1964 Lamborghini 350GT

Last Saturday I went to the Italian Day lawn event at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum.  To be honest I don't have much of an understanding of the differences between Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Maseratis.  Of course I know they are expensive and refined luxury automobiles. But the best I can say is that I know a red Ferrari when I see it!  Nevertheless, though I am lacking in the knowledge department, I can appreciate the beauty of these sexy Italian machines.

At the event there was also a smattering of Alfa Romeos (there was a beautiful red one from 1959 which I will feature in another blog post), and I pretty much skipped over the Fiats.  I was simply too enraptured by a couple of Ferraris, one burgundy Lamborghini (below), and a red Alpha Romeo, to spend any time with the Fiats.

Below I have posted about a dozen pictures of my favorite automobile…by far… at the event.  It is a 1964 Lamborghini 350GT.  

The 350 GT was the first model made by Automobili Lamborghini after it was founded in 1963.  Between 1963 and 1967 only 120 of this model were made.  

The first image is an overall view of the automobile.  The others images were taken as I walked around the body a few times. The engine is a 3.5 liter aluminum V-12.  

Camera used for these images: Sony a6000 with Tamron 90mm macro lens plus circular polarizer.


Summer Reflections: June in Washington State

In the summer I find it is often hard to write blog posts. The summer is a time for me to be outdoors.  This means taking pictures (certainly more frequently than in the cold months here in New England), fishing, vacationing, road tripping, and working in the yard. I also have to admit that posting to Instagram has become an interest...and it's so simple to do!

So here it is the middle of October, and I’ve decided it's time to catch up with all the photos from the summer, starting with our two-week trip to the state of Washington in June. Though at the time I did create an entire blog of our trip, it’s only now that I find I have some time to review the images with the intention of selecting my best (favorite?) ones.  I thought I would take a stab at that today.

I've just selected 36 images to post on my Web site, here.

And 10 of those images are posted below, at a blog-friendly size of 750 pixels wide on the long side.

For those who are interested, I took two cameras on the trip.  Seventy percent of my images are from the Fuji X100T with its fixed 35mm equivalent focal length lens.  I love that perspective. The other 30% are from an Olympus E-M1 with Panasonic 14-140 “super zoom” lens. The Fuji is sharper, but the 14-140 zoom is generally “sharp enough” and is also more versatile.

Lake Diablo in the Northern Cascades

From Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

Rialto Beach

Twins at Rialto Beach

South Beach

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens in black and white

Golden Mantle Ground Squirrel at Mount St. Helens

Mount Rainier

South Central Washington


Two Weeks in Washington State

just completed my blogging of the two week rented motor home trip Laurie and I took in Washington state in June. It was awesome. As an easterner I am always awed by west coast landscapes. I've included text, 3-10 photos per day, and a map showing our daily destinations. If a trip to Washington is in the cards for you, the maps and destinations may be of interest to you. 

As far as gear, I kept it simple: the Fujifilm X100T with its fixed 35 mm(equiv) lens and the Olympus EM-1 with Panasonic 14-140.  Wherever possible I used the Fuji as I much prefer its colors when set for Astria film simulation. Nevertheless, I was surprised that 70% of my images were with the Fuji. I guess I like that focal length and perspective.

We flew in and out of Spokane, where we picked up the CruiseAmerica 25 foot Class C motor home. We traveled basically in a counterclockwise oval, passing through the Northern Cascades to the town of Burlington just north of Seattle, then Whidbey Island and a ferry to Port Townscend on the Olympic Peninsula.  I took some of my favorite images on the Peninsula. 

Highlights of the trip were Hurricane Ridge and the rainforest in Olympic National Park, Rialto Beech, South Beech, Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier, and finally the desert-like landscape of central Washington. 

No, we did not stop in Seattle. Not with a 25 foot RV.  Plus we were here to see landscapes and to camp. (Perhaps I should put "camp" in quotes, as there are many who would not agree that RV-ing is indeed camping.)  We'll have to pick up Seattle on another trip. 

Overall, the RV experience was fun. The pluses outweighed the negatives. Perhaps the pros and cons will be a subject of a follow-up post. But the bottom line is that we'd do it again. In a heartbeat. 

I hope you will be interested in taking a look:


Flowers Around the Yard This Week: Close-ups

I have to look hard to find flowers around our yard. We do not have green thumbs here. Too, everything that we think is growing nicely gets mowed down by the deer. There's a well-worn deer path along the edge of our property, between the lawn and the woods.  We've even seen fox and coyotes following the path.

I do keep any eye out while I'm mowing the lawn. It gives me a chance to survey the land.  When I find something, I'll turn off the mower and go into the house to grab a camera.

Around the yard, I've been shooting mostly with the Olympus EM-1 and Panasonic 14-140 super zoom lens, with its fantastically convenient 1:2 equivalent macro and a focal range that "does it all". Sometimes I swap for the Olympus 60mm macro because of the focus stacking capability this lens has on the EM-1 body (8 shots automatically stacked). Oh, and for the shallowest depth of field I use an old manual focus Tamron 90mm macro on a Sony a6000 camera body.

Here are my favorites from the last week.

Best narrow depth of field is with the Sony a6000 and 90mm Tamron macro.


New fern. This is what happens soon after a fiddlehead opens and unfolds.

Our first iris of the season greeted me earlier this week. 

I saw a couple of these peeking out from under the holly bush at the corner of the house. Maybe the deer won't find them *chuckle*. My best guess is that this is a Bloody Geranium (*Geranium Sanguineum*)

A couple of new phlox buds

Our lilac bushes are flowering and smelling great.

We all know what this is lol. It's hard for me to think of a dandelion as beautiful, especially when it's in the process of “going to seed” on our lawn. But close up it really is so beautiful and intricate …. and so geometric. 

Nature's Perfection... Late afternoon and a back-lit leaf. A brand new maple leaf hanging from our Royal Red Norway (?) maple...as perfectly formed as nature allows.  It's so fresh and new that there are yet no caterpillar bites out of it, though I do see a bit of caterpillar silk in the lower left.


For a Fleeting Moment Only: While Mowing the Lawn

At about 6pm a few days ago I was mowing the lawn in our... by then... shaded side yard, when I noticed the sun shining low through the trees and perfectly and beautifully back-lighting the fresh new maple leaves on this one particular tree, adding a rich golden color. 

I'm not sure what kind of maple tree we have here.  In normal light, the mature leaves are a dark red-brown. The leaves seen here are new growth and are a bit lighter in color and thinner. They have a waxy surface, too, that disappears later in the season. 

One discovery I made while framing this image (and of course a bunch of others I discarded) is that each bud on the tree, when it burst open, first released four leaves, followed by two additional leaves.  My math is still good...that's six leaves per bud. I found that interesting. We've lived here over ten years and I've never noticed that before. Cameras help us discover, don't you think?  

Photo taken with Olympus EM-1 and Panasonic 14-140 zoom. 


More Close Ups with the Panasonic 14-140

I'm shooting here with the Panasonic 14-140 on the Olympus E-M1.

This lens is the newer of the two Panasonic 14-140's.  Maximum aperture is F3.5 to F5.6. I purchased it in December and have found it to be great for closeups.  It has a 1:2 (35mm camera equivalent) maximum magnification.  That's very adequate for flowers and is accomplished at a focusing distance of about 20" when zoomed between 22 and 140mm.

I like the lens paired with the Olympus E-M1 because I am enjoying the focus bracketing feature that recently became available on the E-M1 with the latest firmware.  Images #2 and #3 were focus bracketed with up to 10 images and stacked with Zerene Stacker.)

Nothing particularly great here.  We've been having a patch of cold and dreary weather.  So between raindrops today I took about 10 minutes and walked around outside our home looking for things to snap.

All of these were taken at wide open aperture.


My first walk through Acton Arboretum

As suggested by a high school friend whose home abuts this beautiful 65 acre public resource in the town of Action, Massachusetts, I spend a couple of hours roaming around last weekend with my close up photography tools and a fold up stool.

I stuck to the wildflower garden area. The main walkways in the wildflower garden were paved about 3' wide and there were also a few dirt path short cuts. The access for wheel chairs and baby carriages was excellent.  It was great to see so many people enjoying the nice weather.

All of the images below were taken with an Olympus E-M1 and Panasonic 14-140 "travel zoom". I shot with the lens wide open at F3.5 to F5.6 depending on the focal length.  I bought this lens in December and love it, though I have not reported on it here on my blog yet.  My sense it that it is plenty sharp enough, though not as sharp over common focal lengths as the very nice Olympus 12-40mm F2.8.  And of course it is not as fast at the 12-40. But it is certainly quite versatile and has great close up capabilities as you can see below. It provides basically a 1:3 equivalent macro.  That's generally quite adequate for flowers. However, for the mosquito image I snapped onto the end of the lens a Raynox 150 two piece acromatic filter so as to acquire a 1:1 macro.

Any cropping was just to enhance the composition. I have no complaints about sharpness of this lens for close up work.

Thank you Bruce Carley for helping with the identifications.

Wood Poppy Flowers

White Trillium

Spring Beauty

Squirrel Corn

Fern Unfolding

Red Trillium

Wood Poppy

Double-Flowered Bloodroot

Fuzzy antennae = male mosquito


My Favorite Coffee Mug...With Flash Plus Ambient Light

I took this picture while...well, drinking coffee. It was in the morning last weekend, and I was sitting on the porch playing around with the settings on my Sony a6000.  It's pretty hard to play with camera settings without taking a picture or two. (Over the years I have taken a ton of pictures of my feet on our coffee table!)

Perhaps a coffee mug photo is a silly thing to post here... though I did get some nice comments when I posted the image on my Instagram and Facebook pages (by the way, there are more than 2,500 posts on Instagram with #favoritecoffeemug.)

This mug came from my mom's house when I was cleaning it out after she passed away a few years ago. The loop is perfect for the first two fingers of my right hand and my thumb appreciates the flat top of the loop. The shape is nice too.  With a low center of gravity its less likely to be knocked over when I am fumbling for it while reading my iPad in the morning. Perhaps theoretically the shape holds heat longer than a mug with a wide opening. I like the three shades of color (assuming you accept beige as a worthy color). The ridging at the top is functional as well as good looking. When I reach with my left hand and grip the mug with my full hand (I just ignore the loop), my first finger neatly wraps around the groove at the top. Any disadvantages?  Yes, it doesn't hold enough coffee! Lol.


I used my Sony a6000 with 30mm Sigma prime at F2.8. Metz i40 flash was bounced up 45° from horizontal, and swiveled 120° to the right of forward.  I love the way the Sony works with flash: When using TTL it automatically balances half ambient light with half flash.  Since I use auto ISO, it does the balancing act by cutting the ISO to half of what it would use for ambient light only.