Monday, December 30, 2013

La Tapatia

La Tapatia is a Mexican food market.

If you are in the Rogue Valley it is worth the trip.

They are located at:

125 Main Street 

PhoenixOR 97535

Leica M9
Voigtlander 35mm Skopar

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Name?

Please help me give a name to this photo.

I passed this lady in Chicago on a very cold day.

Leica M9
Voigtlander 35mm Skopar

Friday, December 27, 2013

In My Bag

I always have a hard time deciding what camera gear to take on a trip.  This is an emotional problem that has spilt over from other areas of my regular life.  

When I was young I received backpacking and camping gear for just about every birthday and holiday.  My brother and I had memorized the Campmor mail order catalog.  It was our bible.  I could give you the breakdown and specifications of many of the items inside.  I could tell you prices of every backpack stove, weight, fuel type, max BTU's, and all the pro's and con's for each model.  I was proud of the gear that I had and was going to carry it all whether I needed it or not.  Throughout the years I learned to pack my pack more appropriately based on the duration, weather, and location.

This need to be prepared trickled over to all trips that I took.  I didn't matter if I was planning an adventure in the city or on the trail.  Packing a camera bag hasn't been an exception.  

For this trip I know that:

1.  I will be immersed in the city where I will be shooting street photography and street portraits.

2.  I will be on the trail for a night or two.

3.  Part of the trip will be spent with amazing scenery, picturesque views, and magnificent landscapes that will require captures to be in color.

Decisions..... Decisions..... Decisions.....

There are people in the photography community that live by the motto "one camera, one lens".  I practice this mantra..... but only for an evening at a time.  I do limit myself to only one camera bag for a trip.  All gear must fit inside the bag including my iPad with bluetooth keyboard and Zipshot Micro tripod.  I am lucky regarding this rule as I mainly shoot Leica M and micro four thirds camera systems.  The bodies and lenses are small. 

By now you are probably wondering what I brought along with me.  Let's think about the three situations that I will be in.

1.  Street photography:  I brought my Leica M9 of course.  To me there isn't a better camera system to shoot street with.  The camera is small.  It is easy to carry and is built like a tank.  The optical viewfinder is superb for framing.  There is no black out when actuating the shutter as it is a rangefinder and there is no mirror that has to flip up like a DSLR.   The lenses are small and easily fit into a jacket pocket.

2.  On the trail:  My love and I will be heading out during the rainy season and expect to encounter some moisture.  (Please keep your fingers crossed for us.)  I brought my Olympus OM-D E-M5.  It is built like a tank and is dust and water sealed.  It functions and meters perfectly in any situation.  I am a firm supporter of the micro four thirds system.  The lenses are affordable even though the image quality is top notch.  (Please remember that I'm a devout prime lens shooter and am not vouching for any of the zoom lenses that are available.)  People often comment to me that I must have an amazing camera.  I always respond that it's the lenses that make the photos.  

3.  Landscapes in color:  I brought along my Yashica MAT 124 TLR medium format camera.  This is the original MAT 124 made between 1968 and 1970.  It is not the "G" model.  It is a tank.  I only have one roll of 120 Kodak Ektar with me and hope to find a camera shop at one of our destinations.  In the past I traditionally have self developed black and white film at home and scanned the negatives using an Epson v500 scanner.  Moving forward I'm going to start sending rolls to a professional lab for developing and scanning.  I've looked at the math regarding the price of chemicals and time vs. the amount of film that I shoot.  For me it makes more sense to send the film out.  I can communicate to the lab my preferences on contrast and grain and they can work their magic.  I won't have to worry about discarding expired chemicals.  I plan on shooting more color film anyway.  If you have never shot with a TLR camera before send me a message.  The experience can be zen-like.  It is pure photography at the core.  You really feel like you are creating art as opposed to just taking a picture.  I have a second camera, a Yashica A and would be happy working one-on-one with someone.

