2008 PAW (Picture a Week)

A PAW was always out of the question for me when I was shooting film. My shoot-develop-scan-edit workflow was simply too slow. But now that I'm shooting digital most of the time, I think I'm going to give it a shot. The rules are simple... whatever is posted must have been taken the previous calendar week. I'll plan on posting something every weekend in 2008. And, yeah, I already know this is going to be hard... ;-)


Week 1: (12/31/07 - 1/6/08)

I shot this New Year's eve, at the "First Night Warrenton" event. I spent a couple of cold hours walking around old town, taking pictures of the people and horses and entertainers. It's a little odd, then, that I selected a shot of this static scene, one I could shoot most anytime, rather than one that captured something specific to the night. Oh well. This is the one I liked the most. (Leica M8, Noctilux at f1, iso 1250)



Week 2: (1/7/08 - 1/13/08)

A cold, rainy day. The weather cleared just a little bit in the late afternoon. I took this shot at the Orlean Market. Nice looking bike, huh? (Nikon D200, 28-70/2.8 AFS)




Week 3: (1/14/08 - 1/20/08)

My wife Ginny and I met up with her friend Dave and his dad, Paul, at a coffee shop one morning. Here, Ginny and Dave (who is out of the picture) are showing Paul some of the cool things you can do with a computer. Especially a Mac! (Leica M8, Summilux 50/ASPH)




Week 4: (1/21/08 - 1/27/08

Charlie, the stray tabby cat we took in a decade ago, always stays close to Ginny. We both take care of him, but I'm rather more strict when it comes to feeding him or letting him go outside or whatever. Ginny is a soft touch and he knows it. (Leica M8, Summilux 50/ASPH)




Week 5: (1/28/08 - 2/3/08)

I've always liked the isolation which comes from extremely shallow depth of field - one of the reasons I'm partial to very fast lenses, used wide open, or nearly so. This was a simple shot at a Starbucks, while enjoying a cafe mocha. (Leica M8, Summilux 50/ASPH)





Week 6: (2/4/08 - 2/10/08

My wife Ginny has always complained - mostly good-naturedly - that all my pictures of my motorcycles "look the same". I beg to differ, of course, seeing all the nuanced differences from one shot to the next. But it is certainly true that I take a lot of pictures of them. Partly because I spend a lot of time on them and find their aesthetics compelling. But also because they never complain about being my artistic subject. This is at home, as I'm preparing to leave for a spin on my new Harley Road King. (Nikon D3, 28-70/2.8 AFS, iso 200, 1/320 at f4)




Week 7: (2/11/08 - 2/17/08)

I like the lines of the girl - the placement of her hands, her uplifted foot, and the tear in her jeans. It doesn't hurt that she's pretty! (Leica M8, Summilux 50/ASPH)






A comment: After seven weeks of this PAW I must say that I am anything but pleased. I've managed to post an image every week - and that's pretty much the extent of the good news. Although these aren't bad images, they certainly aren't what I would consider especially good. Were it not for the the self-imposed requirement to post something, none of these would see the light of day.

None of which is a surprise to me, of course. Good photography requires that a reasonable number of frames be shot. And really good photography requires that a lot of frames be shot. Quoting from David Hurn (a very accomplished Magnum photographer):

"As a general guide I would guess that for a seven-picture essay I would shoot 20 to 30 cassettes of 36-exposure 35mm film. A single, exhibition-quality image probably occurs every say, 100 films."

Years ago I remember being dumbstruck when I first heard how much film National Geographic photographers typically burn through on their way to obtaining the 20-30 images that make up a feature story in that magazine - hundreds of rolls. That doesn't mean that most of those thousands of images are poor, of course. But it does emphasize that to get a single artful, impactful image requires the confluence of chance and circumstance at a very nuanced level. And that doesn't happen very often.

I knew that going into this PAW. One of the goals of doing the PAW was to force me to shoot more. I carry a camera with me almost every where I go - including to work every day. But I rarely end up taking more than a handful of pictures every week. And I must confess that my habits have yet to change - I'm still shooting the same very modest number of frames I did before. But hope springs eternal.

