Sony A6000, Lightroom, and a few Photos

A few weekends ago I went on a mini-sufferfest up West Magnolia to Rollinsville Pass with Alex Vidal on my new mountain bike. Long story short, it was not my favorite ride. But I took a few shots of Alex blasting down a trail filled with loose rocks, one that happened to destroy his disc brake rotor. Good times.
Shot with the Canon 55-220 FD at 55mm, the only focal length that wasn’t absurdly blurry

Shot with Canon 50mm 1.8 FD at f/1.8 – for some reason the only aperture I could get to work despite the manual aperture ring. 

The damaged goods
A couple mildly related notes:
I didn’t have my Sony A6000 for 4 months because Sony outsources their repairs to a terrible company called Precision Camera. Absolutely the worst. But I’m psyched to have my camera back, and I’ve been using it way more than my Canon’s. I’ve struggled to find good lenses for this camera though. The kit 16-50 is unreliable and lacks sharpness at anything below f/8. I tried the 16mm f/2.8 and it was not any better. I bought the Rokinon 12mm f/2 E-Mount and absolutely love it. It’s been my only usable lens since January.
Since I’ve gotten my camera back I ordered an adapter for my old Canon AE-1 film camera’s FD lenses. I found out that those lenses are in terrible shape. I can barely get a sharp image out of any of the three. The 50mm f/1.8 won’t change apertures (out of 1.8) despite having a manual ring. The zoom lenses are progressively worse. I finally caved and bought the Sony 18-105 F/4 but have yet to put it through its paces. Despite all of this lens hunting, I’ve been shooting with the A6000 a ton over the last several weeks and editing I’ve been blown away by the quality of this tiny APS-C camera. Most of the adventure shots as of late that I have posted are from this camera. I highly recommend it (just don’t get it serviced by Precision Camera).
But seriously, the body only is only $450 right now. It’s an incredible camera for that price. Right now I can’t think of a better camera for adventures. 
Second unrelated point: 
I’ve been a user of Photoshop for 10 years and half heartedly jumped on the Lightroom‬ bandwagon when it came out. I saw that it had its uses, but generally stuck with Bridge and Photoshop for most of my editing. I recognized that for really large jobs Lightroom was much better for managing the project, but I preferred my own organization structure. I generally felt that Lightroom could get most photos close to where I liked them but just couldn’t finish the job and I would move them into Photoshop. I’ve recently discovered some free plug-ins that really boosted my Lightroom editing game and I’m exploring using it more as my primary editor. I’m sure Katrin Bell and Luis Carducci will find that entertaining as I insisted that all editing should be done in Photoshop when they were my interns.

Buffalo Creek Mountain Biking

I’ve stayed away from mountain biking because it’s just one-more-thing-to-spend-all-my-money-on (Kayaking, skydiving, surfing, scuba diving, curling – all things that fall into this category). But with a recent climbing injury to my shoulder I thought I was try some cross training, thought it turns out mountain biking isn’t very good for resting an injured shoulder, but it’s addicting!

Before this weekend I had ridden real mountain bike trails maybe four times in my life. I knew I would enjoy it, but the consequences of falling also kept me wary. I took what I thought was a small fall while riding down Lookout Mountain a few years ago, but when I reached the bottom a huge chunk of my helmet was gone. It really put into perspective how close we really take it.

My roommate just restored a Gary Fisher hardtail that he bought at a thrift store for $20. Turns out it’s a pretty awesome bike!  I rode some Boulder Open Space trails Friday and was hooked immediately. Saturday I went with my friend Lee France to Buffalo Creek in the South Platte area in Central Colorado.

The trails there are a nice contrast to the super rocky trails in the open space. The hardtail bruised my bottom – kind of accentuated the “need” for a full suspension. The Buffalo Creek trails are a bit more flowy, smoother and less rough, but still a lot of fun to rip down.

Side note: My Sony A6000 has been held hostage by the warranty repair company for almost 4 months now. I put my Rokinon 12mm Lens on Lee’s A6000’s. It was so nice having such a great camera for shooting action sports in such a small package. Secured on my backpack with my Peak Design Capture! 

I Love the Climbing Community

Being stupidly busy is a two tailed monster. I’m excited to be working with Zeal Optics and happy to have a steady flow of work to do, but I don’t have time to do the things I normally do, such as update my blog.

I’ve been shooting and traveling a lot since my last post. I went to Indian Creek for the first time with some good friends a few weeks ago. It was my first time climbing in the desert and it was amazing, but that’s not what this post is about.

I love being a part of something bigger than myself. It’s how we survive as humans, and it’s how I succeed as a creative. Without others my work would have no meaning. The climbing community is an amazing tool that spans every continent and country. As soon as you reach a new place, search out the climbing community and you’re guaranteed to meet fantastic and interesting people. It’s how I’ve made friends wherever I’ve gone, whether it’s Mumbai or Boulder.

Every trip you take, take time to meet the community around you because they are an incredible resource. Back to Indian Creek: while climbing at Donley Wall I met Anthony Biollato from San Francisco. We chatted for a while and later he climbed the stout 5.10c Elephant Man that I was posted above while shooting a friend on Chocolate Corner.

We exchanged contact info and a week and half later I hit him up when I was in the Bay shooting for Jansport. Anthony hooked me up with a mountain bike and we had an awesome day with some other friends riding Tamarancho on Mt Tamalpias. Such a perfect way to round out a great week in the Bay area.

Being an extravert I take a lot of joy in meeting new people wherever I go, and love that ever expanding network. I get to enjoy amazing places with a lot of great people. Anthony is definitely great people.