About

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 This is a place for me  to post photographs of and sometimes observations about my surroundings.

Mostly I am surrounded by my garden, family, neighbourhood, Victoria (Canada) and northeastern parts of the Pacific Ocean. You won’t meet my family here very often but you can meet the cat by clicking here.

I started this blog in September 2011. Since then I have posted every day – how long daily posts continue I have no idea, but sometime it surely will slow down.

Comments Subscribers/Followers

I love getting comments and will do my best to reply quickly, when I am near a computer. I welcome criticism of my photos as well, I have a lot to learn and appreciate people helping me make my pictures better.  If you are not logged into WordPress you can still comment by clicking in the comments field. Enter any alias you want for a name (which is what the world will see), but you will have to use your email address (which only I will be able to see).

Subscribers/Followers

I also really like subscribers – so please click on the follow button in the lower right corner (if you are not logged into WordPress), or follow via the button in the bar at the top left of the page if you are logged in.

Gear 

My pictures are often taken with a digital camera, but since the end of 2013 I have shot film which is ever more common on these pages. Check the bottom of the post for information on the camera, lens, film, and exposure (if recorded).

Most digital pictures are usually taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. I am most likely to use a ~40 year Nikkor-N pre-AI 24mm/f2.8, a Canon EF 50/f1.4 or a Canon EF 100/f2.8 macro. Recently I obtained a Canon EF 16-35/f2.8 L which will be contributing more, when I am not shooting film. Other lenses that sometimes get used, especially for timelapse photography, are old screw mount (m42) Pentax lenses including a SMC Takumar Macro 100/f4, 35/3.5 (m42) and 200/f4 (m42). Can you tell I used to shoot with Spotmatics? I bought all the Takumar gear in the 70’s and 80’s – the first Spotmatic in 1974, the last lens ca 1984. I also use a Canon FL Bellows unit with a Canon FD mount and 50mm/f3.5 macro and other bits and pieces for higher magnification macro work. I am very pleased to have a DSLR that will take many of those lenses, and allow me to buy affordable, if old, high quality manual lenses that suit my needs.

My film pictures are usually taken on small, pocketable cameras made by Olympus. One of my favourites is a ca. 1960 Olympus Pen half-frame camera. It is totally manual, without a light meter, and with a fixed lens. Each frame is one half the size of a normal 35mm camera, so a roll of 36 will produce 72 or more individual images. I have experimented with making a single picture from multiple adjacent frames. You can find out more about the camera here, and see pictures here.

I am also using an Olympus XA and Olympus XA2 quite often. They are about 25-30 years old, small black plastic cameras with a clamshell that closes over the lens and turns the camera off, locks the shutter release, and so on. They are marvels of design, conceived by the same person that thought up the Pen, another revolutionary camera for its time. Both have a very good glass lens. The XA is an aperture priority camera with focus control. The XA2 is point and shoot with 3 focal distances. You can find information about the XA here, and pictures from the XA at this link. For the XA2 look here for info, and here for photos.

When not shooting with pocket film cameras I might be seen going totally the other way with a medium format Mamiya M645 Super with an 80mm/f2.8 lens. It is totally manual without a light meter (at least for now, one can be added) and so I usually shoot it with the sunny 16 rule as adding a light meter to already full hands is not really on. This is a recent purchase which is very interesting to use as it changes, yet again, the way that I take pictures. Knowing there are only 15 shots on a roll of film is part of that, but more so the heft and feel of the camera, the wonderfully clear view finder, the racket it makes when taking a picture (the shutter and the power winder combined sound like a passing train). Overall there is nothing subtle about this camera, and so my picture taking has to accommodate that as well, especially when photographing people, which this camera excels at.

Occasionally I shoot with other film and digital cameras. The film cameras include a 1920’s Kodak Vest Pocket Model B that belonged to my grandmother (I think), a Yashica rangerfinder with fast lens, my Spotmatics, some Nikons and other cameras that have come my way by various means. Miscellaneous digital cameras include my wife’s Canon G15 and a work Olympus OM-D EM-1.

Reblogging

I get reblogged from time to time and usually am appreciative of the compliment. However, if a reblogger appears to be profiting from my work I will ask them to take it down or arrange for payment. I may or may not allow the pingback to show on my blog.

