT1, 56mm f1.2 lens, natural light.

Fuju XT1, 56mm f1.2 lens, natural light.

Fuju XT1, 56mm f1.2 lens, natural light.

Fuju XT1, 56mm f1.2 lens, natural light.

Fuju XT1, 56mm f1.2 lens, natural light.

I had to throw in at least one black and white!

You can find Diandra on Instagram or Tumblr

 

What's My Genre and Where Do I Fit In?

I've been a photographer for a very long time and I find it hard to find one type of photography to focus on.  Some people say in order to be successful as a photographer you need focus.  Do one type of photography and be the best at that.  Put that out to the world with a consistent style and you will make a name for yourself.  I get that, consistency is king.  When you look at an Instagram account that has more than 10k followers chances are good that the images presented have a theme.  The majority of successful photographers are known for what they shoot.  When you hear the name Pete Souza you think Obama, Anne Geddes you think babies, Ansel Adams, Yosemite and the list goes on and on. My question is, is that a requirement for success?  

I love landscapes.  I've been an outdoorsy type person from a very young age.  I've been drawn to Yosemite and the rest of the sierras all of my life.  I've lived in Mammoth Lakes and Lake Tahoe.  I also believe I have made some beautiful landscape images over the years.

Yosemite Valley shot from the tunnel view parking area.  This obligatory location for every Yosemite photographer.

Yosemite Valley shot from the tunnel view parking area.  This obligatory location for every Yosemite photographer.

Bodega Bay California.  This is a spot called Bodega Head and is one of my favorite sunset locations.

Bodega Bay California.  This is a spot called Bodega Head and is one of my favorite sunset locations.

Found these trees along the Merced River in the Yosemite Valley.  

Found these trees along the Merced River in the Yosemite Valley.  

But there are other things I love to photograph as well, portrait photography being one.  There is a magic in the capture of someones essence.  A photograph of  a person is something, if done right, that can be treasured by future generations.  I believe it can be the best way to remember someone as the years and generations roll on.  I cherish the images that I have made of my two sons.  I have challenged myself to capture their true being, not just for me, but for them and their children and so on.  

I have also been able to create candid portraits that will be passed on for generations.

My fathers 80th birthday.

My fathers 80th birthday.

I have also tried my hand at model photography.  At first this was just a project to push the limits of my photographic abilities.  I wanted to practice my off camera flash skills as well as interacting with a subject in a different way.  I had never paid someone to be my subject but I have no regrets after seeing the results.  

In addition to the above I also love travel photography.  It is a dream to, some day, be able to travel the globe, gear in tow, and capture the essence of the places that I explore.  My latest adventure was to Vancouver BC.

So you tell me.  Where do I fit in?  Where should I focus my attention?  I love photography as a whole and can't imagine limiting myself to one genre.  I enjoy the constant challenges that different locations present.  I enjoy not knowing where my next adventure might come from.  I love working with people and capturing their being, their essence, their love for life.  I also love the outdoors and mountains and natures beauty.  So I'm torn.  For the time being I will continue on my path, shooting what arrives in front of my lens and hoping that I find a tribe or audience that appreciates me for what I am, a true lover of photography in all of its' forms.  

56mm f1.2 FujiFilm Lens Review

I'll start this review by stating that I don't know much about technical specifications.  You can read all that on the Fuji website.  What I do know is how to manipulate this lens to make, what I hope you think, are beautiful images.  I have been in the photography industry for close to 15 years and have been making images since the mid 70's.  After shooting film for many years I made the switch to digital in 2005.  Late last year I switched from all Nikon gear to Fuji and am so glad I made that change.

When I purchased my Fuji XT-1 there was a used 56mm f1.2 (Non APD) available.  The full price for this lens is $999 US but available, at the time of this post, for $799 from B&H.  I love portraiture and the price was right so I went for it.  I haven't regretted that decision, not for a minute.  I use this, almost exclusively, for portraits.  Over the years I have experimented with portraiture but never was very serious about it.  I'd taken the typical, standard, family images, but never felt excited by this type of photography.  That has changed.  Earlier this year I started working with two different models, Devi and Marie Jean.  What's nice is that I get to direct the process.  I choose the clothing, poses, surroundings and the lighting.  The only person I have to blame for poor images is myself.   The pressure is off when you don't have to please a client, catering to their needs and style constraints.  Don't get me wrong, I like to get paid for my work but it is nice to freely shoot whatever your heart desires.  

