Up early, with a twist.

Greetings

GTX Photo Fest.

6 a.m. is when I usually get up, but my normal routine includes downing a travel mug of coffee and computer time until 8-ish.

Not so today. I had to be out the door by 7:30 a.m.

Today was the 1st (and hopefully annual) Georgetown Photo Festival.

But let me back up a minute.

I decided to take only my TtV rig with me today.

It’d been a while since I shot Through the Viewfinder and I thought this event would be a perfect fit. Last night I spent a good two hours getting my gear ready – charging batteries, checking camera settings, clearing and formatting the CF card in the ol’ Pentax *ist D – so it’d be a grab-and-go kind of thing after morning coffee and such.

I was ready. And everything worked out perfectly. Wake up. Coffee. Shower. Go.

Georgetown, TX is up the road about 17 minutes, if the traffic signal gods are on my side.

I got to the town square about 10 minutes early and could see folks gathering on the east side of the courthouse. A photostroll was planned for 8-10 a.m.

The morning air was around 46º with a slight breeze out of the north. Brrr. I wore a hoody sweatshirt. Seemed enough. Really wasn’t.

I mingled with people I know from PhotwalksATX, said hello to David Valdez (one of the event organizers), then joined in as everyone congregated on the courthouse steps for a group shot.

I started walking around, and promptly lost the folks partaking in the photostroll. I kept moving and in the span of an hour I’d made about 60 TtV shots. That’s when the 4 AA batteries in the *ist D decided to go dead. Bummer.

I went back to the Escape, looking for the other set of batteries I’d packed. Sadly, they weren’t in the bag. So, I put the TtV rig back in the camera bag and locked up the truck. Then I pulled out my iPhone and headed back into the fray using the Blackie app.

After another half-hour of walking around it was getting close to 10 a.m. and my toes were cold. So I headed back to the truck and drove home.

Yup. You know where this is going… maybe I *should’ve* brought another camera. Lesson learned. Next time bring a back-up camera. Maybe two.

I got around 2 dozen decent shots in all. Here are a few of my faves…

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Small wonder.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 is one of the smaller cameras in my collection, but its size doesn’t mean it’s a slouch.

A cool little shooter, I’ve been using the LX5 since April 2011.

It has a Leica Vario-Summicron lens, ƒ2.0, a max shutter speed of 1/4000 second, with 24-90mm zoom. At 10 megapixels, and an ISO range of 80-12800, the camera does well in low light.

The camera has a rubber grip on the right-hand side, with just enough of a presence to make holding the LX5 easy and comfortable. Looks nice, too.

At the top of the lens barrel there’s an aspect selector for 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9. On the side of the lens barrel is a switch for auto, macro and manual focus.

The zoom is a lever incorporated into the shutter, with the camera mode dial slightly behind and to the left. There’s a small chrome switch for powering on-off far right on the top of the LX5.

I’m a big fan of the Panny menu system. It’s clean, simple, and easy to use.

The rear display is a roomy 2″ x 3″, but I added the external DMW-LVF1 viewfinder and, even though the LVF1 display is smallish, it works nicely. I especially like that it can be flipped up for low-angle shots. Along with a diopter adjustment, there’s a small, yet convenient button located on the side of the LVF1 for manually switching between the rear display and the external viewfinder.

The control ring and function buttons on the back of the camera are arranged neatly on the right side of the body. There’s a thumb wheel just above them. Handy for changing aperture size and exposure compensation with a simple press or rotate.

The LX5 has a pop-up flash, activated by a small switch, on the left side of the top of the body.

I’m a big fan of the Panny menu system. It’s clean, simple, and easy to use.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 is a nice, tight little package that’s a joy to use.

A few samples.

Resurrecting my old Minolta XG 7.

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New seals. Fresh batteries. UV filter.

I replaced the light seals in this old guy today. Total time involved was just a little over an hour.

And, of course, I spent more time scraping off the old gunky seals, removing residue, and general cleaning than I did cutting and installing the new pieces of felt and foam.

Luckily, I had everything I needed to take care of the seals without having to spend another penny.

I’m waiting for batteries and a UV filter to arrive and then it’ll be ready to see the light of day.

I’m thinkin’ a roll of 36 exposure Kodak Plus X Pan, expired 03/1992. Stoked to get out and shoot with this relic…

 

A tiny, tiny hole.

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April will be here before you know it.

I’ve been using the Wanderlust Pinwide since 2010 and love that little thing, but it has its flaws. The main problem being it’s made from plastic.

The first one I purchased lasted almost a year with careful handling, but then I took the GF1/Pinwide combo with me on a 2-week trip to Italy – along with three other camera/lens combos – and by the time the trip was over the small tabs that hold the cap to the camera had broken off.

I was fortunate that Pinwides were still available for purchase and picked up a couple more. I’m still using one of them, careful to remove it from the GF1 body when not in use. The other still has the cellophane wrapper around the little tin container, unopened. Plus I still have the Slit.

When I saw the Thingyfy Pinhole Pro S11 advertised on a few photography sites I was curious, certainly. Aluminum. Clean design. Reasonably priced. Really cool. Why not?

I ordered it online at their site. Got an immediate email order confirmation saying I’d get an email notification when it shipped. In about 15 days, the email said. Waited for that shipping notice. Never came. Yes, I checked spam. I pinged them via email, Twitter, Facebook. No response whatsoever. Finally got a shipping notice via email and waited another week until it arrived.

Aside from the unimpressive customer service, the S11 is a pretty nifty little gizmo.

The unboxing was Apple-like. Great package design, inside and out. Really nicely done.

They offered a threaded aluminum lens cap for an additional $10, but the S11 came with a plastic clip-style lens cap, which was good enough for me.

I did order the 58mm UV filter, though.

I shot a few hand-held pictures the same day it arrived in the mail, using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1.

The GF1  was next, a few weeks later.

While the 11mm focal length is the same for both the Pinwide and the S11, the hole/aperture in the S11 is slightly larger, 0.14mm to 0.11mm for the Pinwide.

Another cool little gizmo.

Looking forward to this year’s Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day on Sunday April 28, 2019.

 

 

Exercise is good.

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Stretching the creative muscle.

I read about the Vision Quest Photo Assignment Cards in the December 10, 2018 Shots Magazine email newsletter.

I love Shots Mag. Such a cool idea. And these assignment cards are a nice touch from publisher Doug Beasley, designed by Outside the Box Designs.

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They’re described as “a deck of 36 beautifully designed and printed cards, with a unique photo assignment on the back of each one, housed in an elegant box and all printed on recycled paper.”

Photo Assignments For Personal & Spiritual Growth

The cards are about 3″ x 5″ in size, printed on a thick recycled stock with rounded corners that have a semi-gloss finish. The type used for each card is a serif font at a readable size, and each card is numbered. The front of the cards are dark grey with a series of fine white lines that swirl and overlap. A nice pattern. There’s also a red hanko, Doug’s most likely, centered near the bottom.

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It came with a nifty box with four flaps that folds up to enclose the deck. It’s secured with a hook-and-loop closure. Along with the hanko, there’s a great tagline on the main flap that reads “Photo Assignments For Personal & Spiritual Growth.”

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This collection of 36 assignments will be my 2019 photographic workout and I’m looking forward to getting started.

The leap.

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Worth it.

I’ve been updating my Mac system a bit lately, adding a second monitor, replacing the very old keyboard, and moving up to Apple’s Magic Mouse 2.

The MM2 is awesome. I used the previous model with my work laptop back before I retired and loved it.

The Logitech wired mouse I’ve been using on my personal system the past few years was fine, but that model was discontinued and I had an Apple wired mouse that was just okay.

So, I finally bit the bullet and paid the price for the Magic Mouse 2.

A good investment.