Along Bush Highway

I tend to get out of my car a lot when stormchasing. I suppose that part is obvious. Of course, it can also depend on conditions. I may end up driving an hour just to get somewhere before I find the need to take a photo. Or I can stop every two miles along a beautiful stretch of highway and still have an endless supply of scenery to shoot.

Now, because summer isn’t here yet, I use the word “stormchasing” loosely. Mostly I’m just out shooting pictures before/during/after we get anything that involves rain or clouds. So it’s not really chasing anything…other than that next masterpiece of a photo I expect to take.

On this particular instance, I was out of my car along this stretch of Bush Highway because believe it or not, I had spotted some wild horses meandering through the desert. I know they exist, but it’s definitely rare to see them. Without the 70-200mm that I’d love to have someday, my biggest zoom lens right now is my 85mm 1.8. On a full-frame, it’s not awesome, but I slapped it on hoping to get a bit up close to these horses.

I nabbed a few shots, but the ponies were far off and quickly moved on. When I turned back to the car, I saw the road heading off in the distance and thought it might look kind of nifty with the 85 and a wide open aperture.

I used FocalPoint to help accentuate the blur in the foreground and off in the distance, which helped finish off the vision I had in my head when I took the shot. Simple B&W processing.

The thing about racing to the next storm or the next scenic view is that you end up flying past cool stuff. If I hadn’t been stopped to see the horses, I undoubtedly would have not scene the road in the same way I did standing alongside it.

I definitely treasure those moments when I stop and see something I didn’t expect.

(exif: canon 5d mark ii, canon 85mm 1.8, f/2.0, iso 100, 1/640 sec)

A few of Lyla with the 85mm

I recently got extremely lucky on Craig’s List and found a guy selling a Canon 85mm 1.8 for $225 after he used it one time for only a few shots. Retailing for around $400, I know he could have gotten $300 or so for it, so from the time he posted it to the time I bought it was around three hours. Was praying no one else offered him more money for it!

Anyways, I’ve had a few people ask me how the lens turned out and if I’m loving it or not. Definitely a fun lens. Compared to the 50mm 1.4 that I use almost exclusively for portrait work, this lens is quieter and faster at focusing. On my crop sensor Rebel XSi, it rocks to have a lens where I can be a bit further away from my subjects than the 50mm allows, plus still get that awesome bokeh.

So far I’ve played around with it while out with my daughter Lyla. She’s been dragging me to the park this past week for some “slides…swwings!” as she likes to say. A few of these are from there, a couple are from a recent trip to the Phoenix Zoo.

Hope you enjoy!

If my daughter grows up and loves playing basketball, I will have accomplished at least one of my goals for her *grin*

This one above was taken at the zoo…this is her famous pose where she looks back at you, holds out her hand and says “Mon Daddy! MON!” (come on daddy)