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April 20

Lomo Lubitel II: Long Grass in the 
      Cox Arboretum

[Taken April 2006 | Lomo Lubitel II: Long Grass in the Cox Arboretum | Dayton, OH]

After much consideration and scrutinizing of the available choices, I finally got a Lomo Lubital 2 off of eBay a little while ago. It is nice. Basically it is a Russian twin-lens reflex camera from the late 1940s to the early 1950s (1949-1956 if you want to be precise) and was based on an earlier German twin-lens reflex - the German Voigtländer Brilliant. There were a few iterations of early Lubitels before the Lubitel 2 came out. (more informstion on the Lomo Lubitel 2 can be found here, here, and the manual is here.)

I am very happy with it. I shot off an initial roll of 120 film with it in the Cox Arboretum, and the whole roll turned out great, despite the fact that I was completely guessing on the exposure (I have since borrowed a Westen Master II exposure meter from John and learned how to use it.) and had no idea how the focusing worked. I have since figured this out as well. Basically, the viewfinder is on the top of the camera... you open up the top of the camera, and the sides f the viewfinder fold uplike a little box, and you look down into it and through the upper of the two lenses. There is also a little pop-up magnifying glass thing in the viewfinder box, that I initially thought was just to enlarge what you were looking at through the viewfinder, but which I have since learned is what you focus through. I know it all sounds very confusing and bizarre, but trust me... it is really very cool.

The images are razor sharp.

I think that I like this medium format camera better then the Holga.

This one is definitely going with me to Montreal this weekend.



Other stuff that's happened here since I have been off writing for a little bit...

Easter: I made a nice Slovak brunch for John and myself. Fried up some kielbasa, and then used all of the yummy grease from the kielbasa to fry up some homemade hash browns. We also had hard boiled eggs and three kinds of bread (paska, creska, and a nut roll) that my Mom made and gave me for Easter the last time I was home. I even had a butter lamb. It was all very very tasty, and I really overdid the quantities I made since there was just John and I at this feast. We spent a lot of the rest of the day laying around and digesting.

April 12

Yellow leaves floating down 
      the river

[Taken 22 October 2005 | Yellow leaves floating down the river | YellowSprings, OH]

I had the pleasure of wittnessing the death of my iPod today. When I first turned it on... all of my music was missing, and holding down the "pause" button to try to turn it off seemed to accomplish nothing. Then I lost the display entirely, and all attempts to turn it on were rewarded with a "whirrrr.... whirrrr.... click" noise, eerily reminiscent of a hard drive trying (and failing) to spin up. Now I don't even get that much of a response... my iPod just sits there...

I have registered with the Apply website that I want it sent in for a "repair". (Ha ha) What I really want is a replacement. Further, what I really want is a replacement before I hop on a plane to Montreal next Saturday.

This iPod is less then six months old. I got it in mid-November. The big, clunky, chunky, rubber brick of an Archos that John built me out of spare Archos parts several years ago still runs fine. I am peeved.

Update: the iPod has either miraculously resurrected itself, or the (sort of) fatal disk error is not easily replicated! When I tried to demonstrate the problems to John this evening, the iPod came right on, without even making protesting noises. However, all of my music and playlists are still missing. Irritation. Levels. Rising.

April 7

Granny and Gramps

[Taken 24 December 2003 | Gramps and Granny | Parma, OH]

I took this shot of Granny and Gramps on Christmas Eve at their house in 2003. It is not a great shot. Of all of the photographs that I have taken over the past couple of years, I have relatively few of my family, which is something I keenly regret now.

This is one of the few shots that I could find of Gramps.

I know that there were others that I took over Christmas in 2004, but those are lost now... My hard drive crashed at the beginning of last summer, and while I managed to recover most of my data, I lost about three months worth of photographs. I lost a lot of long exposure night shots, I lost a couple of trips to various parks in the winter, I lost the trip John and I took to visit his folks in San Diego, and I lost everything that I took when I went home for Christmas. If I had been using a film camera still, I wouldn't have lost anything. Don't get me wrong, digital is great, but it lacks the permanency of film.

Now, of course, I back everything up in triplicate, but for some things it is too late.

I will always be glad that I went back to Cleveland for a visit a couple of weeks ago, even though the glass show had been canceled. I will always be glad that Mom and I went to the West Side Market to pick up some food, and then went to have lunch with Granny and Gramps because that means that I had one last good visit, and one last chance to sit at their kitchen table and chat with Gramps.

There will always be things that I regret.... things that I didn't say, or didn't say well enough, that I didn't visit as often as I could have, that I was impatient, that I could have done any number of things differently. But I will also always be glad that I had that last visit.

April 5

three faces of Siva

[Taken 1 April 2006 | Three faces of Siva | Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH]

The allergies have been bothering me more then a bit lately, and yesterday I kind of overdid it on the over-the-counter decongestants and anti-allergy stuff. Despite all of the "non-drowsy" labels I did indeed get "drowsy". So "drowsy", in fact, that when I got home from work I pretty much went straight to bed.

It is just shaping up to be that kind of a week....

April 3

hallway in the Cincinnati Art Museum

[Taken 1 April 2006 | Looking down the hallway | Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH]

Yesterday I ran two (2) tubes of Burt's Bees peppermint chapstick through the washing machine and dryer, a personal best (worst). At least it was only a load of jeans and socks. At least it wasn't something even more destructive like a ball-point pen. Now my pants and socks smell vaguely minty fresh instead of the normal "dryer fresh". Teach me to forget to check my pockets...

Even my subconscious is boring. I have been having a recurring dream lately where I am shooting with one of my medium format cameras, and I make some really stupid mistake with the film and the entire roll is ruined. That's it. No high drama. I used to wish that I could remember my dreams better... but if this is a good representation of the kind of dreams that I have, then I guess I am kind of glad that I don't remember then more frequently.

My springtime allergies are making me unhappy right now. I sneeze and wheeze and am having some "issues" with breathing. Need. More. Sudafed.

I wish I had gone home to Cleveland this weekend.

April 2


[Taken 1 April 2006 | Best Clock | Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH]

John and I went to the Rembrandt prints exhibit at the Cincinnati Art Museum yesterday. Tht show was amazing... the prints are so delicate and detailed. I was also pretty glad that the museum provide magnifing glasses so that you could see the details better. In some of the prints, the images were so tiny that I have no idea how Rembrandt carved them in the copper plates, since presumably he did not have access to a magniying glass himself...

We also rented a bunch of movies for the weekend - "National Treasure", "Howl's Moving Castle", and "MirrorMask". They were all very good, though I have to say that "MirrorMask" (by Neil Gaiman) was much more art then it was movie.

I finally got to work in the flowerbeds this afternoon, and I am feeling the effects. Cleaning out the old dead leaves kicked up a lot of mold spores, which in turn kick up my allergies. Annoying, but the flowerbeds really needed the work. It had to be done.

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