Halloween at Headwaters

So, you get a message on Instagram from someone local and he says he has a light up skull mask, and it’s Halloween…so of course you go out.

Now, I will never pretend to be a top notch portrait photographer and I don’t think he’s a model, but I think between the two of us we came up with a pretty neat set of images. The mask and outfit he had was spot on, so that certainly helped.
We met up at Headwaters Park in Fort Wayne to do a socially distanced photo walk and shoot. We headed over to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge as there’s several opportunities there with the LED lights on the bridge, and how dark it is under the bridge.

Going under the bridge brings you to Headwaters Park, where it gets DARK. I brought my XF 35mm f1.4 and in most circumstances my X-T3 was at ISO12800. Now, it is noisy, and there is obviously a loss of detail…but I don’t think it takes away from the subject in this case. And, quite honestly, I’m happy with how it looks at such a high ISO, especially if you’re not a pixel peeper and look at it resized for use online. Can’t speak on how it translates to a modest sized print.

Why not embrace the darkness and start playing with a lighted skull mask and some longer exposure. He had an idea about moving his head around to get some movement, so after some trial and error we found a good exposure and made some demonic images. The last shot may be one of my favorite images that I’ve made this year. Fun stuff.

Just south of Headwaters Park is a viaduct with a wall lit but by a bright LED that made for some pretty amazing looking portrait shots, as the mask and his outfit reacted different each time the LED’s would change colors. Plus, the empty viaduct made for a fairly creepy setting. The batteries in his mask at this point were getting weak so the light was in and out on some of them.

Big thanks to  @oceanless_beachbum for messaging me with the idea, always fun going out and doing something completely different.

If you’re not following me on Instagram @dan_adams_snaps, then what are you doing with your life? Go follow me, and like/share/comment/save a new post, it supposedly helps the algorithm find me and I need all the help I can get as an inept social media user.

Pits in the Park 2020 from Fort Wayne, Indiana

Tired of hearing about politics and the pandemic? I am, and what a better distraction than DOGS! And not just any dogs, but “Pit Bulls”, the best of all the dogs (not biased at all). The Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition, a local pit bull rescue working to improve the conditions for Pit Bull type dogs in Northern Indiana through education, public awareness and by providing resources for Pit Bulls in need put on their annual ‘Pits in the Park’ event. The purpose of the event was to raise donations for the coalition as well as show the community that pit bulls are friendly dogs, despite the stigma that surrounds them. 

What a better way to tune out than to grab my Fuji and go down and photograph some amazing dogs! This is the 7th Pits in the Park that they’ve held and the 7th time we’ve attended. Having owned pit bull type dogs for two decades I always jump at the opportunity to go out to events that support the dogs. Being held in October which is National Pit Bull Awareness Month is perfect too! A month to celebrate Pit Bull type dogs, bust myths, and encourage education. How about some dogs?

Lucky for me, a week before this event I had a Fujinon XF35mmF1.4 R delivered so it was my first time to take it out and use it on something besides…my own dog. It’s such a nice lens, and I’m not going to review it as it has been done to death with it being an old lens…but the AF was capable enough with dogs moving around, and with Fujifilm announcing a firmware update for the Fujifilm X-T3 that will improve the AF with the same algorithm that the X-T4 uses, I can only guess that the experience with this lens will get that much better.

In other fun news, the Coalition released their 2021 Calendar at the event and I was happy to be able to help them by photographing a couple dogs for them, and my dog makes her modeling debut in the calendar! So, if you’re local and want to support a spectacular rescue, grab yourself a calendar at one of their events or on their site. If you’re not local but love dogs, or own pit bulls yourself, you can also support a spectacular rescue and get the benefit of looking some beautiful dogs every month…especially Miss April😉. And it’s only $10!!

➡G E T  Y O U R  C A L E N D A R  H E R E ⬅

The Anatomy of a Street Photograph

The reason I say it’s the “anatomy” of a street photograph is because it’s the structure I typically follow shooting street scenes, it’s this structure that helps bring my vision of the scene to life. I typically go out shooting every weekend, but I live in the relatively small city of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and while we’re the second largest city in Indiana, we’re not loaded with people at all times like a lot of the big cities. When I’m out shooting on the weekend I always go out at sunrise and then walk around the city as the sun rises, paying attention to the long light that the morning sun gives us and I take a lot of snaps of how that light hits. I keep those snaps in an album called “Photo Notes”.

Today’s Photo Note and eventual street scene started on a Saturday morning (09.18.2020), after a nothing sunrise I waited for the sun to start cutting through some of the city and while walking around I caught the light coming through these slim windows. This isn’t a building that is open on the weekends and it’s the only building on the block, so the chance of getting someone to walk through the scene on a weekend was next to ZERO. So…photo notes.

I instantly like the possibilities. The cut of light is great, the slim window gives off a great shadow design and will change as the morning progresses and there’s a second set of slim windows for the sun to hit as it rises just camera right of this window on the other side of the pillar. With the position of the window and how slim it is, there’s only about an hour where the sun will shine through the windows. The good thing is, the parking lot for the building is on the other side of the opening, so anybody parking and walking into the building would likely be coming through that spot. I just needed a cloudless, morning…which is a crap shoot in Indiana and people, so I waited for a morning that looked clear during the week.

The following Friday was the best shot I had at it, so I headed out that morning. The sun was near the end of the window when I took the photo notes, and those were taken at 9am. Knowing I had about an hour, it was pretty good timing as the building opens at 8am. Found a couple compositions I was happy with and waited for a few people to start showing up, and people who were in early for cleaning and maintenance to leave.

It was a good lesson and exercise to remind me to plan out an image, or a series of images and to not rely on something spontaneous happening…especially if you shoot in a smaller, sleepier city where you will have to work a little harder to try and create something. The photo notes were taken with an XF 35mm f1.4, but I’m using the XF 23mm f2 for the final images. You can see some more of my street images on Instagram @dan_adams_snaps