In the meantime, I didn't want anyone who happens to come across this selection to think that just because I've posted them here, I'm particularly impressed with them. I'm certainly not.


Week 8 (2/18/08 - 2/24/08)

Cloudy, overcast days are good for one thing (photographically) - outdoor portraits. The soft, diffuse, softbox-in-the-sky effect can be wonderful for that. But it sucks for most other photographic endeavors. The featureless sky, gone to white, detracts from most images it is included in.

Here's the exception which proves the rule. This was at the Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. The bland lighting turned everything to monochrome - except for the flag. It almost looks like one of those photoshopped images where the picture is desaturated of all color except for one object. Only in this case it was entirely natural. (Leica M8, Summilux 50/ASPH)



Week 9 (2/25/08 - 3/2/08)

I spent a couple of hours walking around Arlington Cemetery last weekend. Unfortunately, the battery in my Leica M8 died just as I arrived at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I had a charged-up spare back in my car, parked back at the Marine Corps Memorial. Lot of good it did me there! Today, a warmer and sunnier day (albeit a very windy one), I went back with my Nikon. (Nikon D3, 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 200, 1/3200 at f2.8)



Week 10 (3/3/08 - 3/9/08)

I've been meaning to get this shot - an image of the Iwo Jima Memorial at night, with the Washington Monument and the Capitol in the background - for quite some time. Alas, it's not exactly near my home (Warrenton). Although I periodically make the trip into Arlington during the day (as the previous two weekends demonstrate), nighttime usually finds me far westward. Today I finally made the effort.

This was a challenging shot - it was cold, windy, and the light level was very low. Even though I used a tripod, it required both a very high iso and a very low shutter speed. I'd like to try it again under more favorable conditions. (Nikon D3, 70-200/2.8 AFS VR, iso 6400, 1/20 at f4)



Week 11 (3/10/08 - 3/16/08)

It's Sunday afternoon and I've got absolutely nothing. I've got a deadline tomorrow for an article in Sport Rider and so I spent part of yesterday working on that - and then, ahem, went for a ride. It's hard to pick a picture of the week when you have no pictures!

"A cafe mocha sure would be nice", Ginny suggests. "C'mon", I reply. (Leica M8, Summicron 28/ASPH)




Week 12 (3/17/08 - 3/23/08)

Ginny will hate this. She doesn't like having her picture taken and here I've gone and made her my subject two weeks in a row. It wasn't by design. I did have a couple other images I considered for this week's selection. But I just liked this one best. We were back down at Starbucks and that's her iPhone she's checking (Leica M8, Summicron 28/ASPH)




Week 13 (3/24/08 - 3/30/08)

I'm sitting in my office working when I hear this thump. The guy washing the windows had a heavy suction cup device to hold him in place for a few seconds while he squeegee'd the window. The thump was the sound of the suction cup hitting the window as he alternated between my office and the one diagonally across from it a few feet away.

I grabbed my ever-present Leica and managed a couple of quick shots before he was done. (Leica M8, Summicron 28/ASPH)




Week 14 (3/31/08 - 4/6/08)

Steve Brown, a Harley-riding friend, said he "couldn't get it off my ass" when describing how much he liked his new Ultra Classic. That's exactly how I feel about my new Road King!

This was towards the end of a terrific day of riding "the king". And this is one of my favorite roads - a crooked, whirling dervish of a road. You might think a big touring rig like this wouldn't do well on a road like this. You'd be wrong. (Nikon D3, 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 200, 1/1250 at f4)



Week 15 (4/7/08 - 4/13/08)

Those of you who use public transportation to get to and from work every day - here is what you do... (Leica M8, Summilux 50/ASPH, iso 640,1/11 at f2)




Week 16 (4/14/08 - 4/20/08)

This is the first week this year that I've truly had a sizeable number of images from which to choose an image. In addition to the usual handful of miscellaneous shots grabbed with my Leica during the week, I also took a bunch of shots at the Fodderstack 10k road race (Ginny won her age group); and then we drove out to Harrisonburg to watch my son Jason sing in his acapella group's final performance of the year (there's a link under Family & Friends). This is Jason. (Nikon D3, 70-200 VR/AFS, iso 6400, 1/125 at f2.8)




Week 17 (4/21/08 - 4/27/08)

I took Friday off and, after stopping by Waugh's (my Harley dealer), went for a nice long ride on my Road King. A gorgeous, summer-kind of day. Here I'm riding back home in late afternoon on one of my favorite routes - what we jokingly refer to as "The Charlottesville Bypass".

