The First Camping Trip of 2019

A couple of weeks ago one of my best friends Charlie, my brother Stephen, and I made our way west and south into the mountains for a night away in the wilderness.

We found a campsite at a place called Eleven Mile Canyon that looked good. We booked it, packed up our rigs with camping gear and kayaks, and headed out. It didn’t really matter where we were going, we were just glad to get away for a day.

On a technical note, the day before leaving I picked up the Fuji XF 16mm f1.4 lens. I have been wanting to try it for awhile and I thought a camping trip was a good way to break it in. To be honest, I am blown away! It’s a little early to tell, but I think this may be my new favorite lens of all time. It is really amazing if you love to shoot wide.

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When we arrived at our planned camping destination, it was a little different than we expected. It was ridiculously windy (there was a wind guard at the picnic table), there were no trees, and it was swarming with ridiculously huge bugs. It definitely wasn’t ideal.

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After a quick snack and re-group we headed away from the lake and quickly came across some BLM land that was perfect! We found a spot we liked and had camp set up in no time.

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Pro Tip:

Use a battery powered vacuum cleaner in the “blower” mode to quickly blast oxygen into your fire and get it going very quickly.

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Stephen Gilmer
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After breakfast we loaded up the rigs and made our way to Rampart Resevoir to throw the kayaks in. It was a truly beautiful lake with beautiful views, and the perfect end to our trip. Hopefully we can get several more of these trips in this season. It really is good for the soul.

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Rampart Recevoir Pikes Peak
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Monochrome

I have always loved monochrome images but I could never get in a grove with taking them myself.

I recently re-discovered the work of Nate Kaiser, and it kinda changed it for me. I talked about his work in my last post. What I realized by looking at his photography, is that by not using color, in many ways, the photograph is reduced to the moment. Light, shadow, and composition are all extremely important, but it in his photography specifically the moment is most important.

I still adore beautiful color, but for the more simple everyday moments with my friends and family, I am really starting to love monochrome. It has shown me that I have a long way to go in my photography journey. Seeing those magic little moments is not easy, and being fast enough to capture them is even harder.

Below is a random collection of images over the last month or so taken in black-and-white. I used my Fuji X Pro-2 and the 16mm f2, 23mm f2, 35mm f2, and the 50mm f2. Processed with Mastin Labs.

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Colorado Springs Airbnb

Courtney and I are pretty huge fans of Airbnb and have been using it for a long time. It’s even better now that we have kids.

If you have kids than you know what I am talking about. Having a full kitchen, rooms for sleeping, and space to play makes traveling a lot better. We decided to get away for the weekend to Colorado Springs and we stayed in this awesome little house in one of the older parts of town. It was very affordable and one of the coolest houses we have ever stayed in. It was perfectly designed and decorated in a way that was modern, but a little bit rustic, and very cozy and comfortable. It really was lovely. Here is the link to the place if you should find yourself in Colorado Springs.

I went pretty minimal with my kit this trip and only brought my X Pro-2 and 23mm f2, but I was still able to get some interior shots I was pretty happy with. My 16mm would have been helpful at times, but I actually appreciate the challenge of a minimal kit. Processing was done with Capture One and Mastin Labs Gold 200 (which is a killer combo that will be it's own blog post eventually).

I would love to do more photography like this. I found it inspiring, challenging, and a lot of fun

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A Quick Portrait of Courtney

My wife and I celebrated her birthday with a night in Denver, and I decided to make a fast portrait.

Our original plan was to go out last Tuesday, but our little son Arden got terribly sick and it just did’t feel right leaving him with grandma. We were able to go out this past Saturday though and it turned into a beautiful evening.

We grabbed a drink and appetizer at the Ale House and then had dinner at one of my favorite Restaurants in Denver, Linger. It was a beautiful night celebrating my beautiful wife.

The battery to my camera actually died shortly in to the evening. I actually kinda didn’t mind. Sometimes I like just enjoying the evening without having to take pictures. Before it did though, I sat Courtney down for a couple of portraits on an interesting looking staircase. They are simple images and not much to write home about, but I need to do this more. My true passion is candid photography, but portraits can be very special and important in capturing somebody as they are. I think I need to make them a bigger part of my photography moving forward.

Courtney Gilmer
Courtney Gilmer
Courtney Gilmer

5 Days in Salt Lake City

Twice a quarter I have to travel to the Salt Lake area for my job, this time I decided to turn it into a photo project.

I have a little bit of downtime after my job each day when traveling, not much, but a little. Frequently I travel with one of my co-workers and so this time is spent at the hotel pool or at a bar somewhere hanging out. This trip though, I am by myself. To fill the time and keep myself from just being lazy in front of the TV I decided to turn it into a little project. My goal is to spend a little bit of time everyday intentionally going out to explore the area and make some images I am proud of.

This will probably end up being a very long post, but I kinda don’t mind. That is essentially what this blog is for: quick updates and snapshots go to Instagram, longer projects go here. I will publish this blog on Sunday (the first day) and update it everyday throughout the week. I hope you enjoy and I hope I am able to stretch myself a little bit this week.

 

Day 1


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Day two


3 Cups Cofee

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Caputo’s Market and Deli

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Jordanelle Resevoir, Cascade Springs State Park, and Bridal Veil Falls

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Day 3


Downtown Salt Lake City

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Day 4


The Capitol Building

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Sunset Overlooking the City

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Day 5


I had absolutely no time on this last day to take any pictures, except for a snap of the sunset on the way to my car at DIA. It was a fun trip that challenged me very much, and I hope to do another project like this again soon.

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