Tag Archives: Corvallis

Corvallis to San Jose at 11,000 MPH!

We recently traveled to San Jose (unfortunately for a funeral) and as we had a long road trip in front of us – I thought to experiment with a 600 mile time lapse…

With the suction cup mount, I set up one of the Contours to snap a photo every 5 seconds.  The back-of-the-envelop calculation for Corvallis to San Jose in under 3.5 minutes pencils out to something like 11,000 mph!

Sure – that’s fast.  Like faster than Tesla-fast… but, I thought, how fast is it?

Well, after a bit of internet checking, I cobbled together the following info:

  • Bullet Train: 311 MPH
  • Sound: 767 MPH
  • McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II: 1,606 MPH
  • Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird: 2,193 MPH
  • Muzzle speed (modern rifle): 2,659 MPH
  • North American X-15: 4,519 MPH
  • Our trip to San Jose: 11,000 MPH
  • Space Shuttle: 17,500 MPH
  • Santa’s Sleigh: 8,300,000 MPH
  • Light: 671,000,000 MPH

Bottom line?  It’s tough to compete with Santa.   Smile

Help-Portrait 2013: Corvallis

I just wanted to give a shout-out to a very talented team that helped pull together the 2013 Help-Portrait event here in Corvallis.  This is the fourth year for the H-P event in Corvallis (and the third for me).  And every year it seems to get a bit better and this year was no different.

Help Portrait 2013-4

And just in case you were wondering what was going on behind the curtain – here’s most of the team that post-processes and prints the images.

Help Portrait 2013-1

Of course, an event this size doesn’t happen without a lot of folks behind the scenes.  In addition to the team above (and the folks who worked earlier in the day and missed the team photo):

This year, just for fun, I set up one of the Contours on a time-lapse with an image every 3 seconds.  So, if you’d like to see how the day went – here’s an inside look at the event compressed to just over 5 minutes.

If you’d like to learn more about Help-Portrait – you can find out more here – and if you’d like to learn more how you can connect with an event in your area – you can find out more here.

Mounted Shooting

Benton County Rodeo - Mounted Shooting - 2013-2Over the last few years I’ve had a chance to shoot some rodeo and it’s been a heck of a lot of fun.  But on Saturday – while shooting over at the Benton County (Fair &) Rodeo – they had an event new to me – mounted shooting.

And, yes, I was completely out of position (should have been on the other end of the arena for this course) – but I’m really looking forward to trying it again.

That said – it’s not often that you see a rodeo queen with a single action Colt .45.  Yep – that’s Nicole Schrock, the current Miss Rodeo Oregon, trying her hand at mounted shooting.

Benton County Rodeo - Mounted Shooting - 2013-4

And another one.

Benton County Rodeo - Mounted Shooting - 2013-1

BTW – if gear is your thing (or if you’re mulling teleconverters)– here’s a possible data point for you – I shot the entire afternoon with a Canon 1.4x teleconverter on a 70-200 f/4L.  There was plenty of action and plenty of light making it was a great combination.  Of course, the teleconverter will drop you a stop – equivalent of f/5.6.  Only once or twice did the autofocus refuse to cooperate – but more likely due to operator error.  And, if you’ve read this far – you might find it interesting that this isn’t the latest version – I was able to pick up a used second generation 1.4x over at Adorama.

X100S: Early Morning at High ISO

x100s high iso -2My first discussion on the X100S was mostly a general overview on first impressions.

So, just for fun, I decided to get up before sunrise on Saturday and kick around the streets of Corvallis with the new camera to practice a bit in some tough low-light conditions.

Most of the morning was spent at ISO 4000 and 5000.  A few of the shots are included here.  Nothing portfolio ready but hopefully they’ll give you a good idea of how well this camera handles at the higher ISO settings.

Though these are not straight-out-of-camera (they have been slightly modified in LR4.4), I purposely did not use the Noise Reduction Slider.

And just in case you’re curious, all shots were handheld, manual mode, in-camera noise reduction off, raw (not jpg), and auto white balance (only slightly adjusted on a couple of the shots – but not dramatically).

To be honest – I find this camera to be stunning in low light.

Hope you find these helpful.  If you have any questions or comments – just let me know.  x100s high iso -1 x100s high iso -5 x100s high iso -3 x100s high iso -4

cameras8.jpg

We’re not in Cansas Anymore: A Weekend with the X100S

cameras-8 Back in the day, you know – those days when we shot film – my favorite camera was the Canon GIII – a little rangefinder with a fixed 40mm f1.7 lens.  I picked mine up used after borrowing one from a friend.  A great camera with a lot of personality.  Was it ever my go-to camera?  No, not really – but I sure enjoyed shooting it.

