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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A Roll of Film From Another Life

I shot a lot of film over the past couple of years, but I am kinda bad about having it developed.

I have a fridge full of rolls that I need to get processed. I am trying to do it one roll at time. This one was kind of a surprise. It was from our last month in Florida and mostly features my good buddy Isaac. He was going through a really shitty time when these pictures were taken, but it was good to spend some time with him. I am very happy to say he is doing much better now and I miss the guy like crazy.

Palmer College of Chiropractic

This series of photos is an experiment from many years ago, around 2011...I think.

 

My wife had just started studying at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange Florida. I have been a fan of good architecture for a long time and Palmer has an absolutely beautiful campus! It is a very modern building of mostly white painted steel, glass, and large accents of orange. It’s bright, airy and open, and there are little nooks and cozy places with chairs and tables for students to study all over the campus. It's a great use of space that is perfect for its application. The buildings felt rooted in classic education but modern and forward-looking, just like the study of chiropractic care is.

Looking back, I wish I would have spent a bit more time there, soaking it in and making photographs, but these images I have I think are interesting. I was experimenting with film a lot at the time and Courtney had given me a little plastic 35mm camera with a fixed focal length and no focus. I thought it might be a fun idea to shoot a beautiful modern building with a crappy little camera...and it was. I think they have a really cool vibe. They feel a bit like some of the mid-century magazine articles about architecture I have seen, or even the work of Julias Schulman. I do not mean to compare this work to his at all, he was a master at his craft, and I was goofing around with a plastic camera in a cool building, but it was fun and inspiring nonetheless, and I would like to experiment more with this sometime soon.

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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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April Inspiration

On of the thins I want to start doing with this new incarnation of the blog is to start sharing with you the things that have inspired me artistically.

With my goal for 2019 of living a more art-full life, as I talked about here, I am trying to consume and be inspired by more art. Photographers and musicians are a natural place to start, but as I move forward I want to look more into short films, painters, and other artists as well. Each month I am going to try to write a post sharing with you some of the artists I have found that are currently inspiring me, and will hopefully inspire you as well.


Nate Kaiser

I could honestly write an entire post about Nate Kaiser. His photography has inspired me more than any other photographer ever. He runs a wedding photography company with his wife called The Image is Found that is amazing, but it’s his personal work that has really inspired me. It is entirely black and white, some of it is film, and some of it is Fujifilm X-series. Most of it is simple images of his life, family, and friends, but it is absolutely beautiful. I am not sure exactly what it is that speaks to me, but his images are simple, intimate, casual, nuanced, and beautiful. It is exactly what I want the images I produce to feel like. I am striving that direction but I have a LONG way to go.

Below are a few of the images I liked but he has SO many. There is a good archive on his personal blog, but for up to the date pictures you need to follow him on Instagram. You won’t regret it.


John Mayer

I mean, its freakin’ John Mayer, what more do I need to say? He has been on a roll recently. He released his new singe I Guess I Just Feel Like which is his best song in years, and he appeared on Talking Wathes again. Being a watch nerd I am not sure which I love more. Either way he is a cool interesting dude that has inspired me for a long time.


A Momento to Life

Interesting little short film I stumbled across. It isn’t magnificently done and the photography is nowhere near technically correct, but it’s a bit of a beautiful little story.



Hopefully you guys enjoy some of this stuff. I am going to try to do this monthly. Its always good to stay inspired. Have a great May friends!