Monday, February 23, 2009


This was an interesting accident. The last time I had used my dSLR, it was for some low-light work with lots of motion. In order to get acceptable images, I had to crank up the ISO to 1600. Pretty high. When I was done with that shoot, I forgot to reset the ISO rating back to 200 (the lowest it will go, which is kind of a weak point on the dSLR, but so it goes.)
So when I started at the falls, I noticed the shutter speed was too fast for the available light, but only after I had snapped off a few rounds. That's when I realized what ISO I was shooting with.
As it turned out, it made some rather interesting effects, this shot being a prime example.


The stark beauty of the falls really comes alive in this image, well, according to my own viewpoint and hey, who is writing this journal anyway?
The astute readers notice I've been alternating between Black and White images from my Nikon, and colour from my Pentax dSLR. This will be the last Nikon shot, and the next one will be the last Pentax shot.
Not sure what's going to be in store next, but it should be interesting.


Obviously not really, but a cool macro shot of partially thawed ice over some colourful rocks. It's really hard to get a sense of awe properly conveyed in a few simple images.
From the base of the area, everything looked brown and dead, and for a minute I thought I'd made a long trip for naught. But as I got closer to the falls, the world came alive, as you can see from these simple images I've posted here, even in the dead of winter, beauty abounds, you just have to open your eyes and see it.


This is probably my favourite image from the trip. All of the elements of the area came together for this, ice, snow, still and rapid moving water, trees and rocks.
When spring arrives, I shall be re-visiting the area but I do not think the images will be as fantastic as the ones I have already taken.
But I do not know for certain. Anticipation!


My favourite Nikon shot, and nearly my favourite shot from the trip. I shot this in colour but it really didn't capture the essence (if I can be so pretentious) of the ice flow.
I'm really starting to like this Nikon! The Ilford film I use is a perfect match. I'm currently shopping for another lens, something with a longer reach, so if you have one, drop me a line.


This past weekend I had an opportunity to shoot an ice waterfall. The area was snow/ice covered and the fall partially frozen, and the beauty of the place was mindblowing. I was so overwhelmed by the area I didn't even notice if I was cold. I won't be posting all the images I took, but only my most favourite ones, and it was difficult to decide which ones those were.
The colour shots are with my dSLR, and the Black and White was with my new Nikon N4004 (heretic, ya I know)
Here is just the start...

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Or more correctly, the dangers of autofocus. To make a short story long, I was working with a 28-90mm autofocus lens and in order to get all of the image in the frame that I wanted, I had to keep moving the camera further back, which threw off the frame I had in mind.
Finally I settled on this frame, and the autofocus just would not pick up the aliens. Shot after shot gave me chess pieces in focus, but the aliens were blurred. Finally I got a lock on one, only to have it end up refocusing on the chess bits.
So there's the lesson of the day, if you need focus on a particular subject, switch back to manual.


I am a fan of the Alien movies, I also like chess, though I am not very good at the game. I often wondered what would happen if I combined the two...
I think something like this would occur. I don't think would last very long and I'm pretty certain I know who'd win....constantly.


By way of contrast, here is a set of incense cones shot with a medium (11) aperture on the same Elicar dedicated Macro lens. On a normal lens, f/11 would get you a good bit of depth to your image, not here. Even 10mm back from the 1st cone, things are already starting to look fuzzy.
I like the shot. Wished I could have captured the smoke being given off the cones, but we ca't have everything.


More Macro work, just deatils of the Hornady ammo. Same manual lens, an Elicar 55mm f/2.8 Macro.
Who is Elicar I hear you ask? Beats me, it's a rebrand of another lens, but what a fantastically sharp lens it is.
The shot was done with filtered natural light, maximum aperture (when working with dedicated Macro lenses, DoF drops off to nothing fast) and about 30 seconds of open shutter. No other adjustments made.


Did a little bit of indoor photography today. Actually started out doing this wiht my Pentax, then moved on to the Nikon because it was such a nice day, but here I was using an old manual focus dedicated Macro. The wonderful thing about Pentax cameras is, as long as the lens mount is a "k", then they will work on a Pentax camera. Doesn't matter if it's from 1970, or 2009. 30 years of no exceptions compatibility is just one reason I love Pentax. In any case, a dedicated Macro lens will give you unparalleled sharpness.
If anyone cares, the pistol is a Russian Makarov in 9x18mm format, and the ammo is Hornady XTP custom hollwpoints. Fantastically accurate weapon, and of all the pistols I have owned, it's outshot them all.


If my memory serves me right, Heretics were burned at the stake. Compare this image, taken with the new Nikon, with one last year (or so) taken with my Yahica. You will see this image is superior. Much superior. Obviously this has much to do with the lens, and the old Yashica, medium format though it is, simply cannot compare with 20+ years of advanced lens technology. So much for Dogma.

Once again, taken from the same roll of film, the original image was sepia, which, while not unpleasing to the eye for this image, was not what I had in mind. A simple colour correction fixed that.


Merriam-Webster defines a Heretic as "one who dissents from an accepted belief or doctrine" and of course Heresy is " an opinion, doctrine, or practice contrary to the truth or to generally accepted beliefs or standards."

Today, I am a Heretic. For those that follow this journal, you know my absolute devotion to Pentax cameras (the old Samsung I had was a Pentax in all but name, and the Yashicas are medium format, and thus in a different realm) and my steadfast belief that they make some of the finest cameras ever created.
Well the other day a friend gave me an old Nikon N4004 film SLR. Pretty well mint in box (sans box) and I thought I might one day run some Black and White film through it and see what it can do. The lens, also donated by a friend, is a 35-70mm f/2.8, not bad for free.
So today was as good a day as any to see what it could do. Mind you, I was wandering around the neighborhood, snapping away at things that looked interesting, rather than actually taking proper photographs. I had no idea if the camera would function properly, or if the lens was any good.

I bought some Ilford XP2 super 400 black and white c41 film. C41 specifically so the local 1-hour joint could process it. Aside from the images coming out sepia, which I'm certain was a mistake on the developer's part, the camera performed flawlessly. I have colour (errr...) corrected the image, but here it is. I suspect this won't be the last time I will be using this old Nikon, and I'm going to have to get comfortable with the Heretic label.