Another Saturday of hiking with my camera in hand. This time it was with a group of current PSU students, an instructor and some PSU alumni like myself. I shot mostly film and still waiting to get that film back as it’s just been sent out today but I did capture some shots on my Canon r6 that I am somewhat happy with.
I rocked the Canon R6 like I said with the Canon 85mm f1.8 lens. This lens is one of my favorite lenses and I used it pretty often for all around shooting and video work. I also flew the drone for some shots which you will see in the mix of photos I share.
Devils Den is a great place to visit if you’re looking for easy hikes to awesome views. You can take an easy flat hike to the waterfalls or a longer hike will take you to the top of the park so you can look down the valley.
We caught the very end of the color in NW Arkansas as the trees are starting to lose their leaves. The power of the 85mm really shows in the last image. I took that at f4 and the way the background is out of focus just enough and the in focus is super sharp is what I love about it. It’s even sharp at f1.8 which you don’t find in all lenses at the max.
I will be sure to share my film images from the trip so keep an eye out for that probably next week or so.
On a recent trip to Arkansas I put a roll of Superia Xtra 400 into my Nikon f4 and pushed it one stop. Pushing it one stop makes the 400 iso/asa film a 800 iso/asa film. This allowed me to have faster shutter speeds but also brings in more noise/grain into the photos. This film is cheap enough, I like trying it out often for run and gun shoots or just random outings.
In my hope for a full roll of images I liked, I ended up with a just a few that I liked. Mostly the issue was some were out of focus. This is due to me using a new lens to me which is a classic Nikon 200mm f4 manual focus lens. Though the photos that I did like or felt were good enough to show I really like for how the colors came out from pushing the film.
You may ask yourself, in a roll of 36 photos, this is it? Yeah. It was an experiment and with a 200mm lens, hitting focus is a bit hard handheld no matter how steady you think you are. Next time I will be pushing this film with an auto focus lens as I do like how the colors came out. I have a roll of this loaded up now that i will be pulling either 1 or 2 stops to see how that goes!
I have about 5 rolls of film sitting in the fridge waiting to be used on the perfect day. I have CineStill 50d, Fuji Natura 1600, Fuji 400h and Ilford Ortho 50. I am super excited to try all of these films out. 2 of 3 of them are being saved for a trip to New Mexico I am going on in January for my 30th birthday. I know The ilford Ortho and the Fuji Natura 1600 will make that trip for sure. I also have a roll of Kodak HIE coming in the mail soon but that film will be a struggle to figure out so not sure when and where I will be shooting that one!
My second trip to NW Arkansas in the past three weeks and this one turned out to be my best trip for the amount of images that I left with. To set the “mood” I left at 5am Saturday morning, putting me in the valley around sunset at 7:30 ish. Turn on a podcast and drive through the dark, the 2 hour plus drive flies by. As I get closer, it’s starting to get brighter out and I can see the tree colors popping.
As I am just a few miles out of the valley I am about to drop in, you can see the fog that has settled in the valley and I knew I wanted to fly my drone(Mavic Mini) before entering the Buffalo National Forest near the Boxley Valley Historic District. The views were breathtaking.
After dropping down into the valley, you’re bound to see the Elk that roam the area and that was my first stop was to see the elk. As soon as I turn into the valley, there was one of the biggest elk I have ever seen with a huge rack. The fog was super dense which added to the mood of the photos I had taken all morning. The big elk was 30 yards off of the road and I fired off as many shots as I could until a old man went into the fenced area and made it run away. Which was weird because his wife was taking photos as well in the same spot. Which was fine, I caught the whole heard later on. I made a few passes down the normal area I see the elk in and couldnt see anything due to how dense the fog was, so then I decided to get onto my first trail.
