In an uncommon occurrence this Winter, we have had roughly 24 hours of steady rain and storms. Creeks and rivers all around were rising and overflowing their banks. Once the worst of that finished, I drove over to my favorite local hiking spot at Ohiopyle State Park to scope things out. Normally, this park has quite a few awesome waterfalls, streams and a nice river, but with the amount of rain that fell, I figured those would be well above normal levels.
Knowing it was currently raining, I grabbed the only brand of bag I trust in any kind of weather, a Billingham. It doesn’t matter how hard it might rain, the bag would protect my gear without messing around with clumsy rain covers. Sure enough, even after being out in the rain for a few hours, nothing inside the bag got wet. The same could not be said for myself. The gear in the bag was my usual landscape setup consisting of my Fuji X-Pro2, Rokinon 12mm f/2, Fuji 18-135mm and a Fuji 23mm f/2. I can cover pretty much anything with it and is still compact enough to fit in the Hadley Small. The other gear was an AmazonBasics carbon fiber tripod and a Variable ND filter.
The water levels were way higher than normal and you had to be very careful moving over the rocks, as one incorrect step could lead to an untimely swim. Thankfully, my footing held sure and I was able to return home to process the pictures.
Once again it’s late August and my wife and I visit the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV for her to attend a work conference. I tag along and during the day, while she is busy attending meetings, I venture out to the surrounding area with a camera. Previous years, I’ve been to the Falls of Hills Creek and Sandstone Falls. This time I drive a bit further out to see the New River Gorge Bridge and drive the single lane road underneath it.
I arrived just after dawn and roamed around for a few hours waiting for the light and happily stomping around the river. Once I got the shots I wanted, I headed up to the trailhead parking lot for Long Point. This trail is almost 2 miles and heads to a beautiful rocky overlook of the bridge and surrounding area.
Other times during our stay, with my wife in the conference, I wandered around the grounds of the resort and happily snapped away at the historic structures. The kit I brought with me consisted of the X-Pro2, Rokinon 12mm, 23mm f/2, XF 18-55mm and XF 55-200mm along with a tripod and other small accessories. For walking around the grounds, I carried only the primes to keep weight down and force me into certain perspectives. Once again, the Fuji setup was a pleasure to use and produced some great images.
As the title suggests, I have never tried to seriously shoot any sort of Astro-photography before. Most times I’m outside at the time of night required, the skies were cloudy or the conditions weren’t right. While my family and I were camping this past weekend though, as we sat by the campfire and looked up, we saw nothing but stars. Once the girls went to bed, I ventured down to the lake near the campground we were staying at and brought a tripod and my remote shutter cord.
Down by the lake, at Laurel Hill State Park in Pennsylvania, there was almost no man-made light to be found nearby. The skies were clear and the stars were out in all their glory.
I had a bit of a learning curve, such as thinking I need a long exposure of a minute or more. What I forgot however, was that the Earth is spinning around 1,000mph and that ruins any long exposure shot of the sky. So I brought the shutter speed down to around 15-20 seconds by raising the ISO and opening the aperture. While I’m happy with what I got, I know there is much room for improvement. Next time I’ll be a bit more prepared.
Today my family and I explored the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. We had never been there and were pleasantly surprised at the many exhibits and hands on activities for kids. Seeing as there would be brightly colored birds, I had to bring a camera bag.
My X-Pro2 along with the 18-55, 55-200, 12mm and the 56mm came along. I ended up using the 55-200mm for most of the bird shooting, but the other lenses were used for various shots of the family and of the architecture. Thankfully, since the Fuji system is relatively small and light weight, the camera bag wasn’t too heavy at all.