Going After the Small Details

I started this week talking about going after the small details when confronted with an area with no good clouds, light or in this case snow. Well it seemed fitting to end the week with examples of just that. I’ve noticed that my mind tends to go towards geometric lines and shapes. Perhaps that’s why Aviation is so appealing to me because airplanes are nothing but lines and shapes. Now the ones in the middle with the T shaped spar intrigue me more than the rest. I have no idea what that tool is for, it’s three feet tall and 2inches in diameter, but between where it was hidden and the light on it, it made for a great subject. All shot with a D3, 24-70 AF-S f/2.8, and Lexar Digital Film


Looking Through the Windows

I couldn’t really think of a snazzier title for this one, it’s basically what it is. Windows are great for shooting purposes both for looking through and seeing what’s being reflected. The choice is figuring out what story to tell. Using the D3 and 24-70 AF-S F/2.8, I kept things simple by selecting the areas that were being lit up by the light coming through the other windows. Without using scrims or HDR I kept things simple by just going after that natural light.


Got to Find Those Unseen Photos

One of the problems of going to state parks that have a major public draw is that you see many of the same images out there. In the case of Bodie many of the buildings, shots through the windows and cars have been photographed several times. This does create the challenge of finding something new. Whether it’s through lighting, angle or subject you have to find something different.


While at Bodie I went minimal with one body and lens on a strap, Nikon D3, 24-70 AF-S f/2.8, on Lexar Digital Film. I really do like the 24-70 for walking around purposes. It’s just a good focal range combined with being light and small. When working with foreground subjects that require getting low it worked quite nicely. These wheelbarrows caught my attention when I was walking around. They seemed like one object that I hadn’t seen in too many photographs and given the character of the wheelbarrows it seemed like the right subject to work with.

Bodie in Winter

As the title says we were in Bodie and it is technically Winter right now but to be fair there isn’t many signs that it is. Sadly there isn’t much of a snow load which really sucks, not only for skiing and photography but also California needs the water. Our good friends the Cable’s were up in Mammoth for the holidays and wanted to go see the ghost town covered in snow. Not much snow but the town is still there.


With Dad as the tour guide we cruised through the town hearing all the stories of what made Bodie what it is. Photographically the town really hasn’t changed so some of the photographs look familiar. The church is a good example of that. I’ve photographed the church several times, including some of the same angles. But the choice is too shoot or not shoot in those situations. I just shot. It was fun. Sicne there was no snow and no good clouds the next best thing is detail shots and when it comes to old buildings there are always possibilities.

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 24-70 AF-S f/2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Ghost Town Steeple

For the last couple days i have been thinking about a nearby ghost town. Why I’m not quite sure, seeing how i went there not long ago. Just one of those things that got stuck in my head and i guess you could say this is how i wanted it unstuck. Thankfully it provided some more time to play with B&W conversion on this church steeple. I can’t ever complain about having time to play with images.

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCCABE0059.swf, 585, 435 [/swf]

Image captured with D3, AF-S Nikkor 24-70 f2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Ghost towns of gold

Just gotta love ghost towns and rustic settings, the history behind the places and the people that made them famous. The Sierra’s have had a number of mining towns some well known some not as much, Bodie is one of those well known ones. It was also one of those places i grew up as a kid. It seemed a lot bigger than, streets aren’t as long now. Just as busy now as it was than, lots of people there in the summer makes it fun getting the shots of store fronts, hurray for little waves that come and go.

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCCABE0029.swf, 585, 435 [/swf]

The great thing is that you never know what will be dug up, something small or large. For instance the bedroom. It was just the inside of a house that the light was coming in from the side window lighting up the room, but the detail in the wall paper and the mattress made it interesting. Sometimes the smallest of elements are the most interesting when it comes to working in ghost towns not the overall town because those details reflect a person being there.

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCCABE0056.swf, 585, 435 [/swf]

Images captured with D3, 24-70 AF-S, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Harsh Light Tricks


One of the large beliefs is that when it is the middle of the day and the light is considered harsh, it is best to not shoot. Well this isn’t true. Mid day light can be used just as long as one is aware of the higher contrast, stronger shadows and of course the dreaded blinkies. Being more selective and working around these elements can led to some great shots. For instance this shot above was taken in full sun light, the white medal of the scrap piece on the left is somewhat lost information but still understandable, and the shadows haven’t taken away any critical information. In this shot i’m actually making it more intense to give it that hot, bright day with a heat shimmer coming up off the ground look. If you’re shooting in midday light make the scenario work around that light.


Rustic buildings are always something i like to work with. Being up in Montana i have the chance to work with a lot of ghost towns and mining towns, but the trick is finding the buildings that actually have interest to them. The one above here caught my eye because of the buckets below it. Now all the buildings have the same wooden slat sides and well it’s nice but not really interesting outside of just being a pattern. The buckets and window break it up. What got me wondering about this wall was the window seal wasn’t under the window nor were the buckets. So i was curious what were they used for or why put over there? Simple little items make all the difference.

Images captured with D3, 24-70 AF-S, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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