Monday, September 23, 2013


Our yearly neighborhood parade provides the opportunity to grab some shots of our neighbors, as well as the chance to experiment with a variety of photographic techniques.

I chose this year to photograph the event with my Mamiya 135 telephoto attached to my trusty old Pentax Spotmatic.  The 135 is a big help for getting close to the action in this type of public space.

Besides helping to fill the available frame space with the primary subject, the restricted depth of focus of the long lens provides additional separation of the foreground subject and the background, as well as enhancing the appearance of sharpness.  To further emphasize these image characteristics I chose to use a fine-grained and relatively slow film, TMAX 100.  That let me shoot my back-lit subjects at f-5.6 and 1/250, which was fast enough to stop action while blurring the background.

My portrayals of the parade in previous years featured pictures from my Hawkeye Flash with flipped lens, my Soviet-era Contax-copy Kiev II, and the Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

lean and mean

The Soviet-era Sukhoi S-26 has been dominating aerobatic competitions since 1984.

There were many different light sport aircraft at the Double Eagle field show on Saturday.  It is nice to have a reminder in this age of jumbo jets and terrorist threats that the real dream of flight still lives on.

Monday, September 09, 2013

copper chopper

My Patent Etui is performing well, but requires some care in use.

As with any of the ruby-windowed cameras, it is important to only open the frame counting view port briefly while advancing the film, and that must be done away from direct sunlight.  Even with strong reading glasses it can be difficult to discern when the numerals crawl into sight in the window.

Since I was shooting with the Rollex rollfilm adapter and not planning on using the ground glass for focusing, I left the adapter's dark slide at home and just put a strip of black tape over the slot where the slide is inserted to avoid any light intrusion that way.  I also put a strip of tape over the hinge on the Rollex, though the back closes up very tightly, and the cloth curtains over the film spools also seem to be doing their job of keeping out any stray light.  The bellows have remained light-tight, thanks to the application of some dabs of black fabric paint to a few pinholes.

Getting the image properly framed is something of a challenge with the Patent Etui.  The little reflex finder has a mirror that is slightly deteriorated, though it does allow accurate framing with care.  The wire frame finder with the rear flip-up pin provides a very poor guide to framing, certainly not adequate to ensure full-frame display of the final image.

The fine Tessar lens easily makes up for any of the inconveniences of shooting the camera.  I shot the whole roll at 1/250 and f-22 in bright sun at the air show, and every exposure was tack sharp.

Saturday, September 07, 2013


We enjoyed a light plane air show this morning at Albuquerque's Double Eagle Airport.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

David Burnett

Making history on film.

The photojournalist, David Burnett, is on assignment for Time Magazine, photographing the campaign of Michelle Bachelet for the Chilean presidency.

Included in his kit is a seventy-year-old Speed Graphic and a Holga, which he famously used in the U.S. Election of 2000.  I seldom read Time these days outside of visits to my dentist's office, but I'll definitely look for the upcoming one with Burnett's pictures.