Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Guess what I found?

My Kodak Z1285 will do automatic bracketing! Well, maybe you don't get excited about this, but I do. In burst mode, it will take three shots with as much as plus or minus one stop. This means I can tinker with high dynamic range photography in Zoner Photo Studio.

That photo up above in an HDR image. This next one is the 'middle' exposure that it's based on. Click through for the full size photos.

OK, maybe you're not as excited about it as I am, but try to understand the background. Ansel Adams devised the Zone System over 70 years ago. Among other things, it's photography that mimics the way we see. Our eyes and brains put together images that have extreme contrast from light to dark. An object might be in full sunlight in part of our visual field and in deep shade in another, yet we can see all of it. Film and digital cameras don't see that way. They can extract detail from only one part of the field, so if the light parts are properly exposed, the dark parts are lost.

HDR takes multiple images at different exposures and combines them.

Of course, what's a day without some rusty - or formerly rusty - old equipment? This locomotive was quietly decaying in the Owasso rail yard until a group of local enthusiasts bought it and restored it. It's now on display across from Webster School along Old Route 66 (Southwest Boulevard) in Tulsa. And yes, I tinkered with it, but it's not an HDR image. Maybe next time.

I did stumble across a nice old truck, though. This was over-exposed so I played with the image.

I'll have to go back and revisit some of those places armed with new knowledge about getting better images. Oh, and before I forget, there are more over on my Picasa web albums. I uploaded some dance photos from Skiatook, and added to the existing albums for old cars and railroad stuff. I used three cameras: the Nikon N6006, the Kodak Z1285, and the workhorse Yashica Electro 35GT.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Someday they'll throw me out of the grocery store

She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed may demand that I be patted down for cameras before entering the grocery store. Recently I found some interesting products and simply couldn't resist taking some photos. Imagine that. This stuff is labeled Sexy Hair. Not clean hair or bouncy hair. It's Sexy Hair. I thought people were sexy, not hair.

This is got-2b-fat-tastic and got-2b-kinky. I have no idea what they actually do, but would you want your Mom to see got-2b-kinky in your toiletries? I didn't think so.

Mmmmm, monkey brains. What product wouldn't be better with monkey brains? I looked, but didn't find any monkey butt powder. But tasty monkey brains, yeah, we got that.

It almost makes me look forward to our next trip to the store. Almost.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Tulsa Tough Photos

Hey, kid! Get offa my lawn!

I just added a few to the Picasa Web Album, including this one. It's my favorite from that day. And in truth, I can't say whether the guy is yelling at me or my subject! I didn't even notice him until the prints came back. Another fine example of serendipity.

This was taken with the Yashica Electro 35 GT, a fine rangefinder camera from the early 1970s. I used Kodak black and white 400. The mini-lab scanned the photos and I did post processing on the jpegs in Zoner Photo Studio 13.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fun, fun, fun, 'til Daddy takes the bike lane away!

Okay, we've had magic spokes that spelled out various things as they turned. We've had 'air free' tires that only a gorilla could stretch onto a rim. We've seen the humble rear view mirror replaced with a camera and video screen. We've even seen something that projected bike lane stripes out to the side of a bicycle.

This latest dubious 'safety' device seems to be stuck in the vaporware stage, and let's all hope it remains so. It's a laser imaging device that puts a bike lane symbol out in front of the bicyclist, as is seen in this obviously p-shopped image. It's magick, of course, and it works on the world renowned voodoo hoodoo principle that anything that makes you think you're safe is actually making you safe. More safe. Saferest. Or something.

But why read my babble when you can read the original babble?

I loves me that voodoo hoodoo that you do so well.

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tulsa Tough Photos

I wandered around the Tulsa Tough criterium circuit this morning, catching one of the women's races, the kid's race, and more.

This TPD officer will hereafter be known as "Officer McFriendly". He threatened me with three hundred dollars worth of tickets for driving on the wrong side of the road as I went around a barrier at an intersection about 150 yards from his air-conditioned cruiser. I was trying to find where to park, and by having the temerity to ask a question and forcibly extract him from all that air-conditioned comfort, I made Officer McFriendly somewhat cross. Regardless, I've given him the coveted Dick of the Day Award.

I took this photo after finding a parking space on the opposite end of the course, and I watched in wonder as car after car drove around the barrier, some to unload cargo, bikes, and passengers, while others were equally puzzled about the parking situation. Officer McFriendly - welcome to Tulsa, ya dick.

This is Cry Baby Hill, a tough climb for a criterium as racers hit it again and again. It has a street corner turn right in the middle. That makes the pack stretch out like a rubber band and eventually, it snaps. But the people who party on Cry Baby Hill may have snapped some time ago.

There are more photos over on my Picasa web album.

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

You spend more than twenty years raising a kid, and it comes down to this - a photo of him with his feet propped up on a desk at the Army recruiter's office. It was taken just about two hours ago.

He's gone. I won't be able to process all this for awhile. It's a major step in his life, and it's no less in ours.

Jordan is on his way to Fort Benning, Georgia, where he's to receive basic training and advanced individual training as an infantryman. His ultimate goal is to be in federal law enforcement, so this is a stepping stone toward it. After a year in the infantry, he can move to military police.

As a parent, I'm both proud of my son and worried for him. Ambivalence seems to be my fate. He has some fine qualities and some maddening ones, but on the whole, Jordan is a good kid. As one of my friends put it, "We realize sometime when they're teenagers that we're just along for the ride." That is so right. We've either instilled good values in them or we haven't and by the late teens there's no going back.

I've already started writing letters to him. We won't hear anything from him for a few days, but once I have his APO address, I'll write often.