Category: Travel

Clarksburg Project

200718-113515-JEH20Marcia and I were in Clarksburg, WVa in Oct 2009 when I used a cheap film camera to make some images of the buildings, streets, etc.

Both Marcia and I were born and raised in Clarksburg and while we were visiting we drove and walked around to see the houses where we were raised along with the schools.

I might scan them, tweak them in Lightroom, and then use them to make a small book of pictures with notes, etc.  Well, maybe one of these days.  They are on my list of things I never seem to get around to.

I had used some of the images in a post years ago, but WordPress changed something along the way, or I changed to a theme that doesn’t support them, and some of the pictures are no longer in the post.

RePrinting old Prints

200707-083418-JEH20I was wondering about how those 27 year old Maui images might look if printed as toned monochrome prints.  I scanned the old 4×6 drugstore color prints and then processed some of them as toned monochrome images.  I then resized and sharpened them for printing as 5×7 prints. 

I had been looking for three suitable images to put in a frame to hang on my wall in front of my computer.  I have lots of color travel images on my walls, but no monochrome ones … until now.

While working on these images I remembered the last time I saw someone on one of our trips taking pictures with a 35mm Nikon interchangeable lens film camera.  It was in Hawaii on another trip.

Maui, HI in 1993

We went to Maui in 1993 and stayed at the Paki Maui, our first and only time to that island.  We both used small Olympus 35mm film cameras from which the pictures were developed and printed at a drugstore and all we have are the 4×6 prints which aren’t very sharp.  While Marcia was cleaning out the last of our older prints I decided to scan a few of the prints to see what I could recover as digital images.  We had a large number of prints but I only scanned some to get a flavor of the trip.

Maui was mainly a crowded tourist destination and we don’t like crowds so we avoided most of the crowded tourist spots.  To do that, we rented a small 4WD vehicle and drove where we weren’t supposed to go by circling the island.  As you can see in the pictures we succeeded to avoid the crowded areas.

We also took a helicopter ride over and around parts of Moloka’i Island.  That is where we made the pictures of the waterfalls, etc.  We also drove up to the Haleakala Crater where at an elevation of over 10,000 feet it was windy and cold.  If you haven’t experienced it, open a can of coke and drink it at that elevation.  I know, the things I remember.  We also walked out of the tourist area into the Iao Valley where we crossed paths with a few girls from Russia hiking.

We did venture into Lahaina to dine and walk around once.  It was there that we first experienced eating in a building with windows with no glass or screens and competing with the birds flying around.

Maui has changed a lot since then … at least from what I can find about visiting there on the web.  I’m glad we went when we did.

Today Feels Cold

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While it feels cold and is windy today, we didn’t get any snow.  This snow scene is from Feb. 2010.  It was our backyard in the house we owned before we moved to Homewood.  I have been revisiting a lot of older images, especially those made with older Pentax cameras that I have owned.  This image was a color jpeg from a Pentax K2000 camera that I have reworked into the above B&W.  This was our view from inside our house looking out the kitchen window.

Pentax in Hawaii

Due to the lack of new pictures, I have been revisiting older ones.  I took these in 2011 with a Pentax K-5 II and the 18-55mm lens.  I wanted to see how they looked after reprocessing the raw files using the latest version of LR.  One reason I am redoing the files and looking at them closer is to help me decide what, if any, additional lenses I might wish to have for my current Pentax KP camera.

So far, I’m sticking to my preference to not get a longer, heavier zoom lens.  One reason is the image quality of those light enough and cheap enough aren’t very good.  If I continue to think only in terms of the limited lenses, the only one left of interest to me would be the 21mm, and it would come in handy if I ever get back to the streets or traveling.  I am still not sure about getting another 18-55mm WR zoom lens, but there are times it would be handy as a cheap walkabout lens in bad weather or times like when our next flood occurs.  Looking at the above pictures tells me it would be good enough, at least when the lighting is bright.  I might order an inexpensive used one and compare the IQ to the Limited 20-40mm WR lens.

Note that all of these pictures were taken on the big island.  I noticed the “reference” to Hanover in a small general store.  We were visiting the island right before they had an Iron Man event and there were a lot of cyclists getting use to the climate, roads, etc.  The big island is a lot drier and newer, thus the lava flows, than our favorite island which is Kauai.

Hawaii in Different Light

I haven’t been going out anywhere to make pictures lately, and doubt that I will around other people until after the flu and virus seasons are over.  In order to keep thinking about photography, I had been thinking about whether or not I want to get an additional lens for the Pentax KP, when I remembered the last time I traveled with a Pentax DSLR.  It was when we were in Hawaii right before we moved here to Homewood in 2011.

