FE 55

High Plains and Misdemeanors

A trip through what the USGS calls 13d - the High Plains, at least part of the part in Eastern Colorado.  First that and then Denver.  Four days with snaps, here is the rota:

Day 1: Genoa, Arriba, Flagler, Siebert, Vona, Stafford

Day 2: Cheyenne Wells, Kit Carson, Wild Horse, Hugo, Denver (from Hotel)

Day 3: Kiowa, Calhan, Ramah, Simla, Matheson, Denver (Lo Do and Da Vita HQ)

Day 4: Denver (Colfax in Goosetown, a few residential snaps, a few in Cherry Creek)

Click on the snaps below to see the contact sheets - The captions indicate the days.  Great weather, until the typical Colorado afternoon cloudbursts. All with the A7r and mostly with the Sony/Ziess 55 1.8.  The Denver Lo Do snaps with the Nikon 20. Back to the grindstone early in the AM.

Slow uploads from the hotel, so likely another hour before they are all uploaded.  Not very consistent with the thinly curated contact sheet approach.

Day 1: Vona, CODay 2: Cheyenne Wells, CODay 3: Ramah, CODay 4: Goosetown, Colfax Avenue, Denver

Four Squares...

not houses but sunflowers from the McKee-Besher Wildlfe Management Area in Poolesville, MD — cropped square. All B&W, the one below with the 14mm Canon, the rest with the 55mm Sony-Zeiss — all on the A7r.

Yesterday afternoon — not such a brilliant idea vis-a-vis traffic. Friday night in the summer on 95NB (avoided via MD-200 and US 29) and the Yankees playing the Orioles at a sold-out Camden Yards, unavoidable even including a eastern diversion to 895.

All B&W because everyone else's will be in color — the meetup photography groups are attending in regiment if not batalion sized groups. Only four because, well... the rest look like everyone else's even in B&W. Click on the snap below to see it and the other three bigger, if not full size.

p.s. Likely the sole "wilderness" excursion for the year. Will pass on the insects, back to the streets and alleys.

For some reason I thought I was facing north at 5PM. Clueless

Need to get from twelve to five!

So the challenge is to show five. It started out north of 900.  Down to twelve from an "and return" sprint to DUMBO for a Joe DiMaggio Gleasons Gym/DUMBO workshop today. Once again wrong equipment (A7r), but was good, in the end lots of out-of-focus shots in 900+.  Ergo less to to chose from.

As of 10:45PM Saturday these are my top twelve, need to be  five by lets say 6PM tomorrow. Click here or on the snap below to check out the candidates. Sunday AM 4/27 added two more, now fourteen to five.

Main near corner of Fulton - DUMBO

sans Groucho, Harpo and Chico...

nevertheless a day at the races.  The Maryland Grand National Steeplechase races. Stay cut short by lack of sustanance — only for me though, everyone else had the foresight to bring thier own. I guess it violates equestrian etiquite to hawk chow on the the hosting nabob's demense. 

Low sugar level must have impaired the noggin which lead to a bad ISO, fStop combo, which further lead to a Robert Frank like run of very soft images. At least he had the excuse of film and poor indoor lioght.  I have the best performing camera on the planet on a day of all sun — well just becuase you know doesn't mean anybody else has to.  

So an inversion of the B&W blog image and color gallery of this AM here. For some reason the color snaps look crappy so converted to B&W except of course for the one below. This MS Pulitzer afficiando demanding to be showcased in an emulation of Kodak's finest Ektachrome.

Smack it (you know who you are, HAH!) here or on the snap below to be, as usual, swept off to smugmug.

It should be obvious — no long lenses, all at 28 and 55mm. The 5D Mk III and the long stuff were in Charlotte's way-back and stayed there. Wasn't at all interested in the horses. Was interested in the people who were interested in the horses or at least in the party the horses attract. Was not on the top of my game, long distance logistics tomorrow — off to the Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue. Need to up my performance.

BTW, this is the second item posted today so you might have missed the one below re: Erie Canal.



Rumor had it my grandfather had a thing for Packards. I can't verify that as there is no one to ask and by the time I was around he wasn't diriving at all. Anyway at car shows I am attracted to them so when I had the opportunity to pop into the American Packard Museum in Dayton, OH earlier today I grabbed it.