I had my D3 with me, but no tripod. This shot was taken at a church I like (it has shade and a public outhouse). I placed my Nikon on a picnic table and propped up the end of the lens with the cap from the water bottle I was drinking from. (Nikon D3, 24-70/AFS, iso 200, 1/2500 at f4)



Week 18 (4/28/08 - 5/4/08)

My son Jason graduated from JMU this weekend. I took a bunch of pictures (separate link under "Family & Friends"). This particular image from the day is technically deficient - someone walked in front of me as I fired the shutter (that's what the blurred smudge is). But I like its aesthetics - his expression and the angle of the tassels and the out-of-focus spectators. (Nikon D3, 70-200 VR/AFS, iso 200, 1/2000 at f4)




Week 19 (5/5/08 - 5/11/08)

A reprise of week 8. I had actually gotten an image similar to this back on that February day, but ended up going with the shot of the Iwo Jima Memorial instead.

You need an overcast day to make this shot work - a sunny day washes out the contrast needed to see the flame well. Yes, I like Arlington Cemetery. (Nikon D3, 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 200, 1/500 at f5.6)




Week 20 (5/12/08 - 5/18/08)

I was gone most of this week on the May 2008 BRR run (link under ...Motorcycling/Motorcycling Photo Galleries). Those were the only images I shot all week. This is a representative sample, taken on the "goat trail" when we stopped to reconnoiter. This particular shot is of Earle (sitting on the bike) and Eric "The Brush".

As an aside, Earle is the best motorcycle rider I've ever known. (Nikon D3, 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 500, 1/250 at f4.5)




Week 21 (5/19/08 - 5/25/08)

My good friend Michelle got married this weekend. I took my camera and took a few shots. Here she is walking down the aisle with her father. It was a beautiful day and Michelle made a truly lovely bride. I claim absolutely no expertise regarding weddings, but this one was very, very well done.

Wishing Michelle and Greg all the best... (Nikon D3, 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 6400, 1/250 at f4)




Week 22 (5/26/08 - 6/1/08)

As the weather turns warm there will be more and more shots of motorcycling - as that tends to get an inordinate amount of my attention. If I have a spare few hours I'm likely to be out on one of my bikes. This was Memorial Day. I'm usually heading home from the Memorial Day Chicken Run on that day, but skipped that run this year because of Michelle's wedding. So I went for a solo, local ride on the Harley instead. (Nikon D3, 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 200, 1/320 at f5.6)




Week 23 (6/2/08 - 6/8/08)

Ok, pretty lame. I know. But not much to choose from this week. Having been super busy during the week, I had planned on trying some creative shots over the weekend while riding the Harley. And it's true I took the Road King out for a nice long ride; and I took my D3 and a couple of lenses. But I succumbed to my age-old photography-while-riding malady: just keep rolling down the road and leave the camera set.

This image was just a grab shot while Ginny and I were at the local Borders. (Leica M8, Summicron 28/ASPH, iso 640, 1/500 at f2)




Week 24 (6/9/08 - 6/15/08)

This was down at the 16th Annual Big Damn Bike Show at Waugh Harley-Davidson. Beautiful day. Beautiful ride down there. Beautiful bikes. And beautiful girls!

