#WE35 May Expedition

I sometimes find myself cringing with the monthly expeditions. Not that I have trouble with the instructions, rather, I have been finding it difficult to get out and shoot!

Our Expedition for May had the following guidelines:

Attend a local gathering, celebration, or festival in your neck of the woods.

The goal is to tell the story of the event with three photographs.

Totem – Photograph an object of significance for the event. 

Portrait – A creative goal of this project is to break down the barrier between photographer and subject. We hope by making a portrait of someone, you are getting involved in the event and not standing on the sidelines. 

Moment – choose one moment that truly illustrates the spirit of the event.

So, here it is, the 30th of May and I finally found the time and there was an event as well! So I headed out the door. I’ve taken photos at this event in the past and this time it was challenging. I’ll say this-using a 35mm lens really makes one “get in there” for the shot! I also took along my Mamiya RB67, but only had black and white film…bummer.

At any rate, the event was the annual Via Colori. Here is a description from the website hosting the event for an explanation:

“Via Colori® is the modern day version of a centuries-old tradition in which dozens of artists create large scale pastel artworks directly on the pavement of our city’s streets. Each square is sponsored by a business, organization or other entity, and proceeds benefit the Grace Oughton Cancer Foundation”

So, my “Totem” image is of a group of Brownies working together on a very large piece. To me this shows that togetherness is strength in overcoming obstacles in life.

My “Portrait” image is of one artist that I was able to engage in conversation. She didn’t really want to pose for the shot and I could not get close enough in front of her, so I told her I wanted her working on the art while I took her photo. Really, I did enage this one…lol. It’s really not easy with the way the streets and the artist’s areas are set up. So, at least I was able to have a conversation.

My “Moment” image is very edited, I could not find any of my photos to use and then I saw it, but I needed to crop…a lot, or simply find a way to the word “hope”, that is what this is all about.

These first three images were my submissions:

Ron Childress The Moment May (1 of 1) Ron Childress The Portrait May Ron Childress The Totem May

A few additional images from the event.

WE35 May Expedition (5 of 18) WE35 May Expedition (9 of 18) WE35 May Expedition (13 of 18) WE35 May Expedition (1 of 18) WE35 May Expedition (2 of 18) WE35 May Expedition (3 of 18) WE35 May Expedition (14 of 18)


May 14th

Yeah, it has been a long time. I  tell ya, this is not easy. Well, it is easy to write, just not all the time. Having a wife, family, home, a full time job…you know, basic responsibilities really can dictate what actually gets done. (is that even a sentence?).

I’ve added a few entries to one of my other blogs-www.garagesalepictures.com and that is about it. I’ve not take a helluva lot of images lately. With warm weather comes the need to manage the lawn and other life commitments. I enjoy writing these when I do get the inspiration, time and motivation to do it. Right now there are so many things that I want to do while the weather is warm; kayak, fish, camp, hike, photograph, photograph, take pictures, make images…..

I’ve been doing a lot of online reading and researching the Fuji X series cameras lately. I remember getting very interested in them when the x10 and x100’s were hot items. I just could never justify the cost of having more, or another camera to tote around. Now that I’ve accumulated more 35mm slr’s as well as a nice medium format system (a lot of stuff with this one). I find myself wondering what I should trade for a Fuji X-whatever model camera.

I’ve shot a roll through my FED 3B and it was not bad for the age and condition, Yashica Electro was not good, The Mamiya RB67’s first roll of film turned out fantastic! I was really impressed wit the qiuality from that old beast! So….I’ve picked up some “stuff” for it…..3 lenses-150mm soft focus, 90mm, 65mm. A spot meter, prism viewfinder, extra film back, polaroid film back…cable release, see what I do…it’s a sickness really. Yashica TLR has a roll loaded, not finished, Kodak has a roll loaded, not finished. Nikon N8008s 36 exp roll sent for processing and will be added to the #WE35 project as long as they are presentable! The battery holder on this camera failed and I had to use some duct tape to hold it all together to finish the roll, but I recently ordered a Nikon N90s (sub $30 camera), just so I can still shoot film and be able to use my Nikon glass..

I’ve inherited a Pentax Spotmatic from my father that I am going to send off for a general servicing and start using it. That little camera has been around the world and probably made all the images of my family while growing up and most on 35mm slides (which have been scanned into digital!). It means something to me and I will try to continue using it.

