Phoenix


I finally had the last roll of film from the Baltimore Inner harbor shoot developed this week…. these were with the Minolta Dynax 800si and the Phoenix 28-105mm lens. This is one of my most used Minolta AF lenses, since it spans such a useful range of focal lengths – from wideangle to medium telephoto.

Although it is most useful as a portrait lens, the 105mm is just right for closing in on interesting architectural detail, and the 28, 35 and 50mm focal lengths are always available. I believe that this is the one lens to pack if one is traveling light. I usually carry a Tiffen 812 warming filter in case of overcast or open sky photography and a Tiffen circular polarizer when its bright and sunny out.


Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore

Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Inner Harbor, Baltimore

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si AF camera and Phoenix 28-105mm f/2.8-3.6 lens on Fujis Superia 200 film. I used a Tiffen circular polarizer


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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On the last day of my conference at Baltimore, I lugged along my autofocus Minolta Dynax 800si with the Phoenix 28-105mm lens. This road is leads to Harbor East, which is the former warehouse district. Most of the grungy old buildings have been torn down, and it’s being developed into a vibrant business and commercial area.

Two blocks further down, you can still see some of the remaining warehouses, they are really decrepit, and the neighborhood is generally rundown and boarded up. No trees, just concrete sidewalks, uncared for streets and no place you’d care to stop. I walked through that area one afternoon looking for a decent place to eat, and ended up walking 3 blocks back to the edge of Little Italy. I can recommend Petalos Restaurant for their fine salad.

To anyone who believes all development of older city areas is bad, I’d recommend that they walk along Pratt Street in Baltimore, and go past the ritzy hotels to the older, undeveloped areas, and tell me if they still feel the same. What I am against though is the tearing down of older housing to make for multiple residential complexes, and shopping places filled with the same old coffeeshops.

I wish cities would encourage more diversity in the commercial areas, and make it possible for the smaller artisan shops to afford a location in the newly developed areas. Would be like adding a bit of spice to otherwise bland fare.


Harbor East
Harbor East
Harbor East
Harbor East

Additional pictures of the Inner Harbor area

Inner Harbor
Inner Harbor

Inner Harbor
Inner Harbor
Inner Harbor
Inner Harbor
Inner Harbor

Photographed with an autofocus Minolta Dynax 800si, Phoenix 28-105mm f/2.8-3.6 zoom lens, Fuji Superia 200. I used a Tiffen 812 filter in the shade and a Tiffen Polarizer in the sun.


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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Mid summer is THE time for flowers – by this time, the colors of early Spring are long forgotten, gone are the flowering spring bulbs, the cherry and the peach blossoms. By late June and early July, the second wave of color manifests itself, with the annuals and summer perennials coming into bloom.

This is also the best time for wildflowers, and beautiful roadside displays in the countryside. Strictly speaking, these aren’t “native” wildflowers – but out in the country, there is always a kind soul that scatters seed along the grassy verges where they tend to naturalize over time.

I came upon this country home, with an extensive garden reaching out to the roadside.. flowers everywhere. So were the bees, drunk with the nectar. I pulled over and dragged out my trusty Minolta 800si. I had some 400 Speed film in there since I had been testing my Toyo 500, but the flowers were too beautiful to pass up the opportunity.

I used a Sigma 50mm Macro lens for the flowers and my trusty Phoenix 28-105mm general purpose zoom for the old barn next door. I would have preferred a slower film with the 50mm lens, perhaps a 200 ASA or even a 100 ASA, but since I was working with the 400 speed, I set the camera to aperture priority and stopped down to f/13 and used a polarizer to get the light down to a useable level and help with color saturation.

It was early afternoon, the time of day when the light is high and flat, and hardly any modeling. With a manual camera I’d have underexposed a little to be sure of retaining the subtle colors, but the Minolta Dynax 800si’s matrix metering is so accurate that I did not have to worry. Besides, Fuji Superia 400 is very forgiving and has a great deal of latitude, behaving splendidly in bright sunlight as well as shade.


Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Phoenix 28-105mm
Phoenix 28-105mm

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si, Sigma 50mm f/2.8 1:1 macro and Phoenix 28-105mm f/2.8-f/3.6 lenses, Fuji Superia 400 film. I used a Polarizing filter.


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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I finally got to go to the Joint Services Air Show at Andrews Air Force base this year. I’ve heard about it for years, and the fine photographic opportunities. Besides, where else could you get a chance to see a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter up close? The Thunderbirds were scheduled to perform as well, and I heard that there would be a bunch of old warbirds on display as well.

I was debating on what camera equipment to take, since it was my first time at a real air show, finally played it safe and took the Minolta Dynax camera with the Phoenix 28-105mm for the wide shots and since I really wanted to get close to the action, I also took along the Tamron 70-300mm and lots of Fuji 400 speed film.

The Airshow was back in mid-May, but I haven’t had a chance to post all the pictures I took – the Thunderbirds will have to wait for another day. The remarkable thing about this airshow is the level of access – how close one can get to operational warplanes from all the services. The organization is another thing altogether – I think they take it to another level. The transport arrangements were fantastic, everything was like clockwork. Truly amazing.


JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007
JSOH 2007

Here are the pictures of the Vintage war birds. Seeing them side by side with todays sleek aircraft makes it even more amazing.

Vintage Warbirds
Vintage Warbirds
Vintage Warbirds
Vintage Warbirds
Vintage Warbirds
Vintage Warbirds – that’s my Sunny admiring the Dinosaur Airplane
Vintage Warbirds
Vintage Warbirds
Vintage Warbirds

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si and Phoenix 28-105mm f/2.8-3.6 and Tamron 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6. I used a a Polarizer and Fuji Superia 400 film. It was very sunny, so the exposures were all approximately 1/200-1/250 second at f/13


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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More pictures that I clicked over the past couple of months in Carroll and Montgomery Counties in Maryland. I was out almost every weekend, and when possible, early in the mornings and sometimes in the evenings. The progression of plants coming into leaf or flower, breaking the dormancy of a long cold winter is truly a miracle. There’s no real theme here, just my own enjoyment of Spring reflected in these few pictures. The cameras and lenses I used are listed in the photo captions.


OM-1, Zuiko 50mm f/1.8, Polarizer
OM-2N, Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, Polarizer
Minolta 800si, Phoenix 28-105mm
Minolta 800si, Phoenix 28-105mm

OM-1, Zuiko 50mm f/1.8, Polarizer
OM-1, Zuiko 50mm f/1.8, Polarizer
OM-1, Zuiko 50mm f/1.8, Polarizer
OM-1, Zuiko 50mm f/1.8, Polarizer
OM-2N, Panagor 90mm f/2.8
OM-2N, Panagor 90mm f/2.8
OM-2N, 50mm with Vivitar2x Macro Teleconverter
Minolta 800si, Phoenix 28-105mm
Minolta 800si, Phoenix 28-105mm
Minolta 800si, Phoenix 28-105mm
Minolta 800si, Phoenix 28-105mm
Minolta 800si, Phoenix 28-105mm
Minolta 800si, Phoenix 28-105mm
OM-1, Zuiko 200mm f/4
OM-1, Zuiko 200mm f/4
OM-1, Zuiko 200mm f/4

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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This old Farmhouse lies off of Rte 27, just south of Westminster. There’s a little single lane farm road that runs under a rarely used railroad track and a picturesque little stream. The area is very peaceful and not many people ever use the road. I’ve driven past a few times this past fall and winter, but I waited until Spring to take these pictures. The Farm itself holds its original title deed from back in the 1730’s. It’s a working farm, not a “historical preserve” – there are many such treasures all over Carroll County, just need the time to go exploring with a camera. On this occasion, I had my Minolta 800si with my trusty Phoenix wide angle zoom. I used a polarizer on the lens. I’ve had the Phoenix for 8 years now, it’s one of the first lenses I purchased, and I’ve never regretted it.



Spring Hill Farm
Spring Hill Farm
Spring Hill Farm
Spring Hill Farm
Spring Hill Farm
Spring Hill Farm

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si, Phoenix 28-105mm lens, Fuji Super HQ 200, 1/200 second at f/13


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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Assateague Island is on Maryland’s Eastern shore, on the Atlantic Ocean – just a few miles south of Ocean City, but what a difference. There is none of the hustle and bustle of the hotels and tourist industry, instead, just a peaceful nature preserve, with pristine white sand beaches, very family friendly – and above all, there is peace and quiet.Of course, I didn’t go alone… the whole family was there, and the kids had a great time in spite of the wind and cold water.

One of the unique features of Assateague Island (and believe me, this IS unique – is the population of wild horses. Yes, genuine horses in the wild. Of course, they are correctly termed as “feral” horses, animals that were once domesticated, but which have escaped and bred in the wild over the past few hundred years.

The official record has it that these horses are descendants of domestic animals that Eastern Maryland farmers permitted to graze on the island. They apparently avoided the mainland taxes on the horses, and saved the expense of fencing them in. After all, where would they go on an Island that is little more than a sand bank?

I like to think that perhaps they were survivors from a shipwreck that made it to shore? Or even more intriguing, perhaps they were the property of pirates and salvagers that made their home on that narrow barrier island. I prefer this explanation for the horses on the island rather than the prosaic one of avoiding taxes. The horses are very handsome beasts – they are skittish of course, and it’s best not to get too close, since they can bite and kick, causing serious injury.

I observed tourists feeding and trying to approach the animals in spite of the many warnings and threats of citations and fines. People just don’t appreciate how dangerous a 2000 lb beast can be. Still, the horses frequent the grassy verge by the roads and can be spotted all over. The herd on the Maryland side of the island is estimated at about 300 beasts. The Virginia end is also a National Seashore preserve, with approximately the same number of animals.

The whole place has a magical quality to it… the clean beaches, the wildness of the Atlantic in Spring, when the water is still very cold, the horses, the twisted trees and shrubs that are hardy enough to survive the rugged conditions, and of course, the calmness of the Bay side of the island, the warm sun – all make for a perfect day trip.

The facilities on the island are primitive, but sufficient. It’s best to pack lots of cold drinks and a substantial picnic lunch. And a couple of folding chairs to lounge in. It’s also very windy in the Spring, so a windcheater type jacket is a good idea. I tried to fly my big box kite, but the wind was so strong that the line almost sliced my fingers.

I had taken my Minolta with a Phoenix 28-105mm and a Tamron 70-300mm lens, and an Olympus OM-2n with a Kiron 28-210mm super zoom – the famous cult classic lens. I had also lugged along my Spiratone 400mm f/6.3 preset lens, but did not get an occasion to use it. I had taken the zooms and the long telephoto in case I could not get near enough to get good pictures of the wild horses, but the horses were right by the roadside.


Wild Horses
Wild Horses
Wild Horses
Wild Horses
Wild Horses
Wild Horses
Wild Horses
Wild Horses

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si, Tamron 70-300mm lens, Fuji Superia 400 film, Circular polarizer 1/350 sec at f/13

Wild Horses
Wild Horses
Wild Horses
Wild Horses

Photographed with a Olympus OM-2n, Kiron 28-210mm lens, Fuji Super HQ 200 film, Circular polarizer 1/125 sec at f/11


The Beach has to be seen to be believed. In late Spring, it’s still cold and windy, so there aren’t many people around. Lots of surf fishermen though, trying for Bluefin and Sea Bass. That changes around Memorial Day and then the beach is packed all through Summer until Fall. I prefer the peace and quiet of the off-season, so our next trip will probably be late September or early October.

Dunes
Dunes
Surf Fishing
South Beach
North Beach

Photographed with a Olympus OM-2n, Kiron 28-210mm lens, Fuji Super HQ 200 film, Circular polarizer 1/125 sec at f/11

North Beach
North Beach
Bay Side, near Verrazano Bridge
Bay side, near Verrazano bridge

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si, Tamron 70-300mm lens, Fuji Superia 400 film, Circular polarizer 1/350 sec at f/13



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olympus/zuiko by Ajoy Muralidhar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners. thank you for visiting olympus/zuiko.

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