Brian's Photo Blog — Article 321
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McDowell Creek Prime
Tuesday 6 May 2014   —   Category: Outings
Nearly three years — and over 300 articles — ago, I took a photo outing to nearby McDowell Creek Falls County Park. I got some nice shots that day with my previous camera equipment — a heavy and bulky Sony α55 system. A few of the resulting photos even won some local awards — look for the three yellow-starred images in the McDowell Creek 2011 contact sheet.

This time around I was carrying some of my Micro Four Thirds (µ4/3) equipment. My Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera and µ4/3 lenses are so much smaller and lighter that they are a real joy to work with! I definitely noticed a huge difference compared to last time.

In some past articles I have expressed a desire to experiment by going on a few photo outings with only prime lenses. So I decided to bring that idea to fulfillment on this excursion by limited myself, for the first time ever, to ONLY my prime lenses — none of my zoom lenses allowed! I don’t want to get into that aspect of the outing now, I’ll be addressing it in my next article — see Mystical Union With Ansel Adams Via Prime Lenses?

Therefore, I packed up the lenses shown to the right, all made by Olympus: 12mm, 25mm, 45mm, 60mm macro, and 75mm. Of course, because of µ4/3’s 2x focal length multiplier, these lenses have a 35mm equivalence of 24mm, 50mm, 90mm, 120mm and 150mm, respectively. These five primes, along with my camera and some other photographic paraphernalia, all fit nicely into my beloved Tamrac Evolution 8 pack. After strapping on my tiny, lightweight Sirui tripod, I was all ready to hit the trail!

My main goal for the morning was Majestic Falls — the very location where I took the award-winning photo above. Perhaps I would see similar shafts of sunlight beaming through the waterfall mist. When I arrived it was still pretty early, so while I was waiting for the sun to get higher, I took a closer look at this corner of the park.

As you can see in this photo to the right, taken from the bridge over McDowell Creek just downstream from the partially-hidden Majestic Falls, the view isn’t so good from this spot because the creek bends around to the right. I started to imagine the awesome view I would have if I could continue down the left side of the bank until I could see the entire waterfall.

I don’t usually stray away from the official trail, but this time I thought, why be a wimp? There weren’t any signs which forbade me to leave the boardwalk, so why not live a bit adventurously and see what I could experience OFF the beaten path?!

I've documented my “trailblazing,” step by step, in the captions of the first ten photos of the new McDowell Creek 2014 album. Just follow the link to start with the first picture and its accompanying explanation. By the time I was finished, I had spent more than two hours in this one locations, getting a variety of shots from numerous angles. I also took some pictures on the walk back to my truck. The best 23 photos (out of 83 taken) have made it into the album.

I already have a couple more prime-lens-only outings in mind ... stay tuned!
MARCH 2015 UPDATE — After a couple more prime-lens-only photo outings, I have now come to my final verdict on prime-lens-only photography.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 321
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