When the wave of mirrorless cameras started, I had hoped that it might be possible to find some of that charm in the digital world.  And a couple of times, it was close – both the Olympus EM5 and the Fuji X100 inspired me to some serious review reading – but neither prompted me to push the big “Buy” button.cameras-7

The Fuji X100S is similar in size to the Canon GIII (Canonet QL17) rangefinder.

And it was more than just this romantic notion of a cool compact camera that kept me looking.  I also wanted to go out with the family without lookingcameras-9 like I was on  assignment.

Then the X100S charged onto the scene with a reported snappier auto focus.  X-Trans sensor.  And Adobe looked like they were catching up.  A few early reviews.  Pre-ordered.  Delivered.

Bottom line: I find the X100S to be a great camera.  It’s capable, delivers remarkable images, and though there’s been a bit of learning curve – I’ve really enjoyed shooting with it.

—————

(Just a note about the photos – they shouldn’t be considered straight-out-of-camera (SOOC).  They’ve been post-processed in LR 4.4 and a few of them have seen some Nik software.)

—————

For the last eight and a half years – I’ve pretty much only shot Canon DSLR’s.  And those tools have complimented my shooting style for action, event, travel, and portrait.  So, to be honest, shooting those first few frames in the backyard with the X100S left me a bit underwhelmed.  Zack’s whole “best camera ever” was ringing a bit hollow for me (though it’s got to be one of the most creative camera reviews of all time).

So back to the camera manual.  Review the menu system. What does this button do again?

We’re not in Cansas anymore.

Then a day later it was off to the tulip festival with the family and the X100S dangling around my neck.  Tossed a couple of batteries, an extra memory card, and a lens cloth (just in case) in the jacket pocket.  And that’s it.  No camera bag.  Felt kinda odd – but nimble.  I almost felt bad for those folks with photo backpacks and full sized tripods – except I knew they were having fun.

x100s test -3 The Mt Angel Sausage Company is a staple at the tulip festival.

x100s test -2 Every X100S review requires a B&W street-inspired photo.

x100s test-10 Trying some close up shots on a steam tractor that was parked at the tulip festival.

Still missed a lot of shots.  Blurry.  Blown highlights.  Under exposed.  Sigh.

Early next morning to Newport, Oregon.  After getting soaked by some morning rain and hail it was kinda nice out there.  But my photos weren’t necessarily following the nice weather.

x100s test -4 Early morning sport fishing boats waiting for departure time.

x100s test -5 A minus tide exposes the footings on this pier.

x100s test -6Stairs leading up to the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

Then a quick afternoon outing with my daughter to Finley Wildlife Refuge (where it seems I test most new gear and lenses).x100s test -7

This barn at Finley makes an appearance in just about all of my gear / lens reviews.

x100s test -8  This oak tree should probably make it into more reviews.

And then another quick trip out to the Rogue Farm for a sheep sheering demonstration.  I still missed a few shots under some pretty tough lighting (the shot here is only at ISO2500 with 1/40 – but I tried some out at ISO5000 with 1/125 second).

x100s test -1 Sheering sheep at ISO2500.

A few notes:

Do I miss some shots having a fixed lens on the camera?  Sure.  But – as the adage goes – constraints drive creativity.

I’m still wrestling with the OVF and EVF.  I try to use OVF as much as possible – I find it brighter much of the time and I imagine it helps on battery life.  That said – there’s a need to remember to consider parallax when framing subjects that are close to the camera.

Battery life.  It’s nothing like your DSLR.  I bought two extra batteries straight away and I’m considering a third (I consider extra batteries and memory less expensive than missing the shot).

Lens hood.  Yes it sticks out and makes it less pocketable but it also makes it easier to hold while shooting (and likely helps with all of those other things that lens hoods are known to help with – such as flare and protection for that glass).  I consider it a must.  That said – the Fuji one is expensive.  Like surf-and-turf expensive – but it matches beautifully.  There are some other options out there.

I picked up a 49mm lens cap.  I highly recommend it with the lens hood as the spiffy cap that came with camera won’t work once the lens hood is attached.

One benefit of the fixed lens?  When I stop down to f16 – I don’t have to clean up the dust bunnies in LR.  :)

More notes:

The maximum shutter speed at f2 is 1/1000.  On a bright sunny day that won’t be fast enough (it’s a physics thing with the leaf shutter).  Cleverly enough – there’s a 3-stop neutral density filter behind the lens (inside the camera).  I have it assigned to the Fn button for easy deployment (it’s not located in the Q-button menu and I wanted it close at hand).

