Yolo County (CA), Flight House, Ceiling Fan, Sprinkler, Monochrome

•October 30, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 35mm (prime lens), f/4.5, 1/60 sec

outside of Davis, CA

 

Three elements.  A fan, a fire suppression sprinkler, and concrete walls.

A minimalist house.  Light and dark contrast.  White fan blade pushing into the dark wall.

Despite all the innovations and amazing architecture, it is the simple things that make a photograph that works.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 35mm (prime lens), f/4.5, 1/60 sec

Yolo County (CA), Flight House, Ceiling Fan, Sprinkler, Monochrome.  near Davis, CA. October 19, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Yolo County (CA), Flight House, Interior Lines, Monochrome

•October 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 35mm (prime lens), f/4.5, 1/1000 sec

Outside of Davis, CA

 

Instead of shapes and lines found in nature, today’s post will be shapes and lines find in architecture.

As part of Experience Architecture Week in Sacramento each year, there are various workshops and events open to the public, including rooftop tours of selected city high rises, photography contests and exhibitions, and a showcase of a selected home.

This year’s home is the “Flight House” designed by renown architect Maria Ogrydziak and located just outside the city of Davis in Yolo County. Constructed of steel I-beams, wire wrapped Styrofoam, with interior and exterior walls coated with gunite concrete, this home does not contain any wood framing. It was awesome for us to be able to visit this very modern house set in the middle of rural farmland and being able to speak to both the architect, homeowners, and construction material manufacturers.

Unfortunately, from a photography standpoint, the event was scheduled in the middle of the day. I would have liked to shoot the house later in the day or evening when the house is all lot from the interior.  In the meantime, I spent time shooting the industrial elements resulting in lines and shadows.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 35mm (prime lens), f/4.5, 1/1000 sec

Yolo County (CA), Flight House, Interior Lines, Monochrome.  near Davis, CA. October 19, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Woodfords (CA), Pine Trees, Layers, Crepuscular Rays, Monochrome

•October 27, 2014 • Leave a Comment

 

ISO100, 55mm, f/8, 1/250 sec

Woodfords Station, Hwy 88, Alpine County, CA

This particular Fall Colors trip to the Eastern Sierras was not typical in that the leaves were down by the time we arrived in mid-October and this was not a photography trip.  I likely shot more photographs with my cell phone than with my dSLR.   It is just much easier to hike and explore without the weight of a camera, gear, and tripod.  We can load up our hydration packs with water and a lunch (along with a ridiculous supply of granola and Tiger’s Milk bars) and be out and about for half a day if we need to.

Yet, as we were just beginning the adventure “battling” strange rain while driving over the hill into Nevada, the skies cleared up as we headed down the eastern-side of Hwy 88 and were afforded this view of the mountains.  As explained earlier, I had planned on shooting with my cell phone from the car, but ended up turning around, and using the full dSLR camera setup.  10% of all my dSLR shots from the 3 days in the Eastern Sierras was taken right here.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 55mm, f/8, 1/250 sec

Woodfords (CA), Pine Trees, Layers, Crepuscular Rays, Monochrome.  Woodfords, CA. October 15, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Bishop (CA), Lone Tree, Basin Mountain, Layered Peaks

•October 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 135mm, f/9, 1/160 sec

Bishop Creek Basin, CA

While the search for Fall Colors in the Eastern Sierras has been a ritual of mine for the last 3 years, two days of wind essentially removed the leaves off the trees in the usually photogenic Bishop Creek Basin.  Lake Sabrina and North Lake?  Little to no leaves.  We were able to enjoy the colors a little further down the hill at the Intake 2 campground and further north along Hwy 395.

Few photographs were taken while of the colors, but on the drive back down to the city of Bishop, the peaks were beautifully backlit and we found ourselves on Starlight Drive, parallel to the more famous Buttermilk Road.  Though I snapped various multiple exposure shots for possible panorama compositions, it is this lone tree with the layers that gets the first nod on the blog.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 135mm, f/9, 1/160 sec

Bishop (CA), Lone Tree, Basin Mountain, Layered Peaks.  Bishop Creek Basin near Buttermilks, CA. October 16, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Mammoth Lakes (CA), Devil’s Postpile, Broken Columns Talus, Monochrome

•October 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 65mm, f/8, 1/4 sec

Devil’s Postpile National Monument, Mammoth Lakes, CA

Sometimes a location is visually amazing, yet impossibly difficult to capture effectively on camera.  Such was the geological phenomena known as Devil’s Postpile National Monument in the Eastern Sierras near Mammoth Lakes.

We had planned to stay in Mammoth as a sort of hotel base camp for various day trips between Lee Vining and Bishop. A few short hikes, attempts to see the fall colors, buying bakery goods at Schat’s Bakkery and looking at Galen Rowell’s photographs at his Mountain Light Gallery in Bishop. As we drove into Mammoth, the road sign noted the “Devil’s Postpile” was just ahead. I knew she had interest in volcanoes and geology, but never realized this was one of her bucket list locations. So before we knew it, we were driving down the steep decent into the national monument, hiking the half mile to the site, and soon enough scrambling at the tops of the columns looking down at the other visitors 150 feet below.

While the popular and oft photographed composition of the postpile is from ground-level looking up at the 200 feet wide face, the most interesting shots of this visit were the broken columns forming the talus (debris) pile at the base of the columns.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 65mm, f/8, 1/4 sec

Mammoth Lakes (CA), Devil’s Postpile, Broken Columns Talus, Monochrome.  Mammoth Lakes, CA. October 15, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Sacramento (CA), Capitol Box Art #6, Bird, Close-up

•October 1, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 30mm, f/4.5, 1/60 sec

Sacramento, CA

While the art on this box is intriguing as the original design is composed of paper cutouts, the street background was of little use, at least to me.  Maybe if I had a more industrial composition in mind, the untidy auto repair shop behind the chain linked fence would have been perfect!

The decision on composition and processing was to focus on the bird element, desaturizing the non-box elements (sidewalk mainly) to produce a night time feel and then slightly oversaturizing the color to give the bird a bit of a pop.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 30mm, f/4.5, 1/60 sec

Sacramento (CA), Capitol Box Art #6, Bird, Close-up.  Downtown Sacramento, CA. August 29, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Sacramento (CA), Capitol Box Art #4, Robot, Lines, Streaking Lights

•September 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 200mm, f/14, 6 sec

Sacramento, CA

Ah yes, the quirks of photography competition can cause one pull their hair out.  The task seemed straightforward enough, visit one of the 30 art-decorated utility boxes in downtown Sacramento, snap a few photos, and submit for the weekly contest.  Yet the real challenge is trying to figure out the voting tendencies of the contest committee.  Fortunately, there were 4 weekly contests remaining by the time started submitting.

As those of you that have followed this blog for some period of time, I strive for fine art photography of landscapes and architecture.  That approach was not going to change, initially, for this contest.  Then I realized after not winning the first week I entered it was not necessarily the execution of the composition, but rather the idea and what it evokes from the voting committee.  While I have been so worried about elements in the background, photographs like this one did nothing to sway the judges.  What ended up winning in week 2 (week 3 of the contest) was me having Jesse pose with and interacting with other side of the utility box shown here.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 200mm, f/14, 6 sec

Sacramento (CA), Capitol Box Art #4, Robot, Lines, Streaking Lights.  Sacramento, CA. August 25, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

 
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