Thursday, January 28, 2010

False Kiva

Located somewhere in the Canyonlands National Park hidden inside a cave sits a man-made circle of stone. It's not on any public map and requires a knowledge of hiking and special directions to find it. The name "False Kiva" arises from the uncertainly around the origin of the stones and purpose, not whether it really is an authentic kiva.

Park Rangers are required to disclose the location of the Class II site when asked for specific directions.

I hiked here in February 2008 and stayed there for a couple hours. It turned out not only to be a very difficult hike (the last couple hundred yards are all up hill on very loose rock) but difficult to properly photograph. While I normally like to return to places I shot in this case it will be sometime before I think of returning.

I shot this image using a Mamiya AFDII camera body, Phase One P30+ digital back and a Mamiya 28mm lens.

I'm finally satisfied with the results after two years for working the image.

Thanks for looking and as always comments are welcome


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Seneca Lake AZ

We go past a rundown, decrepit area called Seneca on the way to Show Low AZ and till now haven't stopped to explore. There's a series of dilapidated buildings that are just off the road that includes what looks like what may have been a gas station, food mart, general store as well as several other buildings that might have at one time been nice cabins. There's a paved road of sorts; imagine grass and weeds, lots of grass and weeds growing in all the cracks and you might have some understanding. This settlement appears to be the entrance to Seneca Lake although I really didn't have the time to explore further than just off the road. I have done a little digging into the history of Seneca and it appears to be on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation although I still haven't found out why it's in the desperate shape it's in. This isn't anything new as I remember seeing this since 1995 when Sandy & I first drove past.

The reason for stopping is two fold; I like going to what appears to be ghost towns and I felt this was a great place to use the Canon 1DsII I had converted to full time infrared photography using a 665nm filter.

I hope you enjoy the images and if anyone can shed some light on the history please let me know.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Looking at focal lengths

I wasn't too sure what to title this so I went with what I was doing which was reviewing images and picking various focal lengths.

I'm in the process of obtaining a small lightweight full frame 35mm camera. One that won't sacrifice image quality for weight. No. I'm not giving up on my Cambo WRS1000 and Phase One P45+. What I'm looking for is a camera that will be complementary to my medium format; one that I can take on long hikes and still get the image quality I want/need. Why? I've found that as I get older I'm also developing various aches and pains while I pack around 30 pounds of camera gear. I've also noticed that I'm traveling less from the roadway with my medium format and more with my infrared camera. I still want to shoot color so the solution for me is to find the (near) perfect 35mm full frame lightweight camera.

I think I've solved my problem with the new Leica M9. The M9 is a lightweight digital rangefinder camera with 18 megapixels, and a 24x36mm sensor. While there's a heck of a lot in the M9's favor the one that stands out for me is that this uses the same sensor as my Phase One P45+.

No, I'm not expecting to achieve the same level of image quality as I get with medium format - what I do expect is a camera that will give me as good if not better image quality as Sandy's Canon 1DsIII. I also expect to be able to print images as large as I require them without losing detail.

So, I'm "sold" on the Leica M9 what's next? Lenses of course. Leica has a world class reputation not only for their cameras but their lenses as well. The plan is to obtain two lenses to start with and thus the reason for my exercise. I wanted to see what focal length I used the most while shooting IR which is full frame 35mm using a 24-105 lens. My thoughts were 50mm and either a 75 or 90mm followed shortly by a wide either 28 or 35mm. What I found is exactly that - I shoot in the 35 to 50mm range and very close to the 75mm range and then rarely 80 to the 105 range.

This might have been somewhat boring to those who don't like the technical side so I've included a couple images as well.

I received a phone call the other day asking how I felt about my Cambo WRS1000 and if I still liked it as much as I reported earlier. The answer is a resounding yes. I'm still tickled pink using a technical camera and will shortly post an update on my thoughts.

There's a car commercial I just loved where the spokesperson asks "when you turn on your car does it return the favor?" My question is very similar - "when you turn on your camera does it return the favor?" My answer is yes!

Thanks for letting me share.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

South Rim Grand Canyon

We decided to return to the South Rim this past weekend based on cloud forecast. We drove up on Saturday for the sunset then spent the entire day Sunday shooting. The clouds turned out to be better on Saturday as we were almost completely socked-in with clouds averaging close to 90% on Sunday. We were torn between the Grand Canyon or Monument Valley and decided on Friday that we'd go to the Grand Canyon; turns out Monument Valley had better clouds. Oh well..
The Saturday sunset shot was taken at Mohave Point while the remainder of the images posted were taken either at Yaki Point, Grandview Point, Lipan Point or Pipe Creek Vista.

1DsII Infrared with a 24-105 lens

1DsIII with a 24-70 lens

1DsIII with a 24-70 lens

Cambo WRS1000/P45+ and Schneider 120mm lens

Cambo WRS1000/P45+ and Schneider 72mm lens

We hope you enjoy the images; your comments are always welcome.

Sandy & Don

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Image

I just replaced the "header" image which was from Yosemite and replaced it with a new image from the South Rim Grand Canyon.  This will remain up for awhile so enjoy!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Grand Canyon Railroad

Happy New Year everyone! We wanted to post these images earlier however the holiday rush got in the way. These images were taken a couple weeks ago while at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The images were taken with a Canon 1DsII that was converted to a full-time infrared camera.

Enjoy the first images of the new year.

Thanks for visiting

Sandy & Don

Your comments are always welcome!