12 Rolls, an additional Photo Project.

March 01, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Hey ya'll! Hope you're having a great week! Me doing great. This week I wanted to talk about an additional photo project I'm starting on top of the one I'm already doing on small towns in eastern NC. I'm an older guy who started my photography journey in the film days in the era of manual only! I have been watching a lot of Youtube videos on film photography. I pulled out some of my old cameras and started checking the meters on the ones that have meters to make sure they still read correctly. And they did. I had at least 3 cameras that still had film in them. Now I used to develop my own film and even printed way back in the day in a make shift darkroom that I converted my bathroom into. But the problem with doing that is that you have to do a lot of film stuff to make the developing part really worth it because if you don't you'll do a couple of rolls and then you won't touch for years and your chemicals just go bad. I just got rid of some chemicals that were dated 2018! LOL  Back then I was shooting more film and having fun. I could actually get film fairly cheaply. But when COVID hit and the lock down a lot of younger photographers got interested in film and shooting film became cool. So film stock , cameras and everything associated with shooting film Guitar CrosswalkGuitar Crosswalk got expensive and harder to find. So while rummaging through my stuff I found 12 rolls of film that I had bought rather cheaply a few years ago. So I got to thinking . Maybe I should do a film project and name it 12 rolls.  Shoot the 12 rolls and make a book out of the good photo's I get.  Not to become a full time film shooter but maybe take the camera with me when I go on a workshop or an outing and take a few shots with film until the 12 rolls are exposed . So which camera to use? I have a couple that I would be comfortable with using for the project. A 1961 Canon Canonet rangefinder and a 1982 Pentax MX SLR. I also have an Olympus Point and shoot just one step up from a disposable camera that my mother had. I decided on the Pentax because it has a meter built in (which I just checked to be accurate) . And I also have multiple lenses that I can use with it as the Canon has a 45mm fixed lens. As the title indicates I have 12 rolls of fujifilm color 200 35mm film. I do not plan to develop these rolls myself. I still have to research but I want a company that will develop my film and send me the negatives and downloadable scans would be fine. But I plan on using my camera to scan these negatives and processing them in Photoshop to get what I want out of them. I have done just a little research and most of the companies don't send back your Pentax MXPentax MXPentax MX, My Pentax MX from 1982 Super camera works great! negatives and this is a must for me or I will just do them myself.

So what will I take photo's of ?  My photography life. If I go out to shoot wildlife with a friend maybe a shot of my friend with his camera setup with a in the wild background. If I'm shooting travel like our camera clubs spring trip to Savannah and the low country. I'll shoot iconic scenes and maybe shot of my friends. So it will tag along with me on all of my shoots. The only downside? I'll be lugging around extra gear. LOL I'm very excited to start this project. Film just has a look to it . It's hard to explain but it has a look. Can't wait to see the end Bell and Howell Canon Canonet 19Bell and Howell Canon Canonet 19Bell and Howell Canon Canonet 19,1961 Range finder Camera Fun to shoot! project and it will be good to use an old friend my film camera that I haven't used too much since digital came around. So now I have two photography projects going on at the same time should be an exciting year!

Until next week pick a photography project and get shooting!

PS. I have been checking photo labs and the prices are through the roof to get a roll of film processed at an average of 15 dollars a roll. I can get the chemicals to do 20 rolls of film for under 30 dollars. So I'll be developing mine again. Hopefully I don't mess them up too much. Other blogs will cover the process of processing the film and scanning the film. Cheers!

Migrating to new Mac Mini M2.

February 23, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Hey Everyone! Hope ya'll are doing great. As a spoiler alert I will be talking about computers on this blog. Computers are a big part of photography and I think that going over my transition from a 2015 iMac to a Mac Mini M2 computer and all the trials and tribulations that this process brought to me. First let me tell you that it was a great success and I'm using my new computer and it works great. I am very pleased. I was nervous prior to transferring everything over. I have used my old iMac for almost 8 years and came very fond of it. Most of my best photo's were edited on it and this blog began on it. First I had to prepare for the migration. The migration is transferring all of the data and settings from your old computer to the new computer so its set up and has all the files that your old computer had.

