Classic Chrome on the Street

As I mentioned in my last post, I like the look of my Fuji X100T's Classic Chrome emulation. In fact I like it enough that for a recent photo walk, I set up the camera to shoot Classic Chrome JPEGs and then left it there for the entire walk. For me, that's saying something.

As I've been doing of late, I went downtown early one Sunday morning. I like going on Sundays because parking is free, and I don't have to worry about returning before the meter runs out. I didn't really have a plan as to where I was going to go, so I just explored some new areas and shot wherever the mood struck. One other thing I did differently than usual was to bring a tripod so that I could shoot self portraits (NOT selfies!).

So here are a bunch of Classic Chrome photos, some just of architecture and/or trash, some self-portraits, and maybe even some of people (I don't remember, so I will be just as surprised as you as to what I find to post). I'll just keep adding until either I run out of photos that I like, I run out of time (it's almost 9 PM as I write this), or I get bored.

So the question in my mind is "Do I want to continue shooting in Classic Chrome mode?" I've set my X100T back to Black and White JPEG mode, and I feel happier when I chimp my images, so maybe I'll just stick with that. But still there's something about Classic Chrome that I like. I'm not sure what it is. So I don't know the answer. We'll just have to wait and see.

2014 Columbus International Festival

This past weekend I participated in the Columbus International Festival. My primary role was as a musician for the English Country Dancers performance, but I decided to bring along my Fuji X-E1 and 23mm lens. I thought there might be a good opportunity to get some street-type photos. It turned out that I was right. There were many interesting people doing interesting things.

When I first arrived I saw that there was some kind ceremony in progress. As I was preparing to go to a pre-performance rehearsal, I watched and listened to the goings on. It took me a couple minutes to realize that it was a naturalization ceremony. I'd never seen one, and I really wanted to get some photos. So I put down my instruments and made a beeline to a good spot amongst the other photographers.

After just a couple minutes the speeches were done, and it was time for the candidates to take the oath and become official citizens of the United States of America. During the oath I was able to shoot a couple quick frames including the one included with this post. Since I didn't know anyone in the ceremony, I wanted to be very polite to those who did, so I made just a couple shots and then got out of the way.

It was interesting and a bit humbling to see these people who must have dreamed of this moment and who had definitely worked hard to reach it. To me this was one of the most important scenes that I've photographed, and I hope I've represented it well.


Civil War Encampment

Last Saturday the 1st Ohio Light Artillery Battery A, a group of American Civil War reenactors, held an encampment at the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus. The weather was rainy, which kept the turnout of spectators low and gave Andi and me a chance to make photographs without too much distraction in the backgrounds.

I mainly used my Fuji X-E1 and Fujinon XF60mm f/2.4 macro lens. I kept the aperture pretty wide to further reduce background distractions by blurring them out as much as possible. Even though I shot the photos as black and white JPEG files, I processed them in Silver Efex Pro 2. I used one of its Antique Plate presets as a starting point to try to get a more authentic Civil War era look. From there I took down the blacks to be more to my liking and added a rough border. As usual I set the final black and white points in Lightroom.

Here's one of a couple dozen keepers. The rest will become available in my Flickr feed over the next month or so.

Civil War Encampment 1

Shale Hollow Preserve

A couple weeks ago Andi and I went on a field trip to Shale Hollow Preserve, one of many parks administered by the city of Delaware, Ohio. The trip was sponsored by the local Wild Birds Unlimited store, and our good friend, Mike, led the trip. As usual, he did a great job.

I had never been to, or even heard of, Shale Hollow, and it was a nice surprise. It's along the south side of the Olentangy River and consequently has a bit of geographic relief (i.e. hills). One thing that this part of Ohio has a dearth of is hills. Having grown up in Western Oregon and Southern California, I appreciate hills (and mountains), so it's always nice to find more that are accessible.

We spent a nice morning walking the trail (as far as I know, there is only one... about a mile in length) and photographing along the creek. I found the concretions especially interesting.

Here are a couple of my photographs from Shale Hollow. I have several more in my Flickr stream, and you can also see them, for the next week or so, on this site's POTD page.

Update: I don't know how I could have forgotten to include this, especially on a website (mostly) dedicated to photography, but I did... The day before this trip I had received my new Fujinon XF18mm f/2 lens. I shot both of the photos shown here with the new lens attached to my beloved Fujifilm X-E1 digital camera. As I usually do, I shot in black and white (with yellow filter) JPEG mode.

And one more thing... dogs are allowed on the trail at Shale Hollow. We haven't yet taken our trio, but doing so is on our agenda.

Shale Hollow Preserve 1 (Explored)

Shale Hollow Preserve 6

CMC Winter Ensemble Concert

<rant> Once again SquareSpace has let me down and lost a blog post. I'll try to recreate it as best I can, but I'm sure the original was much better than this version. Now it's time to stop griping and get back to writing. Please excuse my short rant... </rant>

A week after the Chamber Music Connection (CMC) Winter Orchestra Concert, I was back to photographing chamber musicians again. This time it was for the CMC Winter Ensemble Concert, which is actually two concerts with one hour rehearsals before each. It's a real marathon for me (and the rest of the support staff), lasting about six hours. Needless to say, I was pretty wiped out by the end of the proceedings, but it was worth it.

I really enjoy shooting the rehearsals as I can get "up close and personal" with the musicians without being annoying to an audience. During the concerts I can move around a bit (very quietly), but I'm mostly limited to being in the back of the room and shooting with a telephoto lens. During the rehearsals, though, I can do just about anything I want as long as I'm not too disruptive. The musicians are used to me being there, and they're concentrating on their music, so I mostly blend into the background.

As usual the music was wonderful, and I greatly enjoyed listening as I worked. The lighting wasn't too bad. In fact for both rehearsals and the first concert, it was pretty good. There's a large westward facing window that lets in enough light to overpower the overhead artificial lighting. By the time the second concert starts, though, the window isn't helping anymore, and shooting becomes more difficult.

These photos are from the rehearsals. I made them with my Fuji X-E1, in black and white JPEG mode. I used my 60mm f/2.4 lens, which I've really grown to like. It's small and lightweight and does a very nice job. The Fuji's JPEGs are very good quality and save me a lot of post-processing time. Their good enough, though, that I can really push them if I want to do so.

I followed my usual (and favorite) workflow to process these photos. I tweaked brightness and levels in Lightroom. I added the thin black border, added clarity, and did some dodging and burning in Silver Efex Pro. I then set the final levels back in Lightroom.