18 August 2009


I've noticed that bird photographers call pictures with a bird in flight for BIF, and that sometimes people use the same abbreviation (for fun) for a flying bee or bumble bee. But this one is BIB, Bumble bee in Bokeh.

Is this just terrible to look like, or does it look like the garden does without your eye glasses? Or is it actually a bit of beauty? You see the bumble bee, right? I didn't until in post processing, so that is pure luck, but the play with bokeh is on purpose, although this is a crop where I've ditched the sharp flower to the left.

The lens is a ~40 years old German m42 mount Meyer-Optik Görlitz Lydith 30mm f3.5 full open. It is one of those zebra striped lenses. Luckily there are enough m42 versions around for you to get one rather inexpensive, unless you want to adapt a Topcon, Exakta or Pentina mount to your camera. I would say it is worth it. The bokeh is smooth like butter. It lets you paint like an expressionist with your camera.

Now, where is that flickr group where you can only post pictures where at least 20% of the surface is bokeh...I think this picture will qualify.

By the way, if this blog looks strange, some pictures are missing. It appears that flickr have currently got itself invisible photos...let's hope it will resolve soon.


Looking at these images one could wonder if this is a picture of a UFO or an alien from another planet, so different is this life from what I see around me every other day.

These photo's where taken at the medusa/jellyfish aquarium at Universeum (a sort of hands-on science museum) in Gothenburg, Swedish west coast. The low light conditions made me use the SMC Pentax-FA 50mm 1:1.4, which is very suited for this sort of conditions.

Yet another reminder that there is always good to have a really fast lens in the bag. This implies a prime lens, zooms are rarely faster than f2.8 and often slower. But even with only one focal length you can usually adapt to that (zoom with your legs), but if the lens is just too slow, you cannot do anything (except turning up the iso to 6400, but that rarely leads to a happy ending).

11 August 2009


So far one could think from my infrequent blogging here that my main interest is macro photo. On the contrary, what I shoot most is probably people, not bugs. Since my first camera my main subject have been people around me. People I know, people I don't know. Sometimes I ask before I take the picture, have a dialog of sort, get to know the person. Sometimes, it is as much a moment that is the subject as the person, and I take the photo, catch the moment, before it is gone.

The first picture was such a moment. It is taken from a parking house two stores up. I was just focusing a 85mm lens on a young man and woman standing on the small square below while they were talking...not really intending to take a picture, looking for something more interesting...and all of a suddenly they kissed, and I pressed the shutter. The old Konica T3 film SLR in question was both scratching the film (which took some editing to hide) and leaking light which stole contrast from the picture. But it was evident when I saw the negative that I had to save this photo, because I happened to catch a perfect moment of love. Currently picking pieces from the failing camera to save another.

The second photo is shot with a 135mm, the second best 135mm Pentax made, the SMC Pentax 135mm 1:2.5, on a Pentax KX in a shopping center on 400 ISO black and white film. The women are participating in a sort of make up demonstration, so focused that I could shoot the picture without getting their attention. The lights around the mirror certainly help given that they surroundings were otherwise rather dark with only 400 ISO. Perhaps also a moment of love, but for what?

The third photo is shot with a digital Pentax K20D and the SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm at 17mm. It represents a different approach. The first two shots are taken with help of short tele lenses that allow me to observe and catch the light, the moment, unseen. With the wide angle shot of the old man and the even older motorcycle, I am acting totally openly. He must see me when I take the picture, but he does not care or he only have eyes for the bike. Perhaps this shot is also about love...nostalgic love.

The final photo is taken this last spring on Tri-X film with the SMC Pentax 28mm 1:3.5 on the KX (yes, it is a favourite camera) capturing a busy and a less busy student at the Stockholm University campus. I'm standing right in front of them with the camera openly in my hands. But I am invisible, because it is not in front of my face, I'm apparently fiddling with it, but I can't be taking a photo...can I? Shooting with a wide angle from the hips are also a good method to catch a moment completely naturally. Perhaps this photo is also about love...unfortunately the love for cigarettes.

You may have noticed that all four examples I've chosen are black and white, even if their original had color. This is correct. To me, people have no color. It is easier to isolate and emphasize the important parts in a picture if you do it in black and white. So I believe. But there are exceptions.