Living in California we have been “spoiled”  with an abnormally warm and dry winter season.  Okay so we don’t get what many would call a “true winter” around these parts, we get a rainy season with cool temperatures.  So the word around here is drought, like lakes at there lowest levels in 50 years.

Thankfully we are getting some good measurable rainfall here and some snow in the Sierra Nevadas.  So of course there is no better time to go take photographs than in the rain.  So my friend Richard and I set up the hill slightly to Amador City and Sutter Creek to put the weather proofing of our cameras to the test.

Shooting in the rain adds an extra layer of depth to your photographs and adds to the overall experience of the day.  The rain does add some technical difficulty, but I feel the effects added out weight them.  Doing what would normally be a mundane task, like changing lenses or switching out your SD/CF card, take a little bit of planning or at least a search for cover from the rain.

Well here are a few of the shots from the day, hope you like them, and if you are so inclined feel free to drop a comment or share with your friends.  Happy Shooting.

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Minolta Maxxum 7000

Minolta Maxxum 7000

Can a $5 camera be the best tool to take your photography?

So there I was, relaxing early Saturday morning, and in comes a call from my wife.  On Saturday mornings my wife and her mom like to go and check out the garage sales, more often that not finding treasures here and there.  Jokingly I always tell them to buy anything photography related.  Well this time they found something.

“So there are a couple of cameras here do you want them?” is what she said.  I asked her what they were looked the two of them up and I said get the Minolta.  Did it work? I couldn’t tell you.  Turns out that this camera is somewhat revolutionary, heck it has something that my modern day DSLR doesn’t even have.  After she arrived home with the camera I did some research and it turns out that it was the first camera with a built in focus motor.  Minolta was on the technological forefront with this camera, leaving the giants of Nikon and Cannon to follow suit.  The internal motor allowed for smaller less expensive lenses.  Along with the focus motor came a new mount, larger than the previous, and is still in use today by none other than Sony.  Yes the “a” mount humbley started here as well.

Now comes the real question, do I really want to use this camera?

Well why wouldn’t I want to use such an innovative camera, a camera that forever changed modern photography.  Well there is the reality of finding out how good or bad of a photographer you are.  Well it has been said what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.  I see this as the best way I can train myself to be a better photographer.  I can’t rely on the lcd screen on the back to tell me where I went wrong and immediately readjust and shoot again.  I will have to rely on my knowledge of light and how it works, and what I need to do to make the photograph mine.  I can no longer have the attitude that if I’m off a stop or two that I can bring it back in Lightroom.

All of this, I believe will only make me a better more confident photographer.  There is also that added bonus, the nostalgia of film photography.  That old feeling of waiting for the roll to be developed and looking at prints!  Remember those, you used to look at them as a kid, or if you’re younger maybe your parents did.

I’m looking forward to receiving my first roll developed from the lab, and I haven’t even loaded the first roll in to the camera. Well here’s to bettering my self as a photographer

Grillin'

Evoke the senses

How do you Capture what you feel in a photograph?

Photography is nothing more than capturing light, and freezing a moment in time.  With the cameras of today we have the luxury of instant feedback and the ability to adjust and change are results immediately.  If you have a DSLR , a micro four thirds, or any other type of digital camera that allows you to manually change your settings, you have the basics to creating great photographs the way you envision them and want them to be.  It’s kind of ironic that so much effort is put in to developing preset functions on digital cameras while most, if not all, professorial photographers will tell you that to really get the results that you want switch to manual.  It may feel like quite a daunting task, but with practice it becomes comfortable and the results are definitely more rewarding.   Continue reading

Sunrise and Sunset

Sunset in Elk Grove, CA

Sunset in Elk Grove, CA

The two words that photographers love to hear, and there favorite times of the day to shoot.  What is it about them that draws us to them, the warm glow of the sun, the variance of colors in the sky, or is it more than that?  Watching the sun set and rise, I’m sure, goes well beyond the time of photography.  Like snowflakes, no two sunsets or sunrises will ever be the same, and they only last but a few moments.  Watching the sun rise or set evokes its own individual feeling and can put you at ease. Continue reading

