Eric G. Rose – Where It's At

Location

Random images from Last Summer

by on Apr.30, 2011, under Cameras, Digital, Location

Since we seem to be caught in the grips of a never ending winter I thought I would post some images from last summer.  Two from the Calgary Stampede billed as the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, and two from a local British car clubs show and shine.  If you are interested in the technical details of how I did the shots and the post processing leave a comment and I will answer it to the best of my ability.

Stampede Excitement

 

The White Hat

 

Got the Keys?

 

Sparkles

 

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Diners, I LOVE Diners

by on Apr.27, 2011, under Friends, Location, Travel

Ever since I was a kid going to a diner with my dad or grandfather was a real treat.  I loved the stools covered in either red, brown or black leather.  Naturally I would catch it for spinning around on them, but hey that was part of the overall experience.  The smells of eggs, pancakes, hash browns and coffee run very deep for me.  It’s one of my happy places.  No wonder I battle my weight!

The Galaxie Diner

Brad Myhre's World Famous Galaxie Diner

Brad Myher started this diner close to 20 years ago.  For Calgary it was a welcome treat from the over priced yuppie cafes so prevalent at the time.  Brad called it the Galaxie after the car.  I remember when his first daughter was born 15 years ago.  We go back a long ways.

Over the years I have seen staff come and go, but most stay for quite awhile.  They enjoy working for Brad (who wouldn’t!), enjoy the customers and the funky vibe.

The food is fantastic while still keeping to a “grill / diner” menu.  I bought my 1970 VW Combi van from one of Brad’s first cooks.  Yes that’s the same van that cratered on me in my “No man left behind” blog post.  Mr. Happy and I have been running the roads for a lot of years.

One of Brad’s loves beyond his wonderful family are smoked meat deli’s.  Especially the ones you find in Montreal, Quebec.  I guess the plane fares to Montreal were beginning to add up so Brad started his own Montreal styled smoked meat deli next to the Galaxie.  The choices of meats and condiments is staggering.

The Galaxie as we call it has been featured in Hollywood movies and many local and national commercials.  The interior is that 30, 40, 50’s authentic.  I did a photo project on the place when I first started going there and gave Brad a bunch of 11×14 matted and framed silver gelatin black and white prints.  Two of which have been hanging in the place for over a decade.  The Chevy Chase movie “Snow Day” was filmed in Calgary.  Some of the scenes were shot in the Galaxie and my photos can be seen hanging on the wall.  My claim to Hollywood fame!  Well ok, I admit I am grasping a bit there.

Galaxie Counter

Galaxie Counter Top

Today I partook in a Galaxie experience.  Had my usual veggie burrito with hash browns, salsa and sour cream.  I can feel my heart slowing down just remembering it.  Steaming hot coffee in a bottomless cup keeps the conversation going.  I’m going to Turkey in a few weeks and found out our waitress, or do we call them serving persons now, had been to Istanbul.  Got the skinny from her on what to see.

One of the many things I love about my Galaxie experiences are the many varied people you get to meet there.  Sitting at the counter could expose you to an oil baron on one side and a homeless guy who lucked into a few bucks on the street on the other side.  Either one of your stool buddies could become a wealth of entertainment for the next hour while you each enjoyed your breakfast or lunch.  The diner is a real equalizer.  If you are one of those affected people you will not want to eat with us locals.  We have a way of cutting through the crap.

On the other hand everyone from suits to those sporting mohawks are welcome at Brad’s place.  Hope to see you there someday.  Check out one of my Galaxie Diner shots taken with my Rolleiflex TLR here.  It’s the one in the middle of the table and chairs.  The original print has some of the sumptuous chrome detail I have ever gotten.  Gotta love that Zeiss glass!

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I feel a Draft!

by on Apr.09, 2011, under Cameras, Darkroom, Developing, Digital, Film, Location

Road Kill Coyote

Road Kill Coyote

Well this poor coyote did not make it through our never ending winter.  I found him about a month ago and shot a pic with my cellphone.  These are the kinds of finds you know are worth going back to with a real camera when the conditions are right.  My fear was that the city workers would find him since he is just off a walking path.  Or some kid who had his sling shot taken away would kick the crap out of him.  Alas after several more snow falls and melts this coyotes final resting place remains undisturbed.

There are a fair number of these critters in my neck of the woods.  The poor souls have had their natural territory taken over by houses, asphalt, cars and concrete.  We are enduring a rather rapid increase in rabbits due to the coyotes not wanting to venture to far into suburbia.  Smart coyotes aren’t they.

Well it seems this one tried to go from one semi-open field to another but didn’t quite look both ways before crossing the four lane.  His brethren might have benefited from his untimely demise by donning their bibs and chowing down on some tasty ribs.  I am sure the crows and magpies swooped in for dessert.  By the looks of him I would estimate his age at about 2 years.  Chances are he spent his first year and a bit out in the near farm lands enjoying a steady diet of mice and small birds.  Whatever happened to him I hope it was a quick end.  Maybe he did not get hit by a passing vehicle at all.  It could be he just froze to death waiting for the traffic to break so he could get across the road.  Maybe he was waiting for the chicken.

Today I went out with my Nikon D700 adorned with my new to me 28-70mm AF zoom.  Shot off a few quick images to check composition before I hauled out the Linhof Technica IV.  My film image was shot on Ilford Delta 100 rated at 100 asa (ISO whatever).  The lens was my trusty Rodenstock APO 150mm.  I just love that lens!  So sharp and contrasty.  Tomorrow will have to be a darkroom day as the large format group I started 6 years ago meets on Tuesday and the theme is “skeleton”.  How convenient.  I know what you are thinking I set the theme knowing I had an ace up the sleeve.  In actual fact the wife of the member who had the last meeting picked the theme for this meeting.  Sometimes things just work out.  Sometimes.

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The Office

by on Apr.07, 2011, under Friends, Location, Photographers, Travel

No not the TV show.  Although if Alec Baldwin wanted to hang out with me for an afternoon I am sure we could have a great time.  He could tell me all about Kim Basinger.  I still can’t get that kitchen scene from 9 1/2 weeks out of my mind.  Bad Eric!  Hey that’s why they call me BadDog!  That’s my web design company BadDog Marketing.

No the real reason I am writing this blob is to show you my “office”.  Not the one I have at home but the one I spend my afternoons at.

Good Earth Cafe - alternate office for BadDog Marketing

View from my "office" desk.

When people are looking for me and I have my phone off (yes I am ignoring you) while doing some heavy duty coding or Photoshop work they usually pop into my “office” looking for me.  Chance are they will find me.  This alternate office is at The Good Earth Cafe – Creekside, Calgary AB.  It is run by the nicest family you could ever meet.  It’s a true mom and pops establishment.  They even have a daughter and son-inlaw as partners.

Over the past several months I have made so many friends here.  People even trust me to look after their babies!  I guess it’s because I am a grandpa and probably look like one.  I have met other geeks and we trade industry news and gossip.  Even help each other out with a sticky bit of code if possible.

During Christmas I organized a Christmas carol evening here at the office.  My wife an accomplished pianist, my buddy Herb Huber an amazing guitarist played for several hours.  We handed out song books and packed the place out.  Check out Herb’s website for inspirational guitar stuff.  He teaches as well.

As I write this I am at my “office” enjoying the chatter of mothers trading diaper stories, couples laughing at things they only know, and workmen coming in out of the cold for a nice warm coffee.  The food here is terrific as well.  Yummy sweet stuff and steaming soups.

Good Earth Cafe Creekside Motorcyle School

Good Earth Cafe Creekside Motorcyle School vists.

A large group of motorcycle riding students just walked in.  Since it’s hovering around zero here (yes it is April, geez) and they have these safety vests on with big L’s on the back.  Not sure if that stands for learner or loser.  I shouldn’t be so mean.  Someday I will probably have to take a course from these guys if I want to start riding again.  From what I understand they drop in several times a week with their students which is great business for the cafe.  God knows they need it.  Business is down for everyone these days.  I was in the back room of a big box store the other day and noticed their sales numbers were down from 17 to 23 percent over last year depending on department.  People are wisely paying down their debt rather than pumping up their entertainment spending.

It’s funny how many of my friends are envious of my ability to work anywhere there is an internet connection.  It could be at home, here at the “office”, or on a beach in Hawaii.  Years ago an old buddy of mine and I fantasized about buying a diveshop on some beautiful beach in the South Pacific.  Now I can have all the benefits of hanging on the beach without the hassle of running a business catering to tourists.  Yuk!!

Soon I will be off to Turkey for three weeks.  My wife and I will be traveling with Dave and Lori-Lynn Brookwell.  Dave and Loo-Loo are both professional photographers who run Illusions Studio and Design here in Calgary.  I’m biased but I feel they do the best work in town.

Maybe I will open an “office” in Istanbul, somewhere with a view of the Bosporus, sipping Turkish tea, watching the gals stroll by……..

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The Helen Lake hike, or how I learned to love my A640

by on Sep.06, 2010, under Cameras, Friends, Location, Travel

Yesterday Erna and I joined our good friends Dave and Laurie Lynn Brookwell (owners of Illusions Photographic) on a hike to Helen Lake.  Why this lake is named after this Helen person is a good question.  Maybe someone can illuminate us.

The day started off with a 7am pickup of the Brookwells followed by a 2.5 hour drive.  Getting to the parking lot to begin the hike was the easy part,  just go west on the Number One, turn north onto the 93 at Lake Louise and continue on for 32kms.

Upon entering the parking lot I was a bit disheartened to see so many cars.  I can remember the days when I would be hiking the back country by Lake Louise and might see two people all day.  Given the number of cars I estimated there had to be at least 100 people on the trail.  Since there were reports of bears in the area I guess having company on the trail might be a good thing.  Especially those doofus’s that insist on wearing those bear dinner bells.

The hike is 12kms taking you on an elevation gain of 1800 feet.  Within mere steps from the beginning the trail pitch was rather steep.  Between gasps for the ever thinning air, views across the valley to Crowfoot Glacier were spectacular.  Now I have to admit I’m not in the best shape these days.  Hey I’ve been trying, going to the gym when I can, passing up ice cream once in awhile and thinking real hard about jogging.  Well, it’s a start.  This said I figured that on this hike I better not take the 4×5.  Not even the D700 or the Leica.  No it will be the Canon Powershot A640 that gets called up.

I’ve always like the A640.  When it was the latest and greatest I recommended it to my photography students if a solid P&S was what they were looking for.  Funny thing was I never got around to buying one myself.  This situation was remedied when I spotted one in a pawn shop for $98.  I eventually walked out of there with the camera for $50.  It certainly had seen some miles in it’s short life but everything worked.  The optics are great, the 10M byte images sharp and clean.  All this in a very small and light package.  Perfect for this hike.

During this hike we were treated to bright sunny warm conditions, blustery cold winds, and to finish the day off, snow.  Fortunately all the good weather was during the assent.  Below you will find some of the images I came away with using the A640.  Not bad for an out of date, bruised, battered last years technology picture maker.  Oh ya the camera did fine too.

Corn Lilies

More Corn Lilies

Rebirth

Helen Creek

Laurie Lynn by Lake Helen

One Last Corn Lily

These web images do not do the A640 justice.  I could easily make tack sharp 11×14 prints from the JPG files the camera generates.  Now I will let you in on a little secret. Canon doesn’t want you to know this but you can get 12M byte RAW files from the A640.  Yes RAW files.  There is a lot this little camera will do but you will never know unless you  download a little firmware package called CHDK.  Do a quick google search and you will find it.  You can not only upgrade your camera to give you RAW files but you can now see histograms and a very useful battery strength indicator.  Why doesn’t Canon build this functionality into the Powershot right from the factory?

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No Man Left Behind.

by on Aug.12, 2010, under Cameras, Digital, Film, Location, Travel

No man left behind!

While the genesis of this saying may be from the military, it applies to many things, both animate and inanimate.

My wife had a university reunion in Winnipeg, Manitoba scheduled for July 30 to August 1st. I felt this would be a great opportunity to take an extended photo trip from Calgary
to Winnipeg spanning three days.  The vehicle of choice would of course would be Mr. Happy my 1970 VW hippy van.  Mr. Happy got his name from the happy face tire cover he proudly wears on the spare.

Mr. Happy having lunch in Redcliff, Alberta

Kids and grownups alike love Mr. Happy.  Kids wave and people my age give me the peace sign.  I’ve even been waved at by some cops that I am sure could have stopped me for speeding had I been driving anything else.

This adventure was planned to be a full-on photo safari.  The large format camera, a selection of lenses, 20 film holders, tripod, Nikon D700, Nikon F5, a selection of Nikkor

On the Road Again

lenses, Canon A640 for snap shots and tonnes of film was loaded into Mr. Happy.  A few clothes, some food and water, Ipod, cellphone and my favorite pillow were chucked in for
good measure. Off we went in a cloud of dust July 28th.

