Autumn Colors on Ophir Pass, one of Jeep's easier 'Badge of Honor' trails.
Ophir Pass, San Juan Range, Colorado. Recent retirement of a previous vehicle – replaced with the Jeep Wrangler – has opened new possibilities of reaching deeper into Colorado’s back country.

As the move toward developing personal projects accelerates I thought it might be helpful to identify the ecosystem that has been in development for years, and I suppose – try to figure out just what the heck I’m doing. Some may have come to the F6 Project from my other project, Blue Hour Journal. Since providing a “Become a Patron” button, I figured it might help to identify just what you’re becoming a patron of.

Sol Duc River, Olympic National Park, Washington. The trusty Subaru is in someone else’s care now and I’ve moved on to the vehicle I’ve wanted for years, the Jeep Wrangler.

Essentially, there are two creative web efforts: The F6 Project, and Blue Hour Journal.

The F6 Project is a web site focused on one camera, the Nikon F6 35mm film camera – and to a lesser extent how it relates to other (Nikon) cameras. I use many cameras, but this particular camera occupies a special role.

But let’s face it: camera geekery is only for certain people. And – often times I’m working with other cameras either along side the F6 or instead of. Rather than confuse the focus of the F6 Project with non-F6 related information, Blue Hour Journal was born to include everything else.

Blue Hour Journal is camera agnostic and a place to drift between topics without constraint. This approach helps keep the F6 Project focused on the F6.

Being the last – and the best – 35mm film camera built, the F6 occupies a unique role in the history of cameras, film cameras and photography. Its useful lifespan extends beyond mine (!) and with such a deep feature set is worthy of devoting the time and attention to fully understand. Because of this I’m choosing to keep the site pointed at one target, the F6.

Because I’ve worked with the F6 for almost 15 years now, and continue to use it regularly – it seems there’s always something new to learn. For example how it works with certain lens combinations and accessories. There’s much to write about and so many things I’d like to do with the F6 Project.

As of 2021 the addition of a Jeep Wrangler has opened up new avenues – literally – of exploration. In Autumn ’22 a friend and I made our first Jeep trip to the heart of Colorado’s high country in the San Juan Range. To say my eyes were opened to new photographic possibilities would be an understatement. Integrating these two passions – Photography & Jeep life – to see what new frontiers may be photographed brings fresh excitement.

I’ve stepped away from all social media…

Some might consider this a bad move from a PR perspective. After all, how does one ‘promote’ the F6 Project if not for social media? Like other things I suppose I think about it differently. I found social media diverted my limited discretionary time and energy away from the two web efforts I care most about. Working full time as a 3D Animation & Video Producer with a business to run and family to support leaves only so many hours in a day. So this little side project, personally financed by me for nearly 15 years, is a labor of love. Look around. There are no adds, and it’s not underwritten or sponsored by anyone.

I suppose I optimistically imagine anyone who’s interested in the information on this site will search for and find it on their own. My job is to make sure when people do it’s worth their time. That’s where your help comes in. Recently a loyal reader from the UK made a generous contribution, translating directly into the ability to carve out time for much needed updates, new content and a few other goodies coming up. I’m not kidding when I say thank you for your contribution. It really does make a noticeable difference.

Photographing fall colors in Gunnison National Forest.
Photographing fall colors in Gunnison National Forest, Colorado. (Photo courtesy of Dan Smith)

Like a crock pot, I tend to throw stuff in and let it cook for a while, not 100% certain what the end result will be. The F6 Project’s ingredients are a lot of (film) photography, some technique, a little philosophy, a dash of history and some interesting(?) anecdotes all stirred together with a dash of inspiration.

Aspen leaf amidst bracken ferns, Gunnison National Forest, Colorado

If you’ve made it all the way here, thanks.

Though I do my best to separate photography from my day job as a 3D Animation and Video Producer, it turns out that many aspects of creativity are shared between photography and animation. Much of my work is a form of highly structured, procedural creativity. This is required – given the nature of and methods used – to produce this type of work.

But there’s a whole ‘nother side to creativity not enslaved by process. For me photography is a means to explore; become a student of the world, to use the camera as a tool of discovery, to unlock personal revelation. And – get away from the computer for a while.

We’re all built uniquely, with a unique vision and point of view. The F6 Project and Blue Hour Journal are creative outlets for such exploration.