Got rained on on the way back home. Even that was cool (literally)! (Nikon D3, 14-24/2.8, iso 200, 1/1250 at f4.5)





Week 25 (6/16/08 - 6/22/08)

Ginny and I met up with Josh at the Borders in Fairfax on Sunday morning. I took a few snapshots while we sat there talking, including this shot of a girl at the table next to us. (Nikon D3, 85/1.4, iso 200, 1/2000 at f1.4)





Week 26 (6/23/08 - 6/29/08)

Occasionally I'll swing by a Starbucks on the way home from work for a few minutes. Here was a quick grab shot I took with my ever-present Leica. (Leica M8, Summicron 28/ASPH, iso 160, 1/750 at f2.0)




Ok, this is the halfway point in this PAW. Twenty six weeks. Twenty six images. What I can say unequivocally so far is that the increase in my picture taking that I had hoped for back in the beginning has yet to materialize. This week, for instance, I took all of... drum roll... one picture. The one you see here. Part of that is just being really busy - my commute and the need to get up early in order to get downtown ahead of traffic absorbs almost all my time during the work week. And then I'm usually focused on riding my motorcycles once the weekend arrives - and I've always had a terrible time at making the time to take pictures while out riding. But, really, those are mostly just excuses. I simply haven't focused on it enough is a rather more honest answer.

Anyway, I hope to do better during the second half...


Week 27 (6/30/08 - 7/6/08)

As I walked in front of my bike when leaving Winchester HD I noticed the Motor Company bar-and-shield in the background. I had my D3 in the saddlebag. So I framed a couple of quick shots, using the sign both as a counterpoint to the lettering on the tank and to help provide some balance; and varying the aperture to play with different depths of focus back towards the sign.

It turned out ok, but not great. It's a good example of how you often have these little creative impulses. You explore them. Sometimes they work; and sometimes they don't. (Nikon D3, 85/1.4, iso 200, 1/500 at f8)



Week 28 (7/7/08 - 7/13/08)

I've had my 85/1.4 Nikkor hanging on my D3 the last couple of weeks - I had almost forgotten how much I love that lens. It's not as versatile as the 24-70 or 28-70 mid-range zooms that Nikon makes, but its higher speed and smooth bokeh make for some wonderful images. This was taken at one of my favored rest stops, on one of my favorite local couple-hundred-mile loops. (Nikon D3, 85/1.4, iso 200, 1/800 at f2.8)



Week 29 (7/14/08 - 7/20/08)

There will be many pictures of motorcycles in this PAW, but not many like this - at night. I used to ride at night all the time, and Clifton was one of the places I'd frequently stop (see this story). I haven't done that much in recent years - my work week is too consuming. But I was inspired this weekend to take the Road King on a little nighttime spin. I very much enjoyed it.

That's the old general store in the background. It's now a little deli, with a tiny pub in the back. Back in the day, the store would have been long-closed and the little town would have been very quiet. It was actually pretty dark. I was able to get some light spillage on the road from a car coming in from the right. That reflected back into the side of the bike, which otherwise would have been rendered as a silhouette. (Nikon D3, 85/1.4, iso 6400, 1/60 at f2)



Week 30 (7/21/08 - 7/27/08)

This is The Timberlake, a small restaurant in Dupont Circle. Dupont Circle is only a few blocks from where I work and I make it a point to walk down there at lunchtime every so often. I'll stop in at The Timberlake every now and again. (Leica M8, Summicron 28/ASPH, iso 640, 1/60 at f2)




Week 31 (7/28/08 - 8/3/08)

This is a shot of my Road King down at East Branch, the farm where my father grew up and where my parents now live. This shot closely approximates the angle of the one here, taken of my father and his bike around 60 years earlier. It's quite remarkable how Harley early on determined a thematic design to their big twin bikes which has resonated with their customers for such a long time. (Nikon D3, 85/1.4, iso 200, 1/1000 at f4).




Week 32 (8/4/08 - 8/10/08)

My workday mornings start with an hour drive to the Vienna Metro, where I catch the train for the final 30-minute ride into D.C. For much of the year my morning time on the platform is spent in the dark, but for a few months around the summer solstice, there's a bit of 6am light in the sky. (Leica M8, Summilux 50/ASPH, iso 640, 1/180 at f2).




Week 33 (8/11/08 - 8/17/08)

This was a beautiful August evening. After spending a day riding my Road King and then meeting Ginny down at Tippy's Taco for dinner, I headed over to The Carousel for a hot fudge sundae, then to Old Town Warrenton to walk around a bit. This shot was a bit of a reprise from the first shot in this year's PAW, albeit taken on a much more pleasant evening! (Nikon D3, 85/1.4, iso 200, 1/1000 at f1.4)



Week 34 (8/18/08 - 8/24/08)

Towards the end of a ride I stopped at the little country store in The Plains, like I have a million times before. As I was walking past the gas pumps headed into the store, I saw this reflection in one of the store's windows. After buying a bottle of water and an ice cream bar, I headed back out, pulled my camera out of the saddlebag, and captured the image. For some reason I've always liked reflected-image shots like this.

As for my face being covered by the camera, I've always been a left-eye shooter with an SLR (as in this shot here); and a right-eye shooter with a rangefinder. (Nikon D3, 85/1.4, iso 200, 1/2500 at f2)



Week 35 (8/25/08 - 8/31/08)

I was away over the Labor Day weekend on our usual 3-day "Chicken Run" motorcycle trip, and so this week's posting is a couple days late. The week's selection happened to be my favorite image made during that trip - this is Dana and Tracye, new riders to the group who it was my pleasure to meet for the first time. Tracye cooked a wonderful baked spaghetti dish for us on Saturday night. Then they mounted up in the dark to ride the half mile from the Whistlepunk condo where we were staying up to the top of Snowshoe mountain where they had a condo with Wes and Dale. (Nikon D3, 24-70/2.8, iso 6400, 1/125 at f2.8)



Week 36 (9/1/08 - 9/7/08)

Ginny shares my love of books, and it's a rare weekend that we don't end up at Borders for awhile. I was sitting in the chair there reading when I looked up and saw the slightly bent out cover of Tolstoy's book a few feet away. I had an f1.4 lens on my ever-present Leica and I knew that taking the shot wide open would blow out the shelves in the background. I like the colors and the single, narrow point of focus. (Leica M8, Summilux 50/ASPH, iso 320, 1/125 at f1.4)




Week 37 (9/8/08 - 9/14/08)

Seen at the bike shop - proof that Harley riders don't always get the girl. At least not the flesh and blood variety! (Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 200, 1/800 at f2.8)





Week 38 (9/15/08 - 9/21/08)

This was taken at the fall open house at Patriot HD in Fairfax, Virginia. Among other activities, there was a small bike show, evenly split between some really cool old bikes and some equally cool modern customs. This shot was a closeup of one of the latter. The combination of both being very close and shooting a fast prime wide open resulted in the extremely narrow depth of field. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 85/1.4, iso 200, 1/5000 at f1.4)



Week 39 (9/22/08 - 9/28/08)

The town of Warrenton, near where I live, is in the middle of the rolling Piedmont region of Northern Virginia which was known as "Mosby's Confederacy" during the Civil War. The area must have appealed to Mosby, because he took up residence in the town after the war, practicing law (and notably earning the ire of many of his fellow southerners by politically supporting many Republicans, including Ulysses Grant).

A light, misting rain had begun while I was out walking and that is slightly apparent in the shot. (Leica M8, Noctilux, iso 160, 1/750 at f2.8)



Week 40 (9/29/08 - 10/5/08)

You'd have to look mighty hard to find a community more steeped in national history than Harper's Ferry, W.Va. Yet despite living hardly more than an hour from that storied town, I confess to only having been there maybe... once, years ago. Well, twice this week I rode my Harley up there. It really is a very cool place. This shot is looking north from the town, across the Potomac River, to the Maryland shore. Just to the right, outside the frame, is the confluence with the Shenandoah River. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70/2.8 AFS, iso 250, 1/250 at f8)



Week 41 (10/6/08 - 10/12/08)

This week was our annual 3-day trek into West Virginia to enjoy the fall colors. This shot was taken up on rt. 150 - the Highland Scenic Highway. The rest of the images I took can be found on the Motorcycling/Motorcycling Photo Galleries page. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 85/1.4, iso 200, 1/640 at f5.6)




Week 42 (10/13/08 - 10/19/08)

