In Cars

Curving freeway with mountains in the distance. Taken with the Lensbaby Edge 80.

Curving freeway with mountains in the distance. Taken with the Lensbaby Edge 80.
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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken in my home town of Glendale, CA. It was my first time on a relatively new hiking trail called the "Catalina Verdugo Trail." This trail takes visitors on a loop above the sports complex and offers views of the freeway and the foothills.
This was taken at approximately 8:30 in the morning on a sunny day in March.
It was already relatively bright out with alot of contrast. In post processing, I pulled back some of the detail in the sky because otherwise it would have looked blown out.
I used a Nikon D800 with a Lensbaby Edge 80. The Edge 80 is a tilt-shift lens that gives a plane of sharp focus. It can be used to create a miniature landscape effect. Using this lens was not second nature to me, so I was trying to practice using it in different ways. Here I tilted the lens so that the tree in the foreground and the cars on the freeway would both be on the same plane of focus.
I was inspired by the abilities of the lens itself, as well as by the juxtaposition of nature and city life. I was up in the hills watching the traffic flow and I imagined all these people driving to work or to otherwise start their day. From that vantage point, they reminded me of ants following one another. It gives you more of a "big picture" perspective on society. I think the Lensbaby helped to emphasize this sort of feeling.
Yes, I post-processed this using Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro from Google Nik Collection. I chose to convert it to black and white because frankly the light by that time of the morning was not too inspiring and also I thought the b&w version helped to focus attention on what was actually important to me in this image. I was mindful about enhancing the contrast while also preserving detail.
In my camera bag
I almost always have my Fuji x100 with me because it is small and lightweight and makes great photos. If I'm in the mood to lug the D800 around I will bring along one or two lenses that I think I will actually use. Often I carry the Fuji (with fixed wide angle) and then on the D800 I will put a 105 macro or 85mm. Then I shoot interchangeably with both cameras depending on which angle of view I want for a particular shot. Or I just bring the Lensbaby kit for something fun and different!
The Edge 80 is great because it is a relatively affordable tilt-shift lens. I think these lenses require some practice in order to understand what effect you are going to get. So just practice and have fun! Also get out and explore, even if that just means within your own town.

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