Bad Weather Photos

Which is not the same as bad photos of weather.  These were shot on my way home from Goodland, KS.  While it is the middle of September we can still experience pretty violent weather.  Fortunately no hail just wind and rain.

Extended Summer Camp

When you’re an adult you can extend summer camp.  We just started our August Summer Camp which takes us to Carbondale, CO and we’ll finish in Meeker, CO. Here are a few pictures from the iPhone

Fight for Cleanliness

Most couples fight about money but we do that AND about how each other’s office is a disgrace to the household.  Well the gauntlet was thrown down last nite so I spent from 7 am to 5 pm cleaning - no nap just cleaning.

Vicki’s  office to the left and mine to the right.  Below is the results of 8 hours of cleaning

Dashcam Photography

Some images from my Garmin Dashcam Mini-2.  To be sure they have been manipulated - tone, contrast, cropping.  I like the Mini-2 because you can voice activate the camera while driving ( be sure to turn down your radio first).

Pixii Camera Review

This is a rather unique camera that I purchased several months ago and I finally wanted to review it.  I’ll be honest it has taken me this long to decide if I like it and how to best use it.  This is a departure from most of my camera purchases where I know quickly whether there’s buyer’s remorse.   The Pixii is a French camera which right there makes it unique. It accepts Leica M mount lenses.  It does not have a viewfinder so you are not able to view your shot unless you use the Pixii app on iPhone or Android.  Those of us who have shot film this poses no real problem and you do have the ability to see the shot on the iPhone.  This arrangement frees you from “chipping” and allows you to move on to the next shot.

You have the ability to shoot in Color and Monochrome DNG as well as JPG.  The company touts the Pixii as the first camera to allow monochrome DNG.  The Leica cameras that compete for BW digital include the M11 and M10 monochrome at over twice the price of the Pixii.  Although to be sure the size of the sensors in the Leica are much larger.  The Pixii is an APS-C sensory. Leica also makes the Leica MD which is a digital camera without a back screen similar to the Pixii.  


- Very short battery life - I have four batteries because of this

- You have to manually go into the menu to select the focal length of the lens to bring up the correct frame lines

- Closeups don’t seem to be sharp as if the Rangefinder is letting me down.

- DNG require tweaking to get the images the way they should be.  


- Very quiet shutter

- Framelines easy to see

- Like a smartphone it comes with fixed storage and doesn’t rely on a memory card.  Given that I’ve never filled a 32GB card on my other camera this is not a problem - I opted for the 64 GB size.

Land Library at Buffalo Creek Ranch

Today was a very special day as the Land Library held one of their book club discussions.  It was centered on “Buffalo for the Broken Heart” which over the last three or four years has been on my top books to read.  It was great to meet some really nice people and exchange ideas.  The location of the Land Library in Park County is so special.  I encourage folks to look at their website, get involved - you will be richly rewarded.

Try That in a Small Town

Jason Aldean’s recent song/music video has caught a lot of flak.  I’ve put the video link so others can judge for themselves.  It is a very dark/negative view of things.  It does nothing to talk about the positives of small towns.  It really shows the small towns = small minds attitude which I think is unfair to rural living.  The courthouse that is the back drop is where a lynching took place in 1927 - just a horrible optic!  There is nothing uplifting about this video.  

Without putting too fine a point on this - you will be judged by the company you keep - in this case Aldean has consorted with Trump at his golf club. So expect to hear / see this on Trump’s campaign trail

Don’t take my word for it - CMT ( Country Music TV) has taken it off their rotation.

CPAC Lectures Completed

Finished my two lecture series on Black and White Photography at CPAC ( Colorado Photographic Arts Center).  This was the first lecture at the new CPAC studios. While I only had 4 attendees it was fun to just sit and talk photography.  It was daunting because I put together this lecture without knowing who was going to show up, their level of interest/knowledge.  My worst fear was that the students would know a lot more than the lecturer.  We’ll wait and see what the reviews are like.  I was really happy when I learned that the tuition was a meager $69 so I don’t think anyone can feel ripped off.  I spent double this in seminars about BW photography that I took to prepare this class.  It will be telling to see if I am asked back next year.