I decided to reload the pictures into LR and reprocess them as I checked out what focal lengths I used on that trip to Hawaii.  I only had the Pentax 18-55mm kit lens with me and I doubted that the images would be very good, but I found them to be better than I remembered.  While reprocessing them I also decided to see how they would work with my latest B&W style.  You can see the results above.  I like them, especially since they show Hawaii in a totally different light than most people think of when thinking about Hawaii.

Opportunities and Gear

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Lately I have been reviewing my older images to see what I liked best and thinking about how to increase my opportunities for making more such images.  The above is one of my favorite images.  I made it back in 2001 using an inexpensive small pocket Olympus film camera in Peru.  I lost the negatives a long time ago and all I have left are small scans of the 4×6 drug store prints that I had printed after the trip.  What makes the picture so great isn’t the camera or processing.  It was my being able to grab a quick shot of an unstaged composition in which everything came together perfectly to make an excellent establishing shot.  The row of buildings you see in the distance is the entrance to Machu Picchu in Peru and then the walk across the terrace to arrive at the ruins.

As the years have gone by I have switched to better and better cameras (lots of them) with increasing complexity, size, and cost without really increasing the number of pictures that I am most proud of.  No doubt, my later images have been more technically perfect, but what good is that if I don’t make images that I prefer and have fun making.

In the last many months I have been working on returning to the use of smaller cameras and lenses in order to lighten the load.  That has meant dropping from Fujifilm gear back down to Olympus micro 4/3 cameras for my Homewood images.  I am also using my reduced, in number, set of micro 4/3 cameras and lenses for my personal imagery, but I wanted to go even smaller, lighter, and simpler with my walkabout gear.  To accomplish that downsizing I have gone back to a small rugged waterproof pocket camera.  I purchased an Olympus TG-6 camera to replace the Ricoh WG-60 and the Canon G5X Mark II cameras.  I hope to move out more often and further with the TG-6 even though I won’t be traveling internationally; i.e., I have traded gear for mobility and hopefully more opportunities.

Some will interpret my changes in gear as sacrificing gear for opportunities, but I’m not so sure about the sacrificing bit.  In my opinion I have found that the Olympus TG series of cameras are quite flexible and capable so I see this as just another challenge to see what I can make with the TG-6 in the future.

My next step is to wait on warmer weather and then go back out walking around home and see what I can find to photograph; but, I really am missing buying and trying different types of cameras.  I got into the habit of buying new cameras and lenses for each international trip I took.  My love of travel morphed into an obsession with photography gear.

Older Pictures & Cameras

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There has been some chatter on the web about reworking older pictures, so I thought I might have another look.  I took this picture in Tunisia in 2010, the year before we moved to Homewood, with an Olympus E-P1 and the 14-42mm kit zoom lens.  I only have jpeg files from which I converted this one to B&W.  I really liked that old camera.  With good light and a better lens it could still be making good images.  The key is good light, low ISO, and f/9 (in this case).

Look close, and several of you should recognize someone.  I remember how quickly I went up those steps to get this picture, as well as how high and steep those steps were.  I could never go that fast now.

This theater must have been great when it was built and used by the Romans.  It had a great view and captured the breezes nicely.

My real reason for going back through some old pictures was that I was looking at images I had made with micro 4/3 cameras and different lenses.  I have been thinking about a backup camera and have wondered about whether an older used one might work good enough.  I doubt I really need a backup camera so I tended to look at some of the smaller, more range-finder like cameras and general purpose zoom lenses as well as prime lenses that I had used in the past.  I really don’t want to get back to having more cameras and lenses then I need so I’m going slow as I think this through. 

Change the Time

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Don’t forget to change the time on your cameras.  I was watching Fiona’s latest video this morning when I decided to run another experiment with using the tiny Ricoh WG-60 camera.  I was curious whether or not I could make the above image under that kind of lighting … just my laptop in a totally dark room very early this morning.  When I was examining the image I noticed the time stamp and remembered that I needed to change the time on my three cameras.

Fiona was in Iceland with some friends making a video using a drone.  I don’t remember ever seeing scenes of Iceland like these.  Take a look on her YouTube channel.

By the way, why do we still keep changing the time back and forth?  All of the original reasons for daylight savings time have been negated by changes in our technologies, energy consumption patterns, etc.  I expect that a new look at all of the facts for today’s environment would show that it is more harmful and expensive to keep changing back and forth.  But why should I expect anything different?  We don’t utilize science, reasoning, and an unbiased review of facts and the truth for anything else these days. 

More WV Memories

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Looking southeast from Corridor H in West Virginia on Oct 8, 2015 a little past 10am.  You can see why they call them the Blue Ridge Mountains.  We were on our way back to Homewood at Plum Creek when I stopped at an overlook and made this image.