We packed our bags for three days and two nights in Yosemite this past March.  The mountains are still snowcapped and most of the rivers remain frozen over; best of all, the park is devoid of people and the hiking trails are uncrowded.  We feasted like kings (first time ever having pork belly banh mi’s, and at camp nonetheless), rose for the sunrises, and stayed up past the sunsets.  

After having missed it two years in a row, we thought we were finally going to be able to witness the Firefall, which is a spectacular phenomenon attributed to when the setting sun hits Horsetail Fall at a particular angle to illuminate the upper waterfall, casting a red hue on the water and thus, making it appear to be on fire.  Unfortunately, we timed it poorly, again, and missed it by a week.  However, we were able to see some remnants of the fall with a crowd of 100 or so people.   If you’re a Californian, you can attest to how dry our state is; Horsetail Fall fell victim to the calamitous dessication and there was no water at all.  The sun was still able to reflect off the slick rockface and we saw some reddening, but it was a lackluster performance.  On the other hand, I don’t know about you, but I am an absolute sap when it comes to strangers spending time together to marvel nature.  Maybe I cried, maybe I didn’t….I definitely did.

These were shot on Lomography 400, hence the light leaks.  I did not meter for the shadows because the sky would have been blown out.  Moving forward, I think I’m going to try to learn how to use flash so I can utilize some fill flash and maybe get some of the shadowed foreground to show.  Anyway, hope you all enjoyed and are able to get outdoors this season.  Happy shooting!


On a sunny March day, a group of friends and I headed to Sonoma County to location hunt shooting spots.  One of them brought along their Noblex 06/150 - a medium format swing lens panoramic camera - and made some amazing photos with it.  After looking through the funky viewfinder, holding it (that’s my crux; don’t ever let me hold your cool cameras because I will have to buy it!), and then seeing the photos made with it, I was done for.  I immediately put out feelers on my instagram, offering to sell or trade gear to purchase one.  In 24 hours, a deal was done and Abel (@instantflamingo on IG) and I traded some gear - thank you!

Since then, I’ve shot two rolls with it and have been having a lot of fun using it.  It is the chonkiest boi I own (bigger than the Mamiya RB/RZ67!), and probably one of the most unique looking cameras.  If you need specs, support Ken Rockwell’s growing family by checking out his review of the camera, or check out Nick Carver’s YouTube video about it.

Please click on the images; the crop from the blog’s layout does not do the panorama justice!

The lens is a 50mm, which is wide and very nice.  However, because these cameras are hyper-focal at infinity, the focal distance is a bit tricky to nail wide open, which is at f/4.5 (check out the third image where we try to get a group selfie); on top of that, composing on such a wide lens is tricky.  The second image of the cows will attest to this.  I can only hope that with more time spent with the camera and more practice, I’ll be able to fine tune the composition.

So, why this camera? It’s super niche, it only exposes 6 frames per roll of 120 film, and it’s huge.  Simply, and maybe , my plan is to bring it with me when camping - and if adventurous enough, maybe when backpacking - so I can get some panoramic landscape shots.  


5:15am wake-up call; the birds aren’t even up yet.  We quietly roll out of our sleeping bags, shaking sleep from our eyes.  Nothing is conserved in the desert: energy, water, the light, so we fill every minute with miles towards the East to greet the new day.

There is always a crowd for sunrises/sets and try as we might, we’re never early enough to be one of the first to arrive.  But this isn’t ever a bad thing.  We are a crowd of believers: in the sun, in the moon, in nature and all its glorious beauty.  We sit, we wait, we are awed.  Everyone claps.

Everything else in between 6am and 5:30pm is just filler.  We busy ourselves with hikes, hiding under canopies, and escaping the sun in any other possible way.  When it’s finally time to welcome the moon and the night, we find ourselves heading to the most Western parts of the park.  The colours of golden and blue hour at sunset are temperamental and impatient; blink and you’ll miss most of it.  But we make sure our eyes are wide open, and by the end of it, they are dried from the arid landscape and caked in sand with the gradients of orange/purple/blue/pink etched into the back of our eyelids.

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