Testing and Learning a New Camera

I recently make the decision to move from Nikon as my primary camera system to Sony’s full-frame mirrorless system.  Specifically, I choose the A7II as my new primary camera body and the 24-70 f4 and 70-200 f4 as the workhorse lenses.  I’m also planning on using a number of older manual-focus lenses from various rangefinder-type systems.

The A7II has four custom function buttons as well as the ability to reprogram most buttons and dials which makes it likely the most adaptable modern camera available.  Of course, to take advantage of this requires a lot of learning, testing, and experimentation.  And, that’s the fun part!  I’ve settled on a setup that allows quick easy transition between manual and auto focus as well as controlling all aspects of the auto focus systems without going into the menus.  In fact once I’m familiar with the setup, I’ll be able to make any focus system adjustment while shooting without taking the camera away from my eye.

This morning I’ve been using this setup to shoot ordinary objects around my workroom.  Below are a few of the photos taken using manual focus and then quickly edited to convert them to monochrome.

Turned On


Feel the Beat


Rock On


Havin’ a Blast


Feeling Secure


The View


(Click on an image for a larger version)

Posted in Personal Photos, Random Thoughts

The Aged Aluminum Process

Over the next few months, I’ll be working with various new techniques using aged, distressed, patinated aluminum plates.  Along the way, I’ll be posting some photos on this blog showing a little bit of what’s involved in creating these finished piece.

The photographs below show plates that have been through the initial patina process and can now be stored until they are matched with an image for printing.  Because this process is random, it’s nice to have a good supply on hand.





In subsequent posts, I’ll give some details on how these random patterns are created and how these plates are prepared for the printer and then turned into finished pieces.

Posted in Mixed Media

Old Tree Bones

Old Tree Bones

For me, being in nature with my camera is like a meditation.  I rarely have a plan for a photography session other than where I’m going to start. I pick a trail, grab my camera, start walking, and enjoying being surrounded by nature.  There is always some great photographic opportunity that gets my attention.

I could describe my shooting style in very mystical terms.  I could say that objects along the trail tell me they want to be photographed.  Or, maybe, Mother Earth has developed a shooting list for me and all I need to do is get myself out there with my camera.  My skeptical side though tells me that in 15 years of serious nature photography I’ve developed a very good intuition of my style and while I’m hiking I’m also unconsciously scanning for good photographic opportunities.  Once found these opportunities are moved to my awareness and out comes the camera.

Old Tree Bones is a good example of this in action.  This broken sun-bleached tree trunk grabbed my attention along the Ocean Path a couple of days ago and I spent some time working to get an image capture I’d be happy with.  When I was finished shooting the tree, I was pretty certain I had something I would like.  I was right, I do.

And, regardless of what my skeptical side says, I always thank Mother Earth for her gifts.

Posted in Personal Photos, Random Thoughts

Photo Editing Therapy

After a rough week, I’m taking a little time for rest and relaxation by editing photos and listening to smooth jazz.  These are a few photographs taken several weeks ago in Jim Thorpe, PA.

Church Wall

Stone Wall,
St. Mark’s & St. John’s Episcopal Church,
Race Street,
Jim Thorpe, PA

Race Street,
Jim Thorpe, PA

Dimmick Memorial Libray,
Broadway Street,
Jim Thorpe, PA

 Town Hall Clock
Carbon County Courthouse Clock,
Broadway and Susquehanna Streets,
Jim Thorpe, PA

Abandoned Building

Abandoned Building,
Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railroad,
Jim Thorpe, PA

Quick note – Never trespass to photograph on railroad right-of-ways!  I read of photographers or models being accidentally killed a couple of times a year doing just that.  I was riding the train when the photograph above was taken.
Posted in Personal Photos

Race Day!

Stan in the 2014 MDI YMCA 5K

Stan in the 2014 MDI YMCA 5K

I’ve been looking forward to and working for this day since New Years Eve – race day! The MDI YMCA 5K.  It was a fun, exciting, and successful event.  I ran in this same event in 2011 and wanted to do significantly better.  My overall time today was 29:10, down over 5 minutes.  One specific goal I set on New Years Eve was an average pace of 9:00/mile.  I realized a while ago I wasn’t likely to reach that one but I came much closer than I expected, average pace – 9:17/mile.  I also had a goal of weighing no more than 185 on race day.  That one was in the bag several weeks ago.  My weight this morning was 177, down 56 pounds from the first of the year.  Another interesting number from the Runmeter app was my fastest pace during the race – 7:42/mile.  It’s fun to set a goal and them work hard to reach that goal.

What’s more important than the numbers is that I’m as healthy now as I have been in my entire adult life.  I’m eating better, feeling great, and enjoying life more than I ever have.  That’s a good place to be!

By the way, a special thanks to my good friends Sherry and Ivan for taking time on a busy Saturday to take this photograph and being my personal cheering section!! Thanks!!