Preparing . I first wanted to clean up my old computer. I have a 1TB drive on my old iMac and only a 512gb on the new Mac Mini. So I went in and deleted old Lightroom backups they take up a lot of space and I deleted everything except for the last month. I had a lot of files in my Documents folder so I copied all of  those files to an external hard drive. I had lots of video clips and movies that I had made I either removed them completely or put on an external drive. I wanted my old iMac to be as lean and mean as it could before the migration. I wanted the migration to be as smooth as possible. I knew that the migration would take some time and I wanted it to go as quickly as possible. I had to also make sure that I had an extra keyboard and mouse to run the old computer because the new computer I was going to use the one I have on the iMac. I had to scramble a little because I just got rid of a whole lot older computer equipment to include keyboards. I did find a portable blue tooth one that I had when I was using my iPad Mini for my main travel computer. Whew! Before the migration I disconnected all of the external hard drives I had attached to the iMac. Now I was ready for the new computer.

The Mac Mini didn't show up until 4:30 in the afternoon on the day that our camera club had a meeting so I had to wait until the next morning before I could start. It was worse than Christmas for a little kid wanting to open presents. LOL. The next morning I hooked up my new computer to the new monitor. You can transfer the info during migration 3 ways by WiFi, ethernet or thunderbolt.  I chose Ethernet because it was faster than wifi and I didn't have thunderbolt on the old iMac. Yes it's that old. So I broke out a ethernet switch and hooked a cable from the switch to each computer. I went online with my iPad and found the apple video on the procedures . I turned on my iMac and went to the Migration wizard . I turned on the the new computer got my old keyboard and mouse connected and started the start up process then it got to the migration part. I followed the instructions on the iPad and then it got to the part where all the info is transferred over .  It took about 45min to an hour for it to be complete. Now for the obstacles .

All of the obstacles were software related. First you have to sign into iCloud so you need to know your password. You also need to know a lot of passwords to different programs you have. I hooked up on of my external drives and nothing. This was the drive that has all of my photo's on it. Most external drives are windows based and you need a program to let your Mac talk to the drive. After I downloaded a newer version of this program the drive showed up. I had to update a lot of my programs because my old computer had an intel chip in it and the new computer has Apple silicon. This took a while but worked . I like to use clean my Mac by Macpaw on my computer. It has anti virus stuff and cleans and runs scrips to keep your computer running fast and smooth. Then there was the reactivation of all my software like Topaz and On1. So after a day or so I got everything running smooth. I'm sure something will come up in the future but I've got it 99 % done. Being patient and following the directions will let you do this easily. So until Next week Keep Shooting and get outside! 

Upgrading my Main Computer

February 16, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Hey Everyone! How's your week been? Me? So So. I have been dreading upgrading my computer for a few years. This week I want to go through the process that is was to choose the correct one for me. Like many of you , You know our world is surrounded by computers. We all have phones that are mini computers we may have laptops or some sort of tablet and then there is our main computer. Some sort of desktop computer with a monitor and keyboard and mouse. This main computer is where I do the majority of my photo and video editing where I write my blogs that you're reading now. I know that big desktop computers are dwindling in popularity and the younger folks a laptop will do but for me I need the larger computer. I am a Mac user and have been rocking the iMac 27 inch since 2015. I did upgrade the hard drives and the ram to solid state drives and 32gb of ram. But it is long in the tooth as computers go and Apple does not support it anymore. I knew this day was coming but I was trying to put it off as long as I could. But the day came when Adobe Lightroom would not update because the operating system is too old. there are some workarounds to upgrade my operating system and I tried on an old laptop but it was too unreliable for my main computer.  So to upgrade is the only answer. The perfect answer was to get another iMac to replace this one. But they do not make the 27 inch any more only a 24 inch one and I don't think I could go back in size on the monitor. I did hear that they may come out with one in the future but it would be very expensive. And I need a computer now. All I knew is I wanted to stick with Mac because all the electronics I own are Apple and I have never had a problem with any of them in the past and the ecosystem that they live in is great. 

