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.

December 11, 2012

ONIONS

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT

... out for a stroll with my camera, if i do not actually discover the world, even in what i know i'm sure to find something new ...

NEWELL AND BALUSTER AND RAIL

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT

... when in doubt, photography is about contrast ...

PEPPER & SALT

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT

... sitting at the counter in the selah tea cafe on main street, waiting, i wondered, "why do we always say 'salt and pepper'" ... i think about stuff like that ...

AGAIN, WHAT IS THE OLYMPUS PROJECT?

... one of you, a recent addition to my journal bcc list, asked, "you label a lot of pictures as 'olympus e-p1 project,' what does that mean" ... so, for all the newcomers, here's the scoop ... 


... this is a "festival" ... by altering the top plate and changing the engraved labeling a famous german watchmaking company offered their own expensive version of the rather pedestrian "jubilee" produced in america by the bosley company ... possibly through some sort of wheelin' and dealin' transaction, in 1958 pa secretly purchased a festival in west warwick, rhode island, while we were making a stop on our cross-continent journey to take up residence in alaska ... it was his favorite camera for several years, until he took up using an argus c-3 ...


... the witnauer had superior optics, but i've come to think that pa just didn't want to take the little jewel-like festival out into the wilds, a place more suited to the ruggedly indestructible argus (a.k.a. "the brick") ... as i heard him comment, "unlike the german machine, no matter how humid or cold it gets the shutterleafs on the argus never stick" ... 

... after we moved to guam in 1965 he let me leave the house with the festival, it was with the little german camera that i first began taking pictures on my own ... later, when pa would allow, i also began using his beloved petri flex v ...


... the petri was the first "single-lens-reflex" i ever used ... an "slr" has a mirror located within the camera body ... above the mirror is a five-sided prism, a "pentaprism," which allows the user to look directly through the lens of the camera ... when the shutter button is pushed the mirror flies up from in front of the shutter (that would be the "reflex" action) which quickly opens and closes to take the picture, then the mirror drops back down ... much more complexity than the previous cameras, which utilize a separate viewing window ("viewfinder"), but the virtue of the slr is that the photographer can easily utilize lenses with different powers, such as telephotos (telescopic lenses) ...

... in 1969, while visiting in london, for the first time i purchased my own camera, an olympus sp 35* ...



... i'd gone to england on the sly, as in, "i'm going to england, ma" ...

... "really, when" ... "tomorrow" ...
... "how're you getting there" ... "got tickets on pan am" ...
"what about a passport" ... "skipped school, went to boston and got one" ...
"what're you going to do in england" ... "oh, i'll find something" ...

... pa, of course, both couldn't and refused to be flustered ...

... "do you need a ride to the airport" ...

... i remember that during the month or so that i was in england i tossed the leather case and made sure to let the camera's chrome get get scuffed up a bit, since i had absolutely no intention of declaring it and paying duty when i returned to the states ... it was a great little camera, and it served me well until i bought my first nikon ( a cool story for another journal entry, perhaps) ...

... over the years i've own nikons, leicas, mamiyas (both 35mm and 2-1/4), yashicas, canons, pentaxes, the list seems to go on and on ... each and every camera has been appreciated, all served me well, to the point that just from weddings my trusty nikons have probably fully returned all the money i've ever spent on photography ... over time, however, it seems that as much as the improved technology enabled me, there was also a corresponding distancing from the "roots" of my photography, the elemental relationship formed between vision and light ... so, not wanting to return to they-weren't-quite-as-wonderful-then-as-they-are-in-reflection-now days of messy and expensive chemical based photography, i decided to see if within a modest budget (say goodbye, leica digital rangefinder) i could put together a "modern" version of the olympus ... parameters:  single focal length lens, no zoom ... separate viewfinder ... manual control of aperture/shutter speed/iso, as well as aperture preferred automation (photographer sets the f/stop, or lens opening, camera sets the shutter speed) ... the result was the olympus e-p1 ...


... oddly enough, it was priced almost exactly the same amount as the ebay listings for 45 year-old olympus 35 sp's ... truthfully, the lens isn't any sharper than the olympus' and it exhibits a lot more barrel distortion, but the light meter is unbelievably accurate and under most lighting conditions the electronic focus is quicker and more precise than the olympus' rangefinder ...

... small, light, big-pocketable ... not to "replace" anything, just a tool with which i can enjoy seeing and sharing the world ...

... *picture is courtesy of photo.net ... if you're planning some attic cleaning, you should know 
that there's a spot on my camera shelf for an olympus 35 sp ...