Orlando in July

Tourists

As you might have guessed from the title of this post, I recently spent a week in Orlando with my family. A family vacation was a long time coming, and we wanted to visit my grandparents (who relocated to Orlando several years ago to escape the winters), and take advantage of being there to visit the Universal Studios Harry Potter world–both my wife and my son are big, big Harry Potter fans.

I have spent summers in Florida previously, so I was not unaware of the heat. However, my previous trips brought me to the Gulf Coast, which is considerably cooler than the interior of the state. This is a lesson I would learn in the days I spent in Orlando.

I did write a previous entry about this trip to Orlando, which I titled a “Travel Journal”…you can see the post here, and the flickr set here.

Gator-watching

The heat is oppressive. In the days we were there, the daily heat index fluctuated between 110-118 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s really hot. We went to Universal Studios the first two days of our trip, and it was enjoyable, despite the heat; the park is really well done, with a lot of attention to detail ensuring that every nook and cranny holds something that Potter-ites will point out and enjoy.Ā The HP section of Universal studios is divided into two sections: Hogshead and Diagon Alley, and you can read more about it here. I would say that if you’re into HP at all, you should go. It is hot and crowded and expensive, but you only live once, right?

Welcome to Universal Studios

HP World

Rest

Shade

At this point, you’re probably wondering if there was anyone at the park. Yes, in fact, there were plenty of people. It was incredibly crowded, but as my wife always tells me, I have a way of photographing loneliness–even where it doesn’t necessarily seem to exist. But as you can see by the cars in the parking lot, it was full of people. As a matter of fact, in the photography below there areĀ two people.

Conversation

During our time in Orlando, we also managed to see other things. We went hiking, which despite our efforts to get out early in the morning, left us pretty drained. Still, we wanted to enjoy some of the state parks that the area has to offer. And enjoy them we did, until it got too hot; then we went back inside where it’s cool. We also enjoyed some of the coast, the Kennedy Space Center, and time with family. All in all it was a great trip!

Sweaty Kid

On the camera-geek side of things, this was the final trip for my Olympus EM1. After using it as the main camera all week, I found it lacking a few times, and sold it with all my lenses upon return. I kept the Ricoh GR, which also made the trip; that camera proves time and time again how good it is at what it aims to do. I’ll be continuing with the Sony A7ii that I bought earlier this summer. Ultimately, I didn’t find a place for the EM1 next to my A7ii, GR, and X100T.

Here are some other photographs from the trip. I hope you enjoy. Feedback is always appreciated. The full set of images from the trip can be seen here.

Max

Meg

Atlantic Coast, Canaveral National Seashore

San Antonio

Big Hops

I recently spent a weekend visiting a friend in San Antonio, Texas. It was a short trip, designed primarily to catch up with an old friend who I hadn’t seen in almost two years; it was scheduled around a soccer game.

I am a season ticket holder for the local soccer team, Minnesota United FC, and my friend is a fan of his local side, the San Antonio Scorpions. We attended the game, and I was excited as it was my first away game I’d ever been to. On both my initial and my return flight, the team was on my plane. It was pretty exciting to get to meet the players, chat with them as we flew, and take some pictures. It really made me feel like a part of the trip.

The game was a success–MN United FC won the game–and the trip as a whole was a blast. I am excited to go back again! Having lived in San Antonio for a few years myself, seeing places I hadn’t seen in almost a decade was interesting; some things have changed, much has not.

Yellow

Crosswalk

It was also the first time I had a chance to use the brand new Fuji X100T that I upgraded to from the X100S, and I enjoyed using it by and large. It’s not a huge step up from the older models (both of which I’ve owned–I’m a big fan of the X100 series). It handles largely like the older models do, and unless you’ve used the others extensively, you would not immediately notice the changes.

Theater

Smoke Break

Don’t Stop

Toyota Field

Pre-game

Endgame

Selfie

Travel Journal: Florida 2015

Having just returned from a week in Orlando, Florida, I have a lot of photographs to go through from my various cameras. However, on a few of my trips over the years I have done what I consider a travel journal. I take pictures on my phone each day and upload them to Flickr for friends and family to follow along as I navigate my trip each day.

