Bruce's Photo Blog
Bruce Foreman | August 2012

Our New Website & New Facebook Page

 The new website is coming alive.  Since we first started having one, the way it was setup and maintained only allowed for one person to manage it.  That one person, Jim Miller, did a great job for us even after moving to San Antonio.  But Ken Grimm offered to take it over and the club accepted the offer.  We paid the domain registration fee for another five years and Ken went to work. 

You can have a look at what he has started on it here:  http://www.cvphotoclub.org/

In his own words:

I will be fleshing out the resources part of the site and testing user galleries with Kenny Thompson very soon. I envision the site’s functionality growing by leaps and bounds and its value to members increasing exponentially.
I have a program about the new web site and social media uses ready to go for the next meeting.
---Ken Grimm

And our new Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/ConchoValleyPhotoClub

The Facebook page allows us to easily share with each other all the wonderful things we find on the internet with each other (I’ve posted quite a few to prime the pump) – and please everyone “Like” the page.
---Ken Grimm

Our Most Valuable Optical Equipment

Our eyes.  We are born with one pair and that's all we will have to last our whole life.  This was driven home to me recently by a “freak” accident that caused an impact to the left side of the frontal portion of my face.  The left eye took some of that impact and as a result I had an Emergency Room visit where the ER doctor on duty (Dr. Daniel) stitched up a couple of places on my face, ordered a CT scan of the head, and then they took me to the Operating Room where Dr. Lui (the Opthamologist on call) went to work on my eye.  There was about a 15mm tear in the Conjunctiva lining over the eye and a split eyelid.

Some accidents will come out of nowhere, but sometimes we will engage in activities where it would be wise to wear safety eyewear, but all too often we will choose not to.  Recently I had to re-edit the gun club introductory video I produced because someone pointed out many people in it were not wearing safety glasses.   I wound up having to remove all segments of women and youngsters involved in rimfire (.22 cal.) silhouette and benchrest matches because NONE OF THEM WORE SAFETY GLASSES.  But even .22 rimfire can “spit” small fragments and burning embers of powder towards the eyes.

I got hit high on the right cheek standing about 5 feet to the left of one doctor firing a new revolver.  It's cylinder was out of alignment and it was “spitting” lead shavings out the left side.  It wasn't serious (except only about an inch and a half from hitting the side of my right eyeball), I had a first aid kit in my pickup and he asked if I wanted him to “patch me up”.  My answer, “Yeah!  You shot me!”  Of course that was in just and we're still friends.

The same principle applies to working with power tools, mowing the lawn, edging the sidewalk and driveway.  And assembling/disassembling anything with parts under spring tension.  Safety glasses are an absolute must.  They are very inexpensive and can be purchased at any hardware store.

Regular eye exams are a very wise idea.  If you go to an Optometrist for routine eye examinations they will refer you to an Opthamologist for any eye problems they detect other than the need for corrective lenses.  Any eye pain, infection, severe irritation, or any injury requires an Opthamologist see you and evaluate the problem.  As a working photographer, I listened to my wife when she advised I see an Opthamologist on a regular basis, seeing that my livelihood depended totally on my eyes.

As we age it becomes even more important to see an Opthamologist on some kind of regular basis  so that the eyes can be thoroughly evaluated for onset of conditions like cataracts, and the impact of other conditions such as diabetes on our eyes.

I'm not ready for the tin cup and pencils.

Coming “Full Circle”

In the 1960s many 35mm cameras often came with one lens.  It had a focal length of 50mm (there were some 55mm and 58 variants but most were 50mm) and often had a maximum aperture of f1.4.  Zoom lenses hadn't hit the scene much and even though there were other “prime” focal length lenses both wide angle and telephoto, many of us “made do” with the “normal” 50mm lens that came with the camera.

This lens “saw” and rendered things around us in much the same perspective the human eye sees things.  The maximum aperture of f1.4 allowed quite a bit of “available light” photography, what a lot of people now refer to as “low light”.  Stopped down to f2.8 to f4 it sharpened up some and at f5.6 to f11 it was generally a sharp performer.   If you had to get along with just one lens, this one worked out pretty good.   I learned to position myself properly for the picture I wanted and this skill served me well for a few decades of wedding photography done with medium format cameras and the “normal” lens that came with those.

Then zooms came along on the 35mm scene and I think they made us a bit lazy.

With the Micro Four Thirds system I've gone over to I have three zooms.  Two versions of the “kit” 14-42mm (one came with the Olympus E-P3 and the Lumix version that came with a Panasonic GH2), and a 45-200mm zoom I got for “long reach” work.  I've concentrated on “prime” lenses in this system and for “normal” perspective and low light work got the Lumix 20mm f1.7.  It's full frame 35mm film equivalent would be 40mm, just a bit wider than the 50mm described above.

I considered the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f1.4 but by the time I decided I would “spring” for it's price it was out of stock EVERYWHERE!  This lens was reputed to have exceptional clarity, good color and contrast, and was supposedly very sharp even at f1.4 where many lenses are getting soft.

I must have placed my name on B&H's “notify me when in stock” list, because the Friday before our last meeting I got an email from them saying “We have a few in stock”.  No hesitation on my part, so far the lens is a dream...But guess what...

That 25mm is a full frame equivalent of 50mm.  It pretty much “lives” on one GH2 so when I carry that camera I'm walking around with the same field of view and normal perspective I had in the 1960s.

I've come full circle...