"We are all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing." ~ Charles Bukowski
So now I need a telephoto that’s autofocus, at least 600mm, maybe 800 or even 1000mm. Here’s a pic I shot this morning of some dude at the Shores goofing around in the small surf on his longboard. He started out surfing it regularfoot but then dropped down to a seated Quasimoto or whatever. I broke out the old Sigma analog 600 f4 and set up with the tripod on the concrete boardwalk. In doing this I quickly discovered — I need to get a modern telephoto lens if I’m going to do any action sports photography. Unlike the shoot at Windansea last week with my Tamron 200 which had plenty of “tack sharp” crispness, these pics were all hit-and-miss. This shot was among the as-good-as-it-gets cetegory:
In the early 80’s I was out of high school and toying with the idea of contributing to the at that time many surfing magazines being published. Actually in the US there was only Ing, Out, and Er — which were Surfing Magazine, Breakout Magazine, and Surfer Magazine. George Salvadore, who was the editor at the Carlsbad-based Breakout Magazine at the time told me the formula for shooting surfing. It was this: use ASA 64 Kodachrome “Red” slide film, and shoot f4 at 250th of a second or faster. That was it. Today the technology’s improved so much you can shoot at a much higher ISO and stopped down for a larger depth of field and still get good results. But that’s what you had to do back then.
I do like my antique glass though. I’ll hang on to my 40 year-old Sigma monster 600. You can’t turn that tight focusing collar fast enough to stay on a rider but boy does it look impressive mounted on a ‘pod.
Newly acquired: an early Model Contaflex from the German company Zeiss Icon. Looks like the fixed lens version they came out with in the beginning before interchangeable lenses were included. It’s attractive and serviceable in working condition but will most likely be seen as a prop in a photo shoot long before I get around to loading it with a roll of Kodachrome. Although I keep my lenses forever I’ve never been too interested in the antique cameras. They call it progress for a reason.
Lisa Carver as “The Dying Mother” with Suckdog at Low Gallery in San Diego, July 2016
When Lisa Carver brought her Suckdog show to town last month I was ambivalent about attending but still probably would have gotten out to see it. Then I got (willingly) roped into driving her and her four-woman band up to L.A. the day after it so that made it required I show up. I took full advantage of the event and recorded Reviewer TV videos and shot photos of the Alternative-Popculture Star because few can argue she is anything but newsworthy. She may not be the Queen Of The Underground as some have accused her but she’s certainly the Dancing Queen.
While waiting outside Low Gallery for the doors to open (I found out later after calling Megan that the entrance was out back in the alley) I set my D5200 on one of its higher ISO setting of 6400 to shoot some photos of the neighborhood in the after-sunset streetlamp light of Barrio Logan with the Coronado Bridge in the background. Then when the show was going to start I began shooting crowd shots of the ten or so spectators that arrived to watch, keeping the settings the same. The idea was to use the camera mounted flash as little as possible so as not to distract the performers or the audience. I ended up using the flash a lot anyways but kept the speed fast. So the two pics below are a bit grainy but I fixed them and to some extent removed noise in Photoshop.
I had the camera-mounted tilt-flash on soft and in these vertical photos as in all of them I angled it towards the roof and used my cupped left hand as a block/reflector held above it to bounce some diffused light towards the subject.
I plan to begin setting up the GPS location info on my cameras because it looks like that’s been left out for some reason.
Both photos below were shot one after the other and were both vertical and full length but the one on top has been enlarged and cropped to reveal detail.
They were shot in quick succession with no adjustment and here’s the recorded image data taken from the bottom full-length photo:
Tamron SP AF 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di LD Aspherical IF B001N
at focal length 24mm (in 35mm: 24mm)
1/100 sec; f/4.5; ISO 6400; Manual; Pattern metering
Flash: Fired, Strobe return light not detected, Compulrsory flash firing, Flash function present, No red-eye reduction
Here’s my manual-focus 19mm Tamron f3.5 to 22 that I bought new in 1989 or so, when it was modern technology. I got it down at either George’s North Park or Nelson’s in Little Italy. I forget for sure which it was but I’m pretty sure it was Nelson’s. I loved this lens for so long because of the strange fisheye effect it gave when shooting in crowds. Groups of people could fit in a shot and I never had to walk backward a step to get the shot. So I used all the time, especially in nightclubs with a flash at f8 and 400 ISO, until going digital in 2005. I set it aside ten years ago during the whole switch from 35mm to digital ut I’m going to begin playing around with it again now. Here it is mounted on my Nikon D5200.
One nice thing about this 19mm fixed focal length Tamron is its compact profile. It’s less bulky to carry and it fits well in almost any camera bag space. My heavy digital autofocus 10 to 24mm has a lot wider angle but the thing is almost as long and fat as the camera body it mounts on, so the 19mm’s snubnose profile has its advantages when shooting in a crowd too. I especially like the way the focusing collar is rigid and stays preset no matter how much it gets swung around. All I have to do is get within a certain margin of distance from a subject in some place like a crowded dark nightclub or a wedding reception dance floor and I don’t even have to check the focus because I know at f8 with a flash they’ll be sufficiently sharp. Makes for fast photos and great candids. #oldglass #analog #nondigitallensesrule