Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Beautiful Day

Everyone in the northern hemisphere should be having at least warmer weather, if not quite hot weather yet.

These weren't of anything special, but it was such a beautiful day on the day I took these that I thought I would put them out here.

I was standing along US Highway 1, which runs from Key West, Florida, all the way up the east coast of America, into Maine. That's the Indian River Lagoon on the left, with the Atlantic outside the picture farther left. The photo is looking south, along Highway 1, toward Miami and Key West. Every time I get onto US 1, I have the thought that I'd love to head out to Key West.

The other photo is from standing in the exact same place, only I turned to my left, toward the barrier island that we call beachside around here, and the Atlantic is on the other side of the island. Notice that there are little islands within the lagoon (extreme left in the pic), and on most warm weekends people pull their boats up on the shores of them, or on the sand bars, and spend the day, swimming, fishing, and picnicing.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fish Carving

A carved fish decorating someone's private dock entrance on the Indian River Lagoon in Micco, Florida.

A sad looking, abandoned sailboat in the Indian River Logoon in Grant, Florida. This boat was in the lagoon for years, but has been removed since I took this photo. Hmm. Maybe I should have photographed it sooner.

I was just out one day roaming around and these were two of my shots.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Deck Shoes / Anchor

One blistering-hot morning last summer, I wandered around a local marina. These were a couple of pictures from that day that I liked.

Nothing special, just liked them.

When Lovely Wife first saw the one of the deck shoes in the boat she remarked that it looked like the type of photograph her Father liked to take. It was a great compliment to me. He had a much better eye toward "the human touch" than I do. It's definitely the kind of thing he noticed, little bits of people, even if there were no people in the photograph.

My Father In Law passed away in 1996. I have all of his 35mm slides, and will have to scan a few and put them on here from time to time. He was a good man, and a good photographer.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day in the US

God bless all of the men and women serving in the military, along with their families.

If you were ever, or are still a part of the US military, thank you SO MUCH for your service to us and our country.

A couple of weeks ago, Lovely Wife and I went to Viera, Florida, about 15 miles (24km) north of Palm Bay to go to a Select Comfort store. We ended up buying a Sleep Number bed, but afterward walked around the shopping area to go to a couple of other stores.

This flower and the sun trying to look through a hole in the clouds were taken that evening.

By the way, I LOVE the Sleep Number bed. It's much easier on my back so far. But we've only spent a total of five nights in it since it was delivered, so it's too early to declare victory. We also went from sleeping on a queen sized bed to a king after 22 years, and the extra room is welcome too.

The nice photos were just a bonus for being out and about that evening. With my camera of course.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Black And White #4

I've been amazed at John's black and white conversions at My Viewfinder.

Yesterday, Saturday, as Lovely Wife and I headed back across central Florida from Zephyrhills to Palm Bay, we stopped a couple of times in Kissimmee at Lake Tohopekaliga. I have absolutely no idea how to pronounce that (I'm usually pretty good at pronouncing hard words) but everyone calls it Lake Toho anyway, so I guess I will here too.

I on our second stop along Lake Toho, I pulled off of Neptune Road beside someone's property, hoping that the land I parked on with no home wasn't their property too. Anyhoo, I walked back to the edge of these folk's lakefront property to take some photos of these amazing yellow water lotus.

We were driving along and I looked to the right and saw these things from the lake's edge behind these people's house, out all the way as far as I could see. Intense green and yellow. So I turned around and found my dubious parking place, got out and walked to the water's edge and took a few shots, then got out of there. I was afraid someone would come out of the house and yell at me. I tried to put out a very strong stupid, pushy tourist vibe; acting like I had every right to be in their yard.

Anyway, these two shots screamed at me to try to convert them to decent B&W images. I worked with them a while and ended up liking these versions. Trying the Orton/gaussian blur thingy looked good too, but in the end I liked the crispness of these better.

Thanks for the inspiration John!

I'll try to get around to visiting everyone and commenting later this afternoon.

Also, I posted my usual Sunday Picture Post over at my other blog, Least Significant Bits, and there are a couple more pics of these lotus, but in color, if y'all care to see them.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Saturday's Late Post: Blooming Palm Trees

Sorry I didn't post anything earlier. I've been out of town since Thursday night.

Lovely Wife and I were over in Zephyrhills, Florida until now (Sat. evening).