The only two deadlines I had were to met a photo buddy I have gotten to know through Analog Photographers Users Group www.apug.org in Brandon, Manitoba on Thursday night for some beers, tall tales and a place to crash. The second deadline, the important one, was Friday evening to pick my sweetie up from the airport in Winnipeg.  The rest of the trip was wide open.

The first day say me getting some great shots of a lonely gas station out in the middle on nowhere Alberta.  Some people hate the praires and I can understand that sentiment.

Lonely, dusty gas station in rural Alberta

This gas station offered a small oasis of humanity in an otherwise hostile environment.  Cars pulled in, kids pilled out, parents would bark orders.  Trucks would charge in to
gas up, their drivers checking the tire pressure.  Locals would hangout on the bench not in a rush to head anywhere.  Especially into the dust and heat. Some feel this land is
barren and empty. Well I suppose it is to some but I feel it mirrors what’s on the inside more than anything else.  Personally I love the wide open spaces Alberta and Saskatchewan offer.  To me they offer an endless vista of ever changing tones, complicated compositions and a sky that can be both threatening and beautiful at the same time.

They joke that you can watch your dog run away for three days.  Some quick shots with the Linhof Technika IV, a couple with the D700 and a record shot with the A640.

Mr. Happy the perfect photomobile

It was off again, destination Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.  In the old days this town was know as a bootleggers paradise.  It’s rumoured that Al Capone stayed in Moose Jaw on

occasion to oversee his distribution network into the US.  Canada didn’t suffer the delusion of prohibition.  There was some talk that my own family had benefited from quenching
the American’s thirst for spirits during that time. Economies have been built all over the world supplying the Americans with things they don’t really need or are not suppose to
have.

Moose Jaw is a very pretty town with a wicked Thai restaurant, a very photogenic oil tank farm and the most unusually painted bridge supports.  There was not enough time to
photograph ever

Nit's Thai Eats

The next day saw Brandon, Manitoba on the horizon.  It would be a full days drive given Mr. Happy doesn’t go over 60 mph. Well he will but it’s not safe in my estimation.  I
dropped into Indian Head, Saskatchewan to see if they had any funky buildings.  To my surprise what I found was a TV production crew filming a CBC weekly series called “Little
Mosque on the Prairie”.   I got as close as I could to snap a quick “I was there” picture and then beat a hasty retreat before the traffic control thugs got a hold of me.  Beyond that, Indian Head didn’t have much to offer photographically so it was back to the asphalt ribbon.  I should have had Meat Loaf’s “Highway to Hell” blaring on the stereo.  It was sure hot as hell!

Running with the big dogs

Just west of Wolseley, Saskatchewan I spotted a drive in theatre in what looked like the middle of a farmers field.  I found the road leading to it and soon realized it just
looked that way from the highway.  At one time this drive in had mulitple rows of posts each holding oversized pot metal speakers that hang from the car windows.  Today there is
only one row left.  In todays HD 52 inch widescreen LCD TV’s I guess no one wants the outdoor movie experience.  To bad really but I guess if kids want to make out in the back
of the truck these days they can put on the movie of their choice and have it play on the in-vehicle DVD screen.  I would suppose the advantage would be the movie screen doesn’t
fog up even if the windows do.

Drive In ticket hut

The drive-in wasn’t worth getting out the large format gear but I did manage to mangle a few digit with the D700.  I spent 45 minutes there and had a great time both making
photograps and remembering my own drive-in days.

Once back to Mr. Happy I found it wouldn’t start.  The engine was very hot and had what is normally called a vapour lock.  Another 30 minutes and Mr. Happy was cooled off enough to start. Back to the highway.

"Some like it Hot"

The next 16 miles was straight east, and I do mean straight.  Not one turn of any kind.  Mr. Happy started to loose power so I turned into Grenfell, Saskatchewan thinking that
after he cools off I could check the timing and/or the valve gap.  If either of these are out, overheating is the result.  He wasn’t pinging so I was leaning to valve problems.

Mr. Happy and I toddled around town and found a nice shady place right across the street from a auto parts store.  Lunch was in order at this point so I walked down the street and spotted the usual Chinese cafe you find in any rural town in either Alberta or Saskatchewan.  Seemed everyone was having the number one special so not being one to tempt fate in one of these establishments I ordered the same.  Once it came out I thought to myself that if I had any problems with constipation this meal would cure it.  Everything
was either deep fried or very greasy.

Back to Mr. Happy.  I quickly checked the timing and it was spot on.  Next up was to adjust the valves.  Normally you do this when the engine is stone cold, but I didn’t have that
luxury as I was suppose to be in Brandon that night.

Mr. Happy's engine

Since I was so preoccupied with getting my photo gear ready prior to my departure I neglected to pack my repair manual.  This was a problem because I have never adjusted the valves on a Mr. happy before.  I sauntered across the street in my best local farmer saunter and asked the guy in the parts store if there was a library in Grenfell.  Indeed there was, but he wasn’t sure if it was open today.  In any event it was at the end of the main drag.  More sauntering and a 15 minute wait for them to open up and I was in heaven.

Air conditioning!!  I asked the gal at the counter if there was a computer hooked up to the internet I could use.  Indeed there was and did I have a library card.  Well I be
giggered.  Once I related my tale of woe she relented and let me use the computer but it would cost me 25 cents a sheet to print anything out.  I quickly found what I was looking for, gave the nice lady 75 cents and headed back to Mr. Happy.

Well after about 4 hours of back twisting eye straining grunting I had all the valves adjusted.  I was covered in thick dirty grease but the friendly gentleman at the Standard
Auto Parts place let me clean up in his bathroom.

Off we went again.  We galloped down the highway a glorious 18 miles and then that was it.  Mr. Happy said enough is enough.  The number three cylinder was not producing any
power.  One of the valve wasn’t working and was probably broken.  Valves that go in, must also come out.  No such luck.

Now things get interesting.

It was evident that I was not getting to Brandon tonight, and probably was not getting to Winnipeg for the Friday pickup of my sweetie.  So what to do?  I called my sweetie in
Calgary and explained the situation asking her to call AMA to send a tow truck out to me.  Fortunately they had one in Grenfell.  This meant Erna had several options; 1. fly to
Winnipeg without me and fly back (one more plane ticket), 2. that very night once home from work jump into our minivan and drive to where I am, or 3. change her plain ticket to
Regina – pick up a car there and drive to Grenfell in the morning.  Since Erna wanted me at the university reunion, bless her soul, the first option was out.  She was bagged
from work so option two was discarded.  That left the more costly option of changing the ticket and picking up a rental car.  Somewhere in the discussion me taking the Greyhound
was mentioned but with all the camera gear I had this would not work.  Poor Erna, this extra stress, she did not need.

Death Row

Mr. Happy, now Mr. Unhappy was towed to a lot in Grenfell and I booked into the local highway motel.  This motel was just purchased by a commercial real estate agent hoping I’m sure to fix it up and flip it.  I named the establishment Hotel 1 1/2.  Given that every commerical building in Grenfell was up for sale, he might have to be a bit patient.

The room was comfortable and once I figured out how to get the AC working quite cool.  Things went on well until about 3am when some yahoos wanted a room and began banging on the office door and for good measure my door as well. I just told myself it was probably better they get a room here than drive since it sounded like they were quite drunk.

The rest of the trip was very uneventful. Once back in Calgary my father in law and I drove his 1/2 ton truck back to Grenfell and we towed Mr.Happy back.  No man left behind!

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Road Trip! Black Hills and Yellowstone

by on Aug.09, 2010, under Cameras, Developing, Digital, Family, Film, Location, Travel

My sweetie and I took a trip to The Black Hills in South Dakota with a visit to Yellowstone National Park on the way home.  The trip had a two fold objective, one to photograph some of the most beautiful landscape in North America and secondly to show Erna my old stomping grounds in the Black Hills.

From birth until the age of 19 I spent all my summers and any other time the family could get away in the Black Hills.  My uncle and aunt built a cabin and named it the Antlers.  One of my uncles businesses was guiding hunters and fishermen.  Many famous people stayed at the “cabin” including one US President.

I learned to walk, shoot, fish, hunt, track, survival, haul/split wood and how to enjoy silence.  My first adventures in photography began in the Black Hills as well.

Eric Rose takes his first steps.This photo of me taking my first steps in the front yard of the cabin was taken by my father with a Rolleiflex TLR.  I now have that camera and use it fairly regularly.

