April 7 – 10th, 2016
Victorville, CA to Holbrook, AZ.
I had signed up for this workshop with Keith Skelton before I knew I’d be having a left hip replacement (2/23/16). I knew going on this workshop was probably not good for my rehab but emotionally wanted to go and did. I paid the price seated in the car for 10 hours sometimes. I drove in my own car in case I had to turn back home.
Walking to what I would have liked to photograph with the others when we stopped ended up being very painful. I’d drive up close to what I wanted to shoot eventually and photographed subjects from my car. Unfortunately I only brought my Leica with a 28 mm lens since I figured the 5d Mark III fitted with longer lenses would be too heavy for my hip replacement leg to endure.
I am glad I went on this trip even with all the pain I experienced. I met some wonderful people, enjoyed being with my friend JJ (Jim Keener), and always enjoy being around Keith. He is a great workshop leader.
And……here are some of the photos I shot.
Jen and I decided last week that we needed to spend time experiencing the calm that comes when spending time photographing at the Salton Sea. I get lost in the beauty that somehow always reveals itself once I put myself in the mindset of singleness of purpose…..watching the birds. As I’ve said before….Everytime time I come away with a unique collection of photos that I couldn’t have predicted I’d get.
At home the previous night’s sunset was incredibly beautiful. I imagined Jen and I might have another beautifully colored sunset at the Salton Sea as a local storm was headed our way. We did not get clouds as I’d hoped and not much color. But I am happy with the photos I didn’t know I’d get earlier in the late afternoon. Not having expectations leaves me open to what is of interest to me at the moment.
I didn’t know head of time I’d only use the Canon Zoom EF 100-400mm 1:4-5-5.6 L IS II USM lens the entire shoot. But I did. Much of the time I was out at the 400 end. We arrived at the S.S. around 2:30pm so I had a little trouble knowing what exposures would work best. Lightroom in post processing helped me like some of the photos a little a bit more than how they looked straight out of camera.
I’m headed off to Sri Lanka on Friday, traveling as light as possible. To lighten my load to carry on only I am not bringing my Canon 5d Mark III photography equipment. Because I would never feel comfortable being anywhere with only one camera, I recently purchased two new lightweight cameras: the Ricoh GR II (28mm) and the Leica zoom (25-400mm – fixed lens).
The following photos were shot in B&W mode on the Ricoh GR II and edited in Lightroom in B&W.
I’m hoping I will become more knowledgeable with both cameras sooner than later. The Ricoh GR II is much easier to learn and use than the Leica. Many of the most used modes are featured as buttons right on the backside of the camera. The Ricoh also is so small it looks like a toy camera and I found the people I photographed up real close today didn’t feel as uncomfortable as when I use the Leica or the even bigger Canon (with the big lenses). It isn’t easy for me to get up close to people with wide angle lenses but I’m going to walk through my fear and move in to the 3 foot range and photograph people before they know what I’m doing so I hopefully catch moments and not poses.
Here are some first attempts at moving in closer. No one got mad.
On my last night in Mammoth I braved the coldest day so far and arrived late (almost 6pm) at Lake Mary’s north shore and shot off this and the next shot before the sun set.
Drove back across the Lake Mamie/Lake Mary bridge to Lake Mary’s south shore where I stayed until 8:00pm in the 40 degree cold night.
Practiced shooting vertical camera movement to capture these trees.
These remaining shots were all taken in the same direction but where I kept changing my foreground.
Last night’s practice spinning the camera lens while on a tripod set to shutter speeds around 15th to 20th sec.
In this first set of three photos, The first of the three photos is the smaller, zoomed in, version. The second photo is a little less zoomed in version. And the third photo is a larger version of what I first saw.
Again, In this next set of three photos, The first of the three photos is the smaller, zoomed in, version. The second photo is a little less zoomed in version. And the third photo is a larger version of what I first saw.
And with the next three photos, I am practicing more spinning the camera lens at slower speeds to get (hopefully) the center subject in focus. This is sooooo difficult for me to get the central figure in exact focus. I guess there are just too many variables that prevent sharp focus. But I keep trying.