Monday, January 24, 2011

Poking around on a Sunday morning

Detail, the Adams Building

Sunday morning dawned cold and gray. The temperature was in the high thirties. That would be the warmest part of the day. The wind steadily increased from the north.

Morton Comprehensive Health Center, Lansing Park

Wade and I had breakfast at IHOP as usual. By the time we left, it was noticeably colder. We shivered in the parking lot while discussing a minor point about camera lenses, but gratefully dove into our cars to get out of that wind.

I went home and put on a heavier jacket. Then I went off to downtown Tulsa for some photos.

Tulsa's dilapidated armory at the Fairgrounds

I found some interesting buildings, but in all honesty, it was so cold I didn't want to spend much time outdoors. Despite multiple layers and a windproof jacket, I was chilled to the core. I even stopped at QT for a cup of coffee. It didn't help.

These are just three of the day's photos. The rest are on my Picasa web album.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

For George...

I was poking around in St. John's Hospital while Mary was a patient there. I came across this fire extinguisher cabinet in a hallway off the main lobby. I don't know if this is Art Deco or Art Nouveau, and frankly it's not a good photograph. The cabinet may have contained a fire hose at one time, given the age of the building, but I wasn't about to open it to take a look. What stuck me about the door was the obvious concern for a pleasing artistic design in something as mundane as a utility cabinet.

St. John's has a collection of porcelain figurines in the main lobby. I walked by them several times before really taking notice. That's probably not unusual as people in hospitals tend to be preoccupied.

Mary complained about the hospital food. Lyndsay agreed that it was pretty bad. But I ate in the cafeteria once - just once in the whole time we were there - and I had some very good kielbasa and sauerkraut. Maybe the Polish crew was working in the kitchen that day. I was a happy camper.

All these photos were taken with my little Kodak Z1285. When I have some free time, I may go back down there to take some better photos.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More photos along old Route 66

Much of the city of Tulsa was built during the Art Deco period in the 1920s and 30s. Some of it can be seen along old Route 66, like this building. I was playing with the Nikon N6006 in the matrix metering mode just to see how it responded. I'm pleased with the results.
This is possibly an old filling station surrounded by newer construction. These steeply pitched roofs are common in both business and residential building throughout Tulsa. Again, since this scene is largely backlit, I wanted to see how the metering handled it.

This is a filling station in Owasso. The exposure worked out well and the autofocus operated properly in the low light.

This one has lots of contrast, making the focusing job easier for the camera.

This is our most senior cat, Mittens, who is about 19 years old. It was taken in the living room as she sat on the arm of the sofa. The lens was probably wide open and the shutter speed was fairly low. The depth of field is very shallow. Mittens doesn't move around much, though I was lucky to catch her awake. At her age, the day consists of eating, dozing in the sun, or sleeping on the sofa.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

No comment

I did some wandering along old Route 66 in Tulsa this morning. I posted most of the photos in my Picasa web album.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First photos from Nikon N6006

We had a little bit of snow on Monday. Mom and Number One Daughter wanted to go for a walk in it. We went to a small park nearby because it has a level walkway along the side of a pond. Not shown - the generous droppings from the Canada geese. Trust me, the footing was treacherous in spots.

This is cropped from the photo shown below. She's my favorite model, of course. I think the kid learned to pose when she was only a year or two old.

The sky was completely overcast, so the light was flat. I didn't do any compensation for the snow in the camera, though the FastStone resizer does a little bit to bump the color and sharpen the image. The N6006 has a roll of black and white in it now, and I'm anxious to play with it more this weekend.


Monday, January 10, 2011


Long, long ago, while dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, I nearly purchased a brand new Nikkormat. But the salesman steered me away from it toward a Ricoh XR-1 instead. Perhaps he made more commission on the Ricoh. But it was a fateful choice. The Ricoh used Pentax K mount lenses, while the Nikkormat used Nikon's F mount. As I purchased a few lenses, naturally they were all compatible with Pentax, and I've stuck with their products for nearly 30 years.

Until last week.

