Tag Archives: Canon

Explored on FLICKR


Although not an indicator of quality, my macro shot of a lily got selected for “Explore” on FLICKR.  It was one of 500 “interesting” photos of May 2nd and FLICKR states over 1.4 million photos are uploaded daily worldwide.

There have been over 11,500 views of the picture so far in 24 hours.  That’s a REAL high volume for me.

Sure wish that many would read my blog. I’ll even settle for a paltry 10,000 views a month. 😜

Surrounded - EXPLORED May 2, 2014

Please click on image for larger view on FLICKR.

OK. I’ve finished bragging.

Passing the Baton


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My twelve year old son Jack at the Seal Beach Pier.  He just began taking pictures at this time and I wanted to capture that moment.  I guess that’s the photographer in me.

With all the researching, translating and documenting I’ve done on our family history during the past several years, I’ve come to the realization I was living in the past.  And as time marched by, I wanted more time…but now, that time has gone.

I reflected on the near future; in the past month, things have changed.  Things that cannot be undone.  And I realized, too, that in addition to passing on what I’ve learned about our family history through these blogs, I need to pass the baton on as well for tomorrow.  Small things.

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve held a camera in my hand… from the time I was perhaps eight years old.  I vividly recall looking down on the ground glass of my dad’s Rolleiflex TLR.  And I know it was my grandmother or aunt who sent me a “Fujipet” 120 film camera from Japan as a gift.  It had a plastic lens.  There were two levers, one on either side of the lens; you pressed one down with your left finger to cock the shutter.  Then with your right finger, you pressed the other lever “to take the shot”.  I took a bazillion shots during our 1964 road trip to Chicago and burned through a lot of 120 film.  I don’t think mom was too happy.

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I’m in the center; dangling from my neck is the Fujipet 120 film camera. The “model” on the left is my cousin Jane.  Chicago, circa 1964.

When I was twelve, I spent a summer in Tokyo; I was born there.  My Aunt Eiko got me my first “real” camera: a Canon Demi-S.  It shot 35mm film but in “half-frame”.  In other words, if you had a 36-shot roll of film, you would get 72 shots – plus about four or five more at the end.  I loved it.  It even had a built in light meter, a soft case and a wrist strap.  It went everywhere I went.  I even bought yellow and red filters.  I used it to take photos of the TV set when Armstrong landed walked on the moon…but none of the images came out because I wanted to use my new fancy-schmancy electric strobe with a DC cord.  I got great pictures of our RCA color TV, though.  LOTS of great pictures of our TV set.  But on one – just one – you can BARELY make out Armstrong as he stepped of the Lunar Module.

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The Canon Demi-S, complete with the soft case. Under the lens, there is even a filter that enhances skin tones when shooting color.

While I did take one class in photography, everything else was self-taught through the years.  Trial and error.  That means lots of moolah down the drain…literally.  I had a full darkroom in my parent’s house at one time.  I must have developed and processed over a thousand rolls and printed thousands of pictures.  While I did win a few contests in sports photography, I never learned the critical things that define a pro…like my bud Alan Miyatake (but I did best him in ONE contest. LOL).

Since becoming a young adult, I’ve always been the “photographer”…  taking pictures at events, parties, of this and that…  I don’t know if I was any good at it but people always seemed to ask me to take photos.  Perhaps because I took them for free.  But finally, I took snapshots at my own daughter’s wedding…and not someone else’s daughter for a change.

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As I was taking my kids back to their mother’s two weeks ago, my twelve year old son surprised me by asking if he can have a “real” camera.  Totally out of the blue but I was happy.  He wanted to take pictures like his old man.

So yesterday, we headed towards the nearby beach; he wanted to take pictures of the sunset!  I handed him my (getting old) Canon DSLR and monopod and while in the car, I gave him a crash course on shutter speed, f/stops,  and ISO.

But he asked, “But don’t you just push the button, Papa?”

So with temps in the high 50’s (cold for us here) and a chilling wind, I gave him some basic instructions and I left him pretty much alone.

He took on his own challenge.

Here are a few of his photos; sure, I edited them a bit but he did darn well for his first time.

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Must be in his genes.

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As I watched Jack from a distance in that chilling wind, feelings of being alone and lament swirled.  Sadness that time has surged by with tomorrows dwindling.  It felt as if I was looking at myself…  fifty years ago… with that Fujipet camera with a plastic lens dangling from my neck.

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My son Jack must be thinking of his next shot…

I hope he continues.  The family needs a photographer.

A Smoldering Butt


Just thought that was a catchy title…albeit a bit misleading like our media.  Just a tad misleading…’cuz the butt’s the other end.

I guess the news guys are finally rubbing off on me after all.

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But as I watched my kids and their friends play in the front, I felt like playing around with my new, fancy-schmancy Canon point and shoot – specifically hand held close-ups of the business end of a nice cigar.

It was amazing that an inexpensive camera such as this could take such equally amazing (yuk to some!) close-ups:

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I did switch to my standard Canon DSLR to snap these fun snapshots of my kids.  Little Brooke likes the distortion that erupts with this Canon 10-22mm lens…although a certain pro photographer buddy of mine will likely BBQ me over a slow but hot flame for using it.

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