Sunday, October 16, 2011

Last Post

I won't be posting any more to this blog. I have a full-time job and a little daughter, so I think I'd rather spend what little time is left over taking pictures, cooking, playing music, and doing other things I enjoy. I write for a living, so prattling on about photo topics halfheartedly for nobody in particular gives me no real satisfaction.

This blogging platform doesn't offer much flexibility for posting photos, so I'll be presenting my work elsewhere.

I'll leave the blog up, though, in case you find any of its old posts to be of any use. Looking for a review of the Olympus XA2? How to develop photos using caffeine and vitamin C? Try the search bar.

Here's where you can see my work on the web:

Daily photoblog 

B&W film shots

Project 365

My best work (my daughter's site)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Balloon landing

Sometimes, a photo opportunity literally lands across the street. This big balloon touched down softly just as I was leaving for work this morning.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Classic car

This is a (I think) '55 Chevy Bel Air that's parked outside of Paulie's Pig Out BBQ in Afton, VA.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fuji X100: A few more shots

The X100's growing on me. It's very quirky for sure, and even difficult to use at times, but the image quality's great. I wish I could screw some more lenses onto it.

I took these yesterday at a makeshift war memorial - the soldiers' boots represent Virginia soldiers killed in action. The X100's built-in ND filter let me shoot the shot with the flags at f/2...but auto ISO chose 3200. Huh?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fuji X100: Some rock and roll pics

I've been diligently carrying the X100 around everywhere I go until I have to give it back. I'm learning to live with many of its quirks, and I'll publish a "tips" post once I'm done with it. Here are a couple things I've figured out lately:
  •  There's a way around the "silent mode" flash dilemma - just turn off the operational volume and shutter sound. Voila, permanent silent mode, and you can just call up the flash whenever you want it. Who needs a fake shutter sound, anyway? (If you do, there are three to choose from.)
  • ISO is weird. You can set auto ISO parameters through the setup menu (not the ISO menu), but if you set a specific ISO in the main menu, auto ISO won't go any lower than that number. I had briefly turned off the auto ISO the other day and set the X100 to ISO 400 in order to meter a shot I was taking with a 1957 Ricoh 500, which has no meter...anyhow, I assumed that auto ISO would override the manual ISO setting, not so. No big deal, really, but good to know.
A couple co-workers play in a band that played an early evening show the other day, so I got right up on the stage and snapped a few shots.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fuji X100: lovin' and hatin' it (updated)

I jotted down my first impressions of the new Fuji X100 the other day - looking at the post now I can see it doesn't jive with most "first impressions" posts I've seen for this camera. I spent a lot of time pointing out the things the camera doesn't do well, at least in my eyes.

While I stand by all of those observations, I did figure one thing out - you can indeed wake up the camera from sleep mode, by holding down the shutter button for a second or so. Then a few seconds later, you're ready to shoot again. Everything the X100 does, it does deliberately.

However, the proof is in the pudding, and I'm loving the images I get out of this camera. It's just not snappy and responsive. Depending on what you're shooting, this is either no big deal, or a crying shame. That's what inspired the title of this post.

Here are a few more snaps - I'll keep jotting down notes as I go while I have an X100 to play with.

Update, 7/1/2011: Eolake raises a good point in his comment below. The X100 is actually plenty responsive, I was just trying to tweak too many things and dive into too many menus at the time I wrote this post. In the end, I just set the ISO, aperture, and shutter at auto and shot away most of the time. Don't make the mistake I did - just shoot away!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Repurposing gear

I took these two today using the S95 and a Sony VCL-0630 S camcorder wide-angle conversion lens. I held it by hand against the end of the lens as I shot. The top one was taken at 28mm-e at 0.6x wide, which works out to about 17mm. The conversion lens performs well at center, but gets pretty fuzzy at the edges. It reminds me of the Lensbaby.

For the bottom shot, I flipped the conversion lens over, which had a magnification effect. What I learned was, never throw anything away if it seems useful. Its true purpose will reveal itself to you in due course.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sharp enough for you?

I was fooling around in the yard today using the T3i and my Russian Jupiter 37A 135mm f/3.5 lens. It's in Pentax Screwmount (M42), easily adapted to Canon SLRs. The Jupiter 37A was set at f/5.6. I used Live View and the T3i's sweet tiltable screen. Pretty sharp, yes? I will admit to some mild sharpening during processing, but believe me, it takes a sharp image to make a sharp image.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I like this one, it looks like the shadow's going for the steal. Taken with the S95 I have on loan.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Digital Holga

credit: Saikat Biswas, via

(Thanks to Martyn Kyle of Pernmoot Photography for passing this along)

Indian photo genius Saikat Biswas has mocked up a design for a truly digital Holga camera. As a Holga lover, I can say this design is truly inspired. I love the zone focus and lack of an LCD screen. In my humble opinion, it only falls short in the sensor department. It should use an inexpensive cameraphone sensor, not a full-frame DSLR sensor! No need for such a camera to be expensive. Anyway, it's just his idea for now. But if such a camera ever came to market and was priced properly, you can count on one sale from this photographer.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sprocket holes

Every now and then I like to load up the Holga with some 35mm film and shoot - since the image circle cast by the lens is meant for 120 film, it exposes all of the smaller film. The sprocket holes show. You either like it or hate it, I guess, and it's probably an effect best enjoyed in moderation.

You can buy a 35mm Holga, but if you buy the 120 version you get 35mm for free! Just follow the instructions at Squarefrog.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Inside Jinx's BBQ

Have a look inside Jinx's Pit's Top in Charlottesville. The walls are covered with various things, from old soda signs to newspaper clippings. An interesting place, and good food, too.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Half staff

Today's Project 365 pic is of flags flying at half staff in front of the Charlottesville airport. They're flying that way in the wake of the shootings in Tuscon. It's at 24mm with the fabulous Samsung TL350 (WB2000 elsewhere). It's an awesome little camera that shoots RAW, sports a 24-120mm lens which is f/2.4 at the wide end. It'll shoot 1080p movies, and it has a fun sweep panorama mode. I recommend it highly.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Project 365 gallery

OK, it took me a week to realize it is a waste of time for me to double-post Project 365 photos every day, so I'm going to stick with the other site. You can see my daily snapshots here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Project 365: Day 3

 Beer! This is Harris Teeter's display rack.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Project 365: Day 2

Today's picture is the interior of Bodo's Bagels in Charlottesville. We brought a dozen over to a friend's house his morning. It's usually a lot busier, but I think everyone was in church.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Project 365: Day 1

The Yarmouth Photo Group is getting cranked up again, in form of the "one a day" Project 365. I've decided not to place any restrictions on myself, though I suspect I'll be getting to know my cell phone camera a little better. Here's entry number one, a familiar face you can all count on seeing much more of as the year progresses. Happy New Year!