7/52-53 Zomb-E Gardens

Saturday the 4th (1/4/14… just stuck me…) found me at the Forth Worth Botanical Gardens with Hana, Samie & Firas.

In tow, was the D7000 and Zomb-E, the LX7, the iPhone, and the LC-A* (pictures from first two to follow in the coming days, Insha Allah; shots from the LC-A when I finish the roll and get it developed).

It was a beautiful day for a walk in the gardens, which I hadn’t visited for many many years: mid 60s, slight breeze; cool shade, warm sun. We walked pretty much the whole garden, but everything worth sharing from the Zomb-E-fied D7000 came from the Japanese gardens.

D7000. Nikon 75-150mm f/3.5 Zomb-E Series. EXIF in the Lightbox. Minimal processing (mostly) in Lightroom 5.

And with this post, I say farewell to the 7/52 project. All in all, it has been a fun and useful project, though there are a few things that didn’t quite go the way I hoped. For example, I only rarely picked a project and diligently worked on it for a whole week. But Allah Azza wa Jall knows best, and He gave me so much this year that kept me happily distracted from mere photography, so I’ll say Alhamdulillah! The 7/52 is complete. Now on to the projects for 2014: Macro Monday, Black & Wednesday, and Phoneography Friday, InshaAllah.

*It’s only now that I realize I haven’t introduced the new toy, bought late in 2013: the Lomo LC-A (Refurbished). That’ll happen next Sunday, Insha Allah.

7/52-50 Phoning it in, poorly

Well, I just didn’t even try this week. Too busy with other stuff. Makes me wonder if I should give up this photography hobby altogether. I’m ashamed to even be posting these, and I have no plans to post these pictures to G+ or anywhere else. If you clicked this far, apologies, but maybe this will be an object lesson to you: avoid committing yourself to a project unless you’re willing to 1) fail occasionally and 2) actually make the time to work on the project.

Apologies, again.

iPhone 5. All shot with the built-in camera app. Most processed with Perspective Correct and/or Filterstorm Neue.

A note on Filterstorm Neue: classic Filterstorm is still the king of general photo editing apps on the iPhone, but the Neue version is slowly gaining on it, and I look forward to moving to Neue full time in the coming weeks/months/whenever the developer gets everything in there.

7/52-49 LensBaby Week!!!2!

Unlike the first LensBaby week for this 7/52, I started this one intending to use the LensBaby. And as you might notice, I got some somewhat better results (to my eye, anyway). I still wonder what I might be able to accomplish if I had the time and the leisure to really focus on photography: Allahu A’lam.

And Alhamdulillah I have much more to focus on, some incomparably better, others more or less equivalent; more or less chosen.

For those of you outside of Texas, we got about 3 inches of ice Thursday night… It took me 45 minutes to scrape the windshield. Good times. Hence the shift from houseplants to outside plants & trees. In both, I think the LensBaby held its own. Fun stuff.

For most of these, I shot without focusing, or with the old lean forward/lean back focusing method: I didn’t much bother with squeezing/twisting the lens. The minimum focus distance is roughly a foot, more or less. An aperture ring of f/4 or so might have sharpened things up a bit, but I wasn’t looking for sharp: I wanted color and light; form was secondary.

D7000. LensBaby Muse (plastic optic). ISO100, f2, AP mode. Some adjustment in Lightroom to bring out color and cheer things up a bit.

7/52-48 Thanksgiving!

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for so much this year, I can barely begin to express it all. At the risk of incensing some readers, and with full knowledge that I’ll leave out innumerable blessings, here’s a short list:

  • Allah azza wa jal, the clear guidance that He sent down to us through His Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam, and the ability to worship and give thanks for His blessings and guidance
  • Farhana Ali, her family, and all the other things that have come through her: surely the greatest material blessing, and one for which I intend to remain thankful
  • my mother, family, and friends
  • the sustenance—both food and shelter—provided to Hana and me through our jobs and all other means
  • my general health and ability to function/persist at whatever level; my particular (and peculiar) brand of reason, skill, ability, and etc.
  • these material comforts, tools of relaxation and work, toys, and etc.

There is more, much more, I’m sure, and in any and all cases, I say Alhamdulillah (all praise and thanks belongs to Allah).

If you’re interested, I found a short article on two types of gratitude in Islam (hamd and shukr). I think there are some useful reminders in there for all of us, regardless of nationality or belief set.

D7000. Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G (the Sigma 30mm probably would’ve been a better choice for this sort of reportage). ISO100, AP mode, various apertures. Minimal post work in Lightroom 5.


7/52-47 housplants, weeds, bouquets

I had no idea what to shoot this week (as usual) and so decided that this would be a good opportunity to for a macro week. GoGo.

But what lens to use? My first thought was to use the Vivitar 50mm f/1.8, but when I went to the the shelf with all the film cameras (when I moved, I’m pretty sure I put all the lenses back on all the cameras, and removed all the reversing & step down rings) but couldn’t find the Vivitar. So I decided to try something different, all spur-of-the-moment like.

Enter the AUTO mamiya/sekor 50mm f/2.

This lens came off of my mamiya/sekor 1000DTL camera. I’m not sure about the lineage of this camera, but given that Granddad was mostly a Vivitar shooter (from the kit I inherited from him—which included the 250SL and 50mm f/1.8 (both Cosina-made), the 1:2 teleconverter, a Montgomery Ward-branded 28mm f/2.8, a JCPenny-branded Diamatic 135mm f/2.8, plus some filters and empty film canisters, all in a really snappy metal case with hand-cut foam protectors for all the gear—and from the camera(s) he gave to my mom and aunts (Vivitar K1000s, both of them)), I expect it came from my step-dad Hank.

But I digress.

Day 1: a couple of shots of some houseplants (pictures 1 & 2).

Day 4: some weeds out front of the apartment (picture 3).

Day 6: a bouquet that some friends brought last week (pictures 4-7, including some fun rear-curtain flash work with the pop-up flash!).

I got one really good pic this week, and I’m not sharing it here… It deserves its own post, methinks, and I try to offer a limited edition of prints or something. I like it quite a bit. (More on that later.)

As to to the lens… I love it! It’s sharp enough wide open, and shines stopped down slightly (the first pic was wide open, the rest were shot at roughly f/3.5 (the AUTO has detents at 1/2-stop intervals, and the lens was halfway between f/2.8 and f/4.)). And remember that these were all shot with the lens reversed and on a crop-sensor camera… (One day, I’d like to try this with a full-frame film or digital… my interest is leaning towards film at the moment, but we’ll see, and I have so many old film cameras with no batteries, it seems silly to start buying more. Maybe sell the old ones and buy an nice, manual 35mm Nikon… but that’s a ways off methinks.)

First order of business, though, may be to run a roll of film through the old mamiya/sekor camera. If it’s as good as the lens, I’m in for a treat!

D7000. AUTO mamiya/sekor 50mm f/2, reversed. ISO1600, f/2-3.5, AP mode. Minimal processing, mostly +10 to contrast & clarity, +5 to saturation, pretty good for reversed lenses, easily as good as the Zomb-E (though lacking the ability to focus with the zoom ring).