Sunday, September 21, 2014

Vezelay, France

It amazes me sometimes how I used to travel with a medium format film camera (Bronica SQ-A), along with a big bag of film, three or four monster lenses and a heavy tripod. And then when I got back home, I'd spend hours upon hours mixing chemistry and developing the film. And then a few more days making contact sheets and enlargements. My DSLRs and lenses aren't much lighter, unfortunately, but I don't spend all those hours in the dark anymore ruining my health with the photo chemicals. I now ruin my eyesight staring into a computer. At any rate, here are three pictures from a beautiful little town in north-central France called Vezelay, which is primarily known for the hundreds-year-old church there called Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine where supposedly there are some artifacts from Mary Magdelene. I'm skeptical. But the ancient feel of the village is wonderful and soothing in a strange way as if it appeals to some old memory from another lifetime. So I spent hours and hours with my Bronica and heavy pack full of equipment roaming about looking for compositions.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Alpine Canyon

A pleasant little canyon of five rappels in the San Gabriel Mountains near the historic Mt. Lowe railway and resort that's no longer (for quite some years, actually). The final rappel was about 240 feet and fun to do. That's about all you say. A nice day of canyoneering with a finish in the 90-degree heat while below the temperature was in the hundreds.

Explanation: Jerri's pack was hurting her neck so she reversed it for more comfort.
Kevin and Rich packing the 300-foot rope into the rope bag.
The final, 240-foot rappel. That's Kevin about midway down.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Jumbo Rocks Nude

It seems these days that anyone with a solid tripod, wide angle lens and just a little caffeine is taking pictures of the stars and especially the Milky Way. The only secrets to getting good shots are knowing the proper exposure using a high ISO and getting a decent foreground. Okay, I wanted to do something slightly different and so I took a model out to Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree National Park and posed her in the pitch black for a few shots before she got too cold. It was a little complicated. I had to first expose for the stars at ISO 6400 and then dial the ISO down for Joan the model (we've worked together ever since college and she's great) to light paint her with my headlamp. Somehow, it resulted in some nice, unique shots.