Category Archives: Portraits

Armistice 1918-2018: What Have We Learned?

I am Reposting this for Veteran’s Day 2019.  Didn’t quite get the response I had hoped for last year……

Over the past 4 years of the 100th Anniversary of World War I (The War to end all Wars, except that it didn’t).  I had hoped for some thoughtful reflection on the Root Cause of Conflict.  I am aware that some of this occurred Across Europe.  But nothing here in the USA.

WWI History is barely touched upon here.  I know much more than the average America due to an excellent AP European History class I took in High School.  It was taught by one of my most memorable teachers, Mr. Knab, from the perspective of the root cause of conflict and how it directly led to WWII.

An opportunity lost……..

Memorial_Day

So I am Honoring My Father’s WWII Service in a Segregated Army, in Italy.  1st Lt Vernon Johnson.  An Army He later helped to Integrate under orders from President Truman.  He worked in the Army Reserve, ‘helping’ white soldiers get used to taking orders from African America Officers. At the out break of The Korean War, he was like other WWII veterans, exempted from further service because he had a wife and child.  At least back them they did not want to make more Widows and Orphans.

Notably my Father was also a Buffalo Soldier…..And he loved the Bob Marley song.  He felt Appreciated and Respected.

 

 

My Father always talked about the Children he met in Italy………

 

 

And Training at Ft Huachuca, Arizona…….

 

 

 

We’ll end with a Photograph of my Mother.  The one that my Father carried with him through the War. I found it in his old foot locker along with many of the images above:

College_Mom3049.jpg

Mom is still with us at a Feisty 95……

Lomo Purple Revisited: Lessons Learned Part II

PurpleLoveliness4

Lomo Purple is definitely an interesting film.  I had never tried a ‘special effects’ film before.  And surprisingly, I like it.  But there are some caveats that never seem to be mentioned in Lomo Purple posts and promotions,

So this is more of a user’s guide than a film review.  I’ll let you try the film and decide if you like it. FIRST:  the angle of the sun with respect to your image scene is the biggest factor for a successful image.  I’ve discussed in a Lomo Purple is definitely an interesting film.  I had never tried a ‘special effects’ film before.  And surprisingly, I like it.  But there are some caveats that never seem to be mentioned in Lomo Purple posts and promotions, I have touched upon this in previous post and hope to publish a full summary review of my experiences soon.  But note that the ideal sun angle is 90 to 180 degrees from the image scene.  In my most recent Lomo Purple roll shown here, I was careful with the sun angle.

 

I have one more roll of medium format Lomo Purple being developed now.  I also plan on running an exposure time test for the RSS Pinhole.  AND in a few weeks I expect an @35mmc summary article of My Lomo Purple experiences to be published.

Frugal Film Project Roll #4: and the Light Meter Failed……

I had been debating a camera change for my official membership in the 2020 Frugal Film Project.  But as I worked my way through the August #camerachallenge, the light meter on the Canonet failed, and it’s not worth fixing.  So in a future post I will be proposing three possible camera replacements for Frugal Film 2020, and I’ll have you vote for your favorite in November………

For now, here are six favorites from the #camerachallenge which I shot with the Canonet and planned to use for both projects this month:

 

 

 

Why Fisheye?

I’ve realized that I had several Fisheye lens/camera set ups.  My First was a Zenitar Fisheye for my 35 mm Minolta Family:

 

 

Minolta Zenitar Redwoods:

Redwoods

Next I acquired a Lomo Fisheye:

PeachesBooks

Then a Fisheye attachment for the Holga.  My First Emulsive Secret Santa Gift:

Holga_Fisheye

Next A Fisheye Lens for My Diana:

Diana_Fisheye2

Wow this is out of control right?  So I thought about “Rewarding” myself with a Mamiya 645 fish eye lens after recovering from a recent illness.  The price though, was daunting  (~$1200) and I thought about how little I actually use any of my other Fisheye Lenses. Then I became aware of the Arsat Zodiak-8 Fisheye, and picked one up for $120.  In fact I bought two cameras and two lenses for the cost of the most expensive M645 Fisheye listing ($1800).

