Black and White, Color, depth of field, Landscapes, Nature, Photography, things seen

William B. Umstead State Park – Part 3

The finale, as it were.

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Black and White, Everyday Life, Photography, Street Photography, things seen

Scenes From A State Fair #3

Another Monday another round of images. Things have been keeping me busy and these posts are a nice opportunity to slow down and reflect a bit.

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More images from my recent visit to the Washington State Fair. I don’t know if I mentioned but there were lots of other photographers present. Some were obviously using photography as an adjunct to their enjoyment of the fair. Others, like the two older gentlemen with backpack, tripods, and a full kit…were also there for enjoyment, but photography was obviously paramount in their purpose. I fell into the former category. Rarely am I to be found without a camera, but except when engaged professionally it’s as an enhancement of the experience. I have a particularly abysmal memory for events and experiences (facts are quite the opposite). For me, photography also functions as a form of memento vivere that makes re-experiencing those moments easier. Or else they would be lost.

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Upcoming, I will have some street photography to feature here on the blog. For the interested, a comparison can be made between these images and my style of “true” street photography.

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So actually, that’s all there is for this series of images. Next post will be something completely different.

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Black and White, Color, Photography, Street Photography, things seen

Scenes From A State Fair #1

The Washington State Fair, known colloquially as the Puyallup Fair, is an annual event in the state of Washington and one of the largest state fairs in the nation.

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Traditionally, school-aged children are permitted a ticket or two to gain free entrance to the fair where they can ride any number of dizziness-inducing rides, and sample the delicious fair….fare. Elephant ears (a cinnamon encrusted pastry) and scones are legendary.

It had actually been a few years since I attended the fair and by my recollection, the fairground space used has increased over the years. Always one for a lark I did manage to find my way onto two rides; The Zipper and The Enterprise. I imagine The Enterprise was trying to avoid copyright infringement on the name…by infringing two other copyrights.

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I wrestled with taking the Fujifilm X-Pro2 or X-T2. Generally, the X-Pro2 has been my “walkaround” camera while I’ve been using the X-T2 for studio work. I would have taken the X-T2 without the battery grip, but at the last minute went with X-Pro2. I did, however, get a bit edgier (/s) by not taking the XF35mm f/2. Instead, I took the XF56mm f1.2 and XF23mm f/2. The XF56mm f1.2 is a marvel. The XF23mm f2 is a fine lens that I don’t use nearly enough.

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For the day the shooting conditions were not ideal. Cloudy and overcast, things were not helped by a miasmic haze that clung in the air due to the wildfires raging here in the Pacific Northwest.

All in all, it was a fun day and there are a few posts worth of images to prove it. State fairs are excellent opportunities for a couple of different styles of photography. Many of the skills that go into street photography and landscape photography, in terms of framing and consideration of what makes an image work, are readily applied on the fairground.

Artsy, Black and White, Photography, Portrait, things seen

The Sketch Artist

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If I could draw or paint to any acceptable degree I probably wouldn’t be a photographer.

I’ve spent probably close to a year coming to grips with my color photographic work. I began with black and white film (Kodak Plus-X and Fuji Acros being favorites) and for a time really struggled with color work. Especially digital. I finally got to the point where I was comfortable enough…but if you are engaged in a creative pursuit you know “comfortable enough”, never is.

So I would work at it. I now think my color work is as strong as my black and white work. Usually.

At any rate, you can judge because the next post is all about some recent fine art work and features color in equal amounts to monochrome.

Color, Photography, Street Photography, things seen

Scenes From A Public Market

Pike Place Market is one of the go-to destinations for visitors to Seattle, WA. Everything can be found within its stalls from fresh seafood, flowers of every variety, to hand-crafted jewelry and other art. It is one of the most popular spots in the city and on any given day about a quarter of the people there will be seen with a camera in hand. Because my sister made a short visit back home this weekend she was determined to pay the place a visit as she hadn’t been since she moved out of the state.

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The famous market sign
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There are many distractions to be found at the market
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The market is world-renowned for its seafood

I’ve photographed the market before, as I imagine many local photographers have. Still, it’s not difficult to find something new to catch the eye and inspire a photograph.

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Fresh produce is always available
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Flowers fill the market
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A pig. It’s a whole *thing*.

We did arrive later in the day (the market closes at 6 pm Monday – Saturday, and 5 pm on Sundays), and many of the stalls were in the process of shutting down. This actually worked for me. It’s often to see the market in full bustle, thronged with people purchasing fresh produce, heading to one of the cafes or restaurants on the several levels of the market, or buying records, or any number of other eclectic items.

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The market has multiple levels. There’s lots to explore.
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Lighting is dim outside of the storefronts. Kept my processing to reflect it realistically.
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Lots of interesting sights.
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A nice record and memorabilia store.

I brought along the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the XF 35mm F2 and XF 56mm f1.2. Normally, I’d have stuck with using the 35mm all day long, but I was intrigued by other images I had seen using the 56mm for street and candid photography. Mosty it worked, and I really do like many of the images from the 56mm. There were one or two caveats, however.

  • Compared to the 35mm f2 and 23mm f2, the 56mm is much slower to focus.
  • With an equivalent focal length of an 84mm lens, things are a bit closer than my usual street photography style. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just took an adjustment.

Otherwise, it was a fantastic lens to use. Sharper than nanowire and with great color rendition.

If you ever get a chance the Pike Place Market is worth checking out for photographers even with the crowds. I usually come away with a few worthwhile images every time I visit.

Color, depth of field, Everyday Life, Photography, Portrait, things seen, vacation

Every Day In Every Way…

The French psychologist Émile Coué developed the Coué Method,  a tactic of self-suggestion characterized by a mantra, “Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better.”, to be repeated daily multiple times as a means to self-improvement.

Taking some inspiration from the idea without commentary on the efficacy of the method I would like to suggest that something similar can be attempted with photography. Personally, I try to apply my full powers to all my photography. I don’t differentiate between professional work and personal artistic work, or snapshots with my loved ones on vacation.

To my mind photography is something I do, every time I have the camera in my hand I should be trying to achieve the best image. My goal is to always be working with the ease that comes with long practice, applying what I have learned about photography almost subconsciously. Eventually, if I work at it long enough craft and art will become the same thing whether I’m following a client’s directive, or photographing my niece’s birthday party.

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There is no shame in making every moment a moment of artistry. There is no shame in finding the exceptional in the most commonplace moments and things. An overwhelming part of leading an enjoyable life is the vantage point you observe from. I choose to opt for a life that finds the art in the everyday.

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Black and White, Editorial, Fine Art Photography, Photography, things seen

The Park No. 5

 

As a location Fort Steilacoom park attracts a lot of attention from local photographers who use it to stage engagement photos, birth announcements, senior photos, and so on. Can’t really blame them as it’s a good location (it would also make me a hypocrite).

One of the main features is a series of barns that are situated on the park grounds. One has been torn down due to deterioration but the others still stand as well as three silos.

The outer walls of the barn are marked with chalk by all these various photographers (I’ve never done this myself), with the result that taken out of context they become enigmatic ciphers. It’s interesting, to me at least, to take them even further out of context when photographing them for viewers who will likely be unaware of the meanings unless they’ve read this post.

The Barns

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Next Up: Barns Cont.