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2nd Roll Kodak Etkar Film w/Shenhao 617 View Camera

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Reference this original POST covering my first Shenhao exposures.

Just a quick follow-up note on my next 4 exposures on the Shenhao 617 view camera two weeks ago, always an enjoyment with the lag of getting the film in for development then tiff scans back, i.e. like opening an X-mas gift.

Four Exposure Summary: 2 Exposures focused and well exposed.  1 Exposure well exposed but people movement (walking) causing a blurred motion look as LF lenses are slow, <1/500sec – maybe okay.  1 Exposure blown-out – no clue.

Still acquiring my cadence for a view camera yet find the exposure setting (SS and Aperture) with the Pentax Spot Meter V using Ektar 100 somewhat simple when spotting on Zone 3 for shadow details and shifting 2 stops to Zone 5 with the EV number.  This will change as I get challenged next up with Fujifilm Velvia 50 at four stops of light, low contrast scenes.   I’m ready to get out for more exposures this long weekend.  It’s a 617 weekend.

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.
Note: Bold, Underlined Red highlighted text is an external link of interest.
Shenhao 6×17 Gallery (3) at the Base of Pen-Y-Fan Mountain in SW Wales

Long Exposure Workshop w/Craig Roberts of e6 YouTube

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

This is my second time with Craig for a “1:1 teaching moment”.  This time the subject is “Long Exposures” under various conditions from full sun to full rain and everything in between, i.e. this is Britan.
Raining kittens and dogs were the cards we were dealt for the day so one must have an umbrella to cover the filters as you can’t use your air bulb blower fast enough to remove the raindrops.  Take Note: Need a tripod attachment to hold an umbrella as Craig wouldn’t be there next time in the rain.
The focus of this workshop was the use of  Neutral Density (ND) Filters, i.e. Polarizer 2 Stops, Little Stopper – 6 Stops, Big Stopper – 10 Stops and Super Stopper – 15 Stops in conjunction with 0.6 / 0.9 Graduated Filters to balance the light from the sky and the ground.
Note: Interesting to see how long exposure photography brought to the surface various camera functions unseen before.  Need to study up.

Long Exposure Location – The City of Manchester (Recognize the Manchester United Stadium above?)

Given the architectural shapes, textures, leading lines… combined with the water and clouds, The Lowery area at Salford Quays was an ideal location.
Craig has great insight to understand what you should consider, no matter what your skill level.

Previous Post on Cityscapes in Birmingham          

Website: Craig Roberts Photography – e6

YouTube Channel: e6 Vlogs

Lee Filters Phone App

Experience

In short, we learn thru doing and regretfully experiencing errors, i.e. Things Gone Wrong.  We then turnaround with proper actions to mitigate errors in the future.  I look forward to my future w/o errors.

My Long Exposure Check List – Work in Progress  (Critical in Bold)

Tripod

  • Ensure the tripod is level
  • Mount your camera for the horizontal or vertical shot

Camera

  • Change to Manual focus.
  • Stay in AF in Aperture Priority for now
  • Turn off the Long Exposure Noise Reduction as it doubles your exposure time.  Can address noise later if an issue or get a better body/sensor.

Composition

  • Determine composition using a 1×1 Square format (RAW still at 3:2 and JPEG at 1:1)
  • Lock down the panning knob on tripod

Focus/Initial Exposure

  • Set lowest ISO allowed
  • Set Aperture Sweet Spot:  For me f/8, maybe f/11
  • Manually focus with Focus Peaking while zoomed in.
  • Focus 1/3 into the composition in the single point focusing mode
  • Take your base shot noting the SS, shutter speed
  • Check histogram for use of ND Grads
  • Write down the SS as you will forget once you add the ND Filter (6S-10S-15S)

ND Grads

  • Base Guideline:
    • Sun is behind you, 1 stop (polarizer is 2 stops)
    • Sun is to your left or right, 2 stops (0.6 Grad)
    • Sun is in front of you, 3 stops (0.9 Grad)
    • (Can always check exposure for SS on foreground to background (sky) to compare stops of difference)
  • Soft or Hard:  Plain unobstructed horizon = Hard, obstructed with vertical objects = Soft

Placing ND Grads in Filter Holder

  • With the filter holder off the camera, place the ND Grad on the front slot pushing 1//4 of the way down.
  • Go to the front of the camera to place the holder on the adapter.  Why to ensure proper placement and full engagement of both the fixed side and spring-loaded wedge.Will position using the live view in the camera.
  • Slide the Grad up/down watching the clouds and histogram change.  Tilt left or right for the proper horizon line
  • Carefully set aside

ND Filters (2-Stop, 6-Stop, 10-Stop and 15-Stop)

  • Base Guideline:
    • Little Stopper to blur people and movement at 1-3s
    • Big Stopper to blur water and/or clouds for 30s to 1min
    • Super Stopper to blur clouds w/o water for 2-4min
  • Use Lee Filters Little-Big-Super Stopper App setting the SS that you wrote down to determine what the long exposure time is against the 3 options.
  • Given what exposure time you desire, select the proper Stopper, i.e. 6S, 10S, or 15S.

Placing the ND & Stopper in the Filter Holder

  • First, check your composition and SS for the base exposure.  Still the same.
  • If not, will need to use the app for the long exposure time.
  • Slide the Stopper of choice in the front slot (usually a hard push) until the foam in centered for sealing against light

Placing the Holder with Filters on the Camera’s Adapter Ring

  • First, switch to the full-manual mode to avoid the Auto-Focus hunting.
  • Go to the front of the camera to place the holder on the adapter. with Grad & ND.  Why to ensure proper placement and full engagement of both the fixed side and spring-loaded wedge.
When the filter holder is partially engaged with the adapter as placed from the rear of the camera, you have a false sense of security.  When you tip the camera with the holder on, off it goes to the ground.  Not pretty.

