The Fire at the Edge of Night

On the way to a friend’s “Home on the Range” (I mean that literally) near Redding, CA, riding along a dirt road that took us deeper and deeper into the “wild, wild west”, I spotted this cool pond reflecting the trees and sky beyond. I knew I’d have an appointment with destiny here, at this very spot, in about an hour, when the sun started racing into oblivion. And that’s exactly what I did. While it might have been nice to have my big guns along, I had left those on the East Coast. But I had my backup tucked into my waistband and I wasn’t afraid to use it. After the obligatory seven paces, I drew my iPhone and fired. And it was I who was left standing when the sun went down!

Good Eats at the Snack Shack

You just don’t see places like this that much in the D.C. metro area, where I’ll soon be hangin’ my hat, so I’m taking the time to shoot as many of these sorts of things as I can before I leave Northern Cali.  I’m hoping to see more on my drive east across the U.S. of A, especially since part of that drive will likely be along historical Route 66.  As I was out running errands when I found this one, I only had my little Fuji X100 camera with me, when I really could have used a 24mm lens and the D700 so I could include the dumpsters on the right side of the building; stepping back with the old sneaker-zoom was not an option or they’d have been serving roadkill in the Snack Shack!

Longin’ for the good ol’ days

My friend Brian Matiash posted a great shot yesterday he called ‘Kicks on a Wire’ which kinda got me thinkin’ back to some of my fondest memories as a kid.  Some of my happiest moments involved my parents’ 70’s VW Westfalia (much like the one below, though in mint condition), so when I saw it yesterday I pulled over to grab a few brackets with my Fuji X100 to create this HDR.  Growing up in the 70s and 80s, we’d drive all around Europe in that ol’ girl, but the time we spend camping at a really great lake in Germany, for about four weeks at a time, was truly unforgettable.  Years later, when I was a teen living in Arizona, my dad taught me to drive stick with this baby.  I often wish I could track that awesome VW Westfalia down, buy her back from whomever owns her now, have her fully restored and take my girls out camping.  I think she would make a great URBEX-mobile as well!

Tutorial – Shooting Panoramas with the X100 at Bear Mtn Ranch

I’ve mentioned in a couple of recent posts that I’m really enjoying my Fuji X100, and I think I dig it even more now that I’ve played around a bit with its cool panorama shooting mode.  Since others out there might be interested in seeing how this function works on the X100, I threw together a short video tutorial on using it.  You can find the finished photograph that came out of that early morning shoot at Bear Mtn Ranch further down on this post.


I’m pretty happy with the way it came out, though I noticed, in post processing, that there were a couple of blurred spots (you can see it in the sign above the gate) because I shot this at 1/60th of a second and was panning a bit too quickly.


Don’t get me wrong, I love my big DSLR (currently the Nikon D700) and all the great lenses I have, but dang they get to be a pain in the butt to carry around sometimes.  So when I want to be high-speed, low-drag, and until I one day manage to get my hands on a Leica M rangefinder, I reach for my Fuji X100.  With its small size, classic looks and awesome features, this bad boy satisfies all my needs when it comes to street photography and much, much more.  I shot this photograph of a set of mailboxes while out on a morning walk with my wonderful wife, who I think is a lot more patient with me shooting with this (takes less time) than with my big rig and tripod (too much set up time and finagling for her tastes).

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