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Photographing Fireworks with a 90 Year Old Leica

Sending You All Some B&W Fireworks from a Fellow Blogger. Happy 4th of July!

Johnny Martyr

*photos and text depict July 2019

There they were, a continuous, almost organized line of middle-aged men in various stages of unfolding tripods, mounting massive DSLR’s on them, carefully aiming long lenses at indeterminate points in the darkening late evening sky.  The LCD’s lit their faces with a soft glow as they took test shots and talked among one another while fiddling with various items from their giant bags of equipment.

I stepped into an empty area among the photographers and leaned towards the grey-haired gentleman beside me.  “Is this spot taken?”  He murmured something, lifted his glasses over his head and stuck his eye on the viewfinder.

From my small Domke bag, I removed my tiny, old black camera and held it up to the sky.  I unscrewed its little lens and tucked it safely in my bag.  I noticed a guy watching me but he didn’t speak, so…

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Velvia 50 vs. E100 Continues…..with Tulips

There was so much discussion after my first posting, that I’ve moved up the Film Test Series.  You seen what the Owls had to say………Now we’ll move into My Garden for the next three comparisons, and end with a road trip.

For all image sets, E100 is the first image (here the top)………Velvia 50 the second image (here the bottom).  I love these dark purple tulips…….

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I’d say these are too close to call………

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You may notice some fuzzy focus.  We’ve had a lot of wind lately.  Impossible to find a still day.

E100 on the Left……Velvia 50 on the right.

So theTulips didn’t prove to be much of a test. Only the red and yellow Tulips show a definite difference.  Next we’ll see what the Irises have to say…….

Through the Glass: Rounding 3rd and Heading for Home….

I Rang Out on Wednesday using the Solari Bell.  By the time you see this I will be on my way Home:

 

And Yes, I am taking my ‘friend’ the Mask.  More Scenes from my life over the past 2 Months:

 

I still have tons of images to post from my Arizona Experience.  Those will appear from time to time throughout the Summer.

The Story: Shooting Digital Like Film

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First the Quote from Frank H. Wu on 35mmc:

“The lesson to be learned about life is that we, or at least I, do not appreciate as much what I have been given as what I have had to bargain for. I earn my film photos. I have to be able to afford it. That means repeatedly. Each and every satisfying click and whirr is a few pennies, which must be in the pocket. I am automatically averse to waste.”

The conclusion is that His film photos are always personally more satisfying (and often objectively better) than His digital images.

My best photos are definitely film.  One of last year’s successes IS digital (shown above), but I planned and captured the image like it was film.  I saw the potential image, walked around the scene looking for the best angles, made three images; taking into consideration how I might crop the final images as well.  And THINKING like a film photographer avoids Waste.  For a digital Photographer, the “waste”  is all that time you spend in front of the computer sorting through hundreds of images that you would never use. For any given scene, when shooting film I have at most 4-5 images to sort through.  If you think film is expensive, what is all that time you spend in Lightroom or Photoshop worth?  The most I do in Photoshop is adjust the contrast and brightness for posting online.  In the (real) Darkroom  I do the film tests and adjust the Contrast using filters.  Of course, if I have used the proper contrast filter and exposure when capturing the image, adjustments will be straight forward.  Hmmmm……I’m feeling that I need to write a post on Contrast Filters,  coming soon!

 

Through the Glass: Now for the Knuckle Ball

As you read this post I will already have been in surgery for several hours………..

In keeping with my earlier Baseball Reference, we move on to the famous Knuckle Ball Pitch.  As you read this I will be entering a second round of surgery.  The first was successful as far as it went.  But the location and geometry of the Tumor require a second entry point on the side of my head behind the left eye.

Below my surgical pre-visualization image………And following the Dylan Thomas Poem……with the most memorable lines highlighted

“Do not go gentle into that good night”

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Do not go gentle into that good night

Dylan Thomas1914 – 1953

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Revisiting Doors Open Denver

It’s Doors Open Denver Weekend, sponsored by the Denver Architecture Foundation……And I’ll be very busy making new images.  One Event that I’ve particularly enjoyed is their Daniels and Fisher Tower Open House.  We have attended it twice……

 

 

See more from Past Events here.

Thoughts on Personal Vision

 

Above, three recent but very different images that I had submitted to an online Gallery.  Two are very recent, but the Apache Plume is from about 12+ years ago. So what does that say about my photography skills, style and personal vision.  Keeping in mind that vision and style are not synonymous.  These represent different styles, but I think a similar vision in regards to how I see the light and what attracts my eye.

All of these images received a similar ranking (details here).  That soul destroying ‘Special Merit” category that keeps you wanting more.  So what does “special merit” mean anyway?  Have I not progressed at all in 12 years?  Or are my interests and vision not the current hip and trendy thing? (I think the latter)  So I’ll get recognition, but never actually win a contest?  (One of my recent submissions is going to be published in a book this year.  But that’s another story……..).  And what is winning?

My middling success for a while sent me down “The Rabbit Hole”  as I discussed recently on my photo diary.  So I’m reflecting, reorganizing and redirecting my energies.  At a recent Personal Vision Workshop with Cole Thompson, we discussed how winning can actually be a setback to the progress towards understanding our personal vision; leading us to pursue the WIN rather than the VISION.  Small rewards can seriously sidetrack real goals and personal accomplishments.

Who are you making photographs for?  Yourself or the win?