Camera

  • Recall the base exposure SS.  Did you write it down?
  • The Lee Filters App provide the long exposure time vs. which Stopper.  What is the long exposure time?  (Note: Can be off +- 2/3 of a Stop)
  • Install your remote control cable or mechanical shutter release
  • Change to “Bulb – B” mode for your shutter speed
  • Did you switch to full manual to avoid AF hunting?
  • Press and hold (or slide up) the remote watching the time count up in seconds… to your chosen long exposure time.
  • Release when the long exposure targeted time is reached.
  • Look at the JPEG preview’s “Histogram,
    • Any right-hand clipping of the Highlights?  If yes, a shorter time is required.
    • Is histogram pushed to the edge of the Highlights (RD Side)?  If not, a longer time is required.
    • Experiment with various times as the Lee Filters App is directional in nature and you must flavor to taste.

Removing the ND & Stopper in the Filter Holder

  • Again, go to the front of the camera and remove filter holder / filter set.
  • Pull out the filters and replace in your holder one by one.
  • Fingerprints and/or rain drops – Need to address later with a proper cleaning.

END

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.

Note: Bold, Underlined Red highlighted text is an external link of interest.

My First Long Exposure Gallery

Wales: Pen-Y-Fan Mountain Day 1

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Pen-Y-Fan Mountain

in the Brecon Beacons National Park

Here’s a slight diversion: Brecon Steam Engine Railway Ride

Wales: My Ancestry – Mother’s Side
Dead Center via Apple Maps – Easy Drive w/90% Divided Highway.  Birmingham is off to the Northeast

Visualize Your Walk Around the RED LINE

A moderate trek covering 4 miles in 2.5 hours, red line.

Hipstamatic iPhone App Images

Shenhao 617: Getting Set Up with Lens, Composition, Focus, and Image Exposure
Shenhao 617: Image Taken Looking Up the Path to the Top Covered in Clouds
2017-05-13 Saturday Day 1

I arrived at Pen-Y-Fan ~8a after leaving Birmingham at 6a, do the math.  The forecast was for rain at Pen-Y-Fan yet knowing the weather is an hour-by-hour thing here in the UK, I went for it.  It did rain but a slow drizzle which let up for awhile for me to get a few images.  The top of the mountain was blanketed in clouds so I came home to return Sunday.

2017-05-14 Sunday Day 2

Next Post – Wales: Pen-Y-Fan Mountain Day 2

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.
Note: Bold, Underlined Red highlighted text is an external link of interest.

Pen-Y-Fan Gallery – Saturday 5/13

Pen-Y-Fan Gallery – Sunday 5/14

Next Post: Wales: Pen-Y-Fan Mountain Day 1

Baggie City Center (Centre) in B&W

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Birmingham City Center

The best way to get acquainted with your new surroundings is to walk it.  So I have around Birmingham’s City Center and enjoy the variation of architectural styles across the years. So with this post, I’m practicing my B&W image processing using the recipe below.  Like any recipe one salt and peppers to taste.
Recipe (Photographer’s Stuff)
  1. Lightroom: Import and cataloging
  2. (Iridient Developer: Used for the Fuji RAW files for Exposure, Color (Fuji Soft), Details)
  3. Lightroom: Basics for Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks, Transform-Auto, Crop…
  4. ON1 Photo RAW 2017: Add Dynamic Contrast (30%), B&W w/Color Sliders adjusted to taste, Big Softy Vignette
  5. Photoshop: Framing and Distraction Removal.
  6. Lightroom: Watermark and Export
Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.
Note: Bold, Underlined Red highlighted text is an external link of interest.

B&W Gallery

Selfridges: “Touching the Sky”
Victoria Square: “Stand at Attention”
Birmingham Library: “See Me”
Bullring Mall: “Bull – It”
Grand Central Station: “Train Time”
Apple Store: “Apples Three”

Cannonball Tree – Update

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

My earlier post revealed one of the most beautiful, intricate flowers I’ve seen here in India from the Cannonball Tree, i.e. Couroupita guianensis.  I first ran across the beauty of the tree’s flower on a photowalk two years ago at a Shiva Temple. I’ve had my eyes out ever since without success.  Well after finding one last Sunday, today I found a great specimen only 100 m from my office on campus.  How did I miss this one under my nose?
I’ve shared images of the flower yet let me share images of the tree and it’s “Cannonballs“.
Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure ends in India then over to China and later in the U.K.  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.
Note: Bold, Underlined Red highlighted text is an external link of interest.

