Seeing Things, Saying Things

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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Storm Light

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Photographs featuring storm light can be planned, but often they occur by happenstance. You’re in the middle of a storm, but it passes through and the sun comes out behind it. Such was the case when Mary Ann Whitley was taking a break at work following a storm and captured this image of the gold budding trees against the back of the storm.


Written by csanders429

June 16, 2017 at 6:40 am

At the End of My Rainbow

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Another storm has passed through Cleveland. Another wave of thunderstorms is coming, but for now there is a break in the clouds. It is still raining to the east, but the sunlight is creating a double rainbow.  Time to get out the smart phone and snap a couple images before it fades away.

Written by csanders429

May 31, 2017 at 6:35 am

Feeling Good About the Return of Kodak Slide Film if Only for a Few Fleeting Moments

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It almost sounds too good to be true, but there is hope that Kodak Alaris might bring back Kodachrome slide film.

kodachromeReports have surfaced on photography websites that Kodak is considering resurrecting what is, arguably, one of its most famous products.

In the wake of an announcement made earlier this month that Ektachrome would return to the market later this year, Kodak Chief Marketing Officer Steve Overman responded to questions about whether Kodachrome might be  next.

“We get asked all the time by filmmakers and photographers alike, ‘are you gonna bring back some of these iconic film stocks like Kodachrome . . . , ” Overman said earlier this month during CES, a global consumer electronics and technology show. “I will say, we are investigating Kodachrome, looking at what it would take to bring that back . . . Ektachrome is a lot easier and faster to bring back to market . . . but people love Kodak’s heritage products and I feel, personally, that we have a responsibility to deliver on that love.”

Aside from Ektachrome, Kodak is also bringing back the Super 8 camera.

Some would argue quite strenuously that its rich colors made Kodachrome the best color film. Period.

But it was also a complex film to process and the cost of doing that was a major contributor to the film’s demise in 2011 when the last lab in the country to process Kodachrome processed its last roll. Kodak had ceased manufacturing Kodachrome in 2009.

There was a time when Kodachrome and Ektachrome were a major part of my photography life. I was particularly fond of Kodachrome 200 because I had a slow lens on my Canon Rebel G film camera. After it went away, I began shooting a lot of Ektachrome 200 although I also frequently bought Fuji slide film, most notably Velvia and Provia.

Sometimes the film I bought depended on what the camera store that I patronized had in stock when I came in to buy film.

Film has its advantages, but cost is not one of them. Many who have posted on photography sites about the return of Ektachrome spoke about the high cost of buying and processing film, which can average around a dollar a slide.

If you want to show your slides to the world, you just about have to digitize them because there are few opportunities to see slides projected on a screen or wall. Social media is a digital world.

Aside from the fond memories of thousands — and maybe millions — of photographers who used Kodachrome, there are some who still have rolls of Kodachrome film, some of it exposed but never processed, stashed away on shelves or in freezers.

If Kodachrome does make a comeback, look for a lot of film cameras to come out of the closet as the novelty factor kicks in.

Kodak said there has been increasing interest in analog photography and sales of film products are on the rise. I get the impression, though, that film remains a niche market heavily populated by professionals and serious amateurs who are invested in digital and film alike.

Although I grew up in a film world and most of my photography career has been in film, I sold my Rebel G a year after going digital in July 2011 and there is a zero chance that I’ll go back to film. The advantages of digital photography are just too many.

Emotional attachment and reaction is at the heart of photography. The return of Ektachrome and the potential return of Kodachrome is like hearing from a friend you haven’t been in touch with for several years who was once a big part of your life.

Even if the renewal of the friendship is fleeting, it feels good to know that he is alive and well even if living a diminished life.

Old Man River Doesn’t Give Up Fog Easily

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Fog hung over the French Quarter of New Orleans on the morning of March 15, 2012, as my wife, Mary Ann, and I made our way to Café du Monde to get some beignets on our final day in the Crescent City. Our spring break vacation was coming to an end.

The closer we got to the Mississippi River the heavier the fog seemed to be. I was delighted of course. Fog photos!

My idea was to capture some boats on the river navigating through the fog.

But as we stood at the river’s edge, I couldn’t even see the river.

The top photo in this three-photo sequence shows what we initially saw.

Mary Ann suggested going to breakfast and checking out the fog later. I sure hoped that it wouldn’t have lifted by then.

About a half-hour or so later, we had finished eating and set out for the river walk.

The fog was still quite thick, but beginning to break up a bit, as seen in the second photo.

I killed some time photographing a freight train and the street cars on the nearby rail lines.

The fog was lifting, but in a strange way.

As the third photo shows, the fog stubbornly clung to the water’s surface even as bits of blue sky poked through the clouds. It made for some dramatic photographs.

Although you can’t see it here, the French Quarter behind me was sunny with blue skies overhead.

Old Man River put on quite a show on this morning. He doesn’t give up fog easily.

Written by csanders429

May 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I Didn’t Let it Get Away This Time

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Many of our life rhythms revolve around routines necessitated by our work schedules. During the spring semester of 2012, I taught four classes, all of which met in the morning. My routine seldom varied. I’d get up, do some work, shower, get dressed and go downstairs to eat breakfast.

Before doing the latter, I’d go out to the front lawn to retrieve the newspaper.

For much of the semester, it was dark when I went out. But as spring arrived the sun kept coming up slightly earlier day by day.

On some of those mornings, the first rays of light greeted me as I went out and I’d think how “this would make a nice photograph.”
But I never did anything more than admire the view and pause for a few seconds.

On April 4, though, I did more than think about it. The beauty of the sunlight reflecting off a bank of clouds was just too much to pass up.

I raced upstairs, got my camera out of the bag and snapped away.

I had to work fast because the color was disappearing rapidly.

The results were more than satisfying. At last I had done more than just admire a sunrise before resuming my morning routine.

Written by csanders429

May 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Posted in Photography

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Dividing Line

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It’s late on a Sunday morning in Chicago. March 11, 2012. We had disembarked from an Amtrak train, stowed our luggage and headed out for Millennium Park where my mission was to photograph the Cloudgate sculpture. A detour on Adams Street due to construction that had closed the sidewalk and street forced us south to Jackson Boulevard.

“That’s fine,” I thought.  I could grab a shot of Willis tower (nee Sears Tower). I paused, got my shot of Willis Tower at the corner of Jackson and Wacker Drive and begin to move on.

As I neared the entrance to the Willis Tower observation deck, I happened to look up again and saw a jet soaring high overhead. I looked again and saw the plane’s contrail making a neat dividing line between Willis Tower on the left and the 311 South Wacker Drive building on the right.

At the time, I didn’t know the name of the other building. I had no doubt seen it on previous trips, but paid little heed to it.  There are so many tall buildings in Chicago.

I later learned that 311 South Wacker Drive is the seventh tallest building in Chicago, the 16th tallest in the United States. But it stands in the shadow of the largest building on both counts.

I had to act fast to capture the image. Within seconds the high winds aloft began to distort the contrail and, indeed, my subsequent shots showed the “line” to be fuzzy already.

During our trip to New Orleans and back, with two long layovers in Chicago, I would fill four memory cards. I recorded many good images, but this may be my favorite due to its fleeting nature and unexpected occurence. So many images in life are like that.


Written by csanders429

March 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm