Tag Archives: Secret Underground Lair

Christmas… in May

20130809_084556[1] Schwarz is unconcerned.

Today is Friday the 26th of May, 2014. This past Sunday, I had cut the grass and it was in the 80’s (Fahrenheit, high 20’s Celsius); it snowed this morning. Jennifer and I had planned on visiting the library, and in a dusty corner of my mind a scheme had been fermenting. Well, to be honest, it was more of an opportunity to make a little sidetrip. As Jennifer put the final touches on gathering up library materials and double-checking her shopping list, I headed down to the Secret Underground Lair to grab my old Cokin filter holder. It’s the standard, garden variety “A” style that I purchased when I was shooting 35mm.

I mentioned my desire to hit the camera store across the street from the library, and Jennifer agreed. I asked if she’d like to come with, and she said yes, “so you don’t spend any money'” to which I replied, “you mean so I don’t spend too much money”. I had no intention of spending much money at all, and we ended up spending $5.42.

The lady in the store was very nice- she asked if she could help me find anything. I said yes, but I’d like to take a look around first.  She, of course, was fine with that; she went back to her Eric Clapton concert, and we browsed the narrow aisle. This was a classic, Main Street small business: if you don’t see it, they don’t have it. It’s also the sort of business in which the proprietor knows every piece of their stock, and where it might be found.

I only browsed for a few minutes, casting an appreciative eye on both the shiny and the dusty, and then it was back to the lady. “Do you carry Cokin,” I asked.

She said that she did, so I pulled out my filter holder and told her I needed a 52mm adapter ring. She went to a brown cardboard box which had its flaps amputated quite obviously by a boxcutter with only a small thought towards neatness. After only a few moments, she produced a ring and handed it to me. I inspected it. The black paint on the threads was hardly worn, and the paint where the ring mad contact with the holder was unscathed and shiny- in a photographic equipment type of black shiny. Best of all, the front of the ring bore the markings “52mm Ø France”. Genuine Cokin. I was happy. I asked how much.

“Let me check.” I’m guessing she had the item on consignment- she said. “How about $4.95?” I said that sounded fair, and Jennifer paid her.

Poker face. Poker face. Poker face. I learned this some time ago… I haven’t seen these anywhere for less than ten dollars, and I told Jennifer that on the way to the library.

The best part of the deal, though, is this: both of my Nikon lenses are threaded for 52mm filters, so I suddenly have a small stable of around a dozen filters that I can use with both of my lenses.

As cats are alleged to say, “I haz teh happyz.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The blog incubator

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I work at night, and my hours are somewhat flexible. At the beginning of the week, I try to get in earlier- say, 2000 or so. Depending upon my department’s workload, it is not uncommon for me to put in some overtime. When this happens, I will come in later on the next day. Unfortunately, this tends to be something of a vicious cycle with a long night leading to a later bedtime and a later start. I haven’t had any overtime thus far this week, but my sleep has been iffy at best. Today typifies the week (and its only Thursday!)

I got in this morning a little after 0630, put my plastic containers and utensils from lunch in the sink and gave them a quick rinse. I then greeted Tinka (our calico furbaby) with a smile and a gentle pet or two. She responded with an outpouring of indifference, Emotionally bouyed, I hopped into bed and started to drift off around 0700.Thirty minutes later, Jennifer’s alarm went off. My wife shut the alarm off, and I drifted back to sleep.

We live under a takeoff pattern just a few miles from Chicago’s O’Hare airport- since it was a pleasantly cool morning, my wife had left the window open. At 1030, I was awakened by an aircraft of some sort. I don’t know what sort of aircraft it was, but I do know it was loud. Think a steampunk coal-fired boiler flying Formula One car. Loud. Loud. Loud. I got a drink of water, went back to bed, tossed and turned for forty-five minutes, and gave up on sleep. Lack of sleep, though, is often an idea incubator. For example, during this morning’s edition of stating at the ceiling, staring at the walls, and then staring at the ceiling and staring at the ceiling again, I solved a data problem for a new table in my database, and came up with an idea for a blog entry on my other blog.

Now, Schwarz, our other cat (a sable/black Bombay) is behind me in the cat’s bunk bed. Snoring.

In my previous post https://hochspeyer.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/rain/ I had noted a big storm was passing through. I think its rained every day this week, and on Wednesday morning it was light when I got home. I looked at the hood of our car and saw the beaded water, which seemed to be a photo op! I hurried in, dropped my things off and went down to the Secret Underground Lair, which is the current home of the Nikon. I affixed the short telephoto, powered the camera up and went outside. I quickly composed the shot in the viewfinder, depressed the shutter release, and…

BUPKUS! DIDDLY SQUAT!

However, I remained calm. Grace under pressure and all of that other rot. I looked at the business end of the camera- the lens was fogged. I carefully wiped it off, recomposed the shot, and this time it worked. I had to repeat the procedure another six times.

I like the results; I suppose they’re probably not more than snapshots. My  coworker Anna and I were talking about composition last night, and she said that composition is so hard for her. I told her that the key to photography- especially at her level and mine- is to keep on taking pictures. Lots of them- after all, past the initial investment, digital is free.

Until next time… I am hochspeyer- One f-stop short of a six pack.

*Don’t forget to visit my data analysis blog…it’s more fun than it sounds like… hochspeyer.blogspot.com