Friday, December 31, 2010


Square dancing and hiking friends ponder a cave-like formation in the Hocking Hills State Park.  The photo was done at 1/5sec., f/4 at ISO 400.  I was leaning against a rock formation and carefully braced the camera to avoid any camera movement.

This Canada Lilly wildflower was photographed from a low camera angle while back lighting amplified the detail in the flower's translucency.  Careful exposure measurement for the highlight area dramatically underexposed the background woods rendering it black.

My friend and fellow photographer Dave Richardson works on his composition of the interior of a cabin at Schoenbrun Village while I work on mine.  Lighting came from the open door behind him and exposure was measured from the whitewashed walls leaving the shadows happen as they chose.  Flash was supressed to avoid damaging the pleasurable effect of the available light.

Reflections near the gun's muzzle reveal the picture was composed with the pistol laying on a piece of glass which was perching on two chair seats.  The brass color comes from 100 rounds of 9mm ammo laying on a black cloth in the lower background.  Lighting was provided by two daylight color temperature, spiral bulbs in reflectors.

There is timeless artistry in the work of this copper craftsman at the Picking Brass Company in Bucyrus.  A shutter speed of 1/25th of a second was sufficient to maintain sharpness in this hand-held image but allowed motion to be revealed in the action of the wooden hammer.  The concave wooden mold is a relic from the 20th century, or perhaps, from the century before that.

This view peeks from high atop the waterfall at Ash Cave in the Hocking Hills State Park.  Clicking on the image should enlarge it sufficiently to show the creatures in the center background actually are humans enjoying their view from a much lower angle.

The Piatt castles near Bellfontaine are in a state of slow deterioration as you can plainly see in the crumpled wall covering in front of Sue.  This photo also clearly exhibits the difference in color temperature between daylight (left) and that from the oil lantern in the right half of the image.  The camera's automatic white balance mode was used but it is impossible to color correct a variation of this magnitude. 

Square dancing friend Sue Magnet grimaces playfully for the camera as she makes exaggerated selections at an Amish-area winery near the site of our weekend of dancing over Labor Day.  Husband Homer was one of the featured callers at this delightful event.  Her spontaneity and warm memories of a marvelous weekend earned this photo a place in this year's selection. 


Lots of the magic of Photoshop, photo editing software, boosted this relatively routine image of a summer fireworks display into the realm of artful abstraction.  Thank you for enjoying my modest effort in this two part photo album.  

Saturday, December 25, 2010


May the warm and fuzzy feelings
of Christmas be with you
throughout the year!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Part 1

Two hikers pause under the sparkling winter sun along the river in the Mohican State Forest.  The scene is where the trail bends south toward Big Lyons Falls--one of my favorite hiking venues in the area.

The muzzle blast of a Glock 9mm pistol was a lucky surprise of good timing in this picture of Roberta Karger qualifying for her Ohio concealed carry license under the watchful guidance of an NRA instructor.  Camera data:  1/13th sec, f/4, ISO 400.  Nice depth of focus largely due to 17 mm, wide angle lens.

Nancy and Mark Meinzer flank my lady Sue Brooks in Conkle's Hollow of the Hocking Hills State Park during a February hike.  Like our lead picture above, backlighting nearly always adds some visual drama to a photograph.

The east cellblock of the Ohio State Reformatory shivers in the blowing snow following a dinner theater event there last winter.  The exposure was done manually, 1/13th sec., f/4 at ISO 400 while bracing the camera against the roof of the truck to help the camera's image stabilization system minimize camera shake.

A pair of Wood Ducks frolic on the roof of one of my bird feeders.  Both were able to secure their footing sufficiently to lean down and snack on the grain in the lower tray.  The picture was done through a window at approximately 20 feet with a 200mm lens.

This nesting Bald Eagle was photographed using my 1,300mm focal length telescope as the camera's lens.  The telescope was supported on a very, heavy duty tripod and the shot was made at 1/250th of a second with a calculated aperature of f/10, ISO 400.  The camera was in the back of my pick-up truck to achieve a good viewing angle at a distance of about 100 yards.

