Albanian Festival

I had left the metering at ISO125. Despite this, Delta 400 overexposed wonderfully.

I had left the metering at ISO125. Despite this, Delta 400 exposed this scene wonderfully.

I made several mistakes getting ready for this festival. As it was a somewhat overcast day, I had planned on taking the 50mm f/1.4. As clouds were rolling in, a solid light meter I thought would be an advantage. So I had planned on taking the FE2. I had left the 50 on the F3, and when I grabbed the camera, what I thought was the FE2 in one Eveready case was, in fact, the FM, in an identical Eveready! No worries, as that camera as of late has been really nailing exposures accurately, And, as it turned out, the 135mm was in the lend bag, and, a better choice for getting up close at this type of event.

Yet another mistake, I was maybe 6 frames into the roll of Delta 400, before realizing the ISO had been still set at 125, accommodating the roll of FP4 that was in the camera before. As the violin player was heavily backlit, in a high contract lighting situation, it worked out really nicely, as seen above.

Taking in the sights and the sounds of the festival.

Taking in the sights and the sounds of the festival.

This turned out to be a fun combination of camera and lens. The only regret was not taking the MD-12 motor drive, to balance the extra weight of the 135mm glass. But the exposures might have rivaled those that the F3 or FE2’s excellent meters might have calculated. But without aperture priority, and completely manual, twisting the FM’s shutter speed dial while trying to zero the LED’s was a bit fiddly.

Great conversations to be found all day.

Great conversations to be found all day.

The centerpiece of the festival was the stunning Saint Mary’s Assumption Albanian Orthodox Church. Located on historic Salisbury Street, across from Assumption College, it was consecrated in 1983. It truly is an incredible, beautiful house of worship, which must be seen to be believed.

Aside from a couple of raindrops, an otherwise dry day.

Aside from a couple of raindrops, an otherwise dry day.

Inside the church- holding the 135mm Nikkor, at an exposure of 1/30th/sec. Still insanely sharp wide open at f/2.8.

Inside the church- holding the 135mm Nikkor, at an exposure of 1/30th/sec. Still insanely sharp wide open at f/2.8.

Left the yellow Hoya filter at home!

Left the yellow Hoya filter at home!

One more “oops”- when you leave the Hoya yellow filter on the 50mm lens you leave at home, you don’t have a yellow filter with you. Even still, adequately stopped down, the metering of the FM did a great job of not rendering blown out skies.

These events are a blast to photograph. And with a film camera around your neck, you are guaranteed to start conversations. I had some great ones on this Saturday. Worcester, Massachusetts has one of the largest Albanian populations in the United States. But this was a festival for people of all backgrounds to have a lot of fun.

A Fresh StART – StART On The Street, Fall, 2013

I brought a lot of gear Sunday to the Fall edition of StART on the Street, Worcester’s biannual street art festival. As I have mentioned previously, it truly is street photography heaven. Having just received my Nikon F3 back from a shutter braking adjustment, as well as a winder retorque, it seemed the perfect choice for the day’s film shooting. Another good reason? Fast, easy lens changeout and swapping out on the fly. No need to index lenses and do the “Nikon Shuffle”, like on the F Photomic FtN, or the F2S- true auto indexing. I brought a whole bag of Nikkor glass- the 28, 35, 50, 105, and 135mm. Of those, the 28 was the only lens I didn’t use. My film of choice, once again, Kodak BW400CN. The day really seemed to lend itself to being upclose and personal. I love street photography with a passion, and these festivals are an opportunity to indulge, without having subjects ask why you are photographing them. Here, they welcome it.

Back on Park Ave, in front of Elm Park, which is in the midst of an extensive makeover and renovation, some of the activity even extended back into the park itself, which is the first time I have seen it used that way. For example, the performer below was up on a platform, right in the park itself.

Voices carried loudly in Elm Park.

Voices carried loudly in Elm Park.

There was plenty of interactive opportunity for spectators walking the street, including Hula Hoops-

Trying a hula hoop out.

Trying a Hula Hoop out.

The toddlers had their own area to play in, giving them lots to do. The 105 f/2.3 truly is the greatest portrait lens Nikon has ever produced-

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Blocks and boxes for the kids to play with.

There were lots and lots of artisans selling their work, and volunteers all up and down the street-

Time out for a nice cold soda.

Time out for a nice cold soda, and some laughs.

This gentleman was here last year, I am wondering if he remembered my F3, which he had admired. I really tried to photograph performers and onlookers in natural ways, but he seemed to almost pose. This taken with the 135mm f/2.8 Ai-

Hey, I remember you!

Hey, I remember you!

There was a whole busload of really hot vintage clothes. Retro seemed ideal for the event. The 35mm f/2.8 Ai, with its virtually distortion free optics, worked to perfection-

Haberdash Vintage

Haberdash Vintage

A different approach to fundraising. The letters below, as they stood in the park, each had a slot for donations. As they kept blowing down from the slight breeze, the idea was to fill them up with money, allowing this wonderful event to continue and evolve.

