Magnificent Magnolias (and Other Musings)

I was thinking the other day about blogging, mostly about how I used to be very, very good about it and how now I’m quite terrible at it. Of course back when I was a very good blogger, I was also a prolific online diary writer. (Anyone out there ever use Diaryland back in the day?) I’d gotten so used to writing something — anything — online every day that when I decided to try this newfangled thing called blogging, it was pretty easy. Eventually, the lines between my online diary and my blog kind of crossed, and then later, I started to freak out a little about writing personal stuff all over the internet and my online diary got locked up. I also started to blog less about myself and more about baseball, so eventually I created a baseball blog.

Then I discovered Twitter and my baseball blog died. RIP.

Twitter is fun and all. I like getting little bits of news here and there. Or spitting out GIFs and witty (but probably not so witty) one liners in less than 140 characters. But occasionally I miss blogging. I miss sitting down and writing about anything and everything. Sometimes I wonder why I stopped. (Aside from seeing the traffic to my blog increase while freaking out about — gasp! — people I know finding my blog.) But there’s no reason why I can’t write here. Maybe not like I used to. I’ll probably never spew my guts out verbal vomit style all over the Internet like I did during my college years, but sometimes it’s just nice to sit and write a little bit. So perhaps I’ll try that for a bit. Here and there.

Side note: If you follow this blog for the occasional baseball photo, I do have some Giants Fan Fest photos to post. I was going to post those tonight, but when I opened Lightroom, my computer completely seized up and froze, and I thought it was going to die. I took that as a sign that maybe I wasn’t meant to post baseball-related photos tonight. But I do plan on posting those soon. Perhaps this weekend.

I do, however, have a few non-baseball photos!

I think I mentioned (I could go back and read my archives and find out for sure, but what’s the fun in that?) that I picked up a Leica M2 last year. I’m just a wee bit obsessed with collecting old cameras and decided I really wanted to add a Leica to my collection. I stalked eBay obsessively looking for just the right deal. I gave myself a budget, and when a listing for a Leica M2 and a Summitar lens popped up for much, much less than I’d planned on spending, I pounced. The camera does have a battle wound, a dent in the corner, but it doesn’t affect how the camera operates at all. Eventually I might replace the leatherette on the body, since it’s flaking off, but the camera is a tank. I have had some minor technical difficulties with the Summitar lens, mainly I’m big on sometimes forgetting to extend the lens all the way, so I develop my film and find shots that look like they were taken with beer goggles on. But when I extend and focus the lens properly, it’s fantastic.

I’ve gotten in the habit of bringing a digital camera and a film camera (lately, it’s usually the Leica) with me when I go places. I do like to take digital shots, because it’s nice to have digital versions of photos. Sort of a backup, if you will, mostly because of my aforementioned issues with not fully extending the Summitar lens. (Also with rangefinders, I occasionally get so excited about a shot that I forget to take off the lens cap. I’M MAKING MYSELF SOUND LIKE A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER HERE.) Last year I also picked up a 21mm Voigtlander Color-Skopar lens because I wanted to play with something really wide on the Leica. I’ve been toying with the idea of picking up another Voigtlander lens in the 35mm or 50mm range, but I also think as I use the Summitar more, we’re learning to get along better. I’m getting used to its kind of quirky look. We’ll see. I could babble on about lenses for hours, clearly.

For the last few years, usually some time in February, I’ve enjoyed taking a trip to the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park to check out the magnolias. Since we’ve had some insanely gorgeous warm, sunny weather this month, the magnolias all bloomed pretty early, so I knew I had to take a trip to see them sooner rather than later. I brought along the Leica (loaded with Adox Silvermax film, which I’d never tried before) as well as my trusty Canon. I’ll have to post some of my digital photos another time, because I took a zillion of them, and the magnolias were all so gorgeous, but I thought I’d share some of my film shots. Like I said before, I’d never used Adox Silvermax film before, but I ended up really loving it. It was easy for me to work with when it came to developing. (Some films are a pain to load on the reels.) And it was also easy to scan. I loved the tones. I currently have more film than I know what to do with, due to my tendency to hoard expired film that isn’t sold anymore, but I might have to add a couple more rolls of Adox Silvermax to my next order from B&H or Freestyle.

I wish you wouldLet us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see

This is the first time I've used Adox Silvermax film. I really, really like it. I think I'm going to have to pick up a few more rolls.

Wherever is your heart I call homeYou're going backWe can sit and talk for hours underneath the golden flowersAll I see is you

For those of you who care about the details (if you’re still reading this far), these were all shot with the Leica and the Summitar lens and developed in Legacy Pro L110. I used solely use Kodak HC110 as my developer, mostly because it lasted forever, but now that you can only find HC110 in ginormous bottles, I’ve switched over to Legacy Pro L110, which is supposed to be pretty similar to Kodak HC110.

And now that I’ve written more words in this blog post than I’ve probably written here in months, I think it’s probably time to consider heading to bed. But this whole writing a kind of wordy blog post thing seems to have gone okay. Maybe I’ll even consider doing it again soon.

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