Rusty shutters #8.

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Olympus E-PL3.

October 2011.

This camera holds a lot of awesome memories.

The E-PL3 was a gift. Or rather a reward, I suppose.

When I worked at Santa Clara University I was chosen as what amounts to the 2011 “Employee of the Year” for our division. I didn’t see it coming and being chosen totally blew me away. Something I’ll always remember and cherish.

There was also a cash bonus that came along with the award. Nice.

Torri and me planned a trip to Italy, happening later that same year, and I wanted to bring along a new digital camera.

The bonus from the award paid for the E-PL3. It got plenty of use on the trip.

I chose the E-PL3 over the Olympus PEN E-P3 because of the sleek, more modern appearance – they’re essentially the same camera.

I added the Franiac grip and the versatile VF-2 viewfinder, but one of my favorite features is the flip-up rear display. So handy.

The Olympus 17mm ƒ/2.8 gets the most use, but I have a healthy collection of M43 lenses and have used the Lensbaby Composer Pro/Sweet 35 combo and the 25mm ƒ/1.4 Pentax CCTV lens on this camera.

The Olympus menu system isn’t my fave, but I manage to get around without too much trouble.

This is definitely one of my fave shooters that still gets a lot of use.

Resolution: 12.3 megapixels
Max image size – 4032 x 3024
Display: 3in LCD @ 153,000 pixels
ISO: 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800
Shutter Speeds: 60 sec – 1/4000 sec
Metering: Multi-segment, center-weighted, spot
Dimensions WHD: 4.3in x 2.5in x 1.5in
Weight: 9.35 oz
Power: Lithium-ion rechargeable battery
Memory card: SD/SDHC/SDXC

 

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Rusty shutters #7.

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Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim.

An eBay purchase from around mid-2008, specifically to use on World Toy Camera Day, which was on October 18 that year. I loaded it with 35mm Kodak Elite Chrome 100 and had the film cross-processed at the local Ritz Camera store. Remember those?

I joined a photo stroll that day in San Francisco, walking around The Mission District on a bright, sunny day.

All plastic – including the lens – the VUWS is a simple point-and-shoot, but the camera’s tiny aperture requires a lot of light.

At 22mm, the pictures are super-wide angle with plenty of vignetting.

I was happy with the results.

Cool little camera. Still in my collection.

Film type: 35mm
Focal length: 22mm
Aperture: ƒ/11
Shutter speed: 1/125 sec
Focusing: Fixed focus

 

Rusty shutters #6.

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Holga 120N/S.

March, April 2006.

I have both the S and N models. The N is a Holgamods (Randy Smith) hack and the S was a gift from my wife.

I like this camera. Lots. The S has a roll of Ilford Pan F Plus in it right now.

The Holga is essentially a toy. It has 4 focus zones and two aperture sizes, but all of that is really a crap shoot! It’s plastic, including the lens, and light leaks are common.

There’s a hack for getting closer to your subject… focusing past the single person icon by loosening a well hidden screw on the shutter assembly. It’s located in a deep well, and once you spin the screw out you’l be able to focus a bit closer. Great for portraits.

I don’t use either mask. And I spray painted the inside of the film bay flat black to eliminate any reflective glare and I laid a couple of strips of gaffer on either side of the film bay to keep the film from getting scratched as it transports from one spool to the other.

To stop light leaks, I tape the whole thing closed with gaffer. Works fine.

Film type: 120
Masks: 12 or 16 exposures
Shutter Speeds: 1/100 sec – Bulb
Aperture: ƒ/11 – ƒ/8 (sunny/cloudy)
Focal Length: 60mm
Viewfinder: Optical
Focusing: Manual/zone
Dimensions: 5.3in x 3.7in x 6.8in

Rusty shutters #5.

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Ricoh GR Digital II

Fun little camera.

Tiny. Killer. Awesome macro.

Love the 1:1 format, the GRD2 was my first digital with that option and boy did I abuse it. This is a couple of years before Instagram launched.

Love the B&W.

Love the 28mm.

Acquired new mid-2008, I’ve even got the little GV-2 add-on viewfinder, the wide-angle adapter and lens, the external cable/switch, and the AC adapter.

Resolution: 10 megapixels
Max image size – 3648 x 2736
Display: 2.7in LCD @ 230,000 pixels
Zoom: 4x digital
ISO: Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Shutter Speeds: 180 sec – 1/2000 sec
Aperture: ƒ/2.4
Focal Length: 28mm
Macro: .6in
Metering: Multi-segment, spot
Dimensions: 4.2in x 2.3in x 1.0in
Power: Li-Ion battery
Memory card: SD/SDHC

Creativity.

Paper and Light

Ideas, influence, and inspiration.

