September 15, 2020

     The students are back. Summer is over. The nights are cool again, and the days are shorter.  It's a changed atmosphere.  In this post,  we snap from the summer gardens to a presage of winter.  It doesn't snow much in Charlottesville, but once or twice a year we get enough to cover the ground.  This is what it can look like on a clear winter day.  These photos are from Janu...

June 15, 2020

     There are lots of ways to make panoramas.  You can scan your smart phone across a scene and let your phone do the rest.  Or you can put your DSLR on a tripod and scan across a scene and stitch the photos in software. Or, you can rent a tilt shift lens, put it on a tripod, shift it left, center, and right, and stitch the photos in software.  Better yet, you can bracket your expo...

April 15, 2020

     There was good news on Easter Sunday.  Approximately 327 million Americans did not get SARS-CoV-2 and die.  However, for freedom lovers, there also was a bit of bad news.  The University of Virginia went full bore communist and commanded visitors to self-ban themselves from the Grounds.  Before Easter, the blue sign went up to mark what will forever be known as The Great A...

December 15, 2019

     It's hard to make a Fall photo that has not been made before.  Of necessity, Fall photos are mostly just documentary of the place they were made.  Still, it's worth it to look for a new photo, even if it just yields a memory for a future time.  Often, a slightly different view, or an unexpected element, is enough to make a memorable photo, even if only for the photographer who made it.  The p...

October 15, 2019

     Morning light on The Lawn is completely different from afternoon light.  That doesn't sound scientific, but it's true.  Just walk around The Lawn at 8 a.m.  Then walk around The Lawn at 5 p.m.  The mood in the morning is completely different from the mood in the afternoon.  The angles and the colors and the highlights and the shadows are not the same....

September 15, 2019

     The grounds are mostly empty during the summer, and late afternoons are a good time to get clean photos of The Lawn - that is, photos without residents and tourists cluttering up the scene.  An overcast June day was a good time to try out the Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 E ED VR, which was on the camera via  The sun was in and out, and there was rain on the ground.  The grass was extra...

June 15, 2019

     This post continues a previous series on shooting 500 keepers with the Zeiss Milvus 35 mm f/2.0.  The idea was to set the lens to f/2.0 and keep photographing until I had 500 photos worth keeping.  Some were very similar and will never see any further light of day.  Some photos formed a continuous series for a post on a single topic, such as the posts on reunions and...

June 1, 2019

     By early June, The University is mostly vacant. Graduation is over, and The Lawn is recovering from the thousands of graduates and parents that paraded down the middle of it just weeks before.  The summer quiet descends, and it is possible to forget the modern world. During this time, alumni visit the Grounds and re-live a little bit of University life.  If the weather is favorable, it can be...

April 1, 2019

     The Zeiss ZF.2 135 f/2.0 APO Sonnar is a superb lens.  Often, there is a temptation to claim that a great photo is so good because of the lens, or maybe the camera, even though the same great photo might have been taken with different gear on the same day.  That's the temptation with the Zeiss 135 APO Sonnar - to claim that your photos are great because of the lens -  but the m...

December 1, 2018

     Peter Karbe, expert Leica lens designer, says that Leica lenses are designed to be shot wide open. Karbe says:


                “…shoot the lenses wide open. Do not stop down for exposure control. STOP IT. Use an...

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