Update from Last Post

Lefthand Image: RAW Image Without Processing

Upper-Right Image: VSSR Processed Image

Lower-Right Image: Fotopassion Cyprus (FB) Best Photographer Award

Cannonball Tree Gallery – VSSR Applied

The Cannonball Tree in all its glory
Cannonballs, lots of Cannonballs
Lingam Flower
Cannonballs
Lingam Flower

 

Wrapping it Up in India

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

It’s been three years in Chennai and I’ve only seen the tip of the “Indian Iceberg” (Paradoxical to relate the coldness of an iceberg to the three-season scenario enjoyed in South India, i.e. Hot, Hotter and Hottest.) relative to what India has to offer, especially for photographers and travel enthusiasts.
Yet, over this time I’ve journeyed from the technical side of photography by fine tuning my techniques and now discovering the elusive craft and art beyond snapshots.
As you get older, you begin to have thoughts that would have never percolated in your youth, e.g. I know so little and now in the Fall of my Life, I have so much to learn.  This has been the driving factor in my photographic journey which has expanded my technical left brain with improved techniques and now challenges my artistic right brain.  A humongous challenge yet like learning Photoshop it’s one tool at a time, one step at a time…
Let me share my recent VSSR images of late in no particular order.
The good news is I have 4 rolls of exposed 120 film ready to head to the US for development and scanning.  It’s like an opening an X-mas present every time the scans arrive (~2-week turnaround).
PS Debating if I should attend the Holi Festival in Sowcarpet, Chennai on Monday 3/13 as the images can be very colorful.

Note: Value-Shape-Separate-Relate is the artistic image processing approach by John R. Tuttle.  I highly suggest you follow John on Instagram or Facebook to get an appreciation for his wonderful fine art images and available archival prints. VSSR is explained here in an earlier post which provides the thinking and image processing approach.

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure ends in India then over to China and later in the U.K.  Comments, Likes, Dislikes… always welcomed here.

Gallery – VSSR Applied

“Pink Ladies”  Shoot at the Georgetown Flower Market in Chennai, India
“Orange Welcome”   A Besant Nagar, Chennai Photowalk image.
“Red Fingers”   A Besant Nagar, Chennai Photowalk image.
“House of Colors”   A Besant Nagar, Chennai Photowalk image.
“Mellow Yellow”  A Besant Nagar, Chennai Photowalk image.
“Temple Guardian”   A Besant Nagar, Chennai Photowalk image.
“Rust Bucket”   A Besant Nagar, Chennai Photowalk image.
“Purple Morning Haze”   A Besant Nagar, Chennai Photowalk image.
“Temple Tank Float”   A walkabout at the Arulmigu Parthasarathyswamy Temple in Triplicane, Chennai.
“Look Away”  Photowalk at Georgetown, Chennai.
“Pointer-Outer”  Photowalk at Georgetown, Chennai.
“Opposites”  Photowalk at Georgetown, Chennai.
“Morning Read”  Photowalk at Georgetown, Chennai.
“Three Amigos”  Photowalk at Georgetown, Chennai.
“Just for Fun”  Photowalk at Georgetown, Chennai.

VSSR Image Processing Continues

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography (Dashan Sheying –大山摄影) and Happy  Chinese “Lunar” New Year  – Year of the Rooster.  

I continue down the VSSR journey with digital / film images from Varanasi, India and Xi’an, China today.  VSSR is explained here in an earlier post which provides the thinking and image processing approach.

Note: Value-Shape-Separate-Relate is the artistic image processing approach by John R. Tuttle.  I highly suggest you follow John on Instagram or Facebook to get an appreciation for his wonderful fine art images and available archival prints.

Disclaimer:  By no means do I claim to possess the mastery of an Artist Eye nor have highly skilled touch in Photoshop so I push myself to improve the images I create.

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure in India, later China and maybe UK continues.

Varanasi, India Gallery – Medium Format Film w/6×17 Pinhole and Fuji GF670

Varanasi, India Gallery – Fuji X-Pro2 Digital

Xi’an, China Gallery – Fuji X-Pro2 Digital

Value-Shape-Separate-Relate (VSSR)

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography (Dashan Sheying –大山摄影).

Happy “Calendar” New Year 2017.  Why would I say this?  Well, we have another two pending New Year celebrations in the form of the Chinese “Lunar” New Year on 1/28, followed in April by the Tamil “Solar” New Year.  Which to follow?  All of course.

It’s been awhile since my last post as I took a holiday break combined with some deep learnings from John R. Tuttle. I highly suggest you follow John on Instagram or Facebook to get an appreciation for his wonderful fine art images and available archival prints.  VSSR is the artistic image processing approach by John R. Tuttle.

I’d like to share my experience in developing my artistic eye and shifting to my RH-brain when processing a photograph.  In particular,  the use of Photoshop just as a painter envisions and creates his image on canvas.

Disclaimer:  By no means do I claim to possess the mastery of an Artist Eye nor have highly skilled touch in Photoshop, rather I push myself with a strong desire and embedded curiosity to improve the images I create.

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure in India and later China continues.

I pulled out an old PDF File on Art that I acquire from Les Saucier as my first Master in The Arcanum.

VSSR in a Nut Shell
  • Determine Tonal “Values”
  • Find the Big “Shapes”, Not Details
  • “Separate” the Shapes by Contrast Range
  • “Relate” the Shapes to Each Other
1. The Simple Secret to Better Painting by Greg Albert

I dusted off an old PDF File on understanding the golden rule(s) of Art that I acquired from Les Saucier , my first Master in The Arcanum.  I would suggest you take a brief read yet stop and read Chapter 5 two times on Tonal Value and Contrast.

The Simple Secret to Better Painting

2. Key Highlights of Chapter 5 on Tonal Value and Contrast

Values

  • Lights and dark contribute more to the success of a photography than any other factor, including color.
  • Value contrasts attract and entertain the viewer making any part of the photograph an eye magnet.
  • Points of contrast provide touchstones for the eye as it scans the photograph.
  • Lights and Darks in your photograph must be at least consciously considered if not deliberately planned.
  • Think of Value Scale as a series of grays from black to white, i.e. Zone System.

