Daily Image — 10 September 2023

I love textures. This old log attracted my attention with the combination of surface texture and the play of light on the surface. I made the capture with a Fuji X-E4 and a Voigtlander Ultron 27mm f/2 at f/8. I used the Kodachrome 64 film simulation.

The Girl and I are hiking up near Spooner Summit a lot lately. It is cool up there. The lodgepole pines give a lot of shade and I love the sound of the wind in them. The risk of snakes is less than it is in the sageland. There are lots of things to photograph and the offering changes often with the change in light.

The area was burned a few years ago. Many of the trees are undamaged. But there are plenty of downed trees that can be interesting (both for The Girl and for me). There are also lots and exposed rocks that provide interesting textures.

It will take me a while to exhaust the area of photographic subjects.

On this particular day, The Girl and I hiked our regular trail from the staging area. She sniffed about looking for critters while I explored visually. I found this downed tree and like the texture and play of light across the surface. I made the capture. Post-processing was light with a little change in contrast and a little boost to the color.

When we returned to the staging area, I setup a radio station and activated the park. The site is also a designated Parks on the Air site (actually it is a double — two parks). It was a good day. I am grateful. Life is good.

On This Day

It has been awhile since I just wrote something. OK, so here goes something…

A part of me would like to ditch WordPress and go back to Textpattern. I developed a weblog format that I really like with Textpattern and ran if for many years. That is, until my hosting service decided they no longer wanted to be a hosting service. I guess me having a grandfathered free account, probably along with many others, might have had something to do with that.

So, the original owner of the hosting service, and developer of Textpattern, stated he would take the servers and honor his obligation.

Well he did, to a point. I was hosted on a unit called Pendrell and it failed catastrophically. There was a lot of back and forth about getting data off the backups. But it never materialized.

I had a backup, but still lost about month’s worth of entries. There was a lot going on in my life in 2013 and my weblog was not the highest priority.

I found another hosting service and setup a WordPress content management system. I never did work out how to migrate my old Textpattern content to the new CMS. There is more than ten-years worth of writing in that archive. I still have the backups.

Now I wonder if it is possible, or even wise, either migrate back to Textpattern (which is now open source and richly maintained) or try to find some help migrating my old Textpatter content to WordPress.

WordPress is probably the most widely used CMS. As such, it is regularly subject to attack. I have had to clean up a couple of times after being hacked.

I think that Textpattern is less susceptible to attack simply because it is not so widely used. I might be wrong. But I really liked my design and it was easy to change colors and header image once or twice a year to spruce it up a little.

I have a lot of content here on my weblog. A lot of it does not see much attention because it is far in the past. I was thinking about this and decided to see if there is a WordPress plugin that will display entries that I wrote on the current date. There is — it is called On This Day by Room34.

It is now implemented on the sidebar of my homepage.

In reviewing my work (after adding the widget to the sidebar), I came across an entry Trolls of the Internet Species. I read it and it is still true today.

Why this rang my bell again, so to speak, is that I watched an interview with Dr. Jordan Petersen a couple of days ago. He was answering questions about psychopathy and mentioned in passing Internet trolls. I do not have a link to the interview (The Telegraph was the channel), but it is definitely worth tracking down and watching.

I like the widget. I still wonder what to do with all of my archived content.

Remainders: 09 September 2023

Here she comes!

Another week, another few links:

  • I need to back up the Microsoft Surface Go 2. A quick review of my options led me back to a legacy Microsoft tool, System Image Backup Tool. That is a mouthful, and it is no longer supported. But I do not care for the alternatives at this time.
  • Adapt Kit. It looks quite interesting as a small supplemental toolkit that will hold a multitool, bit set, accessories, and maybe a small gun cleaning kit.
  • ZAID makes good leather products for photographers.
  • So does Clever Supply Company.

Daily Image — 09 September 2023

I came across this bag of office supplies left in the grass at the old flume. I wonder why they were just dropped. I will never know.

