Rollei Rolleiflex 2.8 TLR with Xenotar f2.8 80mm Lens

Rolleiflex Camera

A classic. The original Rollei Rolleiflex 2.8 TLR with Xenotar 2.8/80mm lens and yellow with the green gel filters and closeup lens.

Starting the 4th of July Holiday Weekend :: Friday Feet

This 4th of July holiday weekend seems to have snuck up on me. I didn’t realize it was the holiday weekend until about mid-week, days just seem to be flying by at such a fast pace, can’t believe we are already basically mid-summer. I tried out some test shots on Deb tonight, something she is always thrilled about. I picked up this used lens (10-12 years old by the serial number) for my Uganda trip. I decided last year that I was going to forgo the big expensive, heavy, pro, zoom lenses and opt for shooting with prime lenses (a fixed focal length lens). They are cheap, fast, and extremely sharp, when you shoot them well.

This is Nikon’s Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D classic prime that came out back in the late 1980’s (see photo below), which converts to about 30mm on my DX crop sensor. Not the best portrait focal length in the bag for a crop sensor but it worked pretty well. Not so sure about the focus, it seems like it might be off front or back a bit but it will do the job. I shot some black and white film with it too but of course I can’t see that yet. It hasn’t been easy getting use to using primes, but it has forced me to look at shooting more creatively. Somehow shooting those big fat pro zoom lenses years back made me lazy. Primes may take a bit more work but I love the end result.

Hope everyone is going to have a chance to relax and enjoy the 4th of July weekend. As hot as it was today we may not leave the air conditioned house until the fireworks go off on Monday. Have a great weekend.

The Late-Late Edition of Friday Feet

So this is still Friday for another 5 minutes, meaning I just did get this post in before it would be totally irrelevant… well maybe that’s already the case anyway, but after reading my rss feeds tonight I realized I hadn’t finished this post. This week has been so busy, or maybe just off kilter a bit, and this coming week seems to be shaping up to be about the same. I never did seem to get any time to get out and shoot at all. I felt like I spent most of the week in my car driving back and forth between the house, Auburn, Columbus, work, etc, and any photos ended up being either in the car or in the house. It was a draining week to say the least. Finally today around 4pm the troubles of the week felt like they faded into the past after reading 2 Corinthians 12:7 when Jesus said to Paul “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” That was an amazing statement to me. Paul was praying that God would take away the thorn in his side and He basically tells Paul no, but, my power resides in you, and is perfect just the way it is. Not sure why that stuck with me today but it did, and I’m thankful.

One cool thing I accomplished this week was to get some prints ordered (photo #3 in line above) and they arrived today. So what you say. Well this is probably the first time in 20 years I have had 4-6 prints made just to put on my own wall. As a photographer one of the great joys of photography is getting to see the finished product, I just wish I had been getting prints made for the last 20 years, a little at a time, but I just never had the time or the money. This year I was determined not to put off stuff like that and it only took me until July to get them ordered. The frames I bought in June 2009 and have been sitting on my floor, literally collecting dust, since I brought them home. Now all I have to do is get them up on the wall. Hopefully I can get that done before the holidays show up.

Planning for my July Uganda trip is in full swing, we will be leaving one month from tomorrow. I can’t believe it’s only 4 weeks before our team leaves for Africa and there seems to be so much left to do before we leave. I am still trying to raise money for both this trip and the October trip so if you are willing to help fund our mission team please check out the details here or you can just make an online donation here. I really really appreciate all those who have given so far, it really does means a lot to me and to our whole team. Trying to prepare all my photography gear to be hauled halfway across the world is a little overwhelming but it’s coming along. I just about have everything put together at this point minus two lenses. One, a used 20mm prime I should have in the next week or two, hopefully, the other (an older classic from Nikon, their 80-200mm) seems to be a total long shot at this point, but who knows. I am really looking forward to the trip, can’t wait to see God at work through so many people.

Backyard Photo Walk with a 35mm Lens and Some Bokeh :: Photos

I love doing the back yard photo walk, mainly because you really don’t have to go anywhere to shoot. Every time you go out in your yard you will be surprised at how many new things there are to shoot each time you try it. It doesn’t seem that way at first, especially since you look at the same setting every day, but if you look hard, everything changes as the seasons move on, and there is always something new to shoot. Yesterday I went to test out this Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX and this is what I came back with. Years ago when I was shooting Nikon’s FX (Full Frame sensor) I loved to shoot specifically at 50mm using a fast 50mm lens. Over the last few years I have been shooting with a crop sensor (or DX), which makes my 35mm lens a 52mm. All that to say this is about the same as something like this but with a different lens.