We have seven or eight small palm trees tucked up right in front of our house. They're about 7 or 8 feet tall. They're all in various stages of blooming.

These were taken on several different trees so y'all could see the different phases.

Check out those thorns in that top photo. When you trim the dead fronds off, and pull them to the street for pickup, it's nearly impossible to do without getting a few pokes. The thorns are about two inches long.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Train (for Mike in the Ozarks)

First of all, I thought I had some other cool train pictures, but this was really the only one I had that I could easily get to, so sorry about that Mike.

Lovely Wife and I took a trip back to north Louisiana this past December to see my family. These were taken from the bluff in Vicksburg, MS, overlooking the Mississippi River from a tourist welcome center when we were on our way back to Florida. The bridge on the left in the top pic is Interstate 20 that cuts across north Louisiana.

The engineer in the next cubicle over from me at work saw this and said, oh, that's a such and such, whatever, whatever. He goes on train trips like people pay to go for some laps around Daytona Speedway in a stock car. He's totally into riding them, in the engine with the engineer, and knows all about the various engines and companies and whatnot. I guess he's an engineer with a secret desire to be an engineer. (Har-dee har har har)

I just like looking at trains. I've never ridden on one. Well, unless you count the one at Disney World. And Dollywood. And Silver Dollar City. But those just do a five mile loop or something.

This was a beautiful day, and that train came across the river at just the right time.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wall And Rolling Stones

I thought I would post a couple of my 35mm slide scans from the old days.

The first one is the outside wall of a handball court at Forsyth Park in Monroe, La.

The second one was at a friend's house, and he wrote The Rolling Stones in the condensation on his bedroom window.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Snowy Egret?

I think that this is a snowy egret, photos taken at Ballard Park, in Melbourne, Florida. I'm pretty ignorant of the names of birds and flowers and such, but the pictures I've seen that look most like this guy are snowy egrets, so I'm going with that.

These are two pics of the same bird just a minute or two apart.

Kinda reminds me of me in the mornings. I get up and my hair is pointing in every direction and after a shower and combing, I'm all aerodynamic and ready to go.

My legs aren't that cool shade of green though. He's got me beat there.

(Update: Sorry, I had comments turned off. Blogger's new automatic save feature for the edit window will turn off the comments. It's happened to me a couple of times in the last couple of weeks, and to others that I know too.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lions And Cute Cows

Yet more stuff from the store.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Yard Birds And Pickup Trucks

No story that goes along with these photos; just some nifty items Lovely Wife and I saw at World Marketplace one evening.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

High School Graduation

Number Two Daughter's graduating class at Bayside High School was about 550 people. My high school graduating class was a mere 140 (1980!).

They had the graduation Saturday morning in the school's football stadium.

The ceremony and the giving of the diplomas was on a stage in one end of the field, with immediate family allowed to sit in seats on the field behind the mass of graduates. Both sets of stands on the sides of the field were full and people stood all around the sides of the field too. Two thousand people at least. Much, much more than attended mine all those years ago. Lovely Wife's high school had a massive group of graduates like this back in her day.

The day was beautiful, low eighties and partly cloudy (as you can see) but by the time they handed out five hundred and something diplomas, we all got farmer's tans. Sunburned on our faces, necks, and arms.

We told her that our suffering for her was proved our love; that these were sunburns of love. As I write this, my arms and face are burning.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sunshine And Motorcycles

Take your camera with you, even if you are just shopping for a new mattress set. You'll probably end up going into other stores too, and one or more of them will have subjects that catch your eye.

Yeah, I know, that second one is a tad blurry, but the motorcycle was so cool looking that I like the photo anyway.
Number Two Daughter graduates from Palm Bay High School later this morning. Our baby, all grown up. Hopefully I can get some decent photos.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Zorki-4 Photos #6

Last two, I promise. I know I've bored you, but I'm really pumped about how nice this little camera is.

I've ordered some tools and some camera repair books, and hope to use this all-manual Zorki as a ginea pig to learn to CLA (Clean, Lubricate, Adjust) cameras. I have an all-manual Canon FT-QL that needs new foam and to be CLAed, and I want to work on it too.

