Daily Image: 07 December 2023 — Clouds over Mt. Scott

It was sure windy the afternoon I shot this. Weather was rolling over to Carson Range and put clouds over Mt. Scott. Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and Fujinon 28mm f/2.8 at f/8 and post processed in DxO Photolab 7 and NIK Silver Efex Pro.

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.

Daily Image: 06 December 2023 — Old Gate at Silver Saddle Ranch

Gate in the ranch compound, Silver Saddle Ranch. Shot with the Fuji X-E2 and the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 at f/4. Post processed in DxO Photolab 7 and NIK Silver Efex 6.

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.

Daily Image — 09 September 2023

I came across this bag of office supplies left in the grass at the old flume. I wonder why they were just dropped. I will never know.

While The Girl and I were walking here in town a few days ago, she hunted ground squirrels while I looked at the roses growing along the old flume. I saw this bag of office supplies that were dumped in the grass. It made me wonder why there were left behind… Was someone interrupted? Were they stolen from the nearby Office Depot? Why were they just dropped?

I will never know.

Daily Image — 02 September 2023

Lately I have been shooting normal(ish) lenses during my daily walkies with The Girl. Yesterday I carried an old Hanimex 135mm f/2.8 along and shat a few frames with it. This one I like, captured with the Sony A7Sii with in-camera black and white conversion at f/8. I did post-process a bit in Iridient Developer, made some contrast adjustments and added a bit of sharpening.

Over the last month or so, with the exception of two outings, my images were captured with normalish lenses. The two exceptions were some captures with the Nikkor 85mm f/2 and the Zuiko 85mm f/2. On a full-frame camera, like the Sony A7Sii (which I carry a lot), 85mm is a short telephoto focal length. It is most commonly used for portraits.

I start to see the telephoto effect (compression of distance, shallow depth of field) at a focal length of about 105mm. Yesterday I carried a Hanimex 135mm f/2.8 in the bag. The Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f/2.8 Tessar was on the camera (Sony A7Sii) during most of our walk. Near the end of walkies, I decided to mount the Hanimex and see what that gave me.

The Hanimex was reviewed and recommended by Nigel (Zenography channel). It is not an expensive lens. They are quite common (East German Cold War era). But, they are also quite sharp, good quality, and have good contrast. I picked one up off fleaBay a few weeks ago for not much money.

Nigel is right — the lens is quite sharp, even wide open. It has good image quality. And I quite like the telephoto look of this shot of River Road from the Silver Saddle Ranch gate staging area.

The Girl and I had a good walk. The weather is cool, very much fall-like. We have had some rain and I am hopeful that keeps the wildfires away. My thought for today is that maybe we will drive up to our current favorite portable operation site this morning. We can walk some and I might set up a station and see if the bands are better (yesterday they were poor). I think I will take makings for coffee or tea.

Whatever we do, it will be good. I am grateful The Girl is strong and healthy. I do not mind that she is a bossy-bitch. Life is good.

Daily Image — 26 August 2023

On walkies I spotted this cart sitting in the shade. I had the Nikkor 82mm f/2 mounted on my Fuji X-E4 and made the capture. I think the shot was captured at f/2, but I did not record it. Straight from camera with the Tri-X 400 film simulation.

The caption pretty much says everything that needs to be said. One thing I will mention is that the bokeh of this lens with the subject/background distance is a little crazy in the upper right. That is not pretty.

I have a Zuiko 85mm f/2 sample in my collection. I think it should be taken for a walk and tested. My other Olympus lenses render out of focus areas well. This Nikkor does not.

Daily Image — 20 August 2023

Captured with the Fuji X-E4 and the Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 at f/1.4.

After I spent much of the morning puttering at my desk, I decided it was time to get out. We are experiencing the remains of a hurricane from the south. Our weather is cloudy, very cool, and a bit rainy.

The Girl asked to go with me. So, she did.

I had a lens to put into return mail. It was not what I expected. So we walked north to the post office and I dropped the parcel in the bin while chatting with Older Son. Then we walked the reverse of our normal circuit to Station 51. There was no one at the park, so Sera got some time off leash. She had a blast chasing the ground squirrels.

On our way home, I stopped at the planters outside the NDEP building and made a few images of the flowers there. I missed the focus on most of the shots with the thin depth of field of the 35mm f/1.4 wide open. I still got a few decent captures.

Once home, I made some lunch and shared some of my chicken with The Girl. She is doing much better today.

I am grateful. Life is good.

Daily Image — Seen Better Days

This poor cottonwood is hanging on, but it sure has seen better days. Capture with Fuji X100S, 23mm/2 at f/8.

On walkies out at Silver Saddle Ranch this morning, The Girl and I paused for me to make an image. I have been looking at this old cottonwood tree for a while now. This morning I thought that a black and white image with some red filtration might make an interesting capture.

So, while The Girl sniffed around looking for a lizard, I made a few captures with the Fuji X100S. After getting home and reviewing the lot from today’s outing, I like this one the best.

Post processing was simple. I sued Iridient Developer to make a small adjustment to the contrast of the image and then exported it. That was all I did. The black and white conversion was done in-camera.

I bought the Fujifilm X100S a couple of years ago as an experiment. I wanted to know if I would like carrying this kind of camera in lieu of a more substantial kit. In many respects, this is a continuation of the street photographer’s kit started long ago by some excellent 35mm film photographers. The preferred camera of the time was a Leica rangefinder with a 35mm lens and black and white film.

The Fuji X100 series of cameras continues this tradition in a digital format. For the right subject (and mindset), this is an excellent approach and quite simple.

