An Extended Daily Inspiration #869 By Val

Hi, Brandon, Steve and every one,

My name is Val. Back in 1977, I got my first camera as my ten years old birthday present (it was Smena 8M), and I am seeing life through the viewfinder since then. In the old days, my favorite one was Contax III – quiet, shake free, and discreet. It was always with me ready to capture the moment. I used to have scales and photo chemicals at home and went through all possible film developer recipes until I found what I was looking for – a stock solution that had all four developing substances plus preservatives etc (some people would call it crazy!). It produced so nice and tiny grain and a wonderful tonal range, especially with overexposing one stop and slightly under developing.

After moving to digital, I enjoyed the Sony 727. It served me well for four years, until one day all of a sudden its shutter stopped and the old trusty friend departed to the camera’s heaven (which is at the shelf with my old cameras). Currently, I am shooting with the Olympus OMD EM1 and I am very happy with it.

I like taking photographs of the life around me – landscapes, people, events, macro objects – anything and everything. People are my favorite. Not all my pictures are technically perfect, and even less of them have any artistic value. Still, each of them is a reminder of my life experiences, places that I have visited and people who I have met. I like flipping through my old and not so old photographs, and even more I like to get out and shoot something new.

The first picture is taken at the Maverick Air Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was shot with the Oly and PL 25 mm f1.8. To lift up the in-hangar details, I’ve combined three shots 2 EV apart from each other into a one HDR image. Nothing too special but it did the trick. The biggest challenge were the people watching the airplanes. After taking a couple of pictures of that airplane from inside of the hangar, I wondered around the field taking pictures of the other crafts. When I came back to the hangar about forty minutes later, those three guys were still there chatting if they were glued to the ground. Probably, they were destined to be in the picture. So, here they are.


The second picture is taken in Rapid City at the Art Alley. Rapid City is a photographer’s paradise, and the Art Alley is one of my favorite places there. What makes that alley special is its graffiti. Most of the graffity is a real piece of art. Anybody is allowed to draw anything and everything with the only one rule – the new graffiti needs to be better than the one it replaces. For that reason, this alley is never the same. It is very possible that when you visit the alley this graffiti will be replaced with something new. If there were no “three pictures only” restriction rule at this blog, I would post a couple more pictures from that alley with the graffiti that are already gone. By the way, the camera and the lens used for taking this picture are the same.


The third picture is taken at the recognizing Native Americans event not far from Vermillion, South Dakota. There were about half a dozen models. This lady was with her son and daughter dressed in the native costumes who you could enjoy seeing in the other picture if there were no  … you know the rest.The picture was taken with the same Oly and the Zuiko 75 mm and an external off the camera flash. The photo shoot took place about 7 pm which seemed to be the dinner time for the local mosquitos. The model’s son and I instantaneously became the mosquitoes’ favorites, so I quickly took a couple of pictures and then ran for my life. I was lucky to have a light and portable Olympus system which disappointed those blood thirsty half-inch sized vampires a bit. The other photographer was not so lucky – she had a Nikon 800 with 24-70 and 70-200 zooms, an 85 mm prime and a strobe on the wheels. As expected, no happy Oly owner was harmed, and the happy Nikon owner stayed alive too … eventually.


I still have no web site but I will make it some day.

Happy shooting,


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  1. Nice shots, Thanks for sharing. What was the “stock solution that had all four developing substances plus preservatives etc”?

  2. I agree with Carmen. You must take three important steps: 1) Keep up the great work; 2) Start that web site; and 3) Let us know where it’s located.


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