I also picked up a Nikon D7000 to compliment my D700 as a backup body, I am going to shoot a wedding in July (YIKES!) and needed a second body for obvious reasons. I really like that D7000 to be honest! Although I do not have all Nikon top of the line lenses, I think I have all the necessary focal lengths covered with these-Tamron 70-200 F/2,8 (non vr version), Tamron 28-75 F/2.8, Tamron 19-35mm (I’ve just noticed a pattern here)…Nikon 85mm F/1.8G, Nikon 50mm F/1.4G…..I might even take the Medium Format just for fun. Please give me any advice for the shoot, the lenses, etc.

Well, I seem to have blabbered on for a bit here.

I’m out.


Whoa! This weather is a motivation killer!

Cold, snow…..cold….cold, more snow, ice, sleet….c’mon, it’s the first day of March! Well, it is ya know. Last month, the #WE35 task was to shoot 36 frames, as if it were film and at 35mm FOV, of course. So, I decided that I would be all in, I have an old Nikon N8008s and picked up a roll of Kodak TRX 400 in B&W. Yeah, I was gonna shoot 36 frames, send it off for processing and scanning and make my contact sheet for the project! Well, as time started ticking, I realized a few days ago that I was not going to complete this with the film camera, so I used my DSLR. I set the ISO to 400 and taped the barrel of my Tamron 19-35mm at the 35mm mark (to prevent the ability to zoom) and started shooting. Saturday, the 28th….the last day of the project and I needed about 27 frames. It’s very painful knowing that you cannot delete an image for a “do-over”, remember this is like using film. So, I have several shots that are, indeed, out of focus, bad lighting, motion blur, etc, etc. It was a good exercise, challenging and fun. I still have the film loaded and will most likely finish it when the weather allows me to be outside comfortably. I’ve also got the Mamiya ready to roll as well. Film in the fridge, camera bags loaded, tripod ready…..we all know the routine. I am enjoying this #WE35 project so far, but with 35mm, one has to be fairly close to the subject to make s decent image, I have not been very good at that lately, but hopefully that will also change with the weather. I did manage to take some photos with the FED 3b and the Yashica Electro. The images from the FED turned out pretty good, but the Yashica is very dim, or flat….I’ll be taking the FED out some more, but I wish I had a 35mm lens for that one so I could use it for the #WE35 project. I might try and find a decent, cheap 55mm for the Mamiya as for this project as well (55mm on a medium format is approximately 35mm FOV on a …35mm of course).

At any rate, please check out another project of mine at http://www.garagesalepictures.com

Here is my contact sheet for the #WE35 February Expedition. and some images from recent contributions to the project.

Feb_contactsheet_Ron_Childress Feb_THISIMAGEROCKS_Ron_Childress (1 of 1) In_phocus (1 of 3) In_phocus (2 of 3) In_phocus (3 of 3) in_phocus 16 In_Phocus-2 In_Phocus-5 In_Phocus-6 In_Phocus-7 In_Phocus-8 in_phocus-9 in_phocus-10 in_phocus-11 in_phocus-15 in_phocus-19 in_phocus-22 in_phocus-23

Is it the 17th of Jan already…..?

Yeah, I guess it is! Not a whole lot to write about. I still have not finished the roll of film in my Yashica Electro, or Fed 3b cameras….sad. I know for a fact that I only have a couple of exposures left in each of them too. Truth be told, I did shoot an entire roll of film in the FED, but there was an anomaly when I attempted to rewind the roll. I’m sure it was user error on my part. The process calls for pressing and turning a button to release the spool, but I’ve found that I also need to keep pressure on that button as well. The bad result was the winding mechanism is stronger that the film and will indeed break said film in half, or wherever it decided to rip apart. Needless to say I was infuriated! But, I calmly opened the back and removed the EXPOSED film and inserted a fresh new roll. At least with this roll there might be some more interesting images. The Yashica Electro is simple enough. I’ve also got another roll of film the Yashica 44 TLR (also had a mishap with the first roll of 127 film in that one as well. It seems that if one is not paying attention to the camera on a tripod that one can turn the camera on the ballhead and open the film compartment)….yeah, guilty! At any rate, I think I have learned many valuable lessons. Oh another good one on me-I have a Polaroid back on my Mamiya RB67 and the first photo I took……I took with the dark slide in place….geesh….at least with the 120 film backs there is an interlock that wont fire the shutter without removing the dark slide….lol. I need to get busy with the Mamiya, I’ve got several rolls of black and white film that needs to be shot!

I’m still hanging in there with the #WE35 Project. https://plus.google.com/100280947441119295849

I’ve not taken near as many images as some of the other photogs, but I’m hoping that I’ll get out more in the coming weeks. Work, family and fraternal organizations occupy quite a bit of my time.

Here are my latest contributions to the #we35 project…..

in_phocus-27 in_phocus-26 in_phocus-25


Wow….I am not good at this. At least in the sense that I am not a daily, hell, even a weekly poster/blogger. I can come up with the usual excuses; it’s cold, I’m tired, I’ve got other responsibilities that are more important…..yeah, all real. So, this #we35 project is really pretty interesting. There are contributors all over, traveling, walking, living and all sharing their daily visions in 35mm for all the world to see. I’ve missed a lot of photos, but mainly because my 35mm prime is a manual focus lens. I was using a Tamaron 19-35mm and making sure it was on 35mm, but I wanted a prime. I’ve also been shooing some film with a Yashica Electro 35, a FED 3B, a Yashica 44 TLR and soon….wait for it……wait for it…..Yeah I bought a sweet Mamiya RB67!! Woohoo! I’ve got some film, a Polaroid back, two 120 backs, a 150mm SF lens, a 90mm lens and a prism viewfinder. I am looking forward to getting this out into the world and running a few rolls of film through it! Something about the all mechanical all manual function. The sounds, the feel (this camera with the prism viewfinder weighs about 6 or more lbs). I’ve also got a Kodak Tourist camera that might get some film as well. I love these old cameras, one day I hope to own a Nikon SP, all chrome….now that would be awesome. I’ve got a friend and fellow photog who recently purchased a Hasselblad 500C/M and we are both geeking out about the film. One day I might even develop my own because it is painful waiting for film to get back in ones hands!

I’ve also started building a new project site. It’s still in the “working” phase, so no content is being shared, but keep checking here http://garagesalephotos.com/     it’ll be up in a few weeks or a month or so.

At any rate (I say that too often) I hope this month is going well for everyone. BTW-All of these images were shot using a 35mm prime lens.

in_phocus-14 in_phocus-16 in_phocus-15in_phocus 16

Cannonball from the battle of Fredericksburg. This is a fake one, but a real one did put the hole there.
Cannonball from the battle of Fredericksburg. This is a fake one, but a real one did put the hole there.
Rest in Peace, my Brothers.
Rest in Peace, my Brothers.

in_phocus-19 in_phocus-21

Market square, Fredericksburg, Va
Market square, Fredericksburg, Va
It's too damn cold for this!
It’s too damn cold for this!
Little barber shops...so much character
Little barber shops…so much character
fresh paint....one owner
fresh paint….one owner


2014 is almost gone…….

Another year has all but come and gone. We made our usual trek to Georgia to visit my family for Christmas. I did get the 35mm prime lens I ordered!! So  no more making sure the zoom is locked. However, I did not realize immediately that I needed to add a “non CPU” lens profile to my Nikon D700, as I did not, the images show that they were taken at 24mm (another non-CPU lens I own). I have added and hopefully will remember to keep that setting up to date as I switch lenses….This was to be a “redo” from last year. My mother had major heart surgery last year and we were unable to celebrate as she was in the hospital for several weeks. My aunt and uncle were also there so we all had a great time visiting with each other, I seriously had intentions of getting out into town and taking some pictures, but we did not venture out at all. I did manage to take a few in the yard and of my brothers boxer. Here’s to hoping the very best to all in the coming year. Celebrate responsibly, be happy, love each other.in_phocus-10 in_phocus-11 in_phocus-12


Tonight we went to view a local event; 12th Annual Remembrance Illumination on Broaddus Pond in Bowling Green, Virginia. We headed out and took a few pictures. I’m not sure how many luminaries were floating, but the part of the pond we could see seemed well populated. Taking these were a bit of a challenge, both technically as well as waiting for cars to pass (since one could drive through and see them as well as park like we did). I also made sure to take a few at 35mm for #we35 project. I’m still hoping to get out and take some more photos this weekend. I attempted to go find a local spot to get some 35mm film developed, but there are none to fulfill my needs. I only want high res digital copies of the negatives…lol. I guess that I will send them off, unless I can find a negative scanner that is reasonably priced (open to suggestions).

At any rate, here is an image from this evening.in_phocus-9

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