Crdome’s Minimally Magical Mystery Trip

Crdome

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Chrome
Crdome’s Minimally Magical Mystery Trip is my 3rd annual escape from the winter doldrums of Midwest America. Each time I’ve enlisted (conscripted) fellow Micro Four Thirds user to participate along my way. This trip several other photographers offered to join if my travels took me near them. Sadly that wasn't the case. For me there is nothing more exciting than meeting up with fellow enthusiasts for a day of camaraderie and shooting

I invite them to begin their own narrative here.

Cast of characters by order of appearance:
Michael (a.k.a. Chrome) @Crdome

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Yeehaw, Canyon Texas by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr

Melissa @Web-Betty, is first only because of proximity.
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Web-Betty by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr

Anil @deepaqua, whom I will never forgive for migrating from Brooklyn to Denver, literally days after we met in December. I need replacements if you live there.
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Braggin' rights by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr

Charlie @CharlieL
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Charlie by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr

Bruce @Bif
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Bruce by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr
 
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Crdome

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Chrome
An overview:

My 2019 photo excursion was largely a photographic bust. On previous trips the weather was amazing! So were stimulating environments that contoured to my sense of aesthetics. This year weather delayed my departure by two weeks. Conditions wouldn’t improve so I depart into extreme frigid temperatures, ferocious winds, unimaginable windchill factors, snow, and ice. Mostly inclement weather continued over the next week. A single saving event was having escaped days prior to the “cyclone bomb".

While traveling Texas there were good moments and fabulous people. Thought overall I experienced endless nothingness. My poorly chosen routes were not the Texas I had anticipated. Missing were the many whimsical photo moments I had enjoyed from the 2017 trip through the Texas Panhandle. What I didn't find was the presence of “communities”. Instead what I saw were stark landscapes with small populations of extremely hard working farm and ranch families spread thinly over vast expanses. It was not conducive for producing small towns. So thinly populated it seemed that creating communities much beyond houses of worship was nearly impossible.

Next year will be amazing!
 
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It was once again a pleasure to see Michael, even if he is upset at me for moving away from New York City. And it was especially great to meet Melissa. Even in just the few hours we had I learned a lot from her about both photography and about Denver, my new home town. Our meet up happened just as a blizzard was starting to hit Denver. When we started the temps outside were in the mid-40s, and by the time we finished, the snow was falling rapidly and temps were down to the low-20s. In fact, because of the poor weather outside, I would say that our meeting could probably be more accurately described as a pub crawl than a photowalk. Nevertheless, I had a wonderful time and it was a real pleasure to hang out with @Crdome and @Web-Betty.

Here's Michael in Union Station berating me for my move out of NYC:
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P3021275.jpg by deepaqua, on Flickr

And Michael and Melissa on the 16 St MallRide bus:
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P3021319.jpg by deepaqua, on Flickr

I'll post a few more pics later when I get a chance.
 

CharlieL

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Charlie
I enjoyed the camaraderie and process of taking of taking these pictures GH1 m42 mount 28mm pentax lens.

Michael taking a picture, Wichita Falls TX

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wichita falls by Charlie Lewis, on Flickr

Wichita Falls TX

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wichita falls by Charlie Lewis, on Flickr

Burkburnett TX

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burk by Charlie Lewis, on Flickr

Cache OK

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cache ok by Charlie Lewis, on Flickr

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, old fire lookout

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wichita mountains by Charlie Lewis, on Flickr
 

Crdome

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It was once again a pleasure to see Michael, even if he is upset at me for moving away from New York City. And it was especially great to meet Melissa. Even in just the few hours we had I learned a lot from her about both photography and about Denver, my new home town. Our meet up happened just as a blizzard was starting to hit Denver. When we started the temps outside were in the mid-40s, and by the time we finished, the snow was falling rapidly and temps were down to the low-20s. In fact, because of the poor weather outside, I would say that our meeting could probably be more accurately described as a pub crawl than a photowalk. Nevertheless, I had a wonderful time and it was a real pleasure to hang out with @Crdome and @Web-Betty.

Here's Michael in Union Station berating me for my move out of NYC:
View attachment 732208
P3021275.jpg by deepaqua, on Flickr

And Michael and Melissa on the 16 St MallRide bus:
View attachment 732209
P3021319.jpg by deepaqua, on Flickr

I'll post a few more pics later when I get a chance.
At times we all used 25mm lenses with large aperture. They were C-mount Ciné lenses from 16mm movie cameras. Anil used my 25/1.4 Kodak Ciné Ektar (Manufacture year 1954). It and the Lumix 14-140 are my two favorite lenses. Obviously a comparison between them is invalid. I am never without it when shooting. Since you fielded the Ektar, I relied on its backup, a Taylor Hobson -Cooke Kinic One Inch f/1.5 (c. late 1920s). It's a lovely lens producing a soft, ethereal image which has been referred to as the "Taylor Hobson Glow".

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Deepaqua'sfinale by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr

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Guidance by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr

Stopped down it is quite sharp.
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Big Wheel
 
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Crdome

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I enjoyed the camaraderie and process of taking of taking these pictures GH1 m42 mount 28mm pentax lens.

