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Showing posts from April, 2013

rubester

Taken the same time as "party of two", this photo of just Ruby shows why I prefer sepia over neutral black and white. There's just more life in the sepia output, and the dark areas are truly dark. Part of this is the composition, but part of it is the internal tinting that takes place. Both of these (rubester and party of two) were taken with the E-PL2 and Panasonic 14mm at f/2.8. Foreground/background separation is rather nice. Again none of this was retouched; SOOC.

Love me, love my Labs.

party of two

Can't get through a TV program without the Labs showing up. It's showering again this evening so everybody came in to be with me. I'm watching "Dinotasia", narrated by Werner Herzog (who sounds an awful lot like Christopher Lambert). The Labs keep looking at the TV whenever the dinosaurs roar, then turn around to look at me as if to ask "what was that?" I guess Labs don't like dinosaurs.

who cares?

This is going to be a rather cruel post, so if you're of a sensitive nature I advise you to turn away now.

OK?

The internet photo forums are abuzz with discontinuance of the Hasselblad 503CW, the last of the V series. According to the official Hasselblad press release;
“Everything has its place in time. The veteran 503CW combined with an extensive V System range of interchangeable lenses and accessories, was for seventeen years, the camera of choice for discerning professionals and aspirational amateur photographers.

But there has been a substantial decline in demand for this camera over the past five years or so and the time has now come for us to reluctantly consign the V System to history. In so doing we would like to thank all fans and customers for both their loyalty and their enthusiasm for our legacy Hasselblad V System.” The 503CW was and is a dinosaur, even during the fading heyday of film. I remember a close friend of mine who worked with me at Wallis Kamera Haus back …

tinkering

The Olympus E-PL2 was introduced in late 2010 as the follow-on camera to the E-PL1. It's the slightly down-market version of the E-P2, even though it was introduced about a year after the E-P2. It's smaller and chunkier than the E-P2 (and E-P3) and has a much more distinctive grip, which in spite of its smaller size compared to the E-P2 makes it the easier camera to grasp. With a pancake lens mounted on it (14mm, 15mm, 17mm, or 20mm) the total combination makes for a small nifty package that can challenge anything you care to throw at it, including the fixed prime compacts from Fuji and Ricoh. For my plebeian tastes the E-PL2 and Panasonic 14mm makes for a quite satisfying e28mm class camera.

I've been back to tinkering with the internal settings of the camera. I've set the Custom tone (Menu - First Camera - Picture Mode - Custom) to Monochrome (Picture Mode), Contrast to +2, Sharpness to +1, B&W Filter to Green, Picture Tone to Sepia, and Gradation to Auto. I set…

shutter therapy sunday, part deu

I drove to Gainesville Florida today to visit my oldest daughter and drop some items off for her. We stayed long enough in Gainesville to do a quick visit, a quick round of hugs, some very brief conversation, and return a pair of Crocs (shoes) at a local Kohls before heading back to Orlando. It's a two hour trip one way; we'd left the Labs back at the house (this, after their morning walk, feed and water, and a final trip out to the back yard). So we had to get back home at a reasonable time.

While I was waiting for my wife to return the shoes I walked around the Kohls' parking lot grabbing some environmental/architectural photos of the store and its immediate environs. I was using the Olympus E-PL2, Panasonic 14mm, and the E-PL2's dramatic tone art filter. Today's lens setting was f/4, two stops down from the 15mm body cap lens.
All three of these are from the store and immediately next to it. I've reached a point where I want to move away from dramatic tone …

shutter therapy saturday

I have been living in interesting times for the past few weeks. I'll get into more details in a later post, but suffice it to say I'm no longer in Kansas, at least career-wise. And so I've been working quietly but extensively in the background, coming up with a plan for what to do next with the rest of my life.

Today I went out on a shutter therapy break, using an Olympus E-PL2 and the f/8 15mm body cap lens. I'm still enamored with the dramatic tone art filter, which is what I set the E-PL2 to use. I also turned off autofocus (it's certainly not needed) and turned off "autochimp mode" by turning REC VIEW off in the menu (Menu -> Wrench (or Spanner for you Brits) -> REC VIEW and then turn down the time to briefly display until it's zero). With all of that the E-PL2 executes as quickly as a film camera. It becomes a true point-and-shoot but with a nice big sensor.

Most of the photos were taken on today's trip from a Jersey Mike's at Conw…

selfie saturday

For whatever reason there's been a spate of articles published on the Internets about digital camera self portraits, or selfies, and What It All Means. There is in particular a recent essay published on Luminous Landscape (LuLa to those of us In The Know) titled "The Age of Narcissism – Digitized, Homogenized." It's the kind of essay I might have been assigned in a freshman college English course. It's an earnest attempt to show how narcissistic we've become in this digital domain, aided and abetted by the twin devil spawn of Facebook and Instagram. So here's my nominal addition this culture's "narcissistic pandemic." If there's any saving grace to these photos, it's that they aren't on Facebook and they haven't been produced by Instagram.