It's about the light. It always is. Six days ago, coming back from the Fall Foliage Tour (see link included in last week's PAW posting) I took this shot mid-morning along one of my favorite roads. I really liked the light which served to enhance the fall colors. This weekend, I thought I'd ride my Harley back to the same spot, hoping to get a similar image. Alas, by the time I got there it was mid-afternoon and the light was gone. I went a quarter mile up the road to a spot which at least had a splash of sun, but neither the location or the light were as good. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 85/1.4, iso 200, 1/800 at f4)



Week 43 (10/20/08 - 10/26/08)

I love film. I love the different palettes that it provides. I love the unique characteristics that different development processes injects into one's images in black and white. I love the selection process when heading out for a shoot, figuring what kind of film, and how many rolls of each, to bring along. And I love the deferred reward, the anticipation when first hanging a strip of Tri-X to dry, or sitting down at the light table with your Schneider loupe and a couple boxes of just-picked-up transparencies. Alas, I haven't shot a frame of film in nearly two years. I love the quality and the flexibility and the immediacy of digital even more. Representative of that, here is the now forlorn shelf in my fridge where I'd keep my soon-to-be-used film stocks. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 85/1.4, iso 6400, 1/30 at f1.4)



Week 44 (10/27/08 - 11/2/08)

You think women and shoes and you think Imelda Marcos. Ginny's not like that, actually being remarkably frugal in most areas. But she takes her running seriously. Yes, that wooden bin is full. I found another pair behind the seat in my pickup. And I think there might be a couple more pairs up in the bedroom. She does have an ultra marathon (a 50-miler) coming up in a few weeks, after running the Marine Corps Marathon last week, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that she goes through them like she does! (Leica M8, Summilux 50/ASPH, iso 1250, 1/11 at f1.4)




Week 45 (11/3/08 - 11/9/08)

My Harley has certainly gotten the lion's share of my motorcycling attention this year, with my BMW R1200GS a very distant second. My older BMW, a 1998 K1200RS - notwithstanding that I've put far more miles on it than any of my other bikes - has been totally neglected. The clutch went out on it last year and I only just got around to getting it repaired. So it gets the honors this week. This shot is at the end of the road, right at the edge of the Potomac River, a mile or so from where George Washington was born. (Leica M8, Summicron 28/ASPH, iso 160, 1/2000 at f5.6)



Week 46 (11/10/08 - 11/16/08)

I love all the many different varieties of photography via which one can capture the world - fast moving things frozen in time with high shutter speeds, fast moving things liquified with slow shutter speeds; wide angles with their all-encompassing fields of view, telephotos with their compression, normal lenses with, well, their more-or-less normal way of seeing; and on and on. But probably the property that I have most loved over the years is the narrow depth of field wrought by a fast lens shot wide open, with the background blown out soft and indistinct and the image just seeming to float there in space. Like this. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 200/f2 AFS VR, iso 200, 1/1600 at f2)




Week 47 (11/17/08 - 11/23/08)

Ginny attempted an ultra-marathon this week (a 50-miler). Unfortunately, weather conditions were very hard - unseasonably cold and very windy. She fell twice during the trail portion (the initial miles were run on the Appalachian Trail) and ended up not being able to see out of one eye. The emergency room visit later that day revealed a severely scratched cornea. She and Rosie, the friend she was running with, had to quit after 27 miles. The good news is her eye should heal fine over the next week or so. (Nikon D3, Nikkor 200/f2 AFS VR, iso 1800, 1/250 at f2)



Week 48 (11/24/08 - 11/30/08)

Our new neighbors down at the end of our driveway put this wonderfully colorful inflatable turkey out in their yard a week ago. I liked the bright and cheerful nighttime contrast it provided, so took my Nikon to work with me on Friday, knowing it would be dark when I got home (and knowing my ever-present Leica wouldn't have the reach for this kind of shot). (Nikon D3, Nikkor 200/f2 AFS VR, iso 6400, 1/80 at f2)



Week 49 (12/1/08 - 12/7/08)

I haven't shot a frame of film in over two years. Well this week I pulled out one of my old film Leicas, loaded a roll of Tri-X, and instead of carrying my M8 everywhere, as is my usual wont, I took the old M6. Just like back in the day. I didn't finish the roll, so there's nothing yet to show in that regard, but I've enjoyed it. This shot was actually taken with my M8. Is there irony in that? (Leica M8, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 160, 1/45 at f1.4)



One of the self-imposed rules of this PAW, something I've rigorously adhered to, is that any selection for a particular week must have actually been taken during the preceding seven calendar days. Starting on Monday and running through the following Sunday.

