Sunday, September 15, 2019

Salton Sea Photography :: Summer 2019

It's hard to believe I've been coming here for ten years!  I still remember when the decay was real (and not just an art installation) and this was a hidden photography gem in the desert. Tempted to go check out two art pieces I saw were out at Bombay Beach, I was able to con one of my friends into driving out there.  We focused just on the Bombay Beach area so that we could take our time.  Here are some of the new things I saw:

All photos taken with either my EOS R or Fuji X100F.

1)  A "hotel"?!?  I don't know whether this is a real hotel or just another art exhibit, but this is actually real.  I went to the website and apparently there are plans to build this by 2021!

2)  I've seen this on Instagram for a while now, but after a little research, I found out this was out at one of the Burning Man events a few years ago!  So far, this is as close as I've gotten to Burning Man LOL.  One day!

3)  A lot of artists have moved into Bombay Beach and surrounding areas.  Their projects can easily be seen while driving by.  There's currently a big movement to use art as a way to stimulate interest in the Salton Sea area.

4)  If you recall ever seeing this iconic boat out at Salton Sea, then I have sad news to report.  Some idiots have burned it to the ground. I hate people.

     Here is what it looked like during one of its paint jobs over the years.  This one was probably my favorite.

5)  This is from the Bombay Beach Biennale.  I wish I had known about this event!  Maybe next year?

6)  The new iconic swing out in the water.  This is what I came for! We waited til sunset to get some shots of this.

7)  Also from the Biennale event.

8)  Not sure if this is from the Biennale, but I think it has to be.  It certainly wasn't here back in January!

     I've actually seen people get their cars stuck in the sand, so I would imagine "Kim" gets a lot of calls. 

9)  More graffiti...

10)  Another from the Biennale...

     Every time I see this, I am astonished at how the water level has receded in only 10 years. 

11)  This was pretty cool to shoot, especially if you catch it on a day with dramatic skies.

     And here are some shots from the swing at sunset!  I definitely want to come back and shoot this again.  I think on a day where the skies are dramatic and the water is still would be ideal.

     As luck would have it, these clouds started rolling in once we were about to leave.

     Good night from Bombay Beach! 😴

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Fuji X100F :: Venice Beach, CA

     Every time I get a new camera, there's always a learning curve that comes along with figuring out how to adjust all the settings.  The goal is to become so familiar with the ergonomics of the body and placement of knobs/dials that using the camera becomes second nature to you.  I love this time period because it always makes me want to go out and shoot, since that's the only way to familiarize yourself and learn to shoot as quickly as possible on a new camera body.  

     Not being a huge fan of Venice Beach, I forced myself to go play with my Fuji X100F here because I knew there were potential shots I've yet to take. The clouds were out, and I was excited to shoot with one focal length and a light camera body for the day.  

     One of my goals was to get more people shots in this busy area.  I've been watching a lot of videos on street photography, and the X100F is perfect for trying to take these shots.  I love that the camera gets very little attention because it doesn't look professional.

     The best thing about any place - dogs. 😍

     I probably spent the longest amount of time at the skate park area.  I never really tried to shoot this before, and even though the X100F is not the camera for photographers looking to take action shots, I think I still managed to get a few images I liked.  This place reminded me of a paper I wrote for a writing class in college about skateboarding culture.  

     While I love looking at other people's street photography photos, it is not something I feel comes naturally to me.  First, I find it tough to get in people's faces or approach them for photos.  I'd much rather prefer to take photos of people who aren't looking at the camera and are unaware of my presence.  While I think street photography is an amazing style for documenting, I feel it's so much more important to respect the wishes of people who may not necessarily want to be photographed.  

     What shocked me the most about the X100F was the versatility of the 35mm equivalent focal length.  I also wanted something better than my Canon G7x Mark II, but still pocketable and lightweight.  The X100F ticked all these boxes and it's such a cute little camera on top of that.  

     I still can't believe I'm eating this stuff.  Sometimes the craving for a bagel with cream cheese and lox hits me, and I forget that anything remotely raw-looking makes me wanna puke.  😑

     It's not the amazing sunset I was chasing, but there were some nice colors to the sky that day.  This is also the day that I found out the X100F makes a loud beeping sound when you use a self-timer.  I still need to figure out how to turn that off!  Another small complaint I have is that when doing any type of long exposure, the X100F takes quite a while to process the image.  

     Again, this was not the composition I had in mind when I thought of shooting this iconic sign, but it's not bad for a quick snap on my gorillapod.  This definitely made me more open to the idea of going back to shoot in Venice Beach, as I'm sure there are more compositions to be made in this little intersection.  

     Thanks for coming along, and happy shooting! 😀