The system I chose to get was the Mac Mini .  This system has been out for years .  It is a small flat box that sits on your desk and takes up less room than a good sized book. Your keyboard and mouse hook up by blue tooth so no cords there. The only catch is you have to get a separate monitor to attach to it. There are many configurations of the Mac Mini. I've got the one that has the M2 chip in it. The older Macs were powered by Intel chips but Apple decided to make their own and this is the second generation of that processing chip. I'll be getting 512 gigabytes of storage and 16mb of ram on this machine. But the monitor is the big decision to make.  On my iMac the screen is a 5K an excellent monitor but it can't be used as a separate monitor with the Mac Mini. So I'll have to get a new monitor. 5k monitors are expensive and really hard to find. The easy choice would be to get one from Apple but the Studio Display that they sell is 1600 dollars. It would cost as much as the system I'm creating. So its not a choice for me. Don't get me wrong its a great monitor but not in my price range. Now there are  literally hundreds of different kinds of monitors to choose from. I wanted one that was as close to the monitor I had on the iMac as I could without breaking the bank. A 27inch one that is as close to the 5K monitor that I could get. I did a lot of research and without getting into the weeds of monitor specs I decided on a BenQ 27inch 4K Designer Monitor. This monitor is designed for creatives and the colors are fantastic. You still can spend a lot of money on monitors up to 1000 dollars is easy to do . This one is a mid priced one and I got it during black Friday sale to save some extra dollars. I had this monitor on a list of other monitors but what took me over the edge on this one was the sale and all the good reviews I have seen on youtube of this monitor.

Other accessories.  The keyboard is the same one that I used for the iMac and same with mouse and my external drives. I will have a 2 terabyte solid state drive that I will use for files and be the buffer of my main computer just like I do with a 250 gb SSD that I have on my iMac. I've got a docking station with extra ports and it will house the 2 TB SSD and will have a SD card reader in it also. I plan on taking the iMac since it's such a good screen and convert it to a monitor by gutting out all of the components and installing a special circuit board that will make this monitor a stand alone and it will be the second monitor of my system. But I'll do that in the future right now I have a small smart TV that I'm using as a second monitor really just to watch TV on while I sit at my desk.  I will put out another blog on how I've set everything up and the migration of my info on the old computer to the new one and the transfer of license of different programs that I use to include my cloud storage.  As of this writing which is a few months in the future of this blog being posted I've received my monitor but not the computer yet. It's the Sunday before Thanksgiving and I should get my computer from Apple in a week or so. I'm still using my iMac which I love until the new one gets all set up. 

So until next week. Get out and shoot! 

2024 Photo Project

February 09, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Roanoke River LighthouseRoanoke River Lighthouse Hey Everyone! Hope your week is going well! This week I want to talk about a photo project I have in mind for 2024. I think that photography projects are great! They tend to fill out the times when we are not traveling taking photos with our families or friends. But what to take photo's of ?  My answer is things that interest you. A few years ago I did a photo project on visiting all of the state parks in North Carolina. I printed a map with all of the parks on them and marked them off as I visited them. It was quite the challenge because it was the year Covid raised its ugly head and things were closed for quite a while but I did get them all in and made a cool book of all the state parks. This year I wanted a project that would take me on day trips that I could grab my wife and dog and take off for a nice trip. Or if my wife was busy I could just take off on a little exploration photography trip. But what to take photo's of? Living in eastern North Carolina I could have chosen a number of things to photograph. Tobacco Barns has always been interesting to me. They are a dying thing as they don't use the old tobacco barns and they are rotting and falling down. Or since I live in the Bible belt maybe Churches of eastern NC. There are some really old and historic ones that would make great photographs. Maybe light houses but there is only 7 here in NC so a yearly project might not be the way to go but a cool project none the less.  So there are many choices to choose from. I'm sure you can think of lots of them yourself. Maybe the fall of the small family farm and the rise of solar panel farms popping up everywhere.  But that would be more of a journalistic Photography and you would really have to be ingrained in the farm community like the son or daughter of a farmer.  I think that a good project is one that you are familiar with. Like the State parks I had visited almost all of them before but not in one year.

