(This is an update to the original version of this post, with the update first and the original post below the horizontal divider.)I
Update: I think I have a handle on the comment problem now. I have contacted the plugin developer whose plugin is creating the problem, and they offered a temporary solution that I’ll use for now: I will check for new comments once per day and manually approve them.
So if you commented in the past and were disappointed that your comment never showed up, give it a try one more time. Thanks!
People in front of a San Francisco storefront at night
At about this time last year I made an important “discovery during a trip to Manhattan” — with newer cameras I can photograph at high enough ISOs that it is possible (and even easy) to do handheld night street photography. And since I use a small mirrorless camera for street photography, I can even do this sort of photography without carrying around a big camera and lenses. I’ve long been a night photographer, but generally the type to sets up a tripod and approaches this genre more or less the same way I approach landscape photography, but with longer exposures. Much longer! But this new development is tremendously liberating. Using a large aperture prime I can walk around and spontaneously respond to what I see, and I can capture brief and ephemeral moments in the wild and beautiful light of the urban night.
This photograph exemplifies one way that I’ve always shot street photography, though now adapted to the night. I begin by finding an interesting bit of urban landscape — buildings, light, color, texture, form. I find a composition that will work… and then I wait. Sometimes the wait is brief and sometimes it is long. I wait for people to populate this “landscape,” and to ideally configure themselves into some interesting combination. Since I don’t pose these photographs, I have to react quickly and take whatever the street serves up. This time it served up something special, I think. The storefront itself first got my attention, with its brightly colored merchandise, the light spilling out onto the sidewalk, the aqua windows on the left margin, and the red and yellow vending machine on the right. The small group of people just to the right of the doorway were my first target, and I think I have a photograph of just them taken shortly before this one. But very soon a wonderful and unpredictable conjunction occurred as the man walked out through the store doorway, the woman in blue passed in front of the vending machine, and the two men with the crying child in a stroller passed the store, followed by the woman with the bag.
Recently someone who was giving a talk on photography noted that I have been posting a photograph every day for a long time. His guess was that I had been doing so for about four of five years. I told him that I thought that it has been longer than this, but I wasn’t sure how long.
Judging from some records I just looked up, I think I may have been doing this since early April 2006! Some of those earliest posts are still there, but the photographs have gone missing — in the course of moving the website between different hosts and transferring the content from one content management system to another some of the early content was lost.
(This was not the first photograph shared I posted online — I was blogging in the mid-1990s, and posting photographs not long afterward. It is a bit scary to think of how many thousands of photographs I must have posted by now!)
My friend (the “someone” mentioned above) was pointing to this history in the context of practice, something that I think is tremendously important in photography. He and I share extensive background and training in music, where the importance of practice is obvious, and where practicing is assumed. Continue reading A Photo A Day: How Long Has This Gone On?→
A small Sierra Nevada timberline meadow in morning light, surrounded by rocky alpine terrain
This photograph comes from a long visit to the Sierra back-country in September of 2013. A group of photographers made our way into the high backcountry of Kings Canyon National Park (with the help of pack animals) and set up there to make photographs in this 11,000+’ region for the better part of a week. We remained camped in one spot for the entire time. That might seem less exciting that moving on and covering more ground in the Sierra — and experience that I have also had. However, by remaining in one spot we were able to learn the personality of that specific little area much more deeply and to see it in various conditions: morning and evening, rain and fair weather, and more.
This is a humble little photograph — no towering peaks, building clouds, dramatic weather here. However, I got to know this little spot quite well during our visit. It was right “in the neighborhood,” and on a morning like this one I could roll out of my tent, lift my pack, walk uphill for five minutes or so, and be in this meadowy glade, filled with granite slabs and boulders and backed by rocky slopes leading to a nearby ridge.
Autumn plants growing at the base of a sandstone cliff
It seems that we have arrived at that time when each year my thoughts begin to turn again to autumn photography. That is probably my favorite season as it includes those final warm days of Indian summer, the first inkling of the coming winter, the annual color transition as trees lose their leaves, and the first real winter weather — all of which are favorite photographic subjects of mine. (I’ll be paying special attention to Sierra Nevada fall color this coming season, for a number of reasons, but especially since this is the first autumn following the publication of my book on the subject: “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” from Heyday Press.)
So, an autumn photograph! This one comes from last October, when I had the opportunity to make a photography trip through some of may favorite areas of southern Utah. Partway through the trip I met up with my friend and fellow photographer, David Hoffman. We spent several days poking around in and photographing Capitol Reef National Park. On this evening we passed through a narrow gorge not far from our camp, quickly stopped, and ended up photographing the red rock canyon walls and the autumn colors until the light faded at the end of the day.
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 L II lens – This is the newest version of Canon’s wide-angle, large-aperture 24mm prime lens, known for its excellent image quality and performance at large apertures. This lens is in “like new” condition — no scratches or blemishes, as it was purchased for a particular project and only used minimally for that purpose. Includes lens, both caps, hood, pouch, and original box. Reduced to $1200.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR body-only — This is the 21.2 MP full-frame DSLR body that I have used to make the great majority of the photographs you see on this website and elsewhere. I am selling it now that I have acquired a 5Ds R DSLR body. This is a “well used” camera body — it is not in new condition, but everything works well and nothing is broken. It includes a body cap, several batteries (not new), the charger, the original box, and a few other small odds and ends. This is a fine body for someone on a budget who wants a solid full frame camera. $925. Does not include a lens.
If you are interesting in buying both items as a package… talk to me.
I prefer a person-to-person cash sale in the San Francisco Bay Area — that way be both know what we’re getting. Leave a comment on this post or email me if you are interested in either item.
Headlands stretch into the distance beyond a cove and beach, Big Sur
We just returned from a two-day jaunt along the Central California coast. This is familiar territory, as I’ve been visiting this part of California since I was a child, and I have been photographing it almost as long. (Some of my earliest photographic memories include using old film cameras borrowed from my father to make photographs at Point Lobos.) Most of my visits are on day trips, so it is special to be able to spend more than a single day at a time photographing here.
We had unusual conditions and we saw a number of unusual things this time. The remnants of tropical storm Dolores have affected the weather, bringing unusual amounts of tropical moisture to the state and setting of big thunderstorms. We had no such storms on the coast — though they had swept through a day or two earlier — but there was high humidity, a lot of clouds, and warm temperatures. The water was also unusual in several ways. The swell was coming out of the south rather than the typical northwest. Overall the water was relatively calm, and in many places the water’s surface was smooth enough to produce interesting reflections. Sea life seemed unusually abundant: we spotted whales in many places, and large numbers of fishing boats were lined up close to the shore south of Carmel. In the evening as we headed back north towards Monterey the coastal inversion layer began to reassert itself, producing a layer of incipient fog along the coastline and producing haze that enhanced the sense of distance as we looked past successive layers of coastal headlands stretching into the distance.