Burnzz Blog

a running commentary

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What photography has meant to me

Some time back (a Christmas sale in 2003) we bought a Canon Digital Rebel. A true DSLR, we treated it a point and shoot, never leaving the green square even though we left home and brought the camera with us. As late as April of 2008 we took the camera that could to New York City and pointed it and shooted it at various landmarks in the City. What we did find out about that trip, was the weather is hit or miss at that time of the year (mostly miss, we got rained on) and we actually both liked taking pictures. So much so that shortly after, we became a two camera couple.

A couple of picture taking fools, i got the latest Rebel and gave the trusty 300D to my wife. Prior to our adventure to Gotham, we had bought a ‘zoom’ lens. So, equipped with one zoom lens (the EF-S 75-300) and two kit lenses, we kept exploring. Life was good taking pictures and stashing memories. Except it wasn’t enough, we took some classes and took a chance and found other settings on the dial. Settings with cryptic abbreviations like ‘TV’, ‘AV’, and “M”.
By the time we made landfall in the middle of the country (August 2009) we found our cameras did more than just point and shoot. They would actually capture what you saw and translate it into a more better memory.
South Dakota 076

So the moment in time and the place we were at became “desktop wallpaper”, because digital was here to stay. Everything from textures

IMG_3674_6

to light

Arches-3992

became fair game. We learned a little about capturing these things. With the dial firmly bumped off the green square, a whole new world

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was still where we left it, both near and far, we just became a bit better at capturing it, sharing it, and saving it for days when the weather didn’t cooperate.

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Blown away by Escalante

For the three day weekend, we stayed at Petrified Forest State Park. We had a camp site right on Wide Hollow Reservoir.

296/365

We had been to Bryce Canyon before, over a Memorial Day weekend. This time, we didn’t get snowed on. The wind howled though right up until we left. The Grand Staircase is huge (roughly the size of Delaware) and there is a state road that follows it’s northern boundary. The road is Highway 12, named an “All American Road” because it traverses some spectacular scenery.
Grand Staircase-Escalante N.M.-5635_7
For three nights and three days, we found ourselves in the center and south of Utah. I have nearly 30 gb’s of pictures to prove it.
DevilsGarden_0046_7_8
The width and breadth of this National Monument is hard to wrap my mind around. It borders two National Parks (Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef) and we had posted over a thousand miles from leaving work Friday to getting home Sunday.
It’s ok though because we were warm and untouched by the wind when we were traveling. Oh, the sites we saw – from high desert to hoodoos to a ski resort to scrubland to mountain passes.
Hell's Backbone Bridge
Highway 12 overlook-5827
Burr Trail Panorama-5794
I can see why so many fall for southern Utah. It has some of the best vistas in the world, and the place seems timeless. If only the price of gas were never changing like the landscape . . .

Country Corner, Boulder, Utah

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What’s Black and White and Green all over?

Spring in Utah. Here it is, the second week in April, and we are still dealing with snow.

spring snow

spring snow

It makes for a profound sense of cabin fever, and the feeling that winter will never end. Most of our diversions are indoor, and it makes for an expensive stretch of time. We had recently gone to a photography lighting workshop, and the winter blues combined with our new found knowledge conspired to make us buy a flash for our cameras.

580 EXII

580 EXII

We have managed to get out of town a couple of times. Last weekend we went to Wendover to see Lewis Black.

Lewis Black

Lewis Black

It was a great show, but still not warm – Wendover was windy and cold. This time of year, it seems the only green we see is the money flying out of our account, and the Masters Tournament being played in Georgia.

The 12th @ Augusta

The 12th @ Augusta

Usually this tournament marks the beginning of golf weather here, but this year it hasn’t. It seems it’s green all over everywhere else, but all the white here has left me in a black mood.

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Photography, an early present, and dinner with an old friend

The weathers changing, we’ve already been to a Jazz game, and the nights are getting long.

Feels like we’re running out of time . . .