Use of Images

If you want to use my images, ask me. I am usually going to say yes. If it is for commercial purposes, be prepared to discuss a fee. I can supply better resolution files for most of them. Email to ehpemm_at_gmail.com for permission.

If I discover my images used without permission I will send a demand for payment – my fees are higher for retroactive billing.

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81 thoughts on “About

  1. I am a teacher in Oak Bay. My Grade 6 to 8 students would love to use some of your images of the First Nations cairns as they create interactive software that tells the story of these cairns. This is not a commercial activity. We just hope that this software might be used by other students in our school and maybe in our area and we also want to have elders of local First Nations review the program when it is done. Could my children use some of you beautiful images for this project ?

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  2. Pingback: Tofino 1982 – Wandering Mind | burnt embers

    • Hi Ralph – thank you so much for that bit of information. I passed by her hundreds of times driving up the highway to my parents place but never absorbed the name or connection to my photos from Tofino. This link shows the Wanda ashore in Sidney – she has been gone for a few years now. I have no idea where, but probably to the landfill. I am going to put a note in the post that your are referring to as well. Thanks again for the information.

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    • Hi Alexandra. The name burntembers came about while seeking a WP blog name that had not yet been used (not all that easy) and which hinted at the nearly cold embers of my creativity, which I was hoping through this blog and the purchase of a DSLR to blow on and bring back to warmth. I think I expressed the concept best in this post a couple of months into blogging: http://wp.me/p1R4lY-Pn. Thanks for asking!

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      • Ha! I just noticed this comment is on my About page and not on today’s photos that are the result of a camera malfunction. Nonetheless, “unrepeatable happy accidents” could be a subtitle for this blog. As my misplaced comment so aptly illustrates.

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  3. I loved your style of photography. And especially your cat photographs fascinated me. Thank you for sharing with us, I am glad to find and to meet your blog. Greetings and Love, nia

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  4. Thanks for your interest in my blog – and wow, what a wonderful site you are creating here! Outstanding eye, and really great consistency in your work. I’ll be following, for sure!

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    • Hi Fred – thanks for coming by, and for the follow! I have had a quick look at your blog and will be back for more. I especially like that New Year’s Day picture.

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  5. Yes, I recognized the name Takumar. A Pentax Spotmatic, which I bought in 1969, was the camera I learned on. I still have one that I bought at a yard sale here in Austin a decade ago ago, but I confess that I haven’t run a roll of film through any camera for years now.

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    • Hi Steve – my spotmatics are still getting some use from my son and daughter, though not much – they both learned on them through a class in school. Last time I used them on a field project was in 2006, so they put in a long service (I first owned one of them in 1974, bought it used, and it too was the camera I learned on). I would get them cleaned after each field project which kept them going. I am not using the Takumar lenses on the Canon DSLR too much anymore as I have got a Canon macro now. I do use the 200mm and the 35mm from time to time, and occasionally the 50mm sees a bit of use, and less so the 100mm macro.

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    • Hi cowgirl, somehow I missed this comment when you posted it. Thanks so for your comment. The spotmatic was and is a very solid reliable camera and the Takumar lenses were more than good enough. Mine have been dropped, immersed, banged, survived sandstorms and freezing and spend years out and about in the temperate rainforest. They were always there ready to go when I needed them. And simple to use. My DSLR still has features I don’t use and don’t understand either.

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    • Thank you Denise. Maybe the reminding comes from me being fairly new to this kind of photography, and trying out the same kinds of things that college students go through? I am glad it brings back nice memories for you.

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    • Hi Allan – thanks so much. And welcome to my blog – thanks for subscribing, and for your nice comment. I hope I can live up to your expectations.

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    • Hi transparentguy – thank you so much. I am so surprised to get awards and very honoured. I am feeling a bit guilty because this is not the first, but I have so far not managed to finish a post acknowledging the first of them. I feel like I should be doing it properly and just don’t seem to have the time to check everything out and so on, on top of maintaining this blog, which stretches me a bit of late. That is my excuse. But, I will ge there and reciprocate with posts about this. And I have been checking out your blog lately, and have passed it onto into the local transgender community that I have some contact with. You tell some very funny stories. So, thank you again. And don’t be surprised if it takes me some time to clear my backlog.

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      • Thanks for the pass along. I’m not sure that I’m writing anything helpful, but it seems like seeing the humor in the situation helps humanize our community.

        Re: the blogs and awards … you’re too busy putting together quality work while I’m sorta just surfing the ‘net instead of doing something truly productive.

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    • Hi Ella – its very nice to have you visiting my blog, from so far away as well! I am glad you have used your Dominca blog as a link with your name – I had not seen it before, even though I have been following and enjoying your Uganda blog for some time now. I love your pictures of people.

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  6. Love these plants against the wall…. it looks like a watercolor painting. What a beautiful touch you have with the lens! I’m so impressed! So glad we met!

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  7. Hey … your photos just get better and better. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with in 2012. All the best to you and yours.

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  8. Hi,
    I just discovered this blog work! You do truly amazing art and make magical pictures. Nearest example is the shadows portrayed in the photo above! A real wonder to see such frames!

    Another thing that moved me was your header photo! It reveals a style untold before and I instantly felt the need to connect you.

    I had great time. Still more to check inside…
    Cheers

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    • firasz – it’s great to have you come by, and thus introduce me to your blog in return, which I am enjoying exploring. Thank you for your very kind words. I hope you have fun poking around in my blog.

      I chose that header out of one of my pictures because my old takumar lenses often give that effect somewhere in my photos. I am glad you like it, if you look at the macro shots in particular you will find lots more. For instance my fennel fall post.

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  9. I just discovered your blog and really like what I see. I bought my first Nikon many years ago but I always admired the Spotmatics. They were built like tanks. Glad you found a use for the old lenses, they seem to be doing a fine job.

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    • Hi Ken, thanks so much for coming by. I love your idea of a “100% fact free blog” – still trying to figure out what is the basis for your ummagumma photo, though perhaps it does not really matter. It sure is an interesting shot.

      The old lenses, and the spotmatics, saw a lot of good service – I used them in field work for many years, they got wet, banged, dropped, and dragged through forests and across beaches. They reside(d) in an old pelican case I got in 82 (pale blue, probably a collectors item) – which served as my seat in a leaky inflatable boat for several years. I always made it a condition of using my cameras on a project that they would be fully serviced at the end of the project and that is part of what kept them going, that and being built like a tank. So, I am fond of those lenses from such familiarity and it is really nice to have them doing the job once again. Not to mention the price is right.

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  10. I came to thank you for stopping by my blog with your thoughtful post, and I find… this! Really wonderful photography, intelligent, interesting posts. And a cat, too! I’ll be back. Thank you!

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    • lapeerclik – thank you for such nice words. The Cat purrs in your general direction – she likes verbal stroking almost as much as the real thing. Your blog drew me in with a picture of an arborist up a tree as there is an arborist in my family. But I was taken with your observation that those who are responsible for infecting ecosystems with foreign harmful species (such as the emerald ash borer that is wreaking havoc in the forests in your area) never seem to have to pay for all the costs that they cause to people like homeowners in your area that need to have dead trees removed. Also, I like the local nature of your blog and the light it casts on Lapeer County, though I have not been to Michigan since about 1966.

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  11. Thanks for liking my blog….and for directing me to yours, I’ve really enjoyed looking around it and I LOVE you profile photo; its exactly the sort of photo that I enjoy painting from, or even turning into embroidery or fabric design, lovely juxtaposition of colours – gorgeous.

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    • Hi Helen, welcome to my blog and thanks so much for your compliment. I have been enjoying your blog as well. I love the mix of thoughtful writing with terrific paintings and photographs along with your other projects. You appear to be wonderfully busy with these things.

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  12. What a gorgeous blog. I especially like the mood of the images. I’m glad to follow!

    p.s. I’m in Seattle. Love BC, especially Vancouver Island. We’re practically neighbors!

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    • Hi xinapray – thank you for following my blog. I hope I don’t disapproint in the future. Seattle is a great city, I get there infrequently but it is a place with a comfortable feel.

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    • Thank you takebuseleven, comments such as yours inspire me to keep on blogging. Your posts are really interesting – you get to places I would love to go and take great pictures when you get there, even with a wet lens!

