Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Saying good-bye to Jackson Hole

It's Tuesday October 26th, we've been in the Jackson Hole area for 22-days and we leave this week.  We've got mixed feelings about leaving.  We've been fortunate to be here early enough to see the Fall colors (and experience temps in the 60's) as well as the first snow fall of the season (with temps in the high teens).  We've seen stunning, beautiful scenery, driven past herds of buffalo, seen elk and moose and pronghorn antelope and one day had an eagle soar alongside the jeep as we drove down a back country road.

We've had the pleasure of meeting great people who in the short time here invited us to share their lives and meals.  We've been invited to the local Elks Club for fun and food and met local business people who share our unique sense of humor.  We've walked the town square of Jackson stopping in various galleries and saw samples of great art work ranging from sculptors, painters and photographers.  And we can't forgot the visit to the National Museum of Wildlife Art (thanks Joe for the passes).   

We've been staying in the Homewood Suites by Hilton while in Jackson WY. What a great place to call home. For those unfamiliar with Homewood Suites, they offer small two-room suites with separate bedrooms and living/kitchen areas. The best part of staying here besides the wonderful staff is the breakfast everyday and dinner 4-nights a week. Speaking of food, there's fresh baked cookies every night! In short, we've been spoiled.

We'll be back

Sandy & Don

Monday, October 25, 2010

What a difference a day makes...

Leica M9 Elmarit 24mm f/8 1/90 ISO 160

Leica M9 Summarit 90mm f/11 1/125 ISO 320

We shot what we're calling the Mormon Barn yesterday morning and once again this morning.  Yesterday was heavy overcast to the point you couldn't even see the Tetons.  This morning we woke to snow and heavy clouds with the Tetons peeking through the clouds layers.

Leica M9 Summicron 50mm f/2.8 1/1000 ISO 160

Leica M9 Summicron 50mm f/2.8 1/1000 ISO 160

We're still calling the Mormon Row Barn as no one has come out to dispute the name. I've seen images of both barns with both named the Mouton Barn in the credits. It's always been my understanding the Mouton Barn is the one with the corral and outbuildings. Someone has said the Mormon Row Barn is also part of the Mouton homestead and was named the Moulton Ranch Barn. Again, if anyone has information to share please contact us so we can clear up the mystery.

The images contained here were all captured using the Leica M9 and 3-different Leica lenses.

Hope you enjoy the images.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Leica M9 focal length comparison

Earlier I showed a comparison between lens that I had at that time; today I'm showing a comparison of the 5-lenses I now have and use daily. What better place to test your equipment than in Jackson Hole WY.

I've had the M9 since early February 2010 and bought a trio of lenses at the same time before adding a 24 then just last month the 135. You might remember I had originally ordered a 28 but due to a shipping snafu got the 24.

My lens lineup is as follows, Elmarit 24mm, Summicron 35mm, Summicron 50mm, Summarit 90mm and the Apo-Telyt 135mm.

Elmarit 24mm

Summicron 35mm

Summicron 50mm

Summarit 90mm

Apo-Telyt 135mm

I set the camera on a tripod facing Glacier View of the Grand Tetons and switched lenses while keeping the camera steady on the tripod. These images were captured just north of the small town of Kelly WY. No processing has been done other than to do minor dust cleanup.

I hope in doing this it will help others see the difference in the focal lengths. Let me know if you have any questions.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Jackson Hole WY Bull Moose

We've been here since October 4th shooting landscape and some wildlife; we've been fortunate to capture stunning landscape, herds of buffalo and some moose and elk.  However the big bull moose and elk are still in the high country and we just haven't seen nor been able to capture any.  Until this morning. 

We woke this morning to colder weather than we've had and heavy overcast skies.  We decided to take a drive along the
Gros Ventre Road
and no sooner made the turn onto the road than we saw this big fellow standing on a hill.  We were able to park on the side of the road and after climbing a steep hill were able to capture these images.  We used Sandy's Canon 1DsIII and the 70-200 with a 1.4 extender making the 200 a 280mm.

We aren't wildlife photographers so we don't go around armed with the huge lens however occasionally we luck out.

Enjoy the images and remember your comments and questions are always welcome.

Sandy & Don

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jackson Hole Wyoming (through the lenses of a Leica M9)

Leica M9 50mm f/3.4 1/1500 ISO 160

Leica M9 50mm f/2.4 1/4000 ISO 160

Leica M9 35mm f/3.4 1/4000 ISO 160

We've been in the Jackson Hole area since October 4th, some 17 shootings days now and have been blessed with mostly cloudy skies and a few disappointed days with clear cloudless skies.  I checked the weather and it's calling for a major storm to hit  Sunday and Monday with snow at the higher elevations.  We've got 7-shootings days before we need to leave Jackson for the drive home and 5 of those days looks to be perfect shooting days with clouds and either rain or snow or both.  My feelings has always been when capturing landscape the worse the weather the better the images.