Shapes

  • Seeing your scene as a simplified pattern of lights and darks.
  • See the subject as a pattern made up of value shapes.
  • Look at your subject, not as a group of things that can be named, but as a pattern.
  • Think Dark or Light Shapes.
  • What an object is is not as important as its shape and value.

Patterns

  • Reduce your subject to a few big shapes.
  • Simplify the subject into a pattern of shapes then turn the pattern of shapes into a pattern of values.
  • Reduce the subject to three values: Black, Gray, and White.  Most subjects reduce themselves to three values.
  • Maybe to five values adding Light Gray and Dark Gray thus adding distinctions to make the identity of your subject matter clearer.
  • Once you start thinking about your photograph as a pattern of value areas, you can check to see if that pattern format an effective composition.

Graduation

  • Value Contrast is a great technique for attracting the viewer’s attention, Gradation of a Value is a great technique for retaining it.
  • Graduation is the gradual change of tonal value from light to dark over distance.
  • The Gradual Change in Tonal Value in the foreground pulls the eye into the photograph.
  • A Value Area having both Contrast and Graduation attracts and retains the viewer’s attention, creates depth in the photograph and helps focus the eye on the center of interest.
  • Value Changes Within Shapes: Graduations of each Shape go back and forth between light and dark.

Notan

  • Harmony With Value Contrast: The Japanese word “Notan” by Arthur Dow expresses the beauty and harmony of darks and lights balanced together or interacting in what Japanese called Visual Music.
  • The concept of Notan includes figure-ground relationships formed by dark shapes against light or light shapes against dark.
  • Notan combines all that makes shape and value contrast interesting: variety dimension, concavity and convexity, interlocking figure-ground ambiguity and dramatic opposition
  • All the shapes both positive and negative must be interesting shapes in themselves with varying intervals.  Their interaction should create harmony and balance.
  • Values Help Define the Subject: Soft and hard, smooth and rough, light and dark can all contrast to make a seemingly simple picture one of subtle mystery.
3.  VSSR Workflow in Lightroom / Photoshop
In Lightroom (or Adobe Camera Raw):
1) Basic Tone and Color Adjustments
2) Distraction Removal (or in Photoshop)
In Photoshop:
3a)  Visual determine the Large Shapes.  Usually 2-3.
3b) Using Selection and Masking tools, create a separate layer mask for each of the 2-3 large shapes to which we will adjust tonal values to separate the shapes.
3c) For each layer selection, add adjustment layers that as a Clipping Mask for Curves at a minimum. Other adjustment layers to consider adding are Hue/Saturation, Brightness, Vibrance, Gradient…  Suggest not to use Levels as Curves is the superior tool.  Here we are Separating the 2-3 Shapes using contrast with varying Tonal Values.
3d) Then add a Curves Adjustment Layer for the entire image thus getting the Shapes to Relate.
4. Example 1
screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-10-18-38-am
Raw File Before Processing in LR – Not a pretty sight but wait as I work the magic of VSSR.
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Here I envisioned two Big Shapes; all the people as one big shape and the inverse as the 2nd big shape.  So I zoomed in with a small brush to select all people one at a time ensuring a proper edge selection. This was my first layer mask which I added a Curves and Hue/Saturation adjustment layers.  Then, copying and inverting the layer mask I have my 2nd big shape of the everything else which again I added a Curves and Hue/Saturation adjustment layers.  
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The Curves and Hue/Saturation adjustment tools were tweaked to taste with first sliding to the extremes then backing off.  Here you see a Curves being applied to the 2nd inverse big shape.
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The final image with a border having a thin black band, thick white band and chop.
5. Example 2
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RAW File Ahead of LR Processing – A So-S0 Look
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After Lightroom basic adjustments plus conversion to B&W in Photoshop, I selected three Big Shapes, i.e. 1) the water, 2) the photographers plus camera and three the shoreline background.  See the three layer masks where the “White” on Black is what is selected.  For B&W, I just added one adjustment layer, i.e. Curves – the most powerful of all tools.
screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-6-17-20-am
Here’s a close-up of the Curve Adjustment Tool being applied to the Photographers with the standard S-Curve.
screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-12-02-13-pm
To finish off the image and “Relate” the three Big Shapes, I applied a Curves Adjustment Layer to the entire image.
screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-6-17-31-am
A close -up of the Curves Adjustment Tool.  I could have applied the Brightness – Contrast Tool yet held it in reserve.
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The final image with a two-band border with texture applied in Photoshop.

You-Tube has plenty of videos explaining the Selection and Masking Tool Set available in Photoshop.

Here are a few to get started:

VSSR Gallery  (Let Me State the Big Shapes That I Adjusted Tonal Contrast and Color)

dashansheying-2626
Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) The butterfly 2) The flower/bush and 3) The background
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Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) The young priests walking in file 2) The background sky 3) The background Steps and 4) All the rest.
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Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) All 5-6 towers 2) The 3 firewood stacks, 3) The water and 4) All the rest.
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Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) The water 2) The 6 boats 3) The sky and 4) The shoreline with buildings.
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Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) The water, 2) The two girls, 3) The upper RH wall and 4) All the rest.
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Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) The man, 2) The structure he is sitting on, 3) The RH vertical wall and 4) All the rest.
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Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) The center structure plus its reflection, 2) the water, 3) The back wall and ground and 4) All the rest.
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Big Shapes to Adjust Tonal Values for Separation Then Related Together: 1) The man, 2) The RH painting, 3) RH vertical wall and 4) All the rest.

Here John provided some great feedback on his take of the image by filling the frame with the subject, i.e. the man.  I was going for the diagonal glance of the god down on the man yet this is a better composition.  Never stop learning.

