Its been just rainy and gloomy the whole time here so the baby hasn’t gone out much at all. But we did make a run out to get grandma’s hair trimmed so she had a little fun chillin’ in the barber shop.

Still waiting.
Still waiting.


This assignment was a tough one – chat up a stranger and shoot their picture. Get their first name. Naturally, the assignment scared the crap out of me, so I hedged my bets and went to the bar at my usual coffee shop (shout out to Makers and Finders, Las Vegas). It took a while to crack the ice while we surfed on our respective smart phones. I found an entry to start chatting midway through his breakfast by asking about his eggs benedict.

Johnny is a Las Vegas long timer (came with his father in the Air Force) and has been working in hospitality his whole life. He currently does room service at the MGM grand so while I was starting my day, he was ending his. Once the ice was broken, we had a really good chat. As a recent transplant to this city, the ridiculousness that the service industry folks puts up with is still amusing and interesting to me.

About twenty minutes in, I got the courage to ask him let me take a couple photos of him for this “podcast I listen to with weekly assignments” and he happily agreed. As you can see, the backlit lighting conditions was pretty brutal, and the only way to make it a decent image was to just crush the blacks even though I hated losing his sleeve tattoo. I’m not super happy with it, but out of respect to the flow of the conversation I only took two shots (I included the other shot, just auto adjusted by the Mac Photos program). One takeaway with this assignment is that I still need to get better at working my iphone so I’m better prepared for another one or two shot situation like this.

The only reason I pushed through this assignment was because all the previous OTP assignments had taught or showed me something new. Even so, it took an enormous amount of faith in you to go through with this one. Happily I can say that like the other assignments it paid off – maybe not the greatest image, but definitely for the memorable conversation.

Johnny Original
Johnny Original

24mm f/2.0 AI-s

I just got a new lens! I’ve been eyeballing it for a while and when the sale came up I finally went ahead and purchased it. I think I like the manual focus lenses better. When chasing the girl around, I want the darn thing to fire when I shoot. It might not be in focus or even particularly well exposed, but I like the tactility and response over the perfection of having the camera do it for me (and yes, even this old D40 is better than I am at those two things).

I liked my trusty 28mm f/3.5 AI, but in the end, it was just a little too dark. Not so much in the final image, though a stop and a half of extra light will be quite appreciated, but in the viewfinder and with my katzeye focusing screen that goes a little black when its paired with a slightly dark lens (this is also an issue with the kit lens at 18mm f/3.5)

The really nice surprise was the fact that I got a good deal on the lense because the front filter was slightly dinged and I was warned by KEH that I might have trouble putting a lens cap or filter on the thing…but wow, those guys way undersold it. I was able to put my macro reversing ring on it no problem!

24mm f/2.0 AI-s
24mm f/2.0 AI-s


We spent last weekend making a photobook of the baby for grandma.

Along the way I found this photo. I know its not a self-portrait so I gotta assume Jing took it. I think it was taken that day or two a few months ago when I was playing with a flash on my camera.

Thought I’d throw it up…


winding down

I had a hard one with this week’s assignment, but on friday I took some photos of Jing actually winding down before going to sleep.


The reflection was a nice artsy one, but I also had a couple photos with a windup toy…which ended up feeling like it was pressing the metaphor too hard.



And just today, there was a last minute push for the slot. In the end it was too dark and the picture came out too blurry (I did not dare use the d40 since I didn’t want to wake up the baby) but in the context of family and friends, I suspect this blurry image of grandpa sitting with the baby is the most resonant.


negative space and dates

Jing’s parents are drying some dates from the garden. So while I was taking photos for the “negative space” assignment I was able to get a few interesting photos with the baby and the dates. In general I think the dark grass made for stronger negative space shots, but I liked these as a series of explorations.




Big Belly
Big Belly

negative space

OTP #91’s assignment was negative space. I approached this as a single session assignment on a lovely evening. I had a few nice photos, and I was quite taken with the lawn and baby, but the final one I selected was somewhat abstract with our legs, it just felt like it fit the assignment better.


contact sheet

Because it was a single session shoot, I ended up putting together a contact sheet of all the shots, which I think was a nice exploration.

ContactSheet-001 copy

As usual, most of the photos ended up with the baby, but there was a nice moment when a pigeon was hanging out on the wall.


But back to baby…to a photo that I took a few hours before I found out about the assignment.