LR 4.4.  If you’re considering any of the Fuji X series cameras – you’ve probably heard the tales of how Adobe hasn’t quite been able to handle the raw files all that well.  Update your Lightroom to 4.4 and don’t worry about it (I shoot only in raw except for sports).

I kinda wish the ISO5000 shots were good cuz I’d like to have shown them to you (my fault – not the camera).  But, instead, you’re only getting the ISO2500.

Did I mention that this thing is quiet?  I’ve turned off all of the helpful audible camera queues and when out-and-about in the real world – it’s essentially silent.

The camera has a bit of heft to it without feeling like a brick.

When you work with a tool like the 100S it requires you to roll up your sleeves and make something happen.  I kind of like that.

I wouldn’t recommend this camera to most folks.  And that’s OK.  It’s simply not the right tool for every environment or for every shooting style.

Unless your a current X100 owner – read the camera manual.  Yeah – I know, seems obvious.  And after you’ve read it once.  Read it again.  Go shoot a few frames – and then read it again.

The X100S is not your DSLR.  It feels, handles, and shoots much differently – and it will likely require a bit of learning curve.  But I think that if you’re looking for a camera with a compact form factor, large sensor, sharp lens, high ISO performance, and stunning IQ – this is definitely one to put on your list.

Of course, there are more reviews out there.  Be sure to check them out:

Hope that helps (at least a little).  If you have feedback, questions, comments, and/or more thoughts – just let us know.

Help Portrait 2012: Corvallis, OR

Help Portrait 2012 - Volunteers-1Another Help Portrait – another awesome team!

(And there were more who helped earlier in the day not in the photo.)

Haven’t yet heard of Help Portrait?  Here’s a short summary from the website:

Founded by Celebrity Photographer Jeremy Cowart, Help-Portrait is a community of photographers coming together across the world to use their photography skills to give back to their local community.

In December, photographers around the world will be grabbing their cameras, finding people in need and taking their picture. When the prints are ready, the photographs get delivered.

Yep. It really is that easy.

This year’s stats are still rolling in for all of the locations spread throughout the world – but for Corvallis – we had 80+ sittings and almost 140 folks in 6 hours.

The Odd Fellows Hall was kind enough to donate their space in downtown Corvallis to the event.  And it worked beautifully.  Next year – I might even be tempted to suggest we skip the white back drops and just use the brick if we’re able to use the space again… :)

But before we start planning for next year’s event – I want to give a shout out to all of our sponsors:

If you’re reading this – and want to know more about Help Portrait – or how to get involved with a group in your area next year – check out their website.

Not a photographer?  No worries.  Photographer – but portrait work or studio stuff isn’t your gig?  Again, no worries.  At least at the Corvallis event – photographers are seriously outnumbered.  Why?  Cuz there’s lots to do – everything from post-process to food tables to hair styling to greeting folks to a bunch of other roles that simply fall under the title of “Hospitality”.  So – don’t be bashful – go check it out:)

It’s a Wrap! The 2012 Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk – Corvallis, OR

Worldwide Photo Walk - October 2012-9On Saturday morning, we had about a dozen folks at the Garden of Gentle \Breeze, a newly opened Japanese garden here in Corvallis, for the 2012 Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk.  This year there were over 1,300 walk locations around the world with more than 32,000 registered walkers.

After four months of essentially no measurable rain here in the Willamette Valley, the dry spell gave way to rain most of the day on Friday.  And it didn’t look all that promising for Saturday.  But, as it turned out, the weather was mild during the walk – and dare I say, it was a pleasant morning?

None of these images will likely make the medals podium – but I thought I’d share a few from the morning.

The gardens are closed now for the winter, but next spring, if you happen to be in the Willamette Valley and like strolling through gardens, put this stop on your list.

And, if you’d like to read more on the Corvallis walk – check out Kat’s post here.

Worldwide Photo Walk - October 2012-3 - jonesoliver

Worldwide Photo Walk - October 2012-4 - jonesoliver

Worldwide Photo Walk - October 2012-7 - jonesoliver

5th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk: Corvallis, Oregon

IMG_20120808_191102Hi all – Scott Kelby has just announced his 5th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk – happening on Saturday 13 October 2012.  This year, the Corvallis, OR walk will be at the new Japanese-style garden, Garden of Gentle Breeze.

The owner of the property has kindly given our group private access to the gardens during the time of the walk.

For all of the Corvallis walk details – hit the link.  If you’re looking for general Worldwide Photo Walk details (and possibly for a walk near you) –here’s the link to get you started.

The Instagram photos are from my scouting visit. IMG_20120808_191601IMG_20120809_000118IMG_20120808_190822 IMG_20120808_191913