Roll 26: The EXA Goes Camping

52 rolls

Yup, the EXA went camping.   If you have noticed, I hardly go anywhere without the EXA anymore.   This camera is a beast of a fine machine.   I can’t get enough.   So, when my family went camping in the Sierras, the EXA got to go, too.   These shots are on Kodak Gold 400.

We camped at Stampede Reservoir near Truckee, California.   The drought is real here so the reservoir is low.   In this photo, you would normally not see all of the land at all.   The water is down something like 70% of a normal year.   It’s kinda scary.

tent water leve


teamtaft camper

Here are my dudes playing some beanbag toss (cornhole) in camp.


And, this is my favorite from the trip.   It’s not greatest technical photograph but it just show the family sitting around enjoying the day.   That’s the good stuff.

family camp

What good…

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Roll 25: BELIEVE

52 rolls

For this roll, I headed back to downtown Reno to capture a temporary art installation by the river.   The “BELIEVE” letters were out on the playa of the Black Rock Desert for Burning Man and have been loaned to the city for part of the July Arttown festivities.   It’s a pretty neat thing that the city comes together for a month-long art festival with all kinds of different music and art formats.   The metal butterfly sculpture (from this post) is still in this plaza so the letters make a nice compliment to it.


I shot this on a roll of Kodak Portra 120 film with my Ciro-Flex Type D.   It is a good camera but doesn’t focus as well in the viewfinder as I would like.   I have gotten spoiled by some of the others that I have.   But, this Ciro-Flex was my first…

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Sierra Sunset

Yesterday was a blustery, thunderstorm-y kind of day.   But, I know that it means to keep your eyes open for an awesome sunset.   And, Mother Nature did not disappoint.   This was the show in my backyard.   Enjoy.

All images are from my Nikon 5300, straight out of camera.






Roll 24: Velvia in an Argus 75

Some Tahoe blue for you …

52 rolls

Welcome to Lake Tahoe, Nevada.    The following shots were taken at the Cave Rock boat ramp on the eastern shore with an Argus 75 on Fuji Velvia 50/120 film.   I think the blue vignetting is perfect with the Tahoe blue.   Just perfect.


This little spot is a great for a mid-week quick picnic and can be wonderful for off-season visits.   The boat ramp is tremendously busy on summer weekends so its not quite as serene as it might seem in these photos.   But, timed right, this spot is a little piece of heaven.

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Roll 23: The EXA in The Wild West

52 rolls

If you saw my last post, the photos weren’t all that great and it was more of a film experiment than anything else.   No worries–I brought along the trust EXA that has quickly become of my favorite cameras.   It is a solid machine.   And, a nice roll of Kodak Portra 160 made for some lovely shots of the history in Virginia City, Nevada.   I have been there many times and lived just outside of town for quite a while so,  on this photowalk, I was trying to get some non-traditional angles.

Speaking of angles, the whole town is on the side of a very steep hill, everything is a 150+ years old and crooked.   I didn’t really bother to straighten my horizon lines.   I just shot pictures.


This is the Storey County Courthouse built in 1865.   It is still the main governmental building…

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Roll 22: Re-Rolling Film

52 rolls

For those of you who have been paying attention to my film fumbles, you know that I destroyed a roll of 120 film attempting to make it fit into a camera that only wanted 620.   If you missed that adventure, please check out Roll 21.

I took some friendly advice and tried to salvage a mangled roll of Kodak Ektar 120 by simply unrolling the film from the spool and re-rolling it up without a spool to feed through my Kodak Junior Autographic No. 1.

The results are in … and it worked, with a few flaws.

autograph VC

autograph pipers

As you can see, there are light leaks and all kinds of other things happening.   I’m going to go ahead and claim some user error because the film became too tight on the intake spool which caused a pretty major fight to get it out of the camera.    I’m going…

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Roll 21: Wasting Film

52 rolls

Ugh.   I had another camera experiment weekend and killed some film.    Darnit.   There goes $9 bucks worth of Kodak Ektar on 120.   That seems really silly when I figured out that one of the cameras that I was attempting to test only cost me $3.   The economics on that one aren’t good, are they?

What happened, you ask?


I tried to make some 120 film fit into a camera meant for 620.   It has worked for me in a couple of other cameras.   But, those darn evil corporations are sneaky about making things JUST SLIGHTLY different and yet impossible to use.

