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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I'd love your feedback: Am I capturing the 408?

I'm taking 50 unedited pictures that celebrate the 408 area code to create an exhibition that will run in my local Sony Store in just a few weeks. My mission is not to shoot the most obvious or iconic places recognizable as being in the 408, but to find and convey the more sublime. . .

"It’s about identifying and celebrating your city’s unique life, unedited."

The whole concept of 100% unedited images is quite intimidating but, I'm finding, very doable. The NEX-5R has a quick learning curve. In just three days I can already see the improvement I'm making in the pictures I'm taking as I get to know how the camera handles day by day. I've been experimenting shooting in Manual and Superior Auto (not the same as Intelligent Auto). As a bonus there are also some really fun, built in, use-as-you-shoot Picture Effect Modes that are like having Instagram type filters right in the camera.

Hakone Gardens

I've been photographing koi at every pond I've eve seen them in for decades, with no less than seven cameras, and have to say this image is my most favorite I've ever taken. I'm really impressed the NEX-5R was able to capture the range of light and darkness so beautifully as the fish swam into a shaded area of the pond. What is also shocking to me is the clarity. Considering they were underwater, moving, and I wasn't using a neutral density filter I was stunned with this result.

Campbell Heritage Theater and reflection ponds at night.

I thought this location would be recognizable to anyone who had ever been there before but guess what? Even though hubby took his U.S. citizenship oath here, he had no idea where I took this picture. Now he wants to go back and photograph it too. LOL

Just driving down Campbell Ave. and seeing the glass orbs in the reflection ponds always makes me happy as the South Bay doesn't have a lot of public art that I pass by on a regular basis. The fact that they light up at night is a bonus. But go see them during the day too. The glass is gorgeous with colorful solid areas and streaks that shimmer like metallic, two toned organza ribbon.

The historical Central Park Orchards surrounding the Saratoga Library

Agriculture is such a big part of living in the Bay Area but how to depict this in the middle of winter? I thought finding an old orchard would be a good way to convey the area's rich past and present. All of the year round fruits and vegetables grown make living here a locavore's delight.

So what do you think? I have four more days to shoot and thirty more pictures to take.

These are the cities listed online as comprising the 408 area code. Some like Saratoga, Los Gatos, Campbell, and parts of San Jose I'm quite familiar with. Others like Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Sunnyvale, and south and east San Jose I don't really know at all:

Los Gatos
Morgan Hill
Monte Sereno
San Jose
Santa Clara

I don't want to miss anywhere or anything important so please feel free to leave suggestions in the comments or send them to me privately, on Facebook, or on Twitter. Just think not iconic locations and no branding (logos or company names).

Disclosure: While I'm not receiving payment for participating, I am receiving compensation in the form of the camera and lens to use for the project and to keep after. This does not mean I am obligated to give a positive review of the camera or lens. My opinions are my own and accurate regarding my experience with the NEX-5R.  #Sony408 #SonyStore

And in case you're curious here's all you need to know to visit the featured locations:

Hakone Estate and Gardens - website
21000 Big Basin Way
Saratoga, CA 95070
Phone: 408-741-4994
There is an $8 admission fee but parking is free

Campbell Heritage Theater - website
1 W. Campbell Avenue
Campbell, California, 95008
Phone: 408-866-2700

Saratoga Library & Central Park Orchards - website
13650 Saratoga Avenue
Saratoga, CA 95070-5099
Phone: 408-867-6126

Final Results from the Sony NEX-5R Unedited408 (4/28/13) with all 50 images.

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