A pair of Jacks.

pair-of-jacks.jpg

Macro Jacks, that is.

Diggin’ ’round in the archive. These are from May 2013.

A pair of shots, one made with the Olympus E-PL3, an extension tube, and the Lensbaby Composer Pro + Sweet 35, the other made with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 and the Wanderlust Pinwide.

Cool that I wrote about how I made the Pinwide shot on Flickr. “I found it while I was out back watering the roses. It was corroded and covered in dirt. I cleaned it up a bit with water from the hose and let it dry.”

It was corroded and covered in dirt.

“I took the picture later in the day. The sun was on its way down allowing a sliver of light to peek under our old and slightly uneven garage door. I got the shot by laying on the garage floor with the Pinwide less than an inch away from the jack.”

I love the shadow and contrast, not to mention that gorgeous blurry bokeh at the top and swirl at the bottom of the EPL-3 shot. Pretty cool.

Diggin’ ’round in the dirt has its rewards. Same with the archives!

 

Walking among the dead.

oakwood-tree-instax-mini-8.jpg

Austin’s history under foot.

I met Kevin Thomas at Oakwood Cemetery in Austin last Sunday morning for a film stroll.

It’s a place I’ve been wanting to shoot since I saw Kat Swansey’s cemetery shots in her IG stream and her recommendation for a visit to Oakwood.

Foggy and a little chilly, it started clearing around noon. The drive down I-35 wasn’t bad at all.

I brought along the Yashica-Mat 66. I loaded a roll of Tri-X 400 in it the day before. Everything seemed pretty normal. Sunday I couldn’t get the film to advance properly. Hmmm.

Also on hand was my little Instax Mini 8, and I burned through two packs of Mono Chrome. Got a coupla’ keepers.

I thought I was prepared. Apparently not!

The Minolta XG-1/24mm ƒ2.8 + mystery roll, too.

I had the Sony RX100MIII in the bag, as well. Sadly, when I tried to use it, I discovered it had a dead battery.

So, I shot bunches with the iPhone 8 and Blackie App.

I thought I was prepared. Apparently not!

It was a good 2+ hour walk.

On my way back home I stopped at Austin Camera to pick up the negs/prints from the 4 rolls of C41 I left there last Saturday. Pretty cool to see what they contained. Around 20 keepers, plus I still have to scan the shots from the Sprocket Rocket.

Moody.

pony-135-16x9.jpg

Willie, too.

I made it down to Austin this morning for a stroll with the PhotowalksATX gang. Simi had us meet beneath the sculpture of Wille Nelson, outside the legendary Moody Theater of Austin City Limits fame – attending a show there is on my bucket list – and by 8:30 am we’d reached a quorum of 8.

Besides Simi, I knew Michael and RJ (that’s his Kodak Pony, above) from previous walks, plus Ed, who I know from NAPƒS, showed up. That was pretty cool. George, Ina, Sean, and Timothy were the new folks I got to meet this time around. (I hope I got their names right!)

We started out by walking over to West Cesar Chavez St., stopping to shoot around Austin City Hall.

After that, we slowly made our way west on Cesar Chavez until we reached the Austin Library. We made our way to the butterfly bridge, crossed it then inched our way eastward on 2nd till we ended back at Lavaca Street.

I… found myself shooting in B&W mode. And square. A lot.

I took the GX8 and X100s with me, but used the Panny mostly and found myself shooting in B&W mode. And square. A lot. That’s okay, though. I got a few decent shots.

It was pretty close to 11 a.m. by then, so everyone headed over to the downtown Whole Foods for lunch. We had a hell of a time finding enough chairs to seat all 8 of us around the larger of the two sizes of tables they had, but eventually everyone had a place to sit and we ate then talked for at least an hour.

Great fun. Simi is awesome. If you’re in the Austin area, you should give this once-a-month gathering a try.

I headed out a little after noon, driving up Lamar until a left on 45th then a right on Burnet Road got me closer to my last stop. I finally dropped off the 4 rolls of 35mm C41 at Austin Camera. It’ll all be ready for me to pick up next Sunday. Yay!

 

Practice makes perfect.

ted-keller.jpg

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.

Bom dia. Buenos días.

20191009-monastery-facade-lisbon.jpg

Vámonos!

Torri n’me recently took a two-week tour of Portugal and Spain. We had great weather throughout the trip and everywhere we went the food was really good.

13 cities in 13 days. A whirlwind.

Lisbon. Sintra. Cascais. Evora. Merida. Seville. Jerez. Gibraltar. Marbella. Ronda. Granada. Toledo. Madrid.

13 cities in 13 days. A whirlwind.

It was jam-packed with all sorts of activities and city-by-city tours. We visited historic palaces, cathedrals, and synagogues. We saw Roman ruins, Muslim and Catholic architecture. Took a horse and carriage ride. We witnessed a Flamenco performance. We had a guided tour of an equestrian school. We even sampled Port and Sherry in two different cites.

My last-day favorite was a slow, lengthy stroll through the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, where art that I’d only seen in history books was right in front of me. Awesome.

I brought along three cameras – The Panny LX100, Olympus XZ-2, Sony RX100m3 – and my iPhone 8. Talk about an extended photo stroll!

We had a great time.

I put together an album on Flickr with all my fave shots. Take a peek…

Sculpture garden.

tiny-white-flowers.jpg

A stroll through Laguna Gloria.

I finally had a chance to visit Laguna Gloria in Austin last Saturday morning, participating in a photowalk put together by the good folks that run Round Rock Image Creators.

It was well attended, bunches of fun, and getting to see all that amazing art was right up my alley.

I walked around the sculpture garden with the group, then after everyone else left I wandered around the art school that shares the grounds, peeking into classes that were in session.

I used the Panny GX8 and a couple of different lenses, the Fuji Instax SQ6 instant film camera, and the Blackie App on my iPhone 8.

I shot some 35mm film, too. The Minolta XG-1, Olympus Stylus Epic, and the Sprocket Rocket. All C-41. I have a few more shots left before I can get those processed.

Pretty cool.

 

 

I see patterns.

legos.jpg

LEGO bricks.

Annie and I got out for her morning stroll today.

As we crossed the road that serves as one of a few main entryways into our neighborhood, I noticed this pattern in the ADA walkway at the corner on the other side of the street.

The sun was still low in the sky so the small, short bumps cast a long shadow.

They reminded me of LEGOS.

iPhone 8 + Blackie app.