This toad was photographed with the assistance of two, Mini Maglite flashlights laying to the sides as he enjoyed a warm spring evening beside my pond.  The exposure was 1/60th sec., f/4 at ISO 400.  The lens was at 40 mm and focused at mimimun distance.

A dogwood blossom presents interesting geometry under the sun's backlighting.  The shallow depth of focus was achieved by using a 200mm lens. 1/500th sec., f/5.6, ISO 250.  The gray background comes from the out-of-focus, pond's surface.

This small icicle was explored with a Canon, 100mm f/2.8 macro lens.  The exposure was 1/250th sec., f/4.5 at ISO 400.  A macro lens is a specialtiy lens designed to focus at very close distances with up to life size magnification of the image.  The blue coloring was added with Adobe Photoshop Elements v4 software.

This series of photos will continue December 31st.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Testing, testing....

ONE, TWO, THREE, testing--

I shot this image recently as I was finishing the final work-up on the laptop to insure it is ready to assume primary duty in blog publishing (and other miscellaneous stuff) on the FL snowbirding adventure soon to commence.

So far, so good. I think.

BTW there is stuff in the blog queue through New Year's Eve. That should publish itself in normal fashion. Meanwhile, we hope to arrive in Savannah for a visit over New Year's then head on down to Vero Beach where we will establish ourselves for a winter visit.

Somewhere along the way we will produce new material as our travel moves along. When? Can't say. But, we will try to maintain a schedule of publication that is as normal as can be expected--of aging, retired folks, on vacation.

Translation: We'll see you after January 1--when we see you. Please stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Exercise and recent 70 mile bicycling companion Ken Johnson shares a “The sun’s in my eyes” squint as he also shares his home-made beach scene, designed to convince my lady Sue and me it is not necessary to travel clear to Florida for such tropical pleasure.

His scene greeted us as we recently assembled ourselves in Ken's basement for our twice-weekly winter workout routine.

Later our exercising companion Lynn Rush offered the male half of her Ken and Barbie doll duo to compliment the scene—a gesture that was humorously, but only temporarily, rejected by the majority gender males of our group of three.

...and so goes the delight of warm fellowship (sorry again Lynn) as the day of our departure for the sunny south approaches.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Gentle snow tumbled silently as shepherds and centurions and three Magi and King Herrod himself, all from biblical times, coursed through the woods of Camp Mowana on a recent weekend and radiated life to the story of the birth of Jesus.

Pastor Paul Lintern as Gabriel

In groups of 15 or so, about 300 visitors paused at the 14 venues in the wooded hills and cabins of this Lutheran Church Camp where portrayals of characters well known in Christian religious history brought life to the childhood lessons from our Catechism.

Rev. Eric Kretzmann, Camp Director who introduced himself to visitors as an “...ordinary camel driver” ....was handling parking chores when we arrived.

Olivia Wade, a home-schooled sophomore captivated her audience with a portrayal of Mary. She was one of some 25 cast members plus another 20 centurions who were selected from the visitors and became cast members themselves.

This young “shepherd” is Paul Francisco, a Crestview 6th grader. Some cast members in the two day production where from First English Lutheran Church which did an indoor version of the presentation from 1993 to 2001.

This is the centurion stop of the venues where the fellow in the brown coveralls and the gold helmet had “volunteered” as an honorary cast member. Other cast members came from Oakland Lutheran Church and Pastor Lintern’s list of “real neat people” who have performed in other popular presentations such as at the Mansfield Cemetery and The Underground Railroad story.

Mary Wright, a teacher in the Buckeye Central school system, gave a captivating performance, sitting in stark silhouette as she told of being an unnamed mother of Bethlehem whose baby had been killed by King Herrod’s orders.

The concluding scene was the Holy Family with a live baby Jesus presenting a summary of the event.

Afterward I had the distinct pleasure of renewing an aged acquaintance with Elizabeth and Zechariah; known by their contemporaries as the Harold Kahl’s of Shelby.

The warmth of that renewed friendship lingered pleasantly as we left and wandered through the night’s crisp chill, pondering the enormous history leading to the birth of Jesus we had just witnessed portrayed in 90 blessed minutes—in the woods of Camp Mowana.

