New stuff for Diana

Well, the 2X teleconverter arrived today, dusty but in otherwise new condition. Nothing my little lens brush with the air-puff thingy on it couldn’t handle. Wanted to go try out my new lens combo, but it was already getting toward evening when I got around to it, and there wasn’t enough light left outside. Damn that camera physics, anyway. There’s nothing to really photograph in my immediate neighborhood that would benefit from the use of a teleconverter, anyhow—I just wanted to test it out. Ah, well. Maybe some other time.

Thanks to Meijer Non-Drowsy Severe Cold medication, my severe cold is getting a little less so. I no longer have that hacking, phlegmy cough, but my nose still drips like a broken faucet. Sort of. I slept for freakin’ 10 or 11 hours last night, so that helped a little, then I got the cold medicine over my lunch break today, which has helped a lot. Hopefully I’ll be better by Saturday’s class reunion.

Now, about my new job…
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(bad) photo of yours truly

Check out this horribly underexposed digital pic of me in my oversized XXL Bluecoats T-shirt (purchased Saturday night) and my favorite shorts (which are now two sizes too big). The original point of this pic was to show how stupidly big my clothes are on me; hence, the goofy “WTF” shrugging gesture.

Also: just went to shut the front door, and caught a glimpse of a pretty cool sunset. Even though our front yard / street isn’t much for a photogenic sunset view, I ran downstairs, slapped on the new wide-angle lens, screwed on the tripod mount, ran upstairs with camera and tripod, loaded up film from the fridge, and was outside shooting sunset photos in about three minutes flat. Used about 14 exposures of a 24-roll in not even ten minutes.

This is the trying tug-of-war between film and digital. The badly backlit photo of me might have been more easily salvaged if I had actual film to scan and work with; the sunset photos I just took might all suck, and I should have changed one little thing to make them rock, and I won’t know it until I get the prints back.

I Need More Toys…

So, after making pretty much an impulse buy on eBay (I didn’t mull it over for two days before bidding, which makes it an impulse buy for me), I’m contemplating buying myself a bigger, more premeditated camera toy: a new case. My current case just doesn’t have enough room for…

+ Minolta X370s (manual focus)
+ 28mm wide angle lens
+ 50mm lens
+ 80-200mm zoom lens
+ 2x teleconverter just purchased on eBay
+ macro filters (lets me get in reeeeal close)
+ polarizer (makes the sky bluer and water less reflective)
+ hotshoe flash
+ fresh and used film
+ various manuals, lens and body caps, notepads, and other accessories

The dilemma has been whether to just keep my current camera bag and pick and choose what I bring on any given shoot (a “shoot” for me being a trip to the Ren Fest, Fort Meigs, the zoo, the Apple Butter Festival, a drumcorps show, or other interesting local flavor) or get a new bag that can hold all my gear but that has the potential to be a touch cumbersome. The jury’s still out for me, I think.

Beth, Erk, other photo-types—any help?

Genealogy

So, I was just burning a CD of genealogy info from my Mac to use on my PC, and opened some genealogy photos to test the burn. In the midst of my browsing and testing, I came across this image of my great-great-grandmother—my maternal grandfather’s maternal grandmother. (Did that make sense to you?)

Nora Marie Lemons, circa 1908OMG. Does anyone else think that, given a circa 1908 Katherine Janeway-style hairdo, I look like her? Can you see the resemblance? I can. It’s kind of weird. I looked at the whole picture, with her husband Harvey and child Lucille, and thought that Harvey looks a little like Grandpa Cook (or the other way around). Then it occured to me that Nora looks like Mom… and me! I mean, I know we’re related and all… duh… but it’s still kind of strange to look like someone who died almost a lifetime before I was born.

Beth, your family’s into genealogy—any input on genealogical photographic weirdness?

Mission Accomplished

Last night I finished matting and framing my photos for the fair, at the expense of one fingernail. See, I was trying to affix the sawtooth picture hangers to the back of my cheap-ass Ben Franklin photo frames, and first Kris and then Aaron jumped in to help. Aaron asked me to take out the photo and glass that I had so painstakingly managed to fit into the cheap-ass frame, so he wouldn’t accidentally break something. I was kind of annoyed at having them horn in on my little project, so I was a little too rough with trying to remove the glass… and bent my left middle fingernail all the way back. Waaay back, and down in the cuticle, too. It bled. Quite a bit. Aaron felt kind of bad. It’s still sore.

