The transition from summer to fall happens rapidly here in Down East Maine. One day the warmth of the summer sun can be felt until late in the evening, and then the next, darkness is arriving at 7:00. Fall brings a sense of calm and solitude that is lost in the hectic nature of summer. I always anxiously await the arrival of these cool mornings, warm afternoons and brisk evenings. Agh, Fall is now no longer just in the air, but solidly in place.
As summer comes to a close, once again I am going to search for a way to update my blog and my exposure site with my images and words. I have a number of photo essays in the pipeline along with some exciting new photo workshop opportunities to talk about.
Gear is always a part of my photography life, no matter how much I wish it wasn't. After a year of trying to come to grips with the complexities of the Sony A7rii, I have finally given up and moved on. While the IQ from the little beast of a camera was beautiful, I could just never come to grips with the number of buttons and the overall complexity of the menus. If I put the camera down for more than a few weeks and then picked it back up again for a shoot, I found myself lost in the myriad of menu options. So, in the end, the Sony is gone.
I have now been playing with the Leica SL for two weeks, and will make a decision shortly on how or if that camera can meet my needs. The IQ from the camera is classic Leica and their is no doubt that paired with M glass it is a dream to shoot. However, the size, weight and cost of additional SL glass is definitely a liability. More on that shortly.
This past week, Nikon has announced the release of the D850. As a long time Nikon photographer I have been rooting for them for some time. The D800 and D810 were two of the finest cameras I have ever shot with. To this date, the images I captured with those cameras are some of my favorites of all time. With that in mind, I took the plunge and put a pre-order in for the D850. Having been privy to some early thoughts on this camera, I believe it is going to be a blockbuster unit for Nikon. I am definitely looking forward to putting it through its paces. More to come once that unit ships.
It has been a very busy winter for me and I have lots to catch up on. One of my goals for 2017 is to get back to writing a bit more, especially my thoughts on things that really interest me. With that said, I have a new Photo Essay online from my Iceland trip and I am currently working on my Ireland Photo Essay that I shot with the new Leica M10.
More thoughts on the new M10 will be forthcoming, both here and over on my Ireland page. Cutting to the chase, it is an amazing camera and one that I am super excited about.
I am not sure what is in store for me in 2017, but I do know, this little pup will continue to be a huge part of my life. We spent January 2nd out on the beach, watching the waves crash and chasing a brightly colored little ball. I think there is much to be learned from the joy and jest for life that Rue brings to everything that she does.
So here is to 2017 and the life of a Border Collie. May the year bring you all much peace and happiness and all the love you desire.
Meet Rue, my new partner in crime. Super excited to introduce this lovely Border Collie to the world of adventure biking. I purchased a B.O.B. trailer and a Roberts Axle upgrade so that she and I can begin to explore the backroads. My busy summer season is coming to an end which always means adventure travel is right around the corner. Stay tuned for more...
Desperately working to finish my edits on my last trip to Alaska in the winter of 2015. Hoping to get those posted over on my stories site in the next week. Editing images always makes me long for more adventure...
I continue to thoroughly enjoy shooting with the little Loxia 21. It is as close to a 'Leica' glass feel as I have experienced with the Sony A7rii. I have a running set of images on my stories site with sample images so please jump over there for more imagery from the A7rii/Loxia 21 combination.
In a few words or less, this is a simply stunning lens. The build quality is spectacular. The aperture ring and focus ring are buttery smooth, which makes manual operation a dream. Paired with the A7Rii peaking and zoom capability, focus is easy, quick and very precise.
If I had one nit about the lens, it would be what others have already stated. The mount is just a bit small for removing the lens. If it were a tad bigger, with more separation from the aperture ring, removal of the lens would be just like any other lens. However, due to its small size, removal is a tad difficult. All in all, I would say that is purely a minor complaint and one that is easily overcome with practice.
I will continue to update my story site over the next several days with images and then I move on to testing out the Zeiss 25 Batis; the Sony-Zeiss 35/1.4 and the Sony 35/2.8.
I think most photographers have serious gear issues -- not only with regards to Cameras and Lenses but also with accessories. Specifically bags and straps. While I won't even begin to go into my bag issues, I am now looking to sort out my strap system.
For too long I have wanted a quick and easy way to switch out straps across my cameras. There are times when I love having a wrist strap, but then want to switch out to a sling. Some times I have a super light setup going and don't need a big strap, but then at other times, I have a heavier setup and want to switch to an appropriate strap.
So, in my quest to solve my issues, I am making an investment into the Peak Designs systems. I love the idea of the quick connectors along with their diverse set of straps/slings and wrist straps. I will have a running dialogue on what I find and how this works, but for now I have made the investment to put quick connects on my bodies and L plates and have acquired the Slide; the Slide Lite; and the Clutch. So far my impressions are very, very positive.
Below is a comparison of the Slide and the Slide Lite, with the latter attached to the Leica Q. I think for that small mirrorless body both the Lite and the Clutch will be absolutely perfect.
Next is an image of the A7Rii with the Zeiss 55/1.8 attached using the Slide strap. With this lens combination I think it is right on the edge of being too much. However, with the 90 Macro or even the 55 plus the battery grip, the heavier strap just feels more comfortable than the Lite version. I will update this post with more information as I get to spend time with each of the combinations. For now, I am definitely very pleased.
It has been a little more than a month now that I decided to make the switch to a full blown Sony professional kit based off of the Sony A7rii. During this time period I have had the chance to put this camera through its paces, primarily with the Sony/Zeiss 55/1.8 and the Sony 90 Macro. To say that I am pleased so far is an understatement. I am now convinced that this was truly the right move for me to make.
This past week I was able to add the Sony Grip, which I must say greatly enhances the feel of the camera with the 90 Macro attached. I will be adding both the 70-200/f4 and the Sony 85/1.4 GM lenses, both of which slightly off balance the standard body, but will feel very nice with the vertical grip attached.
I am also permanently wedded to Really Right Stuff tripods, ball heads and other assorted gadgets so adding an L bracket was required. As always, the RRS fit and finish is simply beautiful. They have really done a terrific job with this new L bracket design.
I have created a running story on my Stories site, highlighting some of my initial captures from the A7Rii.
I had the privilege of meeting up with John Connelly as he transitioned out of the Canadian Maritimes and into the beautiful waters of Down East Maine. John is on an amazing trip, covering more than 1500 miles by Canoe and Kayak. It is worth checking out his site and his IG feed. Best of luck John and hopefully our paths will cross again.
Looking for a little daily inspiration. Spend 2:56 seconds of your day today and watch this little speech. For all you 2016 DK riders, here you go!!
There are plenty of reviews out there regarding the A7rii and all of its pros and cons. So for me, I will simply use some images to showcase what this little camera can do. After a week or so of usage, I am definitely impressed. It still has the normal 'Sony' issues, but I must say, all in all it seems to be a solid package.
This series was shot using the 55/f1.8 Zeiss lens at sunset. Exposures range from .8 seconds to 6 seconds.
I have finally gotten my photo essay online of my bikepacking trip on the Coconino 250 loop. A stunning and somewhat challenging loop in Northern Arizona that takes you through forested pines, high alpine trails, dessert sand, and beautiful slick rocks. This is a must do loop and one that I look forward to revisiting in the future.
My bike of choice for this trip was the amazing Salsa Cycles spearfish. Fast and nimble, it was absolutely the perfect rig for this trip. Everything was photographed on my Leica Monochrome and a single 50mm Summilux. Forcing myself to shoot with a single lens and in black and white was definitely one of my most rewarding photo expeditions.
One of my new year resolutions was to work on my daily writing skills. Day 6 and I am on a roll. I am not only writing, but working on my Focus and also absolutely loving the Leica Q. It has dramatically changed my ability to capture small moments throughout the day. Something that I always struggled with before. Being a bit of an imaging snob, I was never comfortable with what my Fuji X100T produced, and without good light, I disliked the iPhone images. Now, finally, in a small package I have a brilliant imaging machine. The Leica Q is definitely the real deal.