Wednesday, December 16, 2009


The local cemetery is huge in ways it's hard to describe. The maps don't do it justice and every time I visit I find some new areas.
The cemetery is also very very old so it's rare just to see plain headstones, almost everything there is ornate and in some cases overwrought.
Here is a new Angel I discovered in yet another section I found.


The evening photography class I take on studio lighting has a truly terrible book. Everything in that book is out of focus. To be more precise, the Depth of Field is far too shallow for the subject matter. It's like the author of the book got ahold of an f/2 lens and shot wide open for everything.
This shot is wide open, at 1.8, and is in better focus than the book ones, so I have to revise my original theory and suppose the author got himself an f/1.2 instead.
In any case, I like the soft effect and gradual blurring here of the Angel.


I've been bouncing back and forth between C41 process films, from Kodak 400CN B/W to Ilford XP2 400. Currently I'm using the Kodak, mainly because it's readily available and I can buy three rolls of Kodak for the price of one roll of Ilford.
In any case, I'm not really a fan of Kodak's products, I feel they make a great deal of junk these days (i've ranted about Kodak elsewhere in this journal) but this film.....isn't bad at all.
As you can see from this cross detail (with the 50mm) even the smallest of details have been captured on the film. Currently I've got a roll of Ilford loaded in my F4s, so I can compare back to back (I intend to re-shoot these images) but barring extremely differing results (in Ilford's favour) I think I will stick with the humble Kodak.


One of the cool things about the 50mm is the ability to shoot at an aperture of 1.8 (in other words, wide open) allowing for extremely shallow depth of field, as shown here on this ground maiden figure.
Handy when trying to really lose the background, and rather interesting when trying to focus on only certain parts of a subject.
Local cemetery, film shot


I bought a 50mm lens the other day with some Christmas money (thanks Dad!) and had an occasion to try it out. Here is one of the results at wide open (f/1.8) with local drug store B/W film. I love the look!
As an aside, notice anything.....unusual....about the Angel? I understand the desire for anatomical accuracy, but still....

Monday, November 30, 2009


One of the many interesting things about the Nikon F4s film camera, is that the DX lenses on my Fuji, give me a wider view than designed for. This, for example, is the 17mm I use. It's designed for a dSLR and as such, is actually about a 15mm on a film camera. Suits me fine, allows me to get lumbering behemoths like this rhino on film. Still not all of it mind you, the rhino is just too big, but better than on the Fuji.
Side note, ever wonder how they get the rhino to the zoo? Car carrier maybe? Flatbed? Walked it there? I may never know.


Naturally, with my love of old things, I still shoot film. In this case I've gotten my hands on a pristine Nikon F4s and ran a roll of film through it.
Too much history to the F4s to post here, but suffice to say, this is a lovely camera. I will be shooting much more in film in the months to come.
Giraffe from the zoo, one-hour processing at the local pharmacy. Kodak 400CN film.


The saturation here was toned way down, otherwise nothing was done to the image, I felt it conveyed what it needed to as is.


Somewhere down the journal is a near idental shot with normal colouration. Feel free to compare and contrast.
I think Google scrambles the image names here, but for lack of anything else to call it, I named the picture 'hallowed be thy name' so that's where the metal title comes from.


Again, being unseasonably lovely weather this weekend, I went to the big cemetery here i town. I've been here before and got plenty of great (ahem) images so I didn't want to rehash what I'd already taken but instead further explore the emotions these images could evoke.
The following shots were taken in late afternoon, you can just see the moon in a few and as shot, they were almost too cheerful, with the sky being an azure blue and the trees there still holding green.
Adjustments were required to bring the images more inline with the sombre setting.


Odd that this ornate ironwork coach wan't a weathervane, but it made for a great image all the same. I used my 17mm on this one, to get a bit of the background farm and area in the picture.


Detail of the headlamp assembly of the BMW.


As luck would have it, on the same farm as the tractor, was an abandoned BMW. I'm not a fan of BMWs (with very rare exceptions) but this one just seemed to belong where I'd found it. Some surface rust but it looked ready to tackle the open road once again, if only someone would.


This was the tractor in its original colour, the nose logo too faded to be a detail properly, but the overall impression still worked. The keys were still in it, as it waiting for the owner to return it to use soon.


