Exploratorius

Old School Film Hack

Much Loved

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Cindy and my Dad
Horseshoe Lake, California (October 2016)
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM
Ilford Pan F Plus + T-MAX RS (stock) 4 minutes

I don’t where I would be today without these two people in my life — my spouse (and best friend) and my father; I owe everything I am to them.

Weekend Color

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Tiger lily
Central Maryland (May 2017)
Sony a6300 + Voigtländer Ultron 35/1.7 ASPH II

This image was taken yesterday morning, during a break from all the rain we’ve had lately (it began sprinkling again about 30 minutes after capturing the image above).

Cindy has finally taught me the difference between tiger lilies and day lilies, but I can’t pin down which specific tiger lily this may be — I’m guessing Hemerocallis fulva, but am not certain.  We have both this gorgeous orange version and a red version as well, as seen below. Continue Reading →

Friends of the Methuselah Tree

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An ancient bristlecone pine
Methuselah Grove, California (October 2016)
Contax T + Zeiss Sonnar 38/2.8
Kodak Portra 400 + Commercial C-41 processing

How often do you come across another living thing that is older than the recorded history of your own family tree?  Older than the discovery of the Americas.  Older than the ruins at Mesa Verde.  Older than the Abrahamic religions, Hinduism, and Buddhism.  Older than the Great Pyramids of Giza.  Dating all the way back to the mid-to-late Bronze Age — or Babylonia — some 4,000 years ago.

How many cycles of drought, floods, fires, and blizzards have they seen?  How many civilizations have risen and fallen around them while they’ve been alive?  If they could share anything from their experiences, what would it be? Continue Reading →

Sourgrass

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Common yellow woodsorrel (Oxalis stricta)
Central Maryland (May 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM

We awoke this past Saturday to our front yard being completely covered with these cheerful blossoms — otherwise known as common yellow woodsorrel.  To give a sense of scale, these blooms are about one-quarter the size of your little fingernail, so getting an image of one of them can be a little challenging.  Cindy also reminded me that they can be eaten in small quantities in salads and the like.

Monochrome Sierras

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Looking toward the central Sierra Nevada range
Inyo County, California (October 2016)
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM
Ilford Pan F Plus + T-MAX RS (stock) 4 minutes

This.  This is why I love black and white film.

Last night I finally began souping all my monochrome images from our trip out to western Montana and southern California last fall, and this is the first shot that I scanned this morning.  Except for cleaning up the usual little zits and pops that come with using film, there is hardly any post-processing work done to this image.

It was taken with my favorite film, Ilford Pan F Plus, which is rated at ISO 50 — but I tend to shoot it around ISO 32.  I also used my favorite lens, the Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f/1.5, as well as a dark red filter to make the blue sky darker to the film.

Blue Water

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Sunset at Violettes Lock
Seneca, Maryland (December 2016)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70/1.8-2.8

With the setting sun and the languid movement of the river, this image really reminds me of the Doobie Brothers song, Black Water, especially after the light faded and the colors transitioned to monochrome:

Continue Reading →

Screaming Pink

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Rhododendron blossoms
Central Maryland (May 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM

This year is screaming by so fast that I just can’t believe it’s approaching mid-May already. Continue Reading →

Blue Flags in the Morning

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Blue flag iris (Iris virginica)
Ridge, Maryland (April 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM

While getting the boat ready for the past several weeks, I’ve been watching these blue flag irises begin to emerge, just waiting for the right opportunity to take photos of them.  And here it is, in the soft early morning light, with nesting pairs of osprey crying in the background all around me, and the day slowly beginning to come to life.

SOLD — 1986 Pearson 303

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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, Shearwater, is officially up for sale has now been sold, 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 the broker, 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).  The inboard 16 hp Yanmar diesel is super clean and has always worked flawlessly for us.  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 →