12 of 17 Signs

Nikon FA, Nikkor AF 85mm/1.8 D, Kodak Portra 400

Consider yourself an analog photographer?  Take a spin through this list and see how
many items you can identify or honestly claim to have used.

I was able to recognize 12 of the 17 items.  I think a few were not too fair or common in
the first place, so I think that was a pretty good score.

And honestly I use 7 of them even to this day, and desire to
pick more up again sometime in the future when I have the time to play around
with a darkroom and/or large format.

Lifeguard Tower

2013 06 JMZ Beach Lego FA Portra 400-0001
Nikon FA, Nikkor Ai-S 50/1.8, Kodak Portra 400

We spent some time in southern California earlier this summer, on the beach or at the poolside.  It was mostly just family fun, but we did enjoy a few sunset photography opportunities.

Even though we headed south right after last school year ended, the next year is starting in just two weeks.  Even if the summer heat is going to last longer, it feels like it is over once we get back into the elementary school scene.

My Nikon FA is really my go-to casual camera these days, and more often than not my Nikkor Ai-S 50/1.8 is attached to it and it is loaded with Portra 400 film.  This is quite the winning combination and I have gotten quite used to it.

For Distant Viewing

Nikon FA, Nikkor Ai-S 50/1.8, Kodak Portra 400

I shot several rolls of film over Thanksgiving and just got around to scanning & processing the last one.

There is always a backlog of processing to do in the new year, as the combined holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas create a lot of photos as well as plenty of other activities to keep one busy.

One top of that my DSW also gave me a new Win 8 PC as a present (to replace my aged Vista box) which took several weeks to transfer over to.  But I am back in the swing of things now and enjoying faster scanning and Lightroom performance.

Happy New Year & Hello 2013


Nikon FA, Nikkor AF 24/2.8 D, Fujicolor Natura 1600

Happy New Year everyone!

2012 was a busy year for me, but also a fantastic one.

There are many highlights both personally and photographically, but I have to say that our family vacation to Japan during the summer was the high point in both regards. (And my DW agrees.)

Looking back at my resolutions last year I think I did a pretty good job streamlining my photography work flow. I incorporated Adobe Lightroom, improved the automation in my film scanning, and can get more images from film to on line (or print) with less effort than before.

My other resolutions didn't advance so much, but life wouldn't be fun without room for improvement! (ahem…)

Looking forward to 2013 my photographic resolutions are to:

  • Experiment more with medium format
  • Try developing my own B&W film
  • Post more often, but keep them simple

I think I try to write too much at times, so I will work to increase the posts, pictures and fun while reducing the complexity.

I wish you and yours the best in 2013!

Backlit Bottles

Nikon FA, Nikkor Ai-S 50/1.8, Kodak Portra 400

Christmas preparations are well underway in our house.

As my Dear Sweet Wife points out, we have plenty of wrapping left to do.  There are also some last minute packages still on the way.

But at least we have ordered and shipped everything, that is when I feel like we are closer to being ready than not.

The above shot was taken while waiting three hours (yes, three!) to ride the Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure over Thanksgiving.

They had one room you walked through in the labyrinthine line which had vintage oil botttles embedded in its wall with both sides exposed.  From the inside of the building the bottles literally glowed from the outside light passing through them.

While it was a great ride (coming from a Dad of 7- and 4-year-old boys), I think next time we will plan a visit during a less busy day…

I have two Voigtländer rental lenses on the way to me from LensRentals for use with my Nikon SLRs over the holiday.  They seem to design nice, compact, metal manual focus lenses and I have read good things about their build quality and results.

I will shoot my Christmas and New Years activities with them and then report back on my impressions.

Kyoto Three Sisters Inn Annex

Nikon FA, Nikkor C 35/2 O.C, Kodak Porta 4000

We had the great pleasure of staying at the Three Sisters Inn Annex for our stay in Kyoto.  It is a traditional style Japanese ryokan inn, although it caters primarily to western visitors.

The inn is located right in the middle of the scenic east side of Kyoto.  It is literally a next door neighbor to the Heian Shrine and served as an excellent base of operations for our stay.

Another plus of the Three Sisters was that Kyoto City buses going virtually anywhere stop within a few blocks.  I can think of only one time we had to perform a bus transfer during our whole stay, otherwise we made point-to-point trips every time.

The Inn and grounds are quite beautiful.  Above is a view directly out of our room, and the garden in the front was an excellent view during our morning breakfasts.

Speaking of breakfast they offer either western or Japanese style breakfasts.  They are both excellent, and at the moment I would gladly enjoy either!

The best thing about the Inn however is the staff.  They are very friendly and helpful and gave us many tips for getting around Kyoto, eating the food and seeing the sights.

When we were leaving I could not convince the sweet proprietor Kay-san to let us walk to the bus stop alone.  She insisted on helping us pull our luggage even though we had plenty of hands to spare.

One final tip about travelling within Japan: use the Ta-Q-Bin service to send your luggage from one inn or hotel to the next.  It is incredibly cheap (~$15 US per piece) for large luggage, arrives in less than 24 hours, and saves you the hassle of lugging it around on the trains.

Maker Flames

Nikon FA, Nikkor C 35/2 O.C, Kodak Porta 400

Last Saturday we attended two different events, the Conference of Northern California Handweavers in Oakland as well as Maker Faire in San Mateo.  Both were full of creative people, but I have to say that the pyromania was much more prevalent at Maker Faire.

(I don't think fiber-based hobbies and fire mix all that well…)

There were several different installations (what else would you call them?) on display at Maker Faire that prominently featured flames.  I guess if you are already making a giant metal dinosaur or towering umbrella–tree then you might as well make fire come out of it, eh?

And in a darkened exhibit hall we even watched rock band ArcAttack! perform using tesla coils to amplify their musicThe arcs of lightning visibly changed along with the musical pitches: you didn't just hear the music but felt it in the air.

We had a total blast at Maker Faire, and propane-fueled jokes aside Maker Faire was full of creative inventions, do-it-yourself tools and projects, robotics, 3D printing, and tons of activities for all ages.

I highly recommend visiting one in your area next time it is around, especially if you have kids.  Our boys still can't stop talking about it and the amazing things you can make yourself using a little creativity.

It happened to be another Roll In a Day event so I took a lot of photographs, all of which are already up on Flickr.

Nikkor C 35/2 O.C