Lake Honey Creek

Fuji X-T3 with 50/2 lens.

Drove on Interstate 29 today for the first time since the section near Honey Creek, Iowa, opened up since being closed due to flood damage. It’s been more than 10 weeks since the flooding started and water levels are still high. And, yes, that is a farm field, not a lake.

Fuji X-T3 with 50/2 lens.

Truck Fire

Truck fire I-80 westbound near Neola.

Drive home from work took a bit longer tonight. To get home, I have to drive a few miles eastbound to the Neola exit to turn around westbound to get back to Council Bluffs. Traffic was backed up for miles. Westbound traffic was exiting at Neola to take a county road around the fire. And a small town and a county road just are not designed to handle heavy interstate traffic. It added about an extra 45 minutes to my trip home tonight.

But on the bright side, it wasn’t my truck in flames.

Desert Dome

Meerkat and Klipspringer

Spent the morning at the Desert Dome at the Henry Doorly zoo. I’m glad I purchased an annual pass for the zoo. It;s pleasant to just show up for a bit in the morning, spend some quality time at one or two exhibits, and leave before it gets too hot or too crowded, and not feel obligated to see the whole zoo to get my money’s worth. (Plus it’s easier on my old knees.) Today’s pics were all shot with my 23/2 and 90/2 lenses on the X-T3 camera.

Blacksmith Plover
Centralian Python
Rock Wallaby
Turkey Vulture

“Advanced” filters

Fuji X-T3 and 23/2 lens

My Olympus cameras had “Art” filters built into them. Never had any use for them while working as a photojournalist. My Fuji cameras have similar cheesy type filters, but Fuji calls theirs “Advanced” filters. Not sure if I have much use for them, but might as well play with them.

The first one I played with was the partial color (red) filter. I’m not a big fan of the spot color look, it can be cheesy and often overused. And it’s easy to do in Photoshop. Now it’s just a push of the button.

I doubt I’ll use these filters much at all. But I may need to go out and play with the toy camera and miniature filters.

Fuji X-T3 and 23/2 lens

35/35/35 #35: Reflections

Fuji X-T30 and 35/2 lens

As I reflect back on my personal challenge of producing 35 photos in 35 days, all shot with a 35mm lens, I appreciate the quality of the lens and I’m glad to have it in my line-up. And it has been quite liberating to concentrate on using only one lens. But I have not fallen in love with the standard field of view. I still prefer something a bit on the wide side for a single, walk-about lens.

When I was working as a news photographer, I felt obligated to have a full camera kit with me at all times in case I ran into a newsworthy photo op. That kit may not have been on my shoulders at all times, but always close by.

I still like having a camera with me for unexpected photo ops, but I no longer feel obligated to carry every piece of gear at all times. I have a feeling my walk-about kit will be one body, most often the X-T3, with a 23/2 lens mounted and a short tele in the bag, probably the 90/2. (That mini-kit fits nicely in my Think Tank Urban Approach 5, a bag so small I barely notice it over my shoulder.) And I’m sure there will be plenty of times I will walk around with just one camera body and just the 23mm lens.

And, yes, I’ll be using my other lenses when I go out for specific shoots. But for now I want to keep in simple. Keep it fun.

EDIT: When I downloaded the photo above, I was debating if I liked it or not. On my computer screen it had an abstract, oil painting feel to it. So I figured, what the hell, post it. After posting it, I looked at it on my cell phone and, quite frankly, it looked like garbage on a small screen.

The photojournalist in me said, “Jim, you need to think about your readers, how they will be viewing your work, and shoot accordingly.” Then the new me said, “Hey, you’re doing this for fun. If someone doesn’t like it, too bad.” 🙂

35/35/35 #33: Cherry Blossom

Fuji X-T30 and 35/2 lens

At work today, someone asked me if I knew what kind of flowering tree it was that we have out back. I said, “We have a flowering tree out back?”

Shot this photo after work. I think it might be a cherry blossom.

Have I mentioned how much I like the tilty screens that are on many of the newer cameras. The lowest branches of this tree were still above my head, but it was easy to compose the photo and make sure I was focused on the right spot by tilting the back LCD screen downwards. I still prefer using a viewfinder most of the time, but the tilting screen comes in handy for high-angle and low-angle shots.