Ricoh


I attended a conference in Baltimore in early October, and since I was there for almost a week, from early in the morning to late evening in the waterfront area, I took the opportunity to capture the inner harbor at different times in the day. The meetings were held the Waterfront Marriott which has an awesome view of the harbor from the 5th floor balcony.

The historic buildings all around the inner harbor area are well preserved, and the old shipping warehouses in the Harbor east area are being torn down one by one to make room for fancy new hotels and condominiums.. I suppose that in a few more years, the entire harbor area will be a vibrant commercial and tourist area. I always feel a twinge of regret when historic parts of a city are transformed so radically, but in this case, it will rejuvenate the city, and I am happy for Baltimore residents. Baltimore is a city of great charm, if you know where to look for it. It reminds me very much of Chicago, with all its neighborhoods.

Most of the neighborhoods are human scaled, as the buildings in residential areas are mostly one and two storys tall. Like Chicago, the large concrete, steel and glass towers are concentrated near the waterfront, with the rest of the city still zoned for normal sized buildings. I carried my trusty old Ricoh 500G manual rangefinder loaded with Fuji Superia 200 film.

I will be posting the Baltimore water front pictures in a series of posts in the next few days.


The Waterfront Marriott
Waterfront promenade seating
Waterfront Promenade
Waterfront Promenade

Scarlett Place
Pumphouse and Museum
Waterfront Hotels
Waterfront
Concert venue
Waterfront
Old Steam Roller

Photographed with a Ricoh 500G Rangefinder (fixed 40mm f/2.8 Rikenon) and Fuji Superia 200 film. I used the Sunny 16 rule – f/16 at 1/250.


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 was on the road early, driving to Baltimore trying to beat the morning rush hour. It was unusually foggy on the drive in and I was hoping that I’d get to the harbor before the Sun was high enough to burn the mist off. I was lucky – I managed to get in by 8 am, parked at the Pier V Garage, and rushed out with my Ricoh 500 rangefinder. I was using the Sunny f/16 rule, and it’s a little tricky with the changing misty conditions and fog. Here are the results.


Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G
Inner Harbor – Ricoh 500G

The Inner Harbor looks great by sunset too… these were taken from the 5th floor balcony of the Marriot Waterfront hotel

Inner Harbor – Sunset
Inner Harbor – Sunset
Inner Harbor – Sunset

Photographed with a Ricoh 500G rangefinder (fixed Rikenon 40mm f/2.8) and Fuji Superia 200 film f/5.6 at 1/250 second.


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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A few weeks ago, I took Sunny and her cousin Mahathi for a hike along the Potomac Heritage Trail in Washington DC. The girls had a great time watching the ducks and playing in the little riverside meadows, collecting dandelions and wildflowers.

The Potomac Heritage trail is hiker friendly – not a shared route that has you constantly jumping out of the way to avoid getting run over by a bicyclist… there is lots of wildlife on the trail, and lots of wild flowers.

The area around the Key Bridge is epecially nice, if you ignore the traffic a few feet away beyond a low barrier wall, and concentrate instead on the gentle murmuring of the Potomac river. The river seems so content there.

Most people who hike the trail are very conscientuous about cleaning up after themselves, so the trail is clean and trash free.. can’t say the same for the river bank though. It’s littered with beer cans and plastic trash.. some from the river, I suppose.. but as far as I could see, it was left behind by fishermen who congregate in a few choice spots.

I also spotted lots of fishing lines tied to low branches. The lazy fisherman’s idea of sport I suppose. The abandoned lines can entangle wildlife, especially waterfowl. I was able to collect a large plastic grocery sack full of cans and trash in just a few minutes, with the girls helping.

Since this was a short hike, I didn’t carry any of my regular equipment – just the every ready standby Ricoh 500. It’s either that or one of the Olympus Trip 35 cameras when I have to travel light and shoot in a hurry.

Potomac Heritage Trail #1
Potomac Heritage Trail #2
Potomac Heritage Trail #3
Potomac Heritage Trail #4
Potomac Heritage Trail #5
Potomac Heritage Trail #6
Potomac Heritage Trail #7
Potomac Heritage Trail #8

Photographed with a Ricoh 500G rangefinder f/16 at 1/250 sec on Fuji HQ Super 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.
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I drive by Krider’s Church Road every day on my way to work. I usually take Md Rte 97 North (Pennsylvania Avenue in Westminster, MD) after I cross downtown Westminster. Krider’s Church Road is a insignificant little road near the intersection of MD Rte 140 and Rte 97 North, just before the Carroll County Regional Airport . No one would notice the little road leading west if it weren’t for the tall steeple of Krider’s Church which is visible for miles around. I’ve photographed Krider’s Church several times, in color and Black & White, in different seasons, and with several cameras. The Church is surrounded by a parking lot and a lush green lawn, both of which don’t reflect much light upwards to illuminate the brickwork. The snow pictures were different though… the overcast sky and snow and the ground acted like a giant lightbox in the winter photograph. The pictures with the OM2n and Ricoh 500G were taken just a few minutes apart, but the clouds moved in quickly, and I lost the blue sky by the time I took the photograph below.

Krider’s Church – OM-2N

Photographed with an OM-2n, 50mm f/1.4, Fuji Xtra 200 film, 1/250 sec at f/16, Hoya 81A filter

Krider’s Church – BW – OM-1

Photographed with an OM-1, Zuiko 50mm f/1.8, Ilford XP2 400 film, 1/250 sec at f/11; Tiffen Red 25 filter

Krider’s Church – OM-1
Krider’s Church – OM-1

Photographed with an OM-1, Zuiko 50mm f/1.8, 1/250 sec at f/16; Fujicolor 200 ASA

Krider’s Church – Ricoh 500G
Krider’s Church – Ricoh 500G

Photographed with an Ricoh 500G Rangefinder, (Fixed 40mm f/2.8 lens) 1/250 sec at f/16; Fujicolor 200 ASA


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 from the Cherry Blossom festival – these are from my backup camera. I had taken the Ricoh 500G along. It’s small and unobtrusive, and good for close quarters street photography. I was using Fuji Super HQ 200 film in the Ricoh, and I used the Sunny f/16 rule for the exposure – basically 1/250 second at f/16 for the most part.


Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G
Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G
Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G
Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G
Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G
Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G

Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G
Cherry Blossoms – Ricoh 500G
Washington Monument, street photo- Ricoh 500G

Photographed with a Ricoh 500G Rangefinder (40mm f/2.8 fixed lens) and Fuji Super HQ 200 film. 1/250 sec at f/16



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 year the Cherry Blossoms peaked between April 01 – April 04. It was a beautiful day when we visited on Tuesday April 03, when the flowering was at it’s peak. After the dull and dreary winter, it would be more apt to name it the “Cheery” Blossom festival instead.

It was slightly windy at the Tidal Basin, just enough to blow some petals off – up in the high 70’s. A very bright and sunny day with lots of people around. It was hot later in the afternoon, and the Popsicle and cold beverage vendors were doing a brisk business.

No one minded the heat though, since everyone knew what was coming – the weather reports had called for rain and heavy winds later in the week, and nothing is as bad for the flowers as heavy rain and wind – the petals get knocked off or are blown away. It’s not very comfortable either, too cold and windy to be outdoors.

It seemed as though all of DC was at the Tidal basin that afternoon. I guess everybody who could get away made it to the Tidal Basin that day. Besides, it was a working day, and it’s very probably that people who work in the Government offices around the Tidal Basin would have all taken their lunch out there, or just taking a walk.

The weather went bad by Thursday, so people who had been planning to visit DC that weekend lost out. It’s been cold and rainy since then, and the trees have long since lost their flowers and leafed out. It’s still cold in the DC environs… very unseasonable for this time of year. Up here in Westminster, the Cherry Blossoms and dogwoods are still blooming.

