Oak leaf in lava foam

Oak leaf in lava foam

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts.

This eddy current of foam was right at the bottom of the trail at the first Race Brook crossing, just after a small bit of turbulence. It was the most amazing piece of foam I’ve ever seen and I took numerous pictures as the leaf spun around, caught in the the eddy current.

Even though this image was done with the Ricoh GR’s high contrast black and white filter, this foam really did look like lava, it was unusual and fascinating and if we hadn’t been on our way further up the trail I’d have stood there for a lot longer watching it change form.

Schaghticoke Ridge waterworks

Waterfall

New York, Connecticut border south of Kent, Connecticut.

Dave and I hiked from Bull’s Bridge north along the Appalachian Trail along Schaghticoke Ridge with this small stream as our destination.

The water was running because of snow melt and there were small waterfalls, foam eddy currents, and lots of bubbles. The Ricoh GR did some interesting things with the bubbles so I’m posting a few of them.

Foam

Bubbles

Bubbles

Bubbles

El Capitan, the film

El Capitan, the film documents three climbers doing the classic Nose route in 1968 on the largest rock formation in Yosemite Valley, California: El Capitan.

This film is not full of hero shots, not full of free soloing and is humble compared with many modern films on Yosemite climbing (see embedded videos below). But, it documents in amazing detail what it’s like to climb the Nose route on El Capitan, still one of the classic big wall rock climbs on earth by three (four including the cameraman) pioneering and excellent climbers.

The cinematography by Glen Denny is incredible as is the sound reproduction. This climb was made before the invention of “clean climbing” so the climbers are carrying pitons and hammers and a lot of heavy gear and that gear clanks around, and all of those clanks are recorded and in the movie. Of course, Glenn Denny also did the climb with a lot of heavy film and sound gear which was and remains a feat in itself.

Here’s a great history of the project and review of the movie by Michael Ybarra for Alpinist: El Capitan: The Movie. Highly recommended.

I’ve owned the VHS (videotape) version of the movie El Capitan for a long time and I was extremely happy to find that the film was painstakingly transferred to digital video including blue-ray.

I climbed extensively in Yosemite ten years after this movie was shot. For more on my climbing history, see A Climbing Story. Yosemite was a magical place before it got overrun by too many tourists and too many climbers. No doubt it’s still magical but I like to think I experienced it during a more innocent time.

Yvon Chouinard and Glen Denny’s book: Yosemite in the Sixties has photographs of many of the pioneers of Yosemite climbing who were active just before this film was made. You can see more of Glen’s photographs here: Glen Denny.

Buy the DVD or Blue-ray of El Capitan

Western Eye Press
Amazon

A more modern El Capitan climb of the Nose route by Mark and Janelle Smiley:

The Nose on El Capitan from Mark Smiley on Vimeo.

A french team does the Nose route (the GoPro footage while a bit dizzying is useful for seeing what a climber sees):

The Nose – El Capitan from Capexpe on Vimeo.

Here’s Mark and Janelle Smiley on the Salathe Wall route on El Capitan (a more difficult climb):

Salathe – El Capitan, Yosemite from Mark Smiley on Vimeo.

Getty Center with Fuji X100S

Exterior stairs

Stairs

The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California.

I’ve been shooting architectural images of this Richard Meier masterpiece for over ten years now and it never bores me. A few years ago I had a show of images like these and it went very well; Richard Meier told me in a letter he thinks my images capture the spirit of his buildings and that put a wonderful grin on my face.

Here’s the set up on flickr (so far): Getty Center Impressions.

These new images were all shot with the Fuji X100S and processed in Lightroom like the others I’ve done in this series. While the fixed 35mm angle of view on this camera doesn’t give me the drama of 28mm or 24mm, I wanted to walk around this now very familiar place with this new camera to see how it felt. In short, it felt good and the images I got out of it rival any of the other cameras I’ve used to shoot there.

Exterior ceiling

Exterior ceiling

Corner

Corner

Facade(s)

Facade(s)

Reflection in a door

Reflection in a door

Interior

Interior

Staircase

Staircase

Railing

Railing

Tables and chairs

Tables and chairs

Flower and bokeh

Flower and bokeh

Descanso Gardens, Flintridge, California. There’s something about this garden that’s very nice: lots in bloom, well maintained but not too formal, and plenty of trees to keep it cool and shaded which makes for better photography.

I wanted to see what the Fuji X100S would do wide open and it doesn’t disappoint. Nice circular bokeh (bokeh balls) and great detail and color on flowers. It will be fun to use it for more flower images this summer.

Marta and Frances

Marta and Frances

Descanso Gardens, Flintridge, California. There’s something about this garden that’s very nice: lots in bloom, well maintained but not too formal, and plenty of trees to keep it cool and shaded which makes for better photography.

My almost 99 year old mother was tired so I didn’t push her to take her sunglasses off. Her helper, Marta is an amazing woman who has made it possible for my mother to continue living comfortably at home.

Flowers at Descanso Gardens

Flowers

Descanso Gardens, Flintridge, California. There’s something about this garden that’s very nice: lots in bloom, well maintained but not too formal, and plenty of trees to keep it cool and shaded which makes for better photography.

I took pictures with the Fuji X100S and the Ricoh GR and this first set is high contrast JPEGs from the GR. I’m slowly getting used to the X100S but at this point the GR is like an extension of my brain as I’ve used it more and its simpler ergonomically.

Flowers

Succulent

California poppies