The Dead Of Winter

I wanted to get out and shoot sunrise landscapes yesterday on the first morning of the year, but the sky wasn’t cooperating. It hasn’t been cooperating at sunrise for several days. I’m always looking for some variation of partial cloud cover. A clear blue dome rarely holds my interest except on the rare occasions when it provides background color contrast for something like the Roy’s sign at Amboy, California.

Faced with yet another clear sky on the last day of 2011, I set the Lumix G1 up for monochrome and rode to downtown Riverside.

I’d likely see something interesting, but if not, it would be good to walk through the multi-block mall.

Parking at City Hall on 10th Street at a little after nine o’clock, I then walked the length of the Mall and back. At that time there are few pedestrians wandering the walkways, so I didn’t expect to get any “people” photos, but it was nice and quiet. Even the piped-in holiday music wasn’t playing over the speakers strategically placed over the walkways, which was a relief.

After being forced to hear holiday music as a member of a captive audience in retail stores, gas stations, restaurants, and parking lots for the first couple decades of this lifetime, I’ve since found it nearly terminally boring. I tune out the marginally annoying background noise as if it is a constantly barking neighborhood dog.

I like shooting with the G1 in monochrome. The best thing about setting the camera to one of the Black and White modes is that the EVF and LCD displays both show the frame with all color information discarded.

If you set the camera to record the image in both JPEG and RAW formats, like I always do, you’ll have all the color information recorded in the RAW file, “just in case”, even though you are seeing in monochrome when you produce the photographs.