Ed. Note:  If you see an event around town being produced by Paul Lintern.  Be absolutely sure to attend.  You will be doing yourself a favor.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Lady friend Sue's grand daughter Mackenna Curtis-Collins enjoys a large display of nativity scenes (only partially shown) at Lutheran Church Camp Mowana near Mansfield recently.  The camp was the venue for the reenactment of the story Journey to Bethlehem with visitors spending about 1 1/2 hours touring the camp's cabins and outside campfire sites hearing this marvelous biblical story. 

The Reverend John and Doris Wanamaker of Lutheran Church Mt. Hope, Shiloh provided the display from their personal collection.

Please stop by Saturday for our story of this very enjoyable visit.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010



The top photo is looking east toward my township road.  The lower photo is a view toward the west and my little place in the woods.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


These two images were shot late this morning and are identical; except, the upper one was shot at a shutter speed of 1/8th of a second and the lower one was shot at 1/400th of of a second.  The slower shutter speed recorded the falling snow flakes in vertical streaks while the faster shutter speed effectively stopped the motion of the falling flakes thus rendering them more sharply.

Additionally, the slower shutter speed left more light into the camera during that exposure so the aperture had to be reduced to prevent over exposure  It was at f/32 for this shot.

Conversely, at the higher shutter speed substantially less light was allowed into the camera so the aperture had to be enlarged to compensate.  It was at f/4.5 for this shot. 

The view is toward the pine woods on the east side of my pond and was recorded with a 70-200 mm zoom lens at full focal length (while both the camera and the photographer were hiding under a large, golf umbrella on our upper deck.)

Nice images can be obtained by shooting from the comfort of indoors through a window pane but usually some sharpness is lost because the window glass is usually inferior in quality to the camera's lens.

The automatic mode of your digital camera will make very nice pictures indeed, but fiddling with the manual settings will help you expand the creative use of your camera.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

in .380 caliber

On November 13th we told you about our new pistol; a Sig P238.

Recently we added a new recoil spring and the backwoods science continues as we try to achieve 100 per cent reliability with this attractive little handgun.

Earlier we were experiencing serious damage to the spent casings of fired bullets. It is beginning to appear the new spring may have solved that problem but it will require several hundred more flawless rounds before I am confident this gun can be depended on.

Along the way I became curious about the energy of this little bullet and in our earlier story we discussed what it did to jugs full of water. Remember, it penetrated a 6” jug, penetrated the second jug full of water and hit the back of the inside of the second jug with sufficient force to bulge, but not break, that jug’s back skin.

Recently we tested our self defense loads of Speer, 90 grain, Gold Dot hollow points against a ½ gallon milk jug full of frozen water.

In the photo at right you can see the result of the .380 caliber bullet hitting our test jug at a range of 25 feet. The force of impact split the jug vertically but the bullet did not exit the back of the jug.

Then, we performed surgery on the jug in the kitchen sink. (Our outdoor laboratory was 25 degrees on the day of the test.)

The ice surrounding the entry hole was pulverized; almost like fine powder. The rest of the ice surrounding the bullet’s path was like shattered crystals.

The pulverized (white colored) and shattered ice are visible in both close up photos and we found the spent bullet 3 ¼ inches into the 4” thick jug.

In the lower photo you see the spent bullet, fully mushroomed with only one petal of the mushroomed shape separated from the bullet’s mass. This usually is evidence of a very well engineered projectile.

Note also how the lead remained fused to the copper cladding of the spent round.

Concluding:  The hollow point round is simply an effective part of a team.

I carry a handgun purely as a tool. I refuse to be a defenseless victim.

The handgun is like the spare tire in my vehicle or the fire extinguishers in my home. You pray you never need them, but, if you do, you may be very glad the correct tool for the emergency was at hand and you knew how to use it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

   the rest of the story...

In handgun practice sessions with my square dancing friends—all concealed carry license holders—one safe amusement has been enjoyed; it the result of some marginal marksmanship.

My homemade, wooden target frame one shooting-practice day slowly disintegrated as slightly errant rounds chewed portions of the frame into splinters until it finally and slowly toppled to the ground.

