Daily Image: On the Trail 19 June 2024

The well-worn trail from the sand pit to Mexican Ditch at Silver Saddle Ranch. Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon 35mm f/2 at f/8. Raw image converted to Acros film simulation in-camera. Straight out of camera.

We hiked out at Silver Saddle Ranch the last few days. It is closer to the house and the weather has been cooler, so Sera does not get too hot. I am on the watch for snakes and keep her close in. There is also the chance of encountering another canine and she can be reactive (depending on the other dog).

On this particular hike, I carried the Fuji X-T1 (my first Fujifilm camera) with the little Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens. It is from Fuji’s compact lens series, which remind me of the old film rangefinder camera lenses. The rangefinder cameras and their lenses tended to be compact (and good). There was also less of a range of focal lengths for those cameras because of the limitations of the rangefinder focusing system.

But, I digress. I do like to talk about equipment.

I struggled to keep my attention focused on my space. My mind wandered in every direction, that barking dog or chattering monkey figuratively trailing me on the trail. It took effort to reign in my wandery mind and focus on my Girl and our hike. The camera I brought to help me with that did not help. I struggled to find a subject to capture or a place to pose The Girl so I could make an image.

I elected to carry the old X-T1 because it is small and the 35mm lens offers a different look at things than the 23mm of the X100V. I thought about tossing another lens into the bag before we left the house, but elected to keep the kit small. A recent goal is to keep things as simple as practical because of my propensity for making things overly complicated.

Aside: As I write this early Wednesday morning, Sera just wandered in to my workroom to check on me. She looked at me, made eye contact, and asked if I am OK. She knows I am up early, even for me, and decided to check on me. After some interaction, a few pets, a doggie smile, she headed back to bed. I will return there and sleep a bit more before I really start my day.

For most of the last year, I have been shooting mostly JPG images with the Fuji X Weekly film simulations. The Fuji cameras are particularly good at reproducing certain film looks and I want that film look. (That means I need to shoot more film, I think.)

But, over the last week or so, I decided to revert back to shooting in RAW and then post-processing the RAW files to a processed (in-camera or at the computer) JPG after the fact. I generally have an idea whether I am looking at a subject that will present better in black and white or color.

So, for the trail image above, I knew that I would produce a black and white image. I also knew I wanted to use one of the embedded film simulations in the X-T1. The ACROS seems like the one to use.

Today and tomorrow I will finish up my preparations for a Field Day 2024 expedition. I will camp with friends out south from Smith Valley, Nevada. We will have a good time of radio play and fellowship.

When I come home Monday, I will have to do a quick reprovision of the camper because I have field work the remainder of next week. Then I expect to be home for a bit as I have a number of personal projects to work on before the summer ends.

Camping is good. The fellowship of friends is also good. Life is good. I am grateful.

Daily Image: Sera Posing 17 June 2024

Sera posed for me this afternoon. She is such a hoot. Shot with Sony A7Sii and a vintage Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm f/2.4 wide open. Post processing with Nik Tools 6 Silver Efex to produce a Tri-X look.

I am still adjusting my new workspace. I did a bit of work on it this morning, while working through my coffee and getting started on my day. I am struggling to wait to work on the PC side because I need to get ready for Field Day and field work (next week).

Nonetheless, a new-to-me Carl Zeiss Jena 35mm f/2.4 Flektogon arrived in the morning mail. I retrieved it from the mailbox on the way out to hike, but did not open it until we returned, I finished the day’s activities, and rested after my hike. I decided to shoot a few images of Sera to see how it performs.

It will take more repetitions with the lens to get it. That is OK. The process is good for me. I have not worked with my post-processing tools enough and I have a lot of glass that will keep me busy for weeks, if not months.

Change of subject: It is so good to have my MBP back in the workroom and connected to my speakers. I listened to a few old favorites this morning while having coffee. Some of them are so poignant and take me back to when Wife and I so enjoyed exploring new music together.

In particular, I have To The Bride playing as I write. It was compiled in the mid-70s when Barry McGuire, The Second Chapter of Acts, and A Band Called David toured together. It was a time at the beginning of what came to be called contemporary Christian music and much of it sounds like worship music that is now common in the church.

Wife and I saw McGuire not long after this record was produced. He came through Kansas City while we lived there. I so loved hearing him sing and play and tell his stories. He was a true minister of God and I learned much from him.

I so loved Wife at the time and sharing those experiences was so good that I do not have words for it. My heart swells as I think on it and a tear comes to my eye. She is still truly, deeply missed.

But, life goes on. It is different, but still good. I am grateful for all the years we had together. I am grateful.