Back in the 60’s my father took me out and taught me how to shoot a single shot Winchester Model 67 .22 caliber rifle.  Up until I could pull the cocking mechanism back myself I was not allowed to touch the rifle.  Once I had enough strength in my fingers and hands to cock this rifle, that was the turning point, it was one step closer to manhood in my young eyes.  These first shots at tin cans went on to become a love of target shooting and eventually earning a place on the Canadian National Rifle Team.  I also set records in the US during competitions I attended there.  Yes I was a member of the NRA and am considered a Life Time Master in smallbore prone shooting.

The closest town, if you want to call it that, to the cabin is Rochford.

This little mining town grew to over a 1000 in the mid 1800’s but by the 1885 it was all but a ghost town.  My earliest memories of Rochford were some old shacks, what was left of the stamping mill and a corner store and a bar.  There were a few folks still living there as well as a few ranchers in the area.  Every time I came to the little corner store the owners made me feel special and always remembered my name.  I have no idea what happened to them.  Today it’s a private home across the street from a tourist type store.  The owner of the curio shop told me the store went out of business about 10 years ago.

This trip down memory lane was an emotional one for me.  Remembering all the good times with family and friends and how it will never happen again.  Both of my parents have passed on, my aunt and uncle passed on but before my aunt died she sold the cabin to strangers.  I wish I could have shared this special place with my children when they were growing up.

Once we finished touring the Black Hills it was off to Yellowstone.  The weather was inclement for most of our trip and this portion was no different.  Rain, snow and low clouds greeted us in Yellowstone.  Once there and setup it was off to the geysers and thermal hot springs.  Old Faithful still does his thing every 90 minutes + or – 10 minutes.  While not the most spectacular or frequent geyser in Yellowstone, Old Faithful is the most famous.  The park service has setup an expansive viewing area which is easily accessible.  I have to admit I was quite under whelmed by the rest of the attractions in Yellowstone.  Understandably it is a geological wonder and as such is breath taking in many respects, but and this is a big but, the opportunities to get anything beyond the average tourist shots is almost impossible.  For the visitors safety everyone is confined to boardwalks.  This hamstrings the photographer looking for something out of the ordinary.  Many of the shots you see in books and government publications have been taken either by helicopter or with special permission to get off the boardwalk.  Many of the more colourful water features have either dried up or have turned murky. Some of this is just due to the natural ebb and flow of the hot springs but increasingly this problem is caused by careless humans throwing garbage or coins into the pools.

Erna got some excellent shots of the Bison and a baby Antelope using her 300mm f2.8 L series lens attached to her Canon Rebel XTi.   Check out her website at www.ernasplace.com .

On this latest trek I took my newly purchased Nikon D700 full frame DSLR.  For some time I have been using a Nikon D70s for my colour work.  I have used the D70s to make stunning 11×14 colour prints.  It may only be 6 Mega pixels, but I found that a well exposed image from this camera was technically very good.  The only thing that was a short coming in my eyes was the 1.5 crop factor.  I shoot a lot of wide angle images and this camera turned my wonderful Sigma 17mm lens into a 25.5mm lens.  Not wide enough.  On the other end of the spectrum it made my 300mm a 450mm which for wildlife photography would be a bonus.  The only problem is I can count the number of animal pictures I have taken in the past 30 years without taking off my shoes.  In the middle range my Nikkor 60mm AF macro lens becomes a great portrait lens.  If it’s a little too sharp this can be taken care of with Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.  I use both programs and couldn’t live without them.

The Nikon D700 is a very well built camera, right up there with my Nikon F5.  I considered the Nikon D3 because it had some added features that appealed to me.  In the end the flip up flash on the D700 clenched it.  I use the flip up flash built into my D70s a lot for outdoor portraits.  It’s perfect for taking out the shadows under chins and eyebrows.  If I need more flash horsepower I us my Nikon SB 600.

The Nikon D700 was purchased from KEH.com.  Over the years I have purchased both cameras and lenses from them.  In every instance they have exceeded my expectations in both service and quality of product.  I highly recommend them.  Over the past couple of years I have become very wary of auction sites.  Seems there are an every increasing number of bad transactions taking place if complaints on photo forums I frequent are any indication.

Since I have been a Nikon guy ever since my newspaper days I have quite a collection of old Nikkor lenses.  These old warriors are tack sharp and just as contrasty as they day I purchased them.  Using them on the D70s was a bit changing as it did not have an AI coupling ring.  It was still worth the effort to use them because being the old Scotsman I am I refuse to spend money on newer AF lenses if I already have that focal length in an old lens.  I can usually estimate my exposure to within ¾’rs of a stop so a quick review of the histogram allows me to zero in very quickly.  The D700 has an AI coupling ring so metering is dead easy.  Some of my really old lenses are pre AI so I will have to convert them.  I’m not a big fan of auto everything so shooting this way is not a hindrance for me.  My digital cameras are usually on manual mode and non AF even if the lens has that ability.

For black and white I took my Leica M5, 50mm Summicron, 90mm Summicron and 35mm Voigtlander Color Skopar. I just love the M5.  A true shooters camera.  The film of choice is Ilford FP4 processed in PyroCat-HD.  A fellow sent me a 100 ft. roll of Tmax 100 and I’m looking forward to trying it out.  But in all honesty I love Ilford products and want to support a company that is actively supporting film photographers.

Check out my Yellowstone and Black Hills gallery for my keepers from this trip.

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Where It’s At – my new Blog

by on Aug.09, 2010, under Cameras, Darkroom, Developing, Digital, Family, Film, Friends, Location, Travel

It seems some people have this ability to make their lives “come to life” through their blogs.  I have tried Facebook and find it rather vapid.  People are using it more like Twitter than really trying to connect with their “friends” in some meaningful way.  I really don’t care if you are the best at playing some silly Facebook game, or that you just left the house to go grocery shopping.  What I do care about is where your head it at with respect to God, your family, things that get you really worked up either in a happy or sad way.  I would like to know if you saw a beautiful sunset and how it made you feel.  I would also like to know if you are sad, maybe I can help.  I miss the days of emails.  I never was a letter writer in the traditional sense. As I matured into someone who actually had something to say, the electronic age also matured.  Hence my adoption of a transmission media suited to me.

I was teaching a photography class last night at my church Foothills Lutheran Church of Calgary.  My sweetie Erna was helping me and we work wonderfully as a team.  This particular class was module 4 covering filters, zooming, panning etc.  The preceding modules covered the basics of composition, light and some equipment technical stuff.  My goal is to teach my students how to see.  Sound pithy but every week I see the light come on in one of the students eyes and they comment how they can never look at things the same way again.  They are actually “seeing” things for the first time and internalizing their surroundings.  God created this wonderful place we call earth and all its creatures.  What a waste to go through most of our existence not appreciating it.

 

 

This photograph was taken some time ago near Banff Alberta, Canada.  It was a cold crisp day and I was out just trying to unwind from a particularly stressful week. I find that the mountains having a calming effect.  Their shear weight seems to dissipate any tension I might have.  It’s as if they embrace me with loving arms and let me know that it’s ok, all will be fine.

I have sold many copies of this print and all my customers have felt the same sense of wonder.  They can see into the water below the burned out stumps and lose themselves in this artificial world.  The glow created by the snow just fills the room.  It’s one of my favorites.

This photograph is actually quite hard to print as the negative is a bit thin by my standards.  But with some sweat in the darkroom it eventually pops. The negative was made using a Hasselblad 500 C/M, 80mm lens and an orange filter.  Film was Ilford Delta 100.

My film of choice these days is Ilford FP4.  It’s a wonderful film that allows me to do extreme expansion or contraction when developing in PyroCat-HD developer.  My other standby film is Efke/Adox PL 100.  Both films are of the older thick emulsion variety.  Even though I have had good images from the newer Delta films I prefer the tonality you can only get using older formulations.  Sharpness is not the be all end all of photography and a little grain in the image never hurt anyone.  A grainless image can be a thing of beauty but to me it’s like ordering a pineapple milkshake and not getting any chunks.

It’s been years since I have shot much 35mm but I must say over the past year I have rekindled my love of this “minicam” format.  For 35mm I use either Leica M3, M5 or Nikon F5.  Again film of choice is FP4 or XP2 if I need some speed.  Ilford XP2 is in my estimation the best film for the pleasing rendition of skin.  I just love it for street photography and the occasional portrait.

For colour work I have a Nikon D70s DSLR.  I can use my old Nikkor glass as I refuse to spend money on auto focus lenses that don’t have the same high quality as the old stuff.  I’ve been able to focus a lens quite fine for over 40 years and I hope, God willing, that I can do it for many more years to come.

Well this is the end of my intro blog posting.  As time goes on I will add to it.  Things I will like to share with you are the work of other photographers that inspire me, the odd equipment comment, technique and things that move me.

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