Love lock at the Brooklyn Bridge

Love lock on the Brooklyn Bridge

I didn’t know that the European tradition of placing locks on bridges to signify love had made it to the US. When we were in NYC last week, we came upon them on the Brooklyn Bridge. This love lock caught my eye because it was so old. And then when I was editing the picture, I noticed the water (it was a foggy morning, and had rained as well). It looks to me like the lock is weeping. This could be taken many different ways. Perhaps the people that left it have moved on from this world. Maybe the relationship soured. Both are sad thoughts, but part of the way of things. All I know is that when I saw this, it felt powerful and I had to share it. I’d love to know what thoughts it evokes in you.

I know it’s been a while since I have posted anything meaningful. Far too long really. The daily [a href=”http://www.chesterbullock.com/category/photos/2014dailyphoto/”>Hot Wheel series in 2014 was fun, but afterward, I felt quite uninspired. Daily projects can be draining for sure, but I suspect there were other things at work also. A winter doldrums sort of thing, even though I love winter more than any other season. Going to New York last week with my wife and youngest daughter, and seeing a lot of the city I had never seen before, was an incredible experience. I have slowly started to go through the images, looking for the hidden gems, like this lock, that are quite powerful. I’ve got some good material, now I’m going to be deliberate about how I edit and release it. I had entertained the notion of starting a 6 month daily diecast project on 7/1, but I am going to hold off for now. I want to see where this new inspiration and creativity take me.

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So I bought a new camera…

I have been shooting with the Olympus 4/3 system for some time. I started with an E-510, and moved up to an E-30 a few years ago.I have enjoyed having a dSLR, and shot many portraits with it. The Zuiko lenses are super crisp, and all in all, I never worried about getting the shot I wanted.

Over the last year, I found myself wanting less and less to take it on trips, or even get it out at home. An iPhone pic was good enough. I was puzzled by this, and then I realized, this thing weighs a ton. And for the types of pictures I want these days, I really don’t need this monstrosity. Once I decided that, it was a matter of trying to figure out what made sense to get. Regardless, I knew I was going mirrorless. And probably not full frame – that would mean just replacing the bulk of my Olympus for a mirrorless dSLR-sized system. Nope, didn’t need that. But I did want to retain the ability to swap out lenses. That meant a mirrorless ILC system. I could have stayed with Olympus, but for the way they handled the 4/3 system once they started to build m4/3, I really didn’t want to stick with them. They basically left the dSLR owners high and dry when it came to innovation. Things that are taken for granted in the m4/3 space, they just weren’t going to build into the 4/3 line. So a lot of people are stuck with expensive, superior quality glass. No way, not going to put myself in a position for that to happen again.

After reading about a lot of the other mirrorless systems out there, I settled on Sony. In particular, the A6000. Then I debated over my choice for what seemed like an eternity. Then I pulled the trigger. And then, after the camera arrived, I was intimidated by it. I am not afraid to admit it. Here was a crazy cool new gadget that I had no idea how to operate. I had to relearn how I take pics. And honestly, I haven’t spent a ton of time doing this relearning. I mostly have had it on auto, and shooting RAW images that I work on in Lightroom. I did learn enough though to be able to transfer a pic out of the camera and straight into my iPhone (for immediate sharing on FB or Instagram). That feature is more useful than you would think.

So I have had the camera now for a couple of weeks. A lot of people have been wanting to know what I think. I’ll be honest – I haven’t tried enough things yet to be able to say if this thing is great or not. But so far, I am impressed. The pixel count is double the E-30, and the highly touted auto-focus did great when I was shooting a moving helicopter in the Grand Canyon recently (sample pics below). I am not 100% sold on the kit lens yet, it doesn’t feel as sharp as my Zuiko’s. But then again, it is a kit lens. Take a look at the sample pics below (clicking on any will take you to Flickr, where you can view the original sized image and EXIF info), and decide for yourself.

These first images are of a 3D printed dress I saw at CES. The first pic is the photo as I shot it. The second is a crop of a small portion. There is definitely noise, but I shot indoors without a flash, so this is to be expected. I am pleased with the detail available in the crop.
3D Printer Dress
3D Printed Dress - Zoomed in

The Grand Canyon. 1st images is straight out of the camera, no adjustments. Zoomed all the way out, you do see the edges of the barrel. Second image is the same pic, but edited in Lightroom a little with Kubota presets.
Grand Canyon
DSC00123-2.jpg

Next three are of a cactus in the Grand Canyon. 1st is unedited, 2nd has Kubota LR presets applied, 3rd is a crop to show detail available.
Cactus
DSC00128-2.jpg
Cactus crop

A helicopter leaving the Grand Canyon. First is the shot I took, second is a crop of the first to show the helicopter.
Maverick Helicopters
Maverick II

All in all I am happy with my purchase so far. Stay tuned to see what else I shoot with it.

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Bugatti Veyron

365/365 – I’ll never forget the first Bugatti Veyron I ever saw in person. It was at the North American International Auto Show in 2000 (also called the Detroit Auto Show). I was there on business, and was on the show floor during press week. We could get up close to most cars, even get inside some (that’s when I realized how small a Lambo is inside). But the Veyron was not one we could get real close to. It didn’t need to be though. One look and I was entranced. It’s a gorgeous car.

The Hot Wheels casting is no different. It’s great looking too. And since they can’t make any more (they don’t hold the license anymore), they are hard (and expensive) to come by. Most people don’t open them, especially a First Edition. But I figured this was the perfect car to close out my 2014 photo project with.

I hope you have enjoyed this project. I definitely have. And now I need to figure out what the next project will be. I hope you have a happy and prosperous 2015. Thanks for following this during 2014.

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Cadillac Funny Car

364/365 – I love all the Hot Wheels drag racing cars. So I am not sure why these are the only two Cadillac Funny Car’s that I have. I need to get more for my collection, and I really hope there is a race team version. Seems a waste to just use these for Pop Culture themes.

OK, so one more car to go and my 2014 daily Hot Wheels picture project is done. What car will it be?

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Baja Bruiser

363/365 – Here in Colorado (and I am sure across the country), there is a club of people who like to race cars on a frozen lake. The “Competition” class features open cockpit vehicles like this Baja Bruiser – generally old Jeeps, Willys and such. The tires have bolts through them to act as studs, and the engines would make anyone at Bandimere excited. So I could totally see someone taking a vehicle like this Baja Bruiser and modifying it for the ice. It would be pretty cool to see actually.

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