Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its seventh year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

July 28, 2012

THE PROJECT BEGINS


... when i was a kid pa said to me, "hide away your spare change in a secret spot and save it up for something special" ... a direct result of me taking his advice (a rarity, i admit), in the middle of the summer after graduation i handed the keys to my assistant and jetted off to england, a little wander-about that i figured i deserved before either being drafted or enlisting in the military (little did i know that while i was away my brother and ma would carry out a deviously contrived plot and enroll me in college) ... while i was in london i purchased the little olympus sp ... it was the first camera i ever bought for myself ... with no shame admitting that after scanning the ektachrome 400 slide i hdr processed it in photomatrix pro, here's one of the shots i took in 1970 with the olympus sp ...


... lately, i've been getting a bit frustrated with what ford grant described as the "decision making quotient" incurred by using modern cameras ... in the "olden days," just as a photographer was about to snap a picture the final thought was of "aperture ... shutter speed ... focus ... composition" ... film had already been decided, when the camera was loaded, as had been the choice of the lens ... then came zoom lenses, automatic apertures and shutter speeds, automatic focus ... computers were added to cameras, and we had "program" modes ... soon after were choices as to how the light meter would function ... digital technology was introduced, at first so rudimentary as to be almost a step backwards, but in time came more and more decisions to make ... currently, my nikon d200s have instruction manuals containing nine pages devoted to automatically focussing a lens and only one page for "manual" focus ... it takes a full three pages to simply list all the buttons on the camera ... in all, two hundred pages ... the guide to my 1958 nikon sp contained only ten ...

... so, a little project of sorts ... i looked at the olympus sp and said to myself, "how close can i match it with digital" ... factors involved included:  i wanted the digital sensor in the camera to be larger than most point-and-shoots, closer in size to the d200s (little tiny pocket cameras can take "sharp" photographs, but their small sensors do not do as well in terms of color and tonal gradient) ... i wanted a single focal-length lens, no zoom ... simple aperture-prefered automation and manual control were a must ... no flash, at least, not built-in ... a glass viewfinder, since even the best of digital displays are hard to use in bright sunlight ... similar in size to the olympus–that was a must–big enough to hold comfortably, small enough to slide into a large pocket ... quiet ... unobtrusive design ...

... a lot of research, funding provided by finding new homes for several of my old cameras, you can see the result above ... the "old" olympus had a lens almost full f-stop faster, and the medium base length of its rangefinder made for quick focusing in low light ... the "new" olympus has a much better light meter, especially considering that the histogram function is essential a built-in zone system computer ... all things considered, especially the forty-plus years of technological age difference, i'd say the two cameras were a fair match ...

... now, my "project" ... simply, i'm going to let my other equipment rest for awhile ... one lens, one camera, one eye (okay, i'll bring a spare) ... that's it ... a bit less of my energy directed towards what i'm holding, if i'm lucky it'll all go towards how i'm seeing ... here're three from my first few minutes with my "new" olympus:


... robert, "wheelin' and dealin'" ...


... roger, methinks perhaps a bit too much two-wheelin' ...


... a round gear thingy ... i don't know what happens if it's turned ...

... i will not be posting shooting details for these pictures ... this, too, is a part of my little project ... however, if requested such information will most gladly be provided ...

... mostly, i hope i can entertain/inform/enlighten/intrigue you ... i'll be pleased if you enjoy, even happier to hear your thoughts ...

"Pictures, regardless of how they are created and recreated, are intended to be looked at.  This brings to the forefront not the technology of imaging, which of course is important, but rather what we might call the eyenology (seeing)."
HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON