Behind the Scenes – Jeep JL Rubicon Build

For the past week, we had a first in a long time: a Jeep. This time, though, it was a Rubicon that already had a lift and the wheels/tires already installed. We installed new parts from Fab Fours all the way around, which was very fitting for the specific wheel and tire setup that the Jeep’s owner had gone with. Fab Fours is known for their “in your face” design with the idea of “it’s not for you,” so with the extremely aggressive street-style, the old-school offroader types will definitely throw shade at the build. Overall, I kinda like it. No, it’s probably not best for the trails of Moab or some extreme rock crawling, but it’s still a Jeep, and it’s still on 40-inch tires, making it very capable on most Florida trails, regardless of how big the wheels might be.

Anyhow, during the build process, I captured these images of the team’s progress as there was a lot of work to do, and with the time crunch, it was great to see everyone come together to make sure that everything got done.

All photos were shot on the Fujifilm X-T2 with the 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. Also, most of them were shot for Instagram Stories in mind, so don’t hate me for having so many portrait-oriented photos.

See the Photos

Coming Up: Desert Bus 2018

I wrote a little one of these up last year, but I figured if it’s worth doing once, it’s worth doing twice, sooooo…

Also, to save the trouble of all the explaining over and over of what Desert Bus for Hope is, here’s the short version: It is the longest running internet-based fundraiser and supports the Child’s Play charity, which helps kids who are in hospital have a better time.

Any questions about what Desert Bus for Hope is, feel free to ask! Also, here’s a little video explainer:

This will be my second year working the event as an assistant photographer, and, rather excitingly, Sarah’s first year as a site volunteer. Now, overall, this will be a great two weeks for us, but it’s also a lot of work that we’re both looking forward to.

The only thing I’m not exactly looking forward to is the 12+ hours of flying, but they haven’t invented teleportation yet, and still, I’m not really sure that I would trust it like that. So, flying it is!

It would mean the world to both of us if everyone we knew would come hang out in the chat every now and again, and felt free to make a donation, participate in a giveaway, or even just spreading the word about Desert Bus for Hope. Every little bit helps.

If you’re wondering when to tune in to possibly see us; I’ll be around for most of the day, and into the night time. If you know your DB lore; Alpha Flight through Zeta Shift. Sarah will specifically be working Zeta shift.

For now, though, bookmark desertbus.org (and photos.desertbus.org for the photos) and join in the fun when it all starts this Friday, the 9th of November!

My Internal Conundrum With My Camera

I own a Fujifilm X-T2. You’ve probably seen me talk about it or post photos from it a million and one times. As it turns out, I’ve had it for almost three years, now. It’s a really good camera, and I thoroughly enjoy using it. I’ve said many times that it out performs the former staple: the Canon 5D Mark 3, and I stand by that. It’s small, compact, and lightweight, and great for when you’re shooting for a long time or walking or hiking.

Then the Sony a7R III came out. It was announced just in time for our budget to come in where I work, and after reviewing the specs and the image quality, I said that we should get one. After all, we had been using the 5D mk 3 and a 7D for a long while, and it was more than time for us to upgrade.  Now, I knew there would have been an increase in image quality over the X-T2, after all, the a7R II had already been ranked as one of the top performing non-medium format cameras on the market AND it was a full frame camera.

I’ve now spent the past 6-ish months in the Sony mirrorless world, I’ve shot a few events and a lot of automotive and commercial things… you know… work. It’s working great! I’m surprised that I’m not missing the dials or the specific Fujifilm “look” (if you will). I have to say the number one thing that I cannot stand about the a7R III is that the files are massive. I mean, rightly so because they’re twice the quality of the X-T2’s, so I can only fit half as many photos on the same card. The first time I shot a wedding with the a7R III, I was panicking trying to dump photos onto my laptop periodically through the night. Meanwhile, I didn’t need to change out cards once with the X-T2 that event or pretty much any event I’ve shot. Excluding Desert Bus, of course. Overall, 300GB per event is a little scary.

NOW

Sony has released the a7 III. The a7 III has all the nice things about the a7R III and some of the nice things from the a9. It has the same megapixel count as the X-T2, which means smaller file sizes. It also has the newer type of battery from the a9, which means it’s been rated to have the longest battery life of all mirrorless cameras out there right now. It also has an autofocus system similar to the a9, which has AF points that cover most of the sensor. It’s also got the same design and button layout as the a7R III. It’s also been shown to have better low-light performance than the a7R III and shoot better video than the a9.

Basically… the a7 III is perfect for what I do.

My dilemma is this, however: While selling the X-T2 would give me the opportunity to buy the a7 III, I would also be ditching a really good camera. Buuuuuuuut, not only has my Gear Acquisition Syndrome been itching like CRAZY since the announcement, but I also have this wild theory (possibly enabled by G.A.S.) that, in my photographing, I don’t want to be limited by my gear. I don’t want to come back after a shoot or an event to blame any defects in the photos on the gear I was using. I don’t want to have any opportunity to say “well, if I had [whatever] this would have come out better.”

Before it’s said, I also do believe in the cliché of it doesn’t matter what camera you use, it’s about the person behind the camera. However, when you’re capable of doing well with a decent camera, imagine what you can do with a better camera, or even THE BEST camera? And yes, yes, yes, lighting is much more important than the camera you have, but I’m doing alright with light right now, considering that most of what I do with my personal work is with natural light and lighting modifiers. I could go on and on about lighting, too, but this is about cameras.

I dunno, this got a little rambly, and I’m not sure where to end it. So… how about support my Patreon so I can have my cake and eat it too?