The Perfect Shot


What drew me to make this photograph was the expression on the woman’s face. She was trying so hard to get the “perfect picture” of Niagara Falls and making sure she held her camera just right. After developing the roll of film I noticed that the little girls shorts match the woman’s shirt giving them a connection.


Football 2015


Today’s configuration:  Leica M(240) with a Summicron 50mm f/2.0

I don’t have any boys so I don’t get to attend football games very often.  My nephew was playing nearby so we went to support him and of course I brought my Leica along.  Even though they lost, for 8th graders they did a great job.  I wanted to catch more of the game than the details so my lens of choice was my trusty Cron 50.






A Night at the County Fair

Fair at Night

Today’s configuration:  Leica M(240) with a Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4

I volunteered at the photo competition booth a few weeks ago at our local county fair.  There were close to 200 entries and there were some there that I really liked.  I didn’t submit any photos this year but had good intentions.  At 9:00pm they closed the building I was in so I had a few minutes to walk around before the entire place closed down.  I of course had my Leica M with me and wanted to document a few things.  I opted for the 35mm Voigtlander to take in more of the scene.  The Leica once again performed well in the low light.  My favorite is the last in this series, I like the star effect from the lights and the last bit of sun in the sky.

Fair at Night

Fair at Night

Fair at Night

Fair at Night

Last week of Summer 2015

Last week of Summer

Today’s configuration:  Leica M(240) with a Summicron 50mm f/2.0

This has been one of the busiest summers on record for the Smith family.  We have packed our summer chock full of events that have kept us very busy and active. We spent our last weekend before school started at a wedding in Idaho then relaxing in Wyoming.  There are days I wish I could be as care free as these kids, just enjoying things day by day and not worrying about anything else.

I’m working on a few personal projects, hopefully I will be able to share them soon.  One that I’m excited about are letters that I’m scanning that my grandpa (whom I’ve never met) wrote to his family while serving in World War I.  You really get to know someone by reading something they have hand written.  Which leads me to another post I need to put together that will talk about my new system for journaling and staying organized.

Last week of Summer

Last week of Summer

Last week of Summer

Last week of Summer

Last week of Summer

Last week of Summer

Last week of Summer

Yashica Mat 124G Sample Images


My last post talked about my new acquired film camera, you can check it out here. For today’s post I wanted to share a few pictures from my test roll that I had a local lab develop and a roll that I shot and developed myself. When I purchased the camera it had a working(original) battery that I verified was giving my the correct exposure. I don’t trust it 100% so I decided to get a replacement battery and keep the original working one as a backup.

For the first roll I wanted to try several lighting conditions. Shooting into the sun, shooting in part shadow and in broad daylight. The camera performed as expected in these conditions and I have to say I’m pretty impressed.  The second roll was more documenting our day in Jackson Hole Wyoming on the 4th of July.

One thing I absolutely love about this camera is it forces you to shoot in square format.  When I printed some of my favorite images my daughter promptly said “hey, these are square like Instagram”.  I quickly reminded here that Instagram is just like this camera, the square format has been around long before Instagram was just a concept.

For those interested I used Tri-X 400 and developed in Rodinal(adonal)



Gas Station

Feeedom Post Office

Cowboy Bar

This was my first image taken with the camera, I managed to get a double exposure.  Not sure how that even happened but I liked the result.

Bedford Double Exposure

Salt River

Self Reflection

Sun Flare

Tree Roots


Yashica Mat-124G


Today’s configuration:  Leica M(240) with a Summicron 50mm f/2.0 & Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8 Heliar Classic

Thanks to a good friend, I’ve been getting into shooting film more and more.  He and I headed to San Clamente California a few months ago to attend a workshop by the Film Photography Podcast hosted at  I met some great photographers there and have really been wanting to shoot more film since then on a decent camera.   I own a couple of 35mm film cameras but haven’t been very impressed with the quality of the frames that they produce.  I’ve been wanting to get into medium format for quite a while but just haven’t found something that would work for me.  The camera’s I want are too expensive for the type of shooting I do.

I’ve always been intrigued with a the concept behind a TLR camera.  I’ve been following a great film photographer Bill McCarroll on Google Plus for quite while and I happened to run into him at the workshop in California.  He had his Leica MP and boy did it feel good in my hands.  One day I will own a Leica film camera.  About a month ago he posted some pictures from his Rolleiflex TLR and I was immediately hooked.  They had a different look and feel to them that I really liked.  I knew that a Rolleiflex would be too much for me to invest in.  I started researching and found that the Yashica Mat 124G or the Yashica Mat 124 was a good alternative to a Rolleiflex.  I jumped on our local classified site and stumbled onto the exact Yashica that I wanted.  After exchanging a few emails and a couple of phone calls we sealed the deal and worked out a place to meet for the exchange.

