Out of the blue.

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Now that’s service.

I received a envelope in the mail last week. It was totally unexpected.

After looking at the return address, I had to think back to an eBay win I had back in November 2019. It was the Minolta Spotmeter F w/Case, through a seller known as Classic Camera Authority.

… this is the first time something like this has happened.

The envelope contain the original manual. They sent it gratis. Amazing.

In all the years I’ve been buying photography stuff on eBay, this is the first time something like this has happened.

Ahem… save this seller!

Trust.

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Pure and simple.

My efforts to learn about and appreciate Lone Star talent have resulted in a new addition to the Texan Photographers section of the Morris Library.

Weeping Mary
Photographs by O. Rufus Lovett
First Edition, 2006.

Beautiful images, interesting story.

I spotted a black and white “ussie” of Mr. Lovett and Scott C. Campbell in IG Explore – it’s spooky how much Texas-related stuff shows up there – and noticed a comment made by Keith Carter, another legendary Texas discovery.

Side note: I added Carter’s Fifty Years to my library last year.

Anyway, me, being the snoop I am, had to take a peek at Lovett’s stream. Lots of interesting shots, and after a little more internet research I came across high and wide praise for his charming book of photos of a very small town and its residents in East Texas.

I was able to find a first edition of Weeping Mary in excellent condition for a great price.

K-scope, revisited.

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Hexagon city.

I had one of those days yesterday.

The weather was funky. Grey, foggy, drizzly. I didn’t want to leave the house. At all.

So I played indoors. It’s been a while since I put together the Leica D-Lux 4 and the toy kaleidoscope I keep in my studio.

Play. Play. Play.

I fiddled with that cool little combo for hours. Patterns, shapes, color. So much fun.

Play. Play. Play.

I attended a talk in the Spring of 1998 put on by the UCSC Extension in Mountain View, CA. The speaker was digital artist David Biedny.

It was part of their Creativity in the Digital Age series. I don’t remember much about the talk in general, but the one thing he said that evening that’s stuck with me all these years was that creativity and play go hand-in-hand.

So true.

Practice makes perfect.

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Seeing makes pictures.

I attended last night’s NAPƒS meeting to hear Ted Keller talk about “The Value of Practice.” It was a good talk and his experience with teaching/training was apparent.

It struck me how many of his theories and methods I’ve unconsciously used in my years of playing with cameras.

I am not a classically train photographer. I learn (even to this day) by research, applied practice, and a whole lot of intuition.

I like to play. Experiment. I also spend a lot of time looking at the work of other photographers. I read about photography. I watch videos. I make a lot of pictures.

And that’s where my interest in photography starts… with the picture.

… I’m convinced that paying attention, being in the moment, and seeing is even more critical.

Sure, knowing how to use a camera is important, but I’m convinced that paying attention, being in the moment, and seeing is even more critical.

I’m more interested in the act of making a photograph than I am in the technical details of operating a camera. I find that using extremely simple film cameras – like the Agfa Click I or the Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim is a liberating experience.

See. Point. Shoot.

Modern cameras – in all their complexity – can be intimidating. And unforgiving. So Ted’s insistence that practice prepares one for being ready is absolutely true.

Just don’t forget to look around or you might miss the shot you were practicing to get.

One last thing… the member print exhibit. Patti Mitchell’s concert shots were stellar. To paraphrase Bill Bunton, “It’s easy to see why she consistently wins in the competition every month.”

Note: The last photo club meeting I attended was the second Monday back in September, the Round Rock Image Creators. I’ve only attended one Round Rock Photography Club meeting. Now that NAPƒS has split the competition to 1st Thursday and the Speaker to 3rd Thursday I’ll have to weigh which club gets my eyes and ears in 2020. Bummer.

My latest film camera crush.

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PENTACON six TL.

The PENTACON six TL is my current film camera crush. 120. Love the square.

The 9 shots above are examples I snagged from Flickr. No attributions, sorry, but here’s the Flickr group photo pool >
https://www.flickr.com/groups/pentaconsix/pool/

Here’s the tag if you want to see more pictures on IG >
https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/pentaconsix/

… and here’s a fairly critical review >
https://www.thephoblographer.com/2017/07/25/vintage-film-camera-review-pentacon-six-tl-6×6-square-format/

And a good guide >
https://emulsive.org/reviews/camera-reviews/pentacon-cameras/camera-review-pentacon-six-tl-a-hopefully-comprehensive-guide-to-a-legend-by-ludwig-hagelstein

I definitely wouldn’t mind adding this medium format shooter to my collection…

Ex Libris.

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Learning is never ending.

A half-dozen photography related books I’ve added to my library over the past year.

Photographers on Photography: How the Masters See, Think & Shoot
Henry Carroll

Analog Photography: Reference Manual for Shooting Film
Andrew Bellamy

A Chronology of Photography: A Cultural Timeline From Camera Obscura to Instagram
Paul Lowe

Photography Changes Everything
Marvin Heiferman

Experimental Photography: A Handbook of Techniques
Marco Antonini, Sergio Minniti, Francisco Gómez, Gabriele Lungarella, Luca Bendandi

Zen Camera: Creative Awakening with a Daily Practice in Photography
David Ulrich

BNW.

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Five of my favorite black and white film photographers on Instagram.

There is so much talent out there!

I’ll be using this platform for sharing some of the artists I come across on social media, people whose work I find compelling.

To kick it off, here are five photographers whose work I see regularly from my Dog Bone Soup IG account. Give them a visit, give them a follow.

> Roberto Gandolfi (@robganda)

> Dikal (@dikalphoto)

> David Johnston (@davidjohnston_diana)

> Liz Potter (@lizpotterphotography)

> Sophie Caretta (@sophiecaretta)