Exploratorius

Old School Film Hack

Tag Archives: History

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

My Best Images From 2016

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Dupont Circle -- Washington, DC (August 2014)Contax T + Zeiss Sonnar 38/2.8Kodak T-Max 100 + Commercial monochrome processing

Dupont Circle
Washington, DC (August 2014)
Contax T + Zeiss Sonnar 38/2.8
Kodak T-Max 100 + Commercial monochrome processing

Adieu 2016.  We hardly knew ye…

Here — in no special order — are the very best images I shared with you during the past twelve months.  They include digital and film photographs, both color and monochrome — from rangefinder film cameras, various film and digital point-and-shoots, and iPhones (the specifics are in the captions of each image). Continue Reading →

The Big Empty

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Big Hole ValleyJackson, Montana (October 2016)iPhone 6S + 29/2.2

Big Hole Valley
Jackson, Montana (October 2016)
iPhone 6S + 29/2.2

Butch Hill is the name of the short brown summit to the right of this frame; one of the summits to the far left in the distance is Bloody Dick Peak, so named for an Englishman that said “bloody” a lot, while living in the area during the 1860’s (I just learned this tidbit while researching place names for this post). Continue Reading →

Looking Good

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The Capitol getting preppedWashington, DC (December 2016)Sony RX100 III + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

The Capitol getting prepped
Washington, DC (December 2016)
Sony RX100 III + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

I visited DC last week, to attend a business meeting near the White House.  As usual, I arrived very early so I could get some quality photo time in before the meeting began, so I wandered around The Mall and checked out how things were progressing for the upcoming inauguration. Continue Reading →

Window of the Past

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Point Lookout lighthouseScotland, Maryland (October 2015)Zeiss Ikon ZM + Voigtländer Ultron 21/1.8 ASPHEastman Double-X (5222) + Diafine (stock) 3+3

Point Lookout lighthouse
Scotland, Maryland (October 2015)
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Voigtländer Ultron 21/1.8 ASPH
Eastman Double-X (5222) + Diafine (stock) 3+3

Point Lookout Light Station and DepotScotland, Maryland (July 2, 1885)Photo credit: US National Archives

Point Lookout Light Station and Depot
Scotland, Maryland (July 2, 1885)
Photo credit: US National Archives

I always enjoy looking out through the windows of historic buildings and imagining what the view was once like to the original inhabitants.  Was it the same as I’m experiencing?  Likely not.  All sorts of other structures were not there, and sometimes there was even more landscape to see.

Such is the case here.

The chain link fence that is just visible in the above image was added about thirty to forty years ago.  The building beyond the fence was added to the grounds sometime after 1930, long after another building that was there had vanished.  To the right of the window frame (in the image above) lies the moldering remains of a long Coast Guard depot pier, which was still fully functional in 1939 and can be seen in the photograph from the National Archives (image to the right). Continue Reading →