While The Girl and I were walking here in town a few days ago, she hunted ground squirrels while I looked at the roses growing along the old flume. I saw this bag of office supplies that were dumped in the grass. It made me wonder why there were left behind… Was someone interrupted? Were they stolen from the nearby Office Depot? Why were they just dropped?

I will never know.

Daily Image — 02 September 2023

Lately I have been shooting normal(ish) lenses during my daily walkies with The Girl. Yesterday I carried an old Hanimex 135mm f/2.8 along and shat a few frames with it. This one I like, captured with the Sony A7Sii with in-camera black and white conversion at f/8. I did post-process a bit in Iridient Developer, made some contrast adjustments and added a bit of sharpening.

Over the last month or so, with the exception of two outings, my images were captured with normalish lenses. The two exceptions were some captures with the Nikkor 85mm f/2 and the Zuiko 85mm f/2. On a full-frame camera, like the Sony A7Sii (which I carry a lot), 85mm is a short telephoto focal length. It is most commonly used for portraits.

I start to see the telephoto effect (compression of distance, shallow depth of field) at a focal length of about 105mm. Yesterday I carried a Hanimex 135mm f/2.8 in the bag. The Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f/2.8 Tessar was on the camera (Sony A7Sii) during most of our walk. Near the end of walkies, I decided to mount the Hanimex and see what that gave me.

The Hanimex was reviewed and recommended by Nigel (Zenography channel). It is not an expensive lens. They are quite common (East German Cold War era). But, they are also quite sharp, good quality, and have good contrast. I picked one up off fleaBay a few weeks ago for not much money.

Nigel is right — the lens is quite sharp, even wide open. It has good image quality. And I quite like the telephoto look of this shot of River Road from the Silver Saddle Ranch gate staging area.

The Girl and I had a good walk. The weather is cool, very much fall-like. We have had some rain and I am hopeful that keeps the wildfires away. My thought for today is that maybe we will drive up to our current favorite portable operation site this morning. We can walk some and I might set up a station and see if the bands are better (yesterday they were poor). I think I will take makings for coffee or tea.

Whatever we do, it will be good. I am grateful The Girl is strong and healthy. I do not mind that she is a bossy-bitch. Life is good.

Remainders: 02 September 2023

While on walkies a few days ago, I captured The Girl announcing to the (doggie) world “Sera was here!” Photograph shot with a Sony A7Sii and a Zuiko 85mm f/2 at f/8 or so.

Another week, another round of links:

  • Allphotolenses.com is just what it says it is.
  • The Kamera Store has a lot of film cameras (and others).
  • David duChemin is a Canadian photographer and teacher. He is good at both.
  • Fujifilm’s digital film simulations changed my way of looking at digital photography. There is a longer entry in this idea (I will get to it), but there is also science behind what some might think is a gimmick. Dave Etchells explains some of the technical background of creating a film simulation.
  • This Vistek video looks into the Fujifilm film simulations in a video (with reference to the above article) and is worth a watch (and a sub).
  • Reggie Balesteros offers his take on a Kodak Portra film simulation for Fuji cameras. (Note: There is also a YT video for this film simulation.)
  • And then Reggie offers an Acros-based (a Fuji film stock) (video) black and white simulation for his documentary photography that is also worth a look at.

W is for…

This would certainly ruin a good day.

Bushcrafters and other outdoors types like lists. One to remember is the Five W’s:

  • Wind
  • Water
  • Wood
  • Wildlife
  • Widowmakers

There are lots of websites out there that enumerate why each of these is important. But while walking The Girl this morning, I heard the wind (quite stiff) bumping the trunks/limbs of of one of the old cottonwood trees down by Carson River.

I would not have wanted to be below this tree when the limb failed.
This gave me pause and I looked up. Doggo sniffed about, marking her territory as I considered the possibility of impending doom.

This set off a recollection in this old brain about the Five W’s of bushcraft and Widowmaker came to mind. I have walked this stretch of the river many times over the last ten years and seen the deadfalls from the trees along the river.

So I looked as we walked. And I came away with a few images to remind me to be careful in these woods. Cottonwood trees are not very strong and I do not know how to tell if the branches are diseased or weak and likely to fall. I know my risk of one falling on me while walking is rather small. But if I camped along the river, a good look above would be in order.

