A Walk through San Francisco’s Chinatown – Elder Brother

Nikon Df + 50/1.8.  RAW conversion in Capture NX2, final tweaks in Photoshop CS6.

A Walk through San Francisco’s Chinatown – Part 2

Yesterday I wrote that to me street photography is a state of mind that allows one to blend into the street and boldly shoot.  I also said that the camera hardly matters as long as it is an instrument that inspires you to shoot.

When I created this image,  I had managed to blend into the street – I was shooting with the camera to my eye and at close range, without people reacting.  :)

Nikon Df + 50/1.8.

Chinatown - 2


A Thing of Beauty!

Recently I had an opportunity to acquire a Minolta Autocord Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) camera.  I was fortunate to find a single-owner, gently used one, in the original box, with many of the filters and accessories.


These lovely cameras were made between 1955 and 1966 and expose 120 film, giving a 6×6 negative.  Minolta made 24 different models of 6X6 TLRs, though all use 120 or 220 film and all have 75mm f/3.5 “taking” lenses – the “viewing” lens is a 75mm f/3.2 lens, for a slightly brighter image on the ground glass screen.  Some of the lenses were marked “Chiyoko Rokkor” and some “Minolta Rokkor”, though it is believed that they are the same lens.  This lens was legendary for it’s image quality.  The focusing lever, coupled to a focusing helicoid, is at the very bottom front of the camera.  It is so smooth, it’s a joy to use.  This version of the camera has focus markings to compensate for focus-shift while shooting infra-red film.

Minolta Autocord-2

This one is serial number 42xxxx, circa 1965, and is the Autocord Model I with a Citizen MVL shutter that does 1/500th of a sec.  Another interesting fact about this camera is that both the shutter speed and aperture settings are smoothly variable – you don’t have to go in discrete steps, allowing you to slightly tweak exposure between “hard” f-stops.  Mine just came back from a CLT (clean, lubricate, tune up) by a gent that is an expert on these cameras and is ready to go!  I’m planning to shoot both B&W and Color film through this beauty.

BTW, the images of this beauty above were shot with the Sigma DP3 Merrill, a Foveon sensor based camera that is astonishing me with the quality of monochrome images it generates.  I hope to write more about the Sigma soon.

Back after a long hiatus…

Life tends to get busy and things fall by the wayside.  Such is the nature of life…

For me, it has been a long break from posting here.  I was traveling a lot for work and then I made a change in my life – I resigned from a great job and jumped into a startup that a friend and I decide to create last April.  Things have been very busy, with little time for photography and none for devoting any attention to this blog.  I used to hang out at the Leica Forum at DPreview with what little time I had, as I had many friends there, and have found the forum to be a great community over the past many years.  Recently, I’ve observed the forum to have devolved into cliques, mindless praise of iffy images (something that I must admit to certainly being guilty of – both posting and commenting) and a tendency on the part of some people to engage in a cult of personality fueled by ego.  I decided then that life was too short to hang out in such a community.  What little time I can reclaim, having made that decision, I plan to spend posting here.

A very Happy New Year, filled with much love, laughter, prosperity and joy to you all in 2014.  And above all else, a year filled with great light!



Haiku in Two

Haiku in Two

Great Wall – 1

One of the more mind-blowing structures on the planet – the Great Wall of China.  This one was shot near Beijing.  I don’t normally shoot in square format, so this was a departure for me.  Compositionally, when one gets used to shooting to fit a rectangular frame, it can be  difficult to transition to square format.  This one seems to have worked out.

Nikon D3 + Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5.  Raw conversion in Aperture.

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The Joy of Water

Not much more needs to be said… :)

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