What's New at 120studio.com

Site News Archive - 2014 September
(Click here for current)


2014 September 30
Tuesday

Well, I didn't get that gallery uploaded on Saturday evening as planned... but it's OK, because now I have even more fall foliage pictures.   A couple of gallery pages are ready.  The theme is Pre-October Fall Color.  (There's also a new instant film gallery here, extending the same theme.)


Early Autumn in the Northern Woods
September 29, 2014
Canon Rebel T3 with 18-55mm kit lens
JPG
Image quality set to M (about 6.3 megapixels)

This year I'd get the newer and better Rebel T5 instead.  For quality images without a ton of fancy features, this is my favorite camera.

For not that much money, you can get the T5 with two-lens bundle that includes 18-55mm and 55-250mm;  get yours through this link and you might even receive it in time for this year's fall foliage.  (Using these links to buy your camera gear also helps me keep this site on-line!)

Autumn peak times 

Right now in the 48 States there are only a few places that are really at "peak":  northern Wisconsin, U.P. Michigan, the high Adirondacks, and parts of the mountain West.  Everywhere else still has a few days to go, at least.   Some places have at least a week or two, and if you're down South you may have three to four weeks until top color.

That means there's still time to gear up and get out there. 



2014 September 27
Saturday evening


Review:  Emile Henry rectangular baking stone for making pizza. 
I talk about my experiences with this stone, with some info you'll (thus far) probably not find anywhere else.

I have a ton of foliage pics from September 22-26, as well as a couple from today.  I'll try to get the first page of the gallery uploaded this evening.



2014 September 26
Friday


This is a great time of year for bridge cameras.  They might not be the first choice for those wall-sized enlargements, but they're quite useful (and fun).  


Thursday, September 25, 2014
Canon SX50 HS
Color Positive mode / slight Curve adjustments
(Click here for larger)

You can now pre-order the new Canon SX60 HS, which is supposed to hit the market on October 20.  Given that timing, you wouldn't be able to receive the camera until the fall foliage season is basically over in most places.  That is, unless you live in a place where the foliage peaks in November, as it does in some areas of the Southeast.

In terms of image quality, the SX60 probably won't offer much that the SX50 doesn't already have.  The single biggest reason I'd get the SX60 is for the greatly-improved EVF (922,000 dots, as opposed to 202,000).  The other reason is 65x optical zoom rather than 50x.  But if you're looking for an advanced point-and-shoot to have for this autumn season, get an SX50 and don't worry about it.



2014 September 25
Thursday



Thursday, September 25, 2014
Canon EOS 6D

This shot was an exception to what I was talking about in the "autumn lenses" article;  here, there just happened to be some compositional elements that made up for the fact that we're not even near peak yet.

Overall, a Nikon DX with the 55-300mm VR would have been my favorite non-film choice for today. 

Outside of the upper reaches of the northernmost 48 states,  there's just starting to be that obvious hint that autumn is here. 

New gallery is almost ready:  early autumn foliage.   There's also a food-related product review I'm working on;  it should be up in the next few days.



2014 September 24
Wednesday


Update:  While it's still Wednesday, here's a shot from today.  It's one of those instant-film photos I promised.   This is a square-crop because it just seemed to work better;  precise composition with the viewfinder on the Instax 7S is rather difficult.  The focus is also a bit soft;  the cameras that shoot this film are mostly fixed-focus and use narrow aperture values to get long depth-of-field.


Orange Maple
September 24, 2014
Fuji Instax Mini

....

Tuesday proved again that if you have a camera, you should carry along extra memory cards or film.  This day I shot 1.6 gigs of JPG photos on the DSLR, and about two-and-a-half rolls of slide film.  All this, when the foliage mostly isn't even at 10% of peak.  1.6 isn't much space when most cards are 8 GB or more... except when your card is nearly full and you don't want to delete a bunch of stuff. 

In the fall foliage article I was talking about seeking out the microclimates.  Sometimes if you just search around, you'll find some trees that started to change much earlier.   (Some species always change before the others.)


Red and Green Leaves
Canon EOS 6D  /  EF 100mm f/2.8 USM macro lens
September 23, 2014

New article... choosing a lens for autumn foliage.




2014 September 23
Tuesday



Olympus OM-2 review



September Foliage!

Monday marked the first day of autumn 2014.  Here we are in the second day, and in many parts of North America there were cold temperatures overnight (helpful).

Autumn color is already well underway in many areas.  If you're in Canada, the upper Midwest, mountain West, certain parts of New England, or the Adirondacks, then you already know there are some good photo opportunities out there.  Gradually, the color is moving outward to other regions. 

Yesterday (the 22nd) actually had some trees showing bright color already.  The landscape in many areas was still probably 95% green, but once in a while...


Autumn Red Leaves
September 22, 2014
Canon SX50

It really seems to have been literally just one to two days for some of these color changes.   Remember that tree from the previous updates?  Difficult to believe, but that tree is past peak now.  It already looked slightly past-peak on the first day of autumn (yesterday).  

Today (the 23rd) I'll try to get some more photos of autumn color.   One or more pictures should be in the next update.

I'll be having to make a special gallery, just for all the pictures I took yesterday.

To be able to have some pictures for these updates, I've been using a digital camera;  but pretty soon it's time for the slide film.  (Actually I already shot some yesterday with Lomo Xpro Slide 200.)

That reminds me... just to get some quick film pics, I might have to shoot some Fuji Instax in the next few days.   (This would be an excellent time to get yourself one of these;  in many areas you could probably have it before the peak color.)  

If I can find some decent foliage scenes this week, I'll shoot Instax;  otherwise I'll save the film until we get better than, say, 30% color change in the foliage. 

There's also that roll of Lomo 200 that I pushed two stops... I'll hold off until next update or two, because right now I'm on this autumn foliage kick.  This is what I wait for all year long;  or, if you consider how 2013 went for some areas... it's been a two-year wait for a good autumn.  So, let's get takin' some foliage pictures!


         







2014 September 20
Saturday evening

The astronomical first day of fall 2014 is September 22, the Autumn Equinox.  That means technically, today is still summer. 
Here's that tree again, photographed this morning (9/20). 


September 20, 2014
Canon 6D

I decided I might save the Velvia for a tree in a better location, but this color is pretty nice.


2014 September 19
Friday

Something good today


Early Fall Color
September 19, 2014
Canon 6D

A couple days from now,  this tree could be a good candidate for some Velvia... just to get the first slide picture of the 2014 autumn season.

There are many trees that have already turned brown in some areas, but a few nice maples should be a welcome sight.

This morning, Mount Washington, NH recorded colder temps than first predicted;  16 Fahrenheit. 
Saranac Lake, NY:  21 Fahrenheit. 

Also, I've just gotten back a roll of pushed Lomo Xpro Slide 200, and I'm pleasantly surprised.  Two stops of push (E6 developing) and it's quite usable.  Look for some pictures in the next update or so.  Get some Xpro Slide in 35mm here or 120 size here.



2014 September 17
Wednesday

Not sure if you saw yet, but freezing temperatures and hard frost are in the forecast for much of northern New England, as well as the Adirondacks and possibly the Catskills regions of New York.  

The early morning of Friday 9/19/2014 will be the coldest.


(National Weather Service)

Depending on the severity, some of these places could miss autumn color altogether.    I'd still like to see "after" photos of their foliage,  just to see how the frost really affected things. 

The coldest temperatures, as you'd expect, will be on the higher peaks of the Adirondacks and of course the ever-famous Mount Washington, New Hampshire (20 Fahrenheit there).


Who knows, waybe we'll see this in late September already...


(Velvia 100.  I think this was f/11 @ 1/125th.)

