Thursday, December 25, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

A little color in honor of the season! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all!!


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Continuing down memory lane

Pulled out one of my earliest negative sheets (I even still have the contact sheet - one of the first ones I ever printed!) to do some scanning. The image is simple but I still like it. My family was on vacation at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, around 1980. I had my kids down at the motel pool and took this shot of another mother and her daughter. I don't remember the lens but the camera was an Olympus OM-10, the first SLR I ever owned. This was shot on Tri-X and developed in a 1:1 solution of D-76.


 The timing is not bad and the composition is ok but it is just a simple shot of life. The kind of stuff I have tried to capture since getting a "real" camera. Things seem to have gotten crazy these days with all the conflicts, both foreign and domestic, that I kinda yearn for a return to simpler times. My kids were not much older than this little girl (mine were 7, 8, and 11) and still like their mom and dad.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A new direction

I am going down a different path starting this past week. I deleted my flickr account as it has become too much of a distraction. I was spending way too much time looking at everyone else's postings and not enough time spent concentrating on my own work.
I know no one really follows my blog entries and that is ok. It is an outlet for me that I am hoping will put me back on the right track, i.e., one that gets me concentrating on my own photography rather than anyone else's. I have 10 rolls of Tri-X that need developing that I have been procrastinating on for about a year. So I am making a goal to decide on a new developer (can no longer buy HC-110 through B&H or Adorama) and order this week.
Wit that in mind, here is an image that was taken back around the turn of the century at a car show in a mall in Fort Walton Beach, FL.
I believe it was shot with a Olympus OM-4T and Tokina 28-70mm f2.6-2.8 zoom. Great camera and great lens (even though the lens was a heavy beast) on Tri-X, developed in D-76 1:1.
I love the look of film. It looks more real than a lot of the digital stuff that is available these days. And, as I look at the stuff I shot on film, I find my compositions look better than a lot of the digital stuff. Right now I am shooting with an old Yashica Electro35 GS that belonged to my dad. It is making want to get a rangefinder that has a higher top shutter speed (the top speed of the GS is 1/500 second). I find the Zeiss Ikon ZM and Contax G2 (both with a top manual speed of 1/4000 (although the G2 can sometimes go to 1/6000 on auto)) to be something worth looking into. (I had a G2 but never understood how its autofocus worked. The Fuji equipment uses the same AF system and I think I finally have a handle on what I was doing wrong with the G2. I thought it would focus like my SLR/DLSR cameras.) It would mean selling all the Fuji digital gear but that might not be a bad thing. Only time will tell what I decide on.


I plan on spending some time reviewing old images back as far the late 1970's when my wife gave me my first SLR and lens.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Monday, December 8, 2014

Where am I?

I think there are enough clues in the image to make an educated guess as to where this picture was taken.


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Friday, November 14, 2014

I'm just saying!

This guy was a little animated while talking on his phone in the middle of the Square. His posture was what made me hit the shutter button.


Fuji X-E1, XF 1,4/35mm
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

FINISHED!!

Fuji X-E1, 1,4/35mm.


Best I could get on Tuesday.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Repeat

On this Veterans' Day, I thought a repeat was in order. One showing a vet from what has been termed "The Greatest Generation" here in America. I don't remember the gentleman's name (it is somewhere in my notebooks) but he was a crewmember on a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber like this one. This particular aircraft, "Aluminum Overcast", is part of the inventory of the Experimental Aircraft Association. I was fortunate to not only see this aircraft but, as a member of the media, had the chance to take a short flight on this bird.




Here are a couple more from that day (10/6/2003).



As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Look

I would imagine just about every street/documentary/photojournalism shooter has been given "The Look" at some point. Those that have been shooting a while could probably fill a book of just those images. "The Look" ranges from surprise to smiles to frowns to glares.
Here is one from my collection of "Looks" taken in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2004. Not sure what he was thinking but I probably do not want to know.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Friday, November 7, 2014

Just saying "HI!!"

This little guy just wanted to say "Hi!" to anyone that would listen.


And, yes, I am back to my normal boring monochromatic snapshots!!
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A departure from the norm

Anyone who has seen my flickr stream or this blog knows I have posted very few color images and even less images that are in the nature/landscape categories. This particular Japaneses maple is a favorite of my wife's when it changes for its fall colors. I took a dozen or so shots and this is the one I liked best. Hope everyone north of the equator are enjoying their fall colors as well!


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Monday, November 3, 2014

What's the point?

Ever since having "retirement" forced on me when I was laid off three months before my 65th birthday, I have maintained a website, been active on flickr & facebook, and started this blog. But I am beginning to wonder exactly what I expect from those activities.
The host for my website charges a yearly fee but the site gets very little, if any, traffic. With flickr, I am still paying the yearly "professional" fee to keep my stream free of advertisements. This blog & facebook, however, cost nothing other than a little time (and I have a fair amount of that). So, today I began to wonder why spend the money if I am not doing anything as a working professional anymore? On a fixed income, it seems a little stupid. Dropping things like a website & flickr would not affect anything I am doing. Now dropping flickr, I could always come back and set up a free stream and let the ads show up.
About the only thing I would like to do, is a few exhibitions locally and review almost 40 years worth of analog and digital images to do a few books. To that end, here are the three books I have completed in the last month after a couple of years of review.


