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].
My wife and sister-in-laws are thinking about starting a business to sell pet products. I've been tapped to take product photos for them. Not having much experiences in that area, I felt I needed some practice. First, I purchased a 3 light setup with a tent (seen below) and set it up the best I could. Then it's time to take some test shots. I used my MiniDigi Rolleiflex as the model, mount the 90'MEM on the M9 and setup the tripod. Although the diffused lights were too strong, I really didn't have to worry about shutter speed since this is still life on tripod. After about 5 shots, I found f/8 to give me the right amount of depth of focus. Now, I just need to iron the background a little...
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!
Delayed satisfaction definitely has its power... that must be why I'm so happy to receive my films back. I don't think I get this excited looking at digital files at the end of the days of shooting. So far my glassware has been working wonderfully as my light meter, I almost use it exclusively for shooting film now.
I didn't think BW film was good at capturing sunrises, but I gave it a shot anyway.
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].
Can you even see it? The yellowish/greenish streak, that's the little shooting star I caught last night. There's another streak below it, which I think was a moving plane. Last night's shower was much better than the previous year. We drove to Mt. Baldy to try to avoid the city lights. For about the two hours that we watched, I think most of us saw about 15-20 shooting stars, except for those who were busy eating and talking (you know who you are!) and those who just fell asleep. We ended the night on a high note, after we saw a bright shooting star about 5 times longer than the one I captured 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].
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.