Exploring Vintage lenses

My first vintage lens, recently arrived from Ukraine. This is a 1976 Helios 44mm f2 M-style screw mount (I recently overestimated its age, sorry). Verified not to be radioactive. Amazing how cheap these things are on eBay, but still perfectly serviceable with the right (cheap) adapter. Loving the slightly soft focus, if I can nail it. Some neighborhood shots of Magnolias in bloom.

Arrow

Paddling near some broke-down pilings at Rodeo, I suddenly realized there was an arrow stuck into one of them, probably shot from shore who-knows-when. I turned around and there was not a soul on shore, so I was fine, but then imagined what would have happened if I’d been there at the right time, and this sucker had gone through me. And that reminded me of the lyrics to Wings’ “Arrow”: “Ooh, baby, you couldn’t have done a worse thing to me / If you’da taken an arrow and run it right through me. Oooh.” And I love that song, so everything was fine.

Watercolor by Tom Vaughan

Well that was fun! A watercolor painter named Tom Vaughan on Mastodon contacted me a bit ago and asked whether it would be OK if he made a painting from one of my photographs (from Pierce Point Rd in Pt. Reyes with Paul Porter last November). I said yes, and this is what he posted in response today. He said in advance that he was an amateur and to not expect too much, but I think it’s lovely. He took some liberties, adding the tree and converting dusk to daylight, but that’s part of what makes it his own.

Watercolor version by Tom Vaughan
My original photograph from Pierce Point Rd.

This image at Flickr.

Cross-posting to image services (made easy)

Every day, twice a day, I post one of my photographs to Instagram, Glass, Vero, Flickr, Facebook and Mastodon. The whole process takes about 10 minutes and involves no exporting. A friend asked how this was possible, and I thought it would make more sense to record the workflow as a video rather than trying to explain, so I’ve done that here. Hope someone finds it useful!

Auto-convert Instagram hashtags to Flickr tags

Discovered this pretty well-hidden Flickr feature by accident and it’s such a time-saver, thought I’d share.

This is for people who post to Flickr from iOS, using the Share Sheet (i.e. from Lightroom Mobile or Apple Photos, you click the Share icon and select Flickr).

  1. When the share sheet comes up, don’t click the Tags section to tag your photos. Instead, type them Instagram-style right into the Description field, i.e. “#landscapes #beautifulcalifornia #roadtrip” etc.
  2. Now delete the tags you just typed. That’s right – delete them (so that you’re not adding clutter).
  3. Post the image.
  4. When the image lands on Flickr, check its Tags section – all of the hashtags you entered and deleted have been auto-converted to real Flickr tags!

If you are in the habit of posting your images to both Instagram and Flickr, here’s where the time saver comes in: Make your Instagram post first, and copy the set of hashtags you created to the clipboard. Then, when you do your Flickr post, in step #1 above, just paste them from the clipboard (and delete). Voila! Now you don’t have to go through the process of adding tags on two different services.

Side tip: If you share from Lightroom Mobile via the Share Sheet, all of your Lightroom tags become Flickr tags automatically.

A Week in the Ventana Wilderness

Still recovering from an amazing week backpacking in the Ventana Wilderness east of Big Sur, and just finished recapping the adventure in a Medium piece, with plenty of photos. A week in the woods is spiritually different from five day hikes!

There’s also a separate Lightroom album with more photos that didn’t make it into the article here. Some of those are slowly trickling into a Flickr album here.

Experience of a lifetime, two years in a row!

The Lone Toilet

Found it! A few weeks ago I caught an episode of Bay Curious where they talked about “The Lone Toilet” — a mysterious outhouse hanging out all by its lonesome in the marshes off Sears Point. At the time the episode was recorded, the reason for the toilet’s existence was apparently a mystery to everyone. Who built it? When, and why?

I had a general idea of where it was, but nothing specific. Headed out to explore the marshes along Hwy 37, keeping an eye out, but couldn’t find it. Did find a bunch cool bridges and antennae, and mini-murmurations of Starlings, but had given up on the outhouse. Then, while taking a shot under a bridge, turned back to the car and spotted a structure off in the distance. There it was!

Trudging through, I eventually found a plank someone had left to help visitors cross a deep rivulet, and was able to make my way out here. Seemed to be about 100 years old or so, and surrounded by absolutely nothing else.

Last night, I googled it and found this article, saying the mystery has since been solved – built by an eccentric sailor name of Fresh Air Dick (because he liked to sleep out in the air on his boat), who made his living carving wooden duck decoys. At the time, there was a marsh town called Tubs Island around here, but its remains have long since sunk beneath the mud. The outhouse was built in the 1920s – why it still stands when everything else sunk, I do not know.

Images shot with FujiFilm X-T3. Follow me on Flickr!