Down the Road

Roads and life and how roads are like life

Recommended reading

6

Here are the blog posts I enjoyed most this week.

Thought-leading urbanist Aaron Renn writes about how it’s no longer downtowns that struggle the most with decay — it’s the first ring of suburbs around downtowns. I live in that first ring in Indianapolis and see the decay every day. Read The New Donut

I’m not a morning person (despite getting up at 5 am weekdays to write this blog), but Eric Swanger is. He reflects on the dawn and its great photographic potential. Read The Most Memorable Season of the Day

Michael Lopp, b/k/a Rands, writes a strong piece about the experience of introversion. To an introvert, you are a threat and you represent chaos, but you are also interesting and compelling. It’s a conundrum. Read The Song of the Introvert

Life at 135mm

14

I had planned to spend 2014 shooting almost nothing but my Pentax ME. In preparation, I had been quietly buying K-mount lenses in various focal lengths, including one at 135mm. I’d made only a few photographs with a prime telephoto lens before, just fiddling around. I decided it was time to get serious.

Nikon F2ASBut then a Nikon F2AS walked into my life, followed quickly by a few Nikkor lenses. I immediately abandoned my K-mount plans and set about Nikoning. Most of my efforts this year have involved my 50mm f/2 and 55mm f/2.8 macro lenses, because they’re just great fun to use. Meanwhile, a 135mm f/3.5 lens patiently waited its turn. At last, late this summer I clipped it to the F2AS and loaded some Fujicolor 200.

But then I realized I had no idea what to do with this lens. I wasn’t used to seeing the world at 135mm! I aimed it at a bunch of stuff, including my new grill, and pressed the shutter button to see what happened.

My new grill

I’ve taken the F2AS on a lot of walks this year. I live pretty close to Indianapolis’s great Broad Ripple neighborhood, where I photographed this detail of a larger sculpture mural. One of my Flickr followers thinks he sees the 1970s advertising character from Quisp cereal in here; do you?

Faces

The Indiana Central Canal cuts through Broad Ripple. I stood on a pedestrian bridge next to College Avenue to photograph the canal and the 1906 concrete-arch bridge at Guilford Ave.

Canal

Margaret and I took an evening walk along Main St. in Zionsville and stopped for ice cream. I focused on the sign, but missed somehow. A few other shots on this roll suffered the same way — the in-focus area fell right behind what I thought I focused on. I had this and a few other photos printed to give to Margaret, and interestingly the sign lettering is as crisp as can be on the print.

You can't buy happiness

Dark clouds gathered while we walked, and shortly we were caught in a downpour. We waited it out on a bench under an awning. But I got this photo first.

Threatening sky

It appears to be conventional wisdom that 135mm is the focal length for portrait photography, and so naturally I gave it a try. It worked out fine.

Margaret

I took this photo of Margaret at about the same time I schlepped my sons to the Target portrait studio for our annual sitting. I know the mass-market portrait mills are a roll of the dice, but we’ve had good luck at Target for years. But this year, even after making the photographer take us back into the studio four times to get it right, we still got wooden poses and plastic smiles. But now that I know I can do work like this, I think I’ll just photograph my sons at home from now on.

Travel companion

Sleepy old dog
Kodak Z730 Zoom
2009

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,416 other followers

%d bloggers like this: