January 2007

Sunayana and I went off to explore the “tall mountain” as she calls it. She was sure that we’d see bears, tigers, alligators and snakes, so we bundled up and took off. Its an easy drive from North Potomac, and we took the picturesque route… Took Darnestown Rd MD Rte 28 to the Monocacy River road, then hung a right until we got to Mt. Ephraim Rd. Then left on Mt. Ephraim Rd and by some rolling farm country until we got to the base of Sugarloaf. It’s always pleasant out there, and although it can get crowded (parking, I mean) on weekends, its a great way to spend a couple of hours outdoors. Now that the trees are bare, it’s easier to see the surrounding countryside. We drove up to the East View parking lot, and managed to get there just as someone was pulling out. Talk about luck.

I lugged along my Minolta 800si that day, with the 80-200mm AF zoom, and tucked the 50mm away in my jacket pocket just in case. As it turned out, the 50mm was more useful. Thinking about it.. I think next time I will just carry a Trip 35 or the OM-1/OM-2 with a 35mm lens. Anyway, she had a great time, and we hung about the base of the rocks until it got dark. Here are some pictures….

I taught her how to follow the blazed trails. She was so excited that she found a “path” all by herself. She likes Dora and Map, so she insisted that I carry a map with me, which she could refer to now and then. 🙂

Sugarloaf #1 – hiking up the “path”
Sugarloaf #2 – I made it!
Sugarloaf #3 – Come on, Come on…
Sugarloaf # 4 – Craggy rocks

On the way back we stopped at the Western Overlook, just managed to get there at sunset. Sunny could not get over how “beautiful” it was…

Sugarloaf #5 – Sunset

all photographs Minolta Dynax 800si, Fuji Superia 400, 50mm f/1.7 and 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6
text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.


We took a trip to Great Falls of the Potomac late in December.. anyone remember those warm, unwinterlike days? It was crowded out there.. seems that everyone in town had the very same idea :). But who can blame them when a December day is up in the 70’s. I happened to have the Olympus Trip 35 (the black model) with me.

Great Falls #1
Great Falls #2
Great Falls #3
Great Falls #4

Photographed with an Olympus Trip 35 (Zuiko 40mm f/2.8) and Fuji Xtra 200 film.

text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands, and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.

photographed with an OM-2 and Kiron 28-210mm, Fuji 200
It was beautifully warm last Saturday afternoon, and my daughter Sunayana

The Oak

Photographed with an OM-2, Panagor 90mm f/2.8 lens and Fuji 200
and I were feeling cooped up, so we took off on a grand adventure to visit the mighty Travilah Oak, and then to hike a bit along Seneca Creek off of Rifflesford road. Of course, I had my OM-2 with me, fitted with the Kiron 28-210mm Super Zoom. It’s a beat up looking lens, but the glass is wonderfully mmmmmmm. The Kiron 28-210 is probably the best of the “high ratio” super zooms. Anyway, I digress. Our first stop was at the Oak, where we duly hugged the tree, and visited for a little while. The Travilah oak is located at just outside of North Potomac, you drive west on Muddy Branch Road, until you cross the Travilah road/Glen Road Junction, and there it is – a great white Oak (Quericus Alba) that dates back to the late 1780’s, and is certified to have been around when the US Constitution was ratified. It’s a privilege to see such a tree, and even more gratifying that the electric utilities have left it alone.

Photographed with an OM-2; Kiron 28-210mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, Fuji Xtra 200
From there, we set off for Seneca Creek – we drove down Rifflesford Road until we came to the stream, pulled off to the side of the road, and the Seneca Creek green trail runs 2.5 miles to Clopper Road. Sunny was determined to whack any alligators or snakes she came across, so she armed herself with a stout staff, and we were off looking for sneaky alligators and digging for ladybugs. Its awesome to see her unbounded 4yr old’s enthusiasm for the outdoors… and it’s pretty peaceful in the woods about this time of the year. I wonder why people stay indoors even when it’s so nice out. All the better for us. Anyway, it was good to be outdoors… turned cold again on Sunday. Oh well.

text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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The classic Olympus Trip 35 is a zone focus 35mm camera with a pin sharp Zuiko 40mm f/2.8 lens, and takes beautiful photographs especially with medium speed film. I prefer Fuji Superia 100 or 200 ASA film. You can see my collection of Olympus Trip 35 cameras here. I am still in the process of restoring some of them.

They are beautiful little cameras, and they are perfect for street photography and even landscapes. The 40mm lens is a great “bridge” focal length between the 35mm and 50mm, with almost no perspective distortion. Surprisingly, it’s also a very nice portrait camera. Olympus originally marketed it as a kind of a “visual diary” for travelers packing light. I think they even marketed a Trip Junior. There were also a series of advertisements made featuring the British photographer David Bailey back in the 70’s, although I believe that the Trip 35 sold on its own merits.

Consider the fact that it had a continuous production run from 1968-1984, with just a few cosmetic changes. And did I mention that they made 10 MILLION units?? That tells us something. I’ve several posts on here with Olympus Trip 35, check them out.

Later on, Olympus produced a series of icky plastic-bodied autofocus cameras with the Trip name, but although they may be competent cameras, they cannot hold a candle to the original Trip 35.

Here’s some examples…

text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.