Monthly Archives: February 2015

George’s Knobs

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George Washington door knob at the Washington State Capitol building

One of the things that I love about the Washington State Capitol building is the access that the public has to the building. With the exception of things like offices, the building is open to the public and you are encouraged to explore and enjoy everything that the building has to offer. On of the things that it does have to offer is an incredible amount of architectural detail, not only in the massive amounts of marble that lines the walls and floors, but down to the smaller thighs such as the door knobs that feature George Washington himself.

When you are in a building that has so many large scale things to take in, it is quite easy to miss the small details such as these door knobs.  This image is from this month’s #WE35 expedition and I am grateful to the expedition for having it force me to slow down and not only find and photograph those small details, but to also enjoy them.

I will be posting more images from this months expedition here on the blog, but all of the images, including the contact sheet, are in my #WE35 gallery.  You can get there by navigating to my Projects gallery and selecting WE35, or by simply clicking here.

Posted in #WE35, Photography

Contact Sheet – A #WE35 Expedition

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Contact Sheet for the Feb. 2015 #WE35 Expedition

Those that were into photography before the advent of the digital world we now live in, and especially those that processed their own negatives, will know what a contact sheet is.  While the above isn’t exactly a contact sheet in the most traditional sense of the word, it is about as close as you can come in the 21st century.

As you already know from reading my blog, I am participating in a 35mm fixed focal length project this year, I have already shared a number of images from this project, and each month we have an assigned “expedition” to complete.  In Jan. it was an image of our mailbox, in Feb. is was to go out and simulate shooting a 36 exposure roll of film and then turning those images into a contact sheet.

For this months expedition, I chose to use my new Sony a6000 with a pre-AI Nikon 24mm lens.  On the crop sensor of the Sony camera, the 24mm lens is very close to being a traditional 35mm focal length.  I also shot this series in JPG mode with absolutely ZERO post processing, had my camera capture in black and white and even fixed the ISO at 400 to replicate my days of shooting 400 ASA film.

When the expedition assignment came out for this month, I honestly thought it was going to be a very easy one.  I had shot film for decades and it meant nothing to go out and shoot a roll of film, and have each and every shot of that roll of film be captured with a purpose.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  You see, I switched to digital in 2007 and immediately went down the path of being able to shoot in rapid fire mode and then cull out the bad shots after I downloaded them to my computer.  I haven’t had to give much thought to not wasting a frame during a shoot since the last time I loaded up a roll of film.

Needless to say, I was able to successfully complete this month’s expedition, I shot it on the Washington State Capitol campus here in Olympia, and it really did open my eyes to how much my shooting habits have changed in the short time since 2007 when I went digital, and I can honestly say that those changing habits have not been all for the best.

I do plan on sharing individual images from this expedition, in fact, the previous images of the sculpture of George Washington was from this very series of images.  Stay tuned.

Posted in #WE35, Photography

George – Happy Presidents Day #WE35 Style

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George

I guess it is ok to admit that I am old enough to remember having holidays for both Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays. Now we just have one, Presidents day, and poor George has to share the limelight with Abe.

Not only is George being snubbed a bit, while a lot of the rest of the world is enjoying a day off, I am in the group that will be working today.

This image is from a photowalk this weekend around the Washington State Capitol and is part of a bigger #WE35 February Expedition.  I will be sharing more about this months expedition soon, but this image is straight out of camera, shot in JPG and using the camera to covert to black and white.

Posted in #WE35, Photography

Puppies and Cows – A #WE35 Pasture Report

Puppies and Cows

Puppies and Cows

Ok, maybe not puppies and cows, but puppy and cow instead :-)

I made this #WE35 snapshot while testing out my Sony a6000 with an old Nikon 24mm non-AI lens.

Posted in #WE35, Photography

Never Underestimate Old Glass

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Test image using a pre-AI Nikon 24mm 2.8 lens

As some of you may know, I lead the Advanced Photography Group for the Olympia Camera Club. We hold monthly meetings where we share not only knowledge but images as well. One of the questions that always seems to arise when sharing images is “what lens did you use” for the image being shared. This typically leads to a discussion about some ultra-modern, high end, and typically very expensive piece of glass. The general consensus these days is that if you want a great lens, it has to be new, and has to be very expensive. I argue that simply isn’t the case.

Take the image above as an example. Doesn’t seem very special does it? A black and white image of a padlock on my shed. What I haven’t said so far is that this image was made using a lens that was made sometime before 1977. It was captured with a pre-AI Nikon 24mm f2.8 attached to a Sony a6000 camera. Obviously it was made in manual focus as AF wasn’t an option back on the “old days.”  This is also straight out of camera. I shot JPG with in camera black and white settings as well as being at ISO400.  Absolutely ZERO post processing. The only thing that has been done is that the JPG compression has been set to 75% quality in Lightroom when uploading to the internet.

The next image is a 100% crop out of the above image.

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Look at the detail and clarity in this image. By any definition this is a very sharp image, remember, it was compressed to 75% JPG quality when uploaded to my site. This was also manually focused with a 35+ year old lens.

Want to know the shocker of all of this though? This lens, in great condition, can usually be found for under $150 if you shop around. This was a professional grade lens it its day. Today they are all but forgotten because people believe that only the ultra-modern lenses are capable of making great images.

One last thing to keep in mind though, not all camera lines will let you mount old lenses to them. Some Nikon bodies will allow the use of pre-AI lenses, but if you do a little research online you will find lots of compatibility charts that will tell you what is safe and what will work with your camera. There are also lots of very inexpensive adapters out there that let you use just about any lens with just about any camera body, just look around a bit.

Posted in Photography