Back before auto mode and built in light metering, photographers relied on separate hand-held meters to determine the correct exposure. Many are roughly palm sized devices that use selenium cells (https://www.britannica.com/technology/exposure-meter#ref1164349). I was introduced to the old Sekonic incident meters as a Freshman film student. Eventually, I acquired my own incident light meter that seemed to work better. (Despite the faculty’s insistence that nothing was wrong with the school’s meters, rumors swirled about which ones were malfunctioning. I wanted reliability and consistency, so I got my own meter that I knew no one had dropped recently.)
Last month, I purchased two old light meters at a thrift store. I’m certain they aren’t accurate, but they are cool. The first is a Weston Master II cine meter. I love the numbering on the dials, so I decided to take some close-ups of the aged meter.
The second is a much less serious meter: a little pink GE. Cute, but not high end.
Although modern cameras have built in metering, the old, and sometimes no so old, incident meters persist. They still have a following and a purpose. You can even get a light meter ap in the style of an old incident meter.
Next Time: Spring?
I hope the next few weeks will bring some green to my corner of the world. Either way, if the weather is good, I’m going out to a park with my camera.
These photos are all from the actual theater auditorium. The side walls are decorated with sets of green lamps in alcoves and hanging red lamps.
Both sides of the stage are flanked with large metal dragons and enormous hanging lamps amidst elaborate columns.
Although the dragons are an Asian motif, the city skyline above and to either side of them seems more Mideastern in theme, but not without European influence. This is where the audience enters and exits the balcony seating. The designers endeavored to transport the audience’s minds to exotic places before the show they came to see even began.
The theater is a great old building, and I wish it many more wonderful years.
Next Time: Jewelry or Nature Close-up
When I was in my early teens, an organization in a city near me finished an ambitious project: they restored an old theater. To celebrate, they held an open house and many people from the surrounding area came to tour the newly restored theater. My parents took my sister and I to go see it. I remember my fascination at the ornate detail of the theater.
After college, I became interested in abandon places. Not that I would visit one alone, but I loved looking at photos of once-grand buildings as nature and the environment reclaimed them. However, the photos of abandoned libraries and theaters always made me a little sad. Maybe it’s the decline of civilization, or maybe it’s because I’ve seen an old library and an old theater in preserved or restored condition. I often thought it was a shame more couldn’t be saved.
Several months ago, my father informed me that the local photo club had arranged to visit the theater we had toured all those years ago and visited a few times since. The club had purchased a tour and several hours of time to wander the building with cameras. I had the opportunity to photograph the very same ornate building that had fascinated me years before – and it is still in restored condition.
Since I ran out of retouch time (dynamic range is a big concern in this building!), here are the photos from the entryway and upper mezzanine:
Next time, I will continue with the inside of the theater. In a world with so much entropy and decay, it’s always a ray of hope that some things can be saved.
I finally finished it. Getting back to still life with as little as I’ve shot since last summer (and such a small percentage of that planned table top) means I’m rusty right now. I have to make myself do this. The joy and fluency will return as I keep at it. But enough of my inner frustrated artist.
When I hear or read the word dictionary, this is what comes to mind:
The big, red dictionary was once my Uncle’s. I don’t know how it got to us, but whenever my Mom told me to look something up in the dictionary, this was the book I picked up. We had other dictionaries, but this was The Dictionary. Mom let me take it with me when I moved out.
Not all dictionaries are venerable tomes though. I found this pocket dictionary at a library book sale a few years back. The writing in the front cover tells me a teen girl owned it back in the 1940s.
Next Time: Observatory
Speaking of old and venerable, I spent yesterday at an observatory constructed in 1895. In the early 1920s, it was such a big deal in astronomy and astrophysics that Albert Einstein himself visited it.
Here are a couple of archive photos from January’s photo club table top night. I brought my own light source and reflectors as well as some subject matter, but it is kind of a free for all, so I ended up photographing mostly items the other members brought. Mine ended up being mostly floral items and a vintage green glass dish.
Next Time: Sand Dunes
I went to Michigan and checked out a National Lakeshore area.
A few weeks ago, I was at my grandma’s house for a family party. Looking for something to photograph, I happened to glance up at her roof and see the lightning rods. I had forgotten they survived the great re-roofing of 97 and were still standing proudly on the tall old house.
Next Time: Fall Nature or Fall Objects
The season is here. No more denying it.
I didn’t make it to the fireworks this 4th of July, but I did check out the festivities at a nearby small town. This festival had a car show, which is one of my favorite events to photograph. Old cars have so much beauty, detail, and style.
Hood ornaments and other markings showing the make and model are always of interest. I was particularly taken with this bird.
This Pontiac symbol made for a nice symmetrical shot. It was also a great subject to play with split toning. I kept it close to the actual color of the car.
I also liked the shapes and colors on this 442.
Headlights and tail lights have a lot of character as well.
This time, I had a favorite car in the show: a Corvette Stingray in this beautiful blue color. What a car!
In a previous post, I mentioned I’d become obsessed with keys and was thinking of purchasing some old furniture or skeleton keys off eBay. It turns out I didn’t have to buy any. My mother and sister were going through some old things when they found these old furniture keys a relative had given my sister and I when we were young. Apparently, my mother decided we were too young for them and packed them away. Not anymore. Finding them made my day.
This is the smallest and most ornate of the keys. I think all the curves at the top look romantic, so I went with a love theme for this one. (As a side note, the keys is small enough and pretty enough that I’d like to buy some similar colored chain and make a necklace out of it.)
The modern squared off look on this key is in stark contrast to its well-worn and scratched finish. I went for a simple approach, but I did black and white with an old book as the background to accent the key’s age.
This is the most elegant of the three keys.
I wanted to make it look like it actually went with something, like jewelry box.
Next Time: Nature or Old Phone
Spring is slow in coming this year, but there are always some prospects out in the big wide world. If I don’t go out and find them, I promise you the phone is cool. It’s old as in has a dial, and a fancy shaped receiver.
Some years ago, the ladies of the household inherited several lovely pieces of vintage rhinestone jewelry from my father’s aunt. I’ve done a little research and found that they date from the 1950s and 1960s when dressing up so much was a bit more common than it is for us. We’ve never had an occasion to wear any of these, but if the day ever comes, I’ll be there with bells on.
Next Time: Mugs or Cats
I’m working on a series of mug shots. Not photos of criminals, photos of mugs. If they’re not done in two weeks, you’ll be seeing the cat photos I randomly decided to shoot today.