|Matt & a Bolt of Lightning, June 2002. Hi there! I've suffered for My Art, now it's your turn. Enjoy!
Contax G2, 28mm, 2 seconds f/2.8, homemade lightning detector, Kodak E100SW
Hi there! You found us!
Depending on how you found us, this could be a bit disappointing. The site's main focus, so to speak, is photography. Photography is an avocation I've pursued since the early 1970s in the desultory fashion I pursue most of my avocations. I'm not a big artistic photographer; most of what I take pictures of is people I know, not magnificient scenery or artistic mossy logs or anything. After all this time, I can sum up my attitude in these two items:
I broadly agree with both these sentiments although, as you will see, I have neither shot enough Ektachromes nor been a sufficiently judicious editor!
This site more or less documents my various Adventures in Photography. The main bit of content is The History of Photography which follows my experiences with cameras. I've got friends who are superb photographers, with published nature photo books (see the Paragon Press site and books) or dozens of contest wins. Me, I just muck around with it and take snaps of my holidays and kids and stuff, although I do use nice equipment. However, I did once get a ribbon at the Iowa State Fair! And $25 too! But of course it was just a picture of one of my cousin's cute kids, not black and white peppers or creative figure photography or anything. I am adding pictures from time to time. I've been mining the archives for pictures to post. There's nothing like looking through 30+ years of your own photos to make you humble about your skills. Anyway, check out the History and enjoy it. Many valuable photo hints are included!
You can also look at Matt's set of Handy Links. This is based on the excellent New York Times CyberNavigator, which goes down from time to time, but which I typically use for a home page. I also wrote a page about Lightning Photography and a page on the Nikon 35mm Perspective Control lens which has been linked to by people from all over the world, some of whom I hear from, which is kind of neat. I also have posted my quicky guide to the Technical and Artistic aspects of photography, which started life as a two-page guide from an Introduction to Photography seminar I taught in the mid-80s, and more recently, a page about the handy Exposure Record Book which I came up with for recording exposures when I care about them, which is hardly ever, certainly less than I should, and which isn't needed much now that digital cameras capture tons of EXIF data for every shot! My Tedious Explanation of the f/stop page has proved remarkably popular for what on the surface is such a boring topic, garnering thousands of hits a month, and I've added a Tedious Explanation of Depth of Field and a page about Sensors and Lenses to the tiny collection of useful content. There was a period of time when I was the top hit on Google for both "f/stop" and "tedious" though I've slipped a bit in recent months, darn that wikipedia! I have recently posted pages describing how to Build a KAP rig for Kite Aerial Photography use and one of these days will post some of my own KAP photos, though many of the emails I have about those pages are from robot enthusiasts.
Bicycling's big in the family. I first wrote a bit about the bike I rode on a bicycle trip in 1980 which has drawn some hits, then started a blog about Practical Cycling in the Twin Cities called Two Cities Two Wheels which cyclist nerds might like, though I don't write as much as I used to. A more recent effort has been my Bicycle Commuting Guide which runs 20 pages (it's a PDF file) and is a bit Twin Cities-oriented, but which folks seem to like. I've collected what other bike things I've written into An Index of Matt's Bicycle Articles for your convenience and have also helped start the Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition to work on cyclists' issues in Saint Paul.
And finally, since I'm all about Handy Guides, I figured I'd post a Handy Timeline for the End of Capitalism so you can follow along. The events of September 2008 have a long genesis, and this fills in some of the blanks for you. Sadly, I ended up in hospital in November 2008 and got behind on this and events have moved on so fast I haven't gone back to catch it all up.
|Bounce Flash for Natural Lighting: Having just said how I use Vivitar 283s all the time, this photo shows me (in some alluring flannel pajamas) using the chrome Nikon FE, 28mm Nikkor and a Minolta 320X flash bounced straight up. This was when I was testing out the FE body and trying out the 320X. The 320 is a nice flash, and the head pivots sideways as well as vertically, but it is a bit weaker than the 283 and I have never liked the lighting quality as well. Nikon FE, 28mm, Kodachrome 64.|
One thing I do like is bounce flash. I have used Vivitar 283s for years (since February 1976) and nearly all of the indoor shots in here are lit with a 283. The bounce flash thing never caught on like I figured it would so most people put up with really pathetic flash lighting. This is mostly because bounce flash requires a beefy flash unit and so is inconvenient compared with built-in flashes which give the old deer-in-the-headlights-against-a-black-background look typical of modern flash photos. I find it amusing that snapshots from the 1950s are frequently of better quality than today's since they were often taken on larger negatives with relatively undirectional bulb flashes and in black and white, so they haven't faded. One of these days I'll be adding a bunch of comparison pictures showing how bounce flash works and maybe more people will pay attention and try it. In the meantime, note how the lighting looks on the indoor shots in this site and see if you like bounce flash too. (Oh, and check out A Day in The Life of a 283 which shows how the aforementioned Vivitar flash worked out one day when I shot a wedding.
We live in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Being Minnesota, the weather here normally is uncomfortable in one way or another. In the summer the state is basically a big, hot, humid mosquito-infested bog; in the winter it's a salt-encrusted frozen tundra, but it does get nice in May and for a little bit in October. The rest of the year we mostly moan about how hot/humid/cold/icy/wet/cloudy it is. You can see what we're putting up with at the moment:
Karla is the Music Director at Saint Christopher's Episcopal Church in Roseville. Karla is a highly-trained pianist (Masters in Piano Performance, some work towards a DMA) who also has been a lifelong church musician. She brings excellent technical skills, a wonderful artistic sense and her delightful personality to the position. While at Saint Mary's Episcopal, we released our first CD, called A Saint Mary's Sampler. Karla chose all the music, rehearsed the groups, performed on or conducted every piece, and wrote the excellent insert. There's some really good music here, and I think you can still buy one of these from Saint Mary's (I'd call 'em first though).
You can use the link below to e mail us. We got our own domain name several years ago so we could play around with web stuff and also because we were tired of our ISPs getting bought and sold like mad during the dot-com frenzy which kept making our e mail address change. Now we are masters of our own domain!