Friday, March 26, 2010

Albuquerque continued

Central Avenue from the sixth-floor balcony of the Hotel Blue.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Albuquerque

Lee Friedlander pictured the same apartment building in his Albuquerque in 1975, but he got a lot more stuff into the photo.

Albuquerque by Lee Friedlander

I'm not sure what camera Friedlander was using to shoot that dog..
My dog house shot is from my Olympus Infinity Stylus.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

not dead yet

Distant cousins. They live in the same neighborhood but never meet.

I haven't put much up here lately due to being preoccupied with getting under way with a new blog, Flights of Fancy. I'm having fun with it, though I may be the only one.

Haven't given up on photography and old cameras. I have partially-shot rolls of film in the C330 and the mju. Also took delivery recently of a pretty little five-dollar box camera that uses 127 film.

I found yet another Vivitar Ultrawide and Slim at the local thrift store in pristine condition. It is on its way to the talented photo blogger, Sarah Regnier.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Monday, March 08, 2010

still up in the air

I attended a marvelous free show on Sunday at Albuquerque's Balloon Museum. The Google Earth satellite image shows the museum building at the bottom with the field to the north that is the launch site for the annual Balloon Fiesta.

The event was cosponsored with the soaring museum located to the east of the city at Moriarty. The balloon museum has recently expanded its coverage to the various types of soaring including the traditional sail planes, along with the kite-like forms.

The center-piece of the event was a series of jumps from a helicopter by teams of sky divers using wing suits and small para-gliders allowing great speed and manuverability.

A couple fellows who are relative newcomers to the sport demonstrated how the flexible canopies are raised to begin a flight. When they have reached the highest skill level, they will be able to go the summit of the Sandia Mountains in the background and start their flights by stepping off a cliff a mile above the valley floor. The canopy, shrouds and control lines fit into the backpack along with an emergency parachute, and the whole thing only weighs about fifty pounds. The entry-level cost of the equipment is about three thousand dollars.

A large group of radio-control enthusiasts come every day to the balloon museum to fly their electric-powered aircraft. The planes are built of very light-weight foam and plastic. The tiny electric motors are powered by rechargeable batteries which can keep the planes in the air for ten to twenty minutes. Some of the larger craft can reach speeds of eighty miles per hour.

The miniature craft like the tiny helicopter above can easily be flown indoors; a ready-to-fly kit can be had for about $100. The larger chopper models require more space, a great deal of skill to operate, and their cost can run into the thousands.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Connecting the Dots

I've been trying in this blog to stay focused on making photos with old film cameras. The previous post was obviously an excursion well outside that objective. In my defense, I'll offer the fact that my obsession with the idea of flight has often been expressed in photos made with my old cameras. The pictures I like best on the topic have been made at the opposite ends of the resolution spectrum.

What joins this set of images, in addition to the topic, is the wide-angle perspective which puts the flying machines in their proper environmental context. For the Pentax photos, I used the Super-Takumar f3.5 24mm lens. The converted Billy Record sports a pinhole with an aperture-to-film-plane distance of about 35mm which gives a broad view on the 6x9 cm format.

Pentax Spotmatic

Pinhole (Converted from Agfa Billy Record)

Monday, March 01, 2010


I snapped this picture yesterday afternoon while piloting a small plane up a valley north of Vancouver. Earlier in the morning I flew the length of the Grand Canyon.

All, of course, was courtesy of the Google Earth flight simulator.

I've never been a fan of computer games, or any other kind for that matter. However, I found using Google's simulator to be quite an extraordinary experience. It really seems like flying in a light aircraft, something I haven't done in half a century.

The fact that this can be done on line with a rather modest computer seems just amazing to me. And, it is a great way to escape the weighty realities of everyday existence. The need to devote one's full attention to the task of staying airborne forces every other concern from the mind, while the acquisition of skills needed to maneuver without crashing provides real satisfaction. I spent the better part of a day exploring mountain valleys and revisiting some of my favorite cities and their surroundings. I'm looking forward to finding new low-altitude challenges, perhaps in an around-the-world trip.