Steamboat Barn Mavica

Sony Mavica MVC-FD88 Review Below

Is it too late to review a camera if it has been 15 years since it came out? As part of a new way to look at Throwback Thursday I have been looking back at some of my older work. I thought that to start things off I would look back at the camera that really started it all for me. The Sony Mavica FD-88 was a great camera in the year 2000. By today’s standards it does not really hold up, but it was amazing for it’s time. After the jump I will have some more thoughts on this game changing camera.

The Steamboat Barn

If you have ever visited or looked up Steamboat Springs, Colorado you have seen this iconic barn. It is probably the most photographed landmark at the resort. When this photo was made you only had a narrow walkway between some trailers to get this view. Now they have put a subdivision behind the barn with lots that are still available at a very good price. I have photographed this barn many times, but this first time is still my favorite. It was a shot that I really wanted, and I was very happy to get it.

Photo Sale!

This image and all of my others on my website here are now 50% off until Labor Day. I thought that after the long winter that we endured a photo sale was in order. If you like the photo above just click on it, and you will be taken directly to the image on SmugMug. If you just want to browse my online portfolio you can click on the link below.

50% Off

Continue reading “The Steamboat Barn with the Sony Mavica FD-88”

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With the year winding down it is a good time to reflect on the year that was. I was fortunate enough to visit some pretty great places in the past year. Most of my travel was near the beginning of the year this year. Here are a few photos that I like that remind me how fortunate I was in 2013.

13.) The first picture on the countdown was taken from my hotel windows in Sacramento this past May. The Tower Bridge is an interesting structure, and the sun setting behind it makes for an even more interesting structure. The boat went through the frame at just the right time. This was one of those photos where everything seemed to fall into place. 

Sand Mountain in the morning

12.) Here is the first of a few photos from my Colorado trip last year. I really love the landscape out there, and I think that I could have filled up this countdown with a photos from the trip. This photo was taken on my last full day out there as I was eating breakfast. I kept seeing this scene out the window while I was eating. I excused myself from the table, grabbed my camera, and then walked out to make the picture. I then went back to my breakfast. I am sure that most people on the outside think that my behavior was pretty weird. I just saw it as a time to capture the scene while it was there.

11.) This is the first of three pictures taken in one morning at the Marin Headlands. I had a great time photographing the Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise. I decided to see what was on the backside of the hill that I was shooting from. You have to walk through an old bunker to get there. Once through though a small clearing appeared. I thought this was a nice little scene. Something about what man has done to a great landscape. The beauty combined with the ugliness made this one of my favorite pictures from the trip.

10.) This picture was made just for the family that we were staying with in Colorado. I thought that the street sign in the middle of nowhere was pretty neat. Something about the picture spoke to me though, and it is one of my favorites from the trip.

9.) Here is another picture from my morning at the Golden Gate Bridge. After the sun had come up I moved over to the battery to make this image of the bridge. It is an iconic shot of the bridge so I used a little processing to make it more by own. This really is a beautiful structure, and the pictures just take themselves.

8.) Every trip to Steamboat, Colorado had to have this iconic barn in it while I was a kid. I was very excited to see the barn now as an adult with my current camera gear. The roof of the barn does not show it, but the snow was very deep that day. I was sinking in up to my hips with every step, but I made my way out to where I wanted to be to get this shot of the barn with the ski resort in the background.

7.) In February we went to Milwaukee to see some roller derby. To start our trip though we went to the Milwaukee art museum. This bridge connects the two buildings, and it is very photogenic. When the building is ‘open’ it is even more so, but I never saw that while I was there.

6.) This is the most recent photo in this countdown. I helped my brother move into his new house this past August, and decided to stop by Cataract Falls on my way home. The sky was very high, and I didn’t think that I would get any good pictures out of the trip, but at least I could scout the location. I ended up making some nice pictures that I was proud of. I really need to get back here again.

5.) This shot may not really be in my best 50 shots of the year as far as landscapes go. It was taken by me just after getting married though so the emotion of the picture vaults it into the list here. I was on a bridge in downtown Columbus, Ohio viewing art of all kinds. I saw the skyline reflecting off of the water, and I wanted to make a picture. I moved in between two photo tents to do so. It is a nice memory of a great weekend.

4.) While on our yearly trip to Ocean City this year I woke up early a couple of days to try and capture the sunrise on the famous pier. My first day I was shut out, but I made some interesting long exposures of the water. The next day though I was rewarded with a glorious sunrise. The interesting fact about this picture is that it was made with my point and shoot camera. While my main camera was taking a bracketed series on a tripod I went down to the water with the point and shoot to see how that view looked. This ‘test shot’ ended up being my favorite.