After that, we went to eat at Junction (on the patio!) and then to the Cla-zel to watch 28 Days Later. It’s a new take on the zombie flick, and the print at the Cla-zel has the alternate ending after the credits. I personally wouldn’t go to see a second showing, but I’m glad I saw the movie, and I would suggest you see it wherever you can. Very thought-provoking twist on the genre. I might write a review later… though I have a tendency to think about writing reviews, and never quite get around to it. 🙂

After we got back home (narrowly avoiding the Rocky Horror crowd… yeesh), Kris and Mark left, and Aaron and I decided that trying to pound nails into the frames (esp. at midnight) wasn’t going to work. So, Aaron busted out the Super Glue and I glued the remaining hangers onto their respective frames.

In case you were interested, the flower picture (technically, the Rose of Sharon) is an 8×10 in a 11×14 matte and wooden frame. The other three are 4×6 photos matted in 8×10 mattes with black frames. The mattes are actually the colors shown below, in my last entry. (Ain’t I smart? *chanting* I am so smart… I am so smart… S-M-R-T… er, S-M-A-R-T…)

So, yeah. I was a little concerned about the verbage in the rules for whether or not I was supposed to have my stuff framed. See, the rules state: No Frames except for Division A (that’s me). Then, in the Division A rules, it says: Standard size photos up to 16×20 matted on double-thick matte board. Photos larger than 16×20 must be framed, wired, and ready to hang. So, I was a little confused as to whether sizes smaller than 16×20 were allowed to be framed, or if it was optional, or what. I ended up framing them and bringing my photo sticky squares with me today when I submitted my photos, just in case they became photo nazis and made me remove my frames.

But my fears were unfounded. They were very nice and polite and moved me right along, giving me my claim tickets and making sure to tell me that I’d need them later to pick up my projects. The only snag in today’s Fair trip was having to park across the street in the so-far-empty fair lot. There was nowhere to park on the Grounds. Holy crap.

I still don’t have very much confidence in my ability to actually win anything, but I think I may just be trying not to psych myself up too much, in fear of a letdown when I go to see what I won (or didn’t win). We’ll see how this goes — judging is tomorrow, and the fair officially opens on Tuesday, I think. If it goes well, I may try my hand at the TFOP show that Eric told me about. I think some publicity, seeing my art displayed alongside other works of art, might bolster my confidence a little. I might start considering myself an amateur photographer finally, instead of just a hobbyist.

Wish me luck…

The Fair and Stuff

Well, I’ve decided for sure that I’m not going to the Bluecoats show on Sunday. I’m just too damn broke, and I’ve spent too many weekends in a row away from home. I’ve already seen my boys (and girls) once this season, and I can’t really complain about having no money when I spent it myself on a new brain for my computer.

I’m working 10am to 2pm on Sunday, after which I’m taking my four photography entries to the County Fair. I’ve got two of them already scanned to show you… hang on, and I’ll boot up Aaron’s computer and scan the other two.

[brief pause]

OK, here they are, in no particular order:

manual - black swamp arts festival, fall 2000 rose of sharon, spring 2002 cowtown, fort worth tx, summer 2003 wood county fair, summer 2002

Due to the fact that the fair’s categories are stoopid, I ended up entering in the Professional Division. I don’t think I’m going to win anything, and the best I could really do as far as prize money goes is break even on my entry fees, but I figured what the hell. The bike photo and the fair photo are classified as "photo journalism," while the flower and the building/skyscape are in the "landscape" category. Creative categorizing, I know… but I’d already decided which ones I wanted to enter before I knew what category options were open to me. Silly me assumed that it would be like any magazine photo contest, with a Portrait-Landscape-Humor-Digital-Blah-Blah-Blah entry system. But no. In the Professional Division, here are my choices:

  • Landscape
  • Children Portrait
  • Photo Journalism (colored)
  • "Ohio Pride" – Structures
  • Family Portrait
  • I chose the Pro Division because the Non-Pro Division had such categories as B/W Architecture, Digital Imaging – People, "Ohio Pride" – People, Digital Imaging – Nature, Panoramic, Children – Holiday, and Child – Special Event. So, yeah. They’ve got a pretty selective idea of what kinds of pictures they want displayed at Ye Olde County Faire. Maybe they try to mix it up each year so people will take pictures of different things during the year or something. Which would only make sense if you knew the categories a little more than one month beforehand, IMO.

    On a different topic, I’m really looking forward to spending some quality time with Aaron this weekend. Many recent breakups (and almost-divorces) amongst my friends and acquaintances have really made me appreciate the friend and partner I have in Aaron. We’ve been together for over seven years, and I still haven’t tired of him. I’m still excited to come home early and see him before he goes off to work. Thinking of him still makes me smile. Sure, I miss the early days of giddy butterflies and shaky caresses… but I love even more the sure, steady support and comfortable intimacy we share now.

    I had no idea in my angst-filled youth that there was something like this awaiting me…