(Can be seen at http://blur.by/XwT6oy)


(Can be seen at http://blur.by/1Cx86Rd)


(Can be seen at http://blur.by/1wo3XyQ)
Marketing of myself is one of my biggest failings. I have always had trouble treating photography as a "business". But without marketing and treating this effort as business, I am just pouring money down a black hole. I am sure many of you have seen "great photographers" and you look at their work and say "what?" Even looking at what I consider some of the greats, I see images in retrospectives of their work that make me question why they used a particular image.
But such is life.
I have bought copies of each of these books for my own book collection that someday will be passed on the my heirs. Maybe they will become one of a kind editions!! But, more than likely, they will be something my kids and grandkids can look at and say that I had a good time taking photographs.
In the meantime, I need to continue to go back through the rolls of film and the digital images for photos that speak to me in some way and that I want to either make part of a book or do a print for posterity.
To me, if the image is not on something tangible (book or print), then it is a waste. And, trust me, I have thousands of images sitting on external drives or in a cabinet that are really a waste.
So I am at a turning point. I really need to see what kind of return I am expecting by keeping up a website, or posting to flickr, or even posting to this blog. Then I can focus my efforts where they make the most sense.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Friday, October 31, 2014

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween night!!


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

PSYCHO!

Seen in the town square on Tuesday.  Fuji X-E1 & XF 1,4/35mm. Window sticker caught my eye and I couldn't resist.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tilt

Slowly, I am starting to get myself to shoot differently than the way I always have done. I used to always look for something that would be publishable in a newspaper environment. This simple image works for me as I just look to document my surroundings with or without people. I have never been much of a nature/landscape photographer as I have always been inspired by the early photojournalists/documentary shooters of the 20th century.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

In his own world

I am still gathering shots for my "Always Connected" project. Today's is one I ran across in my archives. This young lad was standing in the middle of a street in a resort area in the Florida Panhandle. People just seem to lose track of their surroundings these days as they get so hooked on the devices they are carrying around. We have all seen the YouTube videos of people falling in ponds, running into poles or other people, etc. Those can be quite funny but then you toss in the ones where people have been more interested in their latest text message that they forget they are driving at 70mph on a crowded interstate.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

In Passing

For the past 18 months or so, I have been working on several retrospectives that I have put into books. I did it mostly to make presents for my family (kids and wife) and expect these books to be one-of-a-kind "limited" editions (because the costs through online publishing are HIGH!). And that is ok.
But it has been fun to rummage through my archives to come up with images for each of the three books I have done to date. As I went through old images, I had other themes come to mind that I am working on.
This image is on a theme I have dubbed "In Passing". As I look at this shot, I am not sure if I consciously did this or it was just a reaction. It was shot with a Nikon D2H (my main bodies for a decade) and a Tokina 4,0/12-24mm DX lens (which was one of my favorite lenses).
For me, this image really works for the "In Passing" theme. Using a wide angle (18mm in full frame terms) like this, it gives good DOF even wide open. And this is something I have been working to produce with my Fuji cameras and shooting only 35mm and 50mm focal lengths (in FF). Not an easy task when you are used to shooting differently for 35 years!



As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Land of plenty

As I walked through the local market, I was stunned by the assortment of goods available.
I was also amazed how we take things for granted. We turn on a faucet and we have drinkable water. We go to the market and there are numerous selections available. To see all the images from around the world that show devastation of all kinds and to not really have a clue as to what people are surviving through.
Yet we cannot imagine not having access this style in our society. Here are just a couple of images that show the abundance of goods that most people in the States think nothing of. They just expect it.



As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Monday, October 13, 2014

46 years and counting!


Tomorrow (10-14-2014) I will get to celebrate my 46th anniversary with this lovely lady. She has hung in there with me even when I did stupid things. The image with her having the glasses (my first pair of glasses!) on her head was taken with the first camera she ever bought me - an Olympus OM-10 w/50mm lens on Tri-X film. The one of her laughing at the grocery store is a more recent shot taken with my latest camera, a digital Fuji x-E1. It took a while but I think she has gotten used to me taking photos of her. Thanks for all the memories. I hope for another 46 years!


This one was taken with the first SLR she bought me - an Olympus OM-10 with a Zuiko 1,8/50mm lens. Over the years I have upgraded my equipment but she has been the constant in my life. She hung in through 8+ years of submarine service, bouncing around the country as I took different jobs, hanging in with me when our oldest son died in a single car accident, and even taking a leap of faith in quitting our jobs and six-figure income to go and be beach bums for a while.


With an Olympus OM-4T and Tokina 2,8/80-200mm on Tri-X


Nikon D2H with a Nikkor 3,5-5,6/18-200mm.


And, finally, a Fuji X-E1 with Fuji 1,4/35mm.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Woo Hoo!

Since leaving the newspaper biz and eventually selling my Nikon DSLR bodies and lenses and shifting to mirrorless, I have had to adjust from shooting for publication and more for enjoyment. When working, I always had a camera with me but it was different. To carry something like that today into, like this shot shows, a grocery, would have been a little conspicious. Now with the little Fuji cameras, I feel more comfortable always having a camera with me.
This shot, as I said, is from our local grocery. As my wife and I went about our shopping, I noticed the "Woo Hoo" sign in the cart. Now I needed something to work with it. that is when I spotted this young lady.
Sometimes I bring the camera to my eye, sometimes I shot from the hip. This shot is of the latter category.



I do believe I am getting more comfortable with the little Fuji X100S and "seeing" what it sees. While not perfectly aligned, it is, as an editor once told me, "good enough".
Maybe in a year or so I will no longer wish I had my Nikons and the variety of focal lengths.....
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

STOP

Fuji X100S, Carrollton, GA, Burson Feed & Seed


Just a run of the mill snapshot.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Close quarters

Fuji X100S, Taste of Villa Rica food festival
This couple seemed to have little desire for the food that was available.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

In the air

Went to a local food festival this weekend. Found this guy from a local pizzeria doing hand-tossed pizzas on site. Did not try the pizza but he seemed to be enjoying himself. I was shocked to see a trailer with a pair of pizza ovens in it. Kinda cool.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Sunday, October 5, 2014

You don't have to leave home.....

Yesterday, while my wife was attending a writers' workshop at the local arts center, I did my usual roaming around the small downtown square searching for images. As usual, I stopped in at the local used bookstore to see if there was anything new in the photo section. I am always looking for photobooks. Not ones that are about gear or composition but ones that are monographs of a photographer's work. I found two such manuscripts yesterday. One on Edouard Boubat by Bernard George (with a copyright date of 1972 - 42 years old!) and "Photo Op" by David Hume Kennerly.
I started my through Kennerly's monograph first and learned several things about him. One, he is my age. We are both part of the class of 1965 making us 67 years old and approaching our 50th high school reunions next year. He was fortunate to find a path in his photo life much earlier than I as he began working for a daily newspaper shortly after high school and his career went up from there including winning the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography at the ripe old age of 25.
As I made my way through his life as a photojournalist (a word he seems to have problems with), I notice a distinct difference from his thoughts that were centered more on himself and the opportunities he had as he made his way through his photographic life. I began to feel a little unsettled about the writing to go with the images. He seemed almost arrogant or conceited. I had never felt these emotions about another photographer that was my own age and that I should have found inspiring.
As I continued through Kennerly's book, I happened upon an image that suddenly struck a chord with me. It was during the time of Watergate scandal in 1972. By this time, Kennerly had covered the war in Southest Asia and returned to cover politics in Washington, D.C. while I was serving as a sonar technician onboard fast attack nuclear submarines from 1968 to 1976.
The image that caught my eye was one of that showed a young woman holding an "IMPEACH NIXON" placard with two men walking through the frame in the background with a "FELLOW AMERICANS SUPPORT OUR PRESIDENT" sign.
I remembered a similar image that I was to catch three decades later in Seaside, FL, as I was freelancing for a weekly newspaper and fulfilling my dream of being a newspaper photographer. My image also shows two political signs depicting a person's emotions about the current president, George W. Bush, in 2004.


The thought that suddenly came to mind was something that I had happened on when looking for some inspiration. I ran across a book, "Photosynthesis", by Bryan Moss. Moss had worked as a newspaper photographer some 40 years but had traveled a much different path in his career. He worked for numerous papers both large and small even earning a share of two Pulitizer Prize awards.
But it is Moss's approach to photojournalism that is so very different from Kennerly's that appeals to me. His focus is on the so-called "little guy" in our world. I am sure he could have traveled the world looking for the next "big" opportunity but he chose instead to focus on the common man and the importance of covering ordinary people with extraordinary images.
Whenever I feel a little down, I re-read "Photosynthesis" for inspiration.
Where Kennerly's photo of the Watergate signs was shot with the fence surrounding the White House in the background, my shot is just ordinary people in a common resort area of the Florida Panhandle.
But it proves the point that Moss made in his book. You don't have to travel to the ends of the earth to find iconic images. This is one of my "iconic" images". I will never be a famous news shooter such as Kennerly or any of the others that have a desire to be on the front lines of the next conflict. And that is all right. During my ten years supporting that small weekly newspaper, I had images published that some people still have hanging on their walls or posted under a magnet on their refrigerators.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

UNCORKED at Plates

Rummaging through some images from earlier this year and this one caught my eye. I suddenly saw a nice black&white image imbedded in the RAW color file.


Shot with a Fuji X-E1 & 1,4/35mm lens and processed through CS6 w/Silver Efex Pro 2 with a yellow filter.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...