Exploratorius

Old School Film Hack

Category Archives: Photography

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 →

Video Link: Seasons of Norway

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Improved Dublin Coddle

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Dublin CoddleCentral Maryland (January 2017)iPhone 6S + 29/2.2

Dublin Coddle
Central Maryland (January 2017)
iPhone 6S + 29/2.2

Now for something different.  Long time readers will recognize this, as I posted an earlier version just over five years ago.  

I‘ve been refining this wonderful dish for about thirteen years (I don’t even read a recipe for it now) and it’s a huge crowd pleaser.  What’s more, it’s incredibly easy to make and consists of just seven ingredients: Continue Reading →

Imminent Color

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Daffodils about to bloomCentral Maryland (February 2017)Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Daffodils about to bloom
Central Maryland (February 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

I don’t know how many degrees above normal our region has been during this winter, but we normally don’t see daffodils at this stage of growth for another month and a half at least.

Rorschach Abstract

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Exhibit at the National AquariumBaltimore, Maryland (January 2017)Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Exhibit at the National Aquarium
Baltimore, Maryland (January 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

I always had fun with Rorschach tests in college.  Depending on the specific test, I could generally find a dozen or more different things in them, especially if I was able to twist and turn the blots to look at them in different angles.  I find this image to be the same way.  Not all that interesting in color, but fascinating when converted to black and white, and then rotated. Continue Reading →

Arcs of Pure Gold

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Union StationWashington, DC (December 2015)Sony RX1R II + Zeiss Sonnar 2.0/35mm

Union Station
Washington, DC (December 2015)
Sony RX1R II + Zeiss Sonnar 2.0/35mm

Trains stations of the 19th and 20th centuries were — and still are — magnificent architectural wonders.  This is Union Station, a Beaux-Arts masterpiece located in Washington, DC, just a short walk from the US Capitol Building… and Union Station was just one of many historical structures that nearly didn’t make it through the early-1980’s. Continue Reading →

Pointy End Toward the Horizon

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Aboard the PatriotSt. Michaels, Maryland (July 2016)Zeiss Ikon ZM + Leica Tri-Elmar 16/4.0 ASPHEastman Double-X (5222) + Diafine (stock) 3+3

Aboard the Patriot
St. Michaels, Maryland (July 2016)
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Leica Tri-Elmar 16/4.0 ASPH
Eastman Double-X (5222) + Diafine (stock) 3+3

A hot, sweltering, crispy-critter day ashore.  What could be better than taking a nice boat ride and having the breeze cool you down?  Take in the sun and have something icy cold to drink… and pretty soon you’ll find yourself in that lazy, drowsy state where time just sort of drifts along and conversations slow to a crawl.

Partially Opaque

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555 12th Street, N.W.Washington, DC (December 2016)Sony RX100 III + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

555 12th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC (December 2016)
Sony RX100 III + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Architecture has always been a big draw for me.

I hesitate to call it “my passion” because that phrase always sounds so fake whenever I hear it… but the truth is that  I’ve always loved seeing buildings and exploring the structures of them, enjoyed examining their construction and materials, and figuring out how they’re designed.  It probably helps that I was heavy into mechanical and architectural drafting back when I was in high school, and built high-end architectural models professionally for several years. Continue Reading →