Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Former Kent County commissioner’s huge camera, photography collection up for sale

by Matt Vande Bunte | The Grand Rapids Press

Tuesday September 16, 2008, 9:33 AM
Clarence Blakeslee holds his current camera, a Contax, in his right hand, as well as an Argoflex in his left hand. Blakeslee is having an estate sale, featuring several old cameras and personal prints.

ROCKFORD — At point-blank range, they shot a parade of former presidents, and scoped out Elizabeth Taylor and Bob Hope.

From Gerald R. Ford to Ted Kennedy, the assortment of national figures photographed by Clarence Blakeslee is matched only by the collection of cameras he used to film them.

More than 200 cameras used by Blakeslee, at least one more than 100 years old and others he picked up on the front lines of World War II, are for sale this week at the 93-year-old’s former Rockford home.

“He was everywhere, I tell ya,” Brenda Haynes said as she and her son flipped through black-and-white pictures from several political rallies.

Haynes, whose grandparents were friends with Blakeslee and his late wife, Lois, was one of the shoppers Monday sifting through items in the home at 17 River St. She bought a $5 camera she remembers Blakeslee using when she was a girl.

“You never see him without a camera. Still don’t,” said Nathan Haynes, who bought a few World War II books. “He has always had a camera around his neck.”

The estate sale run by Joan & Associates continues from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Wednesday. Items include tools, televisions, fishing poles, kitchenware, maps, jackknifes, furniture and other household goods.

Then, there are the cameras, such as the Ernemann Klapp strut-folding model that kicked Blakeslee’s photography hobby into focus. A forward observer in the U.S. Army infantry, Blakeslee picked up the camera in Germany.

As U.S. troops came into a town, they confiscated weapons, cameras and other items.

“I had a pile of cameras this high,” said Blakeslee, holding his hand at his waist. “We backed the jeep up and put about 100 cameras in. I got a camera for everybody in the company.”

The most valuable of Blakeslee’s cameras is priced at $250 and looks more like an accordion. There is a turn-of-the-century Conley, a Korona II C and shelves of others including a Kodak Flashfun II, Imperial Six-Twenty, Brownie Starmite II and Sable 620.

“Some of them are run-of-the-mill old stuff, but some of them are pretty cool,” said Ellis White, who owned the former Camera Center in Eastown and priced Blakeslee’s collection. “These are all workable cameras. They all can use modern film.”

Blakeslee moved out of the home last fall into a retirement home.

Blakeslee, a retired plumber and sheet metal tradesman, also is a former Rockford mayor and Kent County commissioner. His connections gave him close access to visiting politicos.

One camera was used at a Rockford Rotary Club meeting to catch a rising local politician with a pipe, the “only time I saw Jerry Ford smoking.”

Describing his brush with Elizabeth Taylor on a visit to Lansing, Blakeslee said, “She never made a pass at me or anything, but she was a sweet girl. I could see why people fell for her.”

Nathan Haynes, of Rockford, looks over some of the cameras for sale at the estate sale of Clarence Blakeslee.

E-mail the author of this story: localnews@grpress.com

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The Perseid meteor shower for 2008 Tips and Tricks

The Perseid meteor shower for 2008 peaks in the morning hours of Tuesday, August 12th. The best views will be after 2.00am when the moon sets.

This is called the “Perseid” meteor shower because, from our view, the meteors seem to come from the area in the sky which includes the constellation Perseus. This constellation rises around 11.00pm and will be high in the northern skies all night.

If it’s a good shower, you might get to see sixty meteors an hour.

What you need to observe them:

Darkest skies possible. If you can, get as far away from the city (and any lights) as you are able.

Despite it being summer, it gets chilly late at night. Bring a jacket, blanket, etc.

Bug spray. Skeeters love to bite.

You can either bring a reclining lawn chair or lay on the ground, it’s your call.
(We always bring some tunes, plus snacks and drinks).

