The campus of UCSD is some of the best modern architecture in San Diego, and I often will just randomly wander the campus capturing all of the lines and angles. Over the past couple of years, I’ve captured a lot of images I really love. There is no real purpose to it other than my own artistic satisfaction, but I will say it has improved my compositional skills with each visit. The other night I randomly clicked on a UCSD location tag on Instagram out of curiosity. It is definitely interesting to see how other artists utilize the campus in their works. One image that struck me was of the Revelle College breezeway between Bonner and Mayer halls. While I feel relatively familiar with the general layout of UCSD visually, I don’t have any of the specific colleges or buildings names’ memorized. So when I first saw a photo of the breezeway I couldn’t think of where that would be on the campus. As it turned out, there was a bit of a pocket of buildings I had somehow explored all around, but never inside. And that’s where the breezeway is. Anyhow, the other day I went back to find the breezeway and photograph it. These were all shot with the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical SE, and the Tokina FiRIN 20mm f/2 FE MF manual focus lenses on a Sony A7RIII. I am really enjoying using manual focus lenses on these Sony cameras. There is a sense of accomplishment that I get when creating something with a manual focus lens.
SDSU isn’t quite an architectural wonder like UCSD is, but it’s still a pretty cool campus. We have been doing headshots for one of their departments for a while, but all of our assignments for them never really took us on much of a campus tour. Of course, when you’re pushing around my loaded gear cart you don’t really complain about things like that. The other day I took a stroll and I saw some parts of the campus that I’d never seen before.
UCSD (especially for San Diego), is a particularly photogenic place. Obviously, since the pandemic hit there has been a big shift in my personal photography from model stuff to urban landscapes, architecture, and minimalism. I really want to get back to photographing people, but I have enjoyed stepping back from it for a bit. In addition to discovering I liked this sort of photography more than I thought I did – I also have discovered that the experience is even more Zen and rewarding with manual focus lenses. This was the first time I did a photo walk with both the Tokina 20mm f/2, and the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2. I’m finding this 20/40mm combo to be really awesome. And as I was typing this I was thinking it would be cool to have a 60mm manual focus with macro capabilities… damnit brain.