Saturday, April 26, 2014

Tweet from John Paul Caponigro (@jpcaponigro)

John Paul Caponigro (@jpcaponigro)
New post: Bill Brandt – Masters Of Photography BBC 1983 - Documentary

Download the official Twitter app here

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

@Slate, 8/27/12 8:56 PM

Slate (@Slate)
8/27/12 8:56 PM
Why would anyone ever go to Burning Man?

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Beginning

In the past I have posted my photos on several sites for varied topics. I believe it is time for me to consolidate my efforts into one, all-encompassing blog. A relatively new service, Tumblr, offers many options I am excited to use. My new blog is here

I will await your comments and opinions. Please keep in mind I am always looking for interesting photography projects.

Friday, October 14, 2011

David duChemin

You could find a worse way to spend an hour. Check this out.

Stockholm & Alma, Wisconsin

Yesterday I made a short trip along the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi looking for fall color. Many of the leaves had already fallen, the leftovers were not that bright. And, the clouds did not part until late afternoon. However, these two towns are always fun.



Does it matter which way they cross in front of you?
(Not that I'm superstitious!)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Springbrook Nature Center, Fridley, MN

These shots are for those of you who think I've given up on bird and nature photography. Not so! I will always enjoy it. Although I have gotten rid of much of my Canon gear, I have kept two bodies and a few of my favorite lenses. The following photos were taken this summer at Springbrook. I will continue to post irregularly while I pursue other venues for publication and other areas of interest. Thank you for following my efforts. I will keep you posted of developments.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Why Leica? My answer below

Sr. Delores Dufner OSB at the chapel organ of St. Benedict's Monastery, St. Joseph, MN


‎Leica could be like a big passionate kiss, or then again like a shot from a gun, or the couch of a pschoanalyst. You can do anything with a Leica.
~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Sometimes it is good to review the basics. What are JPEGs? Good analysis here.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Steve Jobs

The resignation of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple has drawn a lot of publicity. Some of his quotes are very relevant to those of us interested in photography and spirituality. Below are some of my favorites.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.
“Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have. [Wired, February 1996]"
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

photo technique

All the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for the inability to notice. 
~ Elliott Erwitt

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

3 reasons why our photography doesn't improve

1.  We don't take our camera with us.
2.  We're going too fast.
3.  We're worried what others will think.
For a discussion of these reasons, click to dPS

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Leica Lists"

If you are interested in Leicas, you want to download the free PDF file, "Leica Lists".

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

nature photography with a 50+ yr. old lens on a Leica M9

Recently a friend loaned me a couple of Leica lenses more than 50 yrs. old. Of course I had to try them out. After using them in bad indoor light with pretty good results, I decided to take one of them (135mm Hektor f/4.5) outdoors. Today we finally got a warmish, sunny day and I went to Springbrook Nature Center, in Fridley, where I've taken many bird photos with my Canon bodies & lenses. How would a 50+ year uncoated and slow 135mm lens compare to current 400mm telephotos? All of the photos were shot wide open at f/4.5 with the ISO at 200 and shutter speeds from 1/750 to 1/2000. The camera body was a Leica M9.
Click on any photo to enlarge.
First, the bad news.
This is a crop of less than 8% of full frame. Yes, it's a warbler -- but that's about all you can say for it. By the way, it is incredibly difficult to shoot fast-moving, restless warblers with a rangefinder, manual focusing camera. The old Hektor also has an extremely long focus travel, which does not help.

More bad news.
This is about a 5% crop of the full frame. The teal-colored branches are interesting and caused by severe chromatic aberration when shooting into a light source, such as the sky here. These old lenses were not coated. Not too many people worried about color fringing in 1950 -- most photos were black & white. What could I do with this severe crop and false color? I increased the saturation to the max hoping to get some kind of psychedelic effect. I think I failed.

Better news.
This, in my opinion, is passable. About 1/8 of full frame. Considering all factors, I am impressed by the sharpness and color of an uncoated Leitz lens after 50+ years.

Good news.

Now we are getting into pretty good territory. This is about 1/6 of full frame and very good, in my opinion. 

As we approach 1/2 frame or lesser crops, the old Hektor hitting Leica's full frame sensor shines.

Isn't it amazing what sharpness & color one can get out of a 50-year old lens? The trick is to get close enough to your subject so that you can utilize 1/2 of more of full frame. That's fine for ducks & geese, but for warblers and shy birds I'll have to hang on to my Canon gear.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vivian Maier

If you are not already familiar with Vivian Maier, you should be. She produced thousands of fascinating photographs of every-day life over a period of 50 years. The recently discovered photos are being catalogued and made available for viewing.  If you are familiar with Maier, you will want to check out the recent web site documenting her work at:   To learn about Vivian, start with the "About" tab before exploring the rest of site. What surprised me was the quality of her work in color.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Christ is risen!

sunrise at Blue Cloud Abbey

This concludes our photo presentation of my recent trip to the Black Hills and the Badlands.
My wish for you is a Blessed and Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cottonwood, SD

It was late afternoon -- 6 hours to get back to Blue Cloud Abbey -- but after passing Cottonwood, I had to turn around and take a look at this town that looked abandoned. A later web search showed a population of 6 during the 2000 census. I didn't have a chance to talk to any locals, but there must be some interesting stories in Cottonwood.
click on photos for a larger image

the last sunset of my trip -- from my room at Blue Cloud Abbey, Marvin, SD
(more to follow)

big Buffalo

click on photo for larger image
as I was leaving the Badlands, I came upon another herd of Buffalo

these seemed to be quite a bit larger than ones I had seen earlier

I don't think this one liked me

they can move very fast when they want to

I decided to move on;  he was twice as big as my Honda
(more to follow)

Prairie Dogs and Meadowlarks

Click on photos for a larger image

I thought I had seen a lot of Prairie Dogs on my trips to Nebraska to view cranes. That was nothing compared to the numbers in the northwest corner of the Badlands along Sage Creek Rim Road.

I'm wondering if the black spots were just the ever-present wind parting the fur

this couple was my favorite

I was surprised by the number of Meadowlarks. They were everywhere. You could hear them singing even with the car windows closed. But they were not always easy to spot ...

... until they turned to face you.
(more to follow)

Friday, April 22, 2011

memory cards

Excellent advice on memory cards from Scott Bourne.

more Bighorn Sheep

click on photo for a larger image

(more to follow)