Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 30 2009

Couple pictures from today's photo trek. The cold actually kept us from shooting too much, and most of it was film (medium format TLR and the fisheye-Zenit).

I do have the Panoramic Perfekt to play with now, which should be fun!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December 29, 2009

My father and I went down to Hunts Photo Video in Melrose today. Picked up some developer and fixer -- just mixed up a batch. Hopefully I will develop a couple rolls tonight once the solutions cool down. I also got some other odds and ends I needed (lens cap, blue filter) and some new film to try. I got two 35mm rolls each of the Ilford Pan F Plus ISO 50 film and Ilford Delta 3200 -- opposite ends of the sensitivity range, I know! But I have only used ISO 100 and 400 films, so it is time to branch out.

Tomorrow I will be going on a photo safari with my photography teacher from high school, and possibly one other of my high school teachers! Should be fun. I agonized a little over what to bring. I know that I should not bring that much gear (more cameras does usually mean fewer photographs), and I only have limited space in the bag anyway. I decided to eschew my usual Nikon FM and lenses and to use my more unusual equipment. I am bringing a tripod, a medium format TLR, the Zenit with fisheye lens, and my D40 with my usual macro lens and the lens baby.

Can't wait. Might also get to try out a panoramic camera, this one in particular. I have never used one, but have been interested in trying one out ever since seeing some of Josef Sudek's panoramas.

Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28 2009

These were also shot with that old 50mm f/1.4, this is with tweaked curves in the first photo and adjusted levels in the second, and you can still see the dreamy hazy look. Some of which is due to the back lighting and I was guessing exposure with the D40.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

December 26 2009

These first two were shot with a very beat up old 50mm f/1.4 non-AI lens, you can see the haze it gives in the second picture of Tim under the Christmas tree. It is sad to see a lens in such an abused state -- the indexing tab was removed and the aperture ring cut in an attempt to convert it to AI, but it was not well executed. It also has filter ring damage and a hard-to-turn focus ring, plus the haze.

Despite all that, as you can see it can make nice photographs.

I now have an operatable Zenit with a 16mm fisheye lens I am excited to try out!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22 2009

I now have a matching pair of Nikon FMs with 50mm f/1.4 lenses

And I have something resembling a lens kit, with the 50mm f/1.4, 28mm f/2.8, and 135mm f/2.8.

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21 2009

Back in the US!

Only home until the 2nd of January, and have a lot to do. Hopefully I will have sometime to go out and shoot and update my blog.

My father has collected an impressive array of photography odds and ends since I left, I will probably try to show some of them later.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16 2009

It is snowing in Budapest! And accumulating! Quite exciting.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15 2009

More old photos converted to black and white.

Taken with a lens baby:

Just messing around:

In case it was not clear, I am done with finals, have a few days before I go home, and don't have money to go and do things. I will probably go take a walk with the old digital point and shoot soon, though.

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14 2009

Year old ice photos, been posted before but not converted to black and white.

Friday, November 27, 2009

November 27 2009

I am still alive and kicking, since my sister was in town besides the standard schoolwork I have had the subject GRE and applications for graduate school keeping me busy. Getting pretty close to the end game now, though.

Weather has been very grey as of late. It is surprisingly warm (or not cold) for the end of November, which is nice. I wonder if I will see any snow before I head home?

Anyway, my girlfriend was in Europe (ostensibly for international law stuff, in practice to eat a lot of Belgium chocolate) and is here for a couple days, so I took her to the Ludwig museum today and then a concert by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, which was very good. I finally visited the little gallery inside the Ziggurat at the Palace of the Arts, which is very very cool.

Once upon a time I designed a house with a spiral ramp around the outside and rooms in the middle; this was pretty much the exact realization of my dream!

In any case, one of the exhibits at the Ludwig blew me away. All by one guy, Csörgő Attila, who must have some mathematical background. I really wish I had come up with some of the ideas, they are brilliant.

There were four incredibly awesome photography ideas: One used mirrors and a medium format camera to simultaneously take a long exposure of a bouncing ball with a strobing LED in it from all 6 sides. Another one recorded an image on an emulsion coated hemisphere (not sure if it was glass or not). Another used motors to swing the camera around in a way to record the image as a Möbius strip, and the last one used motors to record an image on an interestingly shaped strip like the rind of a peeled orange, so it could then be wrapped around a sphere.

There were other cool things, including intricate machines which decomposed shapes and then reorganized the pieces into new shapes. One took two tetrahedrons and morphed them into a cube and back continuously. There was also a room with fans balancing various geometric shapes as they spun and hovered in place. Very very cool

Some more info here :

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 3 2009

Some more photos :

Another view from the cupola at St. Stephen's Basilica, taken by my sister.

Parliament, also taken by my sister.

