Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Year Ends

On A Sour Note.
Wishing you all a happy, prosperous, safe and healthy new year. I hope the next 365 brings joy to us all!

Friday, December 30, 2011


I guess I'm losing my memory (or my mind) in my old age. In the previous entry I stated that the Rollei produced a 4.5 x 4.5 negative...I was wrong, it's really a 6 x 6 centimeter frame...duh!


I debated on whether to take a photo and post a shot today...or not! I decided to go ahead and shoot SOMETHING. This is my dad's Rolleicord, made in Germany in the fifties, it was a pretty excellent camera in it's time. Rollei has a long, and well deserved reputation for building fine cameras. This one, the Rolleicord was not the top of the line, by any means, but it was a pretty cool piece of equipment. It featured automated film advance which was rare and it was all done mechanically...there were no batteries so everything was mechanical. There was no light meter so you either used an external meter or guesstimated, relying on experience and the handy little chart on the back plate. Using 120 or 220 roll film, it made a 4.5 x 4.5 centimeter negative or transparency (for slides) and had a red tinted window on the bottom so you could tell how many shots you had left on the roll. The bottom lens was for taking the picture and the top one was for focus...the view, through the focusing lens was reflected upwards, by a mirror, onto a screen made of ground glass. your view of the subject was the same size as the negative. Seems pretty primitive when compared to the modern cameras of today it's was hot stuff!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Several times, I've posted on this blog about my boy, Gimpster. I've shown you a few photos and told you a little about the difficulties of his early days. Gimpster was born with some pretty severe health and development problems...his own mother shunned him and left him to die. I became his surrogate mother and hand fed him and cleaned him up just like a mother would...I don't know, there was just something about him that wouldn't allow me to give up on him. It paid off big time and he became a wonderful companion. Here's a picture of him as a pup, in Sept of 05...he was about six months old in this shot and bearing few signs that he'd had so many problems at birth. Gimpster passed away last night as we slept, leaving a huge hole in my heart...he had shown no signs of illness or distress...just here and happy one day and gone the next. I guess his heart just gave out. We buried him this morning out in the back yard, where he'll be in good company. Some folks say there are no dogs in heaven...I say heaven is full of dogs...and damned few humans. I look forward to meeting him at the gates...I know he'll be there, he was always a faithful and loving companion. I won't be worth a damn for a few days but I'll make it...Gimpster wouldn't have it any other way. RIP old friend..... 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Few From The Harbor

One thing hasn't changed at the harbor yet...You can still see birds, bugs, butterflies and flowers. There's not really much in the flower department, they're just about gone for the year...but there are a few still hanging on.

Where there are flowers, there are bugs and the odd, beaten up butterfly.

Sunflowers are few and far between but the operative word is few...there are a few.

Blue sky too!

Little green Lady Bugs

Not a sunflower but a green bug just the same.
All shots were with the Sony 70-200/2.8 ssm today...we're supposed to have great weather for the rest of the week...hope I can make it out again.


Monday, December 26, 2011

See Ya In A Few Days

I won't be posting until after the 28th of the month. Seems that my "unlimited" data plan from Sprint has limits after all and, apparently I have limited out the "unlimited" portion of my plan...These cell and IP hucksters need a good thrashing! My billing period starts over on the 28th of this month so I guess I'll stay off the net till then. Hope everyone had a GREAT Christmas!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

May Your Days Be Merry...And BRIGHT!

Brightest thing I could find for the occasion.
I had the idea to shoot a light bulb the other out the glass cleaner and polished it up real purty...then, tonight when I actually shot it, I didn't even wipe the dust off of it...DUH...Merry Christmas....

Friday, December 23, 2011


Just grass...on a cold, cloudy, windy day at the harbor.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dos Dias Mas...

Dos Dias Mas...two days more...then it's Christmas once more. I went to the harbor this afternoon to shoot the Christmas tree but lo and behold, it wasn't there. The city must be feeling the financial crunch! I figured, since I was there, I'd go ahead and shoot the carving of Christ that covers the front of the Memorial Tower...I know that I said I was going to give the Lensbaby a rest but this seemed like a good subject for it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Republica Dominicana

Could it be that Santa came early?...that he brought me a bundle of Dominican cigars?...could be but Santa was dressed in brown and was driving a truck of the same color! This is another lensbaby shot ...I may give the LB a rest for a few days...I feel the need for speed!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

By The Way...

My mystery post of a few days ago had some good guesses. Wendy got it, it was the window track on the door of a chevy pickup truck.

Lensbaby...Part Two

Another Lensbaby shot...this one is tilted down and to the left so the red boat is in focus. It was a very GRAY day today so the shot reflects that...hey, it's Winter!

Monday, December 19, 2011


A short time ago, while I was doing my indoor alphabet challenge, I posted a picture of my Lensbaby. As I explained in the post, it's a selective focus lens that I hardly ever use anymore (because of my poor eyesight) but just handling it and taking a few shots of it sort of rekindled my interest. I shot this simple little scene to give you the idea of what it does...not a very interesting shot but it shows how the lens can give you an area of sharp focus and blur the rest of the frame. I think I'll devote a few days to this old friend and see if I can come up with anything more interesting!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

'Tis The Season

Winter is upon us and even the sunflowers are giving up. Thought I'd catch a few ...while I can!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cinderella...Texas Style

Glass boot, lone star...Don't Mess With Texas! All we need are the carriage horses that at the stroke of midnight, turn into armadillos!

Friday, December 16, 2011

What Is It?

