Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ozzy and the M8.2

Ozzy is not into me taking his picture this particular morning.

I got one alert shot though.

Then back to squinting.

A little bit of chewing.

Finally! Ozzy looks at me!

Such a sweet dog!

Resume chewing!

Outside with my dog trying to get a few shots with the M8.2 I hope you like them.

Friday, April 23, 2010

More Dog Park Torture

Ozzy is in back barking while all of the other dogs (two Bulldogs and a Boston Terrier), play Tug of War.

A Rhodesian Ridgeback named Jackson.

A Bulldog named Tank is obessessive about playing ball.

A Boston Terrier and an Old English Bulldog named "Boo" playing Tug Of War.

Boo and Tank taking a breather.

I went back to the Dog Park to torture myself with the M8.2. It was mid day, the worst time to go. Most of the dogs were either black or white. The M8.2 meter was easily fooled. It's my own fault for going at that time of day. (My dog needed to play though, so what could I do?) The metering was a tough one with the different colored coats of the dogs, and the bright sunlight. I got a few funny shots of the dogs playing Tug of War. I guess it wasn't a total waste.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Action Photos at Dog Park

Ozzy plunked himself in the middle of the dog park while I took pictures. I guess he didn't like being ignored. As soon as I stopped taking pictures. He sprung up and started playing. What a brat!

Ozzy (my French Bulldog) is stalking this Pointer mix. Ozzy looks like a cat.

Two Irish Setters.

Two Irish Setters. The conversion to B&W and painting the Setters back in.

This Golden Retriever is taking a break.

These two were playing a lot together.

This white dog is a bit aggressive in her play. She always seems to go for the throat.

I'm a sucker for punishment. I tried taking more action photos at the dog park. Or rather, I focused on a subject and waited for action. I used a 35mm Summicron on the M8.2 which is 47mm. Maybe next time I'll bring the 90mm. (That's if I really want to make things difficult!) I didn't take many pictures today. There weren't too many dogs I wanted to photograph on this particular day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dog Fights & Dog Photos

I don't know why I torture myself, but I brought my Leica M8.2 with me to the Dog Park again. I figured I could practice my focusing, which isn't very fast with this camera. (It's not designed for fast, but I still try to practice focusing as fast as possible.)

Well, the dog park had a weird kind of vibe this particular day. Sure enough, a Pit Bull, which is normally very friendly, took a disliking to a woman's two Collies. She had her Collies on leashes and sitting quietly at the picnic bench. The Pit Bull came over and immediately attacked one of the Collies. Of course, Collies not being fighters, but herders, gave up and rolled over. It was then that the pit Bull got the Collie by the throat. Luckily, the woman who runs the park pulled the Pit Bull off this poor Collie. The Pit Bull owner was on the other side of the park yelling at her dog to stop. (Yeah, that helps!) Now, I know you're gonna say, "Why didn't you photograph that?" Well, I was trying to break the dogs apart. It didn't dawn on me until later that I could have photographed it. But then again, I wouldn't want to photograph it. But one does think of it for a split second, doesn't one?

The Pit Bull, not satisfied, circled and came back again, attacking the second Collie. Following another break-up, the owner of the Pit Bull finally leashes her dog and leaves. Funny thing is, she never apologized to the woman with the two Collies for her dog attacking them. She actually took the opposite attitude and felt attacked herself. She left feeling persecuted. Very childish, and potentially dangerous.

Then a woman came in with a Golden Retriever. You could already tell this dog wasn't trained, and was acting spastic. After rudely trying to jump on me, the dog immediately attacks another dog. Then it happened again. The Golden attacked a Boxer without provocation. The Boxer ran to it's owner in fright shrieking. The third time the Golden came around to attack from behind, I grabbed it and pulled it off the picnic table where the wounded Boxer was hiding in it's owner's arms. The owner of the Golden Retriever starting swearing at me, which prompted me to giver her a verbal smack down. She knew she wouldn't win with me, and wandered off mumbling. All the people around me were amazed at how rude this woman was, and was happy to see her go to the other side of the park. What is sad about these two incidents is that the owners did NOTHING to reprimand their dogs for fighting. The Golden actually learned that it was okay to fight, when the owner pet her dog as if t praise it, following these attacks. Morons shouldn't own dogs.

