Posts Tagged: 50mm lens

Comet Catalina and the Big Dipper

Comet Catalina and the Big Dipper
Close up of Comet Catalina
The Stellarium map to Comet Catalina

Mon 01.18.16 – Yesterday, the 17th of January, Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10) was closest to Earth before it departs for the outer solar system.

For the last few evenings, I have been duly trotting out around 10 or 11pm to see if the cloud cover has cleared enough for me to see the rising of the Big Dipper in the northeast.

Last night, I got fairly lucky with a patchy sky and the sky opened up to mostly clear in the northeast. The first photo above is my photo of the rising of the Big Dipper, the second photo is a cropped close up to show the small fuzzy turquoise cotton ball that my camera captured of Comet Catalina (top left middle), and the third photo is a screenshot from Stellarium to map out / illustrate where one would find Comet Catalina in the sky last night at the time I took the photo.

Not too spectacular, but I was shooting with my 50mm lens and not my telescope. Through my binoculars, I could see a faint tail. Very faint.

Photos taken with by Jenifer Hanen with her Nikon D800 camera and a Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens.

The Moon and the Puddle

The Moon and the Puddle in the desert

Mon 01.11.16 – While driving just after sunset eastbound on California highway 62, I knew that the new crescent moon would be setting soon behind me. As the dusk deepened, the road turned to Vidal Junction and out of the farside of my left side vision, I could see the moon. I pulled over as soon as it was safe to do so and saw this large puddle from recent rains in the desert and was delighted.

I pulled out the Nikon D800 but could not unearth the tripod from under the luggage, so here is my photo of the Moon and the Puddle.

Belle and the Skateboarder

Belle would like you to throw the ball... Belle le Cane, you have all seen her photo in one of my photo streams or you have met her in real life. Belle, the supermodel of small white dogs – all long legs, big luminescent brown eyes, soft fluffy white fur, irresistible ears, dewdrop nose in a dark brown pink, obedient, follows you everywhere, and oh so photogenic. You fell in love with her, but like with most hot bitches, there are a few downsides:

1) Belle has a coprophagia problem, in fact she farms the shit. She has been known to line up her own & Scruffy’s poop in the backyard and let it dry in rows before she consumes it if one does not get out there fast enough to pick the poop up and discard it in the trash bin.

2) Belle hates skateboards. She vehemently hates the sounds of skateboard and in-line skate wheels. She will run after the heinous screechy sound offender and attempt to attack. Yes, sixteen pounds of small white super-dog-model running at some gromet punk of a teenager on a wooden board on wheels. Bad combo.

Last night about 8:45pm, I was babysitting Lukas and I needed to go down to my car to get a usb cord to charge my tablet before it ran out of juice and my dearly beloved Kindle app turned off. I couldn’t leave Scruffy and Belle upstairs in Family B’s apartment, as mean little white dog angry presents would have been left. Given that we were just making a quick trip to the curb and back, and both of them are good, grown up dogs who can walk beside me for 30 feet without a leash, off we walked downstairs to the car.

As I opened the trunk of my car, Belle stood on her hind legs and peered in it hoping that the Chuck-It and ball would be brought out. I heard before I saw out of the corner of my eye a skateboarder coming down the middle of the street. It was a tall, thin 20-something young man with a large backpack on, a laptop bag under one arm with the other out in front of him for balance as he was riding one of those incongruently small skateboards that both of his feet could not fit on at the same time.

Hipster-skateboarder with a large backpack and a laptop bag leaving one of the digital agencies or post-production houses at the other end of the street. Poor thing, he probably works really long days trying to prove himself in the dog-eat-dog world of digital Los Angeles, riding his itty bitty skateboard to wherever at nearly 9pm, when a small white madly barking streak runs out into the street to disem-skateboard him.

The kid attempted to evade the mad dog but his feet were too big for the small board and off the board flew into the xeriscaped yard of the across the street neighbor, up went the kid’s feet in different directions as he attempted to clutch the laptop closer and protect his backpack’s contents, and on to his butt he fell in the middle of the street.

Belle sauntered back to me completely happy that the evil wheel noise had ceased and the young man was like a turned over turtle trying to right itself, which he did quickly as I admonished Belle and apologized repeatedly to him. He looked at both of us in surprise, and before I could offer to help, he grabbed his skateboard and ran down the opposite sidewalk, yelling that it was alright and he was alright.

Belle then peered into the back of the car looking for the Chuck-It and two SUVs passed us staring as the street was now clear. The kid rounded the corner and was gone. Belle was deeply disappointed that we were not going to play fetch with the Chuck-It in the dark.

Just Before Dawn, in Color and in Black-and-White

Last dawning of the Waning Moon before the New Moon, plus Venus - in Color Last dawning of the Waning Moon before the New Moon, plus Venus - in Black-and-White

Fri. 09.11.15 – Due to the hot, humid, sub-tropical September (*evil*) weather we have been having here at Black Phoebe Central wherein it is nearly 80F by 7:45am, I have been taking the dogs out for their morning constitutional around 6am. This morning, Belle needed to go out for a pitstop about 10 minutes before 6am, as I was outside looking east into the first colorings of twilight dawning in the sky with a lovely waning crescent moon and Venus, I ran back inside to get my Nikon D800 to photograph the scene.

I liked the resultant photos but did not post them at Flickr or the Instragrams, until this afternoon when I wondered how converting the photo to black-and-white in Lightroom would improve the photo or not. I used the Lightroom B&W 5 preset with a few changes in exposure and was very happy.

I posted the B&W version to the Instagrams to as much fanfare as my IG stream every really produces and then wanted to show both photos side by side here to see what you all think. Click on the thumbnails for the medium and large views of the photos.

Do you prefer the colors of the pre-dawn sky or is the B&W version more intriguing to you?

OC : OL : MF 2015 – Ms. Jen’s Photography Project for the Year

Scruffy in front of the garage

Jan 4, 2015 – Photo of Scruffy McDoglet taken by Jenifer Hanen with her Nikon FM3a SLR, a Nikon 50mm AIS f/1.8 manual lens, and Kodak TRI-X 400 B&W film.

At the urging on TOP’s Mike Johnston last November, I decided to take on the One Camera, One Lens, One Year challenge to help me stretch my photography practice for the whole of 2015.

Last year in 2014, I quietly made the commitment to take my Nikon D800 out weekly and to the Huntington Library and Gardens monthly. It was a great personal challenge and helped me to get very familiar with my DSLR and the cycle of seasons at the Huntington’s gardens. Some of those photos were posted here and on my Flickr stream. Most live on my computer.

When I read Mike’s article in November, I loved the idea of printing out one photo every day rather than consigning one’s photos to the “Pictures” file / black hole. Due to the constraints of my life this year, I don’t have a good photo printer with me and due to my project last year I wanted to switch cameras.

Since 2006, I have been the proud owner of what is called the last and best mechanical film camera, the Nikon FM3a, of which I love the camera and the photos it makes. But I rarely take it out, mostly out of laziness. And there are still a surprising good selection of professional films available at my local Samy’s Camera back wall refigerators, for order through B&H Photo, and for order from interesting kickstarter projects like Cinestill.

Thus, I decided to do a OC : OL : MF for 2015:

OC => One Camera – my Nikon FM3a film camera
OL => One Lens – a Nikon Ai-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 standard lens (info on the lens is about 2/3rds down the link page)
MF => Many Films

I have been trying to stay with the spirit of TOP’s challenge by taking one photo a day and trying to make it through a roll of 36 every month, although May was challenging and I am still about 8 frames to on May’s roll of film. I have put my Nikon FM3a loaded with the month’s film in my camera bag or purse (yay for smallish film cameras!) and trying to take it every where.

The fun part has been seeking out films that I have never shot before or shot so long ago that I have forgotten what they look like. I am alternating Black and White with Color every other month, as well. I love taking the film to be developed at Fromex in Long Beach and then getting back in the car with my prints to see how they turned out.

On top of having Fromex develop the film negatives, I have also been getting one set of prints and an archival CD of the film scanned to jpgs. I import the scanned photos into Lightroom, add the meta data of camera, lens, keywords/tags, and location, but I have not been doing any post-processing as I want to see how each film differs.

I have also been taking a photo with my Nokia Lumia 1020 of the same subject at the same time as I take a photo for the OC : OL : MF, for several reasons: to compare a native digital photo with the film photo, to have my Nokia kindly record the GPS location into the digital file, and to have the date time stamp from the digital file, as it makes record keeping much easier than carrying around a notebook.

I will soon start to post both the film photo and the Nokia Lumia 1020 photos here. I have quite a back log and may be only posting my faves, we shall see.

Here is a list of the films I have used to date* (plus links to buy some of your own):

Jan 1 – 3, 2015 – Ilford XP-2 Super 400 B&W film (Buy)

Jan 3 – 16, 2015 – Kodak TRI-X 400 B&W film (Buy)

Jan 17 – Feb 8, 2015 – Kodak Ektar 100 Color film (Buy)

Feb 9 – March 30, 2015 – Kodak Porta 160 Color film (Buy)

March 30 – May 3, 2015 – Ilford Delta 100 B&W film (Buy)

May 3 – present – AGFA Photo CT Precisa 100 Color Film (Buy)

For the last year, I have been in love with the Ilford XP-2 Super 400 B&W film, now I must add the Ilford Delta 100 B&W to my list of fave B&W films. For all the love that the Kodak Porta line gets, I really don’t like how washed out it is, but I do love the Kodak Ektar 100 Color film and will buy more after this project is done.

The slide films will not cross-processed, but processed to their specifications but not mounted, and instead have prints made. The nice folks at Fromex are very flexible and don’t raise an eyebrow at my requests. But I do prefer the look of a slide film for landscapes.

Now that you all have most of the relevant details on my OC : OL : MF 2015 photo project, I will hopefully get to posting the photos here, on Flickr, and occasionally the ole Instagram. If you see me in personal, encourage me to take a photo with the film camera…

* Currently there are over 15 other rolls of film in the frig waiting to come out, with several hard to get films on order, so this project will in good probability continue into 2016.

Last Night’s Sky

Looking across the Colorado River to Crossroads with Capella and Auriga
Scorpius, Saturn, Libra, a Truck on Hwy 95 View from The River Looking Up: Jupiter, M44 - The Beehive Cluster, Venus, and Gemini Cephus and some Trees Venus, Gemini, and The River plus a palm tree

Thurs 05.28.15 – Last evening just before 9pm, I took myself to the dock at the La Paz County Park near the Buckskin Fire station to take photos of Venus and Jupiter and various stars & constellations in the very last bits of twilight. Here are the best of the photos taken last night, if you click on a photo it will take you to a lightbox gallery where you can also enlarge the photos to look at more detail.

All Photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 and a Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens.