Photography in the Fort - Views from the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, shooting stars and portraits

A little change of pace this week. I started the week off at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, 40 acres of animals, rides and beautifully landscaped grounds. It’s always ranked as one of the country’s top children’s zoos. For members, you can get in 2 hours before they open to the public, so I took advantage of the cooler morning weather and small crowds and went Monday and Tuesday.
I don’t have a lens long enough to really shoot between the cages but worked with what I have. Everything was shot with either the Viltrox 85mm, XF 50mm F2, XF 16mm F1.4.

It was so hot and miserably humid all week, so I kept most of my shooting to early or super early. On Saturday morning, since I keep a terrible sleep schedule, I was up at 2am so I went for a drive. While this is technically photography from around the Fort, I ended up northeast of Auburn to see if I could find Comet NEOWISE again.

I didn’t see the Comet, but I did take the opportunity to see how the XF16mm F1.4 did with shooting the night sky. I wasn’t in a dark enough area to really capture the Milky Way, but there was hints of it out there that I was able to pick up, which really surprised me. There’s a lot of light pollution out where I was with the lights from Fort Wayne glowing and the lights from Auburn blending in with them, you can really see it in the first image. There was a LOT of shooting stars out this night, in the second image…at full resolution, you can see 5 shooting stars and hints of our Milky Way galaxy. The 3rd image gives us the bright shine from Jupiter and Saturn.
I was really impressed with the lens for this kind of photography, and plan on making a trip in the future to a much darker area, there’s a couple options within a few hour drive so I’ll have to see what my options are.

Saturday was an extra long day for photography. Started at 2am with the shots above, came home and took our daughter to the zoo, she took her camera so I just went to help her out and take a few videos with my phone. Later that evening I met up with a fellow photographer who was nice enough to setup a couple models come by to work on some portrait photography.
Portrait, or people pictures are easily my biggest weaknesses in my photography, so I always look forward to improving and working on that challenge. There’s a lot to think about as someone who does this kind of work, beyond having to worry about the things everybody else taking pictures has to worry about like shutter speed, exposure, knowing the light. There’s a whole other set of things that you have to watch for when photographing people, where their hands are and how they look, stray hairs or accessories, out of place clothing…just a lot. It’s certainly something I have to work more on, but I appreciate the opportunity to work with people who are comfortable in front of the camera.

I’ll add my favorite shot from the day to the home page. Have a different favorite, let me know in the comments! And, as always, be sure to follow me on Instagram @dan_adams_snaps

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As always, links to the gear used are affiliate links. If you’re contemplating any of the items in this post and these images possibly swayed you, please click through this page, it won’t cost you anything.


Fujifilm X-T30
Fujinon XF16mmF1.4 WR 
Fujinon XF50mmF2 WR 

Viltrox 85mm F1.8

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Photography In The Fort - A Neowise Kind of Week.

Did you get a chance to see Comet NEOWISE? If not, it will be visible in the night sky starting about an hour after sunset if you look northwest, and can be seen until sunrise where it can be seen looking northeast. NEOWISE ends an almost quarter century draught without a real spectacular comet, not since Comet Hale-Bopp which appeared in 1997.

I went out about 2 hours before sunrise on Saturday morning to attempt to photograph NEOWISE, and only travelled about 15 minutes north of the city to get a decent view of it. It’s visible to the naked eye, but a long exposure image brings out more of the tail. Hopefully we can get some clear skies at night so I can get a photo of it with the dark night sky. With it being as close to sunrise, I wasn’t as worried about getting a lot of stars in the shot with it and opted for a longer exposure. Typically for night sky photography you’d want a wide open aperture and a shorter exposure time to gather as much light as possible without getting trails in the stars. I used the Fujinon XF16mmF1.4 WR.

Since I was up already Saturday morning to see the comet, I headed downtown to get some photography in downtown Fort Wayne. Only stayed out for about an hour shooting this weekend after photographing NEOWISE. 

I think the morning light at Headwaters Park is always nice, so I started out there this weekend then walked down past the Farmer’s Market on Barr St. on my way to the other Farmer’s Market at Parkview Field.

You’ll notice more and more black and white photographs in my work. I’ve been shooting sunrises for so long that I hadn’t been concentrating on my black and white imagery which is one of the reasons I fell in love with photography. Before getting the Fujifilm X-T30, I had the original X100 and it didn’t have an Acros black and white simulation so I’ve always used the old Google version of the Nik Collection, particularly Silver Efex Pro 2. Back in 2007 when I got my first Fujifilm camera I set up a preset that was based on the Acros film, with deeper contrast. Now, with the X-T30 it has the Acros simulation, so I’ve been working on getting the Acros +R filter to look like my preset with Silver Efex Pro 2. I think I’ve gotten it pretty close to the same right out of camera, so all of the black and white images are a mix of my processing and the custom Acros simulation straight out of camera.
I still prefer processing my own black and white photographs though, with Silver Efex Pro 2 the ability to control each color channel gives me more control over the final image, but I do like that I can achieve the look in camera in a lot of lighting situations.

I’ll add my favorite shot from the day to the home page. Have a different favorite, let me know in the comments! And, as always, be sure to follow me on Instagram @dan_adams_snaps

*****
As always, links to the gear used are affiliate links. If you’re contemplating any of the items in this post and these images possibly swayed you, please click through this page, it won’t cost you anything.


Fujifilm X-T30
Fujinon XF16mmF1.4 WR (NEOWISE Image)
Fujinon XF50mmF2 WR (Res of the images)

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Photography in the Fort - This Week in Photo’s from downtown Fort Wayne

Holy crap it’s hot out! Too hot for me to shoot too much in the evening, and I prefer mornings anyways. Problem with that and shooting more and more street photography is that downtown is a ghost town, so I compensate by staying out a little longer and being a little more patience. 

Set out Friday morning for a change of pace, and glad I did as I got a great sunrise. A great sunrise for me is always ones with a little bit of clouds in the sky, adds depth and introduces more colors. Parked at Promenade Park about 30 minutes before sunrise which is good enough to start getting out of the blue hour and start getting some colors in the sky, but more importantly it allows enough light to start getting handheld shots. That’s important to me because I despise tripods, I hate them. At any rate, sunrise Friday morning with the Fujinon XF16mmF1.4 R WR 

I’m a creature of habit, so I’ve started getting a routine when I go out in the morning to attempt and shoot everything I like to shoot in the couple hours I might be out. Sunrise is always fun, just after sunrise for a good hour the streets are EMPTY, so I wander around hunting lights and shadows and checking out some of the new local places that are being built. Went and checked out Landing Beer Company, a new spot for dining and beer in probably my favorite spot downtown right now, The Landing on Columbia Street West. 

Most of the reason I went out Friday morning instead of Saturday and Sunday like usual is it’s going to be a little busier downtown in the morning to get a little street photography in. Put up the 16mm and switched lenses to the Fujinon XF50mmF2 R WR, less people out means a little more reach helps and I don’t care about your street photography rules about what lens I have to use.


I’ll start out with a street portrait of Ned, if you’re from Fort Wayne you’ve probably seen Ned around. He saw me shooting and ran across the street, we had a brief conversation…well, he had a brief conversation, I couldn’t make out much of what he was saying. But, he wanted me to take his picture and if it gets famous I have to find him and pay him…sounded like a fair deal to me.

Saturday and Sunday I set out with the VILTROX 85mm f1.8 and no intention of shooting any street, it’s early on the weekend and too hot to stay out until the people get moving around. With that in mind I was just going out to get some shots to test out a new preset I’m working on. Let me know what you think in the comments.

I’ll add my favorite shot from the day to the home page. Have a different favorite, let me know in the comments! And, as always, be sure to follow me on Instagram @dan_adams_snaps

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As always, links to the gear used are affiliate links. If you’re contemplating any of the items in this post and these images possibly swayed you, please click through this page, it won’t cost you anything.

Fujifilm X-T30

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