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-4-49-57-pm
Being able to bounce ideas off each other which in turns helps to level me up, is the rewarding experience for me.  Thanks John.

Hodge-Podge

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography with a Hodge-Podge collection of recent film and digital images.  Effective 2016-12-09, I stopped posting my images on Facebook as this is my homepage. FOLLOW if you like.

Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic

Last Sunday morning, I took a brief photowalk around the local Mylapore Temple with a Lensbaby lens on my Fuji X-Pro2 to experiment with its Tilt and Swing features in moving the plane of focus.  It’s a creative lens, i.e. miniature effect, selective focus…

Surprisingly the most difficult focus was to bring the lens back to its neutral position with a full focus plane.  Shooting in manual mode with a mirrorless allows using “focus peaking” was a breeze as one clearly understands where the slice of focus is moving.

0-lensbaby-composer-pro-ii-with-edge-50-optic
Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic
images
View Camera Movements: Lensbaby Left<=> Right is like “Swing” in a View Camera Lensbaby Up<=> Down is like “Tilt” in a View Camera
dashansheying-2585
1) Focused on Fiat: Used a left horizon swing to move the focus plan to the rear of the Fiat 1000 as a Selective Focus technique.
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2) Temple Tank in Focus: The pink water lilies in full bloom provides the color balance against the green grass (weeds too).
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3) Temple Tower Sliced:  This slice of life begins to show the multitude of stories on the Temple’s Tower.

Fuji GF670 Medium Format Film, 6×7

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4) Hyderabad Scarecrow: A repeat of digital work.  After passing this cotton field for 15+ times it appears he’s keeping it secure.
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5) At Rest in Dock: The faded green color of this fishing vessel is a true representation of its real visual appeal.

Fuji X-Pro2 with Iridient Developer RAW Processing

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6) Looking Down: At the entrance to the Mylapore Temple Tower, I found this scene of Hindu Gods watching over the many visitors as I turned around to look up.
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7) Quiet Sunday Morning Read: My walk around Mylapore Temple found this gentleman enjoying his newspaper in solitude.

 

Kailasanathar Temple at Sunrise in Kanchipuram 2016-11-20

Welcome back to Big Mountain Photography where my photographic journey continues with a sunrise visit to Kailasanathar Temple in Kanchpuram.

Note: Red-colored, underlined text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

I’d appreciate your patronage in following via email alerts, i.e. FOLLOW button RH side as “I no longer post images in Facebook“.  Note: You can right-click to “open the image in another tab” to view in a larger size / resolution, right-click to download if you heart desires…  your call.

As I listen to Petula Clark – Who? Yes, Ms. Downtown herself; I thought I’d finish off this post given I’ve been waiting for my film scans from The FIND Lab in UT, US.

It’s a 3-week turnaround from mailing to downloading the TIFF files at 98Mb each, i.e. that’s medium format at 4x the size of a 35mm.   The FIND Lab does an excellent job film processing and delivering scans with helpful guidance for correcting errors and/or enhancing images.

For my Image Gallery, I’ve combined both analog film (something special about that non-random grain) and digital mirrorless images for your viewing pleasure.

Note: (1) I’m driving standardized workflow with the using titles for each image as a prelude to Photographic Salon Competition and (2) At the bottom of the page, I’ve included an Opinion POLL.  Feedback appreciated.

Image Gallery

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1) Guardian Lions – Analog Film (Kodak Porta 400H): Applied a Sepia tone from
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2) Guarded Dancers – Analog Film (Kodak Porta 400H): FIND Lab mentioned to shoot this ISO 400 film at ISO 100 (2 stops of extra light) as this film is “light hungry”.
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3) Walled Off – First Analog B&W Film (Ilford HP5):  Found out from my friend John that due to the shallow slope of the toe of the Stop-curve for this film (looks like an S-Curve) that Zones 8-10 has little tonal separation in the darks.  Suggested Ilford HP4 or Delta instead, i.e. on my list.  Have a look at John’s FB images – spectacular images as he sculptured with strong tonal separations.
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4) Guardians at Attention – Digital Fujifilm Trans-X Image: If it’s old, a Sepia-look may be appropriate.  I like here.

Side Bar: I used Iridient Developer for the Fuji RAW files.  Iridient is a new RAW processor I started using in place of Lightroom to stop, minimize the muddy look of the details with LR. Fuji RAW files are X-Trans in design unlike all other sensors using a non-random Bayer design

Bayer Sensor Design (R-G-B)                                         Fuji X-Trans Sensor Design

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5) Blue Hour Walls – Digital Fujifilm Trans-X Image: At the “Blue Hour” of sunrise, looking opposite the sunrise reveals a powerful sky.
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6) Weaver – Digital Fujifilm Trans-X Image: Stopped to cruise the streets of a small village and as one would expect there’s a story around every corner.  Here many of the streets were lined with weavers at work.
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7) Moonlit Temple Tower – Digital Fujifilm Trans-X Image: As the sun rises the moon sets.  On 12/14 there is a “Super Moon” and I’ll be there capturing it this time.  Missed shooting the last full moon.

POLL on the Use of Borders

I’m still shifting my LH logic side of the brain over to the RH artistic side with the addition of frames.  Ever see an old master’s image without a frame?  No, the frame is part of the total presentation.

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India: Part II – Faces

Welcome back to Big Mountain Photography where my photographic journey continues with Part II of IV from a visit to Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.

Link to Part I – Intro.

