How are you all feeling about the photography posts? Is it too much of a good thing? Or are you just happy to see this place active again, after stagnating for so long?
I’ll admit I’m a bit torn myself. While I’m still enjoying taking the photos, and all of the practice I’m getting, I’m not quite as enthusiastic about writing about it as I was two months ago when I started down this path. I’m starting to get bored reading my own writing on the topic 🤦🏻♀️
If I had more knitting, crocheting, or polymer claying to be talking about I would. Believe me. But at the moment, I am less than halfway through my current knitting project, and there’s not a whole lot to talk about there. The polymer clay cane I made last month is still sitting on the table where I left it. They say you should let canes sit for a few hours or a day before attempting to reduce them. I’ve waited a month. Maybe I’ll get back to it soon. Maybe I won’t. The muse is not calling me there.
I want to blame the Day Job, and the hours and energy it consumes. Boo hoo, poor me. I know I’m not the only creative person who has to work, so I really should just stop whining about it. I think I was spoiled by having so many years working for myself from home while raising my kids. Even after six and a half years working for someone else, I’m still not accustomed to my time not being my own. Well, maybe I am accustomed to it. I’m just not resigned to it yet. And I probably never will be, if I continue to look back on those years of being my own boss as the Good Old Days. I need an attitude adjustment.
Anyway, what does this have to do with Keyport? Absolutely nothing. Haven’t you missed my long posts which stray liberally from the point?
Here is something else that is only tangentially related to Keyport: I was unexpectedly gifted a new (old) camera from a lovely blog reader recently! I will not call her out here, since I’m not sure if she wants that, but she knows who she is, and she can pipe up in the comments if she wants to, or not if she doesn’t 🙂 Suffice it to say, I am quite happy with this, and though I sent her a few little goodies in exchange, I feel like I might have gotten the better end of the deal here.
This is a Minolta XG-M, circa 1981, in near mint condition, and I took it for a spin to several places at the end of July, starting with Keyport.
The camera came with a 50mm lens, and I am satisfied with most of the pictures I got with that setup. Where I may have lost my way a bit was when I tried to use my grandfather’s 135mm Minolta lens. I had gotten that lens along with his SRT-102 from the early 1970s, and while this lens technically fit the XG-M, the resulting images were super dark. As if the camera wasn’t getting the information it needed from the lens. Though, at other times, it was just perfect. So I don’t know. Maybe the lens is so old that it doesn’t communicate what is required for Aperture Priority mode, and I just got lucky in those instances where it worked well. Or maybe I didn’t connect it properly.
Whatever the case, I did better with the 50mm that came with the camera than I did when I experimented with the old 135mm, especially in these Keyport photos.
I mentioned in my last couple of posts that we went to Belmar after work one day. What I didn’t tell you was that we didn’t end up staying there for very long. After spending a little while on the beach, and eating the bagel sandwiches we brought with us, we decided we wanted to drive home the long way, up the the New Jersey coast, through all of the little shore towns. One such town was Keyport, and we arrived as it was getting dark. When I saw the bay, with all of those boats bobbing in the water, I knew I wanted to go back and take some pictures when the lighting was better.
So, the next week we did just that, and these are those pictures.
Here’s the camera and film info for the whole set. Hover over, click, or tap a photo if you want to know which picture was taken with which equipment.
I tried to correct the dark Minolta scans that were taken with the 135mm, but they’re still not great. They’re brighter now, but the colors are too green, and my attempts to tone that down weren’t particularly attractive, so I’ve just left them too green for now.
I have to be honest. I’m not particularly thrilled with many of the pictures I took here, even with my trusty, always-reliable DSLR. There’s something about capturing water, especially ocean water, that often eludes me with the fancy cameras. It may be a color thing, or to some extent a contrast thing, but something is just not quite right to my eye. I would like to figure out what that is. I feel calm by the water, though the ocean itself is churning and in constant motion. Maybe the cameras are really good at capturing the actual agitation of the water, and not so good at capturing that serene feeling.
I may be on to something with that, because I don’t dislike all of my DSLR photos of water. The camera images I take of lakes and lazy rivers are quite appealing to me in fact.
Strangely, my phone is rather good at capturing the peaceful feeling of ocean water. I have no idea what kind of magic it is invoking under the hood in order to make that work. I think I need to take my phone and the Canon back to the shore sometime, and just take 100 pictures until I figure out how to make the camera see calm in the chaos. Then I can apply that learning to shooting with film, too.
I mean, it will be a sacrifice to have to leave the house after work some evening, go have an outdoor dinner in a nice pub, and then walk along the waterfront eating ice cream and taking pictures, but I will do it. For my art. 😜