Monday, February 28, 2005

Cross at the End of Las Americas - Guatemala City

The Terry Fox Run

Today was the Terry Fox Run here in Guatemala
city. The route was Las Americas, with the
starting point right at the end by our house,
at the "pope". This is one of the many statues
and "plazas" which adorn the park-like middle
of the boulevard. Next to the pope is the large
cross I photographed a while back and is posted

I did the 5 km portion as a walk, and with
my camera. It was amazing, the crowd was quite
large, well into the thousands. They normally
close one direction of Las Americas on Sunday,
but for this event, the entire boulevard was
closed, and for a much longer period of time.
The event was non-competitive, so there was quite
a range, young, old, on crutches, on skateboards,
on scooters and bikes. Even a large number of
dogs participated, along with local mascots from
various businesses...Pollo Campero for instance.
I have some pictures which will get posted after
two things happen...I get the slides developed
and I get my scanner doesn't seem to
want to scan slides right now, so it is going in
for repair under warranty (that's my "bummer"
news of the week).

Friday, February 25, 2005

Cemetery - Under a Full Moon

My Entry for PhotoFriday's Weekly Challenge

This week's theme is "ghostly"...
I like cemeteries, they are one of my favorite
subjects for photography. There is a story
behind the picture above. I was living in
Germany (they have beautiful cemeteries) and
I frequently walked late at night. While I was
walking past a local cemetery, I noticed the
candles glowing, the snow stamped down from
all the visitors, and it was approaching midnight
with a full moon. I rushed home, got my camera,
tripod and my oldest son (about 10 at the time).
It was cold, perhaps about 20 degrees F, and I
would warm one battery up in my pants, while I
was using another for the shot. I did a number of
long exposures, measured in minutes. I don't
recall this particular exposure

When I got the slides back, I wished I had thought
to have myself or my son, or both of us, walk
through the frame...ghosts. I plan on doing that
type of shot someday when I find the perfect setting.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Teamwork - Ants pulling a dead bug straight up a wall

My Inspiration - Industrious Members of the Household

We actually got a lot done around the house
today. The laundry is all done, I got some bills
organized, and lots of pictures printed for Elesa's
scrapbooking days coming up. I think though
the inspiration came on Saturday. Shelby and
I worked a little learning her camera, depth of
field and shutter speed exercises using dominoes.

After putting things away, Shelby spotted a pile of
ants around a dead bug. The ants were dragging
the bug along. It soon became obvious, they had
a plan, and that plan involved carting the bug
carcass straight up a vertical wall, and then over
to a window, where the plan was to squeeze through
the crack, and then on home with the booty. I
grabbed my camera and took a few shots as the ants
scaled the wall. Then we politely opened the window
to make it easier for them to get out.

Ten minutes later, there was not an ant to be seen...

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Gerber Daisies - Cut flowers are inexpensive and beautiful in Guatemala - no excuse for not buying some for Elesa on a regular basis - my lack of spanish can make the transaction a challenge though.

Testing a bigger picture for the blog...

Ripe Grain, Fields - Germany Posted by Hello

Sheep - South Island, New Zealand Posted by Hello

Horse Race - Bavaria, Germany Posted by Hello

Valley - Somewhere in Germany, Austria, or Italy? Posted by Hello

Rural - the Challenge

Well a bit of motivation, I figured I would
enter the Photo Friday Challenge where they
post an "assignment" or theme each Friday.
the current theme is "rural". I will try
to enter each week. Most of the time, like
this week, I will use photo's I've already
taken. I had four photos I thought met the
current theme pretty well, but you are only
allowed one entry... I chose "Fields"

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Fisherman - Lake Atitlan Guatemala Posted by Hello

Buy a Colorful Face - Guatemala Western Highlands Posted by Hello

Colors for Sale - Guatemala Western Highlands Posted by Hello

Motivation... or lack thereof

The last few weekends I've lacked motivation
to do anything. I haven't shot but half a
roll of film. I need to get the checkbook
back on the computer and updated. But even
with gorgeous weather and some free time, I
end up doing not much of anything. Today,
got up at about 9 am, made some cookies we
needed for something, and fell back asleep
until 2 pm. The weather is beautiful, a nice
breeze, clear skies, upper 70's I'd guess.
There are heaps of photographic opportunities
in Guatemala, I mean with the colors and all
why am I not out there more often? Above is
a taste of what is availble for my camera.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Lightning over the Atlantic Posted by Hello

Looking Forward to Lightning has a great "picture of the week"

Check out the photo

It is a night shot of lightning over a city
in black and white. Sort of makes me look
forward to rainy season and another chance
to get good shots of lightning over Pacaya.
Above is one decent shot I have of lightning...