Have a great rest of the weekend everyone.

Orange County Airport Photos and a 50mm Lens :: SNA-MIA

On my way from ATL to SNA

Terminal Building at SNA

John Wayne in SNA

Han gliding in SNA

Terminal Building at SNA

Terminal Building at SNA

Terminal Building at SNA

Departure at SNA

On my recent trip to California I decided to continue my 50mm airport series I started a while back.  I generally carry all my equipment with me on the plane since a lost bag will result in a non-existent photo shoot, and a few trips ago I started trying to get the creative juices flowing by using one camera and one single fixed focal length lens (a standard 50mm) to cover each new airport.

This past week the new airport was Orange County’s John Wayne Airport (SNA). I have usually flown into LAX and since I had not been to John Wayne in a while, it was next on my photo list (ATL has long since be shot, see my post Atlanta Airport Photos and a 50mm Lens // Part 1, if that is your interest).  For the extremely busy location of southern California, Orange County is a great place to fly in and out of and almost has the feel of a Midwestern Lubbock or Amarillo feel to it as far as the traffic goes.  I also didn’t get harassed by security, police, FBI, or any other uncomfortable PAX in the area, wonderful.

Drum Set from a 12mm Wide Angle Lens at Floor Level

Band Practice for Sunday Worship

Band Practice for Sunday Worship

Last night I had dinner with some friends and stuck around to listen to the band practice for Sunday morning.  It is so nice to spend a little bit of time with people who are passionate about what they do (like b/, Josh and several others), because it’s contagious.   If you have ever been around someone who is passionate about what they do, you will notice that it wears off on everyone around them.  The same as negativity produces negative people, so it goes with passion and positive people.

As a photographer I think you really find the look or the shot you have been looking for all along when you think you have exhausted all possible angles, focal lengths, and exposures and just sit down and stop trying.  It’s at that point that you really have to start getting creative.  Sometimes when the creative juices are not flowing that can look very forced, and down right bad, then there are other times when you look at the results and think, wow, why didn’t I try this all along.

Last night was one of those night, for me anyway.  I had taken a few shots of the band’s practice and couldn’t really find anything new and exciting so I just sat down on the stage next to the drum set and there it was.  I really had been trying to get a good shot of the drums in this particular setup for about 6 months.  I felt like raising my hands in the middle of thier set to say “I’ve got it!”, but hey, it’s just practice, right.  So here are two of my favorite shots above from last night’s practice.  The first, on the drums is BJ, and the second image is Rob from Marth’s Trouble (a band I have regrettably yet to shoot or see in person).  Other images from last night can be found here.

Update on Cindy Wall’s Story

A story of Cindy Wall that many of you may already know at this point is continuing to make its way around the Internet.  Cindy Wall’s commitment to Christ, baptism, and death in such short succession has now moved around in ways none of us who were involved could have possibly imagined.  That may show the limitations I put on God and His greatness, but it is bigger than just our congregation or church.  See some of the more recent posts from others like:

There are many other examples, and I know I have missed some important ones, but this is a good example of how her story has made it around the Internet, just an incredible story.

Try to Photograph From a Different Perspective

VIP Night at Cornerstone

Last night I took some photos at Cornerstone’s quarterly meeting at called VIP night. It started off with the Cornerstone Band, which I have shot many times before (see music). I wasn’t really expecting them to play last night, but I wanted to get something different.

Once you have photographed one subject or area over and over, you really have to look around for a new and fresh way to show the subject matter. This is a good thing, it forces you to find other angles, other views, different backgrounds, and some cool lighting.

After taking the normal shots I was looking for, I started to look around for a new perspective. The image above was new, for me, because I realized after taking a few images, that I had never really been able to include any of the people in the seats, only the band.

Here I was able to get out in front of the chairs, use a wide angle lens, sit on the floor, capture the people standing and worshiping with the band, and then I was able to get something I hadn’t before.  I have been following a lot of the photography coming out of the Olympics, and that is a good example. You have 300-400 photographers all sitting in the same seat, with the same lens, pretty much getting the same image.

The really great images coming out of Beijing came from photographers really looking hard to find something new. It isn’t easy. It takes creativity, something I have to really force myself to use in photography, some experimentation, and some luck.  Tonight, something new that I am really looking forward to, photographing Encounter in Auburn (see As Encounter Approaches). It was kind of a last minute thing, but I can’t wait to see the results.