Bring a red-filtered flashlight. The red light won’t ruin your night vision like a white-light will. You want your pupils to be as dilated as possible to see as much of the sky as you can.

Some photography tips (since this IS the topic):

Use a semi wide-angle lens. Not too wide, because the meteors will look really tiny in your images. If you have a crop-sensor camera, nothing wider than 28-35mm.

Use manual focus, and make sure you are focused on the stars. That means infinity. Now, I’ve found that lenses for DLSR’s have a “range” for infinity focus. Just turning the focus ring all the way to the infinity stop won’t work. If you can, focus on a radio tower or some other bright objects far away. If you can focus on a star, that’s even better (Live View works great with this). Take a few shots and look at the image on your LCD screen, zooming up to see if the stars are pinpoints.

Because the stars move across the sky during the night, you will get star trails. Keep you exposures to around 5 to 10 minutes or so. This means you will more than likely need a remote release. :)

Point your camera in the general area towards the north-northeastern sky. As the night goes on, you might want to shift where it is pointed. The closer you are pointed to the radiant (where the meteors appear to emanate from) the shorter the meteor trails. Also, if you notice an area where meteors are more frequent, you can point there. Try different areas of the sky.

Start with an ISO of 400. If you can, and your camera gives good results, you can boost it to 800, but I wouldn’t go any higher.

Shoot as close to wide-open as you can. I would suggest ½ stop smaller than your widest aperture. Many Perseids are faint, and you need to wide-open aperture. Yeha, there are really bright ones as well (I saw a really bright one last night while imaging the moon).

If you get one or two going through the field of view (you think), just stop the exposure and start a new one.

Use NR at your discretion. Remember, if you take a 10 minute shot, you will get a 10 minute NR exposure as well, so you’ve wasted 10 minutes. You can always do your noise reduction during post processing.

Watch out for dew! Depending on how much humidity is in the air, your lens will dew/fog up. Have some way to clean off the lens.

Make sure your batteries are fully charged.

Have a nice sturdy tripod.

Great Lakes Story and Photo Contest

Great Lakes Story and Photo Contest – Over $7,500 in Prizes

This summer, people of all ages can submit their stories and photos for the opportunity to win prizes in the Great Lakes Story and Photo Contest.

Continue reading

Get a free 2 GB memory card

Until August 2, Calumet is offering a 2 for 1 deal on Sandisk 2 GB Ultra II cards (Compact Flash and SD versions). Buy one for $35, get one free. That’s the same price everyone else is charging for just one. It’s a great deal. Get a set before they run out.

Thanks to Photodoto.com

Canon Utilities

Canon has made available version 2.0.2 of its EOS Utility downloading and camera-control software. The changes include support for Windows Vista and the new EOS-1D Mark III. Download instructions and link after the jump.

Click here to download Canon EOS Utility 2.0.2

Changes for Mac OS

Changes from the previous version of EOS Utility (2.0)

  • Support added for Auto Power OFF (camera) during Remote Live View shooting
    The Auto Power Off function can now be used during Remote Live View shooting with EOS-1D Mark III.
  • Corrected “From PC” in Time Setting on the Camera
    It’s corrected that the “From PC” in “Date/Time” of the camera setting does not function properly when a computer is working in daylight saving time.
  • The setting value of Picture Style files will be applied to camera.
    When a picture style file is set to the camera, the parameters included in the file (contrast/color tone/color depth/sharpness) will be applied to the camera.

Changes for Windows

Changes from the previous version of EOS Utility (2.0a)

  • Support added for Auto Power Off (camera) during Remote Live View shooting.
    The Auto Power Off function can now be used during Remote Live View shooting with EOS-1D Mark III.
  • Corrected the Click White Balance during Remote Live View shooting.
    It’s corrected that the unintended WB is set when the Click White Balance is performed during the Remote Live View shooting with EOS-1D Mark III.
  • The setting value of Picture Style files will be applied to camera.
    When a picture style file is set to the camera, the parameters included in the file (contrast/colortone/color depth/sharpness) will be applied to the camera.
  • Shortening the initial communication in wireless connections with WFT-E2.
    The time required for initial communication in wireless connections with Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2 has been shortened.

