symmetry (otp112)

I looked around for symmetry at Zion National Park and we found it (surprise!) with the help of a reflecting pool.

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The wider angle shot with the iphone played better BW.

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And a couple previous attempts that basically got relegated to the b-side as soon as we hiked up to this pool.

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Goodbye to Mr. Poops

Yesterday I got a text that my old dutch friend passed away in Philadelphia. He came with the wife of one of my grad school mates when we first arrived in Texas and he hung around long enough for even us long term Houston holdouts to all head back out of the South. At 14 years old I’m certain he was one of the oldest bunnies out there. His mate, Elsie had passed years ago. They were quite a pair, she was a very opinionated woman and he was the sweetest little guy (I know such adjectives are overused for cute little wabbits, but it was completely true for someone with his disposition).

It hit me hard, it reminded me of the passage of time, the movement of life, the joy of good friends, and the inevitability of change. It made me think of how much and how little I have changed in the past dozen years. Caught up in the flurry of daily chores and activities, it was a reminder that we should savor the impermanence of our mundane surroundings. A reminder particularly important as I continue to spend too much of my time in the digital sphere.

But of course, back to the digital sphere – I remembered I had some nice photos of him and his partner so I went digging into the archives. It turns out I took these photos six years ago when I had just received my Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 – its considered a legendary lens and over the past six years it has lived up to the reputation. While it is a little bit too telephoto on a crop sensor for daily use, its perfect for traveling when paired with a smartphone for wide angle shots.

Mr. Poops and Elsie was staying at our house at that time, so naturally I trained my camera upon them. Some of the first photos didn’t come out too good, but I think this series of four in a row came out pretty nicely.

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I can’t believe its been twelve years since we first met. Here’s to you Mr. Poops, have fun in the great beyond!

my kit

One of the OTP hosts wanted to see everyone’s kits, but my stuff is split in two places so I did a multiple frame look at things. I’ll most likely come back and do a single frame shot at some point.

Bodies: Nikon D40 (crop sensor) and Iphone 5c.

Accessories (not shown): an extra battery, extra SD card, blower

and I definitely have my hierarchy of lenses…

the standard 3 lens kit that goes in a small bag or cargo pants
24mm f/2 – I like the wider view and deep DOF, but not the bokeh
50mm f/1.8 series e – gorgeous bokeh
105mm f/2.5 – omg. The best evar.

the other two nikkors
28mm f/3.5 – if my katzeye didn’t go black with the small f-stop, this most likely would supplant my 24mm
135mm f/2.8 — I’ve scored some lovely shots with this lens, but its heavy.

fun alternate lenses
Lensbaby 2.0
500mm f/8 cadatropic — So small, but what a reach!
70-210 vivatar micro – A serious hunk of metal. But I’m not a fan of zoom

autofocus, I just don’t dig it
18-55mm kit lens – I like it as a wide angle, most likely the main reason I haven’t actually run out and purchased a wide angle prime.
30mm f/1.8 – I thought I’d want autofocus when the baby showed up. But nah…I’ve gone back to my good old non-metering nikkors, they just feel more responsive.

Lust
Well surprisingly not really at this time. I’d like to get an 85mm just to fill in the standard series of focal lengths or maybe a 50mm micro or a 14mm super wide…but nothing I’d really want to pay big money for at the moment.

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profile (otp225)

The assignment was profile and I caught the profile of these three men cutting control joints in our new slab. I quite like the black and white one (which didn’t look great in color because it was so overexposed).

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I also like the colors in the other two. Though I can’t decide whether I like the sharper or dustier one more.

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Update: Here’s the original color version of the BW shot. In my memory I thought I had to overexpose to so the man was properly exposed, but I think it was actually blow out the trees and trash cans that otherwise dominated the background.

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And here’s one of Marcello in black and white.

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architecture (otp111)

As an architect, you’d think I like shooting buildings.

I don’t…there’s photographers who do that. But I did find a few architect-y things that I found interesting.

such as block wall in the restroom at Spring Ranch Park

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or some big rocks in Zion

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and rock textures

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and a trellis detail showcasing the passage of time

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a ceiling fan and AC register in my bedroom

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and OK, here’s a building, with some dramatic clouds no less!

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gametime (otp119)

my favorite photo is from the lastest pass through the set. I think the rawtherapee program (open source lightroom clone as far as I can tell) is helping in some ways. Though I also have other gripes in how it handles files. In any case, here’s a nice crunchy gametime. Followed by some less crunchy ones.

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newsworthy (otp221)

The assignment was newsworthy this week. Not surprisingly with my other work I went for the mundane. The good folks at the library do a good job with their story time, and its much appreciated.

Windmill Library Storytime
Windmill Library Storytime

But while uploading the photo, I realized I had shot another “newsworthy” thing earlier this week after having listened to the episode. The flags at Ikea were half mast again! But over the past couple months, with Orlando, Dallas, and Baton Rouge, such a display of mourning is so regular, it didn’t even trigger this fit with the assignment until now.

Ikea, half mast yet again
Ikea, half mast yet again

splash (otp110)

I had a tough time with this one. Moving water is not particularly easy to get right, especially since my setups are so rudimentary (me and my camera). I ended up trying three approaches, the first just shooting the river in Zion National park, then behind a waterfall (also at Zion), but my favorite came up a couple days ago when Dara decided to help grandpa water the plants.

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But Zion National Park was pretty cool too.

River

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