This week's little adventure with film is prompting me to make an exception: For film I will count from the day the film was developed, not from when the shots were actually taken. The reason, of course, is time. Digital is simply a far easier and more flexible process. If at the end of the week I've got, say, a dozen shots on my M8 or D3, it's a simple matter to pop out the memory card, copy them onto my computer, and import them into Lightroom. Do a quick select, output to a web image, and that part is done.

Film poses a different challenge. Unless I'm shooting an event, I don't generally burn through shots all that quickly. To use the example above, if at the end of the week my frame counter shows 12 shots taken on a roll of film, I'm obviously not going to develop it. I'll wait until the roll is finished, which might take a few weeks. If it's E6 or C41 I'll then get it to a commercial lab pretty quickly, but if it's black and white - what I predominantly shoot when using film - then I've got to find time to develop it myself.

And then, regardless of whether I've developed it myself or used a commercial lab, I've got to scan the images - about which the kindest thing I can say is it's a laborious process. Only then can I load the images onto my computer, import them into Lightroom, and make a select.

It's a much longer and far more arduous road, getting a select from a roll of film, than it is for digital, in other words. Which is why I'm going change that rule slightly, to give film a chance to play.



Week 50 (12/8/08 - 12/14/08)

The assisted-living facility Evelyn, my mother in law, resides in held their annual Christmas party this week. This was a shot of one of the musicians they had on hand. (Leica M8, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 320, 1/60 at f1.4)




Week 51 (12/15/08 - 12/21/08)

Ornaments and bright, colorful lights are one of the highlights of the Christmas season, of course. I confess that if it weren't for Ginny things would look pretty spartan around here - as if it were left up to me I doubt I'd bother. But she always does such a nice job and I do enjoy them. (Leica M8, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, iso 320, 1/45 at f1.4)




Week 52 (12/22/08 - 12/28/08)

Saturday was an unseasonably warm day so I grabbed a couple cameras and headed towards DC. After exploring a couple of venues there, I stopped at the Marine Corps Memorial on my way back. I had an experiment in mind involving my D3, my M8, and two tripods. When I was done with that I walked down around the memorial armed with my Leica. I liked this angle - from the bottom, nearly 180 degrees from the "classic" angle (looking towards the memorial with the Capital and the Washington Monument in the background). There wasn't much light and this image was taken at a very low shutter speed. It's far from perfect, but I like it - it gets a little extra oomph from the guy taking the girl's picture at the base of the monument. (Leica M8, Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH, is 1250, 1/15 at either f1.4 or f2)





Well, it's done. 52 weeks. 52 images. I'm very happy to have successfully completed my first picture-of-the-week endeavor. Did it turn out like I expected?

No, not at all. The biggest thing I thought would happen is that the PAW would prompt me to shoot more. That most emphatically did not happen. Week in and week out I continued to shoot the handful of images I always have. There were the odd exceptions, of course. Motorcycle trips, Michelle's wedding, family get-togethers, and the like were occasions where I shot a bunch of images. But those were relatively scarce. Most weeks it was just an odd handful of miscellaneous captures to choose from.

I did think about the PAW a lot. And it did demand its own routine every weekend - dumping images into Lightroom (oftentimes from both my M8 and D3, which go into separate Lightroom catalogs); making a select; creating a web image; lighting up Dreamweaver and posting the image and thumbnail files, along with updates to both the PAW and main html pages on my web site. That hour or so process became part of my regular Sunday evening ritual.

Will I do it again?

Yep. My new PAW can be found here: 2009 PAW