In our latest podcast we talk about photography, places to go in California for some interesting photography.
My son was in town recently with his wife and our grandson and since we are all photographers we decided to have some fun taking in different spots. They had been to Point Lobos, Big Sur, Yosemite, Big Basin before, so tried some new things, well not all were new. Here's just a sample of some of what we saw in a few days.
First the board walk at Santa Cruz!
The obligatory street cars are always fun and you can't get enough of riding around. I obviously didn't take this but my signature goes on automatically. Brett(son) is the author of this photo
Now for some cool photos from Safari West north of San Francisco, I highly recommend. I have been to Africa and found this to be interesting with some fun adventure.
This is one of those special moments whether you are in Africa or Northern California, a newborn Wildebeast just dropped, about to take his first steps. Special moment as he is cleaned up before standing. In the open plains of Africa, this is a critical time to get him up since predators watch for newborns. Within herding animals, newborns arrive at the same time for obvious reasons.
Now on to Moss Landing and the Otters, fun to photography all the time! In this case, we took the
And my favorite bird, the Pelican which I could watch all day!
And finally, the Monterey Whale Watch with Captain Nancy Black is wonderful. The whales are very abundant this year like last, lots of sea lions feeding, and also sightings of Killer Whales in the Bay. A very worthwhile trip to a wonderful place. I should add we did stop at the Monterey Aquarium and it was great as always.
All of this is within a couple of hours anywhere in the Bay Area. It's so much fun with friends, is always different and interesting. And if you have someone who has never been to the West Coast, especially a little guy, a photo with one of our giant redwoods will be remembered forever.
All of this and I haven't mentioned the holy grail of landscape photography that the likes of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston made famous.
Seems like everyone is talking about smaller cameras. Sony, Panasonic, and Olympus are betting heavy on this trend. Adding fuel is the aging boomer that wants a lighter load. A popular compromise is a light load for the travel camera(mirrorless) and the spare medium format takes care of anything that requires biggie big.
If your primary image destination is the internet/flickr-ist, the sensor doesn't matter much within reason. Phone cameras are capable of fine images for this purpose albeit less flexibility. I have a bag full of attachments for my iphone that gives me flexibility but practically I don't carry them. So I use my iphone without attachments most of the time BECAUSE it's always with me.
To answer the the blog title, I think it is a revolution, largely due to Sony. They are making small cameras with big sensors and also making sensors for DSLR's (Nikon D800E) and several medium format cameras(Hassleblad, Pentax, and Phase). Sony is also making adapters to use other camera lenses like Leica on their mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses. You may be wondering at this point do I represent Sony? No, I shoot Nikon with a long list of lenses from 600mm to fisheye. I also shoot with the Leica M system. I have used both for a long time. I know the pain of carrying DSLR's and the joy of a light load. The Nikon 800E opened a lot of doors with the crop options from 36.3MP's. This camera is also smaller than the Nikon D4 series and noticably lighter. Put a Nikon 24/1.4 on the D800E and it is a much smaller kit. But not as small as the Sony full frame with an equivalent focal length. Nor is it as flexible, since adapters allow many other brands on Sony bodies. I can use my leica glass on the Sony!
I may sound like I'm an advocate for smaller cameras, but I'm not really. I love my Nikon and use it regularly with a variety of lenses in a variety of situations. However I observe and understand the trend, it makes sense for many people. Keeping in mind the camera doesn't make the image, your eye does.
The leica M is a wonderful camera with a whole bag of attributes, the big one - you have to slow down. Not that you can't shoot fast, it just makes you think more, be more careful, use your eye and brain more. My first leica was an M6, I loved it and never looked back, bought used lenses.........my passion has never slipped. BUT it doesn't fit every situational need, given the manual focus.
I believe smaller cameras are more likely to be carried and used. The more you use whatever camera you have, the better photographer you will become. A new camera will not improve your photography, all cameras can do similar things you just have to make adjustments. I think Sony is changing the game, advancing the small camera footprint with no sensor compromise.
Big DSLR's require a lot of R&D for significant changes, so the models coming out now have incremental improvements. More and more MP's are losing their luster because of file size in handling and the questionable need. So "small" is the next frontier. The market potential appears signifcant but challenged by the phone camera which can not be underestimated if for no other reason than ease of use. My phone camera gets used all the time for things I have never used a Nikon. I take pictures of receipts, pages I want to copy, people I want to remember, phone numbers, etc. I use it all the time for things I never used my DSLR for. I could go on with this but bet you are in the same boat in your use. Not to mention the uses of the phone camera video. You only need to look at the photojournalism impact from phone cameras, the layoffs, use, etc.
