Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Beautiful Mojave Desert

The Yellow Desert - Mojave, California
In yesterday's post I said something, and I realized that none of the images in the post backed up the quote. I said:
"The desert offers many photographic opportunities. The beauty may not be immediately obvious, but this is indeed a beautiful place. The mountains have a bit of red in them. The The sky can be dramatic. The desert flora can be interesting. Everything has a wide-open feel."
Yes, a couple of the photographs in the post demonstrated the dramatic sky and the wide-open feel, but the rest of the quote wasn't demonstrated. However, the photograph above, which I recently captured using a Nokia Lumia 1020, does a pretty good job of putting what I said into a visual example.

What The Yellow Desert demonstrates is that beauty exists everywhere if you look for it. Even in a harsh environment that many would describe as "brown" and "boring" there is indeed true beauty. You just have to find it. It's there.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Trains In The Mojave Desert - The Railroad Along U.S. Route 6

We Will Deliver - Rosamond, California
The Union Pacific Railroad has a mainline that runs along old U.S. Route 6 south of Mojave, California. The desert is hot and dry. Summer storms bring occasional flash floods. It's a harsh and lonely environment. This is California's Mojave Desert.

Old U.S. Route 6, once the longest highway in America, and sometimes called The Grand Army of The Republic Highway and Sierra Highway, is a paved two-lane road that parallels the tracks. It begins at Silver Queen Road just outside of the town of Mojave and travels south, eventually leading to the L.A. Basin.
The Train Meet - Rosamond, California
The section of Route 6 south of Bishop lost its federal status in 1964. Much of the road became California Highway 14, which is now a freeway that runs parallel to the old route, offset to the west.

This is a fairly busy section of single mainline tracks. There are several sidings and a handful of industries along the route. Almost all of the trains that traverse this track also make their way through the infamous Tehachapi Loop.
Waiting - Rosamond, California
The desert offers many photographic opportunities. The beauty may not be immediately obvious, but this is indeed a beautiful place. The mountains have a bit of red in them. The The sky can be dramatic. The desert flora can be interesting. Everything has a wide-open feel.

I captured these photographs recently using a Nokia Lumia 1020. Yes, a cell phone. It shows that any camera is capable as longs the photographer has vision

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sentimental Saturday - Photos of The Day

The Roesch Photography Blog has been around for four years now, and to celebrate that I've been publishing a series of posts called Sentimental Saturday. It's like Throwback Thursday, except it's on Saturdays.

The first Sentimental Saturday was about the very first post on this blog. The second Sentimental Saturday featured some photographs from the first handful of posts. The next Sentimental Saturday was about an early post dealing with gear. This is post is the fourth in the series.

About eight months into this blog I started a series called Photo of The Day. I attempted to post one photograph each and every day (I wasn't always successful at that). It went on for about four months.

Below are some of the Photo of The Day photographs from November and December of 2011. I believe that my photography skills have greatly improved since these were captured. I'm sometimes embarrassed when I look back at my old images, because back when I captured them I thought that they were better than they really were. Even so, I think these ones are decent enough to re-share. Enjoy!
Freight Train At Days End - Tehachapi, California
Monolith - Tehachapi, California
Golden Field - Tehachapi, California
Oak Trees And Snowy Mountain - Tehachapi, California
Foggy Night Emergency - Tehachapi, California
Coal Train At Sunrise - Mojave, California
Moon Over Desert Sunrise - Mojave, California
Burger Spot - Tehachapi, California
BNSF Climbing The Pass - Tehachapi, California
Waiting Under The Light - Tehachapi, California
Union Pacific In The Desert - Mojave, California
Christmas Carousel - Mojave, California
Train And Truck - Tehachapi, California
Climbing Tehachapi Pass - Tehachapi, California
Kodak 35mm Camera - Hesperia, California

Thursday, March 26, 2015

My CrowdMedia Page

Sunset At Morro Rock - Morro Bay, California
I mentioned awhile back that I was contacted by CrowdMedia and was asked to join. Well, I did join. (If you are not exactly sure what CrowdMedia is or what I'm talking about here, go ahead and read that post I linked to.)

I have yet to sell anything through CrowdMedia. I'm not really surprised by this. It seems as though they've recently changed their model, and instead of just being a stock agency, they're now accepting assignments from clientele. That aspect of it reminds me a little of Talenthouse. We'll have to wait and see if it's successful or not.

Anyway, something that I've been up to lately is creating different portfolios on there. It's still a work-in-progress, but I feel it is done-enough to share here. So go check it out (click here)!

Right now I have Color Landscapes, Monochrome Landscapes, Seascapes, Farm, Energy, Color Flowers, Monochrome Flowers, Color Abandonment, Monochrome Abandonment, and Perilous Journey. I'm still working on a couple of others.

If you view those portfolios, you'll see on the left a few things that you can click on. Clicking on the heart will "like" the portfolio. Clicking on the "f" will share it on Facebook. And clicking on the bird will share it on Twitter.

If you have a few minutes, go on over and check it all out. There are plenty of great images to see. If you think about it, leave me some feedback on what you think of it all.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

California's Central Coast - Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, Morro Bay & San Luis Obispo

Foggy Day Pier - Avila Beach, California
Back on February 15th I took my family on a day-trip to California's central coast. We visited Pismo Beach, Avila Beach and Morro Bay. We also made a stop in San Luis Obispo.

The first thing on our agenda was the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach. This was a pretty cool stop. Thousands of butterflies cluster in the tops of the trees in this one small grove. I wrote about it already in a previous post, so be sure to take a look at that if you haven't already (click here).

After Pismo we headed up to Avila Beach to play in the sand and splash in the water. This is a great spot that's often overlooked. It has sandy beaches, a pier, a boardwalk with shops and restaurants, and it's a bit secluded in a cove. It's one of my favorite places.
Pacific Dudes - Avila Beach, California
The kids had a blast here. We found seashells, made a sandcastle, and dipped our toes in the water. It was a great place to explore the Pacific shore.

The weather was nice. It was overcast and the fog rolled in and out and back in again. Yet it wasn't cold--we left our jackets in the car. We really couldn't of asked for anything better.

Once we'd had are fill of the sandy beach, we once again headed north and made our way to Morro Bay just before sunset. We arrived just as the sun was going down. The fog cleared out just in time to capture a couple of great photographs.
Seaweed On The Shore - Avila Beach, California
The trip to this point had been great. The timing of everything just seemed to work out perfectly. It was a memorable day-trip to the beach.

On our way back home we stopped in San Luis Obispo for dinner. Besides getting some good food, I was able to grab a few more photographs.

All of these photographs were captured using a Nikon D3300 DSLR and a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8 Micro lens. It goes to show that you don't need expensive gear to capture great images. Vision and creativity are most important.
Coastal Fog - Avila Beach, California
Kelp Close Up - Avila Beach, California
Sand Design - Avila Beach, California
Algae Rock - Avila Beach, California
Sunset At Morro Rock - Morro Bay, California
Pacific Sunset - Morro Bay, California
Little, Big - San Luis Obispo, California
Apple Farm - San Luis Obispo, California
Dusk Horse - San Luis Obispo, California

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Nikon D3300 Battery Life

Rock Behind Ice Plant - Morro Bay, California
This was captured last year.
I just got back from a weekend trip to Morro Bay, Cambria and San Simeon along California's central coast. The trip was really great. It was like a shorter version of last year's Pacific Coast Highway adventure. I'll post the photographs once they're finished.

The only camera I brought along was a Nikon D3300 DSLR. It's great because it is small and lightweight for a DSLR, yet it really delivers on image quality.

I also brought along a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens (which was used 95% of the time) and a Nikkor 55-200mm AF-S DX f4-5.6G ED lens. The 40mm lens was attached to the camera, and that set up comfortably fit into the middle console of my car. The 55-200mm lens sat in a little bag (that came with the lens) and it also fit into the car's middle console.

The camera was comfortable around my neck since it isn't too big or heavy. The 55-200mm lens fit into my jacket pocket--often, though, I left that lens in the car and just took the 40mm lens that was already attached to the camera.
Zebras Below The Castle - San Simeon, California
This was also captured last year.
That's the entirety of the photographic equipment that I brought along with me. I didn't even bring a spare battery or the battery charger. I wanted to keep things as simple as possible. Less is more.

I exposed over 600 frames on this trip. I still had some battery life left when I got home. In fact, I probably could have exposed another 100 frames before exhausting the battery. That's really great! That allowed me to take less gear with me.

I didn't have to worry about changing or storing batteries. I didn't have to worry about forgetting the battery charger in the hotel. I only had to "worry" about grabbing the camera on the way out of the car. I can't tell you how great that is compared to how previous trips (with previous cameras) have gone.

The D3300 and its exceptional battery life allowed me to "get away with" not bringing an extra battery or even the battery charger. I had one camera and two lenses (and I could have left one of those lenses at home and been perfectly happy). Simplicity is better. It certainly is more enjoyable.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sentimental Saturday - Your Camera Doesn't Matter

Pool Chairs and Lake - Goodyear, Arizona
The Roesch Photography Blog has been around for four years now. In honor of that I've been doing Sentimental Saturday, which is the same thing as Throwback Thursday, except on Saturday. Specifically, I'm re-posting nuggets from the early days of this blog. The excerpt below is from a post published about six months into this experiment. The photograph above, which was captured using a "free" cell phone, accompanied the article. 
Your camera doesn't matter. If you are a good photographer you can use any camera and make good photographs. If you are not a good photographer you can use even the most expensive camera and still not make good photographs. 
The camera is just a tool. A camera is to the photographer what a paintbrush is to a painter. If you gave a great painter a generic set of paintbrushes from Walmart, he or she would still be able to create great works of art. Yes, the artist might prefer higher quality brushes, but the brushes do not make the painting great, the painter does. 
The camera does not make a photograph great, the photographer does. 
Most people own a cell-phone, and most cell phones have a built-in digital camera. Most people have the tool required to be a photographer with them right in their own pocket or in their purse: a camera. That's all you need! Learn to be a good photographer, and you could use that tool to make good photographs.