Actually, I shot this photo on August 9th, not today.

SPH-M900 CHI ChicagoSunset06 2012_08-09B

Photo Information:

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Camera: Samsung Moment (SPH-M900)

The main reason I wanted to post this photo (other than it being a truly stunning view) is as proof that the best camera is the one you happen to have with you when a moment like this arrives. Could I have shot this view “better” with my DSLR or one of my fancy film cameras? Probably…but I didn’t have any of them with me when I saw this (I was at work…a catering job, so I don’t much get the opportunity to carry around my camera pack), and I did have my phone in my pocket (no, I don’t use the phone itself while I’m working…I keep the network turned off, but I keep it in my pocket for the clock). Granted, if I had brought my DSLR with me, I could’ve gone and fetched it, but that would’ve taken me several minutes…and this view only lasted for about five minutes before the sun slid below the clouds and horizon. So, I shot the photo with what I had.

I did adjust the photo a little in post-processing, but mostly, this was to adjust contrast a little. I didn’t actually have to adjust the colors much, as they were pretty spectacular already…limited though it is, the camera on my phone does tend to capture color pretty well. I also cropped the photo to square format…just because.



The more I use my Bettax, the more I enjoy it…and the less I want to use other cameras – which is kinda sad, actually, since I do have a number of fun (and old) cameras I really should devote some time to using. Well, maybe later…right now, here are some more Bettax photos!

ZecaBettax CHI Acros100 SkylineSunset01C

ZecaBettax CHI Acros100 Sunbeams01B

ZecaBettax CHI Acros100 TDM_B

ZecaBettax CHI Acros100 TribuneTower03B

ZecaBettax CHI Acros100 WrigleyBldg02B

Photo Information:

Camera: Zeca Bettax
Lens: Schneider-Kreuznach 105mm f/4.5 Radionar
Film: Fuji Neopan Acros 100 (120)

Photo 1:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; Lake Michigan

When I say “Lake Michigan,” I mean on the Lake itself – I was with some friends on a boat out on the Lake. Sadly, for most of the trip, I was laid out (literally) with seasickness – I don’t get any other form of motion sickness, but put me on a boat, and I develop nausea inside of a few minutes. It had been a while since I had been on a boat, so I wondered if I would still be badly affected…now, I know. Next time, I should try taking some medication, but in the past, it hasn’t helped much. OTOH, being on the boat did afford me the opportunity to get some unique views of the city – you can see all of the Loop and Streeterville in this view, from the Sears Tower on the south (left) side of the photo to the Hancock Building on the north (right) side of the photo. I shot the photo later in the day, so you can see sunlight streaming through the clouds that were over the city (for those of y’all who don’t own a map or a globe, Lake Michigan is east of Chicago, so the sun sets on the opposite side of the city). I also had three other cameras with me at the time, so you may see similar photos to this one in the near future as I process those.

Photo 2:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; Lincoln Park

Those of y’all who have been paying attention to some of my recent posts will probably recognize this photo. I always carry my DSLR with me when I’m using a film camera, mostly to check exposure (the built-in LCD screen helps immensely in this regard), so that let me shoot a number of photos of the foggy afternoon while I was out. I liked this view quite a bit, so I shot it both with the DSLR and with my Bettax. I do want to get a smaller digital camera that would allow me to carry much less weight than I carry with my DSLR and its assorted lenses, but for now…yeah. Can’t afford it. Shucks and other comments.

Photo 3:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; Chicago Loop

One of the early reasons I bought a digital camera was to document graffiti that I found in the various cities I’ve visited / lived in. While I don’t actively search for graffiti as much these days, I do enjoy photographing it when I find it. This one was mostly white with a few color highlights, so I thought that the combination of the piece and the alley made for an interesting view that wouldn’t suffer from the lack of color. I’m fair sure the piece illustrates the letters, TDM – though as those of y’all who are familiar with graffiti can attest, reading the pieces can get problematic due to the artistic elements of the composition. One other matter of interest to me is that I found this piece in the midst of the Loop – somewhat uncommon, for obvious reasons.

Photos 4 & 5:
Location: Chicago, Illinois; Streeterville Neighborhood

If y’all don’t recognize these buildings by now, you haven’t been reading enough of my posts! I shot both of these photos just before that dramatic sky in the background decided to unload on the city. Fun stuff, that.


Well, it took me a month, but I finally finished sorting through all of the photos I shot while I was in Virginia at the end of last year. Oh sure, there are plenty of photos apart from the few I’ve posted here, but I often edit photos that I don’t publish…mostly because I can. It seems appropriate that the last photo I post from this group should be a sunset. Nice, right?


Photo Information:

Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
Camera: Nikon D80
Lens: Nikon Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX
ISO Equivalency: 100
Color Setting: Vivid

Not much else to say about this one.


Hey look! Sunset!


Photo Information:

Location: Norfolk, Virginia; Elizabeth River
Camera: Nikon D80
Lens: Nikon Nikkor 20mm f/2.8
ISO Equivalency: 100
Color Setting: Vivid

The Elizabeth River borders downtown Norfolk on the south and west, so one can easily view sunset along the river from several locations therein. I enjoy doing so, not least because unlike sunrise, sunset is rather more easily accessible; waking up for sunrise isn’t always that easy for me – that, and the only place to see sunrise in Hampton Roads is on the Virginia Beach oceanfront, or from parts of the Peninsula (which contains the cities of Hampton and Newport News) – both of which were rather distant from where I lived in Norfolk. Downtown Norfolk, OTOH, was much easier for me to visit, particularly when I worked there.


Farewell, 2010


The last day of 2010 was rather odd here in Chicago; the temperature got up to 50 degrees, which is most unusual for this time of year. While it was cloudy and raining for most of the day, the skies cleared up (somewhat) right around 1600, so I decided to head out to the Lake shore for one last walk around for the year. Needless to say, I was not disappointed by the show.






Photo Information:

Location: Chicago, IL; Lake Michigan
Camera: Samsung SPH-M900
Lens: (integral)
ISO Equivalency: 12

You may notice that these aren’t the results of my fancy DSLR; this is because I did not bring it along in my pack. Rather, I had a film SLR packed up, and didn’t have room for the DSLR – as such, I shot these on my mobile phone camera, instead. That being said, composition isn’t a matter of equipment, but of perspective, so I tend to believe that one can achieve decent results with something as simple as a fixed-lens mobile phone camera (or, for that matter, a 1930s-era box camera or a 1915 folding pocket camera). Better equipment allows one to do more, but if you don’t have the “vision,” all the fancy equipment in the world isn’t going to yield a better photograph.

Anyways, here’s hoping that 2011 turns out to be even better than 2010 – which, for my part, wasn’t nearly as bad as 2009. Happy New Year, y’all!

Note: While I did shoot these on my mobile phone camera, they aren’t exactly as they came out of said camera. Naturally, I indulged in a bit of post processing to get them to what they are here. Mostly, this involved adjusting the contrast and color saturation.

The photo below is a counterpart to a photo I posted here a few months back [1] – scroll down on the main page, and you’ll likely still see it.


Photo Information:

Camera: Nikon D80
Lens: Nikon Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX
ISO Equivalency: 100
Color Setting: Vivid

As you’ll no doubt see, there are a few common elements to the scene: a sailboat, water, [2] and sunset. Of course, the location is different – I shot this one on the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Virginia, whilst I shot the previous photo on Lake Michigan [3] in Chicago. As with the previous photo, this was more of a snapshot than a planned photo, but I noticed the similarities, and shot it. Didn’t need to worry too much about exposure in this case, since I was already shooting the sunset, and thus, the exposure would be the same. [4]



[1]: Yeah, I’ve been a bit lax in my posting schedule lately. I blame it on work. And laziness.

[2]: Should be pretty obvious, since this is a sine qua non [*] (mostly) for boats and such. Er, unless you’re photographing them on land, that is…which I wasn’t.

[*]: It’s Latin, in case you’re confused. Look it up, if you don’t know what it means. And no, not that kind of Latin, the other kind.

[3]: Technically, it was at the mouth of Montrose Harbor, but that’s close enough.

[4]: Since I was shooting a sunset, I had already metered the scene to keep only the sky and water colored, whilst leaving the rest of the scene (mainly the opposite shore of the river) in silhouette. These settings also worked well for this particular composition, so I didn’t need to adjust anything to take the shot.

Today’s photo should provide a nice counterpoint to the previous post, but I’ll let you figure that one out on your own after you see the photo itself. [1]


Photo Information:

Camera: Nikon D80
Lens: Nikon Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 [2]
ISO Equivalency: 100
Color Setting: Vivid [3]

I must admit, though I no longer reside in the area, I do miss the sunsets I’ve seen over the Elizabeth River in downtown Norfolk.



[1]: Okay, okay…if you really need it spelled out: Sunrise (previous post) to Sunset (today’s post).