The first trail I decided on was Lost Valley trail to Eden Falls. Last time here the falls were at a trickle but with NW Arkansas getting rain for 4 days straight it had to be flowing. As I pulled into the parking lot, to my left is a field and the herd of Elk that everyone was waiting for out on the main road in the valley were just around the corner, so I took some photos and moved on down the trail to Eden Falls. Passing people on there way out, as the sun starts to break through to my back. The sun coming through the fog really set the mood for some images of the trees and creek and fall colors. I took some photos of the waterfalls on this creek and some of the trees and decided it was time to head to the next location.
The next location was at Camp Orr and that was just about 30 miles away up and over some valleys and there you can find, Triple Falls. At the end of the trail is a nice triple water fall and it was awesome. It came with difficulty as the sun was shining straight down into the falls from behind, so you had to watch the glare and the waterfalls spray so you wouldnt lose the image to water droplets. All in all I got some images I really liked.
This video will show the drone footage and some of the photos I speak of so you can really see the beauty in this day trip to NW Arkansas.
Fall is upon us, colors are starting to come in on the trees and the cooler weather is here. Getting down into Arkansas in the fall is a must around here, it’s too beautiful not to! A friend and I planned a short trip to the Boxley valley area to just take in the views, take some photos and just get away. Our normal camping site was all full so we found another spot just up the road a bit and it put us in a real good spot to be able to jump right on the main road to all the spots we wanted to go to.
We drove up Friday afternoon, set up camp and went to the local shop, The BOC. The Buffalo Outdoor Center is a nice centralized spot to meet up with other people, grab a snack, supplies, anything you can think of they probably have it and they have wifi, which is huge. There is no cell service in this area so wifi comes in handy when you need to make a call, check the map or post a IG pic. This is where we ran into my friends, friend and he joined us for the weekend. Set up camp and then he was off to to some bouldering/rock climbing. We joined him out to Horseshoe canyon while he did some climbing and then we headed to Steele Creek to capture the Milky Way. This is towards the end of Milky Way season with winter upon us.
This was one of my favorite images I had taken at Steel Creek of the milky way, and it could def be better in may ways. Campsites giving off a nice orange hue and this area is not around any big city’s so you can actually see the milky way without the camera which makes it easy to frame a shot up. Made the mistake of leaving a filter on my lens that softens the image(Tiffen Black Pro Mist 1/4) or this would have been sharper but I still love it. After shooting this for awhile, we decided to get back to camp because we had a very early hike to do.
Our morning hike was to Hawksbill Crag or Whitaker Point Trail, near Pettigrew, Arkansas. This 2.9 mile hike makes for a pretty moderate hike to a very awesome view and if it’s wet and the creek is running, you can even see a waterfall. Which I have never gone down to see my 3 times visiting, as I just found out about it and it was dry this last weekend. This hike is one of the highest used trails in the area and with that said, I would suggest doing this early morning, like leave before the sun is up with a head lamp or flashlight and catch sunrise or catch the sunset. The way the light hits the valley is something else and should be seen to truly appreciate it!
We arrived right before sunrise and caught the sun peaking over the tree line and it was awesome, just like it is every time. Getting up to Hawksbill and just taking it all in really is a nice reset if you’ve been on the go and working and just need a good break. This place is always on my mind when I think I need to get away and go somewhere for a day. The drive that is close to 3 hours away stops me from going most of the time, I won’t lie but it’s always so worth it!
This trip I shot all of my photos(not all shown here) and this little video with my new Canon R6. It is taking some time to get used to, coming from my Canon 5d Mark iv. Learning the buttons and settings are a pain but the more I use it the more I will get used to it. The photos were taken with the Sigma 24mm f1.4 art with a Tiffen Black Pro Mist filter that I usually use for video and just didnt remove which is why the sky in most photos are super soft and glowing in a way. The video was shot in 1080p 120fps handheld and it’s crazy how smooth you can get handheld movements while using the slo-mo/high frame rate video mode.. plus it does have 5 axis image stabilization in body.
A post on the r6 will be coming soon, along with a post over the film photos that I captured on the trip as well.