Auto-Mania

Maserati Granturismo

Maserati Granturismo

Let’s face it most of us love cars.  Notice I said love not like.  Cars have something that other machines don’t usually have, character.  This is no more apparent than when you get someone talking about their first car, love them or hate them they still had some what of an emotional bond to it.  I would consider my self lucky with my first car, a 64 1/2 Mustang.  I loved that car.  It was my dad’s car and I was fortunate enough to inherit it.  My dad and I worked on that car all of the time, from oil changes to transmission rebuilds and I enjoyed it all because I knew that it would pay off out on the open road.   Continue reading

Through the lens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I see you

Slow down.

When I spend a day or any amount of time shooting photographs, the world just looks different, maybe that’s why I enjoy it so much.  Going through life we are usually in a rush to get where we are going.  If you are driving your eyes are on the road, or at least they should be, and if you are a passenger your eyes are on your phone.  All the while the world is right there in all its beauty, just waiting to be observed and appreciated.  Beauty is everywhere you just need to open your eyes.  Next time you go for a walk take a look around and I’m sure you will see something of beauty, even if that walk is from your car to work or right out your front door.  When I am out with my camera something catches my eye, I walk towards it find my angle and create my photograph.  Something as simple as crouching down, and looking from that vantage just changes the world.  So get out there and look at the world, put your phone in your pocket and enjoy the world that’s right there in front of you.  Here’s a collection of some of my views of the world, at least my small corner of it.

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It's the simple things in life that matter.

It’s the simple things in life that matter.

Are you like me old enough to be aware of the dreaded family photo album?  Moments captured on film developed, looked at, laughed at and put in to the family photo album for all to see.  Well at least all who stopped by and visited, way back in ye’ olde times when having a social life meant actually knowing the people, Words With Friends was called Scrabble and Drawsome was called Pictionary.  Well before the real world ended and became virtual the dreaded family album was really high on the list of things that most parents would grab if the house was on fire and they could only grab a few things.  And why not?  As much as we all dreaded the album we loved it at the same time, we just did not realize it when we were younger.  Now we are glad that they exist, we can look back and see the joys of our childhood, remember the grandparents and other family members who might no longer be with us. Continue reading

Do you ever play tourist?

Train Museum Sacramento, CA

Railroad Museum Sacramento, CA

I live in Elk Grove, a small city just south of Sacramento,  Ca.  I was born and raised in Sacramento and love it. I have literally been around the world and I am glad to call Sacramento home.  When a lot of people think of Sacramento they say “yeah that’s between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe right?”  This is true but there is more to it than just a pit stop from A to B.  Sadly enough I have met fellow Californians that didn’t know that Sacramento is the Capitol of California.  For a good amount of time in the 90’s we were known as the home of the NBA franchise Sacramento Kings, but the glory days have since slipped away. Heck we almost lost our team, but they are still here.  Well now that I am way of topic, let me get back to the question asked above.  Do you ever play tourist?  I’m not talking about going on vacation and visiting some far off city, I’m asking if Continue reading

What are you looking for?

I'll have the regular.

I’ll have the regular.

When I go out shooting I normally don’t have a specific vision or image in my mind that I want to photograph, I wait for them to come to me.  It is not that often that I am without my camera, and I don’t mean the camera on my phone, my actual camera.  I guess that’s a positive for having a smaller bodied DSLR, carrying it around on a daily basis isn’t that much of a hassle.  As I shoot more and more I can see a change in the moments that I capture.  When I started I was still in a point and shoot state of mind, using one of the pre-programmed modes and shooting JPEG.  But gone are those days, now I shoot in RAW format exclusively and manual mode 95% of the time and aperture priority the other 5%.  I am constantly learning new techniques and tips and constantly shooting to improve my self as a photographer.   Continue reading

SpringWell it’s here, at least in my corner of the world it is.  Gone are the cold nights and equally cold mornings.  Time to put away the heavy jackets and boots.  It’s time to pull out the sandals and shorts.  Spring lends a hand to photographers with a bounty of color both in the sky and in the plants that surround us. Continue reading