Thursday, June 4, 2015

Stick a Fork in Me

I'm done.
It's been a good run, but it's sort of officially over.
All the blood, sweat and tears.
That was a band.
Anyways, I've been busy this past month or so.
Taking care of some small things like my summer employment and my regular employment.
Which just changed.
My regular employment I mean:

Today is my last day as photography teacher.
Today is also the last day of school but as you can see I still got a lot o'crap to clean up and move.
So I'll still be busy, what with summer teaching starting next week already!
School also starts back up like, next month!
What the hell happened to like, summer?
So anyways yes, I'm done as the photography teacher here.
More on that later.
I've been spending the last few weeks thinking about it, wondering what to do.
I mean it's not like I built this program, although I'd like to think I improved it a bit.
I got the kids better cameras, one of which got stolen by the way, better equipment and I think they produced better work.
Or at least they were challenged.
Which to me, is the main thing.
I think kids today want to be challenged, they want to be creative, they just don't know how.
I hope at least they all learned to how to see things.
That's what this was all about, that and learning some real world skills.
Well, I hemmed and hawed, waffled and changed my mind about three times before finally letting go.
This was after all, three years of my life too.
Thing is, I liked photography!
Like I mean.
Still going to do it, not like I'm quitting picture taking.
Photography was/is like a journey I started and am not going to get to finish.
What that means is I'm not bored with it yet.
I was in the middle of planning some different things for next year, more diabolical projects for the kids; I had even ordered a couple of photography books on Amazon!
I can still use them I suppose.
The most difficult part is/was the students.
There are about 30 of them who are enrolled in the advance class for next year; they were sort of expecting me to be the instructor.
Not that I'm a super teacher or anything, but well, a few of them voiced their displeasure in my decision.
Guilty, guilty, guilty.
So I might come back.
To photography I mean.
For one class.
What did I jump ship for?
Where am I going?
What is making me hang up the ole camera?
Ceramics of course.
More on that, later.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Early Edition

Well, sort of early.
Earlier than the maybe Late Edition anyways.
So, these past few weeks have been busy ones for me.
Glad it's finally over.
Sort of.
I've been busy organizing the first annual Art Festival at school.
Okay, it's sort of the second annual since we did one last year, but last year it was only like a video festival.
This year, I had a photo exhibit, some 2D work, the dance club, and some drama kids doing some skits.
It really wasn't that hard to organize since all I had to do was get the space and schedule stuff.
The hard part was the video and photo.
Here I am last week, printing and a matting all the pictures:

I wanted the kids to experience a real show/exhibit thingy so I just took submissions and I had a guest artist jury the work.
He picked the top three, ten honorable mentions and the rest.
Out of sixty six submissions I ended up hanging forty five in our administration building:

I also had to organize the video submissions and the judging for that.
Glad that's over too.
The hardest part is handing that stuff off and waiting for others to do their jobs.
I can't really press for they volunteer and I know we're all busy, busy, busy!
Anyways, we did better than last year when only ten folks showed up.
This year we got maybe twenty!
Okay, not really.
Maybe it was more like twenty five.
I would have had more pictures but I was busy like hell doing stuff I should have done the day before.
If you know what I mean.
So next year, I'm trying to plan three photo shows.
One in the beginning of the year, one around winter break, and the last one being the Art Festival.
There's some rumblings around work that I can't get into.
Rumors don't you know.
Stay tuned.
Well now that its' over, sort of, more on that later, I just want to take a nap and then maybe go out for a ride on my bicycle.
Laziness drills; practice makes perfect.
Lemme tell you, I need the practice.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Final

How are you?
Hope all is well out there in Bloggerland!
Well I've been busy as usual.
Work stuff don't you know.
I've also been a riding my bicycle.
My bicycle.
That took about two weeks.
From the bicycle to my bicycle I mean.
Rolling, rolling, rolling.
I've mostly been out doing four or five mile jaunts, here and there.
You know, getting the ole legs back to steam piston like form.
Sort of.
Been out riding at night too; just got back about an hour ago from a short trip around the park.
Lemme see if my Prevaricating Garmin still works:

What I've found is that I really miss riding around.
So much so that it's become more about riding around than stopping and taking pictures.
I mean mostly I'm a riding around and I don't want to stop!
Okay, not really.
I stop sometimes:

There I am with my boat in the background.
Okay, not really.
About the boat part.
It was my boat but I had to sell it.
Okay, not really.
About both parts.
So anyways, I've been a busy a riding and goofing and a riding and a goofing.
Then there's work.
I got that big Art Festival coming up and I have a few loose ends to take care of.
Seems like you always have time then all of a sudden the deadlines loom!
Looming very close they are; we are a go on April 14!
Two weeks!
Okay, less riding and goofing and more a working and well, a working!
Except maybe at night:

I think maybe I'm still allowed to goof around at night.
Stay tuned.

Sunday Early Edition

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Final

Oh yes!
Lemme tell you, I'm gonna make up for all them miles I've been missing.
I put a small dent in them miles today as off I went to Chinatown:

I went in Quest for Mango (QFM) and completed that mission.
This time I got the cheapo mangos not the ones that set me back $16 like last time.
I also got hungry:

Dim sum by the river.
Or in local speak: manapua ovah dea.
I also picked up some roast pork, you know, for later.
Colors in the market:

Chinatown has some cool stuff and I gotta go and just walk around.
I actually took my class there a couple of weeks ago but I had to keep track of the kids so I couldn't go galavanting but I did manage to pick up a plastic colander for like a buck.
For the pasta don't you know.
Anyways, I was losing the light so I moved on:

Down by the beach.
I needed to finish the rest of roll of film and there's always something there to get a picture of.
I'm really liking the new to me bicycle, it rides pretty well, though it's not as smooth as my other bicycle was.
At least I don't think so.
Then again I had fatter tires on the other bicycle.
I came home and developed some film, took a nap, loaded up the camera bag and was back out on the bicycle!
Unfortunately I left my film on the couch and only took one roll but I did fool with the digital since I was out there.
More on that later.
As I said, I feel like I'm making up for all them lost miles when I didn't have a bicycle to ride.
Okay, that's a lie because I still have my two road bikes.
Only they aren't exactly built to go galavanting.
If you know what I mean.
More on galavanting later.

Sunday Early Edition

I'm free!
I'm free!
Sing along!
You know, to the song by The Who:

Keith Moon is awesome!
Anyways, yesterday I got on the new to me bicycle and went out on the new cycle track:

Funky picture!
I don't know what happened there as the road is actually green!
I'll do better today.
More on that later.
At the end of the track there is a sort of new bicycle place I wanted to check out.
I forgot to take pictures but it's a one man operation, sort of like the place I used to help out at.
They sell new bicycles but they also do used and they have some parts bins that you can search.
I scored this:

Brand new looking flat bar with a nice bend for twennydollah!
I was so stoked I hurried off without the stuff I bought before I bought the handlebar:

I was almost home when I realized I had left it behind and I had to ride back!
Into the wind.
Which is okay because I had a free ride back.
If you know what I mean.
Actually I just went out to test all the changes I made to the new bars, you know, the grips and shifters and stuff.
Instead I ended up tooling around for three or four miles.
I gotta say right here, I missed being on the bicycle.
I miss going nowhere and ending up back where I started.
I actually miss riding into the wind!
Okay, not really.
Riding into the wind I mean.
Having a bicycle really is freedom.
I started thinking of all the places I was gonna go now that the New Flat Tire Earth Machine (NFTEM) is up and running!
With new bars!
So I changed everything out in like ten minutes:

Now I'm ready for some adventures!
Well I do need some mangos so I need to get into Chinatown this morning.
Stay tuned.

Friday, March 13, 2015

One the Road Again...

