This picture was captured with the Olympus EM5 (a Micro Four Thirds) Camera by me in mid-Spring near Alamagordo, New Mexico. This whole region found in the Southern part of the state including Far West Texas is quite enchanting and memorable. I love every aspect of New Mexico, from the cultural diversity to the colorful and varied landscapes.
This image is of Alisa Meshkova – from one of my earliest model shoots. I titled it because of the light coming into the basement of this abandoned house through a window. The wind was blowing pretty hard and is what lifted her hair. I’ve always been inspired by the UFO Phenomenon and so I titled the image accordingly. Alisa attends Southern Utah University and is very intuitive as a model. She knew how to pose so I could focus on taking images.
One thing not a lot of people know about me as a photographer is the fact that I paint my camera gear on occasion. It’s mostly cheap lens hoods but also occasionally camera lenses and I do so to make them more tough and durable. Pictured above is the Panasonic Lumix 100-300 and the Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm Nocticron!
I wouldn’t advise this if you are planning on re-selling your gear. However, I’m pretty invested into the Micro Four Thirds format since I sold most my Nikon DSLR gear in 2008 to make this major switch to M/43 and since then, I have never looked back.
The only reservation I had about my mirrorless gear is the fact that some of my lenses felt pretty plasticky including the cheap lens hoods that came with some primes. After thinking long and hard about it, I felt like things should have some extra protection implemented. So I took the liberty of painting my lenses in rubberized undercoating to toughen them up a bit and it really works like a charm! These two lenses aren’t the first to get this sort of treatment.
One of my favorite lenses to be released by Panasonic was the 42.5mm Nocticron which is built solidlyand I used it on a 14,500 mile photography journey around the Desert Southwest last April and May. What I didn’t like about the Nocticron though was the oversized metal lens hood which seemed to scuff up the outer edge of the Nocticron barrel. I ended up retiring this hood and buying a generic 67mm lenshood that I could screw onto the UV filter up front making it look much more stealthy. I then painted the lens including the outer barrel as you can see above.
Not all paint coatings and rubberized undercoatings are created equal. Some rubberized undercoatings are downright CRAP and you should avoid the cheap brands at the local Autozone or else you run the risk of destroying your lens. I’ve had quite a few years of trying this and experimenting and the best recommendation that I can give is to use Evercoat Automotive Premium Rubberized Undercoating for a real heavy duty job. This is by far the toughest paint for protecting expensive lenses if you want to go down this route and give it a try. This may sound utterly insane, but if I owned the Leica Noctilux, I might be tempted to try this method on one of those!
The end result is this; It will also make cheaper plastic lenses feel much more durable and weather resistant. It seems to help my equipment hold up much better under heavier usage and stay new longer.
All I used was electrical black tape to cover up areas that I didn’t want exposed to rubberized undercoating and it takes about an hour to dry and 24 hours to completely set before the smell starts to fade after the paint job is completed. Sometime I put a second coat on to be extra safe but be careful not to over-do it! I’ve had this undercoating on some of my equipment going on 5 years now and it’s still looking new. I just like it because it makes me feel like I have something nobody else has ever really tried and I thought maybe this would be of interest to you. I’ve had people asking me to post something about this, so here you go.
The Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye really works well with my creativity as a photographer. I slapped this on my Olympus OMD EM5 while traveling along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi!
Shot this photo on a super-hot July afternoon out in the Escalante Desert west of Cedar City, Utah, on this road to Lund – an old ghost town along the train tracks that cuts through a remote area of Iron County. I saw plenty of antelope but didn’t photograph them. This open range falls more closely in-line with the reality of the Coen Brother’s film, No Country For Old Men because in Texas, almost all the land is privately owned by ranchers and Southern Utah has a constant problem with poachers, cattle thieves, and the occasional pot growers.
This particular photograph was shot from the Olympus OMD EM5 with a Panasonic Lumix 100-300mm Super-telephoto. This is a great lens but can be difficult to get sharp shots unless the camera is stabilized on a tripod which I used. I loved the detail of the fence line and used the Split-Tone function in Adobe Lightroom to get this old time look. The composition looked great straight out of the camera, though.
According to this website – Aspen groves are the world’s largest living organisms. I believe it since I always love photographing them. There’s a really strong photogenic energy to them tied to their spiritual essence. I’ve also heard that they are in decline which is disheartening to know.
I have to thank my friend, Michael Titus for sponsoring this trip up onto the mountain. Photo was shot with an Olympus EM5 with Rokinon 12mm F2.0 wide-angle lens.
I’m updating this site now and will try and develop a consistent habit of posting my images here so that people can enjoy my work along with categories for lenses and cameras used. As an artist, I know people like to know the geeky details like that but know that I’m just barely starting this. I’ve spent too long overthinking how to organize and build this blog but I finally just gave up and simplified whether than getting frustrated and letting it sit without getting updated.
This is the New Navajo Falls on the Havasupai Indian Reserve in Grand Canyon, Arizona. I’m going there again on August 1-5th with a group of 19 people. I go every year and invite friends and family. This year will be my 7th annual trek down there. This is simply something I’ve been doing almost every year since 2008. After all, Havasupai is my second home and as you can see from the picture above, you know why…
After primitive camping for three days and eating dirt while cleaning layers of dirt-road film off my camera equipment I can safely say that I made it to Palm Springs, California where I’m composing this. I was in Death Valley where profiteers gauge the gas prices to $5 bucks a gallon, and moved onto Mojave Desert Wildlife Reserve where a coyote came into my campground. I took several photos of my furry friend, and the next day I visited Joshua Tree National Park.
I rested up in Palm Springs and will be heading out the Salton Sea today, to photograph several areas such as Bombay Beach. Talking about man-made environments; the Salton Sea was created by accident as a result of an engineering mishap in 1905. Read up on it. I’m going out there to photograph whatever rural decay that I can find including the artistic East-Jesus and Salvation Mountain. Here’s a few photos from the trip so far.
I’ve decided to dream big and create a Kickstarter to do the ultimate big adventure. To travel the Desert Southwest from Southern California all the way to Louisiana over a two month period (60-days) in a Suzuki Samurai. I will camp and live out of my Samurai and shower at truck stops. I’m going to travel to Southern Nevada onto Southern California, then through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana and my Journey will take 60-90 days to complete. The theme of my journey will be: “The Truth is Out There!” I will venture to major UFO Hotspots and will be promoting the 2015 Utah UFO Festival taking place in Southern Utah (August of 2015). What’s unique about this journey is that I will be basing my travels on Southwestern Folklore in search of the truth and will utilize this information as an artist to draw my own conclusions into the reality of it through my own method of photographic interpretation. The trip will be somewhat risky and dangerous as I will be venturing along the Mexican Border in several areas and will be stationed at various UFO hotspots that are historically significant and some archeological sites. Who knows what I’m going to see and witness, first hand!? I’m ready to redefine my own vision of the Desert Southwest from the seat of a Suzuki Samurai and I will report weekly and daily on my adventures via social media.
Okay… So I deleted all the old categories for this photoblog and will be adding new categories by camera and lens whenever I can. It’s not a perfect setup but it will allow visitors to se image examples from various lenses and cameras. This shot here is Havasu Falls in Grand Canyon, in Havasupai. It’s a ten mile hike into the canyon to get here! The guy up on the ledge in the photo is getting ready to jump.