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  13. Hey…Thanks so much for stopping by & leaving me some good tips. It is by design why I lay mine out like that. I’ll have to admit…yours does look good like this with the big pictures, but my laptop is a widescreen (not sure everybody has one). When I read blogs at my work, our monitor there isn’t & you have to scroll over to see everything. I tried the wider layout & didn’t like that part of it. It also takes a long time to download all the pictures…yours still hasn’t loaded all the way for me now. I’m scared that if people have to scroll to see the pictures or wait a long time for the page to load, they might be aggrevated & leave. Thanks again & I’m sure gonna subscribe to yours now…beautiful pictures….Jason

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    • obrienspix – I had not considered download speed when I chose my image display size. The software I use to create the files I upload (picasaweb) seems pretty random in the resulting file size, which I only noticed because of your comment – so thanks for your comment. I expect it is related to how much I cropped the original. The first few I did, which I checked the file size for, were between 120 and 400k and so I assumed that was what I was getting all the time. I see now that some of them are actually a bit over 1 meg in size, including from today’s post about the cat (The Cat I should say). So, I will have to keep an eye on that. After I upload an image I then try to make sure it fits the monitor I use at home (I have notice on other monitors that I might need to go a bit smaller) – the portrait oriented images I reduce to 70% of the upload size so that they should be able to be seen all at once without scrolling through the image. (I use the feature in WP that you get when clicking on the image in edit mode). If they don’t display well on your set up let me know – I might need to consider making them a bit smaller.

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      • I use the WP thing to load all of my pics. You have the option of what size to load..thumbnail, small, medium, & large I think is what they are & it gives you the numeric size too. I use the medium. I tried the large & with the wider layout & I had to scroll over to see all of the pic & all my sidebar info. Your top one (The Cat) loaded right up, but it took a while for all the others to load so it took a while before I even got to see the “follow” button at the top for you. I live in a pretty rural area so my internet here at home is pretty slow…not many options here. I try to do alot of mine at work because it’s in Memphis & so much faster. I can’t always get on at work though…feel bad doing it there too since I’m supposed to be working so I try to do it at home as much as I can. Thanks again. I added my response to you on my “About” page in case anybody else was wondering…you opened me up to a good point.

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      • I use the same process – I upload using large (full size and large for my images are the same). Then, when inserted in the draft post, I click on the image. That displays two icons – one for editing the image and one for deleting the image. In the editing area, I then select 70% for the portrait orientation images and save. You can go back and make it larger after that. If you load it as small or medium (or large) you can’t make it any bigger in the blog display afterwards, but once you have made it smaller you can go back. But, I am suspecting that it only affects the size of the display, and not the amount of data that has to download. Your method would affect the download size of the blog I think. Fortunately for me I no longer have internet speed issues to contend with. But I should keep in mind that many people in the world do, and if I want to make it easy for them to read my blog I should consider their needs.

        I am going to experiment with picasa to see if it can produce a smaller output file that I can still display full width in the blog without too much loss of quality. I also need to remember to use the “ctrl +” and “ctrl -” key combinations to adjust the display size when I a reading blogs in firefox (it also works in Chrome, and in IE too, not sure about safari and those others). At least that way, one can see a whole picture that is otherwise displaying larger than the screen.

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      • So, I have had a look in Picasa and now I know better. I am choosing images that are 1600 pixels in their longest dimension as an output size (the largest on offer). The resolution defaults to 80% and if I use that my images are in the 100-200kb size range, and if I choose 100% it jumps to around or over a meg, with neglible difference in quality on my monitor. I will be making smaller files for the same size images in the future. That way also I will reach my storage limit in WP much more slowly as well. I recommend if you have speed issues to stay away from my Moss Street Market blog – it has 81 images, most of them around 1meg. If only I had noticed earlier.

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      • Hey…just pulled your blog up here at work. The pics did load alot quicker than at my house, but I do have to scroll over to see all of the pictures. Just wanted to let you know since I said I would check it out for you.

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      • Hey, thanks for doing that. I will have to look into this a bit more. I had thought the problem was most likely in the what fits in the screen from top to bottom, not what fits side to side. I will track down some other computers and have a look to see what I can do.

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    • Mike – thanks for dropping by my blog. And for your compliment on this photo. I am going to have to spend more time on your blog – there are some terrific photos there.

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    • Hey David, welcome to my blog. When I compare the amount of work I know I put into one of my images (not very much) with how much must go into any one of yours, I am astonished at how much you have up on your blog, and its uniform quality too.

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