Was outside of Cincinatti with a couple of days of meetings with a client and some potential suppliers.  We knew we were going to end early today and I had shifted to a 5PM flight from Dayton last night. Turned out we ended even earlier than planned and I had a couple of hours to kill. The Dayton airport isn't competitive with Schiphol so I looked for a photo op along the way. The first thing that appeared were some native american mounds. Interesting architectuarlay but not all that much of a thrill photographically. Next up were some NPS sites in Dayton that featureed an odd combination of the Wright Brothers and Paul Lawerence Dunbar, after whom many inner city high schools are named, a big cheese afro-american poet. That didn't much appeal either but lead to the USAF museum at Wright Patterson. I would have settled for that but planes, especially military planes, aren't my favorite either. So as a last stab I did a search on 500px for Dayton and a series of shots of Packards showed up. After a couple of google searches, I had a target. Five bucks to get into what was a Packard dealership with a bunch of cars in two buildings. Plenty of value for the fiver.

As usual the A7r was in my briefcase along with the FE 35 and FE 55. So I walked out through the museum with the 35 mounted, switched to the 55 and walked in. Was great and I still had enough time to do some initial scoring at the gate waiting for the flight. Did some in color initially but the mixed incandescant and daylight was not yeilding great results so I wound up doing them all in B&W.

As usual click here or on the snap below to be taken to the smugmug hosted gallery.

 American Packard Museum — Dayton, OH


Today resulted in 498 images without the usual bracketing — a whole lot of snaps.  I had planned to go to the Museum of Industry but figured I would be in and out in an hour or so.  For some reason I was up early, early enough to park just off the Lincoln Memorial Circle just before 7:30.  The natural first stop was the Lincoln Memorial looking for shadows, that was followed up by the Korean, FDR, Jefferson, WW II, Vietnam and a revist to the Lincoln. After that it was a visit to the two Union Markets, the one missing letters in its sign and the one that got lost on its way to New Caanan, CT. After grabbing some lunch and a loaf of rye, Charlotte got pointed north to Museum of Industry. The earlier prediction was right about an hour stay — possibly abetted by free admission becuase of the prescense of a robotic contest.

The 498 images didn't get cut by much and I am not feeling very ruthless and the Florida/UConn game has just started. As usual I am recording it but I am not inclined to get too far behind tonite. So 200+ images from all the venues all stuck in one giant sized smugmug gallery. The intention was to shoot strangers but I wound up with some of them, some statues and some museum exhibits.  There are no cherry blossom snaps for two reasons (i) they aren't out yet and (ii) I wouldn't shoot them even if they were. There are plenty of other people shooting them — if you are interested try Flickr. I am only interested in the cherry blossoms as fly paper to increase the number of strangers around DC strreets and the mall.

This time of year is also when the honor flights come to the mall bringing vets to visit memorials. I happened across a groups of Korean and WW II vets.  The shot below was taken going into the Pacific end of the WW II Memorial.  The guy's name is Frank Mastrella, he is from Rochester, NY (from his name tag). The woman told him that she was sorry he was going home becuase other wise they had a date tonite. I blew getting the shot of her planting one on his dome. For sure it is the best shot of the day.

Lots of narcissism in this gallery with a pretty large number of shadow selfies ala Lee Friedlander. Click here or on Frank's snap below to see the entire uncurated bunch. All in B&W — too many Friedlander books I guess.

Best I can figure, that was an interracial, same sex marriage at ~ 8AM at the Lincoln Memorial.

Now that they have uploaded, it is clear I need to scrub out the dupes and the out-of-focus snaps.

Frank Mastrella, Rochester, NY Honor Flight Mission 33


The day before Paddy was stretched...

or something like that. Was hoping for a replay of yesterday's gorgeous weather. Got into Charlotte and quickly discovered all the windows down and the sunroof open which were quite inconsistent with this afternoon. Off to Harbor East for some casual architectural stuff with a planned foray over near the aquarium. Turns out B'more celebrates St. Patricks Day with a parade today - presumably because Philly's was yeterday, freeing up a large number of string and High School bands to travel an hour and half south.

So took some architecural stuff (mostly the black and whites) and the parade (largely the snaps in color). Wrong camera for the parade, the A7r,  the 5D Mk III would have been a far better choice but then who knew about the parade. Once again travelling light and once again started out with the Canon 28 f/2.8 IS and moved on to the FE 55.  The FE 35 once again just filled my pocket.