I love old decayed things. They have a sense of history about them, a presence that isn't equalled in the modern age. Thus I'm always on the lookout for wrecks, ruins or abandoned things on my photography jaunts. I was especially lucky with this tractor and made several shots and several scenes with it.


Some weekends ago, with a nice day, I went in search of something to shoot and chanced across a series of small farms. The next few images are from those farms.
Given the sunny and warm(ish) day, contrasting with the age of the farms, I've adjusted in colour profiles accordingly to fit with the mood I felt each image should convey. Let me know what you think.


A Rhino, if it wasn't obvious. Rhinos are big, very big. You see them on nature shows but until you get right next to one in person, it is difficult to convey the size of these animals.
As such, it's even harder to get a good shot of one, especially with fences and whatnot in the way, so I had to settle for the eye and first horn.
Even so, the texture of the skin makes it an interesting shot.


Penguin detail. Unlike most of the animals there at the zoo, you could get almost nose to nose with the penguins. They didn't seem to mind, and indeed, several 'posed' for the camera. Unfortunately I'd run out of space on my memory card, so one shot of a penguin was all I got, but it's a pretty good one in my opinion.


I think these are gophers, but I'm not positive. In any event, just inside the zoo is a large collection of them, and a feeding station where you can buy food pellets to give to the gophers.
I'm fairly certain gophers aren't supposed to be this fat, but I suppose if I was given yummy treats all day, and didn't have to work for my food (other than looking cute) I'd be fat too.
All pics taken with my Fuji S2 Pro and my walking around lens, the Nikkor 35-70 f/2.8


The weather is been great for this time of year, these past few weeks, so I have been out with the gear. My internet connection has been broken at home (more correctly, absent) so I've not had a chance to upload things until today.
I will start with pics from the local zoo. Not great pics, but I had much fun taking them. The tiger here is somewhat photoshopped, as I was behind a rather filthy window and couldn't get a good clear image, but you get the idea.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Cold weather really isn't my gig. I want to stay indoors where's it hot all the time. Doesn't do much for my photography I know, so I went out the other day (it happened to be warm-ish) and fooled around at a local park, not really looking for anything special, just to keep my skills up, and perhaps get a little (just a little mind you) exercise.
Anyway, a little stream runs through the park and I thought it made for a good composition, with the mixture of colours, so here it is.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Evocation VI

A dramatic sky can take an ordinary image and turn it into a memorable one.
I'm not saying this is a memorable image, but the sky completes it I think.

Evocation V

Playing hopscotch on the rocks allowed me to get fairly far out in the river. I found a good flat(ish) rock to set my camera down and do a short timelapse shot of the riverflow.
Adjusted for clarity and colour.

Evocation IV

The Depth of Field isn't what I wanted it to be for this shot, but I'd stupidly left my tripod at home and with the light fading, handholding the camera became something of a challenge.
Nonetheless, I am pleased with the final result. Very little was done to the image, it's pretty much as I found it.

Evocation III

Same bridge, different angle and adjusted differently as the clouds were sporadic and the light was much stronger for this scene. Lots of ducks added to the overall tone I was aiming for.

Evocation II

This image is not from the Pony Pasture, though it was taken on the same day. This is a bridge that I go over on the way to the Pasture. The sun was fading from view as the clouds rolled in, but enough was left to make for an interesting scene.

Evocation I

The following set of images were taken on the spur of the moment one cloudy afternoon. It had started off warm(ish) and went downhill from there. The river and rocks are from a place called Pony Pasture, though there are no ponies anywhere. Go figure.
Most of the time the place is packed with people, thus cluttering the shot. This time around, being in the evening, and much cooler, I was lucky enough to to have anyone around.
Each image has been adjusted (from slightly, to heavily) to fit a mood I was trying to convey. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Yeah yeah, been late with pics. I've been in evening classes recently and that's been my main concentration. In addition, Summer is over, and so is my desire to go outside (I dislike any weather below 80 degrees) but this image captured my desire to stand outside for more than five minutes.
On a bridge heading to work, in the morning. Straight from the camera, the Fuji, with a 17mm lens.
On a side note, I endeavour to keep this site family friendly, refraining from even mild cursing. Much to my amusement, when I attempted to pull this site up from the University's network, access had been banned and the reason listed? The journal is listed as pornographic.
Heh, it's a strange world out there.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I've always admired architects that can seamlessly blend different styles together into one building.
This building isn't one of those. Nonetheless, it makes for an interesting photography subject.
Inner Harbour, during the sunny part.