Harold was the original owner and treated this camera very well.  He and I chatted for about 30 minutes about how he got into photography and when he decided to buy this camera.  When he told me he has only shot 3 rolls of film through this I couldn’t believe it.  After a close inspection I couldn’t let this camera go, it was in mint condition.  I asked Harold if I could take a photo with him and his camera to send to him later.  He of course said yes and asked his wife to join him.  The last words he said to me was all I want is for this camera to go to a good home and to be used, not sitting on a shelf.  I assured him I would take care of it and use it.

I have since run a few rolls through it and have to say I’m very impressed with the quality.  It’s a fun camera and a great conversation starter.  More on that with images in a later post.


Sunset on the Steeple

      Today’s configuration:  Leica M(240) with a Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4

There is something special about evening light.  While walking back to our car on Catalina Island I noticed the warm sun on this steeple and couldn’t resist documenting it.  I didn’t notice the moon until I saw the image on my Macbook Pro.

In The Middle

     Today’s configuration:  Leica M(240) with a Summicron 50mm f/2.0

I love textures and reflections.  I was at my daughters dance recital and during a break I took a walk around the school and found lots of interesting things to photograph.  I knew immediately when I saw this it would make a great black and white image.  



Today’s configuration:  Leica M(240) with a Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4

I had a couple of hours to spare for a photo walk in Ogden Utah.  This skateboard sits next to a skate park and is made of stainless steel and I knew immediately it would look great as a black and white.  I wanted to stick around and photograph the local skaters but ran out of time.

San Clemente Pier

San Clemente Pier

Today’s configuration:  Leica M(240) with a Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4

I love shooting at last light.  With a four second exposure the water turns milky and enhances the light reflecting off the water.  San Clemente is a beautiful town that has lots of character and would be a great place to live if given the opportunity.

Eucalyptus Tree – Kauai Hawaii

Today’s configuration:  Leica M with a Summicron 50mm f/2.0

My wife and I never get tired of Hawaii, specifically Kauai.  We’ve spent time on Oahu and Kauai and have no desire to spend time anywhere else but Kauai.  While there last year we spent some time at a local park and ran into these trees.  Having never seen a Eucalyptus tree before I was intrigued by the colors of the bark and took some time to document them.  More info about Eucalyptus trees can be found here.


Scotty's Corner


     Today’s configuration:  Leica M(240) with a Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4

I was in San Diego recently for a conference and ran across this one evening on Coronado Island as we were walking to our restaurant.  I of course had to take a minute and document it.  Not sure what the purpose of it was but I liked it.

Forever More

     Today’s configuration:  Leica M with a Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4

I was traveling to Idaho a few weeks ago to help out my parents.  The majority of the drive was in fog Like the image above.  It made for an interesting drive. I was able to stop at a couple of places on the way to capture a few places on a project I’m working on.

Welcome 2015

Today’s configuration:  Leica M with a Summarit 50mm f/2.5

It’s been a hard year so far for me to stay focused on my photography.  I could come up with lots of excuses but I don’t believe in them, it is what it is.  The good news is I’m starting to see a change and this post is well overdue and hopefully something that will keep me focused for the rest of the year.  I’m big on setting goals that have a concrete meaning and can be tracked during the year.  In order for me to “commit” to these goals I feel it necessary to publish them here as a way for me to track and see how I’m doing for the year.  I have the right to change them as necessary as the year progresses but in the end they are still my personal goals.  The goals I’m committing to are photography related and I’m happy to share them with you today.

I’m guilty just as much as everyone else about procrastination.  It gets us nowhere, and if it continues it becomes a bad habit that is hard to break.  I have set the following goals for 2015 that will hopefully help me not to procrastinate and stay focused on photogrpahy.

Goal #1 – Be more active on my site

This is a fairly broad statement but I have some things in mind that I’d like to do to help accomplish this goal.

  • Sell 7 prints in 2015.  I sell prints occasionally and don’t really have a good place to showcase my work in order to sell.  I have some things in the works that I’m planning on rolling out soon that will help me achieve this goal.
  • Keep galleries current.  I haven’t updated my portfolio galleries for a long time.  Some of this was due to the WordPress theme I’m using and the other is just pure laziness.  I now have a current theme that will allow me to update my galleries easily.
  • update:  I have been updating my Portfolio galleries and have a couple of more updates to make but am happy with the results so far.

Goal #2 – Join a photo club

It’s been a few years since I’ve been involved in a photo club.  I miss the collaboration and learning from other photographers.

update:  I’ve joined the Wasatch Camera Club and have attended a couple of meetings already. 

Goal #3 – Read three books

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book and I miss it.  I have a few books that I’d like to read for the year.  I just upgraded my iPad from an iPad 2 to a iPad Mini 3.  Hopefully this will allow me to want to use my iPad more and read.

