Posts Tagged ‘publisher’

I dug through the old to find something new. I found a Fuji Reala color negative from a roll of film that I shot way back in the Spring of 2001. This was when I first got back into photography after a long hiatus, but before I began using color transparency film exclusively for my macro shots.

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This is a shot of a single branch from a barberry bush we once had in our side yard. I always liked this image but had forgotten about it until today when I went through my old color negative archives.

I scanned the neg with my Minolta Scan Dual III powered by VueScan software (highly recommended). Then I switched to my editor, Picture Window Pro (PWP).  I cropped the left and right edges of the image from 4 x 6 to a 4 x 5 proportion, boosted the saturation about 10% and applied two rounds of USM sharpening. The first was a local contrast enhancement using a small amount (20%), radius = 40 and zero threshold. The second was 50% with a radius of 2 and zero threshold.

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Just for kicks I decided to do a B&W conversion. I like it. I used the monochrome transformation with a green filter in Picture Window Pro, then I tweaked the contrast using curves and gave the image another sharpening with USM (not too much). The green filter darkened the berries nicely.

Which version is better? I like both.

I took this picture before I got my F3. I used a Nikon FG, probably my 100mm lens (I don’t remember now) and a cheap tripod. The FG is a nice little camera but not suited for serious macro work because you can’t stop down the lens to preview depth of field and the mirror has no lock up either.

The frustrations I went through early on led to my decision to buy a used Nikon F3HP on eBay. I got a good one at a good price not long after I took this picture. I’ve never once regretted the purchase.

I’m going to dig into my old color negatives again over the next few weeks to see what goodies I can find. I shot so much color negative film back then (in the beginning) that I don’t remember what I have. It will be fun.

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I was hiking along the ridge trail in Ceres Nature Preserve the week before last. It was a beautiful day, shadows deep under the forest canopy and when the sunlight shone through — a marvelous sight.

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I think this tree, with the gnarly roots, might be my favorite tree of all. Such character. And yes, the trail climbs over those roots. The lighting was perfect. Sometimes you just get lucky.

This image helps validate my decision to buy my only new Nikon lens earlier this year (all my other lenses were purchased used). If I’m out with one lens, this 35mm AF is the one — I really like the perspective and the quality of the images I’m getting. I shot this one on repackaged (Freestyle Legacy Pro 400)  Fuji Neopan 400. I’ve been testing several B&W films and this stuff is a keeper.

Drop on by The Weekend in Black & White, especially if you are a monochrome maniac. There’s lots links to some great monochrome photography. And some of the monochrome maniacs still use film like I do.

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I shot these images last Sunday on one of my bicycle/photo outings. Both are from the same roll as yesterday’s Reflections shots.

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My 35mm lens lets me get nice and close. Here’s a nice detail shot of the bridge side railing. I was attracted to the weathered wood and the big old bolt head.

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This image will give you some idea of the scale and location. The detail of the bridge was taken on the other side of the road because the wood is more weathered on that side. I like the perspective looking up the hill from this side better. I lost the sun on this shot. In fact it was threatening rain and I beat a hasty retreat after this shot.

As it turned out, I felt a few drops of rain but by the time I got home the sun was shining again. Go figure.

Drop on by The Monochrome Weekend, especially if you are a monochrome maniac. There’s lots links to some great monochrome photography. And some of the monochrome maniacs still use film like I do.

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Sunday was such a beautiful day that sitting inside in front of a computer monitor was inconceivable. When I finally turned my computer on I fished about in my archives to come up with a suitable image for Monday Macros.

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I have no idea what this monochrome blossom is. I found a scan of a very old (40 years old) color slide that had a decidedly blue cast that I didn’t like so I converted the image to B&W in the Gimp. I probably took this shot hand held (I didn’t own a tripod back then) with my Pentax Spotmatic and extension tube(s). I like the monochrome rendition.

Sunday’s weather was perfection! Not a cloud in the sky, a pleasant breeze and temps in the eighties — a perfect beginning to the summer. Sunday was a perfect day in other respects as well.

I took a nice ten mile ride on my bicycle in the morning. And in the afternoon, I got my mom out of her house for the day. We went over to my daughter’s place for a family BBQ. Naturally I took my camera and hope to have some decent shots soon. I’ll send my roll of color film off for processing in Tuesday’s mail and finish the roll of B&W I started sometime during the week.

Mom was tired when I brought her home but she enjoyed the day with her family. She ate hearty and smiled a lot. Mom is 87 and her twin great granddaughters are 19 months old and they are so cute now. Yeah, Sunday was a fine day!

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Fallen trees often lend themselves to interesting compositions. We have two nice parks in our township. Chestnut Branch Park (named after the Chestnut Branch tributary of Mantua Creek) has a number of sports fields but the real treat is the 9/11 trail, hidden in the back of the park. As many times as I’ve gone to the park to watch my granddaughters play soccer, it wasn’t until last week that I ‘discovered’ the wonders of the trail.