Foot of lamppost at the Opera.

Another face at the Opera.

Chain bridge lion.

I hope my sister doesn't go into photography; I don't need her being better than me at anything else!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November 1 2009

My sister came to visit this weekend, so I stopped working on math for a while to go around town with her. We finally used my digital camera, so you can get some idea of what the city is like. I have film versions of many of these shots, or will some day when I develop the film...





Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 14 2009

Added another old photo : fixate.

Weather here has turned to cold, grey, and wet. Very sad.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October 6 2009

Here, actual photos from Budapest. Dawn and dusk.

Monday, October 5, 2009

October 5 2009


Another oldie, but with a crop with makes for an interesting composition, I think.

Friday, October 2, 2009

October 2 2009

I uploaded a couple more photos late last night :




I think these have all been shown on the blog before, though.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

September 27 2009

Some more new old photos.






And just for fun, a black hole sun.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

September 20 2009

Have an old photo. I realize it might be shocking to see a photo here after so long, so don't get too excited.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

September 19 2009

Sorry for the lack of updates. Since classes have started I have been very busy. The way they do it here is that there is a three week period where you are supposed to attend all of the courses you might be interested in.

This has some advantages and disadvantages. I am taking one class just because I sat in on it and loved the professor and his enthusiasm. However, at the same time it actually doesn't give you much freedom to visit classes. All the classes are covering material on the first say, so going to a different class which meets at the same time means missing material. It also meant I was attending 9 different classes for two weeks. On Thursdays this means 8 hours of consecutive math class!

Things should settle down after this week. One of the classes I am in is just a three week review course. I will however still be taking 5 math course, all of which are quite challenging, and at least one of the professors has a very different teaching style than any thing I've experienced before.

The program has a very lenient policy about changing a class from for credit to audit, so I have a safety net of sorts.

I haven't had much time to take photographs since classes started, (which is sort of good, at the rate I was shooting). Hopefully this afternoon or tomorrow I will go explore some more.

Last night I attended a concert at the Palace of the Arts (in the same building as the Ludwig museum), which was only 300 forints for students ($1.50!) although it "standing room" officially. In practice there were open seats we could have taken. The Obuda Danubia Orchestra played, along with Heja Domonkos and Gergely Boganyi. The pieces included Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, and Weber-Berlioz. Nothing I was familiar with, but it was quite good.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September 3 2009

I went to the House of Hungarian Photography today. They are located near Oktogon, and open weekdays from 2-7. They have a very nice library on the top floor, a couple rooms just filled with old photography magazines and books, free for residents of Hungary. And being a student there for a semester counts! I spent a while looking through their great selection. I could spend years there. They also have a shop with some nice prints and books (new and used) and exhibition space. They had a show about space photographs, but I didn't check it out.

There is a also a very cool little used book store/cafe called Tree Hugger Dan's near Oktogon. I bought a copy of Crime and Punishment there, since I was told to read it by a former high school English teacher. And they aren't people you want to disappoint!

I spent some time shooting at the Opera house which is a stop down from Oktogon (called Opera). Beautiful building. Why don't we have as cool buildings? Why doesn't anyone make stone buildings any more? They are so elegant and permanent...

Bought three more rolls of film at Soós Foto. Their prices are just a little better than the other photo store I mentioned, but they only had TMax 400 for black and white.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September 2 2009

On Sunday I went to Gődőllő palace, which is outside the city. It was very beautiful, but still being renovated. I guess under the socialist system they were housing retired people there (fitting, I guess, if you are a communist) and so they wrecked a lot of it. One wing has been made into a very nice theater, but the other is still in shambles. The Hungarians like the palace because it was frequented by Queen Elizabeth, who learned Hungarian and took an interest in their culture, unlike most of the Habsburg rulers. There are many statues of her around Budapest. In any case, the Palace also has some gorgeous furniture and an awesome arms collection. Unfortunately there is no photography allowed in most of the palace.

Found another really cool photostore called Soósfoto (link, although it's all in Hungarian) between Deák Ferenc Tér and St. Stephen's Bascilica. Lots of used cameras and equipment. I saw a Leica M3 (I think it was 50,000 forints, or about $265, but that seems very cheap?). Also a Mamiya RB67...Holy crap those things are big. They had lots of film, photo paper, cases for lots of cameras, all sorts of stuff. I didn't see if anyone there spoke English. I know my Hungarian isn't good enough, and I definately don't know photography terms. That place was like a dream though.

Lots of second hand shops have neat old film cameras. The soviet makes are quite common (Lubitel, Zenit, etc.) but I've seen Kodak, Voigtlander, and others.

There's a very cool old Zeiss Contaflex II(?) for 14,000 forints (about $75) I am very tempted by. It seems to work perfectly.

