Blast From The Past  

Posted by The Simple Layman

A couple of weeks ago I went back to my hometown and where my wife and I once lived when we were first married.

This is a picture of the driveway of the lot where our mobile home sat.  The color photo is the one I took while I was down there and the black and white is from 1989.  The driveway that was once a hard sandy clay type material was almost completely covered with grass and weeds.  The little girl in the black and white photo is our oldest daughter who is now 24.  I wish I had thought to bring the original photos so I could position myself aproximately where I stood back then when I took the newer photos.

This is my grandmother's house now. I don't know who owns it.  You can see the differences from the older photo below.  There was a wooden railing on top of the roof, wood siding and trim, a tree line and hedges that stood on the other side of the house.  There was also a house aproximately where the mobile home stands now.  Also, I noticed there was no longer a ditch in front and on both
sides of the house.  It is now filled in with dirt and grass.  It also looks like the original half-moon shaped steps are gone.


Below is a picture of the house where I grew up.  When I was taking pictures of my old neighborhood the man who lives in the house now was suspicious of me and came out to find out what I was doing taking a picture of his house.  I explained to him I grew up there and he became friendly and we talked for a few minutes.  I appreciate his friendliness in allowing me to take pictures of the house but forgot to ask his name.

The tree in front of the house looked like a tall oak tree.  I remembered a small memosa tree in the spot where the oak now stands.  I wasn't sure my memory was correct but later when my sister and I were talking she brought up the fact a memosa tree stood there before.  There used to be a 250 gallon oil drum where the car now stands.  Surprisingly, the house was not sided all the way around and if you look closely, the side by the car is still the original asphalt shingles.  You can't see it in this picture, but in the back there is still a patio my dad built with poured concrete.  When I was 4 or 5 years old, my mom and I were standing on the top step in front of the door and my mom was talking to a friend who was standing 4 feet from the bottom step when a bolt of lightning struck the ground between my mom and I and my mom's friend.

The neighborhood has paved roads now, but then they were all dirt.

This is a picture of the house when I was young.  I am standing there with my sister.  My parents bought the house new for $6,000.00.  Wonder what it costs now?

Blast From The Past  

Posted by The Simple Layman in

Blast From the Past Blog Button - mom

My wife does this every now and then and it is always fun to participate.  She calls it "blast from the past."  What you do is blog about your past, include a picture and a little story about the picture.

This is my blast from the past.  This picture is of a tomato plant growing below our window.  The story is this:  It was Halloween and as we had been most every year, we went to a church event with them our church has every year during Halloween so the kids could play games, get candy, and be safe.  When we came home there was a tomato smashed against our window.  My wife said that she would clean it off the next day but she forgot.  A couple of days later it rained and washed it off the window.  We forgot about it.

Next spring, as we were getting ready to go to church, I looked down below the window and saw this strange plant.  Isn't that a tomato plant, I asked my wife.  How did that get there?  Finally I realized it was from the tomato that someone had thrown against our window.  That plant grew as tall as half way to the top of the window in the picture, (in the picture it is still a small plant), and gave us huge delicious tomatoes that year.  It was a perfect example of how God turned something meant for harm into something good.

Last year, a stolen vehicle plowed through our yard, hit our car, and smashed our car against our house, directly below that same window.   As I went outside in the dark to survey the damage to our car below that same window, the Lord reminded of how he turns bad things into good.

05-10-10 More Pics Of Valley Garden  

Posted by The Simple Layman

What a day!  Almost nothing but blue skys.  Only one little cloud I didn't see until after I took the picture.

Camera Information:  Nikon D3000 in manual mode.  All pictures shot using Nikon manual Ais lens 35-70 zoom.  Apertures:  various f/16-f/8@ 1/100 sec.

Using Nikon 35-70mm Ais lens on D3000  

Posted by The Simple Layman

If you are like me, perhaps you shied away from the D3000 Nikon because you were told you cannot mount the older lenses on it. This is not true.  Older Ais lenses will mount on the D3000.  However, you must be careful not to mount wide angles of the extreme variety since the lens will protrude too far into the mirror box and possibly break the mirror or other mechanisms.