Slat Lake City-9604

Tonight we went to another photography class. It’s nice to hear about your obsession from other people. There was nothing new in the class, but it was about composition. It’s always good to get a professional’s take, along with a little in-depth metering thrown into the discussion. As we went to class, with the shadows racing up the mountain out the front door, the nearly full moon put in an appearance. It was distracting, and so was i – i kept looking out the door as it made it’s way over the shoulder of the mountain into the darkening sky. i did get an early gift, a Manfrotto ball head to go atop my tripod.

496rc2

496rc2

An old friend breezed through town, and invited me out to dinner.

KC-0582

He was here for a short trip, but it was nice to catch up, shoot the breeze, and eat a nice meal. The picture above was from an earlier trip, but it makes me glad to have my camera with me. Pictures have become a hobby, and when the subject is meaningful, priceless.

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The dog days of summer, and 100 posts

i owe a debt of gratitude to Tania, who has been my inspiration. Her original blog was lost, and i picked up blogging because she didn’t think hers’ could ever match the flow and diction it had before. She has recovered nicely, and introduced me to a form of self expression i’d never thought i’d use.

self portrait

self portrait

One hundred posts later, i’ve found a medium i don’t mind sharing in. i can give a raised middle finger to the world, if i chose, or kudos, or deafening silence. The web has proven surprising and engaging to me, and given me the opportunity to interact with people all over the globe. It has also given my family a rare peak, and my wife a barometer into the mood i’m in. Whether the posts have been profound and uplifting, or pedestrian and mundane, my biggest cheerleader and harshest critic has been vigilant in letting me know she read the dam thing.

So i find my self in the doldrums, the dog days of August. The dentist has abused me and so has the weather. The road ahead includes a visit to the North West, and possibly one to ‘the Greatest City in the World’. However the lottery numbers turn out, i’m convinced the best way for me to deal with it, is through the lense of a camera . . .

the road ahead

the road ahead

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The Capitol, revisited

The last time we took pictures at the Capitol building was in April of ’09. This last Saturday we went downtown again, to take pictures and go to the Farmer’s Market. We never made it to the market . . .

the north side of the Capitol

The Capitol building has been very photogenic for me. Some of my earliest attempts of trying HDR were of the building, and alot of people at the time liked the pictures i posted. A few things have change since that April, including the camera i’m using. But the Capitol has had for me a timeless feeling, and it still has been good to me;

the reflection pool

the reflection pool

Having seen the building thousands of times from every angle, i was still surprised to see what i hadn’t seen before.

the Lions on the East Stairs

the Lions on the East Stairs

And it wasn’t just the Capitol Building we explored, we ventured around the capital city, as well. Salt Lake has hundreds of streets and dozens of neighborhoods too . . .

Second and Second

Second and Second

So, after being here for almost twenty years, i feel there is still a lot more to this city than i’ve already seen.

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Pioneer Day, a homecoming, and one of the best places on Earth to take pictures

i was born and raised in California. My adopted state celebrates the day that pioneers first entered Utah, and as irony would have it, i spent that day in Yosemite National Park.

The East Gate

The East Gate

A lot of time has past since i lived in Yosemite, and i have been back for a couple of brief visits, but this trip was especially special for the company i keep. Tania and i have been into photography and travel for awhile, and if there was one place that I knew, that offered the best of both – that place is Yosemite.

Toulumne Meadows Lodge

Toulumne Meadows Lodge

Half  my life ago. i had darker hair, a minimum wage income, and no camera. i knew at the time that i would be back, with a fine machine to capture what i saw. In the mean time, real life happened, i almost lost my sight, i gained a house and a wife – and most importantly, someone who i could share this corner with.

Tunnel View

Tunnel View

i came on a day my adopted state celebrated an arrival, i came half a lifetime later, i came as half of a couple. i came to a place i called home for awhile, a place alot of people have taken pictures of before – but i came back to a place i felt i knew and missed. i’ve published a few of the captures i’ve managed to process, but here is the story of the man behind the lense.