Small is here to stay and will likely force the traditional camera companies to embrace the change. My guess sports and wildlife photography will be the last adopters mainly because of equipment lag. Obviously these are guesses, and who knows what will result from the photography explosion going on because of the phone camera. Yes more and more people love photography than ever before. Lots of reasons- ease of use, facebook sharing, flickr, Google+, etc. creating an interest in taking pictures. And on top of this, the learning curve is shorter. With phone cameras, you just press the button and for the seriously interested photographer, the digital feedback allows for a much quicker mastery of subjects like shutter speed, f/stop, lens choice, etc. But if you are reading this, it's old news to you.
The photography explosion is real, the booming interest in photography is real so it stands to reason that technology will continue to advance in photography where a viable market continues to grow. And! If I can get the same quality of images from a smaller footprint, then why not?
Below is a link to a video conversation which compares and discusses the current trend and crop of cameras out there, along with attributes.
Brian Tramontana just returned from a documentary photography assignment for Hold the Eye Images, in Rwanda and Uganda for our client Opportunity International. In this podcast he talks about the photo work.
The recent update to Photoshop CC 2014 is not compatible with Nik!! The new version is written in HTML 5 and most of the filters out there are not compatible yet. However, after talking with Adobe this morning, the crisis can be averted. In the application manager of the tool bar scroll down to a gray bar just under the installled entitled "Find New Apps". To the right you will see "previous version" and if you click on this you will find Photoshop CC and Photoshop CS6. Click on whichever version your apps are installed and you are good to go.
As many folks know, Hold the Eye Images has a new gig which involves 22 third world countries and Brian departed yesterday for the latest assignment in Uganda and Rwanda. He will be gone for two weeks but before he left, we talked about leaving in the latest podcast recorded on Friday.
Yesterday I attended the Indian Canyon Story Telling event. So you might ask, what is Indian Canyon? Here's the website opening for which I have a link below.
"Indian Canyon is the only land continuously held by the Ohlone people, the first inhabitants of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas. Indian Canyon is the only federally recognized "Indian Country" along coastal Northern California From Santa Barbara to Sonoma. In order to provide a place for Indigenous people who need land for ceremony, Indian Canyon hosts over five sweat lodges, beautiful arbor area for gatherings, and offers a round house area (site for our future traditional Village House) for special events. In addition to offering 30-40 areas for individual prayer and ceremony. Indian Canyon provides research and exchange opportunities for students and interns from throughout Northern California." This is the opening paragraph of their website found here. Here is more insight into the Ohlone Indians."
The even I attended has hospitality(food and warm greetings), music, dance, and story telling. The setting is beautiful with large oak trees, wonderful shade from the direct sun and much to explore if you had the time.
I arrived early and I must confess, the idea came from fellow photographer Nancy Mirabella who has attended the event several times. After driving around fields tended by farmers, this seemed like a real oasis. At the time I didn't realize this has been a special place for thousands of years.
We arrived early, and people were busy getting the event set up and as folks arrived they just seemed to relax. An no Sharkey didn't come but maybe next time.
Everyone was dressed for the occassion from hats to headdresses.
Here's a beautiful mother and daughter ready for the festival.
Another mother daughter Tamara and Shyla posed for me. The tatoo on her shoulder is off her daughter, at a younger age.
Shyla has aspirations for modeling, so I took a single image for her. She is a lovely young woman.
I did snap more images of some of the musicians, all of which were quite good.
The storytelling was very interesting and really kept the attention of everyone. A single image of someone standing at a mic doesn't give enough of an picture since storytelling is all about listening and your mind's eye. While the storytelling was taking place, this woman gives you an image of concentration on what's being said. Want to learn more, come to one of these events.
And there was dancing! And as you can see, there's a special place for this event that allows you to watch everything up close.
It was great just to sit back and watch these dancers. But...............................................................
Sitting back didn't last long before the dancers came into the audience and invited folks to dance with them! I hid behind my camera, but Nancy didn't!
It was a very interesting day for a photographer even if the light was mostly bright sunlight. I learned a lot, bought a drum for myself, and learned a great deal about the indigenous Indians of Northern California. I was very impressed with the warmth, passion, and dedication of the people who have maintained this site and it's traditions. Here's an image of another attendee who brought a wee one to the event. They sat in front of me part of the time and I couldn't help photographing this beautiful baby and Dad.
All images shot with a Leica M/50mm lens and .9 neutral density filter or Nikon D800E/55mm lens with a variable neutral density lens 6 stops.