From the pits, crowds and stages
This is how it happened – three days of love and music at El Cosmico in Marfa, TX.
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As a self professed classic film compact camera junkie, the ability to use some of the lenses that were originally affixed (not interchangeable) to those cameras, is intriguing. In the past I’ve written about converting the Summarit 40mm f/2.4 from the Leica Minilux and even using the converted lens with the Techart autofocus adapter. Today we have another personal favorite – the 35mm f2 lens from the legendary Konica Hexar AF.
July in Central Texas, 14 days of triple digit temperatures with no break in sight and someone had the bright idea to throw a music festival. It may sound like a level of Dante’s Inferno, but the Float Fest producers have it figured out, with a leisure float down the cool San Marcos river, on-site camping, a carnival, helicopter rides and stages headlined by Cage the Elephant, Weezer, Zedd and MGMT.
One of the most unique features of the Sony mirrorless platform is its ability to mount, and in many cases autofocus, almost any legacy lens. I’ve written in the past about the Techart Golden Eagle (CONTAX G) and Techart Pro (Leica M) adapters. Next up is the Fringer CONTAX N/645 Sony E mount adapter.
With each new digital camera release we move further away from the dirtier elements of photography. No longer do digital sensors struggle with anemic dynamic range and poor low light performance. Everything is “clean” these days.
At the same time, lenses are being polished and aligned, exotic elements added and AF systems improved until they are the ultimate in optics. Sony’s GM line (or G Master) is their play at this high-end of lens design. I was lucky enough to get some pre-release time with their newest entry in the GM line, the FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM. The questions I wanted to answer were whether this new lens was going to be too clinical, or was there going to be some glaring deficiency that I couldn’t overlook.
Rewind. 2005. The Parish, Austin, TX. A first attempt at concert photography with a band that consistently dropped sonic milestones throughout my adulthood. Somehow I kept my shit together and strung together a few images I was proud of, and that was the fire that lit my photographic career.
2016 marked the 15-year anniversary of the Austin City Limits music festival and the tenth straight year I’ve aimed a camera at its stages. It also marks a time when music festivals saturate the summer landscape and the big productions like Coachella, Lollapalooza and ACL are competing with smaller, curated festivals that cater to focused genres. With all that competition, ACL continues to maintain its relevance, although not always through the music. The 2016 lineup was popular and varied enough to appeal to the wide demographic that attended, but the soul of ACL Fest is increasingly expressed by the fans themselves.