Technical

Produced over the years with Olympus Pens. The top was produced with the Olympus E-PL2 and the Panasonic Leica 25mm, the middle with the Olympus E-P2 and the Panasonic Lumix 20mm,…

a camera out of left field

Blackmagic Design's Pocket Cinema Camera caught me by surprise when I first read about it on Thom Hogan's sansmirror.com web site. Up until yesterday I was pretty well settled about not buying any new camera gear, until I came across this announcement. What's scary is that the $995 suggested price isn't a problem with me. My first line of defense, my inherent cheapskateness, has failed to protect me and my wallet.

What is remarkable (to me) about this camera is that it appears, on paper at least, to be a real digital cinema camera, not a stills camera with video bolted onto the side. I'm certainly no video expert, but I've been dabbling in video with the Pens as well as the NEX-5N. And I have not been particularly satisfied with the results. I'm now going to commit the timeless amateur photographer's sin by saying that I would get better results by buying a different piece of equipment. I'd be the first to look askance at anyone making that kind of…

red day in a red state

Technical

Sony NEX-5N with Sigma 2.8/19mm. Post in LR 4 and Color Efex 4.

what i want in a camera i finally have

I have over the last few years written about my wants in a camera. And then today, for whatever reason, I realized I pretty much have what I've yearned for. How did that happen, you ask? The sensors, specifically the Sony sensors, came along and gave me pretty much all I ever asked for with regards to image quality, my biggest want. In particular, the sensors in the NEX-5N and E-M5. They're pretty well matched where it matters to me. Yes, yes, the NEX-5N scores slightly higher numerically than the E-M5 according to DxOMark, but in practical use, they're essentially equal, and compared to the three Pens in my collection, they are well beyond what I'd been working with in regards to overall sensor capability. And to be honest the Pens aren't all the bad to start with.

ModelDxOMark scorecolor depth, bitsexposure range, EVlow-light, ISOYear announcedNEX-5N7723.612.710792011E-M57122.812.38262012E-PL25521.410.25732010E-PL15521.510.14872010E-P25621.410.45052009
As you'…

nexxie sunday

I was supposed to go to the spring Fiesta in the Park at Lake Eola today. My wife went downtown to the Bob Carr to watch Madama Butterfly with a friend. On the way back I intended to stop at the Fiesta and walk through, looking for photographic opportunities. But as I drove near where it was being held I found no place to park except for all the little spots near apartments and other small parking lots where local folk had set up for-pay parking starting at $5 a pop and up. That pretty much killed any desire I had to visit. Instead I drove on down to a Burger King on Orange, near Michigan, and spent $5 on a basic lunch.
What is interesting about the current Burger King stores are the new, nineteen-fiftyish style the stores are all adopting. Lots of bright colors, primarily bright oranges, with vinyl coverings on seat bottoms and backs. I don't know why they'd choose this particular design motif, but it reminds me of older places I used to eat at when I was a kid living in Atl…

early saturday

Saturday morning started way too early for me. My Saturdays are sacrosanct; I consider it, along with Sunday, to be my days of rest. But my wife had an early morning MRI appointment at Florida Hospital. So I woke us both up while it was still dark, even for daylight savings time, and drove us both to the appointment.
The MRI waiting room was done up in classic Florida Hospital tans and browns. I suppose they carried out some sort of study and decided this had a calming effect on people waiting in their waiting rooms. Or maybe it was picked because it's the cheapest. Regardless, I got to sit for nearly two hours while they ran all the tests on my wife. I'd brought my Nexus 7 tablet with me, and settled down reading my Analog and Asimov science fiction magazines via the Nook app. In the background a large flat panel TV was playing episode after episode (no commercial interruptions!) of Law and Order, from the seasons with Jerry Orbach as Det. Lennie Briscoe. It's kind of ha…

mastering mediocrity, part 2

This afternoon on the way home from work I was running btween Best Buy stores from my work side of town to the location in West Oaks Mall, looking for any of the iPad 3's that Best Buy had put on sale in the middle of the week. As bad luck would have it, there weren't any more to be had. I should have expected this; Best Buy is too well known for having too-good-to-be-true sales on very limited stock quantities. I first learned that lesson on a Black Friday back in the mid-1990s at the West Oaks Best Buy, after getting there and waiting three hours before the store opened. By the time I finally got into the store on that particular Black Friday morning, all the special low-priced notebooks that were advertised the day before were gone, and the store had only been open fifteen minutes by the time I walked in the front door. I swore back then I'd never shop at any Best Buy unless I had no other choice. Today I should have stuck to my original resolve.

On the way out of the …

mastering mediocrity

There are two kinds of photographers; those who label themselves as enthusiasts, and everybody else. The everybody else category includes pros and amateurs and snap shooters who don't care about the endless minutiae that enthrall the true enthusiast and drive them to pontificate endlessly on multiple fora around the Internets.

Photography enthusiasts will spend nearly endless sums on expensive gear of every strip because they can, in pursuit of ever diminishing returns. Everybody else spends only what is really necessary to get the job done. If it happened to cost a lot at the time, then that's what it costs.

I tend to fall somewhere in the middle of those two categories. I'd probably be an enthusiast if my wallet could stand it, but I'm constrained by budgetary realities. I tend to feed the enthusiast beast within by picking up the odd little piece of gear when it's been marked down; my inner enthusiast doesn't care, or at least that's what it tells itsel…