Daily Image: The Trail 16 July 2024

The trail The Girl and I walk almost daily this time of year. Shot with Sony A7Sii and a Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f/1.8 Pancolar. Light post processing with DXO PhotoLab 7.

At this time of year, The Girl and I walk mostly in the national forest. We get above 7,000 ft, where it is a little cooler. We gain the shade of the Ponderosa Pines. There is generally little other traffic on this trail, although we sometimes meet another hiker.

The climb does me good. The chipmunks provide much entertainment for The Girl. It is a bit more than a mile out to our common turn-around point. There we pause for a couple of minutes. I give her anywhere from a half to a full liter of water. I drink a little for myself. We take a breath.

Then I put the pack back on (and usually a small camera bag) and we head back to the rig.

I keep a sharp eye out for other traffic as I do not want a negative encounter for The Girl. I have also seen a bear (very briefly) once. There was a coyote that I saw several times last summer who did not appear to be afraid. (Not a good thing for him!) Fortunately, I was able to wrangle The Girl and never threw more than a few 3/8″ steel shot (with a sling shot) to scare him off.

I really love this trail. If we get out early enough, it is still cool and she does not overheat. If I wait too late, then the sun warms her and with the exercise she is too hot.

On this particular morning, we were out a little early and the light was still good. I made the capture a dozen meters from out turn around point because i like the interaction of the light on the trees and the curl of the trail in the midground.

We had a great hike. I am grateful for the beauty of the place where I live. Life is good.

Daily Image: 29 November 2023 — Points

This capture came about as an experiment. The Girl and I were walking Silver Saddle Ranch and I carried the Sony A7Sii with a Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f/1.8 Pancolar mounted on it. The shot was recorded in raw format at f/1.8. Post processing was in Silver Efex 6 with changes to exposure and contrast and a bit of Tri-X film grain added. I then downscaled the image with Iridient Developer.

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.