Now hosted with SiteGround

I fumble-fingered something on the DigitalOcean droplet that was running and it broke things. I was able to correct it quickly, but was reminded that, for certain things, I’m not interested in the sausage-making portions of the process.

So I’ve migrated the site to a SiteGround hosted account. I have no experience with SiteGround and no real basis for choosing them other than I’ve heard a few good things and it’s not overly expensive.

Do let me know if anything looks amiss.

Roll 019 highlights. Leica M4.

A few highlights from the most recent roll. Shot with the Leica M4 on Tri-X pushed one stop.

Sending the Leica M3 in for repair and CLA

The rangefinder in my 1960 Leica M3 needs repair. It stops moving when focused closer than about 4 feet. Time for a complete CLA.

I bought this M3 in 2013 and it had apparently been CLA’d by Youxin Ye in 2012. I guess it’s time for another. I’m sending it to the highly-regarded DAG Camera Repair. I’m including the 50mm Summicron, just in case he determines that could also use a bit of work.

It’s not inexpensive having these cameras taken care of like this, but a few hundred dollars every five or ten years ends up being a small investment. At this rate I should be able to get another 60 years out of it. Well, someone will.

Gail getting ready

Gail. (Leica M4. Voigtlander 35mm Color Skopar. Tri-X @800 in HC-110)

Gail getting ready. Shot with the Leica M4 on Tri-X. I normally shoot Tri-X at 320 but the last couple rolls have been pushed to 800. My thinking is that 35mm Tri-X isn’t going to be smooth and grain-free anyway, so why fight it? Also, I dig the increased contrast and the ability to shoot with slower lenses indoors.

Just a tool

They say that a camera is “just a tool”. I feel sorry for them.

Some cameras are also beautiful, meticulously engineered objects that are so nice to look at and so wonderful to hold that they do in fact help me to make better photos. And, as importantly, they let me enjoy making the shitty photos, which frankly are the majority.

I can make shitty photos with any camera, so why not make them with a nice one?


What if I started blogging here instead?

I’m in one of those moods. You know, the one where I don’t like the “distance” between my blog content and the blog itself. Here’s how my Hugo posting works at right now…

Org-mode->ox-hugo->Hugo-compatible Markdown->Build->HTML->Rsync

Seems crazy when I think about it. However, it’s the best workflow I’ve found with Hugo, and it does let me write in Org mode.

On the other hand, in WordPress it looks more like this:

Edit Post->Publish

See what I mean?

The idea of this blog was to focus on photography because WordPress handles images more easily than Hugo. I like the domain, but is it worth trying to import old posts and adding redirects? Or do I just start fresh here and leave as an archive?

I’ll have to think about it.

I will stick with Lightroom Classic for now

I prefer using Capture One Pro for editing images. I like the flexible export options allowing variables in filenames and the way I can run a bunch of different “recipes” at once. I like the fancy color editor. I like layers. I like the way it tethers. I like the “professional” connotations that come with it. And I really like not being pinned to an Adobe subscription.

But, I don’t like those things enough to justify living without the ecosystem available with Lightroom Classic. Things like Jeffrey Friedl’s plugins. Or Negative Lab Pro, or all the Mastin Labs options. Or the thousands of websites, blogs, and YouTube videos supporting Lightroom workflows.

I prefer my files local and with my own folder hierarchy, so I don’t mind that Lightroom CC can automatically sync my iPhone photos to Lightroom Classic, where I can move and rename them as I like.

I like exporting directly to services like Flickr and SmugMug.

Classic does a fine job with the actual business of editing. It does, in my opinion, a better job with DAM.

Keywording and metadata management is just lightly easier in Lightroom.

If I’m honest, most of the things I think I prefer in Capture One are hypothetical. I don’t actually use them much. I like the idea of Capture One, but I’m better off when using Lightroom.

That’s my story as of Sunday, August 25, 2019.


Leica M4 out of storage

Finally, I’ve gotten my beloved Leica M4 out of storage. It’s been in a case in my basement since last year’s move and that’s a shame.

Leica M4 with Voightlander 35mm f2.5 Color Skopar

Leica M4 with Voightlander 35mm f2.5 Color Skopar


The camera was made in 1966 and I bought it in 2009. It’s seen regular, if sporadic, use since then. I think it’s beautiful, and I especially like that it has the M3-style levers.

I have the tiny and terrific Voightlander 35mm Color Skopar on it. That lens is almost toosmall, but it makes fine images and was inexpensive.

It feels good to be using this setup again. I’ll run a few rolls through it and see if I still become fatigued shooting with no meter at all.

Old Man Yelling at [Dark, Ominous] Clouds (Leicaphilia)


So, next time you smug technological sophisticates begin to fell[sic] all superior to us film era Luddites, take a step back and consider that some of us may have articulable philosophical and creative reasons for rejecting the more outre aspects of digital technologies, and those reasons may be grounded in legitimate concerns based on deep historical sympathies. In other words, we may know things, important things, you’ve never even thought about, and you may be wise to listen.

A wisp of truth in there, at the very least.