Photography

I hesitate to call writing a hobby. To me it is a ministry. However, I do have a couple of hobbies and between the two, photography is my favorite. I probably am not as good at it as I would like, but I do enjoy it. I find that my favorite subject to photo is nature.

I have a Canon AE-1 SLR 35mm film camera. It has tremendous optics and is made like a tank. I have recently had it refurbished. It is like I now have a brand-new 1976 Canon AE-1! :-)

I also recently added a Yashica-D Twin Lens Reflex camera to my arsenal. It is completely manual. There are no batteries required because it doesn’t even have a light meter in it. I shoot black and white with it. It is the camera that I had in college back in 1969-1971 that I used in a photo-journalism class at Oklahoma State University. It uses 120 film which must be processed by a lab or in a personal darkroom. That is on my wish list. :-)

I also have a Canon Digital Camera. It is a SD750 7.1 megapixel. Most of the pictures here were taken with it.

My wife got me new camera for Christmas (2009). It is a Canon PowerShot SX120 IS. I love it!

I recently (June 26, 2009) acquired a Canon EOS ELAN II camera. It is a 35mm film camera with a 28-80mm Zoom lens. I’m still learning how to use it. Hopefully I will soon be posting some pictures here taken with it.

Some have asked about my technique on taking pictures. I use the Sunny 16 rule.

I also use a hand held exposure computer. Here is a link to it and here is the link to how it works and how to put it together.

I also use the Ultimate Exposure Computer , it has never let me down. :-)

14 thoughts on “Photography

  1. Beautiful pictures Mike! My favorite is the Sunset. There is something about a Sunset that just amazes me. It is so beautiful. Our daughter gave us a digital camera for Christmas. I now need to figure how to work it. This may take awhile lol.

    Cristina

  2. Thanks Cristina. That sunset was over Puget Sound taken from pier 54 just as the last ferry was about to go out of sight. Digital is very convenient, but I can usually take better pictures with my film camera. The digital cameras that can do as well are very expensive. Send me some photos when you get it going. :-)

  3. Mike, I found your site on CRN. Apart from the ministry aspect, when I saw the “photography” link, and opened up those pics…..wow!

    You underestimate your photographic skills. Those are great pics. Is that sunset pic on the main page a panoramic shot?

  4. Alan,

    No that is just a wide angle shot I took from the end of a pier on the Seattle Waterfront as the Sun was setting over the Sound. I suppose it looks panoramic because the Olympic Penensula in the distance is far enough away and there is so much water between where I was and it and the sky is so open that it looks that way. Thanks for your compliments. Unfortunately, I gave that camera to my son and have revereted back to film. My Film camera is a Canon AE-1 that I bought in 1976. I’ve had it refurbished and it is now like new. I will be taking a trip in May to a mountianous region of Oklahma so am planning on taking a lot of black and white as well as color shots there. I will put them up if they turn out. Again, thanks!

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  5. How did I miss this post? Anyway, you are really good at photography! I bought a 35mm about 7 years ago with two different lens and I can’t take a good picture to save my life. Today I went and bought a digital camera. I would like to go to class and learn how to use both. I love photography even if I do stink at it.

  6. Sarah,

    I’ll bet that class would help you a lot. I learned all about f-stops, shutter speeds, focal lengths, film speeds, light levels, etc. when I took that photo-journalism class at OSU. We took one roll of film and worked off of just a couple of shots on that roll in the darkroom the rest of the semester. I would love to have my own darkroom, but now I do all of that on my Mac using Photoshop. I think I’m going to take a class on how to get the most from Photoshop soon. Should be fun. The first two pictures above were taken with my digital that my son has now. The rest were taken with my Canon AE-1. The Digital is a lot easier to get pictures on your computer, but I always get a CD with my prints when I get my film developed. That helps a lot.

    Let me know how the class goes. :-)

  7. I have recently taken up digital photography and would love to learn more about basic fundamentals in how to use a camera effectively, such as how aperture and shutter speed adjustments can affect shots . Do you know of a great place online where I might find tutorials that can baby step me through the process?

    Strangely I was drawn to your site while scanning through old Sliceoflaodicea archived pages on my system. I recall how often you commented on their site as I went there frequently to learn of new deceptions creeping into the Church. God works in great yet mysterious ways does he not? Praise God for men like yourself who are willing to stand up in the times we face ahead.

  8. Wayne,

    Start with those links in the article above. They are great.

    Yes, God is in complete control. I pray that God will continue to guide your paths.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  9. I agree, great images I esp. like the B&W. I hope you have that well framed!
    I am just returning to photography after a gap of 30+ years. What little I learned was back when an AE-1 was pretty high tech. After all, it used batteries! Not being able to justify the expense of a digital SLR as a returning hobby, I ended up choosing a Canon S1 as a compromise. Plenty of manual control. The best thing I did was take a community course from a good local photographer. She had us learn to turn off all the auto stuff, then learn to make the camera do what you want. Add the auto back if you want it.

    It’s amazing that after all these advances, it still comes down to composition, shutter, aperature, and focus. Learn to understand these, and you’ll take great pictures.

    I’m new round these parts, look forward to reading your stuff. My own walk has taken me into the thinking of the English reformers, and Anglican worship seen through that lens.
    -Blessings!

  10. Eric,

    Welcome! I too have recently come back to photography as a hobbie. My AE-1′s seals were all gummed up when I started using it again. I had that fixed and now it’s great. The problem is the rust on me. :-)

    I have that one framed. Thanks! I am getting ready to take a trip into SE Oklahoma into the mountains. I have several rolls of 50ISO B&W to take some serious landscape shots. I am really looking forward to it. Yes, you are right that taking great photos has a lot more to do with the skill of the photographer than the equipment.

    Your class sounds like one I would like to take. :-)

    Again, welcome and I pray you will find a blessing in the other posts here.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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