Saturday, October 20, 2012

At the hospital

Dr. Phillips Hospital
Personal

I'm going through pre-op right now (blood, x-rays) for a new awesome cyborg left knee replacement on November 2nd. I've been living with this gimpy human left knee for over a year. Last November it went to hell in a hand basket right after I flew up to Ann Arbor on a business trip. The weekend after I returned I wound up in an emergency room unable to really use the stupid thing. After months of medication and physical therapy it's finally come down to surgery and a partial knee replacement. Today I drove to Dr. P. Phillips hospital with my scripts and my NEX 5N with an OM 2.8/28mm to take care of everything.

The original scripts had me going to Quest Diagnostics here in Orlando for the blood work. I've been to Quest in the past and I've not been particularly happy. To walk into a Quest is to walk into a location that looks like it's seen better days. Dirty carpets, stained furniture, scruffy walls. It makes me wonder if I'll catch something like MRSA or even if they'll properly collect and do my blood work. That's the primary reason I went to Dr. Phillips, as well as the fact it's a part of the overall ORMC (Orlando Regional Medical Center) network, as is my doctor who ordered these tests for me. Everything will go into the network and be available to him.

Photographic

I am back to working with black and white again, this time with the Sony NEX 5N. I recieved an OM to NEX Fotodiox adapter last Thursday, and I've been using it ever since. Today I went with the OM 2.8/28mm mounted on the 5N. The APS-C sensor gives the lens an effective focal length of 42mm, which to me is just something awesome. Unfortunately, I don't think the 28mm is living up to the awesome focal length number.

Maybe it's just the sensor showing how the 28mm really performs, as I get closer and closer to a regular 35mm-sized frame (APS-C is about half-way there). Maybe it's due to a stronger-than-usual anti-aliasing filter over the sensor. Maybe it's me now knowing what I'm doing. Whatever the reason, I'm less than thrilled with this combination. Part of it is most certainly focusing. Of all the frames I exposed this is one of a few that turned out close enough in sharpness to satisfy me. The others I took were flat-out out-of-focus. This in spite of using the 5N's focus peaking. I thought both lenses performed better with the Pen's and regular 4/3rds bodies, but when I went back and looked at everything with a critical eye I didn't see anything that wasn't that much better. Yes, it was better, but I saw plenty of flaws (sharpness and clarity) in the Pen-derived photos as well. I absolutely refuse to lay blame on the camera when I know how imperfect I am as a photographer. I'm just not happy with the results, especially the very low keeper rate.

Part of the reason for going black-and-white is all the incredible black-and-white photography I've seen lately. Two very recent examples of this are Vivian Maier (I now own a copy of "Street Photographer") via The Online Photographer and Dennis Darling via The Visual Science Lab.

My attempt is to create the long rich tonality of black and white film and print in digital, with a nice balance of texture and plenty of pleasing mid-tones. There are, of course, plenty of black and white counter-examples (low key and high key begin to give you some ideas), but for the time being I'll concentrate on this particular look. That's what I like.

The photo of Dr. Phillips was taken with the NEX-5N and the OM 2.8/28mm set at f/4. The NEX was set for standard color and DRO auto. Post processing was done in Lightroom 4.2 and Silver Efex Pro 2.