For new year's eve, we drove up to Lake Arrowhead and stayed in a cabin. There were rain, there were snow, but luckily we didn't need any tire chains. It's not easy to encounter this type of images in SoCal, so I was entranced by the foggy scenery. Besides my numbing fingers, my only other concern was trying to keep the lens clean and dry. Although the M9 isn't marketed as weather-proof, it performed flawlessly none-the-less.
Lake Arrowhead is only about 3500 feet up, so we had mostly rain; only at night, when it's cold enough, we're able to get snow. We were stucked in the cabin most of the time, but we made the most of the sunshine we were able to get.
For the full set of images, [CLICK HERE]
For our company holiday party this year, we visited Malibu Wines which also had a safari ride through the SaddleRock Winery. Thousands of acres in the Malibu hills, mixed with animals and grape vines, what a beautiful and scenic setting.
Haven't been shooting much lately, so I gathered the family and went to visit the recently opened The Broad Museum in downtown LA today. The admission was free, and all the reservation ran out online, but they had a walk-in line that queued around the block. We had nothing else to do, so we waited the 1.5 hours to get in.
While we waited, I walked around the perimeter to take some shots of the exterior. I decided to travel light today, so armed with just the 35'Lux, I did what I could to capture the distinct architecture and did some street work since there were lots of people around.
Once we're in, there were lots of interesting pieces to look at, reminded me very much of LACMA. Many works of famous modern artists, and I was surprised that I knew many of them. Although I'm not a fine art major nor have I study it much, I owe it to the various podcasts that I've been listening to recognize many of the artists.
Afterwards, we walked around the area some more and decided to go have dinner in Little Tokyo. It felt really good to be out and shooting again. While shooting, I thought about the recently released LCD-less Leica M-D camera. The removal of the back LCD is somehow very appealing to me, so I tried to avoid using the LCD on my M9, except for adjust ISO, and for my casual photography, I think the M-D will be a great fit. I'm going to hold off, however, just to see if Leica will announce an update to the M240. Please [CLICK HERE] to the the full set of images from today.
Feels like it's been ages since I've taken the camera out. Today we strolled through our local farmer's market and I took a few shots of this travelling musician. I believe he was setting up all the equipment for his one-man band (not counting his dog). What kind of dedication does it require to maintain this gig, with all the setups, tear-downs, driving around, and often tuning his instruments and craft... just to make a few bucks at this smallish farmer's market? I think it's more than that... there must be passion. Then I think of myself and my photography... what a fair weather practitioner I am.
Our friends invited us to join them for a weekend in Palm Spring staying at a Korean-owned hotel in the Desert Springs area. The hotel offered a large heated pool and many indoor and outdoor jacuzzis. It was nice to enjoy some water fun in the middle on winter to relax and replenish our souls.
For a change, I brought the 90'MEM with me this time, hoping to capture some close-ups while the kids are playing in the water, but I ended up with some scenery shots instead. For the full set, [CLICK HERE].
A quick grab shot from yesterday's golden hour. She was sitting in the light, probably to absorb the warmth, and I just couldn't resist. It seems we have skipped Autumn this year... we went from a long summer and jumped directly into a cold dry winter. El Nino is coming...
The day after Halloween, it was first day of November, we got an extra hour from the time change. We drove down to Carlsbad, CA, just north of San Diego, and spent a few hours at the beach. Although it was very hot, I think the temperature was in the 80's, the water temperature was still quite warm, by Pacific Ocean standards. It felt like we were given a gift to spend one more day of summer, because the weather is about to turn cold next week, if the weatherman was correct.
My son, Aidan, started out being very careful to not get wet. But as we've seen many times before, he ends up getting completely drenched. Good thing we packed a set of clothes for him to change, so he continued as a carefree kid. What joy it brings to watch him laugh and play!
Though impromptu as it was, and didn't took a lot of efforts, I think we had a quality family-together time just enjoying the simple things in life. I think a simple single-35mm lens setup is growing on me.
We went to visit the Getty Villa yesterday. Despite the horrible traffic on the PCH, our moods lifted as soon as we entered through the gate. There was architecture photo ops everywhere, not to mention the people and exhibits. It's hard to imagine that this used to be someone's home, due to the grandeur of everything.
This time, armed with only the 35'Lux on purpose, I exercised my 35mm frame mindset. It's really versatile, so I didn't struggle too much. However with the bright sunlight and shades from the balconies and tree, I had to watch my aperture setting so I don't under/over expose any scene.
It shocked us to find that we were able to look at everything in just under 90 minutes. There was things to look at indoor, outdoor, and at every turn of a corner. If you like to see the full set of images [CLICK HERE].
I haven't been shooting very much lately, and when I do, I tend to stick with just a couple of lenses. The 35'Lux, which I've long lusted after and acquired last year, has been sitting in the cabinet feeling lonely. Also, the 28'Cron hasn't been used ever since I got the WATE. I'm starting to think that maybe it's time to pare down a couple of lenses and just stick with what I use. But, then I mounted the 35'Lux and caught this shot of my son, now throwing all those thoughts out the window. It's my own fault for not using those lenses, so I should get to it!
My M9 just received a CLA (clean, lube, and adjustment) from Steve's Camera in Culver City. This is the first time I've sent it in for a service of any kind, so it's been quite trouble-free. The only reason I did drop it off was because I was noticing some rangefinder alignment problems at infinity and I had some close focus problem with the 35'Lux. Steve was able to perform the CLA in just a few days and now all's well. Lately, I've been lagging photographically, so I hope this can give me a boost to go out and shoot something this weekend.
My Journey into Leica...
A path not to be taken lightly, not without reservations, and not without dedication, but the results can be sweet, OH SO SWEET! This is a documentation of my trials and tribulations into the world of Leica Rangefinder Photography, and I hope you'll enjoy coming along with me.