Marks Photography Spot Is Now On YouTube


What’s better than a photography blog? A photography blog with a YouTube channel! :-)

I’m proud to announce that as of today, Mark’s Photography Spot is on YouTube. I decided that I could make more of an impact on helping people enjoy and get better at photography by integrating video into the mix. I plan on using the channel to dig a little deeper into how to use cameras, software and other equipment in order to make better photographs. The videos will be an addition to the content of this blog and I think it will enhance the quality of the overall experience.

Here’s the first video:

I’m Looking forward to the future and sharing more of my photography with all of you via YouTube.

Happy Shooting!

The Latest Addition To The Family-The Yashica GSN

I think I’m getting hooked on old cameras :-)

After having so much fun with the Rolleicord I decided I wanted a classic 35mm film camera. A lot of the research I did suggested I get a vintage reangefinder camera, preferably one ffom Japan that was made in the 1970′s. Turns out there are a lot of thise. But I finally settled on a camera, the Yashica Electro 35 GSN. I did some research on a few rangefinder and classic camera forums and found what seemed to be a nice example from a guy in Japan. I bought it last week and it arrived yesterday.

Here it is:

Day 341-Straight From Japan

My initial impression of the camera is great. First off, it is nice and heavy, like a classic camera should be. The camera seems to be in very good shape. The cost was just over $100 with shipping. The guy I bought it from had very good feedback from others and the camera has supposedly gone through a recent CLA (clean, lube, adjust) which included replacing the seals. By the looks of the camera I think it is as advertised. I needed to pick up a battery for it and I also need to hook up one of my Canon camera straps in the interim, until I find a proper strap and case for the camera. I plan on loading up a roll of film in it this weekend and seeing if I got my money’s worth.

I’ll report back with the results.

Happy Shooting!


My First Attempt At Developing Your Own Film

Everyone I talked to or read about on the web said that developing your own film is easy and fun. Well, today I tested that theory. I developed my first roll of film. Here’s the final result:

Day 322- My First Roll Of Developed Film

As you can see, the film came out with actual images on them, which was a pleasant surprise :-) I went into this 1st attempt with very low expectations but the end result was (almost) perfect. I say “almost” because there are at least two frames that are damaged in some way. The frames are the 2nd and 3rd (from the bottom). If you look closely you can see the left side of those frames has a purple “blotch” on them. I’m not sure how that happened but my uneducated guess is that either that section of the film was touching another section due to improper placement of the film on the reel (highly likely due to my error) or that that section somehow didn’t get any developer on it.

Either way, its something I need to correct next time, but I need to figure out what caused it first. If any of you have any ideas what caused it, please let me know.

Other than that, I’m very happy with the outcome. This was a “junk” roll of film meaning that I didn’t have an critical images on it. I have one other roll like that that I finished shooting today and I plan on developing it here in the next week or so.

One roll down, many more to go!


Blog Upgrade In Progress

I just wanted to let “Y’all” know that I am in the process of upgrading the look (and hopefully the functionality) of the blog.

So, over the next few days or so you may see the blog go through a few changes as I play around with various options on the new theme that I plan on using,Suffusion, which seems like a great theme with a lot of options. I’m hoping to add a more robust gallery to the site as well as make the blog more interactive.

Stay tuned for the “New and Improved” version of Mark’s Photography Spot!

Reader Poll-Which Sunrise Photograph Is The Best

I’m working through the images from our trip and starting to really dig into/play with  all the various post-processing options that are available to me (of which there seems to be an endless amount). I started working on another image from our visit to the Bisti Badlands, a shot taken a few minutes after sunrise. I started playing around with the image and before I knew it I had 3 different versions of the image, all done using a different technique. I generally like all 3 results but in a different way for each. So many choices and options!…….

This brings me to a question, and I thought I’d ask all of you (or at least the 3 of you that read this)  :-) , which sunrise photograph do you like the best, number 1, 2 or 3? I have a favorite but I’m interested in seeing what Y’all think. If you could leave a comment with your choice (and why you like it, if you want). I think your feedback and input would be very helpful to me as I start to “develop” my post-processing routine. Don’t be shy about why you like or dislike an image, I want to hear your honest opinion. All the input will help me improve and that’s what I want to do.

I’ll tally up the responses and reveal the “crowd favorite” in a few days and then let you know how each image was processed. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Here are each of the images, in no particular order (You can click on the image to view a larger version):

Sunrise Photo #1

Here’s #2

Sunrise Photo #2

And here’s #3

Sunrise Photo #3

Thanks for your feedback and for participating!

Photographing The Fox Theatre And Other Benefits Of Photography Groups

I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my camera tomorrow. That’s because I will be taking advantage of the opportunity to get some uninterrupted time (2 hours) in the  fabulous Fox Theatre, one of Atlanta’s most prized possessions.

I would have never been able to do something like this if I was just “on my own”. I could just imagine the response I’d get from the management of the Fox if I called them up and said “Hi, i’m an amateur photographer and would like to have exclusive access to your lovely facility so I can take some pictures. When can I schedule that?” :-)  But since I’m a member of a couple of photography groups, this conversation never needed to take place. Instead, one of the other members (who has much more pull in the world of photography than I) was able to schedule a couple of 2-hour blocks of time for members of our group.

There will be some cost involved, $10 each, and we won’t be able to use images from the shoot for commercial purposes or to promote our own photography business. Other than that, we are free to take as many images as we can and share the results with others.

Tripods are allowed and encouraged so I plan on taking advantage of that and hopefully getting some decent images that I’ll share with all of you once I have time to process them.

The Benefits Of Joining A Photography Group

Like I said up above, gaining access to a historic venue like the Fox Theatre would never be possible on my own. But as a member of a larger photography group I will be able to test my photographic skills in this classic venue. In addition, I will be there with 12 other photographers who have a lot of experience that I can learn from.

I joined 2 local photography groups soon after I got back into photography last June and I am so glad I did. I’ve met some great people, made a few new friends and learned a lot about photography in the process. There are some very talented and experienced photographers in the groups and they are very willing to share their experiences and offer advice when asked. If I hadn’t joined a group I’m sure that I would be much less proficient than I am (although I have a long ways to go).

So, for all of you aspiring photographers out there, no matter your experience or skill level, who don’t belong to at least one photography club or group, join one today!! There are many resources to find a group that matches your interest. One of the best sources is Meetup. I used Meetup to find the 3 groups Pam and I belong to. All I did was type in “photography” in the search box on the Meetup site and Voila, I found a few groups that seemed worthwhile. There are groups all over the place so check them out and find a photography group near you.

Your camera will thank you.

Happy Shooting!