It’s all on You!

This past week I received an email from a nice man that wanted to talk computer settings and processing. He had a lot of questions all to common I’m afraid. He was looking for the answers that are often argued and given bad info on. Well towards the end the inevitable happened, he went into his system of how he does his processing trying to prove to me that it’s right and works. To which my only response was, I’m glad you have a system that works for you.”

That is a crucial point that gets lost. Everything that is talked about on the web, in print, in a workshop is useful information to be brought into YOUR workflow. That doesn’t mean yours is wrong most commonly it means that there is a new technique that is faster. What works for me doesn’t work for everyone else. Take my wildlife images for example. The shot above has never seen post except to put that white background on it. Others may not share that point of view but you know what that’s fine. As long as you have a system that works for you, that’s what matters. As time changes technology improves and efficiencies are made to make life easier. Taking advantage of the trial and errors others have made available to you is key. This is a community of different opinions but also of helping one another to better the photography world.

The Old Railroad Station

The on thing that really says the Sierra’s to me are the old remnants from the past Mines and Lumber Mills. They are both a big part of the history of the settling of the Eastern Sierra’s. Now most people have heard of Bodie State Park. It’s ghost town that used to be an old gold mine and has had a pretty remarkable history to it. Well, Bodie, which is north of us, is closed in the winter time due to snow. It wasn’t really a feasible option to hike the ten miles up the closed road to get there to go shooting, so we instead went to Laws Railroad Museum, another old town just outside Bishop. In this town is a series of buildings most of which can be entered, railroad cars, old tractors, and of course old cars. Everything there can be shot in multiple ways, there is no wrong answer.

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCCALM0347.swf, 585, 435[/swf]

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCCALM0350.swf, 585, 435[/swf]

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCCALM0396.swf, 585, 435[/swf]

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCCALM0454.swf, 585, 435[/swf]

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCCALM0534.swf, 585, 435[/swf]

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCCALM0559.swf, 585, 435[/swf]

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCCALM0567.swf, 585, 435[/swf]

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCCALM0574.swf, 585, 435[/swf]

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCCALM0672.swf, 585, 435[/swf]

[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/LCCALM0750.swf, 585, 435[/swf]

The images above are only a sample of the images I took while I was there. Everything from the medical office, to the blacksmith, to the saddle shop, to the railroad cars, and of course the saloon are represented above. Ghost towns are places for many kinds of images which is why they are great places to haunt. It wasn’t the first time i was there it won’t be the last.

Images captured with Nikon D3, AF-S 24-70, AF-S 70-200 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital

Breaking the Law

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Okay we didn’t break any law but it makes for a catchy title. It seems i can’t go without posting a series of Black and Whites from a ghost town or rustic building. I JUST GOTTA! Something about the area that forces me to think in such dimensions. In this particular case i was playing around with a giant drill, at least i think it was a on old giant drill, looking up at the gears in the inside of it. I actually pointed the camera straight up underneath it, at different angles to get this first shot. It turned out kinda cool so i did what no photographer likes to do, i laid down and shot up.

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These other two were more selective but still fun. The whole idea is really the repetition in the gears and wood creating simple yet engaging patterns. I turned them into B&W’s because of the eerie feeling that comes from watching too many movies of old mine shafts and saw mills with zombies and ghouls and bodies getting cut in half, you know the typical horror youth stuff. What can i say I’m still a kid.

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Anyways, black and white is a useful tool to use but it can be over used, it is for sure not for every image. The trick as with any image is when it right to be used, when does it help communicate what needs to be said. I chose it for these three because the gears are representing an old technology just like black and white photography was at one time the only type of images able to be captured. Now of course it also has to do with the simple fact that i just liked them with no color and saw them in my head before i took them that way. Just more to think and play with….hmmmm me thinking scary.

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

Traveling down the tracks

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The mercantile store wasn’t the only place of interest at Law, the entire museum has a huge collection of vehicles and trains that are fun to play with. Something that needed to be taken into affect was we got there at 10:00 and the light outside was harsh. It was kinda funny too, we were expecting a big storm to come through that morning and instead we ended up with no clouds but clear skies. This Plymouth in front of an old gas pump caught everyone’s attention. The challenge was getting the information in the car and buildings to show due to them being back lit. Dad played around with HDR’s while i went with a more straight shot approach. To be honest the car wasn’t as interesting to me with the lack of clouds, i was looking for something else at the train station. So i’ll go back to the car later.

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Whenever i go to a train station or train junkyard, i’m always on the look out for that tunnel view shot. Since trains cut through the landscape, travel through tunnels and are longer than the eye can see; it just seems to make sense that the image to captivate that motion and machinery is in the same feel. This one is closer to what i was looking for but still not right. This was taken inside one of the train cars that we were allowed to walk into. The only light sources in this car were behind me and in front of me, so the car seemed to emulate that tunnel it had to go through at some point with the light in front and at the end.

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

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