Just like the song.
Sort of.
Anyways, I spent the last couple of days working on the new to me bicycle.
There were a couple of things I needed to do like change out the cranks, and shifters, and stem.
Transform it into well, my bicycle.
If you know what I mean.
The cranks it turns out were 175s, so I ended up putting the old ones back.
I still have some problems with the front derailleur, it won't shift down to the granny gear.
I have another derailleur but I don't have a master link to break the chain.
That's coming in the mail.
The master links I mean.
Well I finally got all these things together and went out to do a final tune.
Which turned into an hour long ride:

The new stem lowered the bars some; I need to drop them a bit more.
I used the same riser bar that came with the bicycle but am looking at other options like a straight bar.
The rack and trunk I swear are exactly the same as my other bicycle, the stolen one.
Funny, it's still my bicycle even if it is probably in a million pieces by now.
The stolen one I mean.
I'm not actually sure I like the 700 wheels.
Or 29er.
I sort of liked the low to ground feel of (here we go again) my MTB and the fatter tires.
On the other hand, when I step on the gas I can feel this bicycle jump.
I wonder how long before this bicycle becomes my bicycle.
Don't be me wrong, I like this bicycle.
It just needs a new seat.
I'm still looking but will probably go with another Flite:

Not sure I like them gums, they're only 32s so I'm also looking for some 35s.
I went and did some laps around the park, you know, to tune up the ole cockpit and make sure everything fits.
It's been a while since I've broken in a new to me bicycle and I've sort of forgotten all the little adjustments that I need to make.
While this bicycle weighs about the same up and down the stairs, it rides lighter.
That's a good thing.
I don't think that Nishiki frame is anything special, but it rides nice, not clunky at all.
I also need some new pedals, the plastic ones are a bit slippery.
Been thinking about some Easton Flatboys again.
The rear super duper blinky needs to be mounted on the rack; I don't trust the attachment thingy on the trunk bag.
What started as a short tune up in the parking lot work turned into an hour or so long ride:

In which I learned one thing: I got no legs.
Okay, I have some legs, not like when I first started riding and I can't walk down stairs.
I don't have any cadence or endurance.
On with the Prevaricating Garmin again and the ole heart rate monitor so I can get back in shape.
I got fat.
More on this later.
So anyways, I'm back on the road again!
The journeys  continue.
Stay tuned.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Still Here

Sort of.
I mean I'm here, but my computer is not.
I was coming up on three years and my Apple Care was going to expire so I figured it was time to take the ole Mac Book in and get some small stuff taken care of.
While it was still for free.
Nothing big mind you, just some small things.
I gotta say getting on a Mac Book has been a good experience, one I would do and will do again.
Maybe not so soon though for even though my computer is just about three years old, I have no inclination to upgrade.
Maybe an iMac.
So anyways,  I'm on my work machine which by the way just happens to be a Mac Book Air, but of course it doesn't have all the doodads my own computer has.
Like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
I also gotta say that the Retina Screen makes a rather large difference as this screen pretty much sucks.
Hopefully I get my computer back this week.
So this stuff has been arriving in the mail:

New stem, shifters, and grips.
Ready now to change over all that stuff so that the new to me bicycle is more to my liking.
Telling the truth I haven't been riding it since it just feels weird.
I also got me my trunk bag, the same one I had before, so I can start a packing the cameras again on the New Flat Tire Earth Machine (NFTEM).
I promise.
Sort of.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Early Edition

I haven't been a very good blogger.
Well I've been really busy.
Okay, not really.
Laziness drills don't you know.
Anyways, I got away from the laziness drills long enough to get back to the old place and pick up this:

An old drive train that I can't remember where it came from sans shifters.
Which I needed.
The shifters I mean.
I also forgot it was Biopace, which is okay since I've turned Biopace before and it's no biggy.
What I really needed was the cranks which are like 170mm.
It's sort of strange, on my road bikes I turn 170s and 175s, no problem.
On the new to me Flat Tire Earth Machine Two (FTEMT) for some odd reason it was fitted with 180mm cranks and lemme tell you, I can tell.
I just can't seem to get a good spin going and it feels like my knees are hitting my chest.
Well okay, my knees are hitting my chest if I crouch down on the bars.
Not that I ever crouch down on the bars.
So today is change the cranks day.
I also plan on hitting up the bicycle place to look for another rack bag.
Or maybe panniers.
I've also been fooling with this:

