Saturday, July 15, 2017

First Photographs From The New Panasonic Lumix G7

I bought a new Panasonic Lumix G7 a couple of weeks ago and really haven't had a chance to take any interesting photographs with it 'til today. I found myself in town and visited Maple Hill Cemetery where I took a few photographs, but this is the only one that I found that I liked.

I've struggled a bit getting used to the controls and menu options on the Lumix after having been a longtime Nikon user, but I'm beginning to get the hang of everything. I learned long ago that all knowledge seems to reside on Youtube so I've been relying on videos to familiarize me with all of the controls.

I like the size and weight of the camera, but I really bought it for the 4K video option since the Lumix line is considered to be one of the best for video. I shot a short video today, but I haven't had a chance to edit it yet. As a longtime still photographer I find myself somewhat intimidated by video, but I'm getting more and more interested and I'm anxious to see how the 4K video from the Lumix integrates with the 4K video from the GoPro Hero5.

It's all a learning experience!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Changing Systems ::

I went to an Imac a few months ago for my desktop, but I had a HP laptop that I got probably about a year and a half ago. I've never been happy with the laptop although the specs were really nice other than the operating system. It had 16 gigs of ram so I thought it would be a pretty nice Photoshop and Dreamweaver machine, but it was running Windows 10 home and it was pretty crappy after having used Windows 7 pro for several years so I decided to upgrade to Windows 10 pro. That certainly didn't help and, in fact, seems to have made everything worse. I can't even get it to log on to the internet after the upgrade.

I did the only logical thing I could think of. I bought myself an Apple Macbook Pro. I really haven't had a chance to put it through its paces yet, but so far I've been very happy with it.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the HP laptop, but I'm thinking of taking it to the Geek Squad people at Best Buy although I'm not a big fan of Best Buy and letting them try to sort it out. After that I may keep it or possibly sell it. I've always felt that there are advantages to owning both Apple and PC, but I'm pretty down on Microsoft running PCs right now.

My NASA work computer is a Hp with 32 gigs of ram, dual zeon processors, and nice large hard drives and it works very well, but I'm told that this box costs somewhere in the $12K range. Definitely not in my budget for home use. It's still running Windows 7, but somewhere in the future I'll be forced to run Windows 10 on it and I'm seriously considering switching to an Apple Pro at that time.

Oh yeah, I'm also lusting after an Apple 12.7 inch Ipad Pro right now!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Fondling New Camera Gear ::

Something that really disturbs me these days is that there are very few camera stores left for photographers to check out and handle the latest and greatest cameras that are on the market these days. I lived for many years in Atlanta and one of the premiere photographic outlets in the city for many years was Showcase Photographics which closed shop last month due to all of the on-line competition from the huge N.Y. stores. This has been a huge problem for years, but the change has really accelerated in the past few years and Showcase just could not compete any more.

I bought my first view camera from Showcase back in the 1970s when it was located in an extremely small storefront on Cheshire Bridge Road. This was a long rail Calumet 4x5 with case and, as I recall, I spent $150 for this camera without a lens. I don't remember which lens I wound up getting, but this camera served me well for many years. Over the years Showcase morphed into a very large camera store a few blocks away featuring photographic supplies for everything from the latest in cameras, lenses, and darkroom equipment. Do you remember having a darkroom?

I've been considering buying one of the Panasonic Lumix cameras lately, but there is nowhere I can go to check out one without making a major trip. Locally I have one small camera store that primarily sells some used equipment along with the consumer Nikon and Canon cameras along with aftermarket lenses. I'm really surprised they're still in business.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

One of my photographs in an on-line exhibition ::

This being Earth Day, I wanted to share a link to an Earth Day themed on-line exhibition with one of my photographs:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Looking Forward To A Long Weekend ::

I don't know if I've ever posted here that I'm a staff photographer at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and, beginning tomorrow and continuing through Saturday, we'll be shooting one of our largest and most important events of the year, the annual Exploration Rover Challenge races with high school and college competitors from all over the world. Here's a photo from last years race:

4 of us will shoot somewhere between 6k and 8k photographs over the 2 day event ending on Saturday evening around 7pm and we will all be utterly exhausted.

We will barely have a week of rest before the next event, the Student Launch Initiative, occurs in a huge cornfield north of Huntsville, Alabama. This is a one day event with high school and college teams launching rockets with the goal of reaching 1 mile in height with a rocket carrying a payload and gathering different telemetry information.

This is my favorite event of the year and pictured above is last year's team from Vanderbilt University from Nashville, Tennessee.

Both events will be streamed live on UStream and the links can be found on the NASA web site for each event.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Early Morning Photographs ::

I really like to photograph in the early mornings when there is plenty of fog near the ground:

This little cabin stands by itself in a local pasture.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Time For The Lake Is Coming Soon ::

I'm fortunate that I live within about a 10 minute drive from the Tennessee River and Lake Guntersville.

I'll be up for some fishing soon

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Interesting Scenes ::

Interesting scenes are often within sight of home. I happened to spot this beach ball just across the street from my house this morning:

I'm curious just where it came from as there are no youngsters near where I live.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Continuing With The Old Chimney Theme ::

I found this one last year:

I really like photographs that the viewer can roam around in a bit. The chimney, of course, is the focal point but I really like that the water meter is in the foreground and the old bench is in the background.

Shot with my Nikon D800 and converted to Black and White in Photoshop.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Another Chimney Photograph ;;

This was taken in Huntsville, Alabama last year. I seem to have developed a love for photographing the chimneys that are left after a house burns around it. I've photographed several over the years but I've only recently been searching for them and really opening my eyes to just how many there are.

This photograph was shot with my Mamiya RB67 with a 150mm lens on Ilford HP5 which is my favorite black and white film. I'm happy to see that many of the historic films are being reintroduced! HP5 has always been available but now there are production plans to resurrect some of the Polaroid products as well as Ektachrome although I can't imagine what it would take to provide the lab services.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Great Search For Scenes To Photograph ::

I live in a rural community which entails something like a 10 mile trip, at a minimum, to do most of my shopping. I generally drive several miles out of the way in order to search for a scene which I think would be worthy of a photograph. I drive these areas often because I found long ago that no matter often I drive an area I almost always find something new.

Yesterday I found this old chimney out in the middle of a field. I had driven by it dozens of times without seeing it 'til this particular morning.

I seem to have developed an affinity lately for photographing the chimneys that are left after a house burns.

Here's a tree that I drive by most days, but I had never had the opportunity to photograph it 'til yesterday. I was looking for an afternoon shot with the warm sunlight that comes around 5:00 pm, but either the light was not right or I didn't have a camera with me. I finally took the photograph yesterday afternoon a little earlier than I wanted and not with the camera I had planned to use. I took the photograph with my Nikon D800, but I had originally wanted to shoot it from a greater height with my DJI Phantom drone. I still plan on shooting it that way.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Photograph From Film ::

I still shoot some film, generally Ilford HP5, in either a Mamiya RB67 or an old Pentax  Spotmatic. This photograph is taken in a relatively small farming community just a few miles from my home in rural Alabama which runs alongside the Tennessee River.

One legend I've read is that a boot on a fence post memorializes the death of a cowboy's favorite horse. I don't know if that is true or not, but this explanation satisfies me.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Film Photograph From the Mamiya RB67 ::

I have a thing for American flags.

32 gigs of Ram Installed ::

I posted down below that I was going to take the new Imac up to 32 gigs of ram from the stock 8 that came with the computer I bought. I opened Photoshop and Bridge and I have to say that the performance is greatly enhanced. Both programs opened immediately and, from Bridge I opened a 378 meg file and it opened immediately. I still have to test some plug-ins, but, right now, I'm very happy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Working on a New Photograph for a Web Site Gallery ::

I submitted this one earlier and it should run on Lenscratch on Earth Day:

This is one of my favorites!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Is More Ram The Answer ::

I finally got around to doing some serious Photoshop editing of images this weekend and I found out quickly that the Imac with 8 gigs of ram is pretty sluggish when editing 102 meg images from a Nikon D800 so I made the jump this evening and ordered 32 gigs of ram It should be here in 2 or 3 days so look for an update on what I hope will be a large increase in speed while editing large images.

Friday, February 17, 2017

First Photograph Processed in Photoshop on the New Imac ::

I have to say that I'm very happy with the 5K retina display and here is the first photograph I processed in Photoshop after a struggle downloading Bridge. Now if I can just get used to this tiny keyboard.

I can see that my next step in the coming week is to bump the ram up from the stock 8G to the full complement of 32.

This is a Holga image I shot last year. I really like the little plastic cameras and I currently have 2 of them.

More to follow.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

"Don't Blink"-Robert Frank ::

Robert Frank has always been an inspiration to me and I've been trying to find this independent film on-line for some time. I finally bought it off Itunes earlier this week and had a chance to watch it and I have to say that I really enjoyed it and now I can watch it anytime I want.The film is also available to rent.

My Desktop Passed Away ::

The sad event happened a couple of weeks ago. I've been building my own PCs for the past few years, but this one was beginning to show its age so I've been working on building a new one for a while. The great thing about being able to do this is that I always know exactly what is inside so, if there is a problem, fixing it is no trouble. I think this problem was nothing more than a bad power switch on the case.

I am still planning to finish the new build, but last week I went out and bought a new Imac with the 27" retina display so I'm now reacquainting myself with Mac OS. I used Macs for years at work so this is not a completely new experience. I have to say that I do love the Retina display, and I'm slowly working on transferring everything to the new computer.

I also plan to be more diligent in updating this blog. One post per year is just not suitable!