Wasn't the niceset weather, got pretty raw by the end, knocked the chill off with a visit to Paco and some Hendricks.

Half a hundred or so on smugmug, click here or on the parade snap below. For those of you just getting around to looking after Saturday's email alert those snaps are below — was a prolific weekend.

Completely wrong color for a March 16th parade.

Graffiti Warehouse

meetup.com surfing uncovered a photo event today at Grafitti Warehouse here in town. There is an ally behind the building where it is legal to paint grafitti. A lot of the snaps and I think the best of them came from the ally. Inside, more grafitti and sudios — today a model/photographer event. Turns out I was more interested in the structure than the models. At $20 it is cheap by inside building access for photography standards. Lots of dude photgraphers and a few dudettes all with pretty much the same stuff taking the same shots of the same models (looked like a different version of the eagle shooters at Conowingo). I always try hard not to do same. So no flash and no tele lenses — not that I actually own a flash. Turns out it is pretty boring, very unlike street photogrpahy no adrenline rush — like shooting fish in a barrel. Also, a gazzilion photographers... along with doing something different I prefer to do it alone. Lastly there is the creepy feeling. Not likely to do this kind of stuff again. First time = last time.

Anyway, some interesting snaps of the alley, parts of the building, the expected stuff and some street-like shots of the players, the later being the most fun to shoot.

Was going to haul a lot of stuff with me but in the end went light, the A7r, Canon 28 f/2.8 IS on the Metabones, the FE 55 and the FE 35. The 35 never made it on the camera. Started out with the 28 and the snaps on the way in were with this and a few early ones inside. With photographers all over the place I needed more length to keep them out of view (pretty rude bunch stepping in front too) so on went the 55. A good chunck of the 55 snaps were with the Zeiss Softar I soft focus filter attached, they are pretty easy to spot. As usual one snap here, the rest on smugmug.  Click here or on the snap below to head off to the gallery.


Ransom notes

I thought, should I ever need to pen a ransom note, I would need some letters and for sure some numbers. The B&O Museum parking lot seemed a good place to get some. Turned out it is.

After a strong and welcome KHH recommendation, I watched "The Heat" last night via Apple TV.  It was a cop movie with both the FBI and local PD, figured I would certainly need the letter that would most come in handy when dealing with those folks — according the movie.  Got a few versions cause I would will need a lot of them. Hah! Click on the letter snap below or here to see the rest. There are also some abstracts at the end.

A7r — first loop thru the lot with the FE 55. On the rebound the Canon 100L via the Metabones. All processed with VSCO's faux Ektar 100.

 F is the bomb

Green eggs and ham...

No sam I am not, 'cause this is about something green and something ham — but green hair and prosciutto at Birroteca. The end of todays line, after a visit to the Rawlings Conservatory and spin thru Druid Hill Park. Abstracts from the Conservatory and structures from the park. Structures in color, vivid Fuji Fortia color, delivered via Sony and the A7r VSCO and.  Some in the conservatory with the Canon 100L macro but most with the killer FE 55 f/1.8. Plenty of snow from the other day but a very comfortable sunny and windless 28 outside.  Hot and miserably humid in the Mediterranean (Green) House, couldn't wait to get back outside to my New England-like prefered temperature.

Two galleries on smugmug.  The abstracts can be seen by clicking here and the park structures by clicking here. And, oh, check out the green hair below.

Green Hair at Birroteca

Trying to scratch out a few

Yesterday found me incapable of plotting even the most pedestrain location. Some searches for today led to Loch Raven, where I had never been and Susquehanna State Park, where I had but was not too thrilled. Both are near enough to Wawa country to at least provide an alternative agenda — so after making a major big pharma contribuion at CVS, Charlotte was pointed north.

Was looking for ice and ice there was plenty of — unfortunately mostly underfoot and not so marvy for snaps. In the end was able to squeeze out a few despite the genre mostly missing my sweetspot.  A nature guy I am not! The best of the lot are likely the ice on the mill wheel as below. Per now nomal practice the rest are on SmugMug and viewable by a click here or on the item snap.

All with the A7r, some with the FE 55, others with the Canon 70-300 adapted via a Metabones III.