It Lived a Good Long Life

After over 20 years of faithful service my Nikon Coolscan 4000 has gone to scanner heaven.  It had malfunctioned in a way that I’d seen once before - it wouldn’t release the film strip module.  I remembered taking the cover off and messing around and eventually got it give up the module - however not before I broke an essential part of the scanner!

I grieved for a minute or two and then decided I would eBay the accessories - while listing them I found someone with the exact scanner in almost new condition for a reasonable price.  So I am now complete again.  I did sell some of the accessories which helps defray the cost of the new (used) scanner.

Half Frame

Playing around again with the Kodak H35 plastic Half Frame point and shoot.  This was shot on HP5+.  I try to get two complimentary subjects onto the one frame - makes it like an “in camera”  Dypitch.

European Vacation

The “big” vacation this year and one that I seem to still be paying for just completed this week .  We went to Austria and Czech Republic.  We spent 10 days out of country.  Our first stop was Pollau, Austria in the Styrian Mountains.  They aren’t so much mountains but more like huge foot hills.  Still very nice.  We stayed at the Retter resort and spa.  It was fantastic.  I’m not sure how you would lose any weight here as their all you can eat meals where amazing.

Our next stop also in the Styrian Mountains was to the Red Bull Ring for the 2023 edition of the Austrian F1 .   As expected Max Verstappen won the race - There’s no two ways about it - he’s a natural born F1 racer.  The rain held off and it was great weather.  Getting back to Vienna was a different story - didn’t get to the hotel till midnight because of some logistical “mistakes” on the road.

Vienna was an altogether different experience.  We stayed close in.  I have to admit that I never got the hang of their public transportation.  We had passes but only used them to get into museums for free.  The Hop on Hop off can be a disaster because you sometimes would have to be on the bus for over an hour to get to where you wanted to go.  Anyway we did a Segway tour, went to a bunch of museums.

We went to Belvedere 21 which is a modern art museum, the “regular” Belvedere, the Albertina and Westlich - a photo museum which had a show of Beatles photography - is was right next door to a Leica store - it was all I could do to keep from going in there!  Both Vienna and Prague are loaded with old architecture and if this were your thing you would be in 7th heaven.  Unfortunately for me , once you’ve seen like 10 of these buildings you have seen them all.  On the Segway tour we saw the legally sanctioned area for Graffiti and they say it has cut down on the random graffiti seen elsewhere.  Prague had a similar area.

In Prague the highlights were the Jewish quarter, Franz Kafka’s statues, Charles Bridge.  While we were in Prague, Zelinsky from the Ukraine was in town and his motorcade passed us.  Once again we tended to use UBER - it was really inexpensive as compared to the US.

Would I go back?  Initially I said no but now I think I would but not in July - too hot and there is a disdain for A/C in Europe.  I would like to go back  for two weeks and stay in one place to really get the vibe of things and also to learn their public transportation system.  I envision a “beach vacation” in a city like Prague where you just hang out, go to concerts, museums in a more leisurely way. Hang out at the cafes, drink Pilsners. Oh and go to the Jewish sector NOT on the Sabbath!

B and W on the Plains

Shot a roll of Kosmo Agent Shadow - a film stock that I have no idea where it comes from and who actually makes it.  But it does a nice job.  ISO 400, HC110b for 5-6 minutes.

Prairie Future is located in Joes - I’ve featured it recently - check the link.  The Goodland , KS photos are from in town - yes that’s right they have their grain elevators in town which is the definition of rural.  Finally two more shots of Cope, Colorado

Prairie Future

    Prairie Futures is a public artwork and agriculture landscape installation which aims to cultivate cross-disciplinary approaches to climate compassion through art practices and social connections in the Colorado High Plains.