Fill those letters up with cash!

Fill those letters up with cash!

I also shot digitally, with the D300 and 70-200mm f/2.8. But, after going through the negatives here, the problem, like in digital, is, how do you select the best shots? No idea where to StART.

Three More, After A Brief Hiatus

This past month has included two trips to and from Nikon USA for the F3. Turns out there IS a shutter problem. The second curtain is closing too soon, the result of a braking problem, which is causing capping, also known as shutter bounce. While many online are telling me to get a second body, I have already had the LCD display, light seals, and flash circuitry replaced. I’d love to hear any suggestions from blog readers as to recommendations as to where to have the shutter replaced. Nikon USA no longer stocks the shutter, but advises that independent dealers might. Of note- the problem only takes place at higher shutter speeds (1/250th/sec or faster). They have tried twice to adjust the curtain tension, but this is a temporary fix. They also scratched the baseplate, but replaced it with a brand new one. That part was in stock.

Anyways, I did want to share three more shots from this summer’s performance of Love’s Labour’s Lost, at Fitchburg State University. Much slower shutter speeds here, with one of, if not THE last rolls of Plus-X.

(10) Loves Labour Lost Fitchburg Theatre Company 6 24 12 Nikon F3 135mm f2.8 Kodak PlusX

Contrast Rules!

(11) Loves Labour Lost Fitchburg Theatre Company 6 24 12 Nikon F3 135mm f2.8 Kodak PlusX

Starting To Lose Light

(12) Loves Labour Lost Fitchburg Theatre Company 6 24 12 Nikon F3 135mm f2.8 Kodak PlusX

Did All I Could To Stay Steady Hand Holding The Camera Here- Actually Leaned Up Against A Tree

In their own fashion, like a merriment….

More favorite shots from the Fitchburg Theatre Company’s summer performance of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost, on the campus of Fitchburg State University. The results are really inspiring me to photograph more stage plays and events. F3, 135mm f/2.8, and Kodak Plus-X.

Love the lighting here.

Love the lighting here.

Bow, bow, and arrow!

Bow, bow, and arrow!

Photographing these performances, timing is indeed everything, to get the right facial expressions, which can change so quickly.

Photographing these performances, timing is indeed everything, to get the right facial expressions, which can change so quickly.

Crazy contrast, making "post processing" very minimal, if needed at all.

Crazy contrast, making “post processing” very minimal, if needed at all.

Next time, I am going to take a second body, loaded up with Portra, to compare the results with B&W. But the shadows really do look incredible.

Next time, I am going to take a second body, loaded up with Portra, to compare the results with B&W. But the shadows really do look incredible.

Love’s Labour’s Lost

Walking through the Fitchburg State University campus this June, I came across a rehearsal, for an outdoor stage production. The campus is usually very quiet, until summer courses start-up in earnest. After talking to the director of The Fitchburg Theatre Company, I was invited to a performance. A few weeks later, in late June, I enjoyed a performance of a not so well-known Shakespeare comedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost. I took the F3, and while I had a whole bag of lenses, the 135 f/2.8 was the glass of necessity here. These frames are from one of my last rolls of beloved Kodak Plus-X. Live stage plays can make for some very pleasing results-

Flute Player, And A Pirate.

Flute Player, And A Pirate.

The 105mm f/2.5 Nikkor is known as the definitive portrait lens, but the extra reach and compression of the 135 really can work out nicely as well.

The 105mm f/2.5 Nikkor is known as the definitive portrait lens, but the extra reach and compression of the 135 really can work out nicely as well.

The 135 also boasts fantastic contrast.

The 135 also boasts fantastic contrast.

Handheld at slower shutter speeds can be done, although modern day VR here would have been nice.

Handheld at slower shutter speeds can be done, although modern-day VR here would have been nice.

Despite slow shutter speeds, some motion blur, and ISO/ASA 125, still managed to stay fairly sharp.

Despite slow shutter speeds, some motion blur, and ISO/ASA 125, still managed to stay fairly sharp.

StART On The Street- Fall, 2012

This fantastic event, which takes place twice a year, is street photography nirvana. As I have posted many images from past events, including the one that took place in June (strangely referred to on the website as the “Spring Edition”), these shots from the Fall Edition (9/16/12) are just a few of many. Yet, I think they do cohesively come together nicely, thanks to the DJ and street performer. Great photographers, such as Steve Simon, cohost of the podcast This Week In Photo, with roots in street photography, believe strongly in using photography to try to tell a story. Taken with the F3, 135mm f/2.8, Kodak Tri-X. I developed in D-76, 1:1, at 11 1/2 minutes.

Excited that there is going to be a winter edition this year, at Union Station. Winter doesn’t mean that great events like this need to wait until June.