Canon also has an update for users of its Digital Photo Professional Raw-conversion software. As well as enhancing on-screen rendering and allowing Picture Style settings to be applied, version 3.0.2 also improves compatibility with Microsoft Windows Vista. Download link after the jump.

Click here to download Canon Digital Photo Professional 3.0.2

Changes for Mac OS

Changes from Digital Photo Professional 3.0.1 for Mac OS X

  • Improvement of image display quality.
    Corrected the issue in which jaggies are noticeable in images displayed on the monitor.
  • The setting value of Picture Style files will be applied to images.
    When a picture style is applied to images, the setting value of picture style (contrast/color tone/color depth/sharpness) will be applied.

Changes for Windows

Changes from Digital Photo Professional 3.0.1 for Windows Vista/XP/2000

  • The following functions can now be used in Windows Vista;
    – Trimming Tool
    – Quick Check Tool
    – Detailed settings printing
    – Contact sheet printing
  • Improvement of image display quality.
    Corrected the issue in which jaggies are noticeable in images displayed on the monitor.
  • The setting value of Picture Style files will be applied to images.
    When a picture style is applied to images, the setting value of picture style (contrast/color tone/color depth/sharpness) will be applied.

 

 

5/3 River Bank Run Photos

For those of you who stumbled on this site looking for River Bank Run photos, please click here.

Terry’s Show @ Four Friends | 5.4.2007 | Terry Johnston

Terry’s Show @ Four Friends | 5.4.2007 | Terry Johnston, originally uploaded by Mr. Gillette & His Image-Making Apparatus.

The photographs of fellow Flickr photographer Terry Johnston (powerbooktrance) will be on display throughout the month of May at Four Friends coffee shop in downtown Grand Rapids. Be sure to stop by and check out his work!

The Thin Line Between Reality and a Lie

Since its inception, photography has been used to inform, spark debate, and conjure emotions. Single photographs have been used as catalysts for change in foreign policy and in some cases, war. If no photos of the destruction on September 11th, 2001 were published, would we currently be fighting the war in Iraq? If a photo is worth a thousand words, how many words is it worth if the photo has been retouched? Today, more than ever, this needs to be kept in mind as the ease of digital photo manipulation has become all too tempting. Only a few quick adjustments can make a spectacular photograph out of an ordinary image. Continue reading

Pentax K10D firmware 1.20

From DPReview:
Pentax has today released firmware version 1.20, as far as we can tell this new version simply provides compatibility with the new Pentax Remote Assistant 3 software, providing tethered remote shooting by computer control. For those of you who haven’t updated your cameras recently this update includes all of the additional features in 1.11 and 1.10. You can update your cameras by simply downloading the firmware file, copying the extracted BIN file onto an SD card, placing that into the camera and holding the MENU button while powering on (make sure you have a fully charged battery).

Click here for the Pentax K10D firmware update page

Canon updates EOS Digital Rebel XTi / 400D Firmware

Canon has today made available updated firmware for its EOS Digital Rebel XTi / EOS 400D digital SLR. Version 1.0.5 addresses issues with the PictBridge direct printing system and improves communication with the 380EX Speedlite. Further information and the update itself is available now from Canon’s firmware update page.

Firmware specification changes

This firmware update (Version 1.0.5) incorporates the following fixes and improvement :

  • Fixes the printing of lens names when using PictBridge.
  • [Redeye 1] can now be selected when connecting with specific printers.
  • Improves the reliability of communication with the Speedlite 380EX.

This firmware update applies to cameras with firmware versions up to 1.0.4 installed. If your camera’s firmware is already version 1.0.5, it is not necessary to perform this update.

Click here for Canon’s firmware update page