Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2

A Birthday Card to My Self

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I snapped this scene about 500 feet from my front door last year at this time. It captures the cool late-afternoon shade provided by the massive buildings in Century City and, here and there, an actual tree or two.

I’m 60 years old today. For a person from where I’m from — anyone, I would think, but certainly me — how far I have come to get where I am today is something that is never far from my mind. So, for me, this image is a representation and reminder of that as well.

Anyway, have a great day everyone and I will now continue trying to forget how old I am and go on with the happy illusion that I’m 30 years younger. 😉

Cream Colored Cadillac, Petersen Automotive Museum

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35mm f1.2 Voigtlander Nokton ASPH: My Favorite 35

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I once owned the much anticipated and very expensive Leica Summilux 35mm f1.4 ASPH FLE. That lens drove me crazy. I can’t imagine the genius and time and planning and expense that goes into making such a complicated and high-end piece of kit as that, or any Leica lens, so I don’t really like to bash things simply because they just didn’t work for me. But that lens didn’t work for me and I’ll leave it at that. I loved the 35mm 2.5 Summarit. Nice lens that made really classic looking images. I loved the 35 ‘Cron. I don’t think that things can get much better than any Leica Summicron lens. Period.

But like so many others, I covet fast lenses. So back a few years ago when I had the money to experiment I bought a Voigtlander 35 1.2 ASPH Nokton. I have to say, if that lens had been dressed up in a Leica barrel and had a red dot on it and I’d paid what I paid for the 35 ‘Lux FLE… I would have been happy with that purchase. To me, this is the 35 ‘Lux style lens I was after from the start. But unlike the Leica, I can handle it. It never fails me. It has some distortion and I’m working with a profile in Lightroom now to try to address that issue but… it’s okay. I’m okay with this lens. I’m okay with the color, the contrast, the sharpness, the wonderful 50 ‘Lux-like bokeh. Everything.

Anyway. Here’s a quick shot I grabbed the other day and below please find a detail from it to show a little of why I like this lens so much.

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Through the Strikethrough

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Very interesting article on the current realities of racial segregation in housing choices in the New York Times. Don’t miss the 1000+ comments either.

Affluent and Black: And Still Trapped by Segregation

MILWAUKEE — Their daughter was sick and they needed family around to help care for her, so JoAnne and Maanaan Sabir took an unexpected detour.

They had spent years blowing past mileposts: earning advanced degrees and six-figure incomes, buying a 2,500-square-foot Victorian with hardwood floors. Yet here they were, both 37, moving to a corner of town pocked by empty lots, cramming into an apartment above Ms. Sabir’s mother, in the very duplex that Ms. Sabir’s grandparents had bought six decades earlier.

Their new dwelling was in a part of the Lindsay Heights neighborhood where more than one in three families lives in poverty; gunshots were too often a part of the nighttime soundtrack. They planned to leave once their daughter, Ameera, was healthy.

But then, reminding them of why they feel at home in communities like this one, their new neighbors started frequently checking on Ameera: Is she doing O.K.? And on their son, Taj: When’s his next basketball game? Mr. Sabir’s car stalled in the middle of the street one night, and it was the young men too often stereotyped as suspicious who helped him push it home. So many welcoming black faces like their own, they thought.

“It felt like that’s where we should be,” Ms. Sabir said.

Christmas Eve Will Find Us

Rest Area, Interstate 40, New Mexico

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Road Shots: Stacks on I-25

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Colorado Rocky Mountain High

DSC05611-Edit-2In Colorado. Get it? This is NOT L.A.! Okay. Just wanted to make sure. 😉

This is, I believe, Pikes Peak, the back view. It was, I can confirm, taken midmorning from a very high elevation in the beautiful Rocky Mountains overlooking the most gorgeous mountain lake. So the mountains you see don’t seem quite as high as the 14k foot range they are. What a trip! Many more pictures to follow in the coming days.

Happy Easter 2015!!!