Unbeknown to me, the embarrassed shooters conspired to create a surprise replacement frame as a present for my then upcoming birthday and assigned that task to the engineer of our group, Mark Meinzer.

Meanwhile, I constructed a replacement frame of my own from scraps of treated lumber which was soon put to use in our next shooting session.

It promptly suffered its first wounds and shuddered as bullets smashed their way through the top of its framework, about 10 inches above the hanging target’s bull’s-eye.

The guilty culprit was my lady Sue. Her humorous humiliation was repeated later that day when the frame once again shuddered from the impact of a passing bullet; this one launched by our mutual friend Roberta Karger.

You can see the advertisements of their less than stellar marksmanship emblazoned on the frame (above) with black, magic marker.

Days later, my birthday present arrived. It was Mark’s terrific creation with PVC pipe, copper wire suspended clip hangers for the targets, and fishing sinkers as counterweights. And, it sported a target cavity of nearly 3 feet clearance—ample room for less than precisely aimed shots to pass through the frame without damage.

Soon another shooting day arrived; this one involving just Mark and me, so I promptly deployed Mark's marvelous, articulated frame to help celebrate our noisy afternoon in the woods.

Yup, you guessed it. It wasn’t long until white plastic was flying about and not one, but two target clips had suffered destruction.

Mark smiled quietly, as he does easily, and noted his design was no match for his 9 mm powered handgun.
Please stop by Saturday as this series of handgun stories concludes with another peek at the continued testing of my Sig P238 pistol.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Two Glock pistols, a G-19 and a G-26, both 9 mm in caliber, have been my defensive handguns for many years. They are noted for their accuracy, and utter reliability straight from the factory. (That’s the G-26 pictured above.)

But, like a fine wine that improves with age, my Glocks are undergoing a gentle metamorphosis.

This began a few weeks ago when my friend Gary Mishey, a newly minted Glock armorer, recommended I install a Ghost trigger connector to lighten and smooth out Glock’s arguably clunky, stock version.

We started this process on my little G-26.

And it works.

The metamorphosis also involves night sights, a new slide release lever and a plug to keep dust and debris out of the cavity behind the grip.

The new trigger connector lowers the weight of pressure necessary to press the trigger and smoothes the process through staging and release of the firing pin, thus minimizing muzzle movement induced by trigger motion—thereby improving accuracy.

The night sights glow in the dark (picture below) and dramatically ease target acquisition in low-light conditions. During daylight their function remains normal.

The stock slide release lever was a flat piece of metal that was difficult to actuate. The new version has a raised and smoothed triangular shape that makes releasing the slide over a newly loaded magazine a breeze.

The butt plug simply disappears into the bottom of the grip and adds to the gun’s symmetry while quietly performing its cleanliness chore.

Prior to the installation of the new trigger connector I fired a test or control target of 10 rounds, shot from a bench rest at 25 feet and achieved a group of hits largely centered on the bulls-eye with a maximum spread of 3 inches.

My first test target with the new connector produced a similarly accurate group but reduced the group size to a 2 ½ inch spread.

Another test target several days later but under identical conditions brought the group size down to 1 ½ inches.  (Pictured Thursday)

That approaches target shooting marksmanship (at least from my 70 year old eyes) from Glock’s smallest model with a barrel just a bit over 2 inches long measuring from the end of the chamber to the muzzle.

This is the rear AmeriGlo Classic night sight on my Glock 26. Because of shallow depth of focus and angle of view the front sight is not visible. In use the front sight looks like one of the single rear sights and would be centered precisely between the rear two to achieve target accuracy. They cost $89 and are guaranteed 10 years.

By then I’ll likely need something a bit bigger and brighter.

Gary's web site is here:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This is a test target shot after the installation of a new trigger connector in my Glock 26.  That is a 1 ½ inch group of ten, 9 mm rounds fired from a rest at 25 feet.  We will tell you the story of my gun’s metamorphosis Saturday.

Bullets used in this test were Winchester white box, 115 grain, full metal jacket.  These are round nose bullets thus making the ragged holes in the target--compared to the test target published recently with the story on the Sig P238.  Those also were Winchester range ammo but those bullets have a flat nose which accounts for the very neat perforation of that target.