Pencils.

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One of my many obsessions.

An iPhone6 shot displaying an arrangement of a few different types of pencils from my collection. The red KOH-I-NOOR is from my youth. I’ve even managed to hold onto a small German drafting tool kit I got when my Mom, Sister, and I visited relatives in Germany back when I was 13 years old.

But, yeah. I dig pencils and drawing and sketching. It’s an all-my-life kinda’ thing.

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In your face.

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Making portraits.

It’s been noted that I have absolutely no problems sticking my cameras in people’s noses. This I can not dispute, and since I’m really not much of a studio shooter, most of the portraits I’ve made are street shots.

The folks I’ve approached are mostly strangers, but a few friends, co-workers, and acquaintances have agreed to let me get in their grill.

I’ve been contemplating entering my work in juried exhibitions and I spotted a call for entries at the A Smith Callery over in Johnson City, about an hour and twenty minute drive from here. The theme for this exhibition was “Portraits” and I spent a little time going through my Flickr stream looking at and deciding which shots I thought might be competitive.

I pulled out a good number of faves, but ultimately decided against entering. The cost was a bit out of my comfort zone and budget. I’m retired, on a fixed income. I really have to think long and hard about how I spend.

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Looking Back

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Eleanor

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Al

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Nikki

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Diana

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Tine

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Molly

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Lindsey

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Rob and Tad

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Andrew

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Shades, stars, and beard

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Colorful ribbons

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George K

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Buddy

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Hair

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Angie

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Erin

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Scotty

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Molly

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Mona Lisa Smile

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Marek

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Diana

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Smooch

The last run.

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Taking inventory.

This is the starting point. My plan is to use-up my stash of instant, positive, and negative film.

It may take a year or two or three. We’ll see.

For the negative and positive film, I’ll have to pay for processing, and that’ll get worked into the budget.

Once the film is all used up, I plan on selling off my film camera collection. Better to get them onto the hands of people who’ll appreciate them as I have.

Cabin fever.

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Rose

C’mon Spring!

I’ve got a wee bit of cabin fever.

Sufferin’ through not one, but two colds and having my back go out in-between, I haven’t been able to get out with cameras pretty much all winter.

That means naps, a little television, reading, naps, and sitting in front of the computer. And naps.

Diggin’ through the archives I found a half-dozen macro flower shots I like, even a couple that weren’t previously published.

These are all from around mid-2005.

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White Camelia

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Sunburst

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Yellow

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Ground cover

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Char’s Rose

Shedding light on an old collection.

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Orangemonkie’s Foldio2.

When first I heard of Orangemonkie’s kickstarter for the original Foldio, I was excited about the possibilities a portable lightbox could afford. The only problem I had with the first version was size. At only 10″, it seemed to miss the mark.

I was encouraged to see a 15″ model, Foldio2, and it took me a while to come up with a project worthy of the $69 asking price.

Unboxing the Foldio2 was a bit like what you’d experience with Apple products. Well thought out, tightly constructed, and cleanly packaged. They’ve even thought to include plugs for every conceivable location here on planet Earth.

The 2 LED strips with dimmers were easy to adhere, and adding any of the 4 backdrops was a cinch. The use of magnets to hold things together works well and is just brilliant.

It’s big enough to handle small-to-medium sized objects, small enough to store easily. The Foldio2 collapses into a nice thin, square package and it even has a useful handle at the top for easy transport.

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The project? Along with my usual digital, pinhole, and instant cams, I’m going to use film cameras over the next couple of years and I want to share the images I make with my 35mm and 120 cameras. I’ll be using negative and positive film, if all goes according to plan. My film stash has been neglected over time and I want to use it all up before it ends up being useless.

As part of the project I want to include new shots of the cameras I use. I have a healthy collection that’s well documented on Flickr, but the images I made were shot with inconsistent backgrounds and I’d like to clean all that up.

The Foldio2 will make this goal much easier to reach.

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Lines.

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I gotta pee.

I recently made the drive into Austin to attend an opening for George Brainard, a long-time Austin resident and amazing portrait photographer. George was showing his work as part of the inaugural FotoATX Festival, a month-long celebration of Austin photographers, currently open at libraries, galleries, and community centers across the city.

His work was displayed on the 6th floor of the new Austin Public Library, and this was my first visit to the building.

I made my way to the 5th floor via elevator, then walked up one flight of stairs to the top floor.

First things first. I had to pee.

I found a men’s bathroom right near the staircase, made my way through the door, found an empty stand-up, and took care of business. Whew! It was then that I noticed the glass-tiled wall behind the fixture and the amazing reflections of the long, thin pieces of tile in the chrome.

I finished up, got myself together, washed my hands then swung my LX100 from around my neck and shoulder, walked back and composed this shot.

Yes, it did feel a bit weird. No, there wasn’t anybody else in there. I’d have skipped the shot if there was.

The rest of the library is gorgeous, too.

Words.

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Right before my eyes.

There are certain patterns – that I’m totally aware of – in the types of photographs that I make.

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If one was to look through my Flickr stream (the one platform where I store *ALL* of my work) these patterns are quite recognizable.

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One source of subject matter that I repeat with my images is words. Signage and grafitti, mostly. I think it has a lot to do with my interest in design and type.

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They’re in front of us at all times. Guiding us. Informing us. Warning us. Making us laugh, even.

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