Morning Walkies

Shot on morning walkies with the Panasonic G3 and a Fujian 50mm f/1.4 lens with a short extension tube. I like this lens.

I took some time on morning walkies to think about what just happened in Las Vegas. I will never understand what makes men do such awful things. And “awful” does not begin to describe the event.

The usual suspects will start screaming about gun control. There will be cries for the government to do something about this. Although it is certain that the government can restrict some of the tools used to perpetuate such awful acts, there is no way to stop mass attacks. It is possible that the use of firearms can be eliminated (although that is doubtful). But there will remain so many improvised weapons that cannot be restricted.

Life is short. A YouTuber I watch reminds his followers often to practice “spiritual fitness.” Be right with God, say what you need to say to your loved ones, every day. Because you never know when your last day will arrive. You might walk out the door on any given morning and not return.

That’s no reason to be paranoid. I don’t leave the house every morning expecting to never return. But I am reminded every now and again to be sure that my family knows I love them. Should I not return from the day, they will know that. Because there are no guarantees I will return. There are no guarantees in life, except that we will not get out of it alive.

Whatever. Life is good.

The Season Turns

These beauties will soon be gone. I want a few more captures before winter comes.

The Girl and I walked our in-town route this morning. I saw the light on these beauties and thought it would be worth the effort to make the capture. There was a north wind this morning, cool but not cold. But the hint is there that soon the colder days will come and the summer beauties will be gone, waiting for another year to show themselves.

I made the capture with the Fujian 50mm f/1.4 lens on my Lumix G3 body. This is a very good lens. It is not very sharp wide open, but the colors are good and there is a glow about the images that reminds me of old glass. The lens cannot be beat for these applications, especially at its price. It is a very good art lens. I like it quite a lot, particularly for close shots like this one.

Winter has its own appeal, the season when life regains strength for the coming burst of spring. I like the cold and the snow and the starkness of the grays against the cold blue of the winter sky. The warmth of the sun on my body on a cold winter morning reminds me that blood still runs hot in me. The reminder that there remains life to live and love to share with those close to me. It is a good reminder.

In a few more minutes, I’ll go do my first lower-body routine in a long time. Leg days are the hardest… the big muscles generate a lot of lactic acid and the burn is real. But, this is necessary and the results are worth the effort. Nothing good comes easy. But it is worth the effort and struggle. This body has to carry me along for as long as I live. I need to invest in it as well as the inner work.

Locust Leaf Bokeh

Shot with the Panasonic Lumix G3 and a Fujian 50mm f/1.4 at about f/2. I’m not completely happy with the result, but it is a capture for the day.

While on evening walkies, The Girl puttered around looking for the dreaded bushy tail while I played with the light on the leaves of this old locust tree. It is nearing the end of a good day.

I determined it is time to get back on my strength training. I’m unhappy with my level of strength and my annual numbers were not the best. So it’s time to get after it again.

The Soloflex is setup in my bedroom where I can use it. I did my first routine this afternoon. It was hard and I will be sore. It is a good thing. It will help me be healthier (particularly because I’ll mind my diet as well). I will be stronger. I’m glad to be back after it again after being off for too long.

Life is good.

Macro Roses

Shot with my iPhone 8+ and an Olloclip macro lens.

My old Bluetooth headset, a Plantronics Legend Pro, was giving me some trouble. Callers reported that my sound broke up or that they could not hear me. A reset of the headset by switching from the headset to the iPhone (my old 6S) and back might temporarily fix the problem, but it continued to give me an issue. The phone and headset were at least a couple of years old, the headset probably the older of the two units.

I decided to abandon both my phone and my Bluetooth headset. After talking about a larger iPhone for months (I really wish I had the 6S+), I decided to upgrade my iPhone and try a wired headset. So I bought a new iPhone 8+ and I love the bigger screen. I can now read incoming email without squinting. The new headset is working well and has very nice sound (for music as well as voice calls). But the camera of the new iPhone is much improved over my old unit.

While walking my favorite in-town route, I paused to let The Girl sniff about while I made a macro-photograph of one of the roses. I used an Olloclip macro lens on my iPhone and the result is very pleasing.

I think the upgrade was worth the cost. I know that I can hear much better and I think my callers can hear me better as well.

Wollensak Six Inch F/4.5 Cine Lens

I captured these willow berries along the linear park near Governer’s Field in Carson City. We were walking and the image reached out and grabbed me.

The Girl and I walked this morning, as we usually do. The only time we don’t walk is when one of us is not feeling well. That is not often.

This morning I carried the little Panasonic G3 micro-4/3s camera and a pouch full of C-mount lenses. The 25mm f/1.9 is an interesting lens. I made a few captures with it as we walked the rosebush hedgerow near the old flume. One of those is on my IG feed.

I decided to take a longer walk and we walked the linear park that crosses Roop Street and passes along the north side of Governor’s Field. It’s a favorite route. The Girl can run off-lead, there is a wetland there, and there are plenty of fat ground squirrels to chase.

In the winter the sun shines brightly along the path and the willows provide a little shelter from the wind. In the summer the cattails are full of blackbirds (and others) and the sound is pleasant. We like the path.

There was a hawk sitting atop one of the field lights. I mounted the Wollensak 6-inch f/4.5 lens on the camera body and made a few captures. But I’m not entirely satisfied with them.

But this old willow gave me some interesting contrast. I thought the highlights in the background might provide some bokeh-balls. So I made the capture and we walked on.

When I opened the images this evening, I liked this one. The contrast is good. The image is sharp. And the background is just fun. It’s a good memory of a good morning spent with the Girl.

Fujian 35mm F/1.7 TV Lens

This shot presented itself on morning walkies. Shot with the Panasonic Lumix G3 m4/3s body and a Fujian 35mm f/1.7 at about f/2.8.

I don’t have many lenses for the Panasonic Lumix G3 body I own. I have only one native lens and I don’t use it often. I prefer prime lenses to zooms. I have a few C-mount (cine body) lenses in my collection and am adding a select few to that collection. A pair of the more interesting lenses I play with are the Fujian TV lenses. I have the 35mm f/1.7 and the 50mm f/1.4. For the prices, these are very nice. They are not the sharpest lenses I own. They are both subject to front element flare, so a hood is needed if there is any back light.

They have an interesting bokeh and the out of focus areas are pleasant, at least to my eyes. So, I carry them when I carry the Lumix. They are used more than one would expect.

On this morning, we walked past our usual stomping area, the old lumberyard flume. The hedgerow there provides much interesting material to photograph. While the Girl sniffed about (quite happily I would say), I played around with this shaded flower. I think the pistils and stamen of the bloom are in focus, but there is not much else that is. The capture highlights the bokeh of this lens.

I’m going to take it downtown one evening and play with some bokehlights, I think. The casinos should provide some interesting images.

I like these lenses.

My Best Friend

I don’t believe a dog is owned, at least not by me.

The Girl is ready to go. She’s on overwatch for invaders, namely the neighborhood cats who enter the yard to tease her. She’ll tell me if they come into range and will be ready to go.

This dog is my best friend and constant companion. Young Son and I were talking about her just last night. There is so much that could be said about the impact of this dog on my life.

I tell people (probably too many times) that “we rescued each other.” Those who know me know the backstory of how she came to live with us. There is no doubt that she offered much comfort to Wife during her illness and treatment. There is no doubt she was, and is, there for me every day. We are there for each other.

Some people think dogs are property. Perhaps they are in the view of the law. But my understanding is much different now. They are not livestock or pets; they are partners. We work together as a team when we are out and about. I trust her implicitly. If she doesn’t like someone, neither do I. If she leads me away from something, there’s a reason.

In the same way I watch out for her. There are many dangers out there that she does not comprehend or foresee. There are things I know are dangerous that she does not. So I am also on overwatch for her.

We are a team. We are partners.

Roses

One of my favorite testbeds, shot with the Fuji X-T1, a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, and the Metabones Turbo Booster.

One of my favorite testbeds is the hedgerow of rosebushes that bounds the old Carson Lumberyard flume and the vacant lot south from the DPS/DMV building. In the morning there is plenty of sunshine on the bushes and flowers and the Girl loves to play in this area. So she doesn’t mind if I spend a few minutes playing with the flowers.

