I was reading a recent post on Monte’s Blog in the context of a commercial print job I’m currently working on. Monte was discussing how much he wanted a new Fuji lens (me too!) but indicated that his current cameras – 4 and 6 years old – still suited him fine, and he reminded us that all cameras still require a photographer to work.
I was recently contacted by a local restaurant owner about providing prints for their bar and dining rooms for an upcoming remodel. I’m flattered that they asked me, and even more excited that it is one of our favorite restaurants. And that they want 17 photos! One of the things that interested me in the context of Monte’s post and the discussion about needing a “pro” camera for doing quality work is the breakdown of the cameras that were used for the photos we chose for this project:
Canon 5D – 1
Canon 5D Mark III – 3
Canon Powershot G12 – 4
Fuji X-10 – 2
Fuji X-E2 – 1
Fuji X-T1 – 1
Medium Format Film Scan – 1
I wasn’t too surprised about the number of 5D shots, and I wasn’t at all surprised at the number of shots from the Fuji X-E2 and X-T1, my current cameras. But I was quite surprised at 6 of the photos coming from two point & shoot cameras! Maybe there is something to be said for ditching all of the interchangeable lens cameras and just buying a single, good, point & shoot camera!
I’ll share the photos later. Or even better, photos of the photos once they are hung! 😉
Kathy & I paid a visit today to the so-called “Road to Nowhere” in Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Bryson City, NC. I wrote about this place in a previous post from last October (just a year ago? Wow!). We caught just a little bit of the end of fall color, before the bottom falls out of the thermometer in a few days. We’ll be back home to our toasty house and our gas fireplace by then! 😉
Our original plan was to stop at the visitor center at for a stamp in Kathy’s Passport book, take a few photos and move on. But even though the weather was iffy when we got there, the scenery was so captivating that we decided to stick around until dark. And we’re glad we did!
The visitor center is situated at a rest stop along I-94 and is one of the few interstate rest areas where you can actually see bison. We didn’t see any at the rest stop, but did see a lot of them in the park, both up close and from a distance. The best way to see the park is to drive the loop road, which is what we ended up doing.
A portion of the loop road through the park was closed due to some aerial spraying being done, but the road was open enough to get some good views from within the park. “Prairie Dog Town” was a lot of fun, with hundreds of the cute little critters popping their heads out of their holes to peek at us. We got a little “up close and personal” to some bison that wandered through a parking area right behind our car. I was very glad to be in the car and not out wandering around with my camera!
Our visit could have been longer had we gotten there earlier or if the weather had been better, but it was longer than we intended, and that is a testament to being open to change and flexible in our plans. It was a worthwhile detour, for sure!
One of the “must visit” places on our recent trip through North Dakota was a place called The Enchanted Highway. The Roadside America website gives this brief overview, and you can visit the link for more details:
“Thirty miles south of the nearest major highway, the town of Regent was dying, and Gary Greff decided someone had to do something about it.
A metal sculptor and retired school teacher, Gary started the work in 1990. His master plan was to create ten giant sculptures, one every few miles along Regency-Gladstone Road, paired with picnic areas and playground equipment. All the sculptures face north, toward the oncoming traffic from the interstate. Seven have been completed.
An additional sculpture towers along I-94, essentially an artistic billboard enticing travelers to exit and head south to Regent. Geese in Flight went up in 2001, next to the Gladstone exit — and it is claimed to be the World’s Largest Outdoor Sculpture.”
Our visit occurred on one of the nastiest (relatively in North Dakota terms!) of our trip. We started off in the morning with rain and 35 degrees, went through 3-4 inches of snow at 31-32 degrees, then finally ended up in Rapid City where it had warmed to a welcome 40 degrees with light drizzle. You can see the progression of rain to snow in the photos, as the snow increased as we went south on the route.
It’s easy to see the mud that we found at all of the pulloffs, so I made good use of my “car-pod” to make the photos, only getting out of the car where I could do so without tracking through the muck.
These photos are a few of the highlights of our visit. I’ve created a separate gallery on my Adobe Portfolio page for anyone who just needs to see more of The Enchanted Highway!
I’ll be the first to admit that we didn’t come anywhere close to doing Montana justice. We basically cut enough of the corner between Wyoming and North Dakota to count it as a “visit” (even still, it was 300 miles!) but purposely decided ahead of time that it was a state we would revisit later to explore in more detail.
Our visit was essentially limited to a stop at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. It was a cold, wet day with the precipitation fluctuating between rain and snow, and my photos reflect that. While I’m sure that sunny weather like we saw for most of our trip would have made it more beautiful, the gloomy weather made for appropriate conditions at a place that has such a dark role in American history.
As I sat at my computer working on photos from Wyoming, my mind was reflecting on how I feel about the state and our limited time there. We did drive the entire length from south to north, but saw only a fraction of what Wyoming is all about.
I suppose Wyoming, like any other state, elicits the gamut of opinions, from something like “miles and miles of nuthin’ but miles and miles of nuthin’” to “one of the most beautiful, pristine places in the world.” I found it to be closer to the latter end of that spectrum.
The voice I heard playing in my head said something like this: Wyoming exudes a quiet confidence, as if to say “Welcome. We’re glad you came. If you decide to stay, we’d love to have you. If not, we understand.”
Looking at my photos I was impressed by the lack of litter. Evidently the people who live there respect the land and keep it clean. The land is truly one of-wide open spaces. Even the parking spaces are bigger in Wyoming, probably because there are lots of trucks. The people we met were friendly, the food was good, and the scenery was beautiful. Would I live there? Probably not, especially in winter. But it was a nice place to visit, and I can’t wait for an excuse to go back.
One day when passing through the Oak Street Plaza Park in Fort Collins, I spotted the reflections that these umbrellas were making in the black stone and stopped to take a few photos. I didn’t spend enough time on this idea, but otherwise think I captured what I saw.
The black stones are part of a public art installation titled “Confluence” by Lawrence Argent. More public art!
One of the things that has impressed me about Fort Collins, CO is the amount of public art, especially in Old Town. They even publish maps and have a walking tour telling people where to find it. Sometimes the art is sculpture, pavers on the sidewalk, plaques or other displays. Two of the most prevalent forms seem to be painted pianos placed around town that anyone can play, and painted utility box covers. A very clever way to disguise what is usually seen as big, green, ugly boxes.
It’s evidently brand new, as it isn’t shown in Google Street View and I couldn’t find out anything about it in the published information. But this structure is almost certainly art. If not, I have no idea what its purpose would be! I had a little fun with it while walking around on a beautiful, sunshiny day!
If anyone wants to check it out, it is located in an alleyway in an area bordered by Oak Street, Mason Street, Mountain Ave. and College Ave. Right behind Walrus Ice Cream! 🙂