Time Travel …

Layers of color, light, and structure

Years ago I wrote in my profile somewhere, “Photography provides a way to capture time and then travel back there whenever you wish. Every time you look at a photo, it can transport you back to that moment, allowing you to relive and remember.”

Recently, I was browsing through some of my old photos and came across a series I took in 2004, back in my Canon days with the 10d.  About a week after I retired from flying airplanes for Delta Air Lines, I struck out on a solo photo journey through part of the great American southwest.  The main points of interest on my itenerary were those awesome national parks:  The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and Canyonlands.

I started very early at The Grand Canyon, and spent several hours roaming the rim and shooting the canyon.   Continue reading “Time Travel …”

Castle Pines Walkabout with the Sony Nex-6 and 10-18mm Lens

I was up early this morning, about 5:30am, so I grabbed my camera and headed out the door.  These morning excursions usually involve two important decisions:  First, which camera and lens to take, and second, where to go for coffee.

Today, the first was one was easy since I have a new Sony 10-18mm f/4 wide-angle zoom.  The obvious choice was the Nex-6 so I could try out the new lens.  The coffee decision, while never certain until I walk in the door of the coffee shop, ended up being the nearby DazBog coffee shop, only about 1/4 mile away.  Of course, the three Starbucks are also always likely choices since they’re even closer.  🙂 The cool morning air was refreshing and just warm enough to hint at the hot day ahead, but still just the perfect temperature for a morning stroll around Castle Pines.

After getting my first “cup of Joe” and thoroughly diluting it with cream and sugar, I settled in to take a few images with the new wide zoom.  As I shot, it occurred to me how so much of the discussion on the photo websites these days seems to concentrate on fast, sharp lenses that can give you a paper thin depth of field (dof) and thoughts about which of these lenses produces the best, the smoothest, the most pleasing bokeh.  And I don’t disagree that these are important characteristics … for “some” subject matter.  But not all.

What I discovered with this lens, especially at the widest setting of 10mm (15mm FF equiv.) and an aperture of f/16, was that the dof was almost complete.  In other words, just about everything from the front of the lens to the back of the room was in focus, and bokeh was not even a factor.  Nice!  So for interiors, landscapes, and other subjects where you want just about everything in the image to be in focus, this is a great lens.  Some may say, “the f/4 maximum aperture is too slow”.  Well, with this piece of glass, it will probably be a rare occasion to use the f/4 max and much more common to have it at f/11 or even higher to take full advantage of the huge dof.  And since it has built-in image stabilization, you could probably hand-hold this baby down to some very slow shutter speeds.  Like maybe 1/5th of a second or slower.  I’ll have to test this.

As you can tell, I’m very pleased with the lens.  And the coffee?   …… Well, it was great, too.

BTW, if you’re shooting either the Nex-6 or Nex-5R or even thinking about it, check out our e-book about these cameras at:  www.FriedmanArchives.com

Spring Time in the Rockies

Spring time in Colorado brings snow and cold one day, and bright, beautiful spring flowers the next. These two images were both taken just 2 days after a spring snow storm blew through, dropping 10 inches of fresh snow in the foothills of Colorado.
Both photos were taken with the Olympus PEN E-PL1. For the top image I used my new Pansonic/Leica 25mm f/1.4 lens which I am really loving after just one day. As you can see, it gives great color and contrast and what I think is a beautifully smooth, soft bokeh. Plus, at f/1.4 it’s still sharp enough to give nice sharp photos and also allow you to hand hold in some very challenging low light situations.
For the bottom photo, I used the Olympus 14-42mm kit lens which continues to impress me with it’s sharpness and detail.

Learning the Olympus System

Ever since ordering the Olympus OM-D E-M5 over a month ago, I’ve been waiting rather impatiently for it to ship. Unfortunately, that probably won’t be for another couple of weeks.

So in the meantime, I decided to get an Olympus PEN E-PL1 ($289 on Amazon w/lens) and begin to get familiar with Olympus’ menu system and general camera functions. In reading about both cameras, it appeared that they had similar menu setups and would make for an easy transition to the E-M5.

I’m thoroughly enjoying the E-PL1 and have been pleasantly surprised at the quality of images that can be coaxed from this little “PEN”. These images reflect a few of my favorites, so far, and have various amounts of post processing applied, from just a crop to some fairly aggressive black and white work.

All images are from the Olympus PEN E-PL1 with the 14-42mm kit lens.

ISO 1000, f/5.3, 1/40s, 37mm

ISO 200, f/8, 10 seconds, 42mm (light painting)

ISO 200, f/8, 1/1250s, 39mm, B&W processing in Nik Silver Efex Pro

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/1500s, 42mm, cropped only

ISO 200, f/8, 10 seconds, 42mm, (light painting)