After a long meeting and a little decompression (and some lunch), I got The Girl out for walkies at Silver Saddle Ranch. It is good we left when we did, because about halfway into our walk, I noticed clouds showing over Prison Hill. Further north, I could tell it was raining in Washoe Valley. The wind was up, gusting hard from the south/southwest.
The incoming weather added some impetus to making progress. I snagged three captures and then the battery in the Fujifilm X-E2 died. I should have known to bring a backup battery. Nonetheless, it felt like rain was coming and so we moved right along.
Even so, The Girl and I played a little. She picked up a huge stick that made me laugh out loud. It was just like all those memes in which a dog picks up a six-foot long stick.
At least she did not run into anything.
And, sure enough, it started raining when we were about five minutes out from the rig. It was good to get in and be dry.
In the end, it was a good outing. I came home with a keeper. We had fun. We got exercise. Life is good.
I was not really in the mood to do much when we left the house yesterday afternoon. I left the Pentax 645NII kit, the Fujifilm kits, and the pack at home. I was hungry, so we drove by Arby’s for a sandwich (shared). Then we headed for Silver Saddle Ranch to get in a walk.
It was a beautiful fall day in Carson City. The sun was shining with maybe a little high clouds. It was strong enough to make mid-40ºF feel nice with a light cover. There was not a lot of traffic at the gate at 1330h. All of this raised my spirits, especially getting out of the house with The Girl.
What I did bring (besides The Girl), was the little Fujifilm X-E2 with the 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens mounted. This is the smallest digital camera I own1. I have it on a wrist strap, so I can let it dangle when I am busy with The Girl or want both hands free.
I made a few captures as we walked along. I made sure she checked in with me frequently. There were only a couple other walkers that I saw and none crossed paths with us. That made for a really nice walk.
The Girl got frisky a couple of times along the way and we paused to play. Those interactions always raise my spirits, and the did this day.
I grew more cautious as we approached the segment of the trail that has more traffic, but we saw no one. We paused at the ranch compound to look for possible photographs. I noticed this old gate and the light was just about right to bring out the texture in the wood. There was a power pole peeking out above the cross bar, but a judicious adjustment to my point of view hid it from the frame.
I made the capture. I am glad I decided to carry the camera along.
We ended the hike with some more play. She brought a stick and we wrestled over it for a few minutes as we walked.
The drive home was uneventful. The Girl crashed on her bed under my work table. It was a good day. Life is good!
1Well, that is not *exactly* true — I have a Panasonic ZS-40. I used it as a field camera for the Wilson Creek project. Its EVF and image quality make it such that I do not want to use it. Neither a very good. For a slightly larger package, I have better options that are much more enjoyable (and easy) to use.
I seem to be learning something constantly. Some might call me a scanner because I have a difficult time focusing on just one thing. I have been this way as long as I can remember.
In thinking about processing my images, I decided to update my copy of the Nik Software Collection so that it will run on my new MBP. In particular, I am interested in the black and white capabilities of the Nik software as that is where I really like to work.
One might ask why I am interested in post processing to produce more filmic (film-like) images from my digital cameras. It would be a fair question. I am an amateur photographer. I do not need the almost clinical images produced by modern cameras with exceptional lenses because I do not have a client who is expecting those kinds of images. Photography is one of my ways of reaching into the arts. Although there is something about striving for the ultimate in sharpness and extreme detail, that does not appeal to me most of the time. I want to look at and make images that speak to the heart and less to the analytical mind.
This will likely lead me to shoot some film. I have the Pentax 645NII out of the hutch and am building a kit for it. It is a big, heavy camera that shoots 120 film. But, this is a topic for another entry.
Yesterday seemed like a good day to take the Sony A7Sii out for a walk. I mounted the Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f/1.8 Pancolar on the M42 converter and checked that the camera was setup for a 50mm lens1. (The camera has in-body image stabilization.) That done, I collected The Girl and we went out to walk.
Given it was after noon, the temperature was much warmer than this morning (about 40ºF) and the sun was shining. The Girl was very excited to get outdoors. She wriggled and chirped as we drove out to Silver Saddle Ranch. As we walked, I made some images. The different camera and very different lens challenged me a little, which is a good thing.
The Girl teased me quite a lot. Sometimes ranging out and sometimes staying close. I felt the tension melt away as I walked and I laughed at The Girl quite a bit as well.
On the return leg of the hike, I realized that having finished up another chunk of work took a big load off my shoulders. The tension melted away and I started playing grab-ass with The Girl, who jumped and twirled away, laughing her doggy-laugh. She looked over her shoulder, grinning that big, goofy pitbull grin, then spun around to run back in for another round. She grabbed a stick and teased me with it.
Her energy was dissipated as we neared the rig. I patted her while we drove home, and then gave her a couple of her small cookies. She was snoozing under my work table as I finished up the day. As I wrote this, it was time to feed her (she is asking) and time for me to get a shower and think about some supper.
I downloaded my images and picked this one to play with. I call it Points and it was shot raw with the Sony A7Sii, and then post processed with Nik Silver Efex 6 to make the black and white conversion.
I am learning some new tools. Life is good. I am grateful.
1I noticed the battery was at about 50% state of charge. I should have tossed a second battery in the bag. I ran out as I stopped to make my last few images.
A lovely Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f/1.8 Pancolar in M42 mount arrived a couple of days ago. I have not yet had a chance to shoot it, certainly not to test it. But I did mount it on my Sony A7Sii a few minutes ago and shot one of my test subjects, my Lucas plushie.
The capture was made wide open and the background blur is evident in the shot. The lens is nicely sharp wide open and I think the background blur (bokeh) is very nice for this camera to subject distance. It will be fun to play with this East German lens and I will have to make a point of carrying the A7Sii and this lens (and maybe another) on walkies.