I already learned how to do basic maintenance, adjustments, and repairs on my guitars, so I'm not afraid to take things apart. In fact, as an engineer, I can tell you that's probably the first sign your kid might become an engineer; would he/she rather take toys apart to see how they work than to play with them?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Zorki-4 Photos #5

Which do you like best?

The rock is coquina, ancient coral that is everywhere down here. In the sixties, when Disney was building Walt Disney World, they came over here and removed many, many tons of this stuff from the Atlantic Ocean at Satellite Beach for use throughout Magic Kingdom.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Zorki-4 Photos #4

These two photos were taken with the Zorki rangefinder within minutes of one another, near and on the beach. Looks like it was two different days though.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Zorki-4 Photos #3

More from my Zorki-4

Here's a couple of photos that I liked a lot when converted to B&W, and with the contrast cranked up a bit.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Zorki-4 Photos #2

Two more shots taken last week with my "new" 1967 Zorki-4 rangefinder.

Both were taken during my lunch period on last Thursday at Ballard Park in Melbourne, Florida.

I was tagged for a meme by CG.
1.What do you want to accomplish with your blog? This blog, I just wanted to put up and show some of the thousands of slides and digital images I've taken over the years and to join the community of photography bloggers. I've looked at and admired folk's blogs for a long time, and decided to start one myself and to join in. I love how this community is supportive of one another and I wanted to be part of that. Outside of my family, and the writing blog I started last year, I've never shown my photography to anyone else.

2. Are you a spiritual person? Yep. I became a Christian just before entering my teens and it's the foundation of my life and the thing I lean most upon during life's storms.

3. If you were stranded on a desert island what three things would you want to have with you? It's too easy to say a satellite phone and a flare gun I guess, so I'd say flints to start fires and a good hunting knife and a rifle. If possible, I'd like some music, a cd player or ipod that would never need batteries. I love the movie Cast Away, so maybe a volleyball to keep me company too.

4. What’s your favourite childhood memory? Just one? I'd probably have to say, Christmas of 1970. I was seven and received THE great bicycle of my childhood. I wrote a post about it on my other blog a while back.

5. Is this your first meme?Yeah, I guess it is. I got one of the ubiquitous "Thinking Blogger" things a few weeks ago, but I don't guess that's a real meme, it doesn't require me to reveal certain information. So I would say this is my first.

Being a person who never passes on chain letters and emails, I won't tag anyone specifically with this.

However, if you would like to do this meme yourself, consider yourself tagged, copy and paste the questions and let us know more about you.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Zorki-4 Photos #1

On Tuesday, I posted about a Soviet made Zorki-4 rangefinder I bought off ebay.

After checking it out as to all the shutter speeds operating and whatnot, I put a roll of Kodak Ultra Color 400 film in it and promtly took a bunch of boring, but informative photographs to check the camera out in different lighting and at different shutter speed and f-stop settings.

The pics you see up there were all taken on Wednesday and Thursday of this past week. I actually like the looks of the photographs, and the only things I didn't particularly like were the way over the top colors on this film and my film scanner is giving me attitude (and scan lines) lately. As to the camera, I had fun using it, and it's very unobtrusive. I like the looks of old Leica cameras, but if I was going to throw down Leica camera/lens money, I'd rather buy new lenses for my Nikon. So the Zorki-4 was a cheap way to indulge my gear aquisition syndrome without hurting the bank account (or my marriage) very much.

Top Photo: Taken at an Atlantic Ocean park within lunch-time striking distance of where I work. It was overcast and really windy from the tropical storm that was 150 miles northeast of us at that time. I thought that the dead sea grape limbs matched the mood of the sky.

Middle Photo: What a difference a day makes. Taken the next day during lunch, at a much closer park on the Indian River Lagoon called Ballard Park. It's in Melbourne, Florida and only a five minute drive from work, as opposed to 15 minutes to the Atlantic park in the first photo, and therefore an ideal place to use my lunch period to wolf down a sandwich and spend the rest of the time alloted to wander and take some photos. Notice the brown pelican on one of the boat docks. The sun wasn't very far out of the top of the frame, I wanted to see if the lens would flare.

Bottom Photo: I pointed away from the sun to try to get the incredible blue sky. Plus I like that ginormous, high-dollar, multi-level brown home back there on the creek.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

First And Last

Last summer, soon after buying my D70s, I went wandering for photographs.

These were the first and last photos I took on that particular afternoon.

The first one is of a real estate office out on the barrier island which is called "beachside" locally. This office is in Melbourne Beach, Florida.

The second photo was after the sun had set, and I was exploring the joys of having adjustable ISO on a camera. This was taken at ISO 800, and I was so excited that although I can see the noise somewhat in the enlarged version, it's still pretty good. Especially compared to how grainy slide film gets at higher ISO ratings. The photo is looking north along A1A in the northern section of Indian River County, about 25 miles (40km) south of where I live.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Clouds #2

Another couple of neat cloud photos taken shamelessly from the window of Number One Daughter's hospital room as she lay convalescing after surgery.

Both are looking west over Melbourne, Florida from the fourth floor of Holmes Regional Medical Center.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Palm Bay

Top Photo: What's left of a palm frond among the sand and shells on the shore of Palm Bay, in Palm Bay, Florida. I just liked the symmetry of it, and the gritty ground.

Bottom Photo: I mentioned this yesterday; Palm Bay. It's a body of water in the Indian River Lagoon, our section of the Intracostal Waterway. People live in the city of Palm Bay for years and never realize there is an actual body of water called Palm Bay.

Both photos were taken at one of Palm Bay's city parks, Castaways Point Park on one side of the bay.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Signs #2: Manatee Zone

Manatees are a fairly common sight around this area.

The first photo is a large sign placed in the way of boats entering Palm Bay on the Indian River Lagoon. The Indian River Lagoon is our section of the Intracostal Waterway that runs up the entire east coast of the US. Palm Bay is an actual bay on the Lagoon and the source of the name of Palm Bay, the city I live in. Strangely enough, most of the residents of Palm Bay the city have absolutely no idea that there is an actual body of water named Palm Bay on the eastern edge of the city.

The second photo is near the mouth of Crane Creek in Melbourne, Florida where it meets the Indian River Lagoon a couple of miles north of where the first photo was taken.

There are an unbelievable amount of boats in this area on all bodies of water and the slow moving manatees you see around almost all have marks on them from being gouged with boat propellers. Despite this being the most common way manatees are killed, boaters around here fight tooth and nail to keep from having boat speed limits curtailed.

The husband of a lady I work with once worked with the largest custom boat dock builder in Brevard County, and while he worked there was part of the crew that put up hundreds of these free standing Manatee Zone signs in local waterways. He said it was back breaking work.

Manatees like to swim just under the surface of the water, making them almost impossible to see unless boats are going very slow and have someone riding point and watching for them. Hence the boaters hate manatees and any laws meant to slow them down from their blasting through the creeks, rivers, and lakes.

Personally, seeing how boaters can be around here, I'm surprised there are any manatees left.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Another Camera

This is my latest Ebay find.

It's a 1967 Zorki-4. Made in the former Soviet Union. It's a 35mm rangefinder camera, and one of the most numerous models made by the Soviets. The Zorki-4 model was made between 1956 and 1973. There were over 1,700,000 Zorki-4 cameras made in those years. It has a Leica screwmount lens, and can take Leica lenses (in theory).

The lens on it is a Jupiter-8, 50mm f2.0, a copy of a Leica Sonnar design.

The Soviet Union initially shamelessly copied early Leica rangefinder designs (as did early Nikons and Canons), but later their cameras weren't as close a copy as they were at first.

These things are really cheap, but they are robust and this was advertised as a working unit. The actual camera seems to work at all speeds, the focus and f-stop movement is really smooth, the rangefinder seems to work pretty well, and even the self-timer works ok. All in all, I'm pretty impressed with the workings of the camera, I expected more crude operations than it actually has. That's great. It seems to be gently used. Hey, even the pc sync terminal fires the old Kmart/Focal flash I have!

I'll have to check it out with film now. I certainly plan on using it.

But I thought I would put some pics of the camera itself on here, just to show y'all.

That red insignia on the top was on the Zorki-4 cameras produced in 1967, and states "50 Years Of Revolution" (or something to that effect). Definitely raises the "cool factor" a few points in my opinion.

Good thing I learned on manual cameras and know how to use those f-stop and shutter speed thingies.

The cost? A mere $39.99. But it cost me almost that much again to have it insured and shipped to me from Ukraine.

Looks like a great deal so far, but we'll see how the pictures turn out and if I've bought a shelf camera or one I can really use...