I took the family, of course…. We visited Cherry Blossom Festival for the first time last year, and it literally took our breath away. We made a resolution right then to return every year as long as we lived in the DC area  We got there around 11 am, and were lucky enough to get parking right at the Tidal basin lot, close to the Washington Memorial.

I had originally hoped to get there early in the day to take advantage of the morning light. The late morning/early afternoon sun casts a very flat light, and that washes out colors and makes everything look flat and lifeless. I didn’t have much choice, though.

I had taken my Minolta Dynax 800si with a 28-105mm general purpose zoom lens with a Polarizing filter. I was using Fuji Superia 400 film with the camera, since last year was cloudy and overcast – this year, it was so bright and sunny that a 100 ASA film would have been ample. The polarizer served as a 2x neutral density filter as well, slowing down the film enough to shoot at around f/13. For these photographs, I used the landscape and portrait settings.


Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si and Phoenix 28-105mm f/2.8-f/3.5 AF lens fitted with a Tiffen Polarizer. The film was Fuji Superia 400. I shot at f/13 at 1/350-1/750 second and used the Portrait and Landscape settings.



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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Yet another hiking trip to Sugarloaf Mountain, this time with 3 little kids in tow – Vasudev, Sunayana and Abhiram. Sunayana and my two nephews are real troopers. We hiked for nearly 3 hours, and we managed to do the Orange and Red trails.

We started at the Eastview Overlook AND returned via the steps to the West view overlook point, and then wearily trudged back to the Eastview parking lot. The weather was cloudy all day and comfortable, except for a cool breeze that kept things nippy. The sky was overcast, but the light was fairly bright, perfectly even, shadowless light.

Since I had to keep 3 kids in tow, I had originally intended to carry a simple, focus-free, no frills camera like the Olympus Trip 35 or the Ricoh 500 rangefinder, but at the last minute, I decided to take something just as simple and rugged – the Ricoh CR-5 manual camera, with it’s sharp little Rikenon 55mm f/2.2 lens.

Now, the Ricoh is one of my accidentally acquired cameras, and I had not used it since I replaced the light seals late last summer. Even though the light meter works fine with the new batteries, I don’t really like to depend on flaky old light meters, and instead prefer to use the Sunny 16 rule, which works fine for me in daylight situations. Besides, since I could not stand around fiddling with focusing, I used Hyperfocal distance settings so that I could just aim and shoot whenever I got the youngsters to sit down and take a break during the hike.

Truth be told, the break was more for resting MY weary bones, since I had hiked the White Trail with Jayaram just the previous day, and it was all I could do to keep up with them. Two 4 year olds and a 9 year old have so much energy between them that I was questioning my sanity in bringing them along without another adult to help supervise and keep them on the trails.

The kids are good with hikes though – they’ve been out with me enough times. I usually remind them why it’s important to keep on the trails, and how to follow the marked Trail blazes. Thankfully, the 2 youngsters know all about trails and paths and maps from the TV show Diego and from Dora. Thanks, Nickelodeon!

The pictures were taken at several points along the Orange and Red Trails on Sugarloaf Mountain, and at the peak. As I mentioned, the light was just right for closeup color photography, although the overcast sky made the surrounding countryside hazy.

The Ricoh CR-5 is a simple, reliable, rugged SLR and comes standard with a Rikenon 55mm f/2.2 lens. Since it was cloudy, I used a Sky 1A filter to cut the blue of the UV and to provide slight warmth, and as I was using 200 ASA film, I set the shutter at 1/250 second and the aperture at f/5.6.


Ricoh CR-5 SLR
Ricoh CR-5 SLR
Ricoh CR-5 SLR
Ricoh CR-5 SLR

Ricoh CR-5 SLR
Ricoh CR-5 SLR
Ricoh CR-5 SLR
Ricoh CR-5 SLR
Ricoh CR-5 SLR
Ricoh CR-5 SLR
Ricoh CR-5 SLR

Photographed with a Ricoh CR-5 and 55mm f/2.2 lens, 1/250 second at f/5.6 on Fuji Super HQ 200 film. I used a Skylight filter (very pale rose) to cut the blue and render the colors naturally.


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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