We have not been back to the Silver Saddle Ranch since our first visit 2 years ago. This weekend, we decided to visit it again to celebrate a friend's birthday. It felt as if time has stood still in California City. We were hoping to see more development around the ranch, but I guess things progress much slower in the desert.
Lately, I've been doing less photography, and when I shoot, I use mainly just the 50'Lux. For the complete set, you may [CLICK HERE].
This campground around 100 miles away from our house is slowly becoming one of my favorite place to camp. Though it's near Big Bear Lake, popular local mountain resort city, this campground only required a short drive on a less traveled road that has less traffic and easier to drive. Jenks Lake is only a short hike away from the campground with nicely shaded trails and it's not too strenuous.
The Lake has lost a lot of its water from the recent drought, and even the non-eventful El Nino couldn't help it much. 50'Lux does its wonders again, giving me creamy bokeh and lovely colors. The WATE isn't lacking, either, giving me the wider perspective and sharp as needles. For the full set, [CLICK HERE].
Finally returned for a week long vacation in Oahu, Hawaii. This my fifth time there, same island, and I still can't get enough of its beauty. This time I brought only the 16-18-21 WATE and the 50'Lux, but I mainly shot with 16mm almost 90% of the time. Here are some of my favorite shots from the trip:
I had a ton of fun shooting it wide at f/8, almost paid no attention to focus. For the full set, please check it out [HERE].
Today we visited a house with pool up on the Hollywood Hills. This perhaps the last chance for the kids to get to splash in the pool before autumn roll around. Labor Day, to me, is always the holiday to send off summer with a last hurrah.
It feels kind of strange, now that we're grown up. Back in the days, this marks the beginning of another school year, time for us to collect ourselves. But now I look at September melancholy because it feels like another year is almost passing us by... Where have all the time gone? What have I done this year that was memorable?
Maybe these shots of empty pools shows what I'm feeling. It reminds us of the fun we had... after the party ends, all that's left are the still water and the eerie lights.
When you find a campground that's well maintained and has easy hiking trails that showcase beautiful sceneries, it's hard to resist going back again and again, and again. This time armed with the WATE, I was determined to rediscover the landscapes and see if I can find different angles to capture its beauty.
Something different about this trip, was taking a few more family members, like my mother-in-law, and niece and nephews. Having new members sharing our camping experience is always a good thing. For the full set of images, please visit my personal gallery [HERE].
For my 41st birthday, I asked my wife that we go camping. Luckily, we were able to find a open spot in Barton Flats Campground in San Bernardino National Forest (Near Big Bear Lake). Strangely enough, we've been camping all around California, and yet, this is the first time we've camped near Big Bear. I guess we always thought of it as a ski resort thing in the winter, but I'm glad we've found more use for it during the summer!
Barton Flats turned out to be a great campground. There are many big trees here to provide good shades and there are nice clean toilets and free showers. The camp host does an excellent job upkeeping the place... each campsite is raked and cleaned before the guests' arrival. We definitely wouldn't mind coming back here again.
Very near the campground, there's very nice short hike (approx. 1 mile) up to Jens Lake. It tooks us about an hour, with plenty of rests, to hike up to the Lake. The stunning view of the lake makes the hike worth it. Some of us went walking around the lake which probably took less than 30 minutes. The water is very clear, but we told to not swim in it because there are lots of fish hooks from people's line getting caught in the algae.
All in all, what a lovely weekend to celebrate my birthday. I found that 16mm is great for taking selfies, so you might see more of me in my own photographs! NOT :) If you would like the see the full set of images from this weekend, [CLICK HERE].
The WATE has been stuck on my M9 for the past month. Still learning its characteristics and adjusting myself to shoot at such wide angle. I'm starting to notice the distortions it brings when shooting at close quarters, but overall I'm still very happy with it. We'll soon be going on a camping trip and I can't wait to take it out in the wild!
Shooting with a wide-angle lens is a lot of fun. At 21mm, your field of view is about 90 degree, and at 16mm, it feels like looking with one eye open... it's WIDE! With the recently acquired Wide Angle Tri-Elmar (WATE), I figured I needed some time to get to know the lens, its operation, the frankenfinder, and just learning to shoot wide-angle shots overall. Today we took my son and our moms out for some sun exposure. We first went to Long Beach and stopped by the Restoration Hardware Outlet, and we went to Redondo Beach to walk around. I had a lot of fun trying to figure out how to compose a scene and here are the results:
I thought the Leica 16-18-21mm Wide Angle Tri-Elmar (WATE) was going to my landscape lens. However, I didn't know how much fun a wide angle lens can be in a close quarter, capturing scenes that I never imagined before. What a fun lens!
A father's day present that came early! 28'Cron has served as my wide angle lens for a while now. While I'm able to make it work most of the time, I always had a wandering eye for something wider. I've been hawking over the online forums and eBay for the 21'SEM and the WATE for a while now. Finally, last week I was able to pick up a great condition WATE for a very reasonable price, I'm so happy my patience paid off. My wife agreed with the purchase and said it'll be my father's day present :P
Here's a snapshot of my son while I tested the lens out:
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.