Bookin’.

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… and lookin’ so fly.

The Shutterfly book I put together using pictures from our Portugal/Spain trip arrived in the mail last week.

Except for a few text alignment issues and me not making the shot on the front cover large enough, it turned out pretty nice.

Love the materials they used for this basic order. The cover is quite thick, nice and glossy. The pages are sturdy and semi-matte finished.

I’m happy with the results.

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Moody.

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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!

 

Make it yourself.

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Large Format Notebook.

Here’s a little hand-made project I just finished. It’s a paper log for keeping track of large format images. A useful record keeping tool while out shooting with the Shen Hao.

The 4.25″ x 5.5″ booklet has a cover, a title page, 24 log pages, and 2 pages for notes.

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I saw a nifty product online called Analogbook and thought about making something myself, simpler and tailored for my specific needs.

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The booklet was easy to produce, with most supplies on hand and a few Adobe Illustrator files, although to be honest I did spend $13 on a long-reach stapler to bind them.

Nothin’ fancy, but quite functional.

Practice makes perfect.

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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.

Ready to roll.

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It sure took long enough.

I finished shooting these four rolls of C-41. Finally.

I’m still deciding who’ll do the processing. There’s a nearby shop, Austin Camera, on Burnet Road. It’s a little over 20 miles and a half-hour away.

Another possibility is Old School Photo Lab, they’re located in Dover, New Hampshire. I’d be sending them the rolls via their free pre-paid mailing label. I used them for the roll of XP2 I shot earlier this year at the Civil War reenactment at Camp Mabry. The Shitty Camera Challenge.

My main concern is the Fuji 800 roll. It’s out of the Sprocket Rocket and I want to make sure the negatives don’t get cut in the middle of pictures.

The XP2 Super and Gold 200 were in my Nikon One•Touch Zoom 90. The Ektar 100 was in my Olympus Stylus Epic.

Decisions, decisions.

My latest film camera crush.

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PENTACON six TL.

The PENTACON six TL is my current film camera crush. 120. Love the square.

The 9 shots above are examples I snagged from Flickr. No attributions, sorry, but here’s the Flickr group photo pool >
https://www.flickr.com/groups/pentaconsix/pool/

Here’s the tag if you want to see more pictures on IG >
https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/pentaconsix/

… and here’s a fairly critical review >
https://www.thephoblographer.com/2017/07/25/vintage-film-camera-review-pentacon-six-tl-6×6-square-format/

And a good guide >
https://emulsive.org/reviews/camera-reviews/pentacon-cameras/camera-review-pentacon-six-tl-a-hopefully-comprehensive-guide-to-a-legend-by-ludwig-hagelstein

I definitely wouldn’t mind adding this medium format shooter to my collection…

Every once in a great while.

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Not often, but…

Every once in a while an image I’ve made gets a little attention.

One of my pinhole images was published in SHOTS Magazine, Fall 2019 Issue No. 145 “The Journey.”

It’s 35/45, the picture I made with the Zero Image 6×9 and an expired roll of Fuji Acros 100. The story of this pinhole adventure/experiment is well documented in an earlier post.

I pointed to the same same post when I uploaded the image to Flickr.

To my delight, the picture in that post ended up on Flickr’s Explore, which is something that hasn’t happened for my work in a really long time.

I noticed it earlier this month. Any comments on Flickr are rare these days and the notification made me check it out. At the time there were 58 faves. Crazy. The comments indicated the picture made Explore.

I went there, scrolled through until I found the image. Verification! Pretty cool!

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As of today “35/45. a little experiment” has 9,121 views, 75 faves, and 4 comments.

Amazing.

I make images to satisfy a personal need, but it certainly is nice to have this kind of reaction to my work. And I appreciate it.