Marie Jean of modelmayhem.com

This lens is very basic compared to other Fuji lenses.  No WR (Weather Resistance) and no OIS (Optical Image Stabilization).  There is an aperture ring and a focus ring.  No window showing focul distance and no switches for other features.  56mm on a crop sensor is the same as an 84mm in full frame equivalent.  Fuji also sells a 50mm to 140mm zoom at f2.8 but I prefer the 1.2 aperture on the 56.  Playing with light is the goal of a photographer and the more f stops you have the more you get to play.    

Marie Jean of modelmayhem.com

In the studio, paired with a speedlight in a softbox, I was able to obtain clean, clear images with nice color.  I am used to using manual focus and having the focus peaking feature is a major perk of the Fuji system.  For the image below this came in very handy, having to focus past the sheer fabric.

Marie Jean of modelmayhem.com

Marie Jean of modelmayhem.com

On a recent boudoir shoot this lens performed perfectly.  There was limited light but I felt the use of a flash would change the feel of the images.  I love working with natural light and the fast aperture allowed just that.

The room I was working in was small but I still had the room I needed to obtain the images I was looking for.  I do have to admit that the images from this lens are a little soft, but not so much so to be distracting.  I believe it adds to the images overall look and feel and is what makes this lens so special.  It also means that I don't have to spend a ton of time editing out imperfections.  

All of these images were edited in Lightroom with slight saturation, exposure, sharpness and contrast adjustments.  There was also some spot removal here and there.  These were also edited from the RAF or raw files.  

I usually hate images of myself.  I was actually able to capture this image, holding my iPad in my hand to activate the shutter and I actually like it.  

What I know for sure is that I have just begun to discover what this lens is capable of.  Portraiture has become a new favorite genre for me and I believe it is because of this amazing lens.  I have been pushing the limits of my photography and am looking forward to seeing what I can achieve in the near future.  

Model Shoot With the Fuji Film 35mm f2 R WR

Since purchasing the FujiFilm 35mm f2 i've wanted to put it through its' paces during a model shoot.  The effective field of view being 53mm on a full frame camera, I thought this would be appropriate.  I know this isn't an ideal portrait lens and that there are many other lenses by FujiFilm that would be more appropriate.  In addition to this lens I also own the 56mm 1.2 and love it for portraiture, but for this shoot I was looking for a wider field of view.  

Here in Northern California we are blessed with some of the most beautiful stretches of coastline that exist on this amazing planet.  I've always wanted to do an implied nude/nude photoshoot at one of the local beaches but the stars hadn't aligned until recently.  I have been working with an amazing local model that I found on modelmayhem.com .  Marie Jean is great to work with and I love the results we are able to obtain together.  After a short conversation she suggested the location and we set up the shoot.  My hope was to include the sunset but the weather gods weren't on our side.  The fog rolled in and wasn't going to lift.  We decided to go ahead with the shoot regardless.  I actually prefer to shoot in flat light or overcast skies.  You don't have to worry about harsh shadows or trying to balance the light on the model with the light of the sun.  

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

I'm a run and gun photographer.  When I shoot outdoors I don't like to lug around a ton of equipment.  I love natural light and believe that you don't always need a flash to make a great image.  Don't get me wrong, I love working with off camera flash and have done so often.  I usually reserve flash photography for my indoor work or when the light is just too harsh to balance with reflectors.  For this shoot I was lucky that all I needed was my Fuji XT1 and the 35mm f2 lens.  

The focus speed is fantastic with this lens.  There were a few times where I switched to manual focus and used the focus peaking feature.  For this shoot background blur or "bokeh" wasn't as important to me.  Most of the shots have distant backgrounds and this lens handled them beautifully.  

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

Lately i've been exploring shooting implied nudes.  I have set out to push the boundaries of my photographic abilities and experiences.  I believe that you will never improve your craft unless you get outside of your comfort zone.  I was lucky enough to be working with an amazing young lady that put me at ease and was generous with her experience, suggesting spots and poses throughout the shoot.  