I'm always curious what others carry in their bag.  Maybe next trip mine will be a little lighter.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe

Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe is located in Greenville, Ohio.

 Plan on chewing gum during your arrival......
Stick it on the wall of their building......
It's a "mom and pop" joint.....
It is a destination......

It is well worth the trip.
We ride our motorcycles there every season.

All photos were captured with a Panasonic GF1 and 20mm f/1.7

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Street Portait

I find it challenging to edit my work. 
When I say "editing" I'm referring to the process of choosing the best photographs from the ones that I captured.

I met this guy in Chicago.  He was trying to sell the free newspapers to make a buck.
He was a jovial gentlemen that was pleasant to be around.

He enjoyed having his photo taken.

Which photo would you choose and why?

Leave me a comment with your thoughts.


Monday, December 23, 2013

B&W or Color: Birds & Shoes

Which one do you prefer?
Please leave a comment.....
Athens, Greece
Panasonic GF1
1/320 sec


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Missing the Trail

I've been missing you lately in my life......
My wife has been missing you too.
You, me, and my pack.....

We will all be together soon.

Leica M9
Voigtlander 28mm Ultron

Saturday, December 21, 2013

5 Things I Love about Film

Khánh Hmoong  has a wonderful website dedicated to film photography:

He asked me why I love shooting film.

My thoughts were published on his site some time ago.

Please check out my thoughts here.



Friday, December 20, 2013

Travel Safe

To everyone who is travelling this holiday season,
Spend time with love ones.  Eat good food.
Drink good beverages.  Tell people 
that you love and appreciate
them always.....

Just remember.....
 Take photos along the way.

All photos were captured with a 
Panasonic GF1 and 20mm f/1.7 lens.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ben vs. Marci

My love doesn't necessarily have the same passion for photography that I have.
She really enjoys the photos that I take and is always supportive.....
I'm focused mentally when bringing a viewfinder to my eye.
I don't realize that Marci observes what I do......
I think that inside somewhere down deep,
she studies composition and light,
subconsciously maybe.

Marci spent the week shooting with my Olympus OM-D E-M5.
I was shooting with my Leica M9 along side her.

Can you tell which photo is mine and which capture belongs to her?
The processing isn't the same as we have different tastes....
The scene is of Dark Angel in Arches National Park.

Please leave a comment with your best guess.

Wherever you are in the world tonight.....
I hope that you are safe and warm.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Nashville News

A little color for us all on this cold, dreary night.

Nashville, Tennessee
Panasonic GF1
Panasonic 20mm
1/60 sec

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Lately I've had a couple of short interactions with others regarding my B&W post-processing of photos.
I've mentioned that lately I've been posting JPEG's straight from my Leica M9 to social media.
People argue that a Leica M9 with its older style CCD sensor is obsolete.
They complain that the files from high ISO settings are unusable.
I find this to be false and will argue the opposite.
The noise rendering can be beautiful.
Especially in monochrome.

Someone once told me that we all look better in black and white.

One file is a JPEG straight out of the camera.  
One file was the uncompressed raw file that was edited in Light Room 4.  

Which one is the JPEG and which is the processed file?
Which one do you like better and why?
Please leave me a comment.
Share your thoughts.


Leica M9
Voigtlander 35mm Skopar
1/16 sec

File No. 1

File No. 2

Monday, December 16, 2013

Santa Sighting

I had the opportunity to catch Santa away from work.
He said that he was enjoying his time on vacation.
He gave me a  smile and thumbs up.
I guess I've been good.

Barcelona, Spain
Panasonic GF1
Panasonic 14mm f/2.5

Santa Stan DePew is available this Christmas for hire. 
He and his real beard can be found in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area.
You can contact him here:

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

B&W or Color: Truck Crossing

Which one do you prefer?
Please leave a comment.....

Leica M9
Voigtlander 28mm Ultron
1/500 s