I took a walk today, partly because I need the exercise, but also to see what the canyon that I usually hike up looks like since we got all that rain around Christmas time. The path was pretty eroded with some deep trenches. I say deep, maybe up to 24 inches. The creek that flows along the path was still running pretty full. In the summer months it is dry but we are having some snow melt and probably some leftover ground water from the rain still seeping out. I left the path and chose to walk up along the creek jumping from rock to rock. Nice to see the water running. Nice to see all the little things along the banks and in the water. The sun was just setting and not too much direct light reached the rippling pools and little falls. The grade is pretty steep and the bed of the creek was lined with rocks which made a bunch of little waterfalls, some up to about 30 inches. I’ve always wanted to get some great pictures of waterfalls but there didn’t seem like much here to photograph, no grand falls with mist and roaring. Just little trickles. Well I figured that I should at least practice a little with what I had. I wanted to do some of those long exposure shots where the water looked all silky and smooth. Even though the falls were little it should still have the same effect. Little did I realize how much alike they were. I probably took about 100 shots and found a few that appeared to be deceivingly larger than they really were. This one I call Granite Pool, seemed to have that effect more than most of the others.
I think it is because of the lack of anything in the shot that would give away the scale. There were no sticks or branches or objects that are of a known size. Rocks look like rocks. Small ones look just like larger ones.
I had trouble at first with making these shots right. I didn’t have a tripod so I had to set Continue reading →
So 2010 was a bit slow. But I guess that’s how it is sometimes. It’s been such a long time since I’ve done anything with this site that it feels new again, so I updated the look and tried to get it more organized. I’ve got lots of plans for this new year. Really looking forward to developing some ideas that I’ve had for some time.
Anyway, I’m back in the mountains of San Bernardino. It’s been a while since we’ve lived up here but it sure is nice to be back. Winter.
We had some snow already in December. Not exactly a white christmas but I enjoyed the brisk weather. Lots of rain and a fair amount of snow so far this season. Here’s a picture of the village of Lake Arrowhead taken a short walk from my home.
Every year in mid-September the city of San Bernardino, California hosts the annual Route 66 Rendevous. It is a gathering of classic cars and enthusiasts in the closed-off streets of downtown for 4 days and evenings. Within the barricades a “cruise” route is established and car owners are free to ride the loop and show-off their customized or restored street machines.
For the past 3 years I’ve taken my camera downtown during an evening cruise to capture some of these beauties. I fell in love with the look I got the first time I tried to capture the cars using the panning technique. Since then I’ve tried different lenses and cameras to attempt to improve the look. This year’s images turned out pretty well. I’ve been wanting to make a calendar with them but so far I have settled with this little video.
Many of the shots I attempt just don’t come out well at all (some would say that none came out well :-) ) because of such a slow shutter speed. In order to blur out the background I have to use at least 1/2 sec – 1 sec shutters. In spite of the appearance, the cars are barely moving. Most of the pedestrians are walking faster. I use an aperture between f4 and f8 and the lowest iso on the camera. To me, low noise is key to getting the most pleasant looking blurs. Camera is set on manual and lens on manual focus as well. With everything moving so slowly you really don’t need to make many adjustments. Just play around with the shutter and aperture settings a click up or down until you like the exposure. I shoot by setting the focus on a car directly in front of me, where I want the car when I make the exposure, then swing over to an approaching car and start to line up the shot. I get a firm grip with both hands on the camera and pull both my elbows tight against my chest to help steady the camera. Once I have matched the pace of the car with the camera I start shooting, and try to get at least one shot directly where I preset the focus.
How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! – John Muir
my name is brian watkins. i am an amateur photographer living in Lake Arrowhead, Ca. I keep this blog as a tool to help me develop my art and as a way to begin connecting with the people that live here.