Father’s Day 2024

Sera hopped up on this gnarled old fall and posed for me. So, I made the capture. Fujifilm X100V, Fujinon 23mm f/2 at f/4. Straight out of camera.

I am nearing the end of my day. I woke about my usual time, rose, took care of business, and made a coffee. Then I sat at my desk to work on my bullet journal and my regular journal while I worked through my first coffee.

I had a couple of things to make some progress on today. One of them has lingered on my list for awhile now. That is to clean my workspace and reorganize it almost completely. I want an external monitor attached to my new MacBook Pro and the second external monitor attached to the Winder$ laptop. The extra screen space will improve my operation, particularly when working on GIS maps and hydraulic models.

But it another big project and I struggle with big projects right now. I was so busy for so many months with big consulting projects and then work started to slack off last fall. (Hence my travels east…)

As I wrote in my journal, I prepared my prayer list for the day. When it came my turn in my prayer time, I talked to God about “What one thing can I do today that will improve my life?” I answered for myself — work on my workspace.

Older Son and DiL called on their way to do an errand. We chatted a few minutes and it was sure good to hear their voices.

Bringing up the MacBook Pro gives me access to my music and my photo library. (I have Blues Traveler playing as I write this.) These things make life better.

But, The Girl demanded food and then a hike. So, I fed her and made myself a little food. We drove up the our summer hiking area and walked up the trail. Along the way I paused to photograph this gnarled old tree. I looked up and Sera had hopped up on the tree and was on overwatch. So, I made the capture.

We returned home and I decided to make some lunch (leftover tacos), have a short nap, and then started on the project. There was a lot of wiring to clear (everything is zip-tied to some hangers under the table to reduce the cable mess). I had a new monitor stand ready and a new hub for the MBP.

Young son called and we chatted for a bit. Neither of us had much news, but the connection is important.

I use a Caldigit hub to extend the capability of my MBP. The old unit was retired when I retired the iMac. A new TS4 was waiting to be unboxed and installed. It took a bit of work to get the table cleared, cleaned, and the monitor stand set. Then I chose a place for the TS4 and got it connected. It was then time to bring the MBP from its case in the living room.

Setup of the MBP to operated closed took a few minutes. I probably need to calibrate the monitor so it reproduces colors properly for my photographic work. But I can buy a sensor and go through the process.

I think it is time to post this and then get some food. I am starting to tire and need to feed myself. I think I will go sit on the sofa with Sera and snuggle a bit while I relax.

As the day wanes, I am reminded again that life is good. I am grateful.

Addendum: An entry where I did the original work of setting up my worktables popped up on Monday (17 June 2024). It has been six years since I conceived and implemented my workspace. In the meantime, I added the Audioengine S6 powered subwoofer to my system. That addition really filled in the soundfield. It made my near-field monitor system sound really good.

Remainders: 15 June 2024

This time of year, we walk at about 7,300 ft near Spooner Summet in the Carson Range of the Sierra Nevada. Shot with Fuji X-E4 and the Fujinon 28mm f/2.8 at f/8, straight out of camera.
  • Gelen Leather Company produces some really nice leather goods. I am such a sucker for journals and journal covers.
  • The Warrior Poet Society has a post on great teachers. It is worth the read.
  • Dove Mounts makes mounts for optics on handguns.

I got lazy this week and did not collect all of my remainders. It was a good week, although busy.

I am grateful. Life is good.

Daily Image: Curved 14 June 2024

I wonder what happened to this old pine. Shot with the Fuji X-E4 and Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 at f/8, straight out of camera.

We walked up near Spooner Summit in the national forest this morning. It was a lovely morning and the hike did both of us good.

On the way out, I noticed this old pine has an odd curve where it enters the soil. I wonder what happened to it to make it grow this way? It made for an interesting image and a welcome pause as I hiked up the trail.

When we arrived back at the 4Runner, there as a pickup parked next to me with the ramp down. I rounded the back of the 4Runner and a young man was sitting on a granite boulder. Surprised, I muttered…

“Well, hello! You startled me.”

“Hi. Sorry, I’m waiting for my uncle. He took the bike and rode on up the trail. A woman and a child rolled off the trail.”

I listened to the story and the accident must have happened while we were on the trail because there was no emergency equipment at the trailhead when we arrived. (Note: There was equipment when we left.)

I gave Sera some water and took some myself. The uncle returned. The folks were OK if a bit shaken. Apparently, the woman drove her 4Runner off the trail and it tumbled down the slope into the ravine.

I am glad they were not hurt. I remarked “There but for the grace of God go I.” It could have happened to me.

