A throwback photograph from a few years back when I was constantly on the road from the Eastern Sierra to the Bay Area for photography day trips. As I am starting to get back on the road, the difference is I am staying out for a few days at a time rather than than just 24-28 hours blocks of photography. Drowsy driving on mountain roads in the middle of the night is not the smartest way to travel. Now with the SUV outfitted with a super comfortable camp mattress which may be more comfortable than sleeping at home, it is becoming easier to stay out on the road for days at a time. I have even been taking my dog along as he is climbing up in years and he appreciates not being left home alone.
So how does this image tie back to being on the road? As much as I enjoy shooting in the immediate vicinity around me, there are days where it feels as though I have exhausted the possibility of good compositions. While it really is mainly just a state of mind, I believe being in a new location reinvigorates my creativity – my ability to “see” differently. I was set on shooting and posting a beautiful large purple clematis flower today. After a bit of time in post processing, I realized the image was just not working out and went on a hunt through the archives and found this image of the Bay Bridge from Treasure Island to work on. This image is very similar to another photograph but without the chain-linked fence here: Treasure Island (CA), Bay Bridge, Silos, Chain-Linked Fence.
In the last few winter months, much of my photography research has centered around locations (as most photogs do) and refining/defining my style. I have held back on acquiring more gear, waiting on the quarterly or semi-annual sales before purchasing what I think I will need for the next few years. While others may spring for a new camera body – I am picking up a wide-angle fast lens and adjustable intensity LED lights for nightscapes and a drop-in filter system for shooting landscapes.
The Formatt Hitech filter system has been on the purchase list for a couple of years now, but can be a pricey accessory depending on the type and numbers of filters. I have been using a B+W brand screw-in 10-stop filter for a few years now, but there is the inconvenience of composing the shot first, then carefully holding lens focus while putting on the filter, then undoing the filter if a recomposition is needed as you can see a thing through the viewfinder with the filter on. And forget about using circular screw-in graduated neutral density (GND) filters to reduce the exposure of the sky during the sunrise/sunset. A drop-in system is much more suitable for GND use as the filter can be adjusted up or down to exactly when you want it to be rather then being limited to having the “horizon” forced into the middle of the composition. Hopefully the new gear helps me to continue and improve the ideas, vision, and direction my photography goes.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 190mm, f/8, 20 sec
Treasure Island (SF, CA), Bay Bridge Tower, Sodium Light Lit Silos. Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA. November 10, 2013. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.