Floss on the mill

Marietta on Susquehanna — Redux

Back after quite some time to Marietta, PA.  On the Susquhanna River in Lancaster County. This was a backup location to the Ephrata Cloister, deeper into Lancaster County, which was not appealing given the weather.  This was last visted a number of cameras ago with the Canon 10D in Septmeber of 2005. Was probably time to go back if for technical improvement reasons only.  A few more pixels with the A7r at 36MP vs the 10D's 6MP.   The place hasn't changed much, still rather strange, caught between restoration aspirations and just plain rundown. Proximity to Three Mile Island might be part of the reason.

A favorite snap from 2005 redone below.  Click it or here to see the rest on smugmug.

Patapsco State Park and back

Quick drive to Patapsco Stae Park, just downstream from Ellicott City. Was super day, felt like I was a lot younger, maybe six.  Roads are very twisty, combined with the low winter sun surefire recipe for car sickness —amazingly while I was driving.  Avoided rowlf but still...  Grrrrr.  

Not sure what is up with this place, people live in or right along the edges of what I presume is the park. They all live behind clusters of keep out signs. Place is also very desolate and looks like it might flood really badly in hurricanes and Nor'easters. Feels like Tabacco Road just five miles from the B'more Stadia.  Strange.

Several abaonded houses like the one in the snap below.  After I took a few snaps in what feels like a river gorge, I skipped the Ellicot City tourist strip and headed back to town. Mostly to deal with the motion sickness. On to 95 and a stop in at the Museum of Industry parking lot on the south side of the harbor, then a different approach to a favorite venue at the Canco garage in Canton. The showable snaps in a smugmug gallery. Click here or on the snap below to check them out.

All with the A7r, most with the FE 55, the last three Canco garage and the backyard shots with the Canon 70-300L via a Metabones III adapter.

Sunrise, sunset, swiftly flow the days

A convenient use of the Fiddler on the Roof/Sinatra lyrics to fit the circumstances.  The first was taken yesterday morning, the second tonite. There was some notion of a stitching up a pano for tonite's snaps but no such synapse yesterday. Yesterday's were actually stitched after todays worked out ok. The sunrise pano is only two shots, that is why it is taller, I took a third snap but there is a gap between it and what would be the middle snap, so drat — only two images for the sunrise. The wider, sunset shot, is made up of three images. I had a notion of maybe getting a bonus pano but there wasn't much time as these sun up/down events come and go in a hurry. Certainly no time to grab a tripod, so I used the EVF grid lines to get the horizon more or less in the same place and moved fast and hoped I got the same exposure in AP mode. Worked out pretty well.  Both panos with the A7r with the FE 55mm f/1.8 @ f/5.6. All were the first images shot out of a three shot bracket exposed at -2EV, horizontally for convenience. Stitched in Photoshop not in the A7r.

In keeping with my mantra, F the process, it is the outcome that counts. I think the outcome is just fine.

BTW, "contact" printed these things would be pretty big; 42x15 for Sunrise, 64x15 for Sunset.  Next time I have a printing party, I think I will do Sunset. A new container of yellow ink just arrived from B&H last week.

Yesterday my AA asked if I had any extra prints laying around the house.  Boy do I, finally an opportunity to get rid of some of this stuff, wait until she gets a framing estimate! Hah!

Sunrise 1/13/14

Sunset 1/14/14

Talk about lazy...

it has been a while.  More than a while, months.  Lots of new snaps, a new camera with a couple of new lenses too. Todays snaps all done with the new camera, a Sony A7r, and it seems somewhat unusally the FE 55mm f/1.8.  Lots of A7r owners seem to be heading toward vintage lens adaption. I am doing some adaption, but generally only where it leverages the strength of the camera, which for me is mostly with the Canon 24mm TS-E II f/3.5 and the TS-E 45 f/2.8.  The Sony articulated LCD and focus aids make it a hellofalot easier to focus than the 5D Mk III.

So this morning it was foggy, really foggy and a fog warning in effect until 11AM. Figured I head to Fells Point. But, in an contuation of the car follies that began last Saturday, Charlotte wouldn't start.  Another call to Mercedes Roadside Service — at least I am home this time. 

By necessity then, todays snaps were from around the 'hood.  I'm happy with the outcome.  Click here or on the snap below to wing over to smugmug for the gallery.

A favorite Pratt Street doorway. Never before seen open.