Regular CycleDog reader and all around nice guy George, who writes the Bike Riding Donut Guy blog, offered me a deal on a pair of Nikons that had belonged to his father. He had an EM and an N6006 with a 50mm and 35-70mm zoom. Both are autofocus lenses.

The EM is similar to the Pentax ME or MG, with a single mechanical shutter speed for flash synchronization, a B setting for long exposures, and an automatic setting for program operation. It's a remarkably small 35mm SLR, and almost jewel-like as the Olympus OM1.

But the N6006 is the most sophisticated 35mm I've ever had in my hands. It's a polycarbonate body with a multitude of exposure modes, three different metering modes, and an impressively long users manual. Believe me, that manual is an absolute necessity. Very little on this camera can be described as intuitive. While I may have blundered into finding the manual modes by myself, it's not very likely that I'd figure this out without assistance.

There's one aspect that I really like, and that's the focus speed. If you've used a digital SLR, you know just how quickly they can focus. This camera uses the same method, phase detection, if I remember right, and it focuses very rapidly. It's especially noticeable with the 50mm lens, and I like this for street photography. While I enjoy the portability of smaller point and shoot cameras, I can see using this Nikon for some fast moving subjects like bike races. It won't replace the rangefinder cameras I use regularly because they're less obtrusive than an SLR, but I can see these Nikons will be used frequently too.

One other nice thing - the N6006 doesn't use seals - so I don't have to scrape a black, sticky mess out of the camera. I couldn't resist stuffing a roll of film in it. That was on Saturday. It's nearly finished, so chances are it goes to the mini-lab tomorrow. Naturally, I'll post some photos.

Thanks, George!

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Ask Doctor Wally: Bolsheviks!

Dear Dr. Wally

One of our prominent local politicians (I think you know the one!) insists that bicyclists are all dope-smoking hippies and Bolsheviks! I'm a Methodist and I don't take anything stronger that aspirin. What should I say to this man?

Concerned in Choteau

Don't take it too personally, Concerned, because we have to give him points for creativity. And yes, I do know the man. Remember that here in Oklahoma, Republicans call each other 'liberals' during the primary season because it's the dirtiest epithet they know. It shows a lack of imagination and an inability to grasp the more subtle nuances of invective and innuendo.

But are cyclists more likely to be lefties? Perhaps we should ask if other groups with common interests have similar political inclinations. What about fishermen or library patrons? One central issue for all is to preserve the resources they use. Fishermen are interested in clean water. Library users want to see that books are easily available and properly maintained, and cyclists want good roads. But everyone benefits from good roads, clean water, and the free exchange of information. Our individual interests serve to better the world for others, much as our individual abilities ultimately serve our individual needs. So, yeah, we are Bolsheviks!

See you on the road, comrade!

Dr. Wally

Next time: Make your own energy bars/tire patches using common industrial chemicals.


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Yashica Lynx 14e

Here are some photos from the first roll of Fuji 400 I put through the Yashica Lynx 14e. They didn't come from the camera shown above, but from another Lynx 14, the IC model. "IC" stands for integrated circuit - something I haven't found in this camera yet though I've had the top and bottom covers off. Given its age, the IC would most likely be a TTL device (that's transistor-transistor-logic) and it would very likely be a high current device. That could mean rapid battery drain. But it's only used for the internal meter, and since I use an old Minolta Auto Meter IIIf, I don't really need an on-board meter too.

The lens doesn't like back light, as you can see from this photo of Number One Son at work. That seems to be fairly typical of these old lenses. I haven't put a lens shade on this one yet, but it would probably benefit greatly if I did.

Here's a situation where this lens may excel, window light in a cafe. I'm not sure if it's as sharp as the Yashica Electro GT, and I'd have to do some side-by-side comparisons. That's my friend Wade at breakfast inside Gatsby's Grill in Tulsa, and it's the same spot where I took a photo of my daughter.

This is a penguin. Really. These statues are all over the Tulsa metro area, and this particular one is just outside the Cox Cable office on 41st Street. It looks good for an open shade shot.

Next, I have a roll of black and white going through this camera. I'll post those photos eventually.

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