Tag Archives: Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4

Getaway to Mexico

My wife and I have recently returned from our latest trip to Mexico.  We went down with some friends and had a great time together.  My basic camera kit came along for the trip as well.

In order to try and pack somewhat light, I brought along the X-Pro2, Rokinon 12mm, Fuji 18-55mm, 23mm f/2 and 35mm f/1.4.  While this may seem like a lot, the kit is very compact and rather lightweight all together.  The kit, along with a Surface Pro 4, accessories, Velbon Ultra Maxi tripod and other stuff all fit into my backpack as my carry on personal item on the plane.  This kit let me shoot essentially everything I needed.  Long exposures on the beach at night were no issue and the 18-55mm served well during the day on the beach to prevent changing lenses most often.

Laurelville in Autumn

Laurelville is a place that my family enjoys spending time at.  My wife grew up going to camp there and now we are Association Members.  Twice a year, the members go and visit the grounds and spend time together and help out with volunteer projects.  It’s always a wonderful weekend of fellowship and slowing down.  I normally try to sneak in a quick hike to revel in the nature of it all.

Near the high point of the property is Split Rock, which can be reached by following a trail to the top.  Coming back down to Jacob’s Creek, a small waterfall rushes.  This trip was preceded by an abundance of rain, so the creek was quite high.

There is also a kiln on the property which was in use for the entire weekend.  There was a crew from a local class that were stoking the fires every hour of the day and night.  I stopped down Saturday night to check it out.

The temperature was roughly 1,600 degree’s at this point, and they still wanted to take it even higher to around 2,500.  The heat output was intense and getting close was quite hot.  It seemed like the kiln’s appetite for wood never let up, every few minutes, more logs would be tossed into the inferno within.

The weekend came to an end and my family and I are back at home.  Now we have to go back to the real world.

Another Day in Austin

Today was our 2nd full day in Austin, Texas, and despite a weather report full of rain and thunderstorms, the day turned out surprisingly well.  After a quick stop to get an exterior shot of the Driskill Hotel in the rain, I took another long walk and ended up at Rose Bud Isle park, which ended up having large parts underwater from the flooding.  It wasn’t a total wash though, as the dam above the park was cool sight with all of the water being let go.

After some relaxing in the hotel room, my wife and I headed out for dinner and ended up walking around a bit before waiting for the bats to wake up and fly out from the Congress Avenue bridge.  There are apparently a million of them living under the bridge and every night they fly out to go hunting.

On the bike in the woods

The weather was cloudy with chances of rain, but that didn’t dissuade me from loading up my mountain bike and a backpack full of camera kit and heading out into the woods.  Wanting to spend as much time pedaling as photographing, I opted to drive to the Jonathan Run trailhead in Ohiopyle.  This trail is about a mile and a half long and runs to the main biking trail.  Almost to the main trail, another trail branches off called Sugar Run.  Both of these trails are mostly nice singletrack with some sprinkling of technical rocky sections, some nice flowy up and downs along with a few climbing sections.  The scenery is top notch and there was no one around.  I saw a single group of hikers all 3 hours I was on the trail.

Since we’ve had some rain the past few days and I was in the woods, the camera and tripod came along for the ride.  I brought only a prime lens kit which consisted of a 12mm, 23mm, 35mm and my 56mm.  The most used was my 12mm and 56mm.  Having only primes was a nice change of pace and made me think more about the shots I wanted and the angles.  I brought a variable neutral density filter and a circular polarizer as well to help with the colors and exposure times.  All in all, it was a great morning of riding and picture taking.