Okay, so yesterday decided to head up into the mountains to do some shooting… some real shooting, not like my previous trips up so far since I’ve been back out here, like for just an hour or two, or dragging my cat with me, but spend a good afternoon, out and shooting. Primary reason, was figured the tPo-JPH website, I should have a profile photo of myself for others to see me on it… so, that was the reason for my going up to shoot.
As I tweeted yesterday, it was an abysmal failure. Seriously, nothing went right… leading me to not feel too positive afterwards.
First, you’d think I didn’t know me, and that I have always had a pretty pathetic memory… so, here I was thinking I recalled, from my living in this area fifteen years ago, and constant trips up into these very same mountains, these spots I would often frequent. Well, so far in my trips up since being back, I have remembered pretty much zilch.
Yesterday, I read my map (from fifteen yeas ago), wrong, and ended up not on the path I thought I was on, turning off before I should have, leading absolutely no where near I was really wanting to go. Which I probably never would have made it anyway, as I discovered just how disgustedly out of shape I have become in the last few months! Really appalling. Who’d think sitting on one’s arse in front of a computer day in and day out working on a website, would lead one to become so embarrassingly out of shape?! Granted, I was hiking in higher elevation, up an incline the entire way, and in a foot of snow, at least, also the entire way… but really, no excuse – I am out of shape! Bad, big time! I couldn’t go a hundred yards it seemed, before I would start wheezing like some old guy who spent half his life smoking, or something! Having to find a spot to take a pit stop every few minutes.
Also, when I lived here before, I just had my first camera still, my Fujica AX-3, with just a 50mm lens… that I think I wore easily in a fannie pack. Yeah, not so much anymore, where yesterday I brought my camera, as well as my four lenses, a flash, tripod, and miscellaneous other gear, that has to weigh close to fifty pounds… at least that’s what it felt like. For future photo hike trips up into the mountains, I am going to have to pull out one of my old backpack camera bags, as the over-the-shoulder bag that is my main camera bag now, is just entirely too uncomfortable for such endeavors… especially with it worn across shoulder and chest, I think that also led to the constriction of my breathing.
Anyway, with the discovery that I was on the wrong trail, that I had been trenching through ankle to mid calf deep of snow, for a good couple miles in the wrong direction, sweating profusely even though only in the thirties, breathing like one who just got done running a marathon… I chose to go instead up this last patch of terrain and do my shots from up there instead.
Once up there, I took probably the most shots I have ever taken in one day, close to five hundred. As I tried this kind of shot, then didn’t like it, then okay let’s do this, and then not liking it… then another… then another… doing panoramas, HDRs, shots after shots until at one time, I actually for the first time since going digital, actually filled up my memory card while I was in the middle of this HDR panoramic.
In the middle of that, trying to get a shot of myself to incorporate into this much bigger, epic photo, breaking out my new CamRanger apparatus, which was really cool and awesome and helpful. In the far too many times in the past, when I have used myself as the subject of photos, because of the lack of anybody else to use, and/or just self portraiture/documentary photos that I have done of myself throughout the years, all was done by me setting the self timer and then running like a mad man into frame and composing myself for the shot within the allotted seconds I had to do so.
With the CamRanger though, a whole lot easier! Just had to compose the shot at camera, and then go place myself within the shot, which I could all see via the live view transmitted to my iPhone, where I could tap on me to focus on me, adjust any setting – shutter, exposure bracketing, aperture, white balance, anything – all right there on my phone. Quite the awesome little device! Could see how I actually looked within the frame, and then hold it down, out of frame, and trigger the shutter with it, and have the photo taken when I WAS READY, not just when I barely make it from running from my camera into the shot.
What failed in those first profile shots I was attempting, was I was wanting the mountains to be my backdrop, and the sun was to my right and behind, so why I brought my flash, to fill on my left and front. Which, even though I had recharged the batteries after last usage, okay which was granted, I don’t know when, a month or two, or three ago, but stored unused, out of the flash since then… became depleted and dead before even a dozen shots I think. I was very displeased by that.
Which then led to me doing this panorama, to now a HDR panorama, so as for me to be in exposure, with the front of me pretty much mostly in shadow… and that all eating up my whole card… I was shooting with my 300mm, so as to compress the foreground and background, provide the nice background bokeh, even though I shot completely stopped down to get as much background in focus… anyway, because of the len’s narrow field of view, why I had to take so many photos that filled up my card. To which I just said the hell with it and deleted them all, and looked for something else to do.
Which, with my flash dead, would have to be me facing south and the sun… so tried to find a nice composition to do just a simple, straightforward, single shot…. which, going into it, was really all I had in mind… but, the way my mind goes, I always got to go the complicated route and do more. I did find a nice scene and composition, with this fallen, burnt, dead tree, that had one of it’s branches arching in this nice curve, framing another dead tree in the background, where I could could position myself underneath the arch and have this nicely framed image.
Well, it was a beautifully clear, sunny day yesterday (which I remembered after getting home, that one can still get fried and sunburned in the Winter… which I recalled I repeatedly did the last time I lived up here and would do Winter trips up into the mountains… oh yeah. Well, damage has already been done years ago, I am sure, and this doesn’t help yeah, but my skin is already toast, and cancer just waiting to happen, so…), and was a bit harsh, so to cut down it’s harshness, and to also help in alleviating my squinting from it’s brightness, I pulled out one of my diffuser panels. Which led to the second to last frustration, in that, one of the things I actually didn’t lug with me on the trip, was the stand that I can secure the diffuser to… so, that led to me having to hold the bloody thing myself, which of course failed miserably, as I had one arm sticking oddly and uncomfortably out of frame. So, the fallen tree I was using to frame the foreground, I tried hooking it to another one of it’s branches, which kinda sorta helped, but not really. A breeze started picking up at this point and it would either blow off or all over the place.
I got it to stay in position, but in that position, I had to pretty much squat extremely close to the ground, which is what I was doing in the photo above… and had to settle with, as my camera’s battery died right after I took this shot. Curses!
So, that was the last shot I took yesterday with my real camera, and the only one that was halfway decent, though unacceptable, as the top of my head is cut off, because i couldn’t get low enough… my shirt is bunching up at the collar… I look like someone who had just did all I had done up to this point, and am about done with it all… so, yeah… a great big epic failure of a shooting day.
That was my last shot of the day, taken with my iPhone as I was grudgingly walking the miles back to my car… though went a little bit faster, as it was downhill, so I didn’t have to stop quite as often to get my breath.
So, yeah, the very last photos taken, after a slew of many others having been taken, and that was as good as it got… so yeah, there you go. yay, and way to go me.