I never know what I will find when in the field.

I am grateful. Life is good.

Daily Image: Sera Posing 13 June 2024

While on the small summit near our regular hike, Sera posed for me. Shot with my Fujifilm X100V. Post-processed on the iPhone with Snapseed.

On the same day I made the image of me new-to-me Patrol Pack, I also noticed Sera on overwatch. She was making sure there were none of the dreaded bushytails stalking us. So, of course, I had to make an image.

It was a good pause on a good hike. I so enjoy her company and am so grateful to have her in my life.

Life is good.

Daily Image: Molle II Patrol Pack 12 June 2024

This is my Molle II Patrol Pack (MARPAT) in the wild with the Elecraft KH1 transceiver shack in a box. Shot with the Fujifilm X100V and post-processed on my iPhone 13 Pro Max with Snapseed.

I bought a milsurp Molle II Patrol Pack a couple-three months ago. It is part of my (apparently) never-ending search for the perfect pack. These are long out of service, relatively rare, and in demand. They are also nearly the perfect size for a daypack.

My seller scrounged up a stiffener and pad for my pack and I have them installed. The stiffener helps keep the shape of the bag. It works well enough, although I might have to trim it up just a bit as it seems to be about a half-inch too tall.

It is big enough to hold my necessaries for hiking with The Girl. I have enough water for us both for a morning or afternoon hike, and even room for a small radio. I have been carrying a camera and small water bottle in a small Domke bag slung cross-body and over the pack. That does not put too much pressure on my neck (a personal peeve).

I like it so far. I am still setting it up and would like to carry a water bottle on the outside, but the Maxpedition bottle bag I have does not hang well from the PALS webbing. So, I need another solution.

I paused to make this image on a small summit just off our regular path near Spooner Summit. I had paused to breathe a minute, take some water, and water The Girl. She also posed for me while we were on break.

It was a good day. I am grateful. Life is good.

Daily Image: Sierra Nevada 10 June 2024

The view of the Sierra Nevada from El Dorado National Forest. Shot with iPhone 13 Pro Max.

I worked at Wilson Creek and South Fork Silver Creek yesterday. Of course, Sera, AKA The Girl was with me. We were walking last year’s work and noting areas that need some attention. We also walked an area slated for work this year.

The Wilson Creek meadow is lovely. There were a few mosquitoes, but not bad. The weather was also lovely. It was a good day to be outdoors.

The Girl had a blast, running all over the meadow, jumping in the water, rolling in the grass and mud, and then repeating.

It was a good day. I am grateful.

Remainders: 08 June 2024

Sleeping on her bed under my worktable. Capture with Fujifilm X-E4 and the Fufinon 27mm f/2.8 wide open, SOOC.

After a long hiatus, I am posting again. The start will be a partial list of remainders for the week.

  • Caffenol is a film developer that uses coffee and ascorbic acid as the active agents for development.
  • I started looking for a new grill. I want something small, fuel efficient, and good. What I found is the Akorn Jr. Then I found a recipe for cooking burgers on a small Kamado.
  • In looking for an appropriate film developer, this list came up in an Internet search.
  • This is another page that describes application of various film developers, their strengths, and their weaknesses.
  • In one of my Internet rambles, I came across the photographer James Ravilious, a Brit who spent a good part of his life documenting rural life in the British countryside.

Daily Image: Turning Wrenches, 10 April 2024

Older Son turning wrenches. Shot with Nikon F2AS and Nikkor 35mm f/2D on Ilford XP2.

A few weeks ago we had a nice day and the motivation to replace the valve cover gasket on Older Son’s vehicle. I think I wrote about all of that before.

But, I made a few images with the Nikon F2AS that came to live with me and a Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens. The camera is completely mechanical. It does have an internal meter, but a battery is not required to run the camera; only the meter.

I shot the image with the 35mm probably at f/4 or so. The film stock is Ilford XP2, which is a lovely C41 process (standard color chemistry) that renders in black and white. The scan was done by the processor and seems overly contrasty to me. I’d like to redo the scan to see if I can get more tones from the negative.

Although having film processed locally is faster and more convenient, a professional laboratory should produce better results. I am planning to send film to a couple of labs, particularly color chemistry films, to see if they produce better scans. Black and white film (traditional processing) I will likely do myself. I have a film changing tent (covers the hands) that I can use to load a tank. The processing is done in the light because the tank is light tight.

I have a film scanner but could also use a digital camera to photograph frames with a light table and macro lens.

There are more experiments to do.

The day was a good day. The valve cover no longer leaks oil.

Life is good.