Taking a shot, revisited.

shots143.jpg

In print, once again.

My photo “Mushroom” was published in the Spring 2019 issue of Shots Magazine – Ordinary Magic / no. 143

I’m very happy about that.

Creativity.

Paper and Light

Ideas, influence, and inspiration.

The co-founder of The North Austin Pfotographic Society, Josh Baker, gave a super-animated prezzy on creativity at last night’s monthly meeting.

There were a lot of great take-aways, from his use of storyboards and sketches, knowing and breaking rules, to taking advantage of spontaneous situations. Josh’s work is large-scale, and he talked about all the planning that kind of photography demands.

At a couple of points in the presentation, he spoke briefly about inspiration, which I think could be the subject of a whole ‘nutha meeting.

It was an excellent talk!

I do think we’re all influenced by our surroundings, and by filling my life with things I love, the work I do is a direct reflection of my interests.

Plus, my interest in photography is more out of curiosity and experimentation – not business – so I tend to look at things on a much smaller scale. I’m not saying big is bad, I just don’t have the budget, the gear, or the network a working professional has.

But small scale doesn’t mean you can’t be creative.

In September of 2005, I enjoyed an exhibition at San Jose Museum of Art titled “Caja de Visiones/Box of Visions: Manuel Álvarez Bravo.” It was wonderful. The show included about 50 black-and-white photographs.

There were a couple of Álvarez Bravo’s images that I found to be so totally different from the the rest of the exhibit, almost out of place, but demonstrated a playful side. They were pictures of paper, folded and bent.

I was excited to try something similar using a Lensbaby 2 that I’d added to my kit. I’d done a series of macros of a plastic rainbow Slinky earlier that Summer and was happy with the results.

Wash machine

One evening I ventured out to the garage with my camera, the Lensbaby, a small LED flashlight, and this idea.

Working on top of our wash machine, I cut a 3/8″ x 14″ piece of layout bond and curled it tightly around an exacto knife handle, let it fall on a piece of black construction paper and made some slight adjustments to the arrangement.

I then pointed an LED flashlight from various angles at the resulting composition and pulled the Lensbaby away from the camera body to get a closer crop.

The experiment was a success.

Of the eleven images made, I had three of them printed, matted, and framed.

Paper and Light 1

Paper and Light 3

Paper and Light 3

Rusty shutters #2.

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Pentax *ist D.

The Pentax *ist D was my first digital SLR. We’re talking 2006, some 13 years ago.

I’d looked at all available options at the time and concluded that the bodies of the Nikon and Canon offerings were just way too big.

The *ist D weighs less, is easier to hold, and compact in comparison. That was enough to sell me on going down the Pentax path.

I still use this camera today, mostly for TtV. It’s been well taken care of. Seriously. Except for the smallish rubber cover for the cable release socket falling off, this camera looks brand new.

The *ist D is powered by four rechargeable AA nickel metal hydride batteries, and I’m using an original speedy Lexar 80x 2GB Compact Flash card.

The menu system and camera controls are easy to use and the viewfinder works just fine. The small LCD display is only functional for the menu system and playback, not for framing up a shot. It was 2006, remember?

I have a decent collection of lenses for this camera, both Pentax and Sigma, but Sigma’s 28-135mm 3.5-5.6 macro gets the most use. The SMC Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4 is a close second.

I also have a few different K-mount Lensbaby lenses, the most recent being their Composer Pro with mainly the Sweet 35 optic.

Red earring, Princess Ally, Yellow, Pink tutus, Spring Clean.

Resolution: 6.1 megapixels
Max image size – 3008 x 12008
Display: 1.8in LCD @ 118,000 pixels
ISO: 200, 400, 800, 1600
Shutter Speeds: 30 sec – 1/4000 sec
Metering: Multi-segment, center-weighted, spot
Dimensions: 5in x 3.7in x 2.3in
Weight: 18 oz
Power: 4 AA batteries
Memory card: CompactFlash