Monday, February 14, 2005

Rock - Outside of Coban Posted by Hello

Rapids below a waterfall outside of Coban Posted by Hello

Cemetery - El Carvario Church, Coban Posted by Hello

Back to the present...

I think I mentioned I shot about 30 rolls of film in
December and January. 20 Sensia 100 and 10 Reala if
anyone is interested. I'm sort of in conflict on the
Reala. It gives good greens, especially in overcast
or misty conditions, but with my scanner (Minolta
DiMage Scan Elite 5400), I find Reala more difficult
to scan than the Sensia. It is getting easier as I
get more practice, and it probably has better dynamic
range and more latitude than slide film. None the
less, my latest film order did not include Reala. I
stuck with the Sensia 100 and also decided to try
Provia 400 for those times when I feel the need for
speed... like chasing the elusive Quetzal.
* see 19 Jan entry, which was done is grey conditions
with Reala and a slow zoom. (70-300 4.0-5.6 Canon)
Above are a few more shots from the Coban area, all
shot with Reala, in the rain and with a tripod...

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Grindelwald Switzerland - As I remember it Posted by Hello

Grindelwald Switzerland mid 90'sThe original scan Posted by Hello

Photos in the mind's eye

Looking through some old slides and looking for some
good ones to scan got me a little nostalgic. The
nostalgia and the problems with color balancing
sort of came into play with one another. I scanned
a slide of a beautiful valley - Gindelwald Swizterland
It came out kind of green. So of course I have to
mess with "curves" and saturation etc. My goal is
to make the picture look I remember it.
Maybe the sky was not so blue....
Maybe the grass was not so green...
But this is how I'd like to remember it.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Washington Monument in Spring - from Constitution Gardens Posted by Hello

Washington Monument at sunset Posted by Hello

Hanauma Bay - Oahu Hawaii Posted by Hello

Nymphenburg Garden, Munich Germany Posted by Hello

Fuego Steams - Guatemala mid-Dec. 2004 Posted by Hello

Fuego Blows Steam and Ash - Guatemala Jan 2005 Posted by Hello

Devil's Marbles - Northern Territory Australia Posted by Hello

Defending Paradise - Darwin Australia Posted by Hello

Digital Photography

I've pretty much been scanning all day. Slides old
and new, many dated to the early 90's. You'll see
some results above. But in the meantime a little
mild rant about digital photography.

First, for many types of quality photography, once
you get beyond simple snapshots, digital photography
is far too expensive.

My EOS-3 costs about $850 new, a full frame (for
wide angle, landscape etc) DSLR with similar
capabilities such as the EOS-1Ds goes for about
$5000 on cheatbay. Add computer power, digital
storage to include both cards for the camera and
harddrive space for the computer, add a DVD-writer
and you're quickly approaching $6000. If I (a
film shooter) want to scan my slides or negatives,
to be fair, add the cost of a good film scanner
to the film side of the equation, such as a Minolta
DiMage 5400, about $650. Using film I don't have
the same backup requirements...I have the actual
negative or slide. The $4500 difference will buy
a lot of film and processing.

Second problem is the file manipulation and
arrival to a final "product."

It's time-consuming in a big way. If you want to
get beyond mere snapshots, you need to learn and
then use a photo editing package. If you want to
make decent prints, you need a printer (actually
I think the ink is more expensive), photo paper,
and most of all, you need to understand color
management and profiling....unless of course you
send photos out to be printed. The only way any
of the printing process for digital is cheaper than
film, is if you are a lousy photographer and most
of your shots aren't worth printing, or a lazy
photographer and you never get around to printing
your photos.

All that said, I suspect that in a few years when
the price of a full frame DSLR such as the Canon
1Ds Mark II falls from the current price of about
$8000 to something in the neighborhood of $1500,
I may bite the bullet and make the switch, or do
both, picking what is best for the job at hand.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Sunset and Moonrise - Monterrico Guatemala January 2005 Posted by Hello

More parenting...

My sister-in-law visited us for a couple weeks last month.
She's just getting into photography, so she was a little
enthusiastic with the colors here, the different scenery
and sites. Enthusiastic to the tune of shooting more than
30 rolls of film...

I've also been more active in the photo arena since we've
moved here. I guess our enthusiasism was contagious, because
Shelby and Carl decided to SHARE a new 35 mm camera. I
ordered if for them and it should arrive early next week.
I've been thinking about how to teach them. They say, and
I'd like, that they learn and understand photography as
opposed to just snapshot-ing. I'm hoping to teach them
about depth-of-field, shutter speed, film speed and a little
about composition. Is a parent capable of doing something
like this without boring them to death? I hope so. Like
many good hobbies, photography is something that they can
take with them through a lifetime.

Anyway, above is a shot I took in Monterrico a couple weeks
ago in response to Carl asking:
"What is a double exposure?"