Here is a capture from morning walkies a few days ago. The snow was still on, although it was melting down here in the valley. One of the neighbors had put up a sign. The wind blew it over and the snow covered most of it. All that was exposed was this portion. For some reason, this caught my eye. The capture was made with the Nikon D300 and a micro-Nikkor 105mm f/4.
It’s funny that making a self-portrait took on the coined work selfie sometime over the last few years. Photographers make self-portraits in a number of ways and have probably since photography began. Most of the time it requires a camera on a tripod or other self support that is fired remotely.
I used to use a bulb release that pushed a bit of air that activated a plunger to release the shutter. I’ve also use self-timers with my cameras. Now it’s more common to use a wireless remote because many cameras are equipped with wireless receivers. (My Sony NEX-5N has an infrared receiver, for example.) With a mobile phone front-facing camera it’s trivial.
Probably about 15-years ago, I made this capture with a Canon Elph APS film camera. I was riding the bike at 70 mph on my way home to Lubbock. The sun was setting. I stuck my hand in the tank bag, put the Canon’s lanyard around my write, turned it on, held it at arm’s length, and depressed the shutter. I took a couple of frames to be sure I got a decent capture.
This is one of my favorite self-portraits, or selfies. It was a fun capture near the end of a long day’s ride and something unique to my history. That’s a good thing.
My friend Les loaned me this old Bausch & Lomb 100mm f/2.3 lens. He added a Nikon F-mount and focusing helicoid to it. I took it out and spent some time with it. It’s obvious from the image at the right that the lens is a bit soft wide open, but is much better by f/4 or f/5.6. That is shown in the second image below, that was shot at about f/5.6. The background is not quite as pleasant, but the image is much sharper.
The image quality is quite good and the bokeh is pleasant (smooth). It’s a good lens. The iris fascinates me — so many blades. So the aperture is nearly circular throughout the full range of stops.
It’s a really neat piece of vintage glass.
Wife and I always celebrated St. Valentine’s Day, although it never was a huge thing for us. I think we saw it as another opportunity to celebrate being together and to do something a little special for the kids.
I dropped the ball this year and let the day creep up on me. I know my kids are all old enough that they no longer need a heavy dose of sugar from their dad. But I still remember the day and the celebration of close relationships that it represents.
Happy Valentine’s Day, all.
I went to the bereavement support group for the second time today. There were about eight women and two men. That told me something right away (well, a couple of things actually). They asked me to introduce myself, so I did. Same for the other male.
The coordinator had a couple of printed packets she wanted to work through. So, she started and then gave each person there an opportunity to say something regarding each topic. She asked people if they’d done their homework.
Some of the widows there are quite close to their loss. Many of them lost their loved one a couple of months ago. A few of us are farther out. I think all of us are trying to accommodate our new status.
We shut down after about an hour and a half. The women gathered about to visit. It is the way of women to deal with their grief by sharing it in this fashion. Most men prefer to deal with grief in private (where it’s safe) and by doing things. That’s one of the big things I learned in my reading.
I’m also a lot farther down the road than most of the folks there. I don’t mean that to be bragging — because I don’t have it all together. But I did the work to address my loss and am still doing the work.
As I left, I thought “This really isn’t for me. Maybe it would have been six or nine months ago, but not any more.” I still have work to do and I have a good idea where that work is. But I don’t think I need the group to do that work. I just need to keep my eyes forward, deal with my grief when it rises, and continue working out my plans. I think it’s going to be more about deciding what I want and then executing that from here on forward. I can do that.
Edit: Since finishing this piece, I got started thinking again. I left the meeting this afternoon feeling pretty good — as in buoyed. I wondered about that in the context of what I learned by going through this second meeting. I finally figured out that what made me feel good was making a life-decision. I decided not to attend more meetings. They aren’t the right thing for me to do.
Then I figured out that when I make a life-decision that is both logical and feels right, I feel better. I get a boost from making a decision… taking an opportunity that I perceive to be moving forward. This is a good thing and I’m glad for the little boost.
One morning a couple of weeks ago, the Girl and I went walking. It was a cold, frosty morning but I had my D300 along with me. The frost pattern on the neighbor’s car reminded me of the Mandelbrot set, so I made the capture.
Later, I decided the image might be interesting if processed as a black and white shot, then toned. It was used for a class assignment and the result was interesting, at least to me.