The April Monique Poster
May 1, 2018
A quick posting while I'm busy with other stuff – and playing with my new adapted lens. This is only the third time I've created an 18x24 color "poster" of a performer, but it worked out great the first two (both of them on Easter Island) and it was a lot of fun. I don't know what happened to Roberto's because he passed in a tragic accident, but Mokomae's hangs on the door to his studio (he's a dancer, carver, artist and did both of our tattoos). Tthis time I did April Monique, local belly dancer in the Vaudeville Cabaret performance at the Opera House. I caught her formal pose just before she began the veil dance – by far my favorite shot of the performance. Nan was definitely the inspiration behind this. There were a few hurdles to clear – but that's where all the fun lies:
• While it did begin life as 24 megapixels, it was exposed at 1/250, F4.2, at about 200mm equiv. and ISO 12800, ouch. Add half the image was cropped off, I had my doubts going in.
• Then there was that tall microphone standing right behind her that had to come out.
• April's husband was on the drums on the left – a tiny bit of a challenge to convince him to leave the picture. In my B&W of this I left him in – my last posting along with the original, HERE – because it makes the image tell a story. As a color poster, not so much.
• A slightly tricky little bit of interpolation was also involved, obviously.
• Add in a little judicious smoothing to undo some of the trauma caused by stretching the image so far.
• All with the added benefit that the color inks in my printer so seldom get used that the jets desperately needed a workout. Cool.
The result – a nice 18x24 poster.
I just hope April and her husband like it as much as I do _ gotta find a wat to get it to them. Below, a look back at my other two posters:
When I finished, I asked Nan: can I get back to my B&Ws now? Then she hit me.
Another Foray into Adapted Lenses:
My sister-in-law gave me a couple of old Canon cameras with lenses from the film days – these things are ancient. One of the lenses however, an old breach-mount Canon 50mm f1.8, while a little beat up on the outside, is freaking smooth and pristine as far as operaton, glass, etc. – not a hint of dust or mold in there. That's what's really important and pretty rare – I could care less about outside wear. So I put it on an adapter for my X-T2 and have a sweet little 76mm portrait lens. Again, with an adapter one has to focus manually, but that's certainly not a problem. Not sure when I'm going to get a chance to try it out, possibly this First-Friday evening in town, after dark sets in a little. New toy, new toy, new toy!
Checking it out was like Christmas (the other lens, a much newer version of the same lens, while looking better on the outside, had terrible issues inside – she said she would take that one to the beach a lot). The search is on out there for these old film camera lenses because they work wonderfully with adapters on the new mirrorless cameras. But the only realistic way to get them is by searching because the prices on eBay are climbing out of sight. An old Sears brand 55mm f1.4 screw-mount lens, not that long ago a $5 to $10 item, suddenly can bring $80 if both clean and clear. Who knew that my old Canon FD lenses that I sold off over a decade ago would gain so much in value and actually be usable.