Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Holy Ghost Hydrant

Holy Ghost Hydrant by wizowel
Holy Ghost Hydrant, a photo by wizowel on Flickr.

Here's another hydrant from my collection.This one guards Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Hammond, La.

Fire hydrants are ubiquitous to the point of being generally invisible. I have made it my purpose to show that they are indeed everywhere and can be interesting subjects when taken in context.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Fujifilm Discontinues Some Film Products

In an article on today Gabriel Da Costa, product manager for professional film, was quoted as saying, “Due to decreasing demand globally we have to announce the withdrawal of some formats of Velvia 100F and Velvia 50. It is an unfortunate consequence of digital capture, that some of the slower selling silver-halide lines will drop off the radar. Fujifilm will continue to manufacture a wide range of film and the increasing support for our Choose Film group illustrates there is still a passion for film photography across the world.”

Well at least he committed to keep supporting film users albeit with a smaller stable of products. Here's the link if you want to read the whole article.

Fujifilm Fujichrome Velvia 100F 35mm, 120, 4x5 and 50 4x5, 8x10 Discontinued

Dressing up!

Dressing up! by wizowel
Dressing up!, a photo by wizowel on Flickr.

The jingle goes, "Sometimes you feel like a nut..." and then sometimes you just feel like dressing up a fire hydrant!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Silent Sentinel

Silent Sentinel by wizowel
Silent Sentinel, a photo by wizowel on Flickr.

In the midst of this fast food haven a lone fire hydrant stands in the flowers keeping watch against the mayhem.

Monday, July 16, 2012

WMOB 1360

WMOB 1360 by wizowel
WMOB 1360, a photo by wizowel on Flickr.

...and yet another Flickr upload - perhaps a collection is shaping up here.

See Rock City (Trail)

See Rock City (Trail) by wizowel
See Rock City (Trail), a photo by wizowel on Flickr.

I'm still playing with Flickr. Here's my second upload, an oldie but goodie from my fire hydrant collection. Could this be a trend?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What’s a Flickr?

One of the great things about living on the Gulf Coast is Magnolia’s. Here’s a shot taken with the Nikon P300 on auto at f5.5, 1/800 and ISO 160 for your viewing pleasure.

I am not ignorant of social media.  After all, I did “My Space” years ago and I’ve had a Facebook account now for almost as long. So I finally checked out Flickr. I kept hearing about it and wondering what it was all about. Turns out it’s kind of like Facebook for photographers. You don’t have to write or say anything. You just upload pictures and everyone gets to look at each other’s work. Of course you can comment on the photos, yours and others’ so it’s not totally wordless but if you would rather shoot & look at pictures than write or read then Flickr is for you.

I actually set up the account months ago but just went there to look at photos, one of my favorite things to do. In fact I try not to do it unless I have time to spare because I get hooked and end up spending hours looking at all the pictures.

Every time I logged on it would remind me that I hadn’t set up my profile yet and that I had not uploaded any pictures either so this week I finally did both. I uploaded one picture. Now it keeps reminding me that I have no Flickr friends so I guess now I will have to go figure out how to “connect” with other folks. So if you are already profiled, uploaded & connected on Flickr keep an eye out for me. I got some catching up to do but I’m coming on strong!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Here’s another shot taken with the new Fujifilm Fine Pix 3D W3 on full auto mode at the Musee Conti Wax Museum in New Orleans. This one at F3.7, 1/26 & ISO 800 shows the life sized wax figure of Louis Armstrong framed by Jazz Fest posters from 1996 and 2001 as well as other memorabilia and again. This is a great shot but you should see the 3-D version of this picture!

On June 13th, I posted my latest thoughts on why I still don’t like digital cameras, especially full featured DSLR’s.  Well I just discovered Ken Rockwell’s “Is Slow Good, Or is Slow Bad,” blog post from June 26th where he not only agrees with what I said but says it even better than I did.

Ken says, “It's horrible when marketing departments have loaded appliances that parade as "cameras" with so many junk features that few of us can master them well enough to take a picture.”

Wow Ken, tell us how you really feel! I agree whole heartedly and have been searching for a DSLR that works just like my SLR’s except with an electronic sensor instead of film – no luck so far.
In his post Ken seems to be struggling with his new Nikon D800 and has the following to say about this otherwise fine camera.

“On consumer electronics products like the D800, we now have 845 different options and menu items, which provide a total of over 5,439,486,960,532 different combinations of settings — of which only one is correct.”

I’m not sure about the accuracy of his math but again, I agree whole heartedly with his conclusion.

I highly recommend you check out his excellent blog at for an incredible amount of helpful information on both digital cameras and “real” cameras as Ken calls film cameras. Ken has only one flaw as I see it. He thinks the only two camera systems worth messing with are Nikon and Canon and his prejudices show through in his opinionated commentaries. Of course I am equally prejudiced in my preference for Pentax, go figure! 

In any case it’s good to know that I am not the only one who thinks that these new generation digital cameras are more than a little overwhelming.  Other than clinging to film we really have only two other options. Either we spend countless hours poring over manuals until we figure it all out and then constantly “fiddle” with menus before during and after our photo shoots, or as I fear more and more folks are doing, just put the thing on “Auto” and hope for the best.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Capitalism Strikes Again!

Here’s a shot taken with my new Fujifilm Fine Pix 3D W3 on full auto mode at f3.7, 1/110 and ISO 200. One of the few complaints I have about this little specialty camera is the lens just isn’t fast enough or wide enough for my needs. It is great for 3-D of course (you should see this shot in “Real 3-D”) and decent for a compact 2-D shooter even, but for an all-around general purpose compact it just can’t compare to the Nikon P-300. 

