Saturday, December 8, 2012

My annual year end soapbox rant... and a photo mosaic

This is a little earlier than I usually do this, but seeing as we're leaving tomorrow morning for 'Nam, and not coming back till 2013, I guess this will be my final post for the year.

We're in the midst of a season of gluttony and overindulgent consumerism, and while we toss away unfathomable amounts of money on meaningless trinkets and junk, I'm hoping these few words can serve as a reminder that there are many struggling folks that could use a helping hand... whether that's a donation to a food bank or charity providing services for the needy, or volunteering to help out at whatever social agency you see fit, I'm hoping that we can all find the time to think of those beyond our immediate circles, and give back to society for all that it provides for us.

For my part, I chose to do something that has significant meaning on a personal level. A little context: this time of year always brings back emotional memories of my childhood - I LOVED this time of year, but for reasons entirely different than the average middle class child. We were poorer than poor (I remember living in a house that was so badly insulated, the front door would freeze shut from the inside, and we had to chip the ice off with a cleaver just to get out). So rather than gifts of toys and other fun things, we were told at a young age that we were too old for money wasters like that. They simply could not afford them, and rather than sugar coat the reality of our situation, they told us like it was. And so while we did not receive much in the way of fun and entertaining gifts, I still LOVED the fact that catalogs and flyers of all the latest cool toys and games would be printed and delivered with the papers. I remember staring at each and every page of these toys for weeks on end, imagining how much fun they'd be to play with. And as sad as that sounds, that truly was satisfying, because that was the best we could make of the cards we'd been dealt. So this year, we decided to buy up a bunch of toys to donate, hoping that some children in similar circumstances to that of my youth won't have to spend weeks looking at toy catalogs, dreaming of what it'd be like to have something for himself.

If you've read this far, I plead with you to take a few minutes and do something that has meaning to you for those in need. That would be better than any 'trinket' or 'gift' you could get me.

With that, I want to leave you with two things: 1) a mosaic of my year in photography, and 2) wishes for a wonderful holiday season filled with the love of friends and family, good food, and as much drink as you can handle without regretting it the next morning. Cheers!


The Year in Photos

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Confessions of a Cameraholic - pt. 2

I ran a test roll of Ilford XP2 Super 400 through the Pentax 6x7 last weekend. I'm quite pleased with the results - the 105mm f/2.4 lens is killer. Not quite sold on the 165mm yet, but I did only shoot a couple things indoors with it. Can't wait to try this lens outdoors for some portraits. Who wants to come for a portrait session? Promise I'll do my best to not make you look fat.

We leave for Vietnam in just over 72 hours. Shiat, I have a lot of stuff left to do before then. Someone please find me that time stopping sub-weapon from Castlevania.

More Camera Porn

120 Camera Porn

Asahi Pentax 6x7 Test Shots-2

Asahi Pentax 6x7 Test Shots

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Confessions of a Camera-holic

I've officially lost my mind. I bought my 30th camera this week (25th film one at that). This is my new (to me) Asahi Pentax 6x7 medium format SLR, with 105mm f/2.4 and 165mm f/2.8 lenses). It's a beauty - I'm going to borrow a description from that Chinese newspaper/ The Onion's declaration of Kim Jong Un as Sexiest Man Alive - and say that this beast is 'Devastatingly Handsome.' You don't get a true sense of scale from looking at these photos but it's a tank, weighing in at over 5.5lbs (and a bit heavier when mounted with the 165mm f/2.8 lens). When the shutter is fired, the mirror slap sound is like cocking a shotgun on steroids. Oh the glorious photo adventures we will go on.

Asahi Pentax 6x7-4

Asahi Pentax 6x7

Asahi Pentax 6x7-2

Asahi Pentax 6x7-3