Michael taking a picture, Wichita Falls TX

View attachment 732571wichita falls by Charlie Lewis, on Flickr

Wichita Falls TX

View attachment 732572wichita falls by Charlie Lewis, on Flickr

Burkburnett TX

View attachment 732573burk by Charlie Lewis, on Flickr

Cache OK

View attachment 732574cache ok by Charlie Lewis, on Flickr

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, old fire lookout

View attachment 732577wichita mountains by Charlie Lewis, on Flickr
Charlie was a fabulous companion! Viewing your images I was taken aback. This has never happened with others I've shot with. Except for different focal lengths we shoot, the way we view our environments are extremely similar. Your interpretations mostly contrasted mine. Where you processed B+W mine were frequently color. Especially with Texicow. The reds of the sculpture and the car were nearly identical. With great effort I had converted the car to chartreuse. Sadly I discarded my Photoshopped results. Oh well!

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Eagle Park - Rides by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr

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Downtown Wichita Falls by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr
 
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Crdome

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I met up with Bruce @Bif for a late dinner at a fabulous San Angelo Mexican Restaurant. There was lens talk, and play with the Kodak Ciné Ektar 25mm f1.4 gracing my G7. The man is a wizard with camera technology creating a sweet custom setting to assist with my manual focusing. For years I tried to remove an irritating display function on the camera. Once addressed on the Forum without resolve. With a wave of his wand, Poof! The display reverted to the desired configuration. Pure magic I say!

Not at the start of our day, but later into the afternoon he took me to a fount of magic.
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St Patty’s Day, San Anegelo TX by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr
Here I acquired some magic of my own.
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Lucky Me by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr
 
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Crdome

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Bruce drove to Fort Concho which served as regimental headquarters of the famous frontier units of the Buffalo Soldiers, black cavalry regiments. They engaged in military campaigns against hostile Native Americans on the Plains and across the Southwest. The buffalo soldiers also captured horse and cattle thieves, built roads and protected the U.S. mail, stagecoaches and wagon trains, all while contending with challenging terrain, inadequate supplies and discrimination. 1871 the Comanche bestowed the name of an animal they revered, the buffalo, on the men of the 10th Cavalry because they were impressed with their toughness in battle.


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Fort Concho Courtroom

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Paul, a re-enactor driving a mule wagon at Fort Concho

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We were approached by this lovely lady asking to photograph us with this character, documenting it travels across the country. The story seemed plausible. But as a conspiracy theorist, her gray camo caused suspicions. These later proved to well founded. As we wandered San Angelo we encountered her on four other occasions.
 
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Crdome

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Charlie and I have a special bond as craftsmen. He a blacksmith specializes in handcrafted straight razors. I was a metalsmith crafting hollowware vessels of nonferrous metals. We work(ed) in forge-welding technique creating patterned objects laminating many dozens or hundreds of layered varying metals.

Charlie was not shy about granting my request to visit his workshop.

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Working to make a safer world ii by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr

Charlie engages with fellow smiths in strenuous activities. Though willing to try, I lack the stamina of my youth.
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Working to make a safer world i by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr

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Working to make a safer world iii by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr

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Working to make a safer world iv
 
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Wow, @Crdome, I didn't realize how many pictures you took of me. I really like the one from the bus with the soft focus 'glow' from the Taylor Hobson lens.

Some of the pictures I took follow. The first bunch were taken with a Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7 lens that was on my dad's film camera. Later I switched to the Kodak Ciné Ektar 25mm f/1.4 which Michael so kindly lent me for our shoot.

A close-up of Michael's Ektar:
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March 3 Photowalk 1 by deepaqua, on Flickr


Two of the other vintage lenses. I believe that's Michael's lens in the the foreground, and Melissa's is behind it:
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March 3 Photowalk 2 by deepaqua, on Flickr


We started our meet up at the Denver Milk Market, which features a number of bars, restaurants, food purveyors, etc.
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P3021229.jpg by deepaqua, on Flickr

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March 3 Photowalk 7 by deepaqua, on Flickr

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March 3 Photowalk 5 by deepaqua, on Flickr

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March 3 Photowalk 6 by deepaqua, on Flickr

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March 3 Photowalk 8 by deepaqua, on Flickr


From there we moved onto Union Station. While there we made a quick stop for a beer, and I switched over to the Kodak. (Note that the EXIF data for some of these say that they were shot with the Pentax, but I must have mislabeled them. The vignetting on the cinematic lens is a dead giveaway.)
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P3021305.jpg by deepaqua, on Flickr

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P3021308.jpg by deepaqua, on Flickr

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P3021296.jpg by deepaqua, on Flickr


After Union Station, we wandered around the LoDo neighborhood a bit, but it was getting really cold, so obviously it was time for another drink. Luckily Melissa knew a place nearby. (She knows all the cool and can't-miss spots in the city.) By then it was late afternoon and the coming blizzard was almost upon us. Just time for a couple of final pics before heading home.

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P3021342.jpg by deepaqua, on Flickr

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March 3 Photowalk 20 by deepaqua, on Flickr
 

Crdome

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Chrome
Two of the other vintage lenses. I believe that's Michael's lens in the the foreground, and Melissa's is behind it:
Actually the Taylor, Hobson, Cook is on the left. As noted there is a slight vignetting on the Ektar which varies with the aperture. We stopped it down to make it like a point-and-shoot with all in focus. The THC provides full coverage.
 

Crdome

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Chrome
Returning to San Angelo…
When Bruce @Bif first communicated with me he explained he was an octogenarian and had trouble “getting around” but he would show me the sights. With great effort he traversed the lengthy and arduous grounds of Fort Concho. I was certain of his exhaustion, so arranged for Paul (the Buffalo Soldier Re-enactor) to drive us the two blocks to the truck. (Since Paul was off-duty he used his ATV). In town, Bruce occasionally would leave the comfort of his Chevy to snap a few. Other times he’d let me out to wander.

San Angelo’s is a remarkably vibrant city committed to graffiti art. Enormous expanses of building surfaces are dedicated to providing an historic overview of the region. Some walls reflect the nature of business tenant, and others demonstrate the full expressions of artistic creativity. In an alleyway I encountered enthusiastic graffiti artists at work on enormous creations. I worried none wore respiratory filters for protection from toxic solvents and minuscule airborne particulate. It's dangerous and nasty work!

I recruited this love woman to stand before the oil well, that her hair would replicate the "gusher's" misting. It was a great plan but her hair was lost against her sweater. I still like the shot.
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Admiring Santa Rita No. 1, San Angelo TX
by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr

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Graffiti project, San Angelo TX ii by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr

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Graffiti project, San Angelo TX iv by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr

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Graffiti project, San Angelo TX iii by Michael Atwell - Chrome, on Flickr

As I wandered about San Angelo’s alleys, I always felt safely shadowed.
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Crdome

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Bruce introduced me to his family. It's smallest member had undergone surgery days earlier but chewed at his wound. For such behavior Sandy was awarded(?) an Edwardian collar. His tiny little legs were far shorter than the collar's depth. It dragged on the carpet and hung up on furniture making life just miserable. I trimmed 4" off to a suitable depth. In retrospect I should have kept the remainder to use as a diffuser with my flash.

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Bif

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San Angelo TX
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Bruce Foreman
Returning to San Angelo…
When Bruce @Bif first communicated with me he explained he was an octogenarian and had trouble “getting around” but he would show me the sights. With great effort he traversed the lengthy and arduous grounds of Fort Concho. I was certain of his exhaustion, so arranged for Paul (the Buffalo Soldier Re-enactor) to drive us the two blocks to the truck. (Since Paul was off-duty he used his ATV). In town, Bruce occasionally would leave the comfort of his Chevy to snap a few. Other times he’d let me out to wander.
Being unable to walk around on the grounds and parade ground of the fort is a new experience for me. A friend of mine for years said often before he passed away recently, "Don't get old...It's a trap".

I regretted not being able to tromp alongside Michael, he was seeing things I saw often but his was a fresh eye and his pictures show it. I enjoyed his company immensely while he was here.


As I wandered about San Angelo’s alleys, I always felt safely shadowed.
View attachment 734228
Just making sure I didn't lose him!

Bruce introduced me to his family. It's smallest member had undergone surgery days earlier but chewed at his wound. For such behavior Sandy was awarded(?) an Edwardian collar. His tiny little legs were far shorter than the collar's depth. It dragged on the carpet and hung up on furniture making life just miserable. I trimmed 4" off to a suitable depth. In retrospect I should have kept the remainder to use as a diffuser with my flash.
View attachment 734229
The surgical site on his hind leg is almost completely healed, but he still wants to "work" on it so I have to keep the cone on him unless I can watch him closely. I give him as much relief from it as I can.

Tip: diffusing flash is tricky. Many don't diffuse it efficiently because what makes a small light soft is making it behave like a much bigger sized light than it is. That's why you see hoods with a larger diffusion layer over the front even on 11" studio unit reflectors. For a small on camera type unit attach a piece of white index card to the top of the head with a strong rubber band. Keep it pulled back so the front edge is flush with the flash head front edge for normal straight flash, for diffusion tilt the head up to point at the ceiling and push the card up as much as you can. The light from the flash will bounce forward and diffuse some and it will work with the bounce from the ceiling. A lot of us used to do this photographing weddings, made the flash less harsh and was way more manageable than trying to wade through a wedding with this huge "sailfin" floating above the camera.

I'll post some pictures here after I get out of our photo club meeting Saturday.

Bruce
 
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Crdome

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Chrome

Bif

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San Angelo TX
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Bruce Foreman
And here's a few from San Angelo, TX:

Parking frustration

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Private ranch road
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Graywolf, a native american re-enactor on Ft Concho grounds

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St Pat's Day festival at St Joseph's church. Hawaiian dancer performing a Maori "Haka", or an imitation of one
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Texas patriotic design on a pub wall.
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