Now some of you may have noticed the “clickable” display adds on the blog these days. This is an experiment I’ve wanted to try for a while. I’ve wondered if I am doing this blog thing correctly. By setting the blog up for adds I accomplished two things. First, the blog content was run through an apparently thorough analysis to see if there were any problems with regard to copyright infringement etc. Second, I get to find out if it is possible to make money this way.

The result of the first analysis is in of course and everything is fine. That’s why you’re seeing the adds now. The results for the second item won’t be known for a few more weeks. I figure it will take at least that long to see what happens. I am impressed so far with how well the algorithm seems to be matching the adds with the blog’s content. Presumably you’re reading the blog because you’re interested in photography so they should be advertising photography related products and not trying to sell you a bicycle!

So if you see anything you’re interested click on one or two of the links so I can see what happens. I had to agree not to click on them myself as part of the deal so unless you guys do it I may never find out or make any money.

Also, if you find the adds annoying or distracting let me know and I will “pull the plug on them,” unless of course you guys make me wealthy with your fervent clicking.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

3-D Viewers!

In the past few weeks I have determined that taking 3-D photos is actually pretty easy. The required post processing is a bit tedious and inconvenient but not terrible either. The real challenge comes in the viewing!

For the 50% of the population that can “freeview” 3-D images comfortably it is not generally a problem but for everyone else some device must be used to “see” 3-D.

I will discount 3-D prints for the moment because I haven’t seen any yet. I will eventually get to that subject. There are only two sources that I know of, Fujifilm and, in Canada and 3-D Snap just announced that their last 3-D film printer is broken so their future in 3-D printing is uncertain for now, at least from film. There was a hint on the web site notice that they may be moving into the digital to 3-D print business soon. For now however,  let’s just set that discussion aside.

There are of course some 3-D televisions and/or monitors. Except for the 3.5” monitor on my new Fujufilm Fine Pix 3D W3 digital camera I have no knowledge or experience with these either. I do believe however, that the 7” monitor that Fujufilm sells as an accessory for their camera is probably just as amazing as the 3.5” monitor on the camera since it uses the same technology just with a bigger screen size. For only a couple hundred dollars I feel pretty confident in recommending it as a good investment for 3-D aficionados with the only reservation being of course that I have not actually seen or used one yet. Whether their technology will translate into a big screen monitor eventually remains to be seen.

I have not done an exhaustive study on the subject but all other 3-D televisions or monitors would appear (to me at least) to be too expensive and too experimental to seriously consider for now. In spite of impressive displays there is just too little 3-D programming available to justify the cost and they also require the use of special 3-D glasses which I find objectionable. I already wear glasses so I would have to have “prescription” 3-D glasses or wear glasses on top of glasses to benefit from the technology. That is expense on top of expense and just too inconvenient for my taste!

That leaves us to examine the assortment of 3-D viewers available. I purchased the two of them shown above mainly so my family (who don’t seem to have the “gift” of freeviewing as I do) can enjoy the fruit of my 3-D labors with me. These and a host of other 3-D products can be bought from

These are both Loreo viewers. Loreo is a name well known in the 3-D world for many years. The larger viewer on the left is for viewing images (stereo pairs) 10-15 inches wide. This is what you would expect to see on for most computer screens with a full screen image. It has elastic ear strings for hands-free viewing so you can operate the computer mouse & keyboard to scroll through your images. 

The smaller viewer on the right is for images 5-7 inches wide.  This can be used with computer screen images if they are reduced to a partial screen view and it also works well with standard size photographs that have been aligned and cropped into a viewable stereo pair.

Both of these viewers do an excellent job. They are inexpensive, made of cardboard with plastic lenses and are collapsible with sleeves for easy flat storage. There are certainly more expensive viewers, more durable viewers, even more beautiful viewers, but I doubt that they are functionally any better than these. 

If you are unable to freeview 3-D stereo images get yourself an inexpensive Loreo viewer and enjoy.
I have been stuck on this 3-D topic for a few weeks now and need to move onto other subjects but I will return to it from time to time. Once I have some 3-D prints made (something I definitely plan to do soon) I will let you know how that works out and I may eventually experiment with the anaglyph images too (the ones that require the glasses to see) just to see if my low opinion in that regard is valid or mere prejudice.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

“Freeviewing” Tips

I the last few blog posts have posted some stereo pairs for you to see what they look like and try to “freeview” them. Above is another pair for you. This is a shot of my back yard that comes through great in 3-D.

I suppose a couple of “freeviewing” tips are in order for those who want to really try to “see” the 3-D images. First of all you must get the images to the right size. When you pull up the blog page the images are too small. After you click on them they will generally be too big. You see it’s all about distance & proportions.

If you are going to “freeview” the 3-D image the stereo pairs must be about the same distance from the center of one picture to the center of the other picture as the distance between your eyes. Now this varies a little from person to person but averages between 65 and 75 millimeters, or about 2 ½” to 2 ¾”.

What you must do is set your browser window to partial (not full) screen view and play with it a little until the pictures are the right distance apart. Then you just stare at the middle and after a few moments your brain will make the adjustment and then it suddenly appears in 3-D!

You may also have to vary your distance from the screen a little and work at it at first to “train” your eyes and brain but eventually if you are one of the 50% that can “freeview” you will quickly & easily make the proper adjustments and “see” almost instantly.

Now for those of you who cannot do the “freeview” thing, stay tuned for my next blog post where I will discuss the various viewers available.