Wednesday, September 13, 2023


 We awoke to heavy clouds and wet streets.  It seemed a perfect day to visit the Rio Grande Zoo with my Spotmatic and the 75-230mm Yashinon zoom.  The big old lens retains good sharpness even wide-open, but the lens' f/4.5 aperture and the not-too-bright screen of the SP makes finding the perfect focus point a challenge.  With the zoo animals always in motion, one is never sure if the decisive moment made it onto the film.  At the end of my visit I was really uncertain what my scans would reveal.  As I pulled out of the zoo's parking lot in my truck I switched on the radio, and there was Dave Brubeck playing Take Five !  I took it as a good omen.




Bird Watching

The cheetah insisted on color, so I switched to my little Lumix digital and posted the results on my other blog.

Wildlife photography really demands a good digital camera.  Even confined in the zoo, the subjects are always in motion.  Fast focus, auto-exposure, quick cycling, burst shooting and unlimited capacity greatly enhance the chances of catching the moments you want.  I'm thinking it is time I sell some of my little-used film cameras and invest in a digital to shoot at the zoo. (Also, the price of color film has gone way beyond what I am willing to pay.)

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Film Wasting

 An ill spent couple of hours in Old Town.  Nice overcast light.  A camera and lens that have always made nice pictures for me.  I'm tempted to blame the results on the film having gone through at least two airport x-ray scans.  More probably, I was just careless with my shooting technique.  

I nearly always get home with a couple shots left on the roll in the camera.  Very often they turn out to be the frames I like best.  (I know I said the same thing yesterday, but it seemed like something worth repeating.)

Saturday, September 09, 2023

Summer Light

 New Mexico's intense summer sun can often overwhelm photographic aspirations.  Some respite can always be found in Albuquerque's Botanical Garden.  I went there on a Friday morning with my twin lens reflex Yashica-Mat.

When I return home with one or two frames remaining on a roll of film I frequently call on my cat to help finish up the roll.  In this case I also used the opportunity to make a shot with my new accessory close-up lens set.  This time I relied on the accessory's automatic parallax correction to fit the subject properly in the frame.

Wednesday, September 06, 2023

Getting Closer

 I picked up an accessory close-up lens set for my Yashica-Mat recently.  To my surprise, I managed to misframe all the shots on the first roll of film I put through the camera using the new lenses. 

I had assumed that I would need to aim high to get the image properly centered as I do with my Mamiya C330.  However, it turns out that the Yashica close-up viewing lens is constructed to automatically compensate for parallax error.  So, the Yashica-Mat is actually somewhat easier to use than the C330 which really requires the Paramender on a tripod to properly capture the image on film as it is seen in the viewfinder.  Close-ups with the Yashica-Mat also do not require any exposure compensation as is the case when the C330 bellows is cranked out for close shots.

A tripod is actually a good idea with both cameras as depth of focus at close distances is very narrow.


These two shots were made with the normal 80mm lens which provides greater DOF.

Friday, September 01, 2023

Friday Morning

 Ate breakfast.  Walked the dog.  Margaret went off to have breakfast with a friend.  Nothing left to do but to head for Old Town with a roll of Fomapan 100 in my Voigtländer Brilliant.

I asked if I might take a picture of this fine looking Scottish Deerhound.  The owner agreed, but insisted the picture be made in the shade as she said he would  not stand still on the sun drenched sidewalk.  I would have preferred to picture him in motion as his gait was incredibly buoyant; it seemed he might suddenly float off the pavement.

Monday, August 07, 2023


If the weatherman can be believed, Sunday was the last of the 100 degree temperatures in Albuquerque for at least a week.  We may even get a little rain down the road.  It took me a couple weeks to finish up the roll of film in my Olympus Infinity Stylus.  We'll now see if the cooler weather motivates me to do better.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

My Friend Flickr

 I came across this interesting post about Flickr on the Design Observer website in which Jessica Helfand heaps praise on the photo sharing site:

"... Flickr is a digital photo sharing website and web services suite that was developed by Ludicorp, a Vancouver, Canada company founded in 2002. It's a utopian oddity — a culture enabled by a technology that in turn enables a culture — and it's a brilliant example of socially networked software because it's free, its easy, and it makes sense. It also capitalizes on the great strengths of mobile computing, which is to say you can engage in all sorts of computational activities while being, well, mobile. Put simply, Flickr lets you upload photos, then helps you organize them, sequence them..."

I was half way through the article before I noticed that it was written in 2005, early on in the history of the site.  In that same time frame, digital had still not totally steamrollered analog and Helfand pointed to one of the weak points in digital camera design then.

Helfand has produced an astounding number of essays about design issues over the years; I thought her last post on an exhibit about typography, Type is (More Than) Image, was particularly nice.