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I rode my bicycle to the park, took it down the trail for about a hundred yards, found a slender tree and locked my bike. The trail is not suited for riding on my hybrid (mostly street bike). I traveled light with only my Bessaflex and 28mm screw mount lens. The day was cloudy so the lighting was flat. This fallen tree was close enough to the trail that I could get to it without too much trouble. I like the angles and the textures.

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I found this scene a little further down the trail. I wonder if the flat lighting is an asset or a liability. I like the textures and the tonal range I was able to get with this shot.

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I returned to the park last Saturday. My wife and I drove this time because she wanted to see the girls play soccer. I watched for awhile, then slipped off and wandered on the trail. The lighting was high noon sunny. Here in the forest, the harsh light was filtered by the trees. I found the same scene as the shot above but with more dramatic lighting. I used a 35mm lens this time so the view is tighter. I think the lighting in this shot has more depth though the fallen tree is deeper in shadow.

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Here’s another fallen tree that’s partially buried in the spring growth. Come summer, it will be even harder to find.

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And still another fallen tree.

There are many more scattered about but some are well off the trail and hard to get to. I’ll give it a shot one of these days. I don’t want to be trampling all over the undergrowth though.

Now I have two places to visit, hike through and take lots of photos. Stay tuned.

Drop on by The Monochrome Weekend, especially if you are a monochrome maniac. There’s lots links to some great monochrome photography. And some of the monochrome maniacs still use film like I do.

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Are we all ready for another journey in the way-back machine? OK then, take your seats and buckle up. The controls are set for a trip back to Saigon during the 1966 Christmas season. Hang on — here we go.

No white Christmas that year — not with 90 degree plus temperatures — unless you count young girls in sleeveless white dresses (that seems fair to me). I wonder what has their attention? Decorations maybe? I “snuck” this shot from behind the hanging decorations so I couldn’t see what had them locked into their own little world, but I did peek into their private reflections — just a little.

Here’s a young family all decked out in their finest. Whatever they’re looking at (an aquarium maybe?) certainly has the attention of the whole family — especially the young boy. His eyes are about to pop out of his face. He’s mesmerized.

At first I thought this family was watching a television, but it looks like another aquarium or terrarium. All the people in these photos are relaxed and at peace. Even in the middle of a war, the Christmas spirit lives on.

I took quite a few photos of the festive atmosphere in downtown Saigon during that December back in 1966. I have eleven more images of the season I’d like to share with you. I’ll be featuring them in four posts beginning next Tuesday (Monday is macro day) and finishing the series on Christmas Day. I already have the titles and photos arranged. I just need to add my words. Remember to drop by and visit. I think you’ll enjoy the experiences.

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I thought I’d join in the holiday fun so I’m featuring select ornaments from our Christmas tree and trains that are under the “virtual” tree this year. So I put my wife’s dinky little Canon powershot on my huge tripod and took a few shots…

This one looks traditional with the magic lights and the shiny red ball (look carefully and you’ll see the reflection of me and my camera). But wait. Is this an alarm clock in the background — hanging from a Christmas tree?

Yep. It’s an alarm clock alright — a silly one (wouldn’t be much fun if it wasn’t) with a pair of teddy bear santas and a goofy face.

I like the little cherub — so angelic just suspended in air.

No snowman for us. We have our iceman instead, or at least the upper part of this little guy. Maybe the rest melted?

Back to another traditional ornament lit by tree lights alone.

And here are two of my locomotives under the virtual tree. The big one is a Mogul, the little one a Porter. Both are On30 (1/4″ scale) narrow gauge. I’d love to put trains under the tree but our tree is so tiny this year and it fits perfectly on a little table in front of the the living room window. We had plenty of big trees over the years. This year we wanted easy. Our kids make fun of the little tree but we can take it.

I remember one year when I was in high school, my father sent my brother and I out for our tree. We came back with a big, no make that huge, tree that wouldn’t fit on the train platform. What were we thinking? The tree wouldn’t even fit into the living room until we cut the top off and gave it to our next door neighbor. Yes the top was just the right size for their apartment.

We always liked “real” trees, but one year, a week or so after we put new carpeting in the living room, we thought the time was right for a sapless, no needles on the floor, artificial tree. Each time we buy a new tree, it gets smaller. Those big monster trees were a chore for me to get in and out of the attic. Now, even my wife can carry the little tree easily.

The little tree has all the lights and plenty of little ornaments. Looks great in the window too. No room for trains though. Maybe next year I’ll buy some tiny trains to fit under the tiny tree.

Be sure to visit Lisa’s Chaos for more Macro Monday photos. Thank you Lisa. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to share.

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