    Inspired by farmhouse architecture and crop circle formations the 2-acre Prairie Futures site is a social-ecological garden designed for the diversification of regional mono-agricultural plant usage. In association with this experimental land plot, a multi-use outdoor pavilion has been built to reinforce learning across rural areas and connect urban populations to rural realities.

    Influenced by regenerative-ag practices, Prairie Futures supports a creative response and a rehabilitative approach to food and farming systems that invests in and replenishes the vitality of our rural community.

    In this time of unparalleled urban rural polarization, the Prairie Futures site behaves as an activity-rich testing ground for living with arts and culture at its core. Furthermore, we hope to open our doors to healing and transformation, and reflect optimism for a more inclusive future for rural towns in our state.


    Between the liquor store and the old church is the Benton family homestead, the site of Prairie Futures. Matriarch Mabel Bond Benton came to eastern Colorado around 1915 from Esbon, Kansas, and taught in one room school houses as the sole teacher for children first through twelfth grades in the Idalia and Joes area. Bob (Robert) Benton ended up in Joes after WWI pursuing a mail carrier job. They met, were married in 1921 and settled in Joes permanently in 1926.

    Joes Colorado (pop. 80) was once a popular first stop for travelers coming to Colorado along Highway 36 but as the interstate was built across the US, recreational travel along small highways was all but abandoned. Since 2016, cultural engagement has flourished in Joes and its citizens have worked to broaden arts and cultural activities, increasing opportunities for our youth to grow into future rural community leaders.

    The Prairie Futures site is a vivid representation of rural urban interconnected futures and can pave a path forward for our lives in this ever evolving landscape.

The next picture is from Cope, Colorado which is just west of Joes.  It’s this weird little store selling all sorts of Bison themed stuff.  It’s run a hunched over man ( He has Parkinson’s I’m sure).

And finally this picture was seen in Burlington, Colorado - sort of imagine if you will 100 years ago if you were riding your ‘mustang’ cross country you would also have your bed roll strapped on the back.  This is the same idea.

Perfect Saturday Morning

Started off with a stop at Starbucks  - not something I do on a regular basis so it’s still considered a treat.

Then off to the Denver Botanic Gardens for a 4 hour seminar on BW photography given by Scott Dressel- Martin a wonderful lecturer and a professional photographer.  The talk was about how to be creative with Black and White photography.  Given that I’m gonna be teaching a similar class in 5 weeks I thought it would be helpful to see what his approach was all about.

We started out by looking at a wonderful Ansel Adams exhibit showcasing his early works - before 1938 and contrasting it with the images we know of as his primary or productive phase of his career.  There is a wonderful book recently published called Making a Photographer: The Early Work of Ansel Adams by Rebecca Senf which goes into depth about this initial phase.  The reason his photography changed for the better was multifactorial :  His development of the Zone System, better film and paper and his move away from pictorialism.

We then had the chance to go out into the gardens to take pictures for little over an hour.  I wasn’t really looking to find things that could be taken into BW but rather looking for pics that I thought would be interesting.  I , of course, didn’t get the memo saying to bring your camera.  DUH?  But I had my iPhone 14 and that’s as good as many DSLRs so I didn’t feel cheated.

The last picture is comparing an AA photo of miserly days with a more modern interpretation.  

Tools of the trade.

Next are some of the pics that I particularly liked

Can you guess which day I went to the Gardens = there is lot’s of walking.

Chama, New Mexico

The trip to Chama was interesting - the photos above are from there. The first pics are from our stay in a cow pasture near Suguache Colorado - the ranch is part of Harvest Host where business will offer up their unused land for campers willing to dry camp ( no electicity, water or sewer).  In exchange we the campers make a good faith effort to buy some of their product.  Here it was several pounds of ground beef.

Our next stop was Chama, NM which is just across the border from Colorado.  Before getting to Chama you go thru Antinito, CO;  near there is the oldest church in Colorado - Our Lady of Gaudalupe  Then finally we get to Las Mesitas cemetery and chapel.  The chapel caught fire years ago but only destroyed the wooden roof.  

Using Format