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

I've gotten to the point where I no longer have to worry about my equipment or settings.  I shot film for close to 25 years with a manual focus camera.  Settings come naturally to me.  The Fuji system is as close as I can get to using an old school film camera and is much like my old Nikon FE2.  The 35mm f2 lens is unbelievably compact and a joy to use.  The only draw back that I could possibly mention is that the provided lens hood is practically useless.  I can't imagine it makes much difference at all when attached.  There are aftermarket hoods available, but so far I haven't needed to use one.  This camera lens combination made this shoot effortless and fun.  I wouldn't hesitate to use it again in the future. 

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens.  Converted to B&W in Lightroom.

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens.

There are additional images that include nudes and semi nudes.  I have placed them in a separate post which you can access HERE.  Marie Jean can be found on modelmayhem.com and on Instagram.  I look forward to working with her again in the near future.  

Model Shoot With the FujiFilm 35mm f2 R WR (NSFW Nude and Semi Nude Content)

This post is part two of my model shoot using the FujiFilm 35mm f2 R WR lens.  Please click HERE for part one!  Because of the nature of the images below I chose to separate them from the original post and give readers the option to view them.  I try to create content that is user friendly and sensitive to peoples choices to not view images of this type.  Please let me know if I am accomplishing that goal.  Your feedback is appreciated.  

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens, Northern California Coast.

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens, Northern California Coast.

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens, Northern California Coast.  Converted to B&W in Lightroom.

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens, Northern California Coast.

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens, Northern California Coast. Converted to B&W in Lightroom.

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens, Northern California Coast.

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens, Northern California Coast.

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens, Northern California Coast.

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens, Northern California Coast.

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens, Northern California Coast.

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens, Northern California Coast.

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens, Northern California Coast. Converted to B&W in Lightroom.

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens, Northern California Coast. Converted to B&W in Lightroom.

Much credit to Marie Jean, she can be contacted for model assignments through modelmayhem.com or on Instagram.  

 

 

Boudoir, Art Nude, NSFW, Call It What You Want, I Took A Stab At It! (NSFW/Nude Link)

Link To Original Post

Below are more images from this photo shoot that incude nudity.  I created this blog entry so that people would have the choice to see the NSFW/Nude images from this shoot.  

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2, Natural Light

Fuji XT1, 56mm f1.2R, Natural Light

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2, Natural Light

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2, Natural Light

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2, Natural Light

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2, Natural Light

Fuji XT1, 35mm f2, Natural Light

2016 Mid Year Review, All In With Fuji

So this is my first full year shooting exclusively with Fuji Gear.  That gear includes the Fuji X100T, XT1, 18-55 zoom, 56mm f1.2 and the 35mm f2.  I have always gravitated toward landscapes.  I love the outdoors and am lucky enough to live in California, a place that contains such varied landscapes within a short distance.  One of those places is Yosemite National Park, it has always been my favorite landscape location for obvious reasons.

Fuji XT1, 18-55 f2.8-4.  Clearing clouds, Yosemite Valley from the tunnel view rest stop.

Fuji XT1, 18-55 f2.8-4.  Clearing clouds, Yosemite Valley from the tunnel view rest stop.

People warned me that I might not like the Fuji gear for landscapes.  That I might not be able to duplicate the results that I was used to with my Nikon gear.  

Fuji XT1, 18-55 f2.8-4.  El Capitan taken from the tunnel view rest stop, Yosemite National Park.

To the contrary I believe it has enhanced my landscape photography.  Fuji is able to capture color and detail in a way that my Nikon never could.  The optics of Fuji's basic "kit" lens (18-55mm 2.8-4) far surpasses the glass that I had on my Nikon, the 18-70mm f3.5-4.5.  My ultimate landscape lens would be the 8-16mm f2.8 if and when it is made available.  Until then, I am perfectly happy with my Fuji "kit" lens.  

Over the last six months I have also enjoyed shooting portraits more than I had in the past.  The Fuji 56mm f1.2 is an amazing lens.  I love the depth of field that this lens allows.  

Fuji XT1, 56mm f1.2.  

This lens has expanded my portrait capabilities in ways I cannot even begin to describe.  The images made with this lens have a unique look to them.  It has a soft quality but you are able to pull amazing detail from a subjects eyes.  

I have also started to explore fine art portraiture.  Using the 56mm f1.2 combined with off camera flash using the Yungnuo 560 TX paired with the 560 IV Speedlight I have been able to create some amazing images.

Fuji XT1, 56mm f1.2 paired with Yungnuo 560TX and 560 IV Speedlight.

Fuji XT1, 56mm f1.2 paired with Yungnuo 560TX and 560 IV Speedlight.

I'm not sureif it is the camera system or my newfound excitement for photography that has pushed me to step outside of my comfort zone.  The Fuji system is just plain fun for me.  It is light weight and the controls on their cameras are intuitive.  I have shot with a Nikon FE2 for close to 30 years and the Fuji system is the closest I have been able to come to that experience in the digital realm.  

Through this equipment I have rediscovered my love for photography.  I am pushing myself to shoot more.  I am drawn to new photographic experiences and adventures.  

Fuji XT1, 18-55mm f2.8-4.  Marin Headlands, Overlooking the Golden Gate.  San Francisco, CA

Fuji XT1, 18-55mm f2.8-4.  Marin Headlands, Overlooking the Golden Gate.  San Francisco, CA

Fuji XT1, 18-55mm f2.8-4.  Bodega Head, Sonoma Coast.  First Sunset of Summer 2016.

Fuji XT1, 18-55mm f2.8-4.  Bodega Head, Sonoma Coast.  First Sunset of Summer 2016.

Who knows where the rest of the year will take me but I know that it will be fun.  Pushing boundaries is the theme for 2016 and thanks to Fuji It is easier and more fun than ever.

Fuji XT1, 56mm f1.2 paired with the Yungnuo 560TX and 560 IV Speedlight.  

 

  

Chasing the Sun

On the first day of summer I decided, late in the day, that I would attempt to chase the sun in order to get some sunset images.  Not wanting to leave my Wife fending for herself with two boys 4 and 6, I decided to stay and help with the evening tasks.  Sunset being at 8:39pm I had a tight window of opportunity.  The location I chose was Bodega Head on the Sonoma Coast here in California.  Located approximately 45 minutes from my house, it would be a challenge.  I left the house at 7:10 and arrived at the coast a little after 8pm.  A short hike and I found my spot.  The light was wonderful.

Sonoma, California Coast.  Bodega Head on 6-20-16, first day of summer.

I always take some time to look around for spontaneous images.  The light on the coastline was fantastic.  

Sonoma, California Coast.  Bodega Head on 6-20-16, first day of summer.

I had to wait for the light to be just right for the sunset images.  When the sun finally set the show began.

Sonoma, California Coast.  Bodega Head on 6-20-16, first day of summer.

After that I just went with it and just kept hitting the shutter release.  The images jumped out at me one by one.  The light getting better and better as time went on.

Sonoma, California Coast.  Bodega Head on 6-20-16, first day of summer.

Sonoma, California Coast.  Bodega Head on 6-20-16, first day of summer.

Sonoma, California Coast.  Bodega Head on 6-20-16, first day of summer.

Sonoma, California Coast.  Bodega Head on 6-20-16, first day of summer.

As i've said in the past, I love spur of the moment photo adventures.  I don't like to over plan a shoot like this.  I had brought my tripod but when I arrived the wind was howling at 30 mph.  I wasn't going to be able to switch lenses so I took the only zoom I had, the 18-55.  Curious what the 16-55 2.8 would have been able to do but that's $1000 away, maybe next year.  I'm incredibly happy with the images I made and i'm looking forward to the next adventure.

Chasing a Clearing Storm

It rained, here in Sonoma County, yesterday.  Having some free time I decided that I wanted to run down to the Golden Gate Bridge and make some images of the clearing storm.  I took my Fuji XT1, a few lenses, my GoPro "Hero" and a tripod.  This being a spur of the moment decision, the ability for planning was limited.  I did check the Golden Gate Bridge webcam to see if conditions might be favorable for some images.  There was heavy cloud cover but it wasn't raining and the weatherman said that it would clear up by the early afternoon.  So I jumped in my car and headed South.  Hitting some traffic on my way.  I made it to the Marin Headlands in about an hour and a half.  The clouds were clearing nicely but the fog was my biggest concern.  The Headlands are the hills just North of the Golden Gate and afford some of the most beautiful views of this amazing structure.  I usually avoid shooting here in the middle of the day, even when conditions are perfect, due to the huge number of tourists in the area.  The fog was very erratic, at times blocking the view of the bridge completely.  I got lucky and was able to make a few images.

South Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from the Marin Headlands. June, 2016

I set up my tripod to hold my GoPro "Hero" and started the timelapse mode.  As I set it up the fog cleared and I saw this shot below.

View of San Francisco looking through the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from the Marin Headlands.  June, 2016

One of the challenges of being a photographer and standing in a location such as this is that you are asked to take image after image of tourists.  I don't mind this at all, but it tends to get in the way of my purpose, which is to create images.  It got to the point where people were crowding me and my tripod so I had to abandon ship.  Before I left I was able to make this timelapse.

As I was getting ready to pack up I looked down and noticed a lock attached to the cable of the fence at the viewpoint.  The lock had a heart engraved on its' face.  It gave me an idea for a couple of images.

Lock attached to fence cable, located at a viewpoint above the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, June 2016

Lock attached to fence cable, located at a viewpoint above the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, June 2016

I love photography adventures.  I have found that I do my best work on spur of the moment trips.  Lately these adventures have been inspired by weather events.  I love the look of the sky as the clouds start to clear.  A clear blue sky can be a beautiful background but I tend to prefer a little something going on in the way of clouds.  

Dreaming of the next storm.......

Model Mayhem Has Been Good To Me!

I broke down and paid for a model and I couldn't be happier with the results.  Don't get me wrong, i've been lucky to have worked with some amazing models over the last couple of years.  There is something about the change in dynamic when it's a paid shoot.

 I worried less about how much time I was taking and took the opportunity to work different angles and lighting positions.  I'm fairly new to off camera flash and wanted to spend some time playing with the light that a one light setup provided.  I was shooting with a Fuji XT1, a 56mm 1.2 lens and a Yungnuo 560 Mark III Speelight and the Yungnuo 560TX radio transmitter mounted atop the camera.  The flash was used in conjunction with a small, square, softbox.  

I worked with an amazing model from modelmayhem.com Marie Jean .  She arrived on time and ready to work and I believe we achieved some beautiful results.  

I'm a fly by the seat of your pants kind of photographer.  I try not to have too much of a preconcieved notion of what i'm going to achieve.  I have a general ideal but I am flexible with where that takes me.  I wait to see how the model works with me and the situation and try to capture what happens without too much direction.  

Most of my photography has centered around landscapes, still life and the occasional portrait.  Lately I have been excited by what I have been able to accomplish with portraits using both natural and off camera flash.  Light can be tough to master.  It's always changing and can either help or hurt you depending on how you use it.  The goal is to remember what worked and add that to your tool kit.  

For this shoot I had an idea that I had never tried and had no idea how it would turn out.  I've traveled some in Italy and Greece and have always been taken with how widows show their respects to their partners when they are gone.  In Greece there is a tradition that a widow dresses in black for the rest of their life.  I wanted to add some beauty to this idea in the form of the subject and some flowers.  The idea was great, but carrying it out took patience for me and the model.  Marie was fantastic and worked with me until I got the results I wanted.

The hardest part of the above image was getting the focus right.  I am still learning the capabilities of my Fuji XT1.  The light was very low in the studio and it was impossible to see well enough to use manual focus.  I set the focus to area mode and was able to capture this shot.  I couldn't be happier with this image.  I actually used the out of camera jpegs and worked them a little in LIghtroom.  

It was a pleasure working with Marie and I hope we get to collaborate again in the near future.  Here are a couple more images from this shoot.

Copyright Wineberg Images 2016

Old Dog Learning New Tricks

Nikon FE2 next to Fuji XT1

 

As most are aware I recently switched from Nikon to the Fuji collection of cameras and lenses. Over the last year my photography has progressed further than in the last 20 years because of this.

 I'm an old dog.  I've been making images since the mid seventies.  I was lucky enough to have a middle school that had a beautiful darkroom to explore and create in.  In High School I contributed to the newspaper and continued to make images on film until my switch to digital in 2005.  I went with what I knew, which was Nikon.  A trusted brand that I had been shooting with for over 20 years.  I began my journey with a Nikon D70 and graduated to a D7000.  I rented several full frame Nikon cameras as well.  As my abilities grew with digital I contemplated the move to owning a more professional system.  This is when I found Fuji.  I rented the XT1 and loved it.  Still not 100% sure I purchased the X100T to see if I wanted to commit.  Reasoning was that I wouldn't have to invest in lenses and would only have to sell one item if it didn't work out.  Well it worked out.  I love it and I kept it.  I now have added the XT1 and the 35mm f2, 56mm 1.2 and the 18-55mm kit lens.  Next on the list are the 16-55mm 2.8 and the 50-140mm 2.8 zooms.  All this for half the cost of a similar Nikon system.  It also looks like Fuji is about to release, crossing my fingers, the XT2 with a 24mp sensor.  This is all rumor but with the release of the XPro 2 with a 24mp sensor it only makes sense that the update to the XT1 will follow suit.  