Note: Red-colored, underlined text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

Your patronage is appreciated in following Big Mountain Photography using email alerts, i.e. click the FOLLOW button.  

By far this is the most photogenic experience I’ve ever witnessed with the character of an ancient city still alive with the smell, noise, visual tension, … from years past.

The City of Varanasi is rich in Hindu history as the birthplace of Lord Shiva and his reincarnation the Lord Hanuman – (Monkey King)… the list goes on.

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Lord Shiva
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Lord Hanuman

I hope you’ll walk away visualizing the strong and appealing character of Varanasi in this IV Part Series.  As always your comments, likes, shares… are most welcome.

再见

Image Gallery: Faces of Varanasi

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1) This elderly lady just finished her early morning dip in the River Ganga which I assume is a daily event.
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2) This gentleman his proud and his confident stare tells the story.
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3) On the steps of the Ghat, this gentleman gives me the look, i.e. semi-stare.
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4) Although he most likely is some level of a holy man, it appears to be more of a tourist photo-op.
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5) Same here.  They both do make a great photo-op, i.e. couldn’t walk on by without giving the headshake and the camera held up.
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6) Fresh out of his morning dip in the River Ganga, this elder gentleman posed with water droplets falling from his face.
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7) This is daughter and grandson of the gentleman in #6.  A lovely image of motherhood.
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8) This rubbery-faced elder woman reminds me of Walter Matthau

who’s facial expressions were vast.

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9) What lovely colors.
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10) The twist of a stache means what?
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11) School children’s smiles.
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12) Temple bouncer hanging out at the front entrance.
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13) Lovely pose.
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14) I helped this gentleman as he appeared down and out.

Hyderabad, India Framed

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Welcome to Dashan Sheying where my photographic journey continues with a lesson from John Tuttle on adding frames to images in Photoshop using the Canvas Size tool under Image.  The color for the widest band around the image is created with the color eye-dropper by sampling the main color of the image thus obtaining an overall blended look.

On G+, FB… please click on the link to my photoblog to view the rest of the story.  If you like what you see, feel free to share on the social media of your choice.

Note: You can right-click to “open the image in another tab” to view in a larger size / resolution, right-click to download if you heart desires…  your call.

Note: Red-colored text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

You must jump over to see John’s work on Facebook with his 4×5 large format camera of his recent images from New Mexico. Beautiful. The ability to capture tonality, texture, detail… with medium/large format film is the motivator for my next camera, i.e. a 120 film 6×6, 6×7 Fuji GF670 Folder.  Arrives Monday 11/7.

Watch for my next post.  I will be using The FIND Lab in Utah, USA for the development of negatives and subsequent scans.  Hoping for a two-week turnaround from mailing to scans being uploaded.

PS I have my eye on a ShenHao 4×5 large format with a 6×17 film back / ground glass accessory.  Not this year but maybe a 2017 adventure.

Fujifilm GF670 Medium Fornat
Fujifilm GF670 Medium Format

Three-Band Framing Gallery

Next, I’m fixing to add Chinese Characters to the LH side for a short poem representative of the image.  Will need the help of my niece Li Ying (excellent in oral and written English) to find the appropriate characters in telling a complementary story.  Thank-you John and Li Ying.

I appreciate your feedback on the framing as it’s potentially the beginning of my SMK “Brand Image”.

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1) Waiting: Another early morning scene in front of the Chicken Market.  What caught my eye doing 50kph was the man sitting on three-stacked plastic chairs – a first.
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2) Calling: A Muslin School for Orphans starts the day with what I presume to be one of the teachers catching up with friends.
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3) Sun(s)rise: A more artsy image as I’ve added a color gradient followed by adding a texture layer showing multiple suns at Sunrise.
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4) Illuminated Scarecrow:  Found this lonely scarecrow amongst the cotton as the field is in transition to bare its white fruit.
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5) Miniature Scarecrow: Using the Fuji Filter for a Miniature-Look (Tilt-Shift) placed on the JPEG file.
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6) Auto Conversation:  No doubt these two gentlemen are solving world hungry with an intense discussion.
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7) Speakers Corner: Past (deceased) Leaders from across India await a buyer yet in the meantime they’re in  good company.
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8) Toy Scarecrow:  Again with a different Fuji Filter for JPEGs the Toy Camera look is achieved.
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9) Golden Leaders: As they look out on their India, what do they think?
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10) Coffee Time:  Traveling a brisk 65kph, took this image noting the tw0-wheelers (motorcycles) loaded with goods, i.e. colorful winter blankets.  This is a 16×7 aspect ratio, popular amongst photographers for “panos”.

Iron Men & Brick Women of Chennai

Thanks for dropping by again.  This time, I want to provide some insight into two scences which I pass every day going to lunch and headed home, i.e. The Iron Men and Brick Women of Chennai.

On G+, FB… please click on the link to my photoblog to view the rest of the story.  If you like what you see, feel free to share on the social media of your choice.

Note: You can right-click to open the image in another tab to view in a larger size / resolution, right-click to download if you heart desires…  your call.

Note: Red-colored text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

Iron Men of Chennai

For over 15 years these Iron Men have been forging iron rebar tools for local construction workers, e.g. Metro Subway.  They live on the sidewalks and on the street where jurisdiction gets confusing and without consequence given bureaucracy at work.  Yet they serve the need to keep construction moving along in Chennai.

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1)  Here as the coals are stoked by the air fan, the rebar is being heated (sparks flying) ahead of being forged, i.e. pounded and pounded.
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2)  Time to pound and forge the steel into the shapes you desire.  Move quickly before it cools.
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3) Don’t forget the guy who prepares the coal to precise sizes for the perfect heat.
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4)  Around in circles at a slow, steady rate to keep the coals burning hot, real hot.
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5)  In the end, steel is forged in the shape desired thru the brute force of a hammer slung by the Iron Men of Chennai.

Brick Women of Chennai

For R450/day from 10a to 5p these women of all ages, mostly old pound bricks with a ball peen hammer weighing `10 oz or less.  Thus to attain the force required to bust the brick into chunks requires a powerful swing.  I continue to witness that women here in India do all the heavy lifting – a strong . The use and performance of concrete made with broken brick as

The use and performance of concrete made with broken brick as coarse aggregate are quite extensive and satisfactory for ordinary concrete here in India.

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6)  The number o women pounding away on a particular day varies from 3 to 10 with a total of 40 employed.
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6)  Here the truck/lorry has arrived to take the processed bricks away.  Those steel pans sure have taken a beating yet still do the job.
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7)  Wondering what I’m doing.  Had to do a lot of talking first to break the ice with their boss ahead of taking pictures.  Plan to stop by with some snacks as a way of saying thanks.
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8)  Finishing with a B&W depicting the never-ending process of brick breaking to be done as over the 3 years I’ve witnessed them every day pushing forward for the next load to bust.

 

 

Ganesh Chaturthi Festival – Readiness Check at Kosapet

Glad to have you back again as our South India adventure continues.  

Hope you enjoy the images and the story behind.   If you choose (and we wish you will) to keep updated, please “FOLLOW” along.

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Thank you for stopping by, please enjoy the images and the story we saw at Kosapet – Ganesha Idols

Note: Red-Colored words are hot links for you to gain further information on a particular topic, person, website, ...

Ganesh Chaturthi: A Hindu Festival like no other celebrated each year over 10-days but what is Ganesh Chaturthi and why it is celebrated?  Click Here.

I ventured over to Kosapet in the early morning to observe the final preparation of the Ganesh (Ganesha) Idols for purchasing which will later be immersed in the sea.  I’ll be there at Foreshore Estate Beach where 1000s gather to finalize the festival sometime within the next 2 weeks.

Have a look out for the Bearista Bear who at times has been known to sneak into the photo.

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Ganesh Trio
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Hand Rinsed Laundry
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Locked Door
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Bearista Bear Sneak Visit
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Rickshaw Driver Open for Business
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Ganesh All Lined Up
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Take a Break Under the Eyes of Ganesha
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Alley-Way Temple
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Buy Me, Immerse Me
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Open Door
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Bearista Bear and his Lady Friends
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Saloon and Spa for Ladies
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Small Ganesh Lined Up

Please feel free to like, share and/or comment on the Big Mountain Photography blog as feedback is always welcomed.

Phi Kappa Psi – Iowa Beta: 46 Years Later

Welcome to my photoblog, please “Follow” along.  Today’s post is a bit off topic yet it’s an interesting piece of personal nostalgia from my university days.

Back in Apr’16, I had an offer to share my time since university with my fraternity brothers in the latest Jul’16 issue of “Cyclone”, a publication of Iowa Beta at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.  So I drafted my thoughts of times gone by with the final write-up seen below.  First, I thought I’d share some old time images.

Question to my Phi Psi Brothers: Is Mary Ellen Barnes still remembered?

Iowa Beta Chapter Photos 1971 – 1974

I had to look hard to find myself.  I’ve provided a Row / Column reference identifier.

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R5 C1
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R4 C1
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R3 C6
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Phi Kappa Psi – Iowa State University – Alumni Brothers

Iowa Beta Spotlight Article – July 2016

(Editor’s Note: We are spotlighting two brothers in this issue, whose careers have been quite different but whose love of photography provides a common thread between them. Be sure to check out their websites for some truly amazing photographs.)

Where to start? Do I go back to 1970 to revisit my freshman year, or do I begin today in 2016? I’ve flipped the coin so let’s go to the (almost) last chapter, first.

Today, I live and work in Chennai, India, often referred to as Old Madras. (I’ve always wondered if those old bleeding Madras shirts from the 1960s were made here.) I enjoy the people and character of India, which is ever-changing with surprises around every corner. However, like other expats here, we at times share a frustration of “what is vs. what it could be.”

During my two years in Chennai, I’ve re-discovered photography across the many different genres (i.e., street photography, infrared photography, portraits, macro photography, landscape) with twice-a-month Chennai Photowalks. I’ve found photography to provide the technical challenge while building my skills in achieving an artistic final image for my viewers. This newfound passion will play well with my travels around China and abroad.

I continue to plan my retirement beyond just the financial aspect with a focus on the “daily what-to-dos” to keep me physically active, ever-learning, and experiencing life. I’ll return to my home in Xi’an, China as my 41+-year career in Quality/OpEx eventually draws to a close. When I hang up my game jersey, it will be kept clean and pressed in case I’m called back to the “Show”. Since Xi’an is the home of the Terracotta Soldiers, I’m sure some of you may have future plans to visit. So, if you’re in the neighborhood, let me know.

On the family side, I have two sons (grown men now) in the Seattle area, with four grandsons and one granddaughter. I’m back in Seattle once a year to catch up, as all the e-mails, videos, and phone calls just don’t make the full connection like seeing people face to face. I’m married to a beautiful woman I can truly call my best friend from Xi’an, China.

I suppose I’m obliged now to provide some overview of my work life. After graduation from ISU in 1974 with my BS in Math and an Iowa Teaching Certificate (actually a punch card), I headed out for the great unknown. After student teaching in Marshalltown in fall 1973, I found my initial calling in the education of young minds.

In May 1974, the New South Wales (Australia) government was recruiting on campus, so I jumped at the chance to be a Maths Teacher in Australia, seeing it as another adventure. This was my first real job, paying $6,750 per year without taxation by either the U.S. or Australian governments. I had it made in the shade, so young in my life. In August 1970, I left for Sydney on an immigration visa (and could have stayed until this day) with another 150+ “imported teachers,” as NSW was experiencing a teacher shortage. I still recall being allowed to go up to the flight deck on the Qantas 747 airliner and talk to the Captain — you can’t do that nowadays.

We received our NSW teaching assignments after two weeks hanging out in Sydney, where we first enjoyed the taste of real beer and formed friendships with other Yanks. I was assigned the SW suburb of Ingleburn HS (~30km from Sydney), where two other American teachers were stationed. With shoulder-length hair, shorts, and knee socks, I taught Forms 6-12, with 11-12 being the Junior/Senior years of high school. At this time, most students left high school after Form 10 and headed out to the labor force at 16 years of age.

Teaching Forms 11-12 was a great experience, as it was about preparing students to pass the national university entrance tests in their last year. In fact, I had the chance to teach Calculus, meaning I had to re-learn it myself to teach properly.

I’ve retained many vivid memories and lengthy stories from my two years in Australia, ranging from travels around the Outback, to driving up the Queensland shore in an Austin Mini, to placing off-track bets on horses (run in the clockwise direction), to watching cricket test matches or playing darts in the Maths Staff room between classes. Travel has always been my engine for enjoyment and adventure. However, after two years, reality set in and I headed back to Ames in 1976 to get a real job, start a career, and raise a family. I knew teaching was not my long-term desire, so I looked toward a career in manufacturing.

I started my first U.S. job with Sundstrand Hydro-Static Transmission, north of Ames off I-35, as a General Bench Inspector on the shop floor. I worked my way up to the office as a Quality Engineer, doing problem-solving and early statistics in Quality/Reliability using SAS for statistical analysis with punch cards. Boy, have we evolved now with the ease of PCs.

From 1982 to 2016, I worked with Graco, Inc., in Minneapolis, Minnesota; ITT-Automotive in Asheville, North Carolina; GKN Driveline in Alamance, North Carolina; Eaton HD Truck in Kalamazoo, Michigan; Magna Powertrain in Syracuse, New York; TRW Automotive in Shanghai, China; and now ZF TRW in Chennai, India, as Resident Director at our JV partner. I’ve been active from the shop floor to the boardroom, yet have always embraced the shop floor, knowing it’s there where the money is made and value gets added.

So let me end with some reminiscences about ISU and Iowa Beta. Yes, I could talk about the swimming pool we had, jumping off the roof top, late night runs to the I-35 truck stop for pizza burgers, road trips to Kansas for the Coors, sleeping in cold air dorms with snow on my electric blanket, being a pledge and trying to wake up the older brothers, or my first concert in a sports coat (never again) to see John Denver. But it’s the Phi Psi values and personal skills I’ve retained from my fraternity experience that I put to use later in life.

The experience which served me best in my work endeavors was the opportunity to feel free and comfortable while standing up and speaking out at our chapter meetings. This is where I first learned to compose my thoughts and speak in an impromptu manner on a particular opinion, observation, or recommendation. To this day, I’m comfortable talking to large audiences with or without a PPT, and interacting one-on-one with other individuals. Thank you, Iowa Beta, for preparing me for life.

For those interested in keeping up with my international adventures and/or re-connecting, please feel free to reach out to me at dashansheying@yahoo.com.

My Web site and Photoblog may be found at: https://dashansheying.net.

My professional profile may be found at: https://in.linkedin.com/in/stuart-kinkade-4a94bb6.

Salt Farming in Tamil Nadu, India

Welcome to my latest photoblog post on “Salt Farming“, a livelihood over many of 100s of years, maybe 1000s.  Hope you enjoy these images and the story behind the scenes.

Please “Follow” along as the journey continues down roads yet untraveled.

Note: Red-Colored words are hot links for you to gain further information on a particular topic, person, website, ...

From the little information I gathered, here’s a short explanation behind the scenes of Salt Farming in Tamil Nadu.

  • The sea flows inland where the salt waters are pumped into a very large (acres) holding area raising the water temperatures for a salt brine formation over 25 days .
  • This brine water flows into small paddies for the salt to crystallize over three days with various valves and channels.
  • At this point, the men who work from 7:00am-1:30pm rake the salt crystals from the bottom of the water and onto the edge where it drains for a day.
  • The women (who do the heavily lifting everywhere in India) lift and carry the salt in a woven basket weighing 25-30 kgs creating the large piles of unrefined, coarse salt.  Back and forth they go, from 7:00am to 10:00am Mon-Sat.
  • The salt is later bagged (~80-100kg bags) and loaded on a lorry (truck).
  • A state government sales agent purchases the salt at Rs100-200 ($1.50-$3.00 USD) per bag.
  • The land is leased from the state for the farmer’s use all-year long with the hotter months (Apr-Oct) being most productive.

Salt PaddiesDaShanSheYing-1532DaShanSheYing-1533

Salt RakingDaShanSheYing-1535Yes slanted down to the left, can’t you feel his lean.DaShanSheYing-1529

Salt HaulingDaShanSheYing-1531

Salt PileDaShanSheYing-1528DaShanSheYing-1530

FINIS

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