Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Biloxi’s Amazing Katrina Sculptures

Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast in 2005 but like every dark cloud it too had its silver lining. Beginning in 2007 “chainsaw artist” Dayton Scoggins and sculptor Marlin Miller converted trees killed along the beach just west of the Biloxi Lighthouse by Hurricane Katrina’s tidal surge into beautiful works of art.

There are probably 20 – 30 of these amazing sculptures stretched out along a couple miles of the median of US 90 which parallels the beach from Biloxi to Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi. I was driving home one evening and stopped a couple times to take pictures of the ones that were still lit up well enough by the setting sun to show off the beauty of the workmanship.

All of these shots were taken on Kodak Ektar 100 with the Vivitar V3800N body using the 135mm f2.8 Pentax lens set at f4 for the first photo, f5.6 for the second, and f8 for the third one; with a shutter speed of 1/125.

I have a few more shots I will post later and I would really like to go back again but earlier in the day when the sun is higher so I can shoot the ones that are in the more heavily shaded areas.

Monday, March 26, 2012


“Green” means different things to different people and “Green” is the theme of The Darkroom’s (my film processor of choice these days) latest photo contest.

For some “Green” is associated with ecologically sensitive. For others it elicits visions of spring flowers and the greening of lawns & trees at this time of year.

My first thought for a photo to submit in this contest was a big burly red headed Irishman stripped from the waist up and painted all over with vivid green body paint, hoisting a cabbage in one hand and brandishing a pitcher of green beer in the other, against a background of the Saint Patrick’s Day parade and captured in vibrant Kodachome color.

Unfortunately the very last roll of Kodachrome film was processed last year and I never made it to the Saint Paddy’s Day festivities so I will have to settle for the photo above. This one shows Mr. Bee busy about his seasonal occupation on the beautiful wisteria clusters against a background of (yep, you got it) green!

Shot on Ektar 100 film with my Vivitar V3800N body using the 135mm f2.8 Pentax lens set at f8 and 1/125, this picture captures the essence of the “spring –e-ness” that is now invading my yard.

This is my first experiment with the Ektar and I'm pretty impressed so far. Beautiful colors!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Almost Summer!

One of the reasons I love living on the Gulf Coast!

Don’t bother telling people here that it’s only March and not yet time to enjoy the beach.

This photo was shot about 6:00 p.m. one evening on the way home from work with the Nikon P-300 set on full auto (photos for dummies). I was on a quickie photo safari with my 35mm camera and just happened to snap this idyllic scene with the digital as I was getting back in the car.

The film from this outing is being processed as I am writing this so stay tuned as I hope to be sharing them with you shortly. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Ahead!

Last November I posted an article bemoaning the end of Daylight Saving Time because I would no longer be able to go out picture hunting after work. As it turned out I was true to my words because with only a couple exceptions around the holidays I have taken very few pictures since then.

Now there’s some good news though. As most of you know last weekend we went back on Daylight Saving Time and I immediately went out and took some pictures to celebrate. The shot above is one of many such shots. This one was taken with the Nikon P-300 shot at f4.5, 1/200 and ISO 160, but I also shot about a half a roll of Tri-X 400 B&W and some Kodak Ektar 100 with the 35mm SLR’s. I hope to finish off those rolls in the next week and have some more pictures for you soon.

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Dream Camera (s)!

A friend of mine recently posted something raving about the now soon to be released Canon 5D Mark III DSLR and although this is an impressive new camera, the new release announcement is a bit anti-climactic coming in the wake of Nikon’s latest announcement about their new D-800.
While all the DSLR enthusiasts are drooling over these new full frame models that only a few of us can afford and even fewer can justify actually spending that much on a camera I was dreaming grander dreams. 

I ran across an old (March of 2012) review on the Pentax 645D. Here’s the link if you’re interested in reading the full article. The picture above if from the review.

Now if you can afford and/or justify spending $3000 - $4000 for a camera why not reach a bit higher and get the ultimate. Here is a 40MP medium format DSLR that will simply put any of the so called “full frame” DSLR’s to shame. For a mere $10K you can put your hands on this magnificent state of the art picture taking machine. See the picture above.  Of course, that price doesn’t include a lens. If you want one of those it will cost you a bit more. 

Or…….if you are a film kind of guy (or gal) you could get virtually the same camera used for about $800, including the lens, except that it shoots 120 roll film instead. Oh, and by the way, all of the lenses that fit the Pentax 645N film camera will also fit the Pentax 645D digital camera so if you decide to move to digital later on or use both bodies interchangeably you’re in good shape. See the picture and link below to Ken Rockwell’s excellent review of this jewel of a camera.


The truth is, now that film photography has been left behind by the digital revolution and relegated to the few of us who still practice it as an arcane art there are many such “bargains” available. Indeed, as I pointed out in an earlier post my entire 35mm camera bag of goodies cost less than $500. A similarly equipped camera bag purchased just a few years ago before the digital revolution would have easily cost twice as much and that in yesterday’s dollars.  

…and the really good news is that there is no sign that film is going to go away anytime soon.