Monthly Archives: February 2013

it’s the little things (pt. 2)…

oil & water # 4197

oil & water # 4197

There is chaos  all around us.  Or at least some of us may view it as chaos but there is a theory that states there is a pattern or state of order existing within apparent disorder.  I think mathematicians have been trying to prove (or dis-prove) the theory for years and i don’t think it’s will happen in my lifetime.  Still, when you see patterns in nature, you may wonder about it.

it’s the little things…

leaf # 3638

leaf # 3638

It’s almost 40 degrees (F) and most of the pretty white stuff is going fast.  It’s a barren landscape out there and you really have look hard to find something worthwhile to photograph (if you’re a landscape photographer).  But really, there are compositions in nature that are overlooked photo-ops.  These are the little pictures, not the sweeping panoramas that we long to shoot.  I think a lot of people identify with these little things just as much as the majestic landscapes, and for good reason:  the appreciation of the small things in life can be very rewarding.  Or am I wrong???

testing the Wolverine film converter

central drive-in

central drive-in

Last week I checked an Amazon lightning deal for a Wolverine 20 MP film conveter that normally sells for $110 and was discounted to $70.  It looks like a toy in the ad but desperate people do desperate things and I needed a converter.  When it arrived I didn’t even open the box for several days because I really didn’t expect it to perform very well.  Once unboxed, it set up easily and I took a box of slides, color and black and white negatives at random and ran some tests.  The ease and flexibility were impressive and there are some manual controls for exposure and color balance.  Within 10 minutes I scanned an entire box of slides (24) and saved them to an old SD card.  I also scanned (converted, that is) some color negs and B&W negs easily.  While I think the optics could be a bit sharper, the converter did a pretty decent job on all film types.  The photo above (from about 1984) was from a 35mm color negative which I converted to this monotone in Lightroom.  (My brother has the original color print in his living room).  Here’s what I learned in the past two days:

–  It’s not a Nikon scanner, so don’t expect that kind of result in the scans.  But despite its looks, it’s not a toy either and the conversions may surprise you.  Also, I don’t think there are any moving parts as in a traditional scanner so I don’t think it needs to be as robust as one.

–  CLEAN YOUR NEGS AND SLIDES BEFORE CONVERTING.  There is no dust or scratch removal hardware or software included.

–  Native files are jpg only so I convert them to tiffs and edit in LR4.

–  There are some correction that can be made before converting but even the jpgs or tiffs can be edited easily in LR or whatever editor is available to you.

–  CLEAN YOUR NEGS AND SLIDES BEFORE CONVERTING (I repeat this because it’s an important step and can save you a lot of time post scan).

–  I find that out of the thousands of slides and negs I have, not every one is conversion-worthy.  The image on the screen in the converter is a close approximation of the actual file so it makes it a bit easier to decide weather to convert or not to convert.

–  It’s a bit difficult to get the exact color balance in the converter but relatively easy to get in LR during post processing.

–  You can put a lot more scans on an SD card than what will fit on the converter internal memory.   I have a few old cards I could use and I would suggest getting one if you don’t have one available.

–  View the process as a new opportunity to be creative with your older work.  The transition to digital can be a bit of a challenge but at the same time very rewarding.

–  CLEAN YOUR NEGS AND SLIDES BEFORE CONVERTING (you’ll thank me later).

from Kodachrome slide 1

from Kodachrome slide 1

from Kodachrome slide 2

from Kodachrome slide 2

from Kodachrome slide 3

from Kodachrome slide 3

from Kodachrome slide 4

from Kodachrome slide 4

bloopers #1

swansa** # 3844

swansa** # 3844

I don’t know what made me decide to post my bloopers other than the fact that not all my photos are blogworthy otherwise and I have a lot of them.  A LOT of  them.  I was close enough to get a few decent swan photos (last post and this one) but not all came out as I expected.  Now that I have totally stripped this swan of it’s dignity and posted it here I’ll probably never get another good swan shot again.  Guess I’ll have to shoot some ducks now.  Fortunately, I don’t think too many folks read blogs on Sunday.

Irondequoit Bay (& angry birds)

IB # 3733

IB # 3733

This is Irondequoit Bay in Monroe County, NY.  The center of the bay acts as the eastern border for the town of Irondequoit and the western border of the towns of Penfield and  Webster (Where Life is Worth Living).  This photo shows the Bay from the Penfield side.  Noteworthy is that this year marks the 12,000th birthday of the Bay (plus or minus 1000 years).

The Bay is home to non-migrating swans and fishermen (although some fishermen may, at times, migrate).

angry birds # 3852

angry birds # 3852

swan # 3861

swan # 3861

Wings of Progress

Wings of Progress

Wings of Progress

In June of 2011 there was a post in the now defunct ONEOWNER blog with this photo of the Times Square building in Rochester, NY.  Completed in 1930, the top of the building has a tower with a massive structure known as the “Wings of Progress”.  It’s one of the few landmarks in an otherwise nondescript landscape.  Some believe the Wings are Orgone Accumulators or “features common to art deco, raygun gothic and other modernist buildings”.  I shot the photo while working on an assignment at the Rochester Convention Center, which has a terrace over the Genesee River.  This is probably the best view of the structure.

Almost a year after the photo was posted I received an email from a New York book publisher expressing an interest in reproducing it in a book about Wendell Castle, who is “…one of the most important, influential and celebrated designers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries”.   I believe the original request came from the author, Alastair Gordon.   I have been a fan of Wendell Castle for years and was honored to be a part of the book.  I had also read other books by the author and knew this was going to be well done.  I provided the publisher with a written consent and a high res file for reproduction.  Last week I received a complimentary copy of the book and was shocked to see the photo was a full page reproduction in the 10″ x 12″ book.  I don’t have a coffee table but now I may need to get one.  You can get a copy of the book here.  It’s a great read and full of excellent photos of Mr. Castle’s amazing work.

quickwit

stamps # 0219

stamps # 0219

Folks starting a new blog have a common problem – what to name the blog.  When I started this blog I had a name picked out and WORDPRESS informed me it was taken.  The original name was POINTOFFOCUS and now I’m glad I couldn’t use it because, after seeing it in print, the two “FF”s in the middle seem awkward and one “F” would be even more awkward.  My second choice was DEEPTANK, the name of a photo process where I once worked, referring to tanks of processing chemicals that were 5 feet deep.It was actually the worse process in the history of photo processing but I thought it was a nice name for a blog.  Taken.  2CLICKSAWAY came up early in the selection process, referring to how far you can go on the internet (or how much trouble you can get into) with just  2 mouse clicks.  But I kept searching for a name for a couple of weeks for something I might like better.   Single word blog names are all gone, so a combination of words or numbers usually have to be used.

Other names that are taken are:

ACORN

TREEZ

NORTHCOASTPHOTO (this one is mine)

LIGHTTIGHT

DIGITALIDIOT

DIGITALBLUR

CREEPHOTO

DIGITALOSER

Still available are:

QUICKWIT

10GALLONPHOTO

2CENTSTAMP

MYWORSEPHOTOSEVER