When you look at my old Nikon FE2 alongside my new XT1 you have to see the similarities.  Fuji was brilliant to go with this form factor.  There is a huge population that grew up with old film cameras.  The nostalgia factor alone is enough for some to purchase any of the new generation of cameras that have the look and feel of old school film cameras that ruled for decades.  They haven't reached the status of Nikon or Canon but I believe it is just a matter of time.  I believe that digital camera technology is till in its infancy and has nowhere to go but up.  New features and functions are being released at an astounding pace.  Who would have thought, ten years ago, that Wi-Fi would be an expected feature in a new camera.  So camera companies please keep it up.  My abilities grow with each new feature and my mind is challenged by each innovation you make.  

 

 

SoYou Think You're a Photographer?

 I've been around for a little while. I've worked in the photography industry off and on for close to 20 years. Since digital took over there has been a growing sense in the photography community that "true" professional photography has been eroded away. This erosion caused by the new ease of use of digital equipment.

With digital tech you are able to see your results immediately. The learning curve shortened and people are able to create images, for purchase, that are acceptable to the general public, with very little time in the saddle. With film you had a process that took days and sometimes weeks to produce professional looking images. The expense was 100 times what it is today. Most professional photographers were shooting film until around 2005. It is only in the last 10 years that digital has taken over. It used to be a specialized field that involved the use of chemistry in darkrooms.  Figuring out lighting was a long and slow process.  No camera back to look at to see results.  Polaroids were the only option for immediate feedback and we all know what a polaroid looks like.  It took years to master photography.  Because of this photographers were able to charge larger sums for images.  Photographers weren't a dime a dozen.   Imagine how you would feel if you had taken years to master your craft and someone out there, with six months of experience, is your competition.  Some will say that if you were an amazing photographer you wouldn't have any trouble keeping clients in this situation, I disagree.  The problem is that when someone can get similar results, even if it is lower quality, they will go with the cheaper option.  Ask the former employees of Sports Illustrated or the Chicago Sun Times.  So when someone starts talking about the "everyone is a photographer" topic I understand where they are coming from. Just look on Instagram or 500px and you will see 1000's of amazing photos from 1000's of amazing photographers. Before the interweb and digital these people would have fallen to obscurity.  They never would have been able to express themselves to such a large audience and for that I am grateful. It's a hard pill to swallow, progress is, but one that we will have to swallow if we are going to move on and adapt.  You know the saying, adapt or die. Call yourself what you will, I know what I am and I don't need someone else to validate it for it to be true.  So pick up that camera and create your art!

 

Yosemite On My Mind

Another successful trip behind me and now the process of culling and editing, the hard drive full, of images begins.  I arrived on Friday, beating a pretty substantial storm to the valley.  It rained all night and into the morning.  At around 9:30am on Saturday the clouds began parting and the mad dash to the tunnel view or valley view overlook began.  I was greeted by parting clouds and a layer of fog so beautiful I couldn't believe my eyes.  I was able to capture this image.

Yosemite Valley

I return to this place every year.  I always go in either January or February for a couple of reasons.  The crowds are much smaller and the weather can create the most amazing views of this unbelievably beautiful valley.  The summer haze that stretches the entire valley is non-existant and the sun is lower in the sky.  This trip felt like a new beginning for me.  My skills have grown over the last few years, shooting more than ever in my life.  I am more pleased by my results with each new day and love picking up my camera.  I attribute some of it to my recent switch to Fuji but not all.  I have a fire in my gut to get it done lately.  The more effort I put in the better the results.  I know that that is a truism and that all good things come from hard work and perseverance.  The images I captured this trip are some of my best work to date but I still feel that I am just at the beginning of my journey as a photographer.  

El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, Winter


Trees on the shore of the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, Winter