- john cornelius
- I take pictures of things. Mostly with film. Mostly with cameras. I am an engineer by trade. What really makes me happy, though, is to find an old camera at a swap meet or antique store and bring it back into working order with a few hours at the workbench. I then like to take them out and shoot some film. This blog is in large part the result of that activity.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Across the street from my office through the parking lot and down a shallow embankment is this abandoned construction site, where at one time they were going to build another light industrial/office complex. I seems like they stopped once they'd built the parking lots because they are all there, but chained off and empty. All painted up and ready for tired Corollas and Honda Civics near the back and shiny new BMWs near the building.
Since the lot is chained off no cars drive through here and nobody maintains it. At this spot a group of weeds has pushed up through the asphalt and are flourishing, here in the middle. I have always found it interesting that the hardiest of plants, the ones that push their way through layers of tar and rock are the ones we consider the ugliest, the ones to be wiped out. In their place we plant delicate little flowers which need care and tending. I admire these weeds that struggled to make a home in the most difficult of circumstances, flourishing in the desert. I also think it is interesting that in the wild, where we hike along trails, these ARE the plants. These are the life that grows here when we don't interfere. They belong here.
I shot this with a Nikon F4 with a 50mm f1.8 AF lens and Arista Premium 400 film. I've described the F4 before, it is a beast of a camera, a brick. It feels like it was machined from a solid billet of metal, hollowed out and coated with plastic and rubber. To some extent that is an accurate idea. The body core is a forging of copper alloyed with silicon and aluminum with high impact polymer top and bottom plates. The back is metal with a rubber coating. The rubber also coats the grip areas. It is SOLID. For lighter weight I usually put the mb-20 small battery grip on it rather than the mb-21 or mb-23. The only thing those grips would give me are a vertical release and the ability to waste film much, much faster. I do have an mb-23, but I don't often use it.
The 50mm AF-D f1.8 lens is a lightweight, plastic wonder which focuses quickly and takes super sharp photos. It was also cheap, real cheap; under a hundred bucks brand new. It is one of the two Nikon lenses that I've bought new. It takes a nice photo on either my film cameras or dslrs. The crop factor on an APS-C sensor makes it a 75mm equivalent, which is a real nice portrait length, and the 1.8 max aperture means it is pretty darn fast for nice low light portraiture.
Of course, this weed wasn't posing, and it was high noon, lots of light, so it was a fast lens stopped way down, where it is just like a slow one.
Posted by john cornelius at 8:21 PM