The camera is not new, nor is the viewfinder mounted on top.
What is new is the 35mm lens.
The reason for the viewfinder on top is that the camera's viewfinder is only marked for a 50mm lens.
The viewfinder is adjustable for focal lengths of 35 to 135mm.
If you've been following along at home you, the reader, know that I picked up a Jupiter 12 35mm lens.
Well this is the Nikkor version: W Nikkor C 3.5cm f2.5
I gotta say, it's a nice looking lens.
Is it $250 nicer than the Jupiter?

Probably not, but it is a Nikkor.
If you know what I mean.
So I've been fooling around with it, seeing what the wide angle is all about.
Well, 35mm is not that wide, as a matter of fact I can't really tell from the pictures.
Okay, sort of.
I mean I can sort of tell, but for the most part not really.
Then again, having that extra width is nice.
So much so that I'm thinking of going wider.
The bad thing is that these wider lenses are slower, forcing me to shoot faster film.
More on this later.
Okay, them cranks are calling me!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Russian Glass

One nice thing about having a Contax  or Leica camera is that there are some really cheap lenses out there.
Not Zeiss or Leica glass, but Russian lenses made from German tooling gotten from after WWII.
Lot o'glass made in Leica M39 mount or Contax mount is available as the Russians, or Soviets if you will, made/stole cameras based on German designs.
Okay, they copied.
Sort of.
Or something.
Anyways, nice lenses can be had for very little compared to the 'real' German stuff.
For instance this nice Contax mount Helios lens:

The lens fits on my Nikon S2 because the mounts are basically the same and lenses below 50mm will work on both cameras.
The Nikkor 5cm lens runs about $250, the Zeiss 50mm Sonnar about $175 and this Helios 53mm f1.8 cost me $32.
The Russian versions are basically Zeiss clones made on tooling won/stolen during the war.
The quality seems to be hit or miss, but this version seems to work pretty well:

I think for the price even if you get a bad version, it's not really a bad deal and one can always get another to test out.
I mean this is for film so in my case a little quirkiness is a good thing.

For $32 it's a lens I can go out with and bang around and trust me, my stuff does get banged around some, and I wouldn't have to worry about it breaking.
Leave that collectable expensive glass at home.
Or to just shoot something different.
I got more coming in, a couple of Jupiter lenses, and we'll take a better look at them later.
I've been busy recently putting some stuff together at work.
If you remember last year, I did a digital media thingy that didn't work out too well but what the hell I'm doing it again.
This time we're going to add some 2D work and I'm going to try and add a juried photo exhibit too.
I'm also trying to organize a tri-school photo exhibit, but that may not happen; I'm meeting this week with a person in charge of a space I want to use.
For sure the tri-school show is happening next year though, I already got gallery space reserved for that.
Busy, busy, busy!
Well okay, not that busy.
Truth is, I've been posting over on Ello, a new social thingy.
It's mostly artsy folks and it's add free so it's pretty interesting.
I think if you click the link that takes you to my page, you can roam about a bit, or maybe not as the place is still invitation only.
Lemme know if it's interesting and you'd like to try it.
I got invitations.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday Early Edition

Super Sunday!
I am on a mission.
This new film I'm fooling with has me vexed!
Or something!
I just can't shoot it like I normally shoot.
This film ain't got no latitude:

The film I'm talking about is of course, the Eastman 5363.
The film of the devil!
The evil film!
Where is my list of evilness?
Anyways, you pretty much have to be spot on in metering and watch the composition.
Very little give and take here.
Dark is dark and light is light.
This film is King of the Clouds (KOTC!)!

For you Mr. JRA.
Lemme just say, if I could use this film to just shoot clouds all the time I would!
Freakin awesome!
In fact, I may just load up some short rolls, like 20 exposures or so, and keep them in my bag for them nice cloudy days.
The thing is, we don't always have nice cloudy days and I'd like that film to be a bit more useful.
I shot another test this morning.
Stay tuned.