Leica M9 50mm f/9.5 1/500 ISO 160

Leica M9 24mm f/2.8 1/1000 ISO 160

I've decided to separate a few images from what Sandy and I have been doing while here and show them as samples of what the various Leica lenses are capable of.  As you might remember I got the Leica M9 in February along with a tri of Leica lenses (many thanks to Dave Gallagher and Capture Integration).  My original lenses were the Summicron 35mm & 50mm and the Summarit 90mm; I added a Elmarit 24mm about a month ago.  After waiting for over 4-months for a new Elmarit 135mm f/3.4 I decided to take a chance and brought what has turned out to be a very good copy of a used Elmarit 135mm.  My inability to get a new Elmarit 135mm was no fault of my dealer, rather it was and remains Leica's inability to keep up with demand.

Leica M9 24mm f/3.4 1/1500 ISO 160

Leica M9 50mm f/8.0 1/1000 ISO 200

I went through the past couple days picking samples to share not really looking at which lens was used but wanting to have at least one of each.  I've noticed while here I keep either the 24 or the 50mm attached to the M9 and switch out as needed.  I've also found that I need to be more careful as I switch between a coded lens and the 135 as sometime I've forgotten to manually select the 135 and other times I've forgotten to switch back to auto; this is just workflow issue I need to work on.

Leica M9 90mm f/5.7 1/1000 ISO 160

Leica M9 135mm f/13 1/500 ISO 320

While looking at and evaluating the images please remember they've been processed using a 17" laptop and while I make every effort to calibrate the screen it just isn't the same as my studio monitor.  All the images show here and other blog entries have been processed using a combination of Capture One Pro, Photoshop CS5 and NIK Software Viveza 2, all 64bit software.

Leica M9 24mm f/11 1/350 ISO 200

Leica M9 50mm f/13 1/500 ISO 320

Thank you for allowing me to share our experiences and remember your comments and questions are welcome.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Along the Lower Schwabacher Landing with a Cambo WRS1000 and P45+

No sooner did I post the last images of the Snake River with the Cambo WRS1000 and P45+ and I received an email from my friend Dave Gallagher scolding me on my lack of lcc's on the last three images. In my defense I wrote back that I'm working on my laptop and besides I "thought" I did not need to shoot a lcc if I shot with my Schneider 35mm with a centerfilter. I was wrong.

I reexamined the last three images posted and can truly see a color caste with shades of magenta in the sky. Using previous lcc's I stored in Capture One Pro I recalibrated the individual images used to produce the merged images and immediately saw an improvement.





The "after" images might still not be perfect however they are better than the "before" and they show the need of using a proper workflow. This is an example of there's no shortcuts when using a technical camera. Thanks to Dave for pointing out the problems with the images.


Along the Lower Schwabacher Landing with a Cambo WRS1000 and P45+

We had misidentified the overlook north of the entrance to Schwabacher Landing.  The entrance is just south of the Snake River Overlook.  Sorry for the confusion.

The Canon 1DsIII is a 35mm, 21.1 megapixel camera which has a CMOS sensor which is normal for 35mm cameras.  The Leica M9 (which is a rangefinder type camera) is a 35mm, 18 megapixel camera and unlike other 35mm cameras has a CCD sensor; which is similar to medium format digital backs.  Lastly, The Phase One P45+ digital back is 39 megapixels and has a CCD sensor.

I decided in our original walk that I wanted to return as soon as possible to shoot with the medium format and returned early the next morning.  Unlike the previous 2-Parts all the images here were shot on tripod.

Cambo has been making cameras and camera gear forever - okay I'm too lazy to really look up the date but they have been making quality gear for some time now.  Likewise Phase One is one of the leaders in the digital medium format market and while I've only been using their digital backs for less than 4-years I've been extremely pleased.  If you've read anything I've written I've always told you up front that I'm not a professional reviewer nor am I a salesperson; what I write about is what I've experienced using the gear I've brought.

I made the switch to medium format a couple years ago starting first with the P30+ then the P45+ in October 2008 after I decided I wanted to capture landscape with a technical camera.  After researching the field available to me and what would work for me and thanks to my camera dealer, Capture Integration, I chose the Cambo WRS1000.  Cambo had just released this camera shortly before and is designed to meet the needs of the digital photographer.  The body is small and lightweight with movements in the rear.  Cambo has since then designed lens panels that offer lens movements.

2-shot vertical images merged

 2-shot vertical images merged

2-shot horizontal images merged

In short, the Cambo WRS 1000 coupled with the P45+ has been and will continue to be my primary landscape camera. All images shown here were captured using a Schneider 35mm lens with a centerfilter attached.

Please enjoy the final posting of three parts and remember your comments or questions are always welcome.


Sandy made me stop at the end of the trail before we went back to the jeep and took this image with her 1DsIII saying I just had a look of satisfaction she wanted to capture.

SPECIAL NOTE:   We had misidentified the overlook north of the entrance to Schwabacher Landing.  The entrance is just south of the Snake River Overlook.  Sorry for the confusion.