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Old School Film Hack

About Mitch Zeissler

Photo Hack & Curious Wanderer

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 →

Kitteh Update

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Autumn at her "who... me?" bestCentral Maryland (February 2017)iPhone 6S + 29/2.2

Autumn at her “who… me?” best
Central Maryland (February 2017)
iPhone 6S + 29/2.2

I’ve had several people enquire about our two Maine Coon cats that we welcomed into our home a little more than a year ago.  How are they doing?  Perfectly fine, thank you very much.  How are we doing in comparison?  Whew, what a loaded question. Continue Reading →

Inside/Outside

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Ghost town interiorBodie, California (October 2016)Contax T + Zeiss Sonnar 38/2.8Kodak Ektar 100 + Commercial C-41 processing

Ghost town interior
Bodie, California (October 2016)
Contax T + Zeiss Sonnar 38/2.8
Kodak Ektar 100 + Commercial C-41 processing

I’ve been interested in seeing Bodie, California, for decades… having heard about it for the first time when I was still in high school some forty years ago.  Did it meet my expectations?  Oh yes — very much so! Continue Reading →

Winter Panoramas

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Looking south-southwest toward Kentucky and VirginiaSpruce Knob, West Virginia (February 2017)Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Looking south-southwest toward Kentucky and Virginia
Spruce Knob, West Virginia (February 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Last weekend we drove to West Virginia for a nature fix — our term for some rest and relaxation in the wilds.  First we tried the east entrance to Dolly Sods (closed), then the south entrance to Dolly Sods (closed), then the front entrance to Seneca Rocks (closed), the Seneca Rocks visitor center (closed), local national forest campground (closed), and finally the entrance to Spruce Knob, the highest point in the state.

It was open.  Yay! Continue Reading →

What & Where?

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The Son of Man muralWardensville, West Virginia (February 2017)Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

The Son of Man mural
Wardensville, West Virginia (February 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

It’s been a loooooong time since I last had a quiz, but I expect you may be up for it.  Here are your clues:

  • It’s something I’ve seen many times, but not stopped to look at closely.
  • It’s not in Maryland.
  • It’s not in the Smithsonian.

That’s  it… that’s all you get.  The usual rules… none.  You can Google the image; you can do a reverse-image lookup; you can check the metadata of the image file; etc.  But don’t delay, because these usually go very fast.

UPDATE:  Hat’s off (no pun intended) to Elisa for correctly guessing the artist and state for this quiz!

At top is the full mural of “The Son of Man”, by David F. Heatwole — a modern reinterpretation in colored bottle caps of the 1946 self-portrait by the Belgian surrealist painter, René Magritte.  Below is what the original piece looks like and you can read more about it here.

"The Son of Man" A self-portrait by René Magritte (1946)Photo credit: http://www.renemagritte.org/

“The Son of Man”
A self-portrait by René Magritte (1946)
Photo credit: http://www.renemagritte.org/

This colorful bottle cap art mural can be found mounted on the side of local business in beautiful downtown Wardensville, West Virginia, which is becoming something of an art center in this part of the state.

The New Normal?

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Daffodils are popping outCentral Maryland (February 2017)Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Daffodils are popping out
Central Maryland (February 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

The weather here in central Maryland has been out of the ordinary this winter… not much in the way of cold temperatures; no measurable accumulations of snow (yet); hardly any ice (the local ponds skimmed over for only a couple of days so far); the birds haven’t cleaned us out of seed; etc.

Definitely not “normal”. Continue Reading →