Camera Gear, Photography

When is a Camera like a Computer?

camerasWhen you are ready to buy a new one! You see the question you should be asking yourself when buying a computer or a camera, is what are you going to do with it….then this determines the type and ultimately how much you will pay for it. Many times I would hear friends say ” I love your photographs, you must have a really good camera”!  The reality is that it’s not so much the camera as it is the photographer who is making the composition, judging the aperture, speed and ISO settings to KNOW how the picture will come out. I have a few friends who have spent hundreds of dollars on expensive DSLR’s to take “better” snaps of their kids and family, always leaving the setting on “A” for Automatic  and never shooting in RAW or manaul settings, and learning HOW the camera works and what it can do.

So the question should be, what do you intend to do with the pictures you take with your camera? If the answer lies in the realm of just posting to Facebook, Instagram or other social media repositories, then just use your camera phone. But if you intend to create art, enlarge images, printing and learning  to be a photographer by using post processing software, then that will determine the camera for you.

As I stated in my last post, the photo taken with a simple camera can still evoke an emotion as much as an expensive one……….so, what do you want to do?



Photography, Vintage Photography

A Simple Life

Larry Birthday 1959I have an affinity for the simple life. Here is Larry Dean celebrating what I think is my 4th birthday in 1959. Growing up in this era was so far unrelated to today, let’s take a stroll. My blue collar parents gave only one or two gifts for birthdays and Christmas and the only thing to occupy our conversations at dinner was, well a good conversation. No TV, no iPhones or digital games to pre-occupy our time. Just family. We played outside for hours and always went to other friends to play and sometimes stay for dinner. Sorta like Leave it to Beaver. Maybe this explains why I love so many things from the sixties and remember them with fondness, usually asking myself, remember when? Yeah, we would watch Ozzie & Harriet, Andy Griffith, Beaver and Father Knows Best. And many more.Did you ever see Fireball XL5? I used to love watching this futuristic marionette British TV program. I bought the DVD set a few years ago just to reminisce.

I love going through old pictures and think of the technology that created the art back then versus what we have today. A picture from a simple Brownie camera would still evoke an emotion just as much as today’s top megapixel DSLR. And just think, it was very simple. As I said before, I miss the simpler life. How about you?

Food Photography, Photography

French Blueberry Tartlette


These were sooo delicious! Homemade pastry, almonds, almond pastry cream and fresh in season blueberries. It sure was fun photographing these beauties, even more eating them.

Canon EOS 60D with 18-55,, Kit Lens, focal length 36mm, speed 1/25, ISO 200 and focal length f/5.6. Shot in front of West facing window about 9:00 am.Love the Bokeh. Post processed in Lightroom.

Food Photography, Photography

Larry Dean’s Beans


The original Larry Dean’s Beans……espresso anyone? I used to do food photography for a local bakery where most work was published on social media. More photos of luscious sweets to come. I loved working as the barista for all the espresso drinks, but loved the photo shoots more.

Shooting was always in the early morning window, facing West with natural light. This photo was taken with my Canon EOS 60D, 18-55mm kit lens with focal length at 41mm, f/5.6 aperture, ISO 100 and 1/20 sec. shutter speed. Post processed in Lightroom.

Camera Gear, News Commentary, Photography, Photowalks

FreddySue Who?

freddy-sueNo, not Cindy Lou Who. I live in the land of George Eastman, and if you  are not sure who he is, think Kodak. OR more formerly as Eastman Kodak. But this is not about Kodak and I will surely write a short blog on them sometime soon. As it relates to photography and film it is a very interesting story of how the film and camera giant missed it’s place in the technology evolution and was a little late to the digital camera game. All of us who have had family work for Kodak have a treasure trove of stories to tell about this company. But I digress. This short story is about the many famous companies and people that made Rochester great…as much as I can tell in this short space. Growing up here, Rochester is home to many colleges and universities, and companies got their start here. You probably have used a copy machine, invented here by Xerox. Or have worn contacts or glasses made by Bausch & Lomb (think Ray-Ban). Also, Champion athetic products are from here as well Hickey-Freeman suits, French’s Mustard, Ragu, Gannett (USA Today) and Paychex. Actors have included Taye Diggs, Kristin Wiig, Mimi Kennedy, Robert Forster and Philip Seymour Hoffman to name a few. Countless musical people as well, like Lou Gramm.

However for the task at hand, the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass lived here and women’s suffragette Susan B. Anthony is from here. Hence the name of the bridge in the picture, officially named as the Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony Bridge. Or affectionately known as the Freddy Sue Bridge. Now you know, and no grinches were harmed in this story.

Photo shot with Canon EOS 60D, f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/800th sec and Sigma 10-18mm lens at 18mm focal length. Post prosessed in Lightroom.

Garage Sale Finds, Photography, Vintage Photography

Will we ever have another Vivian Maier moment?

img_3910  I just love the story of Vivian Maier. If you are not familiar with this fascinating story, go to and check it out. In a nutshell, she was a nanny who loved taking pictures over 50 years ago. After her passing, her rolls of film were discovered in a storage locker, and there were approx. 100,000 negatives and slides, according to the web site. These were purchased at auction and prints were being made and released about her work.

