My Annual Photo Weekend

Every year I take a five-day trip to Estes park Colorado to hang out with a couple of friends and just relax. The trip consists of staying at my friend’s house (Aspen Grove), hiking in the woods, taking photos, drinking beer, and eating too much red meat over the five days.

The trip is in some ways creative renewal, but mostly it’s just letting everything go, and focusing on having fun and trying to get a few good images while we are out hiking around Rocky Mountain National Park. This year the three of us changed things up a bit and hit the park the first week of October instead of mid-May, and we still got snowed on. The weather wasn’t exactly cooperative, with almost the entire 5 days filled with off and on rain, snow hail, and overcast. It’s all good though. You make do with what you have and just keep shooting.

This is a baker’s dozen of images shot on my Olympus OMD EM1. Not all of the photos were taken in Colorado, and few were taken at Monument Rocks in Western Kansas about 20 miles from Oakley. And yes, every single image has had some form of post processing done to it, The original images were all shot in RAW format and processed in Lightroom and Photoshop using a number of tools and techniques. That is part of the fun.















A Little Vacation.

I’m on a mini vacation in the Rocky Mountains snapping photos and video with the Olympus OMD for the next few days. That means fewer posts thanks to limited connectivity to the interwebs. One thing that I will be posting about when I get back is shooting with the Olympus Zuiko 50 to 200 mm f2.8 lens that I rented from Borrow Lenses. I’m using it on the OMD so it is the equivalent of a 100 to 400mm lens. So far so good but it’s to early to really tell.


WordPress and Trip Journal for the iPhone.

In three days, mother nature willing, I’m traveling to France for a much-needed vacation. While I’m there I’ll be updating the blog via my iPhone courtesy of two iPhone applications. WordPress for iPhone, and Trip Journal.

WordPress is pretty straight forward. You put in your account info, link to your blog and post. The application allows you to insert images, geo-tag your location, moderate comments, add categories, tags, and resize photos. Depending on your WordPress theme you can also preview your posts. My current theme is not supported in the preview mode, but this isn’t a big deal for me since I am going to use the app for quick updates during the trip. Single images with a quick blurb. The app is free and easy to use. I have noticed that it can be a bit buggy and tends to crash on occasion, but it’s not bad for a free blog editor, and it hooks directly into WordPress which is a big plus. The app is fast, even on the 3G network as opposed to WiFi. So look for posts starting Friday.

The wordpress UI for iPhone.

In addition to WordPress, I going to use another app to log my vacation and that app is Trip Journal. Trip Journal costs $1.99 and from what I can tell so far, it’s worth the cost.  The application has a great graphical interface, that is a visual representation of a classic trip binder. You can create new trip, or continue to update ones you have already created. Like WordPress, Trip Journal geo-tags your locations, allows you to insert photos, write notes, and track your path as you travel. In addition, it also allows you to Tweet your location, publish your trip to Facebook, and upload images and waypoint data to services like Flickr, Google Earth, Picassa, and Twitter.

The nice looking Trip Journal UI

So look for posts to the blog, Facebook, and Twitter from the trip. And… I keep flip-flopping on buying an iPad before the trip. If I do, I’ll be using it to post and I’ll have a review of how well that goes as well.

Let’s Go On Vacation.

Not so long ago, before TV or the internet, travel was usually advertised with posters and brochures that were distributed through your travel agent. These items were designed to create a sense of atmosphere, and excitement based on the perceived exotic qualities of the location. The images and illustrations were set to create a mood and atmosphere that would give a feeling as to what you might encounter, but romanticized, and finessed in a way that is hard to describe. When I see these kinds of images, there is a certain level of simplicity that in many ways feels like the romantic visions of classic Disney cartoons, or Hollywood movies from the 30’s and 40’s where everything is perfect, everyone is happy, and there is a kind of Utopian atmosphere. I love old travel posters and the people at Poster Team have a huge collection that is also for sale. I just wish they had some higher resolution images so I could see more detail in them.

One last note, if you are ever in Kansas City, go to Le Fou Frog and check out the “Peureux” poster they have. It’s an original that is about 7 feet tall.