A sort of homecoming

A sort of homecoming

When i moved to Yosemite, it started the long, slow process of me getting out of the way of me. Remnants still remain, i still shoot myself in the foot and i’m closer to a teenager than my contemporaries that have kids, but the time i spent in the Park released me from the demons of childhood and the mores of my upbringing. Today the influence of raw Mother Nature is a bigger part of me than the tradition of my parents. i’m glad for the fact that my natural mom has a part of my life as my adopted mom – spending time in the wilderness made me believe that i needed both to learn the lessons i would need to make my way in the world.

Today, a safe home and a warm bed are my prerogative. In the Park i was able to park my shoes by a door we pre-paid for.

home for a night

home for a night

Twenty Four years ago, i found humility and a work ethic waiting on people that used the same amenities that i paid for last weekend. Being the one parking my boots at the door, i realized i did give something – to live in those shoes . . .

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Quail, taking pictures, and brides galore

i’ve been being dragged around, kicking and screaming, to take pictures with Tania. But that’s not the worst part~ we get home, go through the pictures and she’s saying “You’re ahead of me, i can’t take the same pictures as you!” Now, i’ve seen her pictures and haven’t told her yet – my pictures are not better, they’re just different. If there is a difference in the quality, it’s a) in the camera (i’m currently using a Canon 7D, she’s using a Rebel 450D) and b) i’m a bit more familiar with the programs we use for post processing.

A family amid the flowers

We had gone downtown Saturday afternoon on one of these expeditions, Tania with a purpose and me to kill some pixels. We’ve been seeing brides for the last three times we’ve went out. Wednesday, when we went to Gardner Village;

Frantic phone call

Thursday, at Thanksgiving point;

A bridal glimpse

And then at the City County building;

Waiting in the shade

And on the Main street plaza, where the quail first come into the picture;

Photographer first, wedding photographer second

So i think this might be an omen – my friend Kevin mentioned that i would be a good choice to shoot his wedding, when we were in Vegas. Since then, i’ve seen plenty of brides. Every morning i see quail, but the family that lives in the Main street plaza was the first that posed for me.

Families are forever

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One week in April

At the end of this work week, i look back and think about the week before. The national championship for collegiate basketball had been decided, with a decided favorite winning it all amid multiple upsets. Spring finally sprung, although we had driven hundreds of miles to get our first taste of it. And like the swallows returning to San Juan Capristrano, the Masters’ Tournament was played in Georgia.

Ironically, one of the first pictures i came across was Phil Mickleson fitting the green jacket on Tiger Woods. i decided to use the image, for the irony.

We had gone to Zion National Park for a four day weekend. For the first time since we married, those four days were the same that the golf tournament was played. i do not regret committing to going during those particular days, for the park is truly awe inspiring. Thanks to some new boots for Tania and some early starts, we were able to see both the park and the tournament.

The Watchman

The Watchman

If you’ve never been to Zion National Park, i urge you to go. just not during spring break.

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Spring Time . . .

For three straight days i was able to take pictures. The days were Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. It turns out that the day we bought new cars was the first day of Spring.

His and Hers

His and Hers

The red Corolla had a hundred thousand miles on it. We decided now was a good time to trade it in. Little did we know, that Tania would be offered a position with a local company, and she would need to drive further than i. Toyota offered a no interest deal that made taking on car payments again worth it. It’s what we did Saturday, the first day of Spring.

So Sunday we got into our new Corolla and went out to the Great Salt Lake. Having lived here almost nineteen years, i can say i’ve not spent a lot of time at our counties’ namesake. We loaded up the tripods and cameras, and drove to SaltAir. It was closed, and locked up. We went to the marina for a bit, and found, down the road a ways, an abandoned building and burnt out rail car.

GSL3_21

GSL3_21

Both days were nice, Utah spring weather. Which brings us to Monday, and honestly i couldn’t tell you what the weather was like – i spent the day indoors. We went to a Jazz game Monday night, against the Boston Celtics. It was a good game, and until the second half, one that looked like the Celtics would win.

Tip off

Tip off

So for three straight days we did three different things, and got to take pictures too. i hope this is how spring always is, or in other words, hope springs eternal . . .

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