I trimmed the original plastic roller on the film and even sanded it down to make it fit into the cameras.   I could not get either of these two cameras to work with my modified 120.   Once I got the rolls…

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Roll 20: The EXA Goes to the River

52 rolls

I’m still in love with the EXA.    So, it went to the Truckee River in Reno, Nevada, recently to celebrate kayaks at the Reno River Festival.   I forgot that I was shooting black and white so I’m not as excited with the results but they are interesting.   It’s funny that I totally take B&W for granted now that you can use software to do it.    Using a whole roll with that intention is another world.   I would have definitely taken different angles for photos if I had been paying attention.   I’m feeling a little like I wasted this roll of Kodak T-MAX 100 but … not really.

926712968 The Truckee River in downtown Reno

926713008 the starting rapids of the kayak course

926712992 kayakers just past the finish, near the get out and turn around area


Overall, this was a pretty nice day and a great festival…

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Roll 19: The EXA Rides a Train

52 rolls

The EXA and a roll of Kodak T-Max 100 B&W went to the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City recently.    And, we all rode a very special train.    Please allow me to introduce you to the McKeen Motor Car.   She’s a beauty.









All photos are straight out of camera, no post-processing adjustments.    I even like that in the last photos, the view out the windows is out of focus.   It’s not about the view, it’s about the round windows.

If you would like to know a little bit more about the history of this train car and see some of my DSLR photos, please check out my blog and additional post HERE.

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Lake Tahoe by Kayak, Part Four

Yes, folks, I am still working on paddling my way around Lake Tahoe.   It’s a whopper goal so I didn’t really expect for it to be easy.   And, it hasn’t been.   To make it 72 miles, a strong paddler has to break it into at least six or seven segments.   And, well, that’s just not possible all in one shot for me.    I knew from the get-go that we would be making multiple trips to the lake and there would be issues.  Last year, we started in July and thought it was manageable to expect at least a September finish.   Wrong.   All sorts of things got in the way; road construction, a massive wildfire, bad weather, bad timing, a sinus infection and life.   Oh, well.   There’s always next year …

tallac reflections

Welcome to 2014!  There’s no time limit to this kind of goal so we are still paddling!  If you are just tuning into my little adventure here are links to my previous kayaking segments: PART ONE PART TWO and PART THREE so you can get your paddle up to speed.

the view from the south shore ... paddle style

the view from the south shore … paddle style

Today, I am going to share my first kayak of 2014.   My paddle buddy and I decided to pick one of the most scenic and popular routes on Memorial Day weekend.   Why?   Well, why not?   And, I think we might have been hoping that going early in the season (albeit during prime time opening day) that some of the crowds would have forgotten to back their boat for a weekend at Tahoe.   We might have been right and just a little lucky.   It turned out to be a gorgeous warm day and not too crowded.  (Lucky us!)

We put in our boats at Lester Beach at Rubicon Point in D.L. Bliss State Park early in the morning, paddled through Emerald Bay and around Fannette Island then on to south shore’s Pope Beach.   No small feat in nearly 9 miles of paddling on out of shape arms, let me tell you.    Including our stop at Fannette Island in Emerald Bay at the “Tea Room” for photos, our boats spent about five hours on the water.   No joke, I was tired.   I think I am still am.   My arms are telling me that last statement is just all too true.   OUCH.

Of course, there are too many stories to tell from kayaking for that long but I don’t want to bore you with stories of eagle watching and calling seagulls in Emerald Bay “bagels.”   (Get it??   Bay-gulls.  Har-har.)   I know the real reason that I was out there was to get some awesome photos.   And, that I did.   How about a look?

First, we set out from Rubicon Point at Lester Beach, found the old lighthouse and got an osprey surprise:


Then, we entered Emerald Bay.   Vikingsholm Castle and Fannette Island are located here.    We didn’t stop for the castle but we did make it around the island and up to the “Tea Room.”   I have been to Emerald Bay many times and always wanted to get out on the island.   This was a big deal for me!

Just based on the number of photos alone, I should have split this post into several.   But, I can’t hold back.   There was just too much awesome.

Did I mention I fell out of the kayak at Fannette Island?   Yup.  Cold, cold water.   I didn't mind, though.   It was still a good day.

Did I mention I fell out of the kayak at Fannette Island? Yup. Cold, cold water. I didn’t mind, though. It was still a good day.

For the record, all photos were taken with my Nikon CoolPix AW100.   It’s a good, waterproof point-and-shoot.

Please leave me a comment with your feedback or just a “like” to let me know that you stopped by the blog.   Thanks!