So, now for the first results from the Arsat with comparisons to my 35 mm Fisheye:

Fisheye_ChapelontheRock

Chapel on the Rock: 645 Arsat Fisheye, Peak to Peak Highway

Fisheye_TreeontheRock

Above: I call this one the “Tree on the Rock”  also Peak to Peak Highway.

Now from some side by side comparisons to my 35 mm Zenitar Fisheye )left B&W is 645; right color is 35 mm):  These were taken from the same tripod position.

 

 

 

 

 

If you are old enough to remember, the 1970’s were a Fisheye crazed time.  Even the original Hawaii 5-0 had a fisheye view of a landing plane in its Intro. But, I haven’t answered my question yet:  Why Fisheye?  Well, just for the fun of it!

Post Script:  I haven’t forgotten 9/11, I’m just not going to support the politicization of it.  I will Always Honor those who died.

Inspired By: The Littlest Holga

You can follow The Littlest Holga on Twitter (@Littlest_Holga).  Probably the most successful thing I’ve ever done with on-line photography was sending a Purple Fluorescent Holga to @Givemeabiscuit (on Twitter) as part of my first EMULSIVE Secret Santa.  Half serious and half a joke, Holga was at that time going out of business.  So I thought it would be a good gift.

Now Littlest Holga travels the world making fun and fabulous images.  Holga was my introduction to medium format during an Experimental Photography class in Monterey.  I was so inspired by Holga that I chose to use it for my first 6 months of the 52 Rolls Project.  So here are a few of my recent Holga Favorites…..

And Early Holgas from that Experimental Photography Class:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And an image made using the Fisheye lens gift that I received from my first Secret Santa…….

Labyrinth

And Below….My Holga Panorama Pinhole……..

TheCreek

See More of My Holgas Here

 

Father’s Day 2019: Homage to My Father’s J33 Land Camera

 

Polaroid_J33_posted

My Father’s camera was the J33, a smaller version of the J66.  We traditionally had at least an annual Ester Parade Photo taken on our front steps……This one from 1962…Me 2 years old, brother Kevin on the left and Wesley on the right.  Seems like only Kevin was cheery that day.

Easter_1962_059

Below, my favorite photo of 2 year old me…..with my stuffed animals.

Me_1962

Front yard, back yard and on vacation in 1965…………Shown also was our first dog, Tessie.

My mom in 1959 soon after she found out I was on the way………a Pre-baby photo, with Mister the Cat.

My Brother Wesley holding baby Me.  Needs some restoration.

Wesley_BabyKathy058

 

 

 

 

Inspired By: Kim Weston

Let’s start with a Weston Interview Quote:

“…..If you use a film long enough, you get to know its characteristics. I don’t use a meter, I just know the light…..”

I love the quote because I rarely use my spot meter…….

Now, what inspires me?  If you check out his website….he exclusively does nude photography.  Although tastefully done, it’s not my thing (although there is one image I do love: Nude in Cactus).  And this is as far as I go into Nudes:

Johnson_KE_Illuminate_4

What Inspires Me? First I am inspired by His warm and welcoming attitude towards film students and film enthusiasts in the Monterey Bay Region.    I met Kim Weston when he welcomed our Monterey Peninsula College Class to Wildcat Hill.  At that time he was making predominantly platinum prints and we were an Alternative Processes class.  So he demonstrated the printing method for us.  He also discussed his artistic philosophy, and let us see his famous grandfather, Edward Weston’s, simple but beautiful darkroom. Imagine yourself making fabulous 8X10 contact prints like pepper #39 using an incandescent light bulb.

Kim Weston invited us to drop by, and if he wasn’t busy, we could talk about photography.  One of my friends spoke up.  Luther was having trouble learning to use his 4X5 view camera.  Kim just said, drop by with the camera sometime.  Luther did, and Kim Weston spent the afternoon showing him how to get the most from his 4X5. His support of film photographers, especially students, inspires me.

But Kim Weston eventually took it a step further, starting the Weston Collective, a scholarship program for students in Monterey County that are studying fine art film photography.  And the Collective has taken a step forward in support of fine art photography by opening a darkroom and teaching studio.  Raising the funds and managing the space for the benefit of ‘developing’ film photographers is inspiring.