[2]: Due to the crop factor of the DX sensors when using full-frame lenses, this lens is approximately 30mm on the D80, rather than its stated focal length.

[3]: As with the previous post, this is more of an exaggeration, rather than a statement of fact, at least as far as these sunset and sunrise photos go.

Because I’m trying to make you feel all crappy and depressed.


Photo Information:

Camera: Nikon D80
Lens: Nikon Nikkor 20mm f/2.8
ISO Equivalency: 100
Color Setting: Vivid

Oh, alright…I’m not trying to make you feel bad. Honest. It seems a bit paradoxical, but for some odd reason, I enjoy seeking out images of such isolation while I’m surrounded by one of the largest cities in the world. Perhaps, I’m doing this whole urban existence thing wrong. In any event, Lake Michigan provides many opportunities for such views…standing at the shore, it sure doesn’t look like a lake. More like an ocean, in fact…though I do much prefer swimming in salt water, but that’s a story for…never.

As for the color setting, oh yeah, like you couldn’t tell without my saying so? Actually, as per usual, the colors didn’t quite look like this when I loaded the image onto my computer…I had to play with it a little bit in post processing. As for the boat, believe it or not, I hadn’t originally intended to have it in the shot – and after catching it, I wish it had been planned from the start. I actually shot a couple versions of this just before the boat passed by, then as it was passing, I figured, “Why not?” Turns out, I like it bettern with the boat than without. I think it helps to add a sense of scale. Or some fancy term like that.


Those of you who’ve read some of my previous posts [1] already know that I received a roll of expired Mitsubishi color film [2] as a freebie from the photo lab I frequent when I’m back home on the east coast. A few weeks before I came back to Chicago, I acquired the last roll they had, [3] and proceeded to run it through my Leica – you know, because I was bored and such. As with the previous roll, this one produced, shall we say, some rather unique results.


Photo Information:

Camera: Leica IIIf
Lens: Leitz Elmar 35mm f/3.5
Film: Mitsubishi MX-III ISO 400, expired (35mm)
Metering: Minolta Spotmeter F

The colors in the sky start out seemingly rather natural, but as you get closer to the sunset, well. Yup, the yellow and red tones take a dive off the deep end, and turned out rather, well, you can see for yourself. There’s also a bit of overexposure in the sky, as those white areas weren’t really white in the original view. Unfortunately, in this case, I didn’t shoot a comparable digital shot, so I can’t compare the two as I did with the Kirkland film a little while back. In fact, I don’t think I duplicated any of these in digital, so I won’t be able to make any comparisons whatsoever. Still, anyone with a reasonable appreciation of color and such will probably notice the unnatural colors here. [4]

The subject of this photo is a view of sunset over Portsmouth, Virginia, as seen from across the Elizabeth River in Norfolk. Those of y’all who might be noticing a pattern in my recent photographic posts would be correct to surmise that I’ve spent the past few months in Norfolk. Yup, fun times!



[1]: Yes, all four of you.

[2]: Yup, that’s right…Mitsubishi sells its own branded film. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is film stock produced by another company and sold under the Mitsubishi brand, but I couldn’t find much information on the film online (shocking!), so I can’t verify this.

[3]: A little background: apparently, the film was a gift from another patron who had acquired four rolls of this film…somewhere (I don’t recall the specifics). Since this was a donation, the store didn’t have item/stock numbers, prices, etc. for the rolls, so they were just sitting around in the store fridge (okay, one of the managers also used at least one, and I shot two; I don’t know what happened to the other one). In my defense, I offered to pay for the roll, but due to the aforementioned lack of official information regarding the film, I was able to walk out with it (don’t worry…I also bought a rather pricey roll of slide film, too). I also paid for the processing and scanning for the roll, so there.

[4]: Hey, I can figure out that something don’t look right here, and I’m horrible at identifying and matching colors. No, really…I usually stick to rather simple color combinations because I really can’t match subtle shades of color to save my life. As such, if you see me wearing something that doesn’t seem like if quite fits that description, its a safe bet my sister had a hand in the selection! She’s much better at this sort of thing than I am, and she’s not shy about sharing this skill – which is good for me, because it makes me look more stylish than I otherwise ever would! Families are fun.

Farewell, 2009


Seriously, good riddance. Hopefully, 2010 will be somewhat kinder.

Since I am not, however, entirely without positive experiences for the year, here’s a parting shot for y’all.


Enjoy your New Year’s Eve revelry responsibly, folks.

Yeah, like that’s gonna happen!