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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I moved to Baltimore six years and some change ago, and I have to say, it has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. Aside from the fact that I moved here to be with a woman, one who I am still with, Baltimore has turned from a city that I thought little about, to a city I love, and get offended when people speak so poorly of this city.

Baltimore is a working class city, with working class people; that is not to say that there are no wealthy, educated people here, nor is it to imply that our only jobs are industrial, but the type of people who populate this city are part of its charm.

I am a fairly friendly person, regardless of where I am, or the situation I am in, and rarely do I run across someone, even in the most run down of neighborhoods who will not reply to a "hello, how are you", something that makes me feel home.

Baltimore is made up of over 200 individual neighborhoods, each with their own unique character, and their own unique characters. I live in Pigtown, which is directly next to the first mile of railroad in the country. There is the B&O Museum, which is one of the best railroad museums in the country. It is called Pigtown because pigs were unloaded from the trains at the B&0 and run them through town to the slaughter houses. It is one of the most racially integrated neighborhoods in the city, as it was one of two that opposed blockbusting when developers came through.

Baltimore is made up of mostly rowhomes, attached homes built by the city block. It is not unique to Baltimore, but it is part of what makes Baltimore unique. It never really occurred to me, but each set of rowhomes is built by an architect who designed them. There are so many different types of homes, but they are so similar in that they are all built in rows. I love how limited an architect could be, but how individual a set of homes could be. 

The city is photogenic, and shooting here is great. This city seems to do a great job of embracing history, and not destroying entire swaths of older buildings, instead, incorporating a newer structure into an older one. The city is littered with hand painted signs, historical buildings, cobblestone streets, and much more, just waiting to be discovered. 

We also have the Inner Harbor, a fairly modern area that used to just be industrial harbor. It is a great tourist attraction, but they also do cool things there. Sailabration, for example is a yearly gathering a sailing ships from around the world. 

I love Baltimore because I can do mostly what I want to do, whether it is walk down the street at any hour of the day or night, explore abandoned buildings, or photograph areas I should not be in, people usually do not bother me. Or, I could ride a dirtbike around town if I feel like it. 

Or my four-wheeler

Or my horse

Or play my trumpet

If I want to watch old fashioned steam trains, I can

or take the train to DC or New York, I can do that, too!

Or I could go to one of the many farmer's markets or local markets in the city

Or, I could go out shooting at night, which I love to do.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

This is the most important book you will ever own. There is no reason to not have one, no matter where you are from, you need to get one.

It is the smallest book with the largest amount of information. It is a key to the entire world, there is almost no limits to where it can take you.

By my 30th birthday this will have taken me to 35 countries, 33 of which are in the last six years. Some of these trips were last minute, some were well planned, all of them possible because of this little book.

Get your passport. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

In June I did the Bike Ride Across Georgia with my dad. It ended up being a 389 mile bike ride, owing to the fact that I was unable to do the first day, and on the loop day I only did 70 miles instead of 101 with my Pops. I had a broken spoke and it made the ride terribly difficult. For those who do not know, this was an organized ride through Georgia for a week.

The route was 
Washington to Thomson
Thomson to Waynesboro
Waynesboro to Waynesboro
Waynesboro to Metter
Metter to Jesup
Jesup to Darien

Though I did not take many photos of the ride itself, as I rode a fixed gear and could not coast, I took photos at rest stops. These really are not in any order, though, so get ready for that. 

My dad and I opted to not stay in the school gyms or camp, instead getting hotels and having our luggage transported from place to place. While I would not mind camping, as there is a bit of good experience involved in that, the motels were nice to have.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The camera is the reason I got into rangefinder cameras. I remember having no idea what a rangefinder was prior to this, and googling "rangefinder" to try to figure out what ultimately turned out to be a simple design.

This camera (well, a different one) was given to me by a friend. It is by no means an expensive camera, but a quality camera with a great build and sharp optics.

The Minolta AL was introduced in 1961. It has a Rokkor -PF 45mm F2. I have been extremely pleased with the results this lens produces. The camera has a leaf shutter with speeds up to 1/1000th of a second, which is nice, as most leaf shutters I have go up to 1/500th.

The camera has a selenium meter, which on mine is dead. I had an example that had a working meter, which was nice, however, this one does not work. There is a needle on the top of the camera that you match in the middle by changing the aperture and shutter speed.

The shutter on this version does have click stops, the aperture does not, though one version I had did have clicks. What is nice about this camera is that you can change both at the same time, as both are around the lens barrel. They both rotate the same way, so one can change stops by holding both and rotating them.

The rangefinder patch on the camera is not as bright as other cameras I have had, but it is completely usable. The viewfinder has one set of lines as the lens is not interchangeable. The viewfinder is not cluttered, and it is pretty bright.

The camera has a cold shoe as well as a threaded shutter button for use with cable releases. It has a smooth film wind, and a flip out knob for rewind. The only strange thing about the camera is that it has the frame counter on the bottom. It automatically resets when you open the film door, which opens on a hinge.

The camera just looks like a classic camera, with leatherette and metal. It is a solid camera that feels like it could take a beating. One can adjust the rangefinder through the top, and it is pretty easy. 

What is really nice about this kind of camera, is that not only is the leaf shutter super silent, flash will sync at all speeds. The camera is also small enough to pocket if need be. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

I've been shooting more and black and white and for some reason, it has mostly been trains. Here is a little mix of those. I'll note what film and camera they are.

Fuji GF670
Ilford HP5+

Crown Graphic
Kodak Tmax 100

Fuji GF670
Ilford HP5+

Fuji GF670
Ilford HP5+

Nikon F5
Arista Premium

Nikon F5
Arista Premium

Nikon F5
Arista Premium

These were all developed in Ilfotec DDx at 1:4, I really like that developer. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I shot a wedding, way back in October of 2013. It was for a friend and her fiancee. The wedding was a small gathering in Nag's Head, North Carolina. It was a learning experience for sure, and I would not write off doing it again. I'm severely lacking in the attention span needed to edit the mass amount of photos in one, two, or even three sittings; I am done, though I keep going back and looking back over them and fiddling.

I rented a D600 and a 70-200 2.8 as well as a 16-28 2.8. After having been given a Nikon F5 as well as the full array of lenses, I would really like to try this again, but with film, I'd probably toss in some 4x5 and some 6x6/6x7 photos with my other film cameras as well. I'm not going to narrate each photo, but just post about 40 in a row, have a look, make a comment, I'm ok with that.

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