I think the Fuji glass is very good. I’ve written about that before. In fact, the glass is the reason I abandoned the Sony cameras and moved to the Fuji platform.

However, the experimenter in me lives on. I have a deep affinity for the lenses I used to use on 35mm film cameras. Forty years ago, as a young man, I lusted after Nikon bodies and Nikkor glass. Many professionals carried a couple of F-series bodies and a pouchful of Nikkor lenses. I could not afford one then.

Now every thing is digital, except for a few diehards. I find digital images sterile. They are often technically perfect (or nearly so), but they feel dry to me. At least, many of them do. And those that are heavily processed might be very interesting as art, but there is something missing from an image that is assembled from a variety of parts. I find art in seeing the subject, determining that there is something interesting/moving about it, and then finding a way to capture that image in the camera. It is a different process than much of what I see and is definitely old school.

In playing with these old lenses on a digital body, I can recover some of what I looked for with film. It isn’t perfection; it is a mood conveyed by light, subject, and composition. The capture doesn’t have to be perfect (this one is not). The post-processing is limited to making minor adjustments in exposure, contrast (global and local), and a bit of sharpening. That’s about all I do. (The exception is conversion from color to monochrome.)

The Metabones adapter is interesting. It converts the lens to an equivalent angle of acceptance of a lens 0.62 times the focal length (which makes the angle of acceptance the same as the original on full frame). But it also adds a stop of additional light gathering power and I think it makes a commensurate change to the perceived depth of field.

I’m still working that out in my head. I have an article drafted that contains my analysis of the differences in sensor/film size, lens focal length, lens speed, and depth of field. I need to finish that one day and publish it here.

In any event, the legacy Nikkors are very good lenses. I like them a lot.

What Is It?

This is what I saw just before the storm rolled in on my way back from southern Nevada.

On my way down to southern Nevada, I saw something bright against the horizon just north from Tonopah, Nevada. I had no idea what it was that I saw. I only knew that it was very bright, almost blindingly bright even in the distance.

I watched as I passed the location, drove through Tonopah, and continued toward my destination. My schedule did not permit me to stop and explore. It would have to wait for another time.

That time arrived a few days later, on my way home from the site work. I was hot and tired after working much of the morning in the southern Nevada heat, but I knew it might be weeks or months before I passed this way again. So I elected to take a few minutes and explore.

A summer thundershower was rolling in from the southeast as I approached. I could see that the structure was huge. I figured out what it was long before I got close enough to see it clearly. It is the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, privately owned. Of course, by the time I got in position to make a good capture, the dust was blowing and the sun was absent. So the impact was just not there.

Now I know I’ll have to return. Perhaps a sunny winter day would be a good time to visit Tonopah, make some captures of this wonder, and visit the mining museum there in Tonopah.

At least I solved the mystery.

Morning Walkies

Captured on morning walkies…

The Girl and I were poking about the old flume wetland yesterday morning. The sun was pretty and the bright yellow of these sunnies caught my eye. So we paused while I made a couple of captures and the Girl did doggies things.

She never seems to mind my pauses. Although if my visit with another person goes too long, she will ask to move along. Heh…

On this morning I had the Fuji X-T1 with a Micro-Nikkor 104mm f/4 mounted on a Metabones Ultra Turbo Booster that’s been languishing in my collection for awhile. I decided it was time to get out the X-T1 and some of my favorite Nikkors and work with them.

One of the things I like about Fuji glass is that it is impeccable. It is sharp, has good color rendition, and has low distortion. However, I also think the images are a bit sterile. They lack the character that legacy glass provides.

It seems that if I want really accurate reproduction of the subject, then the Fuji glass is the way to go. However, if I’m looking to explore the interaction of light and lens, then legacy glass has its appeal.

I also enjoy experimenting with odd glass as well. I am playing with 16mm movie camera lenses on my Micro 4/3s body. I also play with TV lenses on that one as well. The Micro 4/3s format is nearly perfect for glass with image circles that are intended for small sensors.

But I’m really entering into another discussion than the one appropriate for this entry.