A Warm Saturday Evening

I made the decision yesterday morning to keep my camera by my side at all times throughout the day. My personal photographic output had decreased over the past few months so I was looking for something to jumpstart my creativity. To sum it up, the idea was a great success. I was able to capture a handful of images that I am truly proud of. Below is a sample of some of the photographs I made as the sun was setting on the lake. Some family had come over for the evening and paired them with some golden hour light. Enjoy.


A larger selection of photos from the day can be seen in my Photo Archive

 
 

Hot, With A Chance Of Storms

Hazy Afternoon

We just finished a wild week of seven straight days of rain here in the Northeast. These photographs were taken this past Tuesday when we had a small break in the rain. It was a particularly hot day, and a thick haze blanketed the area. I tried to capture that in the photos below. It was one of those afternoons where you just knew a thunderstorm was going to roll through, and sure enough it did.

What The Weather

Somehow all of my posts tend to mention the weather in one form or another. If it gets to be too much don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. My fascination with meteorology comes from the idea that you have to spend your time observing the current conditions and taking note of them. I can make a correlation between that in photography but I’ll save that for another day. I should mention that I used to watch the Weather Channel as a kid, tracking severe weather as it happened, I was borderline obsessed. I used to be afraid of storms as a child and I remember many a sleepless night as the flashes of light and cracks of thunder would keep me awake. These days I enjoy watching storms roll across the landscape from the west. It’s an interesting process that creates all kinds of atmosphere and drama, prime conditions for good photographs. We are fortunate to have a great big view of the sky from our dock, something I elaborate in greater detail here.


Early Spring Thursday

A few photos of the pups from this past Thursday afternoon. Everything was captured with the Fujifilm X-Pro2 + Fujifilm XF 27mm combo. 

Easter Weekend

Below are a few snapshots from Saturday afternoon. Victoria and I spent a majority of the day doing some light yard work while the pups chased each other around. The highlight of the day for me was the small 20-minute nap I was able to take on the dock around 2 o'clock. The weather was pleasant and the Sun was strong enough that I had a tiny bit of sunburn on my neck by the time we finished up. 

In regards to the images, they were all taken on a Pixel 2 by both Victoria and me. Three for her and likewise for me. On first glance it appears might I have overcooked these images in Photoshop but to be honest they just have a slight High-Pass filter over them to increase their sharpness for web viewing. The files that the Pixel produces are quite amazing, the dynamic range in some of the photos, especially the one of Jefferson in the sand is better than anything I can achieve with my trusty Fujifilm cameras. You can thank Google's machine learning software for that. 

I geeked out a little in that last paragraph, and I'm not expecting everyone to know what I'm talking about when I go on photography tangents. However, bonus points to anyone who reads those two links above and responds with something they learned in the comments below. At the very least I encourage you to read the Google Research link. It's a fascinating insight into the technology that powers the photography in our smartphones. 

First Snow

We've had snow on three separate occasions this week here at the Pine Barren Man World Headquarters. The surface of the lake has been frozen for the past couple of days. Here are some photos covering all of the meteorological events of the last week. Enjoy! 


A Light Morning

Light Inspiration

The other day we were having a little discussion in the Fujifeed Slack group about the Fujinon 27mm lens. We were trying to figure out where they lens stood between Fujifilm's other offerings of the 35mm and 23mm lenses. I have to admit that it isn't a lens that I use often despite owning it for the last 2 years. As a result of that discussion, I've been inspired over the last couple of days to incorporate this lens into my photographs on a more frequent basis. This morning I decided to put on a jacket and hat to take some photos off the dock at sunrise. What makes this lens easy to use is that it is equivalent to what the human eye sees. My goal this morning was to keep a narrow aperture and try to capture what I consider "normal things".

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Thoughts on the Fujifilm XF 27mm

One of the benefits of this lens is that it is much smaller than anything else Fujifilm has in his lineup. It's a great piece of kit to take out with you on a day where you want to keep things light. The beauty of this lens is that it is able to keep things in a relatable perspective but also capture intricate details that you might miss if you were looking at them in real time. The focal length of this lens has the distinction of sitting right in between wide-angle and telephoto. If you want one lens to put on your camera that is going to challenge you throughout the day it's this one.

Let's Take A Walk

We woke up around 7 am yesterday morning and the lake was covered with a thick, dense fog. The surrounding area is usually covered in fog most mornings so by now I have become accustomed to it. At first, I had brushed off the idea of going out to take a few pictures. I even went as far as to make myself a cup of coffee. After another quick look out of the windows, I decided to drag Victoria out of bed, grab my camera, and take a walk to the dam. The second we stepped out of the door I was glad we were outside. Not only was there a thick layer of fog everywhere, but there was also a nice coating of frost on every surface from the night before. As soon as we got to the lake the sun started to peek through the clouds and create some interesting light. After ten minutes we were getting a bit chilly out on the water and decided to head back home and make a second cup of coffee.

I suppose I can't complain about not progressing as a photographer while brushing aside the opportunity to go and make something new. One of the things my brother in law Chris and I, talked about over Thanksgiving dinner was the idea of breaking through the procrastination that comes along with photography. In order to have great photos, you have to put the effort into making great photos. It also helps to capitalize on opportunities when they arise. For example, the light in any given day is just right for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. Why not use that time to go out and make something instead of checking social media, playing video games, or watching TV?

Pixel Perfect Morning.

We took a short stroll with the pups this morning. We made our way towards the end of the street, near Ashley & Ryan's house, then turned back towards our house.  I'm assuming most of you readers aren't familiar with the layout of our neighborhood but it goes something like this: Our street, South Shore Drive, runs along the side of the lakes and has no outlet. Most of our walks consist of us walking down the street and turning back towards our house which is situated at the beginning of the second lake.

So.. as we turned back towards the homestead this morning, I could see the Sun peeking through the trees. I then made the decision that we should walk past the house and walk over to the dam that separates the two lakes. I'm glad we did, as the sunrise was absolutely perfect this morning. The lake was perfectly still and smooth like glass. I only had my Pixel with me so I snapped a few photographs to add to my Instagram story. I liked them so much, I decided to do a little write-up and post them here.

It's kind of hard to believe how far smartphone photography has improved in the space of a few years. It seems like only yesterday that I was scoffing at the idea of taking a picture on a cell phone, while I walked around with a giant Canon 7D around my neck. The hardware side of things has steadily improved over the last 10 years, but ultimately there is only so much information that you can pack into a tiny sensor. Where the true future of phone photography lies is on the software side of things. Computational Photography is the future of the photographic industry.


A word from the Editor: I'm quite happy with the traffic to the website this past month. There have been over 500 visits in September with almost all of them occurring in the last week, in large part to the Corvettes In Color post. My goal for the next month is to match that 500 number and perhaps even break 1000 by the end of October, so wish me luck. I'd also like to hear from you readers. I try to remember to turn the comments on for each and every post, but now an again it slips past me. I encourage everyone to leave a comment, like this post, share it on social media, or just plain old tell your friends y'all.  Let's try to grow this thing as big as possible.

- Michael

Sun Showers

Evening thunderstorms gave way to a setting sun that tried it's best to peek through the clouds. The colors in the sky shifted to hues of red and orange. The air was thick with moisture as raindrops fell on the lake. A calm 45 seconds as we stood on the dock making photographs. 

Photo Tip: Reducing your exposure by one stop really brings out the details in sunsets. 

Photo Tip: Reducing your exposure by one stop really brings out the details in sunsets.