Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Spotmatic love

Have I ever mentioned my love for Pentax cameras?

Not to go overboard with the backstory, my first camera as a working adult was a Pentax K1000 that I bought new in 1985 for $100.  

It came from a Kmart that was going out of business, and I needed a camera to do some freelance newspaper work.  I still have the camera and it still works like a champ.

Fast forward to a week ago.

While perusing the online auctions, I found a near mint Spotmatic F with a Takumar 55mm f/1.8 lens for sale.  I've lusted for one of these for quite a while and as you have probably guessed I pushed the "buy it now" button and the camera is mine!

In my excitement, I totally tanked the first test roll through the camera.  I mis-fed the film in the tank and most all of the photos were unevenly developed.

Here's one that was salvageable of some flowers.

You can see a blemish on the right side of the frame where the film kind of got mashed in the developing reel. The background going to nothing is nice though.

This next one is a mystery shot from that same roll.

I'll just let your imagination make it into whatever you want to see....I kinda like it.

After seeing this disaster of sorts, I reloaded the Spotmatic and took it out for another test roll.

Apparently still excited, I forgot to change the ISO from 400 (the first roll) to 100 for the second roll.


Anyway, these are a bit better although more punchy than my taste prefers.

The focus of the lens is buttery smooth and I really like the heft of this camera.

There's just something about using an all manual camera with manual focus that makes me happy.

This lens also makes decent close ups. Closeups really aren't my thing, but it's nice to have a lens that handles them easily.

The Spotmatic F will be my goto camera this Spring. The days are getting longer and the weather is shaping up to be a nice one. There may be some astrophotograhy in the future as well.

In the mean time, I sent the camera off for a cleaning and adjustment  to Eric Hendrickson  

In about a week the camera will be back here and making photos just in time for some Spring color! 

I can't wait!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bosque Trail

I joined the Friends of the Bosque group over the I'll probably be showing/sharing more bosque shots in the weeks to come. 

The old cottonwood trees along the Rio Grande are stately sentinels of the area and are just as beautiful without leaves as they are covered in them.

This trail is shared by all sorts of wildlife and if you look closely you can see some horseshoe prints in the trail.

A great horned owl hooted out a hello while I was walking, but I never saw it....I'm sure it saw me.


The trail is just shy of being a mile long, but if you take a different route, it stretches out to about 2 miles.  It does the soul good to walk among big old trees and see birds scratching in the leaf litter for bugs and seeds. 

This is near the area where I heard the owl. I really wanted to see it, but he had other plans and stayed incognito.

Olympus Infinity 3.5 with some old Tri-x

A life is good combo!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Love, lost and found......


love lost and found, or just some spilled candy on the sidewalk. I don't know.

Olympus Infinity 3.5
Arista 400  (repackaged Tri-x)
dunked in Arista 1+9 for 8 minutes

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Country Life

One of the perks of living just south of Route 66 is the high probability of seeing old cars rumbling down or in this case, up the road.

There's hardly a week that goes by that I don't see some old jalopy, or classic car going down the road in high style.

This car was an old Ford.  I gave it lots of room in front of me going up the hills because you just never know when it might go kaput! Of course it never did, but occasionally I see one broke down, so just to be courteous, I give them lots of room on the road.

This is my favorite stretch of road near my house because there are bluebirds that perch on that fence row on the right.  Farther up the hill there is a Blue bird box that I monitor.

Today was a win win because I found an old car and saw Bluebirds!

Plus getting a glimpse of the mountains during the trek is fun too!

  I expect this spell of warmer weather we have been having will get more old cars out enjoying the scenery and drive time on old Route 66 where you can get your kicks!

Holga shot with Hp5

Monday, February 6, 2017

Window Shopping?

My friend in Colorado Springs has wild deer that come calling at her kitchen window.

Apparently the woman that lived in the house before my friends moved in last year used to cook for and feed the deer, so they expect handouts from the new owners.

It's hard to resist giving them a few apples!

Once again this is a photo made with the exceptional Olympus Infinity 3.5.  It handles odd light well plus shoots through  a glass window like an ace!

Delta 100 film.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

a window view

Ever since I was a kid, I've been staring out windows.

I have specific memories from 6th grade art class in our old (now torn down) Woodrow Wilson Junior High School building, looking out across the campus toward Highway 90 and the Dairy Queen that sat across the street. There's probably some old moth eaten drawings of this scene somewhere in an old cedar chest at my Dad's house that were done as assignments....

And as long as I can remember, in each class, I had a window seat...on purpose, just so I could look outside.

Window shots.  Never easy to do but I always try since I'm such a pushover for them.

This one was made at the Denver Art Museum with the little Olympus Infinity 3.5. 

The light and shadows mimicked the forms outside enough that I just stood and watched the light for a while before I ever clicked the shutter.

Thursday, February 2, 2017


Wrought iron.

It makes me think of many things to see it.

My grandfather was an iron worker and helped build many of the skyscrapers in New York City in the 1930's.

When he retired, he was a dairy farmer for quite a few years and I have fond memories of spending weekends or part of the summer staying with him and my grandmother and working on the farm.

They had over 100 acres and ran 55+ head of Holstein which had to be milked every day, morning and evening.

No rest on a farm...because if you're not milking cows, you are mowing, raking, baling hay or doing something in the hay-field to feed the cows and other livestock.

If not that, then you are gardening, mending fences, or gathering eggs..or any other number of chores to keep the farm running.

During down time, and there was some...we spent fishing or swimming in the three ponds on the property, picking blackberries or riding the horses.

If my cousins happened to be staying there, we would tell ghost stories or watch the stars at night while sleeping out on the porch.

Sometimes the turkeys would be roosting on the porch too. It was a great childhood.

Just seeing a little wrought iron gate brought all that back....

Sometimes Pancakes, but mostly brownies

It occurred to me today that I had not shared a recipe in a while. Today I fix that! I love a good brownie.  Actually, I adore a good b...