This was another big down fall I saw on walkies today.
All of the captures were made with the little Fujifilm X-E2, a fine little camera. The lens was the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 and I used an aperture setting of f/8. The film simulation was Classic Chrome, but I dailed up the color a couple of notches.

Yes, out amongst the giant old cottonwoods, W is for Widowmaker. Be careful out there.

Daily Image — 30 August 2023

Capture with Sony A7Sii and a Jupiter 3, 50mm f/1.5 wide open.

I woke (much too) early this morning, thinking about a report. It is OK — I often wake early when working on something challenging and have ideas for how to progress. I think on them a bit, then do something to distract my mind, and then return to sleep.

My distraction was discovering a set of weekly emails from David duChemin, a Canadian photographer and teacher. I really admire him, not just for his body or work, but because he is a good teacher. In his videos, he comes across as that friendly, caring mentor that you want to spend a lot of time with.

The emails were a string of lessons called The Vision Collective that I subscribed to several years ago. I read the first one, Abstraction. The direction was to create a set of abstract photographs. The assignment lasts a week.

Well, I am to far into the week. But I decided that I would make a few abstract images on walkies today. I should do the same for the next several days. Who cares if I take ten days or two weeks to complete the assignment? I am long past due anyway.

I purposely selected a new lens, a Jupiter 3 50mm f/1.5 rangefinder lens (L39 or M39 mount) from Russia. It has a red Cyrillic P that is supposed to mean a superior coating. The lens is probably about my age, so I do not expect much from the coating. But it is an interesting lens. It looks like it has 10 or 12 aperture blades (lovely). It is pretty fast. It has a good reputation for background blur/bokeh. My instance is in reasonable mechanical and optical condition for its age.

I mounted the lens on my Sony A7Sii and The Girl and I took off down our cul-de-sac. It was late, because I was working, so I expected a little shorter walk than usual. But I also knew she could play in the grass to cool off.

I made a few images and purposefully put some of them out of focus. The lens can make some beautiful soap-bubble bokeh balls. I think these are fun.

We paused where a drainage ditch crosses the old Carson Flume for another set of images. There is some water in the ditch that is not too bad because recent runoff cleared out all the trash. She splashed around a bit while I shot some sunflowers.

We paused again at the Station 51 Park so she could chase ground squirrels and roll in the wet grass. Then we headed home for water and some lunch (for me).

Looking for objects that might make an interesting abstract is an good exercise. I like the one for today. I think tomorrow I will look for something that will work in black and white.

Daily Image — 29 August 2023

Experiment in bubble bokeh with the Sony A7Sii and a Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Oreston 50mm f/1.8 vintage lens. The lens needs to be cleaned, but I see no fungus, just a bit of dust and haze.

This old Meyer-Optik Görlitz Oreston 50mm f/1.8 arrived in the mail yesterday. It is a classic lens that can produce some interesting images. My copy came attached to a Praktina 35mm SLR, which is a decent vintage camera (all mechanical except a light meter) but I have use for.

I affixed the lens to the Sony A7Sii for walkies this morning. I missed the focus on a few images and will have to reshoot them. There is also a bit a trick to using this lens and that will require some repetitions.

The lens needs to be cleaned because there is a little dust and haze on the inside of the front and rear elements. The aperture is clean. If I can figure out how to get the front element out, I will clean it. Otherwise I will have to send it out and have it cleaned.

Post was with Color Efex Pro 4, which I am also experimenting with.

Daily Image — 28 August 2023

The Mad Dog Cafe has nothing to do with Joe Cocker. But the food there is decent and it is an interesting place. Capture with the Fuji X100V at f/8, Tri-X 400 film simulation.

On my way to Sacramento, I stopped in Woodfords, California for lunch. The old Woodfords General Store used to be a bar and grill. Now it is more of a bistro than a bar.

Yes, beer is still available — in a bottle. But the pastrami and Swiss on rye was good and so was the potato salad. Although I no longer drink soft drinks (much), I decided to have a root beer. It was good, too.