The co-founder of The North Austin Pfotographic Society, Josh Baker, gave a super-animated prezzy on creativity at last night’s monthly meeting.

There were a lot of great take-aways, from his use of storyboards and sketches, knowing and breaking rules, to taking advantage of spontaneous situations. Josh’s work is large-scale, and he talked about all the planning that kind of photography demands.

At a couple of points in the presentation, he spoke briefly about inspiration, which I think could be the subject of a whole ‘nutha meeting.

It was an excellent talk!

I do think we’re all influenced by our surroundings, and by filling my life with things I love, the work I do is a direct reflection of my interests.

Plus, my interest in photography is more out of curiosity and experimentation – not business – so I tend to look at things on a much smaller scale. I’m not saying big is bad, I just don’t have the budget, the gear, or the network a working professional has.

But small scale doesn’t mean you can’t be creative.

In September of 2005, I enjoyed an exhibition at San Jose Museum of Art titled “Caja de Visiones/Box of Visions: Manuel Álvarez Bravo.” It was wonderful. The show included about 50 black-and-white photographs.

There were a couple of Álvarez Bravo’s images that I found to be so totally different from the the rest of the exhibit, almost out of place, but demonstrated a playful side. They were pictures of paper, folded and bent.

I was excited to try something similar using a Lensbaby 2 that I’d added to my kit. I’d done a series of macros of a plastic rainbow Slinky earlier that Summer and was happy with the results.

Wash machine

One evening I ventured out to the garage with my camera, the Lensbaby, a small LED flashlight, and this idea.

Working on top of our wash machine, I cut a 3/8″ x 14″ piece of layout bond and curled it tightly around an exacto knife handle, let it fall on a piece of black construction paper and made some slight adjustments to the arrangement.

I then pointed an LED flashlight from various angles at the resulting composition and pulled the Lensbaby away from the camera body to get a closer crop.

The experiment was a success.

Of the eleven images made, I had three of them printed, matted, and framed.

Paper and Light 1

Paper and Light 3

Paper and Light 3

Rusty shutters #2.

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Pentax *ist D.

The Pentax *ist D was my first digital SLR. We’re talking 2006, some 13 years ago.

I’d looked at all available options at the time and concluded that the bodies of the Nikon and Canon offerings were just way too big.

The *ist D weighs less, is easier to hold, and compact in comparison. That was enough to sell me on going down the Pentax path.

I still use this camera today, mostly for TtV. It’s been well taken care of. Seriously. Except for the smallish rubber cover for the cable release socket falling off, this camera looks brand new.

The *ist D is powered by four rechargeable AA nickel metal hydride batteries, and I’m using an original speedy Lexar 80x 2GB Compact Flash card.

The menu system and camera controls are easy to use and the viewfinder works just fine. The small LCD display is only functional for the menu system and playback, not for framing up a shot. It was 2006, remember?

I have a decent collection of lenses for this camera, both Pentax and Sigma, but Sigma’s 28-135mm 3.5-5.6 macro gets the most use. The SMC Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4 is a close second.

I also have a few different K-mount Lensbaby lenses, the most recent being their Composer Pro with mainly the Sweet 35 optic.

Red earring, Princess Ally, Yellow, Pink tutus, Spring Clean.

Resolution: 6.1 megapixels
Max image size – 3008 x 12008
Display: 1.8in LCD @ 118,000 pixels
ISO: 200, 400, 800, 1600
Shutter Speeds: 30 sec – 1/4000 sec
Metering: Multi-segment, center-weighted, spot
Dimensions: 5in x 3.7in x 2.3in
Weight: 18 oz
Power: 4 AA batteries
Memory card: CompactFlash

Rusty shutters #1.

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Pentax Optio 330GS.

15 years ago.

The 330GS was my second digital camera, a very compact 3.2 megapixel point and shoot with decent macro and an extremely easy-to-use menu system and simple camera interface.

It had a viewfinder and a smallish swing-out display with a tiny reverse button for selfies.

Powered by a pair of AA nickel metal hydride batteries, it got by with a Lexar 4x 128MB Compact Flash card.

It’s a great little shooter that I purchased new in March 2004 for around $300.

This little guy is still in my collection and it works perfectly!

Resolution: 3.2 megapixels
Max image size – 2048 x 1536
Display: 1.6in LCD @ 72,000 pixels
Zoom: 2.7x digital
ISO: 100, 200, 400
Shutter Speeds: 4 sec – 1/1500 sec
Aperture: ƒ/2.6 – 5.0
Focal Length: 5.8mm – 17.4mm
Macro: 5.5in – 19.7in
Metering: Center-weighted, multi-segment, spot
Dimensions: 4in x 2.5in x 1.5in
Power: 2 AA batteries
Memory card: CompactFlash