Goal #4 – Work on being fit

Notice I didn’t say anything about losing weight.  I’m at the age where being fit is more important then worrying about my weight.  If I lose weight by being more fit that’s just an added bonus.  I’m in a pretty good workout routine right now that I’d like to keep up for the year.  It requires me to get to bed early so I can get up at 5am but it’s something that just needs to happen in order to achieve this goal.

Goal #5 – Work on showing my wife and kids just how much I love an appreciate them

It’s easy for me to assume things are going great in my relationship with my wife and kids.  I think that’s the guy in me but we all need to hear how much we are appreciated each day and that’s my biggest goal for 2015.  Tell the people that I love just how much I appreciate them.

Frostop Drive-In – Ashton Idaho


I love the old fashioned drive-in’s.  Sonic (I’ve tried it once) has tried and failed in Utah.  The Frostop in Ashton, Idaho has been operating as long as I can remember.  If you ever drive through town you can’t miss it.  It’s on your way to Yellowstone Park.  They offer all the greasy foods but are known for their root beer floats and shakes.  I was here in July and it was Huckleberry season and I couldn’t resist ordering a huckleberry shake.  I love the shots from the inside, gotta love that 70’s orange bar and bar stools.

Today’s configuration:  Leica M with a Summicron 50mm f/2.0 & iPhone 5


Christmas Music

I gave up trying to play the piano years ago.  Mostly because I was too lazy to practice and I was young and had “better” things to do.  I have three very talented daughters and a wife that play very well.  One of my favorite things to do during Christmas is to  sit on the couch and listen to them play on our beautiful grand piano.

     Today’s configuration:  Leica M with a Summicron 50mm f/2.0

1966 Ford Econoline


I love vintage cars.  I think it’s because all the new cars today all look the same and don’t stand out from the rest.  For being 48 years old this 1966 Econoline is in great shape.  With California plates I can assume it’s not native to Utah.  If it were I would expect the body to be rusted out from all the salt that’s used on the roads in the winter.

Today’s configuration: Leica M with a Summicron 50mm f/2.0


Scenes From Detroit Michigan Airport


I had a bit of a layover recently in the Detroit Michigan airport.  Here are few thing that caught my eye while walking around.  The picture above is a light tunnel that is synced to music.  I’m guessing it something that was added to calm the travelers as they walked to their gate.

     Today’s configuration: Leica M with a Summicron 50mm f/2.0






Pennsylvania Countryside

Just a taste of what fall is like in Pennsylvania. Growing up on a farm I’m expecially fond of all the farm houses and barns. Next time I’m there I’d like to spend more time exploring the Amish farms and countryside.

     Today’s configuration: Leica M with a Summicron 50mm f/2.0

Lewisville Idaho Library

As I was working on a personal project I hope to share soon I drove past this public library and had to stop to document it.  I was disappointed to see the closed sign in the window, I would have loved to gone inside.  This building is in a Lewisville Idaho, population 458.

     Today’s configuration:  Leica M with a Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4

McConnells Mill, Pennsylvania


I’m finally getting around to editing and organizing some photos I took while visiting some family in Pennsylvania.  I missed the peak of the fall colors by about two weeks but it was still gorgeous.  One evening we drove to McConnells State park to check out McConnells Mill.  The park is around 2500 acres of forest and hills with lots of large rocks that were carved out of the mountain during the ice age.  This area is a popular spot for families and portraits.  I had a difficult time getting the shots I wanted due to the people but was able to get a few good pictures that I’ve included.

Today’s configuration: Leica M with a Summicron 50mm f/2.0 & Sony RX100 Mark II








McConnell Mill,  Pennsylvania



     verb ˈjək-stə-ˌpōz

to place (different things) together in order to create an interesting effect or to show how they are the same or different

Today’s configuration: Leica M with a Summicron 50mm f/2.0

Evening Light with a Wide Angle Lens

If your in Utah be sure to go check out the Acme Camera Company in Sugarhouse.  Jacob is the owner and will bend over backwards to make sure your happy.  He has a used Leica M kit for sale.  I’m in need a of a wide angle lens for my M so I stopped in to check it out.  Turns out the lens I’ve been considering buying is part of the kit.  Jacob was kind enough to let me “take it home” for a few days to try it out. (now that’s service)  I’m sure he knows when that happens your hooked and will be making the purchase.  It’s a dangerous game to play.

On my drive home the sun was setting and the colors were perfect.  I decided to stop at a local pond to test the lens out.  I’m a sucker for farms and farm equipment so I had to make a few images even though with the wind chill it was about 15 degrees fahrenheit.  All but the top picture were shot at wide open f/1.4.  So far this lens looking like it will be part of my bag.  Now just to add a portrait lens then I’m set for a while.
Today’s configuration:  Leica M with a Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4