Here is my journalĀ from Portugal in 2012 (the first time I did the travel journal concept), which you can go through if you’re so inclined.

Generally, when taking photos with my phone, I have a strong preference for the Hipstamatic app, which I have mentioned before. I find the combination of films and lenses to be a lot of fun to use, and I have always been drawn to the square format since I got my first medium format camera (an old Mamiya C220).

Below are a few more shots from the album, and the full set is here if you want to check that out.

May

Lake Superior – May 2014

Another month, and another post. Other commitments are keeping me from blogging as much as I used to; as I’ve said repeatedly, I haven’t been taking as many photos due to those same commitments. A recent arrival of a new digital camera has meant that I can more easily share images (yes, his was supposed to be the black and white film year, but that project had to be abandoned after reality hit. Maybe another time) and has found me shooting a bit more, but not a lot.

I’ve said before that I really have stopped caring about camera equipment. It’s true, really. I just don’t give a shit anymore what camera I’m using, or what anyone else is using. I try to find things that work for me and that’s all that I really care about any longer. The new camera I acquired is one I’ve long wanted (in theory); it’s a full-frame sensor onto which I can graft a variety of “legacy” (read: old, manual) lenses. This was recently realized as a no-longer-theoretical image-maker when Sony released the a7. So, after waiting a few months, I got one.

I added an adapter for use with my rangefinder lenses, and tried it out.

Posing – May 2014

Memorial Day weekend meant a trip up to the far norther corner of the state, to visit with family and enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. I took along the new camera, a few lenses, and my increasingly-trusty Ricoh GR to see what I would come up with. I have to say, the camera is impressive in use so far. It was a nice challenge to manually focus on the camera body, and totally different than what I’ve been used to.

Aside from the new camera, it was nice to spend time with my family. It was relatively relaxing and we got to have some quality time together. There is essentially no cell reception or Internet access, and we spent a lot of time outdoors, which was refreshing; it reminds me that we should do it more often.

Orange – May 2014

At the end of the day, I found myself gravitating to one of the lenses I brought far more than the others, and it was tricky to use at times. All told, the results were acceptable and I can’t wait to have more time with the family to just take photos, relax, and refresh.

Until next time,

-Trevor

Romance – May 2014

Harbor – May 2014

Phone – May 2014

Classic Road Trip

Sightseeing – Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, SD

This is the final post about the road trip I took out west this summer. I spent almost two weeks with my family seeing the sites across the western United States, driving across vast expanses of terrain and covering thousands of miles in the process.

I have written two previous posts on this trip. The first was with shots taken on my iPhone, the second was with shots taken by my Hasselblad 501CM. Since I have done two previous posts on this topic, I’m going to keep things pretty short and to the point and let the images largely speak for themselves.

All the images in this post were taken with my Leica M6 rangefinder on 35mm film.

Open Road – Badlands National Park, SD

Pathfinder – Yellowstone National Park, WY

Mammoth Landscape – Yellowstone National Park, WY

As I have mentioned before, this trip necessitated a real change in style for me. With no people around, my usual style of capturing images was hard to apply. Then again, maybe it wasn’t. I found times where I slipped into my comfort zone with crowds of people around (as in the image at the top of the page), but for the most part this was for landscapes and nature photography. Neither of these sub-disciplines of photography is particularly interesting to me, nor am I particularly good at them.

But, I suppose you work with what you’ve got at your disposal. The alternative–not to make photographs at all–is, at this stage in my life, unfathomable.

Clouds – Badlands National Park, SD

Ride – Grand Teton National Park, WY

Portrait – Yellowstone National Park, WY

Two Scoops – Yellowstone National Park, WY

Square Summer

Summit – Beartooth Pass, MT

As I have posted previously, this past summer we took a road trip out to the western part of the United States, seeing North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and South Dakota along the way. You can read the earlier post here.

While the previous post was all with shots taken with my iPhone, this is all about the shots I took with my Hasselblad 501CM. The Hasselblad, for those who are unfamiliar, is a film camera that shoots 120 film, or medium format film. You can read my post on the camera here.

Lower Falls – Yellowstone National Park, WY

I have to say that I am in no way a landscape photographer. In fact, I’d say it’s something I really struggle with. I wish I could see things the way Ansel Adams did–I suppose even the great ones struggle with that–but I just can’t seem to always put it together in a way that is visually appealing, and doesn’t come off as trite, or cliche. So, admittedly, it’s a work in progress.

However, I took the Hasselblad along this summer to document the trip we took, knowing that the camera can produce some stunning images when handled well. What I found along the way is that one can’t really turn any which way without stumbling upon something absolutely breathtaking, and I ended up making a great many images.

Details – Grand Teton National Park, WY

**We interrupt this blog post for a brief public service message: If you’ve read this far and are still interested enough to continue on, I should maybe tell you that by clicking the images, you will go to the source images on my flickr page. Feel free to peruse around there and see the rest of the images in this set that I didn’t post here.

Now back to the blog.

Moose – Yellowstone National Park, WY

Those who follow the blog, and have done so since it started almost two years ago, will know that I generally take photographs of people. Or at least, they have people in them. Out west that was hard, if not impossible, for the most part. The Hasselblad does not lend itself to candid captures and lends itself to the more methodical approach to image-making. For the most part, that was what I did out west.

After the recent announcements regarding the discontinuation of a great many varieties of reversal film, I wanted to make sure that I could use the last of my stock to good effect. So I packed just about all the slide film left in me inventory for this trip, anticipating that the light conditions would be good enough to shoot Provia 100F. I prefer the Kodak Ektachrome E100G, but that was discontinued a few years ago, making me sad indeed; I took the last box I have with me and shot that as well, but the bulk of the shots were with Provia.

Stones – Little Bighorn National Monument, MT

This trip was made all with film. No digital camera came along–but then, as I did an entire post with shots from my phone, perhaps I can’t say that. In this day and age, what is a camera anymore? Most devices are some hybrid anymore, and provide constant connectivity; this is another reason I really enjoyed the all-film aspect of the trip. Somehow, it seems appropriate to me.

It wasn’t merely the fact that electricity was hard to come by for charging batteries. No cell service (for the most part), and no real electronic gadgets to speak of meant that this trip–in a sense–reminded me of the trips to summer camp as a child. Back in those days (yes kids, it was positively medieval) we didn’t have Internet access, cell phones, or iPads. We read books, had campfires and talked to each other, and called home once in a while, when we could. I didn’t intend to wax nostalgic about the days gone by, but this did remind me that unplugging is great for all of us.

Shooting all film really helped with that.

Grand Tetons – Grand Teton National Park, WY

Each camera, and camera type, has a different way of interacting. Some favor certain types of situations; others favor certain types of people. And these are not mutually exclusive. For the Hasselblad (and some other medium format cameras), looking down through the ground glass is amazing. I really enjoy the experience. If you’ve never done it before, do yourself a favor and try one out at a used camera shop while you can, or borrow a friend’s–or just buy one cheap online. They can be had for good prices these days.

Focusing and composing that way is really something I love. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoy it.

Dead Trees – Yellowstone National Park, WY

As I said before, you should check out the other photos from the trip out west if you’re interested. You can see the flickr set of the trip here, and another set of just panoramas taken with my phone here.

I hope you enjoy them, and I’d love to hear your feedback on the shots, the thoughts, or anything else.

Horizon – Open Road, MT

Houston, TX

Houston Skyline

A few weeks ago, I headed down to Houston for a work event.

Along the way, I took some photos. Since the trip was only a long weekend, and I was meeting a friend who wanted to fondle some of my Micro 4/3 gear, I decided to bring along the OMD and the (now sold) GX1, along with a few lenses. Traveling like this is where M4/3 really shines–the size of the both bodies and lenses means you can pack it all in a very compact kit.

I thought I’d post a few shots from the few days I spent in Houston.

Hilltop

No Parking

Music Note

Highway

Sandals

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