T and The Boys

I’ve decided that while I try to get caught up with posts here I will throw adherence to chronological order to the wind. With that said, first up are some photos from a few weeks ago.

I received a message from Tracy asking if we could get together an make some photos. Ben and Tracy are some of the easiest going people in existence, their boys are pure entertainment, and Fall was in in full swing. Needless to say I jumped at the chance. Shooting with the Barnes family goes like this.

Step 1: Tracy makes you a cocktail.

Step 2: Wander around with the fam and make photos.

Seriously, that is it. No need for posing, no instruction (like kids listen anyway), nothing. Just wander around and take photos of them being them. Oh, and once you get Jackson warmed up, watch out!

 

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In a world saturated with “professional” photographers I really appreciate you guys letting your amateur friend make your family photos!

Burning Man II

The clever among you may have guessed by the title of my last post that there were more Burning Man photos to come. You were right. Due to the aforementioned “slump” I had a feeling I wasn’t going to be in the mood to carry my camera gear around that often. I did however want to be able to snap off a photo here and there if I felt so inclined. What I needed was a camera I could literally put in my pocket, was cheap, could handle the dust, and had good (enough) image quality. Surprisingly, that is still a very small pool of cameras. With a bit of research what I came up with was the Olympus µ[mju:]-II; A 35mm film point-and-shoot camera released in 1997. It has autofocus, a fast f/2.8 35mm lens, and is splash and dust proof. Best of all it cost $35. It isn’t without its quarks though. You turn it on by sliding the little lens cover back. For some reason every time you do this the flash defaults to on. There are two tiny little buttons on the back. It you poke one of them just right with your finger nail you can cycle the flash through various settings until you finally turn it off. If you press both buttons (monumental feat) you activate spot metering mode which is pretty sweet. The downside is that the spot meter is coupled with the single central AF point which means your focus point better also be the area you would like to expose for. Finally, the camera is really smart and reads the code on the film canister to set the ISO. So if you want to shoot at a different ISO (I did) you get to memorize the DX codes and either scratch off or black out the correct little square on the roll before you load it. All and all it’s a fun little gizmo. Anyway, I doubt many of you made it this far. If you did high fives and bonus points for you! All photos are either Tri-X 400 pushed to 1600 or T-Max P3200 shot at 3200 except the lonely color photo shot on Portra 160 shot at 100 (since the camera doesn’t recognize ISO160). Once again with no descriptions or explanations.

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As always, thanks for taking a gander.

Burning Man I

Burning Man is right around the corner, which means I am basically one year behind… oh well.
So last year I decided to attend Burning Man. I had heard many different things about Burning Man over the years. The first was my freshman year of college when a dirty hippie gentleman wandering around campus tried to sell myself and some friends tickets. We inquired “What is Burning Man?” to which he replied “If you don’t know, you don’t need to go man!” First off, that isn’t true at all. Second, “What is Burning Man?” is a question that many try to answer. I will not. I had a great time with great friends and made a few photos while I was at it. I didn’t actually break out the camera that much (I was in a bit of a photographic slump at the time) but Eliot and Spencer both did a bang-up job and made some really amazing photos.
One thing I will say about Burning Man is “context”. You see, generally everything at Burning Man is out of context. For example, if you were going to attend a costume party and the theme was, say, cartoons, you would not be too surprised if a grown man showed up with a Sponge Bob Square Pants doll wearing a Sponge Bob themed hat, shirt, and undies. At Burning Man you don’t get to know why this man decided that would be a good outfit, you just get to watch him do handstands. I suppose you could ask, but if you stopped to ask why out there you wouldn’t get too far. So for that reason, here are my photos, no background, no context.

 

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Thanks for taking a look! More to come soon.

The Barnes Family

Every now and then I will get a text message from Tracy to see if I would like to make some photos. It is always a good time hanging out with the Barnes family so I always jump at the chance. Then Tracy and I text back and forth over the course of a month or so until we finally figure out a time we can actually make it happen. This time she wanted to get some of her and her boys (I’m including Ben in that statement). Mama T mixed me up a cocktail and we wandered a few blocks away to the railroad tracks. We were lucky enough to have a train pass by which is awesome because trains seem to fill Jackson with equal parts joy and terror. Callum on the other hand was not so impressed. Anyway, here a a few of my favorite from that fine evening.

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B&T 3
B&T 4

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Thanks for taking a look and I am hoping I can stay on this more regular posting schedule!
Also, I am trying some new things with the way I post and display the images so let know if anything displays funny.

Velma Lakes

Anyone that was even remotely close to the West Coast this summer will recall the massive amounts of smoke. After a few weeks of that nonsense Erin and I decided to see if we could get away from it for the day with a change in elevation. We chose to head out into the Desolation Wilderness and take a dip in one of the lakes that make up the trinity of Velmas. The lakes sit at about 8000′ and that was enough to get some fresh air into our lungs. I of course lugged the camera around and snapped a few photos.

Tahoe Engulfed

Tahoe Engulfed

Middle Velma

Middle Velma

Middle Velma 2

Middle Velma 2

Escher In Granite

Escher In Granite

Thanks for stopping by!

Backyard Sunsets

Not that it has been an especially difficult winter here this year, in fact, it has been very un-wintery. But I stumbled across this photo and it got me dreaming about summer. Growing up in Las Vegas summers meant waking up at 5:00am to stock cinder block (or whatever other college motivating job my Dad would get me). In Las Vegas it is 90 degrees by 5:00am. This would continue until the last month of summer which consisted of getting up at 5:00am to go run sprints and other fun stuff followed by eating and sleeping followed by more sprints and fun stuff at noon followed by more eating and sleeping followed by more fun, eating, and sleeping. And when I say fun I mean absolute vomit inducing misery.
In Reno, as an adult (or so they tell me) summer is quite different. While there is the occasional physical suffering it is usually self inflicted and voluntary. But my favorite part is the evenings. Reno gets pretty hot but the second the sun starts going down and the breeze picks up it is absolutely glorious. Not to mention there is nothing like the sunsets in the desert.

Flying Saucer Clouds (technical term) (click of larger)

Flying Saucer Clouds (technical term) (click of larger)

The above photo is a 28 photo panorama looking East from my backyard while drinking a beer.

Hope everyone is making the best of their snowless winter.

Vegas Baby!

It has once again been a long time since I have posted anything here. I really am going to have to do something about that.

Anywho, back in July we made a quick trip to Sin City for a family oriented weekend. I used “Sin City” and “family” together in that sentence (perhaps obviously) on purpose. You see, Las Vegas is a very different place depending upon who you are asking. When people find out you were actually born and raised in Las Vegas they typically tilt their head and pause. You can see the gears turning as they recall scenes from movies like “The Hangover” or a weekend they spent there years ago. I will admit, it is a little different. For instance, have you ever heard of PEPCON? One afternoon when I was about 6 I was playing in the backyard and looked up to see a huge mushroom cloud, then all the windows in the house broke. Basically a factory that produced rocket fuel was located within 5 miles of our house. There was a fire and they were storing about 4500 metric tons of product for the Shuttle program, some of it in HDPE (plastic!) barrels. The part of the story that really drives home “Las Vegas, Nevada” to me is that the following week at school we were all buying t-shirts that said “I survived the BLAST!” and had a big mushroom cloud on it. (Much to my dismay I was unable to find an image of one using the Google.)

Las Vegas is actually located in a beautiful valley with many interesting places to spend the day. I have to admit that I am a little partial to the desert and I am always blown away when people describe it with words like “wasteland.” On this trip I managed to make two quick (really quick) jaunts out to Mt. Wilson which is located near Red Rock. Red Rock proper was actually closed due to a large fire and I was figuring I would get some smoke filled photos but it ended up being super clear.

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Mt. Wilson – 36 photo panorama (click for larger size)

Monochrome Sunset

Monochrome Sunset

Desert Tree

Desert Tree

Sure, you can party your ass off while hanging out with strippers as you put your whole life savings on black. But to me Las Vegas is home. This trip was really busy but I hope I can share more photos of Vegas off “The Strip” as I make trips home.