Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I must admit that not all items in my camera bag get equal use. It has been a long time since I used the Lensbaby Sweet 35 lens, at least it feels that way. But before I go on, I must digress.

I have been a Nikon Shooter for close to 10 years. I know the buttons and controls in my sleep. But during the last couple of years many of my friends have been making the switch to the Fuji X system. It's small, lightweight, the quality is stunning and finally it got to the point that I could no longer ignore the Fuji. So about a year ago I made the plunge and purchased the XT-1 and several lenses. Ever since I have been having a love and hate relationship with the Fuji. I love the Fuji because of all the items that I listed above. It's just sometimes the controls are not intuitive to me. This has caused me to fumble at times when I should be in the moment. I'm sure most of this could have been avoided if I had locked myself in a room for a day and read the horrible little manual that seems to accompany any camera regardless of cost.

Let's get back to the the Lensbaby. I have no idea what the market share is for the Fuji X- Series cameras, but at this point it must be small enough that Lensbaby has not opted to make a lens specifically for the Fuji. So I obtained an adapter from FotoDiox (on Amazon) and it has sat in my camera bag for the better part of a year, that is until last weekend. I decided to finally try the adapter and the Lensbaby. It was wonderful, and once I was looking through the viewfinder it was the same as it has always been. The experience was seamless. I'm not sure when I will reach for the Lensbaby and Fuji combo, but I'm sure it won't be a year.

The final image was processed using MacPhun Tonality Pro.   For a discount on all MacPhun products use the discount code "ROADRUNNER".    Clients of Road Runner Photography Tours are eligible for a 10% discount on Lensbaby products.  Contact us for the discount code.

One last thing, the image above was shot at the W.A. Young & Sons Machine Shop in Rices Landing, PA on one of our recent meetups.

UPDATE: Rumor has it that Lensbaby will be announcing a version of their lens for Fuji cameras.  Stay tuned...

Friday, May 8, 2015

Meet Macy

Last weekend we hosted our 2nd annual Light Painting Workshop at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.  Looking for something a bit different, I started asking the staff if anyone wanted to stick around and model for us.  Macy was kind enough to volunteer and she even found an old dress.  I’m heading back to the Asylum in July for a daytime photo tour.  Check out the Asylum’s website if you want to join me.

The rest of May is super busy for Denise and myself, besides hosting Meetups, we will be heading to Palouse at the end of the month for our photo tour.  Thanks for taking a moment to checkout my blog.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring Finally Arrives

After a colder than normal winter spring has finally arrived here in Virginia.  I shot this image a few days ago during one of our meetups.  We have a busy meetup and tour schedule during the next few weeks but I hope not to miss the tulips.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Win a Trip!

Since the inception of Road Runner Photography Tours we have frequently raffled spots on some of our tours. This May however, we are doing something we have never done and frankly have never seen anyone else do either.  We are planning a weekend photo tour in one of our favorite areas of West Virginia and the only way you can attend is to win a spot on the tour.  That’s right, every spot on the tour will be given away to randomly selected winners.

If you want to enter for a chance to win one of the 6 spots on the tour you need to head over to this page;  www.RoadRunnerPhotographyTours.com

If you want to increase your chances of winning a spot on the tour it’s easy.  You just need to share the custom link that will be made available to you after you enter.  You can share this link with friends directly via email or you can use the buttons to post the link on your favorite social media site.   Each time someone enters using your link, you will get an extra entry into the contest as well.

Let’s just imagine for a moment, that you don’t want to win. I know I’m having trouble imagining that you would not want to win.  But you can still help your friends win by registering and sharing the link with your photo friends.  Imagine how grateful they would be if they won a spot because of your help!

Full details are available on the contest page.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Entrance to the Underworld

Entrance to the Underworld

Its not as menacing as the title would suggest.  But the image above shows the entrance to this year's ice cave under the Vatnaj√∂kull Glacier in Iceland.  Getting to this location required driving over miles of frozen tundra, steams, and even a lake.  It would have been impossible to find this on our own.

Each year guides in Iceland start searching for Ice Caves in November.  This cave is only accessible when it's not raining.  The runoff from the glacier runs through this cave and the day before it was partially flooded according to our guide.  This cave was located at the base of the glacier where the ice meets a lake below.  In the summer you would need a boat to get back to this spot.  Three years ago the guide told us they could not find any caves.   It was obviously a bad winter for the guides.

The experience of being under the glacier was incredible; patterns in the ice, rocks embedded in the ice for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Iceland is incredible in the winter.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day from Road Runner!

When you are mostly a landscape photographer it's kind of hard finding images that are suitable for a day filled with romance.  I was recently going through my collection of images and found this one from Henryton State Hospital, which has since been demolished.

It's the best I could do...

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Quality vs. Quantity

I'm going to start with a question.  What is more important, quality of work or quantity of work?  What I mean by this is what if you took a week long trip and only got one portfolio quality image?  Would the trip be a failure or a success?  The answer to this question of course depends of your point of view.

Sitting on this side of the computer I have a front row seat to the internet just like you.  Now you can look at websites like 500px and generally you will see examples of stunning work from a variety of photographers.  Or if you go over to Flickr you might see someone post dozens or even hundreds of pictures from a particular trip or event.  There is no right answer to this question, its like many things in life, a matter of opinion.

As I finish my 2nd decade as a photographer, with a 20 year break between decades,  I find that I value quality.  In my mind this is the only possible choice.  When you go to a gallery or art show you see a few pieces from a particular artist at best.  Artists have always been forced to be selective when it comes to showing their work. But with the advent of the internet and nearly unlimited online storage, it takes us back to the days of sitting in front of a slide projector as your neighbor shows you 200 shots from their vacation.  Did you fall asleep before the show was over?  You have to be older than 40 to appreciate comparison.

It's not my intent to be critical of others in this space but let's think a minute.  If you post 100 pictures from a particular place or event, how many people will loose interest before looking at all of your images?  Or how many will judge your ability as a photographer not by your best image, but by your worst?  The fact is we all take lousy images.  I could show you thousands, but then you would not be inclined to return to my blog.   I think it helps if you can develop the ability to be your toughest critic.  That does not mean that you should not show your images and have pride in your work.  You should!  I think the art of photography is a journey and not a destination.  Personally I hope to be a better photographer as time progresses.  Part of that process is being critical of my work and introperspective on how I can strive to improve.

In regard to the blog image above.  It was the only worthy image from a full a day of shooting motion abstracts.   The rest were just not that good.  But my happiness with the one image far overpowers any possible disappointment with the hundreds I had taken that day that no one else will ever see.