You can see here the sky was in full threat mode, but the sun was still showing through in certain parts, thus ensuring certain buildings were illuminated while others were muted by the clouds.
The sharp angles of the pool and buildings all came together in this image.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Here you can see the low rolling clouds. Just a brief, but strong, rain. Given how hot it was that day, the rain helped things.
The Inner Harbour area is just chock full of wildly shaped buildings, prime colours and organic shapes. I could play tourist for a week and not get everything on film (so to speak) that I'd want.
Gotta go back before winter kicks in.


I have always loved U-Boats. At the Inner Harbour they had an American one you could tour. Was a bit of a trick to photograph it (indeed, all of the Inner Harbour areas) without people around. Patience paid off though. I love this shot.


For the first time in a long time, I took a small vacation. Went to Baltimore's Inner Harbour to try my hand at some landscape (okay, buildingscape) shots. I must say I was very pleased at how they turned out, here is one of my favourites.
The weather, as you can see, was perfect for photography. Later that day a rainstorm hit, but even then the clouds looked great. I even managed to come back to work and find it still standing!
All done with my Fuji S2 Pro and Tamron 17mm lens. I've put my Pentax down for the time being, the lenses on the Fuji are just so much sharper.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Why yes, I have been playing with digital colour settings, how can you tell?
I took the original picture during a lunch break and didn't get a chance to look at it until this weekend. The unmodified picture isn't bad, but not that interesting either. Working with the image yielded more interesting results.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


This area would not be out of place in a high end eatery. Except there were no waiters, no food, and of course no people.
I can only just begin to imagine the cost involved in renovating this place. I used to work in the building trade industry, marble, real marble, isn't cheap, and it's a pain to work with. Ditto the Mahogany wood, and the attention to details like the trim around the entryways and the brightwork.
On the other hand, an empty space like this would make a great place to do a photoshoot. Have the people in vintage clothing and we'd be all set!


Initially I thought this was some ornate clock at the train station, but obviously I was wrong. I have no idea what it is, or what it might represent. It looks like a prop from the film Dark City. Reading the letters in standard left to right fashion, it spells out SLA Service Level Agreement? I don't think so. Backwards it's ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, so that's not it either.
Whatever it is, the attention to detail is stunning.


A shot from the waiting room, the outside light was partially filtered by some beautiful wooden slats, and gave the interior a warm look about it. Dark mahogany row seats with leather and brass tacks added to the look. Marble everywhere I looked. Can't wait to go back again.
Same 17mm lens, on the Fuji S2 body.


We have a train station that is virtually unused in the city. The history of the building is long, and amusing. In the 60s it flooded, the was rebuilt, then flooded again, then rebuilt, then burned down, then rebuilt, then flooded again, rebuilt, re-used as a mall(?!) which failed, rebuilt again as a train station, just as the trains quit coming to the city.
Anyway, the interior of the place is stunning (for this city anyway) marble walls, soft lighting, solid woodwork, live plants, leather seats, and so on. I was the sole person there today. As I walked in, I saw a cleaning person, but they quickly disappeared. No patrons, no trains, nothing. So it was perfect for picture taking. I plan on going back many times and fully exploring the image possibilities.
Shot with my Fuji S2 Pro and a 17mm lens.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I was invited to a club to shoot some models there. I'd never worked with on-camera flash (preferring remote strobes) and I was unsure of what I'd get.
Naturally, my flash unit failed within the first flash, and I had to rely on the built in one on my Fuji. So for running live, with no experience, I was pretty darned nervous, fortunately the club was nearly pitch black and much of the flash was lost in that, so the models turned out well, as you can see here.
I'd dearly love a bette flash unit, but the prices!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Just a bit of whimsey on my part. I belong to a photography forum where a new topic is posted weekly. It's supposed to encourage us to go out and shoot something we don't normally do and this week's topic was "candy."
To be perfectly honest I've been busy this week and really hadn't had the chance to do something, so I combined two of my favourite things (chocolate and monsters) into a quick photograph.
I don't normally put a title on my work, but in this case I think it should be "AvP 3: The fight for GuyLian"
Dialogue could go something like this: Predator "Grrclckhss snrgllr, tckhtck!" (translation: "Stay away from the human sweet, foul beast!")
Alien "Hssssssssssss" (translation: "Hssssssssssss")
I think it'll be a blockbuster of a movie. Hey, can't be any worse than the last AvP flick.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Visited some great friends for July 4. Brought the Fuji just in case. Didn't get much in the way of fireworks, being in a heavily wooded neighborhood, so with a stack of glowsticks, I made my own lightshow.