Anyway, I spend several hours walking around the Pest side today (and you should all know that Budapest is really two cites. Buda is on the flat east bank of the Danube, and Pest is on the hilly west bank). I climbed up to the citadel, which has lots of cool paths and good views of the city, and also up to Buda castle, which is where the Hungarian national gallery and library are. Very cool.

I am going to have to buy more film soon! Oh well, that seems like a good thing to spend money on, rather than most of the touristy stuff. I may need to get a Budapest tankard, though. They had some really nice ones for sale on the Citadel. Not sure I would be able to get it back safely.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

August 29 2009

The Robert Capa exhibit at the Ludwin Museum was awesome. What a guy. Must have been very charismatic, judging by this photo by Ruth Orkin. They have big posters of it all around the city.

It's amazing how many famous photos he took. They had many large prints of his shots and information both in Hungarian and English. Also, if you are under 26 you get half off admission; so it was just 950 forints to see the Capa exhibit and the permanent collection, which was also very nice. The Capa exhibit is only there until October, however.

They had a print of his last photo (frame number 11) including the sprocket holes and the start of the empty frame 12, which had a powerful effect on me.

If you do get to Budapest, make sure to check out Statue park/Memento' Park/Szobor Park (link). It is where they collected all the old communist statues. (Hungarians are still somewhat miffed with the Russians, understandably). It is a bit of a hassle to get to (For me, for instance, I took a bus to the metro to a tram, bought a ticket to a privately owned bus to the park), and is relatively pricey (1.500 forints) but the statues are fantastic. I shot more than 2 rolls there - I probably would have shot more but it was all I had with me.

If you are ever shooting in Budapest, there are plenty of small camera shops around. If you need a good selection of film though, I suggest Fotolux on Karoly krt. between the Astoria and Deak Ter stops on the red metro line. They had a great selection of film, including black and white and medium format. They might have had sheet film as well. Prices were comparable to most brick and mortar photo shops (about $7.50 for a 36 exposure roll of TMax 100).

I can't wait to see my photos...

Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24 2009

The Nikon FM seems to be doing fine after cooling down. Very weird.

Well, pressing the DOF preview still shoots off a frame.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August 22 2009

Small update.

Been shooting just with the FM. My spiffy EVIL sticker came off, but oh well. I've shot about 4 rolls, mostly of architecture. Also have some shots of the Red Bull Air Race and the fireworks from St. Stephen Day last Thursday. I forgot the TMax 400 I have are only 24 exposure rolls. I probably will have to buy some more film when I am here, but I've seen a couple camera stores with it. I will probably have to get color print film though, but I haven't asked about black and white film. Hard to say if I could track down some Kodak or Ilford film.

Unfortunately the FM started to act up with the 50mm f/1.4 as well. I think it is exacerbated by heat, since it started when I was sitting out in the sun for the Red Bull Air Race and seems to be a bit better now. It's still such a bizarre and inconsistent problem. I love the FM so much, I'd hate to have to get a new camera if I can't get it repaired. It's nice and small, light enough but solidly build, and has every feature I could want.

I probably lost half of the roll of the fireworks because of its shenanigans. Very said, the display on the Danube was probably the best I've seen. I was right on the water, too.

Downtown is beautiful, and there is a lot I want to explore and see. Tomorrow I will (if all goes well) go see the Robert Capa exhibition at the LUMU.

Anyway, I am looking forward to developing my film and seeing my photos...Someday...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August 13 2009

Probably will not get many updates for the next few months. If you are a new visitor (hope springs eternal!) there are many many images in the archives which should keep you busy for a couple days.

I am leaving later today for Budapest, Hungary. I am studying abroad there for a semester, and am not sure how much internet access I will have. It is supposed to be a very beautiful city, so I am excited to take photographs of it. I will try to post photos and write about my experiences if I can.

I am just taking my Nikon FM with 50mm f/1.4 (and 5 rolls each of Kodak TMax 100 and 400) and my old Nikon Coolpix. It would be awesome to have my DSLR or a medium format TLR but I am trying to travel light and I would worry about having them stolen.

Still haven't figured out why my FM works fine with AI/AI-S lenses and locks up with AF/AF-S lenses, but I am hoping that it will work fine. I ran a roll through it with the 50mm without a hiccup, so I am hopeful.

In any case, I'll be back in December! You will have to wait until then or later to get a look at the film photos unfortunately, maybe not until later if I develop them at school. I should get a film scanner...

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 8 2009

Belated, I realize.


Jefferson, looking smug.

FDR's doggy, Fala.


Flagging. At the Vietnam Memorial.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

August 6 2009

Took some photos at the national aquarium today. Low light and moving fish behind not so clean glass makes for not great photos.

Gar of some variety


Hello Clarice.

Bright colors mean they are extra delicious, right?

August 5 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009