Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What Goes On Behind the Monuments

I figured I should post a little humor on April Fool's Day.
My friends and I frequently find ourselves photographing around the monuments at the National Mall in Washington, DC. The Lincoln Memorial is a very common stop, and my comrades have worked on their own projects there, including photographing tourists taking "selfies" there.
The last time we went, I put my new Nikkor Series E 100mm f2.8 lens on my Nikon Df and decided to shoot the back and sides of the Lincoln Memorial, from ground level. Here is a triptych of images that I got, all within five minutes or so of shooting.
Scenes Behind the Memorial, by Reed A. George
A little hard to see the people at this scale? Take a look at the insets below to see what was going on in each corresponding frame above.
What's Really Going On, by Reed A. George
I think in all three cases (certainly the last), my subjects knew they were being photographed. I appreciate all of their good humor!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Trip to the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC

I took my Nikon F2SB with me to the Hirshhorn Museum of Art in Washington, DC.
It was a cold, rainy afternoon.
Museums are Good for Rainy Days, by Reed A. George
Nikon F2SB, 50mm f1.4 AI Lens
Ilford HP5 Film
While photographing the displays or pieces of art in a museum is tantamount to stealing someone else's creativity, I always enjoy photographing people in the interesting environment created by a museum.
Separate Worlds, by Reed A. George
Nikon F2SB, 50mm f1.4 AI Lens
Ilford HP5 Film
I like how the left and right of the frame above could have come from completely different photographs.
The more I use the F2SB (which is a normal Nikon F2 SLR with the photomic finder that uses a very sensitive silicon sensor for light metering), the more I like it. Mine's in very nice user condition - not so nice that I'm afraid to take it out, but certainly well-preserved for its age. I enjoy shooting film with older manual Nikkor lenses, as well.

Monday, March 30, 2015

End of the Winter Season

End of Winter, by Reed A. George
Nikon F2SB, Nikkor Non-AI 135mm f3.5 Lens, Yellow Filter
Ilford HP5+ Film
I hope this will be one of the last images I take this season that includes ice. I like the layers in this composition, most notably the dark layer at the top, with its ordered rows of trees and shadows they cast.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Adams Memorial Statue by Saint-Gaudens - And Connections

Adams Memorial Statue, by Reed A. George
Nikon Df, Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AIS Lens
iso 100, f1.2, 1/2000 sec.
My friends Charlie and Bill introduced me to this beautiful piece of art in the Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, DC. It was made by Saint-Gaudens in memory of the wife of Henry Adams, Marian "Clover" Hooper Adams.
The first connection with photography is the fact that Mrs. Adams perished after drinking potassium cyanide, which she normally used to process photographs. Another photographic connection is that the statue was inspired by the Buddhist Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kannon. Kannon (Kwannon) was the namesake of the Japanese camera company Canon.
Adams felt very strongly that this statue should never be named. In fact, he cursed anyone who names it. (Click Here) to read his wishes, and the full history of the memorial.
I am pleased with the way my new 50mm f1.2 AIS lens rendered the statue. I used out of focus regions resulting from the very thin depth of field the lens produces wide open to bring attention to the shrouded face. The hand also serves as a compositional element that leads to the face.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Nice Candid With the Nikkor 135mm f3.5 Non-AI Lens and Nikon F2SB

Juan and David, by Reed A. George
Nikon F2SB, Nikkor 135mm f3.5 Non-AI Lens
Ilford HP5+ Film
Not much to say here. Just a shot I happen to really like a lot. I captured it while Juan and David took a little breather from practicing parkour.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Master of Darkness - My New Lens

I've just sprung for a new lens for my Nikon kit. It's the Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AIS manual focus from Nikon. They've been making it since 1981, and they still make it today.
I bought my very late production unit from my friend, Alain, for a great price. It's truly like new. It's also the fastest lens I own.
I'm hoping that it will be the perfect extreme low light lens for my Nikon Df. Given the Df's high iso capabilities, I should be able to do some incredible things with this combination.
I can already tell that it's tough to focus, though. The depth of field at f1.2 is just plain razor thin. But, that's the whole idea of a lens with an incredibly wide maximum aperture.
This lens will be going with me to Japan this spring. I can't wait to try it out in the Tokyo night time!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

More Parkour, Again With the Nikon F2SB

Here are my favorites from the second roll of HP5 that I shot of Juan, Garrett, and David practicing parkour in DC:
As with the first roll, these were all shot with my Nikon F2SB. This could become a habit for me...