This little slice of reality is's just the way I shot is it?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Z Is For...

Z is for ZIPPO!
When I remember back to my navy days, seems like everybody carried a ZIPPO lighter...even the guys who didn't smoke. The ZIPPOS were great because you could light them in the wind...a very handy quality when you are at sea! When I was stationed in Pensacola, one of the guys in the barracks was from Bradford, Pennsylvania and his mom worked at the Zippo factory. Every couple of months, she would send us a box of lighters...Thanks again to Brian's mom, that was such a cool thing to do!
Well, my alphabet is complete...what to do, what to do?...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Y Is For...

Y is for YO-YO...from the land of YO. It's not just any ol' YO-YO, it's a Spongebob Squarepants YO-YO and it's wacky! The shaft between the two circles is off center so it wobbles and does crazy's an eccentric Spongebob YO-YO!
Well, one more entry and another alphabet challenge will be in the books...Hmm, Z...that's a toughie!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

X Is For...

X is for SFX!
SFX is a really cool black and white film that's made in England. It has extended sensitivity on the red end of the spectrum of light...this means you can achieve the effects of infrared photography without going through the hassle of using regular infrared film. Infrared is notorious for the difficulties it presents. From loading the film into the camera (which must be done in total darkness) to figuring exposure (harder than Chinese 'rithmetic), darkness again for unloading the camera and developing the film...making the can be a daunting task. SFX gives the infrared effect without most of that have to use a very dark red filter on your lens in order to see those effects...the darker the filter, the stronger the effect. IR photos are pretty cool and certainly dramatic...skies are darkened and foliage is rendered as brilliant white...people are too!

Monday, December 12, 2011

W Is For...

W is for WORCESTERSHIRE sauce!
I like it...but it's one of those things that everybody seems to pronounce differently. I'm not sure which version is correct so I generally just try to avoid mentioning it in that the coward's way out? I shouldn't divulge this on a public forum but it's one of the ingredients in my "secret" B-B-Q sauce...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

V Is For...

V is for VANILLA!
Good stuff...Others might like fancier, more exotic flavors but vanilla is my favorite for ice cream, shakes...etc!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

U Is For...

U is for UV filters!
Back in the day, UV filters were an important part of the photographers arsenal...not so much anymore. Unlike the human eye, most of the older films were sensitive to the full spectrum of light. Ultra violet light could cause the film to fog so the UV filter was used to attenuate these frequencies. Modern films and digital sensors aren't as susceptible to this effect so UV protection isn't the priority it used to be. UV filters can still be used to protect the front element of the lens but be careful in choosing one...the uncoated variety can cause glare. Most modern filters have coatings to prevent that but not all of, let the buyer beware.

Friday, December 9, 2011

T Is For

T is for TMAX and TRI-X!
These are my favorite black and white films. TMAX 100 is very fine grained and needs a lot of light...400 is a good all-around film for most conditions and 3200 is FAST! It's used for shooting in the (almost) dark. TRI-X is my all time favorite...contrasty with a lot of edge, TRI-X excells at many things...a long time favorite of newspaper photographers and other photojournalists, TRI-X had the reputation of getting the shot, no matter how bad the conditions. TRI-X has been around for close to 70 years and it's still the film that all other black and white films are compared to. It set the standard "way back when" and it's still the king of the jungle! The digital age has pushed these films into the background but they're still in production...and still going strong!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

S Is For...

S is for SONY!
There is no more Minolta camera I guess I'm a Sony guy now! There's still a lot of Minolta DNA in these cameras so I guess it's not all bad.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

R Is For...

R is for REFLEX!
This is from my 500mm reflex lens...reflex, in this context, is just another name for a mirror lens. I've had this old Minolta lens for quite a few years. Sony continued the manufacture of this lens after the Minolta take over but they discontinued it's production earlier this year...BUMMER...many manufacturers build reflex lenses but the Minolta/Sony was in a class of it's own. It was the only mirror lens to feature automatic focus. That was a pretty impressive bit of engineering!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Q Is For...

Q is for Salsa Con QUESO...Yum!
To quote Forrest Gump: "That's all I have to say about that".

Monday, December 5, 2011

P Is For...

P is for PEAK!
This is a Peak focussing enlarger from back in my film days. When you make a print using an enlarger, focus is, of course, critical. This is a 10X enlarger and it lets you focus down to the grain of the film...ah, those good old days!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

O Is For...

O is for Olives!
Are you getting the idea that I'm getting desperate for subject matter? Two days in a row shooting canned goods? I'm not really desperate, I just naturally gravitate to food...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

N Is For...

N is for NOODLE!
Hey, Andy Warhol made a kazillion bucks from his image of a can of Campbell's Soup...what will you give for this one? The bidding is open!

Friday, December 2, 2011

M Is For...

M is for MINOLTA!
My one true love?
This tiny little logo resides on the side of my 500/8 reflex.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

L Is For...

L is for LENSBABY!
First of all, I beg forgiveness for posting yet another picture of a dusty subject...pressed for time and got in a hurry. The lensbaby is a selective focus lens. I've had it for a long time but seldom use it anymore. The lens element is mounted on a bellows...only the center of the lens produces sharp, focused images...that "sweet spot" can be placed in various parts of the frame by moving the bellows up, down, from side to side or by a combination of those movements. The size of the sweet spot can be changed by changing the aperture discs. wide open, only a small portion of the image is in focus but at f22, most of the frame is sharp. It's a lens that offers a lot of options and some great effects...but it's all manual control and my poor vision limits what I can do with it...darn it!