So, trying to photograph on this particular day was quite difficult. Bad vibes!

Eventually, I started taking a few shots, but I didn't photograph anything fantastic. I was too wound up, and not patient enough to wait for the action to happen in a particular area. I should have pre-focused on a spot and waited for the scene to unfold. Frankly, I was too irritated, and just shot a few pictures. The nice thing is, they all came out in focus. The bad thing is, I only liked two of them. (My ratio is getting better. I didn't take many photos, about ten, and most of them came out sharp.) Again, if I were more patient, I would have done better. I'm just happy the pictures didn't come out blurry.

All the time I'm thinking, "this would be so much easier with an AF Nikon D700 and a zoom lens! (Yes, I'd shoot manual, but at least I'd have the AF on my side. LOL!) But, this defeats the purpose of the rangefinder experience. Plus, the dog park really isn't for the Leica in the same way that the Nikon would be. The Leica would be great for the scenes that are less active, a behind the scenes look at the people and their dogs. The Nikon would be for the dogs in action. Different cameras for different purposes. Still, it was aggravating to be limited by the camera. I know I'm also limited in my expertise of the Leica. It's frustrating at times. There really is no one perfect camera, (or camera bag for that matter! that's a whole other story!)

I like these two photos that I did save. The first photo is of a boy playing soccer with my dog Ozzy. Ozzy really loves children, and when he saw this boy kicking the soccer ball around, well, he was all over that! At one point Ozzy picked up the soccer ball, (though I don't know how), and started to run off with it. I took maybe 3 shots, and deleted two of them. The second shot is of Ozzy's buddy Bumble who was sniffing Ozzy.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Missed The Rainbow

I ran outside to catch a rainbow. It took two minutes at most to race outside when my sister told me she saw this rainbow, but in that amount of time, the rainbow had disappeared. The clouds looked beautiful to me, so I took a few photos anyway. Camera was set at shutter speed 250, F8 at ISO 160, I believe. The M8.2 is holding up nicely, though I haven't been shooting much due to regular life. I'm hoping to compare a film Leica to this digital Leica in the near future.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Smaller Aperture?

Ozzy kisses Mila.

Ozzy & Mila

Diane & Mila

Me & Mila. My sister Diane took this. It's actually the best shot of the day. Maybe I should give her my camera? her eyesight seems to be better than mine for focusing! LOL!

Our friend Mila visited from North Carolina. I took a few photos using the M8.2, and I like them except that I should have used a smaller aperture to keep my dog in focus. Oh well. I still like the photos.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Indoor Shots and Blown Highlights

It's kind of a busy shot, but I love Ozzy's expression in this photo. He was sitting by the door trying to catch the sun. The light was so bright and it was difficult getting a balance here. I wonder if a film camera could do better? Digital seems to blow out highlights very easily. I'm sure there's a technical reason for this. I just don't know it. I'm new to Leica, and having never used their film cameras, my only introduction is with the digital rangefinder.

It was very difficult to keep the highlights from being blown out completely in this picture. I still think I could have done better.

The highlights are a bit blown in this shot, but I still like it. John is quite patient with my slow focusing. I'm getting better at it though.

John sitting on the couch. He's a great model. What's not apparent, but was driving me nuts, is the bright sun coming in the window. The highlights always get blown out and I had to fiddle around with the M8.2 in order to get the highlights right. It was a bright, sunny day outside.

I took a few shots this past holiday weekend. It was a bit tough to make the shots of my dog Ozzy work due to the bright sunlight and the dark shadows. I am still a bit of a putz when it comes to figuring out the metering for this, especially in the digital realm as the highlights get easily blow out. I need to read my old film photography manuals. I'm rusty at this! All shots at ISO 160 using a 35mm Summicron ASPH lens at various f stops. The M8.2 doesn't record this, and I've been too lazy to record it. This may change, as I should keep a notebook around to remember such things. I had very few keeper photographs due to my trying hard not to blow out the highlights; especially with the dog photos.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Using The Leica M8.2 in Northampton

Okay, so I decided to bring the Leica M8.2 along to Northampton, Massachusetts. I was concerned about people staring at the camera, as it's expensive, but I didn't need to worry. Not one person bothered with my picture taking, and I know that if I brought the Nikon, there would be people asking me all sorts of questions about the camera. Not one person bothered me about this camera. No one noticed it as anything but some simple point & shoot. Kind of cool actually.

Window Shopping

It was very sunny when I took these shots of this panhandler and his dog. Read his sign. Then read on.

One thing I'll never understand is why someone who is healthy chooses to be a bum, begging for money, and then drag a poor dog along with them. (In the last few years, this seems to be the new wave of things in Northampton, Massachusetts). I'm about to rant. I can feel it. Anyway, the lighting was too contrasty. It was around one o'clock when I took this. The worst time to take pictures, but I had no choice. I loved the dog.

An able-bodied panhandler owned this beautiful Australian Cattle Dog. This dog was not happy to be out in the bright sunlight. The panhandlers were begging for money, which I found quite obnoxious, because they were making fun of people as they passed by while doing this. These were able-bodied young people who had signs that said "Tell Us Off $1.00 Donations". As I was taking pictures, the owner of this dog was talking with his buddy, making fun of people under his breath. So, not only were they begging for money, but they were rude about it, and expected a handout. It was so cruddy to observe this. I loved the dog though. I owned an Australian Cattle Dog named Tillie for 14 plus years. She died in 2008. The breed is super intelligent. If this dog were smart, she'd run off with another owner. It's a shame that bums have dogs, when they can't even take care of themselves. Now, a homeless person is different altogether. They have had a run of crap luck. These were panhandling bums who had no health issues other than an aversion to work. Okay, I'm done with my rant. When I was done taking pictures, this guy commented to me: "Hey, do I get some money for letting you take a picture of my dog?" I threw a quarter into the pot. The shots were super contrasty anyway. (I wish i could have taken that poor dog home with me).

Busy streets.

The streets were crowded due to the nice weather. This is in front of Ten Thousand Villages. My sister and I always visit this store. This time, it was for a present for her best friend's birthday.

I love photographing in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Another shot I converted to black and white then colored one part back in.

A black and white version of the streets of Northampton, and the original color version after it.

I love coloring in a black and white photo.

My favorite street shot. I was holding up my camera when this man walked by and waved both arms in the air. Cool.

Wrapping paper from the store Essentials in Northampton, Massachusetts.

I love paper. These were different wrapping papers found at Essentials on Main Street in Northampton, Massachusetts. It's a very expensive store.

Shoe wave!

Shoes lined up in a close-up shot.

I converted the shot of my sister Diane to black and white.

My sister Diane joking around for the camera. I think this is hilarious. We were at Paul & Elizabeth's Restaurant waiting for our lunch.

A happy accident. I screwed up the focus on this shot, because I couldn't focus quickly enough to get this man walking in the frame. I knew he was coming, but I wasn't ready. Still, I like the shot.

I played around with painting one of the greeting cards.

My sister's arm reaches out for a card while a man walks by my camera. I like this shot, and I wanted someone to walk by and give the picture that motion effect.

People were taking notice of me photographing. Oops.

My sister is waiting in line in Cornucopia.

This shot was converted to black and white to get a different effect.

The first few shots were taken downstairs in Thorne's Market. I liked the light coming down the stairs. This is the DNG file in color. I used some Photoshop.

My sister and I went to Northampton, Massachusetts to do some light shopping and have lunch. It was a beautiful day, and I decided to bring the Leica M8.2 along with the 35mm Summicron Lens. It was a bit bright when I took these pictures as it was around mid-day, the absolute worst time to take pictures, but I tried the camera anyway. (I notice I still have a difficult time lining up the focus, and I think it's due to my eyes, not the camera malfunctioning.) I got a few useable shots and was happy with the results when I got the focus right. I love AF in a camera, due to my eyes getting strained though. I like having control of shutter speed and aperture, but I'm slow at it.