I'm not going to give up, because (A.) Even dead leaves can make for good pictures, and (B.) There have to be some isolated pockets of color.  Besides, when I look at the National Weather maps, the zones of hard frost are not as big as the news sites are forecasting.  I guess we'll see.

Consider a backup plan for your autumn photography.  Sometimes you have to get creative.  I'll be photographing some orange-y colors on slide film, but they might have to be from fresh pizza.

That Olympus OM2 review should be ready soon.  For now, if you want one of the best film cameras I can think of, complete with one of the best lenses, pick up an OM2 with Zuiko 50mm 1.4.  Use this link to get yours and it helps support my site. 

Get it in time for the fall color, or whatever we're going to have this season.  The OM2 with its manual controls is a pleasure to use for fall landscape photography.



2014 September 16
Tuesday

Several places in the northern US have already had frost.  That includes the Adirondacks region of NY and parts of northern New England.

Heavy frosts are bad for fall color, but light frosts can be alright.  If the foliage is already damaged, though, any frost could prevent color development.

How will the upcoming weather affect the foliage?   We'll find out soon.  I did notice something interesting, though.  Article has been updated.

In Japan, the Sakura blooms of spring are popular photo subjects.  In all the Konica C35's that I've seen, there's an advertisement in the door near the film pressure plate.  It a silver-colored foil sticker that says "Sakura Color".

Sakuracolor was a brand of film made by Konishiroku (i.e., Konica) up into the 1980's.  Presumably it was good for taking pictures of Sakura blossoms.  This makes me think of Fujichrome Velvia for taking pictures of autumn foliage.   I hope we get occasion to use lots of Velvia 50 and 100 this fall.



2014 September 12
Friday


Leaves like this on September 7... what does this mean, if anything?

New:  Forecasting Autumn 2014!

Photographers, get your cameras ready... the season is fast approaching.



2014 September 10
Wednesday



The first page of the Konica C35 gallery is up.



2014 September 8
Monday

There are some updates to the Slide Film article.   Konica C35 gallery and Olympus OM2 review are in the works.

The film version of that recent waterfall photo is now on the main page, in place of the digital one that was there. 

With some work, the digital version looks better now than it did.  It might be going into the Canon 6D gallery when I get the chance.

Some people don't like to spend any time editing photos.  If you're going to make 16x24 enlargements (or whatever), there is no point in doing that unless you've got the picture looking exactly as you want it.  Again it all depends on what you're going to do with a photograph.  I'm not a newspaper photog, so there's no pressing need to churn out quantity.  But for some people, it's all about getting a number of pictures done "yesterday".  For that kind of work, the settings on a DSLR will do well.  For some art they also do well, but I guess I'm picky.  It's the color distribution... film just does it better, or at least differently. 



2014 September 4
Thursday


110 cameras
picture was taken on 110 film


New gallery... first page of the 110 film gallery is now up.  I have a few photos on there now but am working on another roll. 

After you're accustomed to looking through a full-size SLR viewfinder, the cramped tunnel viewfinder on a 110 camera requires some practice.  But it's OK with me.

I took a number of pictures with a 110 camera that has a bad metering system.  Or something.  The electronically-controlled shutter was stuck on 1/25th of a second.  Remarkably, I got a whole roll of usable pictures from it. 


Broccoli on the side
Since I'm lately on that whole subject of broccoli, I decided to compare home-steamed broccoli to something from a restaurant.  So I got a side order of steamed broccoli.

As we were sitting there at the restaurant, my wife looked over at my plate and said "Oh, I didn't know ketchup was good on broccoli."  

Neither did I.  Actually, I had to use the ketchup to make their broccoli tolerable. 

I have some pictures of that broccoli (it looked better than it tasted), but it's on a roll of Lomo Xpro Slide 200 that I'm pushing to 800.  We'll see, when it's ready. 

That reminds me... a couple of updates to the Slide Film article.




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