The walls of these buildings and the light fixtures seemed very disproportionate to this man. A photograph from my stay in Morocco, this is part of the Rabat Medina. This old area in the Medina had literally thousands of beautiful photo opportunities. So, I’ve decided to share a few of my favorites in the coming months.
This photo was made with an old Contax II rangefinder camera that I picked up at a pawn shop in Pensacola Florida before leaving for a military tour in Morocco. It had a beautiful Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 lens in pristine condition. That camera was pretty slow compared to my then brand new, latest model, Nikon F but the image quality was still far superior.
I’m setting up a Monochrome catalog on another site and decided to include this image. And as usual, I worked this up with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.
I’m taking a break from HDR today for this historical image. By historical, I mean that it was produced using somewhat archaic tools and media.
Sometimes a little film grain and higher contrast, with a monochrome presentation, can enhance the beauty of a photograph. Especially when the subject matter is as rugged as this fence post with rusty barbed wire. Looks like it has been repaired a few times.
This shot was taken using a Nikon N90s 35mm camera. I don’t remember what type of slide film that I used. Judging from the grain, I would guess it was something with an ISO of 400 or higher.
The color version was nice but I chose to spotlight the monochrome to enhance the details in the wood and wire.
Well, sometimes ya just gotta make do. Right? The fact that the front plate of that dobro (might just be a Regal RC-58 Tricone Metal Body Texas Tea Resonator) is held on with duct tape is not an issue for this guy. Actually that’s what he might just be smiling about. Seriously though, if I remember correctly, I think he was doing some incredible slide work at that time. . .and enjoying every second. I can relate!
This is another shot from the 1997 St Louis Blues Heritage Festival. And again, I’ve chosen B&W since the very colorful clothing seemed to distract from the performer and his expression.
Processing: The original color transparency was scanned and worked in Adobe Photoshop to bring out more of the details and balance colors. The black and white version was produced using Image > Adjustments > Black & White.
Equipment used: During the festival, I used a couple of Nikon n90sbodies with a 28-70mm f/2.8, 80-200 f/2.8and a20-35mm f/3.5-f/4.0.. Flash was Vivitar 285 Zoom Thyristor.
This image is from way back when digital cameras were still trying to win the favor of the professional community. At that time, my camera of choice was a trusty Nikon n90. This color slide image (probably some kind of Fujifilm product) shows the beauty and limitations of those great little transparencies. Though I loved working with the different films, I doubt that I will ever go back except for an occasional fun fling with my old rangefinders.
Adobe Photoshop was my favorite darkroom then as now.
I’ve decided to take a short break from HDR and dig into my archives. Lots of stuff from way back. I still love the old transparencies that I shot “back in the day” when life was much less complex. All I needed was a camera, a couple of lenses and places to go.
This is one of my favorite shots from Rabat Morocco. Even though things have changed since I shot this, my memories are still fresh. I’d spend hours wandering around Rabat with my trusty rangefinders (no meters) and an SLR (Nikon F no meter). We’d use the suggested exposure settings that came with the film and make minor adjustments based on what we saw or, if we had the time, what our silenium cell, handheld meters would tell us. I had just purchased a new Gossen Lunna Pro Cds meter. . .quite an improvement, I thought. But that was part of the art of photography.
I always underexposed my transparencies a bit for a little extra color saturation. And we’d push the Ektachromes (shoot at a higher ASA(ISO)) when the light was too dim. The labs would accommodate quite a range.
This image was taken using my Contax II rangefinder with Zeiss 50mm Sonnar 1.5 lens on Kodak Ecktachrome slide film. Yes, pretty grainy if you look close. So don’t look too close. As you can see, the vertical metal focal plane shutter was just a bit off. Every image seemed to have a slightly darker bottom, or in this case right side, of the frame. What do you expect from a then very old camera purchased from a pawn shop in Pensacola Florida when a Nikon F Photomic was the top of the line 35mm camera. But that Zeiss lens was incredible, tack sharp with beautiful construction and smooth as butter operation.
I loved doing photography in those days but would never go back to non-digital except for fun, maybe. I currently have a Contax III (the meter still works kinda) with a similar lens that I may play with sometime.
Well, so much for my memory lane stroll. Life is good!
This is another of my favorites from Morocco. The rugs made there are of very high quality. I remember seeing many European tourists in the showroom purchasing the finished products.This shot was taken during a stop while traveling in the Atlas Mountains. I don’t remember the name of the village but I was able to take quite a few shots of the local color (literally).
The workforce was made up almost exclusively of very young girls. It’s obvious that their small hands were needed for the manual effort to create the rugs. This was quite a while ago so I’m not sure if the rugs are produced the same way today. On the United States Department of Labor web site page for the ILAB(Bureau of International Labor Affairs), the article titled “ILAB Morocco” contains the following quote. “L’Union Marocaine du Travail (UMT) estimates that 5,000 to 10,000 children between the ages of 8 and 14 work in the artisan carpet industry and between 2,000 and 3,000 work in the export-oriented carpet industry”. That being the case, they seemed to have raised the age of the workers since a few of the girls in this shot seem to be younger than 8.
Most of my Morocco shots were done with a Nikon F and various Nikkor lenses. A 35mm f2.8 wide angle was used for this shot on Kodak Kodachrome slide film.
Like many guys, I really enjoy photographing old cars, particularly restored classics like this 1935 Mercedes Roadster. After spending a few hours at one of the annual classic car shows at Forest Park in St Louis, I was ready to leave for the day when I spotted this beauty. The owner had already put it on his trailer so I quickly grabbed a few close shots. This is my favorite.
To get a slightly high dynamic range look from this single shot image, I used various Adobe Photoshop tools to crop slightly (tighten up the composition), exaggerate the colors a little, emphasize the reflections and add more of a 3 dimensional shadow effect through burning and dodging. I also did some blurring to give a smoother texture to the reflections on the fender and trunk lid. This is of course, a pseudo-HDR example that I shot using a Nikon D100 with a 28-70mm f2.8 zoom.