In fact, I prefer to use my 35-70 manual lens for almost every situation.  The 35-70mm Nikon zoom lens is equivalent to a 50-105 because the ccd image sensor is 1.5 times smaller than the 35mm frame size.

I prefer the 35-70mm because of it's superior sharpness and less chromatic abberition that usually needs correction for shots taken with the 18-55mm stock zoom that comes with the D3000.  Noted, the stock lens is arguably a very good lens and the chromatic abberition is hardly noticable except with enlargments.  The 35-70 though has a smoothness that is appealing to me over the 18-55 stock lens.

After years of shooting with meters and grey cards I decided to just guess at my exposures, since the D3000 meter does not work with these old lenses. I was surprised to find most of my photos were properly exposed for most scenes.  If you struggle with guessing at proper exposure then you can use the old handheld meter and judge the resulting exposure on the LCD screen.  I have also used the 50mm "E" series lens which is slightly sharper, but it is simply easier to carry one lens, since the 35-70 is acceptable to me.  I also love it's lightness and find it is the only lens I need for most shots.

Below are some pics I took recently to show an example of how the D3000 fairs with 35-70mm manual lens mounted on it.  These are large pics but I hope you enjoy them. Click on any of the photos to see an enlargement.

Pictures 03-07-10  

Posted by The Simple Layman

We went for a walk yesterday, (my family and I), and got some great pics.  I adjust every one of my pictures using "gimp," because it is open-source software.  I am usually not satisfied with the camera's adjustments and like to adjust them to look more like what I remember of the scene.  I usually shoot in "raw" mode because it captures a wider dynamic range of light and detail than using the jpg mode.

The pics are fairly large, but if you use firefox you can hold down "ctrl" while scroll anywhere over the picture, and it will enlarge or reduce it for viewing.

Crocuses blooming.  Spring is almost here!






This one was my favorite.  This tree against the dark background amost looked like it was glowing.  I had a hard time balancing it but it still came out really good and close to what I wanted.


New Nikon D3000 Lens Test!  

Posted by The Simple Layman in

Well, I broke down and finally went digital with a new Nikon D3000, which in spite of some bad reviews, I love.  I was told that my older Nikon 50mm series E lens would not adapt but I found this not true.  It adapts well, but only in manual mode, which is the mode I like for my more serious work.

I made the choice to get the camera as a family camera that all of our six family members could use and for a business we hope to have someday soon.  My kids love it.

When I first put the original 18-55mm lens to the test with pics of my wife's bookshelf in our bedroom I was disappointed with the sharpness and thought, "digital doesn't really compare with a film shot for sharpness."

Last night I decided to really put the camera to a lens test by placing the camera on a tripod and taking shots with both the original 18-55 mm lens and my Nikon 50mm series E lens, (not really Nikon's sharpest older lens), from my Nikon fm.  I then cropped a section of each photo which you can compare side by side. What I found was the lack of sharpness was not the fact that it was digital but because of the 18-55mm lens.

No doubt, it is a zoom lens and zoom lenses for the most part have improved much over the years, but the old lenses seem to just have an edge over the newer ones.  As I said, the older series E lens isn't even Nikon's sharpest lens made in Nikon's 35mm film camera "hey-day."

The sad part is that Nikon, at least to my knowledge, isn't making single format lenses for this camera with auto-focus features.  This is ok for me since the older lenses mount fine and are available on the net for less than $100.00, a small pittance compared to the cost of newer lenses.

Pic taken with original 18-55mm lens with enlarged section

Pic Taken with 50mm Series E lens and enlarged section

Hope this helps some of you who still enjoy the use of single format lenses and expecially don't want to give up the use of your old ones. By the way, I still love my old film cameras and plan to still use them.

As an added note:  Since the Nikon D3000 has an image sensor 1.5 times smaller than a 35mm negative frame, you must multiply the actual lens size of the lens from your 35mm camera by 1.5 to find out what the comparable image size is with the D3000.  In other words, an image taken on the D3000 using a 50mm film camera lens, when multiplied by a factor of 1.5, is the equivalent of a 75mm lens on 35mm film camera.  Thus, a 50mm lens on the D3000 will have the effect of a 75mm telephoto lens.