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Old School Film Hack

About Mitch Zeissler

Photo Hack & Curious Wanderer

1986 Pearson 303 For Sale

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Shearwater in her slip
Ridge, Maryland (April 2017)
Sony a6300 + Sony 10-18mm/4.0 ASPH

Our 1986 Pearson 303 sailboat is officially up for sale now, and can be viewed in person down at Norton Yachts in Deltaville, Virginia — the same place where we originally purchased her back in 2011.  If you’re interested, please contact Mike Lynch toll-free at (888) 720-4306.

Shearwater is a very comfortable sailboat for two adults, though she can sleep at least five adults in berths — or as many as seven people if they’re real comfortable with one another or small/thin in stature.  She has a new air conditioning / heating unit mounted under the forward v-berth, which works beautifully during both the summer and winter months (it operates very much like a heat pump).  The propane range is efficient and can cook full-sized meals, which we have enjoyed many times.  The Air Head composting toilet does not require a holding tank and is completely odor free (we used it for five years in the Chesapeake Bay area and never had any issues with it).  She also has a level of craftsmanship and extensive teak woodwork that is rarely seen on new boats today, and looks excellent for a small vessel that was built over three decades ago.

You can read all of our adventures with her here. Continue Reading →

One Last Sunrise

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Sunrise at the marina
Ridge, Maryland (April 2017)
iPhone 6S + 29/2.2

By the time you read this, we will be underway — moving our Pearson 303 down to Deltaville, Virginia.  After six wonderful years with Shearwater, it’s time for someone else to enjoy her; so once we get her moved, she’s going on the market. Continue Reading →

Savior of the Union

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The Ulysses S. Grant Memorial at the base of the Capitol
Washington, DC (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

After decades of neglect, the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial has finally been restored to its full glory, following more than ten years of fundraising efforts.  Birds and weathering had really done a number on it, and vandals had defaced it and made away with parts over the years, but all that has been undone.  With a long period of planning followed by two-years of careful work — the memorial was cleaned up, repaired, new parts were crafted, and everything was finally finished a few months ago.

Readers not familiar with Grant are to be forgiven if they are a bit hazy on the knowledge that he was the final Union Army general (out of four) responsible for ending the US Civil War (1861-1865) and preventing the Confederate States from splitting the Union apart.  He and his men were also given credit for keeping the Confederate forces from nearly sacking DC in 1864 (during the Battle of the Monocacy), which nearly happened a couple of other times during the conflict. Continue Reading →

Flowering Dogwoods Taking Their Bow

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Flowering dogwood (cornus florida) blooms
Central Maryland (April 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70/1.8-2.8

Flowering dogwoods are another of my favorite springtime trees, along with flowering cherry trees and red buds.  And maples.  And magnolias.  And…  And… And…

Aw, shoot; let’s be honest here — if it blooms and is even remotely attractive to look at, it’s in my list of favorites.

I used to think that spring was my single-most favorite time of the year, but the truth is that I like them all… I enjoy the constant, subtle changes and transitions that we go through during the course of 12 months.

But… getting back to spring, I always associate flowering dogwoods with Easter.  Why?  Because that’s when I formally noticed them for the first time. Continue Reading →

Relief Valve

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Some variety of cherry(?) blossoms
Central Maryland (March 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70/1.8-2.8

I can’t speak for others, but going outside for a noontime photowalk and getting a nature fix is my best antidote to dealing with the heavy pressures of the office.  Far more than anything else, getting the opportunity to meander around with a camera, taking snippets of what I like and enjoy, helps immensely. Continue Reading →

The Washington Monument to the Nth

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The Washington Monument
Washington, DC (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

Whenever I’m in DC for business or pleasure, I always like to visit the National Mall and see if I can get some shots in.  Among my favorites is the Washington Monument, where I try to take at least one image, often high contrast, usually backlit, and frequently with one flag or more with it.  The image above is an interesting shot because it looks like I used a strobe to provide some fill on the flag, but it’s actually backlighting from the sun providing that. Continue Reading →

Mixed Emotions

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Blue hyacinths in the snow
Central Maryland (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

Our latest winter storm blew through late this past Monday night, and the image above — taken the day before yesterday — is what it looks like after a lot of the snow has already melted.  The dichotomy is striking, but the damage to the blooms and buds in our area from the wintry mix of ice and snow — plus the unseasonably cold temperatures — is going to go deep this year.

Below is what this same plant looked like on March 5th last year.  Oh, and don’t think we couldn’t have more wintry weather yet this season; you can see more snowy images in the posts I shared of a very late winter storm back on March 30, 2014, both here and here.

Blue hyacinth on my way into work
Central Maryland (March 2016)
Sony RX1R II + Zeiss Sonnar 35/2.0

Continue Reading →

Two Founders

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The Washington and Jefferson Memorials
The Tidal Basin, Washington, DC (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

Washington, DC, is filled with many dozens — if not hundreds — of monuments and architectural wonders that you could spend years fully exploring… or so it is with me.  I observe a new detail every time that I go down there for a business meeting or personal visit, and this instance was no different. Continue Reading →

Hummers Thundering North

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Unreal.  The first Ruby-throated hummingbirds arrived in southern Texas back on February 24th — can you believe it?  I just hope that they don’t get hit with any unexpected cold snaps or snow.  Keeping track of their migration north helps to understand where things are blooming, as they can’t survive but a day or two without food.

Cue the Music… Here Come the Cherry Blossoms!

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Blooms on the indicator tree
Tidal Basin, Washington, DC (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

I’ve heard since at least last week that the cherry blossoms in DC are on a tear and are already popping.  Uh… sorta yes and a lotta no. Continue Reading →