Although my post here is not about her, but more along the lines of finding exposed rolls of film at local estate sales or finding them inside used cameras and having them developed and scanned.What would you find? For me personally, I was excited to find about 8 rolls of undeveloped exposed 120 film. I was excited to get these black and white rolls processed  to see what I might find. However, I was a bit disappointed as most rolls had no images on them at all. One roll was of pictures taken in a museum and one roll had images of a nude male model in a variety of poses. No clue as to who he was, or when the pictures might have been taken. But I will continue to hunt for these at estate sales.

But the question I ask today, with all the millions of digital images being taken and possibly hidden on some old PC or storage cards, will we ever discover another Vivian Maier?

Also check out the documentary, Finding Vivian Maier.


Camera Gear, Garage Sale Finds, Photography

Rite of Passage-What the VW bug and Pentax had in Common.

Back in the 60’s and 70’s it was quite common for a young mans first car to be a VW bug. They were plentiful and cheap and often seen at many high school parking lots. The bug was a rite of passage for a 16 year old boy to drive. I always wanted one, had many friends that did. However my first car was a 1962 Ford Falcon that I bought for 75 bucks from a good friend. Looked like crap, but hey, it was transportation. The other right of passage to any aspiring photographer was their first camera. In school, the instructor made everyone get the Pentax K1000 because it was the best camera to learn photography. Everything was manual. I never had one of these either. Certainly having my Canon AE-1 Program which was fully automatic (except focusing) you didn’t need to learn about the relationship between shutter speed, aperture and ISO. I kinda missed all that whilst setting my camera to P for Program, almost all of the time. Never did use manual. Today with my Canon EOS 60D, I almost always shoot in manual mode, unless I am somewhere and the situation calls for speedy transitions. However, back to Pentax. So I missed out on learning photography the right way and a few years ago I bought one off of Craigslist for $25. Can I tell you I absolutely love this camera? There is a certain feeling you get when you are controlling the process, turning the aperture ring on the lens, setting the shutter speed and watching where the match needle hits thru the viewfinder. It took me awhile, but I finally had my rite of passage with this camera. How about you, did you have one?


Wine Country Character

rural-barnI have always enjoyed driving the back roads of New York State going in and out of the small towns and villages. Each has their flavor which lends to it’s character, and thus to the character of New York. Last year my wife and decided to take advantage of the warm spring weather in early March and took off for a weekend at a lovely Bed and Breakfast in Auburn, NY. Auburn sits at the top between two of the Finger Lakes,  Cayuga Lake and Owasco Lake. We decided to take a drive through the wine country and visit many of the vineyards that populate around the lakes. Although the vines were sleeping, the gift shops  were very busy showing off their pride of wines (I was actually surprised for this time of year). We sampled several and purchased from many of the stops we made. At one such winery, Long Point Winery on the eastern shore of Cayuga lake in Aurora, NY I was pulling out of the driveway to continue on to my next wine shop, when all of a sudden, I had to stop the car and shoot this lovely barn. Oh sure, it was dilapidated and such, but I had a vision of character and beauty and thought what a lovely HDR image this would make. So I balanced my Canon 60D on the hood of my car and fired off about a dozen exposures, of which three would be used to compile this image. What do you think?

Shot with Canon EOS 60D, F/4, 1/800, ISO 100 and Focal Length 27mm. Post processing in Lightroom and Photomatix.

Camera Gear, Photography, Vintage Photography

My Dream Camera

img_2424I remember as a young boy wanting to get into photography, but just could not afford the cost of a new Nikon or Canon SLR. We often face those dilemmas in real life, cost vs. value or quality. What do we concentrate on? Well for a long time when I was 13-14, I used to look in the back of Popular Photography  or Modern Photography magazine and browse the ads for cheap cameras, or lower cost cameras I should say. I would scour the ads from Cambridge Photo or 42nd St. Photo every month drooling over the cameras, lenses and anything photography related.. There was something magical, yet educational in reading those ads. That’s how I learned. By reading ads.Even to this day I will still read ads to see what was being advertised then look up more information about the item. What lenses were being advertised and for what purpose. Why was a 50mm 1.4 better than a 1.8 and so on. Remember Spiratone lenses? I never bought one, but always wanted one. I settled on a Hanimex Praktica to be my first camera. Because it was cheaper than all the others. I still couldn’t muster the few hundred dollars to buy one. But many years later I did see one on Ebay , and bought it. Only to be disappointed that it didn’t work. It seemed the shutter didn’t work properly and it was a fairly common thing with those cameras.I bought the camera because it reminded me of an innocent time in my youth. And I just wanted to be there again. Sadly we move on from broken things, but just can’t seem to part with the idea of what we thought we could do with them. But we still hope.


Back in the Saddle Again

tugblueAfter a very long absence from writing, I am trying to get back in focus (no pun intended) to what really matters to me…..shooting stuff. This picture was taken with my brand new Canon 10-18mm lens and post processed in Lightroom and Photomatix.I know some of the HDR stuff is not for all lovers of photography, and some even say this style of HDR covers a myriad of errors and imperfections. I agree, but I also can’t stop loving some of these images that Photomatix produces. Yes it may seem that inexperienced and immature photographers post process this way, but I make no excuse. I love the way this image is enhanced. Shot on Irondequoit Bay when I went to break in the new lens I just received. The beauty of this lens was to keep something close in foreground while shooting across an expanse. Lucky for me a US Coast Guard boat was coming by and snapped this awesome shot. The post process in Lightroom secured the color and an HDR process in Photomatix from a single image (instead of 3) produced the final enhancement. Shot in the Sea Breeze section of Irondequoit Bay with temporary bridge in view.