3.) This photo happened more by accident than anything else. I was out trying to capture the Milky Way with a camera that I had rented. I drove away from the city to have a better chance. The only problem with that is the fact that I didn’t know any of the ground I was now surrounded by. I had a few decent pictures, but nothing that I would publish. I decided to try a different way home, and that is when I came across this barn. The fact that you could see through it seemed to make it the perfect object to place in the foreground. I made my exposure, and I was thrilled with what I accomplished.

2.) Watching the stars out in Colorado is really something. I had never really tried an extremely long exposure photography before. The above picture was a half hour long exposure. I love the way that the stars circle my favorite mountain in Colorado. The cabin we stayed in also looks great off to the side. This was a trip to remember, and I would love to give it a try again.

1.) The Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise was probably the highlight of my year as far as shooting a landscape was concerned. In just a short period of time I was able to capture many images of this iconic bridge. This image though taken just after I arrived is by far my favorite. All of the colors seemed to blend together in a really fantastic way. When I thought of this list I immediately thought of this photo as #1.

buddy werner

iPhone Photo

This week I am back in Colorado again for my iPhone photo. While skiing I only had my iPhone on my to take pictures. We were on the top of Mt. Werner when I saw this bust of Buddy Werner for whom the mountain is named. We were on our way to take Buddy’s run down the mountain which yet again is named after the former Steamboat resident. Buddy has an interesting story which I thought that I would share here. As I said he was born in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He attended the University of Colorado where he was on the ski team. While there he qualified for the 1956 Olympic games. That was the first of three games in which he would ski. His final Olympics in 1964 he skied on the same team as Billy Kidd who was the subject of last week’s iPhone picture. At the end of the 1964 racing season Buddy retired at the age of 28. He had his whole life ahead of him, and he was the first great american skier. Three weeks after retiring he was in Switzerland filming a ski movie when he was caught in an avalanche with another skier. He made it out of the first avalanche, but the second one consumed him. His body was found a few hours later after he had died. It is hard to believe how much this man had seen by 28, but that is still too young to die. The mountain at Steamboat really has honored him though in many ways. If you ever get the chance to go you can see them as you make your way around the mountain.

Technical Data

This was shot on my iPhone 5, but not processed on it as past photos have been. I imported the picture into Lightroom to work on it a bit. The dark tree and sculpture along with the bright white snow did not have much color to it. The color that was there was distracting. I converted the picture to black and white using Matt Kloskowski’s strong HDR black and white preset. That really got me close to where I wanted to be. A little tweaking of the sliders, and this shot was ready to send to WordPress to be placed in this post.

billy kidd

iPhone Photo

Yet another iPhone shot from Colorado. I actually took a day away from my camera and went skiing while out there. I had thoughts of taking my gear with me, but the conditions were such that most of the time you couldn’t see very far in front of you. That is hardly the time to take landscape pictures. I did have my phone with me though so that I could get some pictures. I took this one from the outdoor lounge after we had skied for the day. This statue used to be next to the gondola the last time I was on the mountain. I guess that the landscape really does change quickly out there. I have always liked this sculpture, and I was happy to be able to include it on my site. Over the years Steamboat has been the place that we keep going back to. It has been fun watching this little ski resort grow. The runs have grown, the resort community has grown tremendously, but the town still has that great charm that makes it so fun to visit.

Technical Data

As I said before this was taken with my iPhone. I did not edit it in Camera+ as I usually do though. The program is great, but I usually don’t get subtle results with it. Instead I brought the picture into Lightroom on my computer to adjust it a bit. I wanted a little more punch than the phone gave me that day. I adjusted the highlights and shadows to bring out some of the light that was missed as well as a clarity adjustment for the extra punch. The final step was one that I may not have needed to do. There was an ugly blue recycling container in the shot that I didn’t want. It was too big to clone out in Lightroom so I had to come up with something else. I took the photo into On One Software’s Perfect Mask 5.2. This is part of the suite that I purchased just before the trip to Colorado. I had used it before and liked it, but the cost was too high. On One had a great sale just before I left so I took the opportunity to buy the product. I have only just now started getting to know it though. Getting the bin out of the way was not as easy as it could have been if I had the new Photoshop. They have the tool that automatically will take out unwanted objects. I had to be creative to I found myself in Perfect Mask. Once in the program I used the mask brush to paint out the ugly blue bin. I then took a copy of the photo that I had made previously, and moved it over just enough so that it would line up partially with the bricks. It was not a perfect match, but close enough. From there I sent the photo back to Lightroom where I used the clone brush to fix up the edges that were a little rough. You might not have even seen the spot if I didn’t mention it, but now that I did can you find it? It was a quick job with a few remnants left behind, but for an iPhone shot it is good enough.

iPhone Photo

I took this photo while waiting to rent my skis in Steamboat. I saw the helmets all lined up on the ceiling, and knew that I had some kind of a picture here. I was a little leery of just snapping away, but then I did just that. I moved over to get this slight angle on the shot that you see above, and I liked it.

Technical Data

This shot was taken and edited in Camera+. I used two filters on it to get this effect. The first was the tilt shift effect that gives the blur on the upper and lower portions of the photo. I also changed the colors saturation a bit to make sure they looked as vibrant as they did in real life.

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steamboat barn

Photo of the Day

Last Friday I posted a shot taken with my iPhone from my photo shoot of this barn (click here to see that one). I was really surprised with how many likes it received for an iPhone shot. I actually now think that I really have to do well with this one or the trip was lost. If the shot from the dSLR is not better than the shot with the iPhone what am I doing? This is a slightly different vantage point though so maybe the comparison is not valid. I followed a well travelled path to get the iPhone shot, but something was missing. That was when I decided to try and go uphill in waist deep snow to get this shot. Of course I was not dressed to do this, but I knew that I had to in order to get my shot. It was at this point that I could travel no further. I took a couple of shots before deciding to hold the camera over my head. That is how this shot was made. The good news is that I am getting good shooting blindly with my camera, and I took a straight shot. When you see any literature on Steamboat you usually see a shot like this. This is the shot that you need when you go to Steamboat. Once you take that then you can go on your own adventure choosing what you like to get pictures of.

Technical Data

This shot was one that I really wanted to get right. For most of my time around Steamboat you could not see the mountain. Just after lunch on Thursday though the sun came out a bit, and part of the mountain came into view. Luckily I was able to get over to the barn to get the shot that I wanted. I handheld this shooting three shots two stops apart in order to put it all together to make an HDR image. As I have said before your eye sees much more light than your camera does. That is where HDR comes into play. You have to use the tools at your disposal to bring in all of the detail. Instead of picking from the barn or the mountain to expose properly I can now pick both. I ran the photo through Photomatix Pro once I got to my computer in order to merge the three photos into one HDR image. From there I exported the 32 bit file back into Lightroom to use the sliders there to get it to where I wanted it. To get things started I used one of Trey Ratcliff’s Lightroom presets called “HDR in Lightroom: Daytime Fixy.” From there I was on the right track to making this an image that I was proud of. I wanted something a bit different from all of the posters that I saw in town, and I think that I achieved that.

SmugMug Link

As per usual if you click on the picture below it will take you to my SmugMug site where this image is available to purchase.

iPhone Photo

Whenever you see any photos of Steamboat this photo of the barn and the hill always seem to show up. This is the 50th anniversary of the ski resort and of course an image similar to this is on the poster. I have versions of this shot taken with different cameras, but I have never made a picture with a dSLR here. I made a short trek to make a couple of pictures with my 60D when I decided to give this a try with my iPhone. This is not poster material, but I like the shot. If you have followed this site for awhile now you know that I like barns. Put a barn in front of my favorite ski mountain and I will like it even more.

Technical Data

I used Camera+ to make this image. I really like how easy the app is to use. I seem to be quicker with it than the other photo apps that I own. I edited the shot in the app as well. I used the HDR filter, and took down the intensity to 65%. I really like how the image popped a bit more with that.

Other News

I am typing this from the town of Steamboat Springs. The cabin that I am staying in is so remote that even a cell phone signal is hard to come by. It has been freeing to to have my phone on me at all times though. I have taken some shots that I am very proud of on the trip, and I cannot wait to share some of them with you. Maybe next week will be dedicated to this trip. I am sure that the dSLR version of this shot will be included in that.

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greg at the boat-2

Throwback Photo

This photo was taken from the same spot that I took the photo that I posted two weeks ago here. I am zoomed in a bit more from that shot, but you can still see the difference. Sometimes the weather changes quickly on the mountain, and you are left with a blizzard that produces some nice fresh powder. I love how deep my brother is here as he starts his run.

Technical Data

As with last weeks photo there was not much to do here. The heavy snow made it very difficult to see much detail. That was the point of this picture to show the lack of visibility. Another easy edit two weeks in a row.

greg at the boat

Throwback Photo

This is a first on the blog. This photo was not taken with a digital camera. This was taken with this thing that we call film. This picture is not framed the best yet it remains one of my favorites to this day. This was taken during a break on my first trip to Steamboat in 1994. I think that the expression says it all on my brother’s face. We were having some fun that day. This makes two straight weeks that he has been the subject of my Throwback Thursday post. Since we will both be in Colorado next week maybe he will be the subject of three straight weeks.

Technical Data

Since this was from a film camera that is the extent of the technical data here. I guess I could talk about scanning the picture into a computer, but that seems a bit boring.