Daily Image — NDOT

The sign at the main entrance. I have walked past this sign many, many times.

Over the last eight years, there is not telling how many times I walked past this sign for the Nevada Department of Transportation. I know Ki and I walked past it many times on our daily sojourns. Now Sera and I are walking past it as I give her foot a rest from the rough sand and sharp brush of the sagelands.

A couple of weeks ago I started carrying a camera (other than my iPhone) on a daily basis. This was written about before. So long as the carrying of said camera nourishes me, I will continue to do it.

I am sure that not every outing will be fruitful. My Instagram feed is full of these images from daily outings. Much of it is not very good work, but it represents a substantial body of work. There are years’ worth of images on my IG feed. It is a pity that FB ruined IG so.

I started posting on VERO again a few days ago. VERO is much like IG was before FB bought it. Then (and there) I followed a double-handful of other photographers and creative types. Every morning there was some joy at seeing what other interesting people were creating.

Now I find it a doomscroll — looking for the dopamine hit from finding something interesting or amusing or odd. I do not really want to leave IG, because there are people there I follow that are doing interesting things. But the signal-to-noise ratio is poor and I am wasting part of my day every day looking at things I do not really care to see in order to find the very few I want to see.

I do not know if it is possible to offload my images in a stream. If I could, I would be very tempted to reclaim my work from IG and close my account.

But, I ruminate. Today’s image is a reflection on the many times my companions and I walked past the NDOT entry sign. The lot is nearly empty on weekends, when the workers are off doing their own thing. It gives Sera and I a chance to take in the space and for me to be aware of anything interesting to capture with my camera.

This morning’s walk was a good walk, if a little late and a little warm. The Girl enjoyed the hunt for ground squirrels and the wet grass. I enjoyed the chance to ruminate on all those times Ki and I walked a good part of this route.

Tomorrow we head out to Summit Lake, Nevada for field work. I will be in the field most of the week collected topographic data (surveying). There will be some different things to photograph and I will have Internet service in the evenings at the research station. I hope to post a few images while out there.

It was a good day. Life is good.

Daily Image — C Hill

This is one of my favorite places in Carson City. There are so many memories of playing with Ki here.

The Station 51 park is one of my favorite places in Carson City. The structure looks like it was a gathering place when the site was the state school. Maybe it was a mess hall. I am not sure. But I always enjoy the sight of it in the morning with C Hill in the background.

It is a tradition that every year the graduating high school class “converts” the C into the last two digits of the year. At some point it will be changed back to “C”.

When Ki and I returned to Carson City late in 2015, I rented long term at the Plaza Hotel. Our walks took us the couple of blocks east to the Station 51 park, where we interacted with human and canine friends almost every day. When Older Son and DiL came to visit, we would take Ki over there for her daily outing. I have some cherished photographs of those family times.

Later, in 2016 I rented my place here in Carson. Ki and I continued walking the few blocks to the Station 51 park, as well as walking out at Riverview Park and Silver Saddle Ranch. We walked many circuits around the perimeter of the park.

After Ki died and Sera came to live with me, I continued the tradition for a while. But Sera is a different dog and is mildly reactive. Her reaction always depends on the confidence of the other dog. After a number of encounters that I did not like, we began walking the Silver Saddle trails more because there is less traffic.

She loves to walk along the river where she can get out in the water. But as time went on there was more traffic there and more of the other walkers we did not know and their dogs were not always the best behaved. So I started walking the upper trails more, where Sera an be off lead and the probability of running into another dog is reduced.

Sera injured one of her feet a week ago, probably by jumping on the brush chasing lizards. She has a small cut between her pads and the loose sand irritates it. Several times she would race past me and then drop on the trail to lick her paw.

I decided to walk her in town for a few days. There is less sand and more grass. That is good because it reduces the pressure on her paw and she loves grass. We walk early before the traffic rises. The grass is often wet from irrigation. She will roll around crazy or dive onto the wet grass as we walk. She loves it and that makes me happy.

So we are revisiting our walks to the Station 51 park and I am seeing things that remind me of the times there with Ki. Those were good times. Now I have memories of spending time there with Sera. Those are good memories too.

I am grateful. Life is good.

N.B. The photograph was made with the Fuji X-T5 and the Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 macro lens at f/8. It is a very good lens and the right focal length for the shot.

Silver Saddle Ranch Thistle

A grab shot from a morning walk at Silver Saddle Ranch.

Yesterday morning, after waking early and morning coffee, The Girl and I got out for a nice walk at Silver Saddle Ranch. We walked our usual loop, starting at the upper staging area on the access road, north to the Mexican Ditch trail, then south through the ranch compound and back to the Mexican Ditch, then up the hill to the trail and back to the rig.

The loop is about a mile and three-quarters and takes something between 45 minutes and an hour to walk. It all depends on how long we linger along the way.

I knew I wanted to make an image for the day. The thistles are in bloom and provide a ready subject. I have used them before.

They still look good, though. So I paused while Sera hunted lizards and framed a couple of shots. The camera was the Fuji X-T1 and the Fujinon 35mm f/2. Sera chased of a bee that would have added interest. Oh well, next time.

Just as I looked up from the camera, I saw another walker and two dogs leaving the compound.

“Here!”” I called to Sera. She came in, I grabbed her collar, and attached her lead. Her energy level was still pretty high and I did not want her to run over to engage the other dogs.

The other handler leashed up her dogs as well. I appreciate that.

Dogs are dogs. That is OK. But a lot of handlers do not understand their animals.

It was a good walk and a good day. Life is good!