Posted in Random Thoughts

Fitness Update – August

Well, I’m within a month of the 5K run I targeted my fitness goal on last Dec. 31 and I’m continuing to make progress.  My weight loss is now at 51.4 pounds which is several pounds more than my goal for September 20.  :-)  The rate of loss have slowed just a bit for August.  I’ve been averaging 2 pounds/ week for months and in the last four weeks I’ve ‘only’ lost 6 pounds.  No, I’m not disappointed.  Actually, I have MyFitnessPal set for 1-1/2 pounds/week, so I’m finally down to that rate.  In a week or two I’ll be under 180 for the first time close to 30 years.

I’m still jogging/running about 20 miles/week.  Based on the advice Jeff Galloway gives in his book, Running Until You’re 100, I’m not longer focusing on increasing my pace.  I’m more focused now on consistency and avoiding injury by using reasonable intervals.  I’ve settled on 4 min running/1 minute walking intervals.   For most workouts, I’ll do these intervals the entire time, but occasionally, I’ll start with a full 5k before starting the intervals.  This seems to be working well as my 5k times are naturally falling at a slow rate.  I expect my race day pace will be in the 10:10-10:20/mile range.

My next update will be after the 5k on September 20th.  I’m looking forward to that and then I’ll focus on getting down to a permanent maintenance weight.

Posted in Blog News

Fitness Update – July

It’s been over 6 weeks since I’ve posted about my fitness quest.  Happily, I can report I’m still making progress.  I’ll start with weight loss this time.  This morning after my workout, I weighed 187.6 which is a little over 45 pounds down from the beginning of the year and the second consecutive weigh-in showing a 45 pound weight loss.  With 2.6 pounds to go to hit my original goal for September 20th, that shouldn’t be a problem.  In the last post, I speculated that I may be able to hit that by my birthday but 2.6 lbs. in 10 days probably won’t happen.  That’s OK.  I’m very happy to be where I’m at in this process.

My prep for the 5k in September is going well also.  I’ve been using a 6.5 mile route on the carriage roads in Acadia NP.  I always start and end with 5 minute warm up and cool down walks.  This morning I ran a full 5k after the warm up and then finished the route with 4min jogging/1 min walking intervals.  Overall, it was my best time on the route (by over 2 minutes) and for the 5k it was my best time this summer.  My 5k time was 32:29 for an average pace of 10:27/mile.  Again, it would be nice for the pace to be faster and the time less, but I’m pleased – very pleased – with my current progress.

Here’s an iPad screenshot from the Runmeter app of my current route.  The bottom of the map shows the distance and my overall time from this morning.


Posted in Random Thoughts

Fitness Update – June

Even with the gallery season is full swing now, I’m continuing to make progress to the fitness goals I set on New Year’s Eve.  Today is a big milestone – my first run of 5K, with no walking breaks, since September 2010.  Here’s the map from Runmeter.


My starting point, the carriage road parking lot on Eagle Lake Road, is at the bottom of the map.  The green markers show the mileage points and the blue markers are where I switched between jogging and walking.  The first split is 3.11 miles (5K) with a run time of 32:19 and an average pace of 10:24.  I walked between the blue markers 1 and 2, 2:14.  Then between markers 2 and 3, an easy jog for 1.7 miles in 21:00 for an average pace of 12:20.  I ended with a cool-down walk for the last 11:27.  Total time – 1:07:00, total distance 5.62 miles.

Weight loss is also on track.  After the workout this morning, I’m down 37 pounds with 11 to go to get to my initial goal of 185 by the MDI YMCA 5K on September 20.  When I set that weight goal, I was afraid it was too aggressive.  If my current weight loss of about 2 pounds/week continues, I should hit that goal in early August – maybe by my 62nd birthday. :-)

Posted in Random Thoughts

Fitness Update

My fitness crusade continues. Today is a milestone – down 30 pounds from New Years Eve. And I’m only 18 pound from my initial weight goal.

Today was also a good day jogging. Since I’ve been back in Maine, I’ve been doing a 5.75 mile route on the Carriage Roads in Acadia National Park. This is a map of my workout this morning created using data from the Runmeter app on the iPhone.


I completed the 5.75 miles in 73 minutes for an average pace of 12:40/mile. Of the 73 minutes, 48 minutes were jogging and 25 minutes walking. It’s a good place for me to be at the beginning of the summer with hopes of running a strong 5K in the fall.

Posted in Blog News

Deserve to be on a pedestal?

Let others put you on that pedestal.

Not respected

Not respected

I photographed these seagulls on the fisherman’s float next to the town pier in Bar Harbor, ME, a few days ago.  I couldn’t help putting intention with the behaviors I saw.

(Click on the image for a larger version.)

Posted in Random Thoughts