Kings Hwy.

The sign.

I maaaaay have taken a picture or two of this sign.

It stood at Washington and El Camino in Santa Clara, not far from the SCU campus, on a corner lot filled with old, dilapidated bungalows.

I drove past this sign on my way to, and from, work, every weekday for 8 years.

Some shots were taken with film cameras, some with digital.

I recall riding my bike the nearly 2.5 mile trip from our home down El Camino one Saturday morning – with a bag of cameras – to shoot this awesome sign.

A relic of a bygone era.

Sadly, the sign is no longer standing.

I checked Google Maps Street View and all that remains is an empty lot with a tan colored slat/chainlink fence surrounding it.

I’d bet it’s likely condos or high-density housing fill the lot today.

I hope someone saved the sign.

Highways 35/45, revisited.

A tale of two exposures.

Sometimes bad is good. Happy accidents. Kismet.

All that.

I brought a few cameras with me that morning. The location is an intersection of highways just north of Austin, TX called 35/45.

I set-up in a field right next to a car wash, and I was able to safely park in their lot. I asked if it was okay. No problem.

The structure is huge and this vantage point is quite something.

I used one of the wide-and-long shadows cast by the early morning sun to set up the tripod.

I used one of the wide-and-long shadows cast by the early morning sun to set up the tripod. Getting there early worked pretty well.

I had with me a pair of pinhole cameras that had some old film in ’em. My GX8. And I also brought along the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9.

I’ve posted before about the pinhole experience.

I made four instant shots in-between setting up and shooting with the pinholes.

I was quite happy with one particular instant and posted it on my film IG, @dogbonesoup

The other three didn’t seem to capture the story, how I feel, or what I liked about this location and vantage point.

This was back in July 2019. Over a year ago.

This past week I’ve looked back again at the instants from that morning – they’re in a stack of various sized instant shots on my desk I need to organize and store – and what caught my eye this time around was a different shot that was a little overexposed and somewhat blown out.

My position in relation to the sun had changed, and when I moved I lost the shade from the structure.

My position in relation to the sun had changed, and when I moved I lost the shade from the structure. That also means that a couple of these instants were overexposed because I didn’t change the settings on the camera accordingly.

Anyway, today I scanned the two that illustrated the point I’m trying make, here…

Looking at the two scans side-by-side, I am drawn to the dream-like feel of the overexposed shot.

The good exposure, while nicely composed, looks a little tame. Staid. A well documented structure. Very little emotion.

In contrast, the overexposed instant has so much more going for it. I holds a story. Feeling. Nostalgia. Mystery. A sense of wanderlust.

Emotion.

I love that this shot has a toy-camera vibe to it. I guess stepping out of that shadow proved to be a good thing.

Pixl-latr.

First impressions.

This is my first attempt at using Hamish Gill’s @pixllatr.

I used my iPhone 8, hand held, to make the image. The light source was my 9×12 Artograph lightbox.

I used a mask that I made from chipboard to block out any extraneous light (I’m already thinking of ways to make that gizmo and process a little smoother).

I transfered the shot to my Mac Mini via AirDrop, opened the image in Photoshop, converted to black and white, used the Transform/Skew tool to square it up, then adjusted levels.

The results look pretty darned good. An absolute success.

Side note… I made this image back in 2006 with my Holga 120N using Ilford HP5+ 400. The shot was made in downtown San Jose, CA in front of the convention center on West San Carlos Street, directly across from the main office of The Tech Museum of Innovation, where I worked at the time.

The film was developed by Calypso Imaging, a Santa Clara company that went under not long after these negs were developed. Like many companies at the time, the advent of digital cameras was disastrous for the film industry.

I started developing my own black and white film soon thereafter.

Circle. Square.

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Yet another photographic obsession.

In my travels with cameras, I discover a lot of round or circular objects, and since my fave and probably most frequently used aspect ratio in photography is the square, I’ll center these objects and make a photo.

Here’s a montage I put together of 16 faves.

I also assembled an album with 88 examples of circle/square on Flickr, check it out…

It’s been hot.

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Triple-digit hot.

We’ve had triple-digit temperatures for nearly half the month of August, with the last six days being somewhere between 92-98º. It’s back to low one hundreds, reaching 104º yesterday.

Texas in August. Whew.

Here area few shots from shady spots around the garden yesterday afternoon using my newish and incredible Fujifilm X100V.

Flashlight.

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Used nightly.

Taken with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100, using the Dynamic B&W setting. It. Is. Awesome.

Handy tool for taking Annie out back at night.

I’m clearly drawn to round or circular objects centered in a square. I’ll dig through the archives and see if I can’t put together a montage.

Kismet happens.

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Feelin’ lucky?

We celebrated our 5th year of Texas Life back around mid-June. A milestone that prompted me to look through the many TtV shots I’ve made so far here in Central Texas, picking out these 9 faves.

That simple exercise got me thinking about photography and kismet.

Fate, I believe, is a more powerful force than luck.

What’s the famous quote about luck? Samuel Goldwyn said “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” He was right. Being prepared is always an advantage.

Luck runs out. Fate doesn’t.

Fate is always peeking around a corner. In your face. Even if you don’t recognize it, fate’s knocking on your door. Tapping you on the shoulder. Fate is the wrong turn you made. The person you met. Fate is the walk you took.

Years of looking through a viewfinder has taught me much, but the one thing I know for certain is magical photos are made when least expected.

Sometimes, kismet happens.