I have lived in eastern North Carolina all my life except for my time in the military. I went to high school in a small eastern town and have traveled all over eastern NC.  So my project for 2024 is to visit and photograph the small towns in eastern NC. Now there are lots of towns but I grew up only a block away from the Albemarle sound. So small towns with water connected to them in some sort or way. But I didn't want it to become a beach project full of touristy shots of sandy beaches and piers so ocean beach towns are out. I want small towns that maybe are on a lake or a river or sound that in the early days of the towns existence these waterways was the only mode of transportation or commerce. There are quite a few of these and my family tree ,which winds through the beginning of our country here in eastern NC. So I may explore that more also. My family  came into the states in the late 1600's so right at the beginning of the colonization of the states from England. So I am very interested in the history of these small towns and the region .  When I think of the project I think of the book that I will eventually make.  A two page spread with a town and a small explanation or write up on each town.  I want to tell the story of the town in photo's.  Much like a brochure would if you were promoting the town. I think traveling to all these small towns and spending the day walking the streets and visiting the coffee shops and restaurants and diners of these small towns would be a fantastic way to spend maybe a day a week .  I have a list started with 16 towns on it but I'm sure as I get out and about many more will come .  Do you have any photo projects?  You should. Photo projects are a great Barker House Light HouseBarker House Light House way to expand your photography skills and are just fun to do.  If you don't know what to shoot a photography project will solve that problem. Now that I have announced this project I have to complete it. Thats the hard part but I'm looking forward to exploring small towns near me.  Until next week . Get out and Shoot!

Washington NC Photowalk

February 02, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Hey Y'all ! Hope you're having a great week. This week I want to talk about a recent photowalk I did in Washington NC. Not Washington DC. LOL This is a little town population about 10000 and is located in eastern North Carolina in Beaufort County. It is the county seat and is located at the intersection of the Tar River and the Pamlico River and then flows into the Pamlico Sound. It is known to most North Carolinians as "Little Washington" not to get it confused with Washington DC. Little Washington is home to one of the largest historical districts featuring Victorian era homes and ante-bellum homes. Among some of its famous former residents are  journalist Charles Kuralt and film producer Cecil B. DeMille. All of this information I have pulled off of the City of Washington web page. What I can tell you from experience is that being located on the water there are all kind of water activities from fishing, kayaking, sailboarding , and sailing. Also outdoor recreation in hunting. The town has been transformed into a town trying to attract tourist and the downtown is full of shops and restaurants .  Let me tell you about my trip.

I have been cooped up in the house due to weather being cold and also rainy from the holidays last year and I needed to get out. This town is on the list of my photography project "Small towns in Eastern NC" so this was a good preliminary visit. I have been here before but it has been years and I didn't remember much. So me and my wife got in the car and headed about an hour or so north to visit this little town. We parked in the harbor district by the docks and started walking. The streets have been lined with brick but not red brick like you see everywhere these were tan bricks and look very nice. We headed toward main street and noticed that there are crab statues all painted up in various places in town. Kind of a town mascot I guess my county does the same thing with pigs and I have seen it done with bears also in another town Newbern. There is an under ground railroad museum that was closed when we went by but it's housed in a rail car in a pretty yard with a big mural on a wall.  We then started walking through the town at all the quant shops and older buildings. Being in the bible belt there were a few churches but one stood out the Saint Peters Episcopal church established in 1822. Where there was the church and old grave yard with revolutionary era graves there. We had a wonderful time walking the streets and taking photos. There is a North Carolina Estuarium there that is a learning center that we wanted to visit but it was closed also. For lunch we ate hot dogs from Bills Hotdog stand. It one of those local places that have been there since 1928 and is a staple of the community. So we got the specials two  hotdogs all the way chips and drink for 6 dollars and some change. They were pretty good. We jumped in our car and investigated some more stuff before we headed to our next destination which was "Goose Creek State Park" only 20 minutes away. After a short visit there we headed back home. I really enjoyed my trip to Little Washington and can't wait to go back in the spring. 

Until next week get out and explore and shoot!

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