WARREN CONNECTICUT – Some days I just need to fuss with my gear a bit. I just got a classic 50mm Summilux lens back from minor repairs and cleaning in Wetzlar. It’s been a while since I shot with it (I’m holding it for investment a this point) but I thought that I should shoot it side by side with my current favorite 50mm lens, the Leica 50mm Summicron Asph. Shooting a bookcase close with a distant bright background is a chance to test corner resolution, focus accuracy, contrast, tendency to veiling flair and most importantly, “bokeh”, the quality of the out-of-focus portions of the image. Here’s the image for the 50mm Summicron Asph. which wins on all counts.
Day 1,787 of one picture every day for the rest of my life.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – We had a book party today for our Swedish friend Dag Ahlander, who has written a book of advice on living one’s life as a “retiree”. I used quotes here because Dag has been in constant motion since he left the Swedish diplomatic service. Here’s Dag, taken with my Leica Monochrom.
Day 1,664 of one picture every day for the rest of my life.
On this day four years ago (day 203): Sunset from the High Line. This was originally taken and posted in color. Here I’ve converted it to black and white.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – I spent a couple of hours today messing around with the Fuji X100s. With a new camera there is always a process of getting it dialed in to my shooting style and practicing so that managing the controls becomes second nature. It’s also important to explore its limits: what’s the practical highest ISO and the lowest-hand held shutter speed, for example. Here’s a 12,500 iso shot in a dark hall in our apartment. The Fuji’s autofocus is reasonably good under these difficult low light circumstances (even much larger SLRs have a tendency to hunt a bit in near dark conditions). From the hall in near darkness with a secret selfie in the form of my shadow.
On this day last year: Perar 35. Experimenting with a tiny triplet 35mm lens called the Perar on my Leica M9. I ended up selling the lens – I really don’t have much use for lenses with a lot of “character”. Here it is on my M9 (which I subsequently traded for my Monochrom).
NEW YORK NEW YORK – A friend, Bill Beekman, has collected a treasure trove of Virginia Woolf first editions, letters, manuscripts, autographs and photos. It’s all on display at the Forbes Galleries, starting with an opening tonight. Here’s Bill and his wife, Bunny, being photographed by a friend, and the same friend trying to photograph me with a very pretty white Nikon point and shoot. Taken with my Ricoh GRD IV, aka the “party animal”.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – A couple of things happened today. We spent a while with Alexander and Laura, his fiancé, preparing for their wedding, which is next weekend. Here they are, with Maria, taken with my Leica M9 and a 50mm Summilux lens:
My firm had an alumni reception at Morgan Library. We had free run of the collection, assisted by docents. It had been a while since I had been there – the overwhelming impression is admiration for J.P. Morgan. Today’s billionaires build superboats, buy 747s, and collect 100,000 square foot houses. Morgan assembled a treasure trove of illustrated manuscripts, drawing and rare books. What a difference.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Francesca, my daughter, nagged me finally to see a doctor this morning. The mystery of why I’ve been feeling so poorly for so long has been solved! It’s Lyme disease! This is a tick-bourne disease that’s epidemic in Connecticut – it’s actually named after Old Lyme Connecticut, the first place that it was discovered. If not treated it has very serious long-term consequences, but in early stages it responds well to industrial-strength antibiotics. Symptoms are fever, lassitude, depression and a really gross rash. Anyway I started my meds today and will be fine.
I’m continuing my search for subjects close at hand that I can photograph when I’m sick. Today I shot a bookcase at home, filled mainly with books about photographers and photography, with my medium format rig. Here it is:
On this day one year ago: Arathua Farm, a dairy farm (actually a dairy breeding stock farm) owned by our friends Tony and George. Great looking cow, huh.