Sky on fire

  

Out of town and going through my phone found this shot taken from my backyard. I’m working on a project with Velvia and sunset / sunrises from the lakeside, but this will suffice for now.

The Cooper’s hawk three-foot-stare

Cooper's Hawk stare

Flying an Accipiter is akin to dating a psycho. It can be a lot of fun, things move fast, and when times are good they are great. But, staying sane is overwhelming, the time you have to invest leaves room for nothing else, and the propensity toward violence is a serious consideration. While hawking with a Cooper’s hawk was certainly memorable, I would definitely have to check my brain before attempting that again.

Oh, in case you were wondering the Cooper’s hawk three-foot-stare looks a lot like the photo above. Its the look moments before the hawk makes a concerted effort to grab your face with its talons.

Old Country Road

Old Country Road

For me, nothing quite sparks the imagination like finding an old country road. What adventures lie down its dusty path? Where does it take you if followed to the end? Who is waiting there with a map and a story? With so much known in the world, it is comforting to find things that are unknown and keep imagination alive.

This photo is a few years older and captured on my first roll of Velvia 50, I can’t get the colors right, and fairly sure if the slide was found it could be scanned and processed better, but there is something about this photo that draws me to it.  The light, that day, take me back to the moment I pulled over to grab this shot so many years ago.

Shot on Velvia 50 with my Leica M3 and 21mm lens.

Camera porn: Leica M8 Anti-Panda

Leica M8 Anti Panda

Don’t know about you, but I think there is something damn sexy about a black paint Leica camera. Lines of brass caress shiny black lacquer paint, revealing the timeless brass body hidden underneath that is only rewarded to the most ardent users as the camera ages (unless you let Lenny Kravitz sell you this camera for $24k). What’s not to find irresistible?

For those who don’t know about the Leica M8 Anti-Panda edition, it is a unique camera created at the end of the M8 run just as the M8.2 was being released. With only 100 pieces made, it stands to be one of the rarer versions of Leica’s first digital rangefinder. What separates the Anti-Panda from regular production Leica M8 are the black paint top and bottom plate paired with silver accented shutter speed dial, frameline preview lever, and on/off switch. While the black M8.2  had the black paint as standard, this is the only M8 to boast this gorgeous feature.

My journey to this camera came from looking through photos for this site, and seeing that the images from the M8 were some of my favorites overall. Sure, I hate the UV/IR filters as much as the next Leica geek but there has always been something special about this camera. Maybe I have a soft spot for the M8 since it was my first Leica rangefinder, and it has always been on the top of my list of favorite camera to shoot with. So began the search for my third M8.

At this stage I really wanted the M8.2, which features black paint, upgraded framelines with increased framing accuracy, a quieter and more robust shutter, unscratchable sapphire glass on the LCD, and retro vulcanite covering. Problem for me was the M8.2 still commands a hefty premium in 2015; right around $2,000 on average while the original M8 will set you back about $1,400. For nostalgia’s sake the added expense wasn’t worth it. So, as a gearhead often afflicted with G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome) I kept an eye on eBay and the Fredmiranda.com Buy & Sell forum for a cheaper M8.2 since I really wanted the black paint camera. Low and behold the M8 Anti-Panda showed up on FM. A black paint M8 at a reasonable price? Yes, please.

So, after purchasing the camera from a great guy in Canada, the sleek Leica M8 Anti-Panda was in my grubby hands in short order. Being particular about this camera, I almost immediately changed out the original slippery shark-skin covering for the vulcanite-like Aki-Asahi #4008 leatherette, and swapped the ubiquitous red Leica dot to the low-key black purchased from DAG Camera to complete the understated style that I find so appealing. Throw on my trusty Tap & Dye leather camera strap and I’m good to go! Normally I’m much more pragmatic about my gear but we all need to peacock at some time or another.

Well, enough chatter. Check out this sexy camera!

Leica M8 Anti Panda

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Can I help you?

Can I help you?

As my friend’s peregrine falcon pulls at a tiny morsel of food after an unsuccessful flight, I laid down on the ground to grab this shot. He paused for a brief second to give me stink eye for interrupting his snack time. Well maybe if we didn’t have to chase him for two miles I wouldn’t need to lay down!

Happy anniversary, to my lovely wife

Happy anniversary!

Its hard to imagine that it has already been four years since our wedding day. Our love continues to grow with each passing day, and I am lucky to be the man by your side!

Happy anniversary, my love!

(This is NOT my photo, but it is my favorite from our wedding)

Pineland Heliotrope

Pineland Heliotropeut

Of all the Florida plants that I encounter daily, Pineland Heliotrope (Heliotropium polyphullum) continues to be one of my favorites. Easily overlooked, this native plant along with its cousins the seaside Heliotrope and Scoripontail, are worth looking out for if you’re in south Florida wandering around natural areas.