The arc of progress.

arc

Old, but not dead.

Over the past three weeks I’ve been checkin’ out the #ShittyCameraChallenge tag on Twitter and I’ve noticed that folks are using any old shitty camera they can get their hands on, including ‘vintage’ digital.

I still have my old Pentax Optio 300GS. It’s a tiny compact digital camera I bought in 2003. It’s a whoppin’ 3.2 MP, uses a 128 MB Compact Flash card, and it runs on AA batteries.

It’s not really shitty, but it is old.

It’s not really shitty, but it is old. And after 17 years, the sensor has a handful of dead pixels.

So, yesterday I walked around the house, garage, and backyard shooting whatever caught my eye.

These two shots had a similar feel, seemed meant for each other. A wagon wheel, and leaves from one of the Pride of Barbados plants out back.

Classical glass.

 

tiny-yellow-acid-1080

A little macro action.

I have an adapter that allows me to use old manual-focus Minolta lenses on my micro four thirds cameras.

I made this particular lockdown garden shot – one of three Bulbine’s we have in pots on the back patio – using my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 and a Minolta MD Rokkor X 50mm ƒ/1.4 lens that I’ve had for years.

I shot it square, there’s no cropping, but I did run it through the Urban Acid action, adding a few personal tweaks.

A twilight shot, the camera was pointed into the sun-less early evening sky, I shut it down a bit to get more of the flower and buds in focus – plus a smaller aperture allowed me to move the camera in closer. No flash, all natural light.

Titled “Yellow Bulbine,” I like this shot bunches.

Oh, and sorry about the really poor Mason Williams reference. Sometimes I just can’t help mysef.

The Blue Set.

Check your settings.

I make mistakes. Some big, some little. Consequences vary, but I always learn from them.

Take for instance these half-dozen shots made back in early 2011. I used my Panny GF1 and a c-mount lens, the SLR Magic Toy Lens 26mm f/1.4, to make a few pictures around the neighborhood.

Love that swirly bokeh. But the blue was a bit of a surprise.

Anyway, as I noted in comments made about the portrait on Flickr “…the blue cast is from my not remembering to switch back to AWB before I headed out for a walk around the block. The Tungsten setting casts blue in daylight. But I think it works in the handful of pictures I posted this afternoon. A lesson, of sorts.” The unusual portrait got a good number of views, a coupla’ faves, and a handful of comments.

I seem to recall noticing what I’d done about 6 pictures into my stroll and changing back to AWB. Oh, well. Interesting results.

The lesson? Check your settings.

 

The party’s over.

 

March 2020 FP4 Party: A few final observations.

It was quite the experience.

I enjoyed every aspect.

It got me out with film cameras, new and old.

I tried a film new to me.

My skill at loading 35mm and 120 film on the Paterson reels continues to improve.

Developing with D76 yielded excellent results.

I found a groove every week.

Looking through Twitter at the #fp4party hashtag for the past 7 days to see what other party-goers posted was a treat.

Followed some new folks, gained a few followers on Twitter, IG, and Flickr.

Thanks to the FP4 Party hosts.

Here are my 7 submissions, last-to-first…

the-gate.jpg

The gate
Georgetown, TX
Saturday, March 7, 2020
ONDU 6×12 Multiformat pinhole, FP4+ 120, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 7

sprinkles.jpg

Sprinkles
Georgetown, TX
Thursday, March 5, 2020
Smena 8M, FP4+ 35mm, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 6

used-cars.jpg

Used cars
Thorndale, TX
Friday, March 6, 2020
Hasselblad 500c/m, FP4+ 120, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 5

bridge-to-nowhere.jpg

Bridge to nowhere
Georgetown, TX
Thursday, March 5, 2020
Smena 8M, FP4+ 35mm, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 4

the-bucket.jpg

The bucket
Round Rock, TX
Monday, March 2, 2020
Hasselblad 500c/m, FP4+ 120, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 3

nine-right.jpg

9 right
Georgetown, TX
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Smena 8M, FP4+ 35mm, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 2

mid-century-emptiness.jpg

Mid-century modern emptiness
Taylor, TX
Friday March 6, 2020
ONDU 6×12 Multiformat pinhole, FP4+ 120, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 1

Not quite Spring.

the-gate.jpg

Felt like it, though.

I spent the first Saturday morning of February walking around Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. Around 10 folks showed up for Simi’s PhotowalksATX gathering.

There were a few familiar faces – Greg, George, Ed, Ana – and a few folks I’d not met before – Justin, Derrick, Another Ed, Scott – and some folks whose names I did not get nor hear.

It was a beautiful Winter morning in the garden.

It was a beautiful Winter morning in the garden. A little chilly to start, but by the time folks were heading to lunch, it’d warmed up nicely.

It was my first visit to Zilker Gardens. Beautiful grounds. It has a lot of nice winding, gently sloped, paved paths, for ADA compliance I’m guessing, but there were also steps to use. Thoughtful.

I brought along the Sony RX100 III, my trusty Panasonic Lumix LX100, and it was my first outing with the Fujifilm XQ1.

There were a few paper whites popping out of the ground, and rose blossoms, pansies, and a few other flowers, but since it’s the dead of winter, mostly palms, ferns, and well, just a whole lot of green.

… it was my first outing with the Fujifilm XQ1.

Entrance into the gardens was $7 US for me, a senior, but that included parking. Not bad really.

There was a beautiful waterfall in one section of the gardens that I’m pretty sure everyone got a shot of… my picture was a little off-center, but it managed to catch a little cool lookin’ sun flare.

I was so busy focusing on getting into the gardens that I didn’t notice the front entrance gates, but the Rose Garden Gate on the north side of the property was something to behold. The only reference to the artist that I could find online was Lars Stanley and Louis Herrera.

Lunch was at Schlotsky’s on South Lamar. There weren’t as many folks as on the walk, but it was still a good crowd.

Simi’s photo strolls are always awesome.

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!