Got a new lens for my birthday. It arrived two days early which was great so I had to go out and try it today after work. It was a perfect sunny day too.
Local park, sleeping girl and colour images converted to BW.
As an aside, I found out why the Ilford film I shot kept turning out sepia. Turns out the local 1-hour joints re-use their developing chemicals. No big deal (supposedly) for colour film, but it does something weird for Black and White. I like what it does, and the trick will be to catch them before they change out the chemicals. I like the sepia look.


Believe it or not, this is a real flower. It's from something called a "passion flower" or as I like to call it, "The Plant That Ate Sheboygan"
My parents had one of these in their front flower garden. It was a climbing vine and as soon as it found purchase, it took over the garden and grew at a rate that, and I am not kidding, you could watch. I would go to school in the morning, and went I got home, the plant would have grown several inches. Crazy crazy thing. Cut it back and it re-grew at twice the original rate. And then one day it sprouted these crazy flowers, all at once.
This one was growing wild at the local botanical gardens, and needless to say, taking over everything. When I got close for this picture, I swear it asked me for a cigarette.


This is a detail of one of many butterflies that were on display at the local botanical gardens this weekend. I was using ambient light, which while good, was filtered through heavy plant growth and in an effort to make sure I got the shot before the butterfly took off, I used too shallow a depth of field (as evidenced by the top of the picture) but I did get the eyes and mouth in focus, which helps offset the top somewhat.
Fuji dSLR with Nikon lens.


Nothing will tax a camera system like trying to capture butterflies, especially in motion. Their Brownian motion in flight is all but impossible to predict and capture, at least with the gear I have. But as they land, things change. Here is one of the better ones I caught this weekend.
Fuji dSLR with Nikon lens.


As you can see, the colour profile issue has been fixed. I was partially correct in my assumptions about what was wrong, but with the help of some kind people, fixed the underlying culprit, Adobe colour profiles. By default Adobe uses some advanced profiles (for professionals of course) and programs like Internet Explorer cannot handle them. So without losing too much data, the profile is converted to something that IE can handle. And thus the images turn out like i took them.
In this case, a forgotten firetruck in a field.
Moral of this story? Learn your software.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


This is not what I shot. Well, the flowers are, but the colours are not. I've been shooting in RAW recently, which captures each colour channel individually and allows me to work with each one.

The problem here is that although the image looked great in PhotoShop, here on the 'Net it's washed out and faded. Not certain what I can do about that, it may be a limitation of the journal's image recognition capability.

In any case, pretend the colours are more vivid.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Had gone to the mall to get some new batteries, and while I was there, had a serious jonesing for some fried rice. Once I had the fresh batteries I thought I'd try them out on something simple, hence this pic. First time shooting real food (chocolate doesn't count) and I thought it turned out okay. Wish I could say the same for the food. The 'bourbon chicken' was terrible.
If this post makes you hungry for some chinese food, sorry, send the bill to me.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


This is the same image as below, run through PhotoShop and cleaned up as best as I can.
After looking at both images side by side, I actually think I like the untouched one better. It's got an age about it, a certain honesty and perhaps nostalgia ot the look.
The adjusted one simply looks like someone has attempted to correct a bad photo and while the colours are more true, the underlying effect is still there and somehow (in my view anyway) clashes.
Let me know which one you prefer.


A very nice friend of mine gave me an old film camera. A Minolta Maxxum 7000, along with some lenses and a high-end flash unit. In the case, was a roll of Kodak 100 Gold film. Age unknown, but unused.
For fun I thought I'd run it through the camera and see what I got. The effects are....interesting. It's expired of course, probably by 15 years if not more.
As you can see, the image is quite noisy, as I understand it, the emulsion layer of film starts to break down as it ages, and in effect, creates a much noisier image than would otherwise be expected. Colours fade, lighting is uneven, in short, a surprise with every shot.
There are groups out there dedicated to shooting nothing but expired film. Given the difficulty of finding film as old as this, it is unlikely I'll be repeating this experiment again.