Rapper and friend.

Rapper and friend.

Street dancer- I love the contrast here.

Street dancer- I love the contrast here.

Dancing and rapping.

Dancing and rapping.

Worcester Pride

On Saturday, I loaded up the F3 with Portra 160, fully expecting to do the usual downtown photowalk. As I have become better at shooting Portra film as of late, it would be nice to break out of the usual TriX/TMax/Ilford black and white habits.

So, I came across a Worcester Pride parade/rally. The wide shots here were taken with the Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 AiS, and the telephoto photos with the 135mm f/2.8 Ai.

Parade moves down Main Street.

Parade moves down Main Street.

The parade route wraps around Worcester Common.

The parade route wraps around Worcester Common.

Portra really shines with bright colors.

Portra really shines with bright colors.

But Portra really is amazing for portraiture.Lifelike skintones.

But Portra really is amazing for portraiture. Lifelike skintones.

Skintones AND bright colors. To think there used to be 2 varieties of Portra- VC and NC. This one does it all.

Skintones AND bright colors. To think there used to be 2 varieties of Portra- VC and NC. This one does it all.

Walking Up Elm Street

I took a few random shots on the 21st, before the concert, while walking up Elm Street here in Worcester. I challenged myself to keep one lens on the camera, that being the 135mm f/2.8. I know that a lot of “newbie” photographers with slow zooms on the dSLR’s, once they discover the joys if a sharp, fast prime, make similar challenges. In this case, knowing that the 135 would be the glass of choice for the concert, well, with Tri-X loaded up, it seemed like the way to go for fast shutter speeds for hand holding. No “VR”, no “IS”, just old school hand holding, and breathing technique. I didn’t have the motor drive mounted on the FE-2, but it might have helped here to keep the body more stable.

Gargoyle At Gate For 34 Elm Street

Gargoyle At Gate For 34 Elm Street

Side View

Side View

View Of New T&G Offices At City Place

View Of New T&G Offices At City Place

Scaffolding

Scaffolding

Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra – Summer, 2012

“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.”- The Great Robert Capa

Last year, it was my pleasure to attend a summer concert at Institute Park, put on by the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra. I posted some photographs that were amongst the very favorite I took that year. This year, I had to return, this time with some different gear. And taken almost a year to the date – 7/9 last year, 7/21 this year. While last year I opted for the Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR on the N80, this year I went more old school, with the FE-2, and 135mm f/2.8. This called for getting up a little closer to the stage, and losing the flexibility and convenience that a zoom provides. The 135, though, is such a fine, sharp, contrasty lens. A joy to use, I mounted a Hoya orange filter. I read that this is a great filter to use for skin tones and nice facial exposure.

Here are just a few shots from the second roll. The film here was Tri-X, and the developer HC-110. Maybe some of my favorite shots of this year as well. Many more to come.

Conductor Myron Romanul

Conductor Myron Romanul

Vocalists Jane Shivick And Michael Calmes

Vocalists Jane Shivick And Michael Calmes

The Sunset Lighting Made For Some Great Light And Shadows

The Sunset Lighting Made For Some Great Light And Shadows

A Difference Of A Few Minutes Made For Rapidly Changing Lighting Conditions The FE-2's Light Meter Really Kept Up With The Conditions Nicely

A Difference Of A Few Minutes Made For Rapidly Changing Lighting Conditions The FE-2’s Light Meter Really Kept Up With The Conditions Nicely

Sunglasses Were Needed Here, Even After 7PM

Sunglasses Were Needed Here, Even After 7PM

Amazing, Talented Pipes, Singing From "The Sound Of Music"

Amazing, Talented Pipes, Singing From “The Sound Of Music”

Slower Shutter Speeds Made For Some Great Baton Action

Slower Shutter Speeds Made For Some Great Baton Action

I cannot wait to scan more of these. This was a wonderful event, which really did produce some spectacular images. I am sure this blog will feature many more in the weeks to come, as I shot almost two complete rolls this night.

StART On The Street- From Another Roll

Some more shots, featuring another performer, and others simply enjoying the day. These shots are really making me impatient for the next StART On The Street event this fall- a different street, less harsh light, a different feel. But more spectacular photo opportunities on the street. This warm June day was like a bonus. The 135mm Nikkor was never handier. September 16th is StART’s 10th anniversary Fall edition- it cannot come soon enough.

The Fender logo on the amp and guitar are sharp and detailed. The 135mm Nikkor continues to amaze and exceed expectations.

The Fender logo on the amp and guitar are sharp and detailed. The 135mm Nikkor continues to amaze and exceed expectations.

Dancing, and cooling off. That's a fan in the lower right.

Dancing, and cooling off. That’s a fan in the lower right.

The 28 mm lens might have been a better choice here, as this bubble was huge!

The 28 mm lens might have been a better choice here, as this bubble was huge!