When the skies are cloudy all day

This week started on a positive note but ended in the gloom.

Monday 23 August 2021

On Friday, I called the Fujifilm repair facility in Edison to inquire about the status of my damaged X-T2. The person who answered the phone told me that it would cost nearly $600 to repair. I was disappointed, very disappointed. I ask for my broken companion to be returned to me.

When Bhavna woke up, I told her about the cost, and she agreed that she didn't think it was worth it to repair. I had bought the X-T2 used for $1000. I told her it made more sense to buy another used one. She agreed.

I looked on KEH and MPB and Lensrentals. Initially, I focused on buying an X-T2, but I mainly found silver body choices, and I prefer the black body. KEH and MPB sell used X-T2 bodies for $630 to $790 depending on the condition (Excellent to Like New). I noticed that MPB and KEH had more used black body X-T3 models for sale for $900-$1029 for bodies in Excellent to Like New condition. A new X-T3 sells for $1200. I discussed with Bhavna, and she suggested that since we did not vacation in 2019 and 2020, perhaps it was ok to spend that money and get something "new".

My "Like New" Fujifilm X-T3 arrives this Wednesday. Yay!


Henri has brought some heavy rainfall to New Jersey this past weekend and even today. But hopefully, the sun will come out this week, and I can practice some Komorebi for the Lens-Artists Challenge #162 – It's All About the Light.

Wednesday 25 August 2021

Last week I bought a pre-owned "Like New" Fuji X-T3 from MPB. I had expected delivery today, but it arrived one day earlier on Tuesday. It was a pleasant surprise and lifted my spirits. During my last meeting of the day, I programmed the settings on the cameras using my memory of what was set on my Fuji X-T2. The Fuji repair site in Edison has still not returned my broken companion.

This morning as I inspected the unit more closely, I realised that though used, it is in excellent shape with no scratches or dings. I want it to stay that way. After some thought, I bought a pre-owned Fujifilm BLC-XT3 Bottom Leather Case from Adorama for $34. The Fujifilm BLC-XT3 is a genuine leather bottom case designed for X-T3, that according to Fujifilm's description, has premium textures and normally retails for $77. My web searches found other attractive (and handmade) options, but they all cost two to three times more. I cannot justify spending that much money.

I also realise that I want a new L-bracket (base plate and L-plate). I have a Really Right Stuff (RRS) BXT2B-L for the Fuji X-T2. It sort of fits and would work in a pinch but doesn't fit snugly in the right places. The Fuji X-T3 is a slightly longer and broader camera by an mm or so. But the RRS BXT3-L plates for Fuji X-T3 seems so expensive. I'm on a hunt for a used one. The best price I have found so far is one in "EX" condition on KEH. I don't require it right now. I'll hold off and maybe find one cheaper.

Thursday 26 August 2021

First images from the Fuji X-T3.

Allium canadense
Allium canadense | Thursday 26 August, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T3 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 | 1340 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 320
The Kurayoshi Malt Whisky
The Kurayoshi Malt Whisky | Thursday 26 August, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T3 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | 175 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 3200

Friday 27 August 2021

Two weeks ago, Bhavna and I had stopped at Magnifico's late at night, and since my broken Fuji was still out for repair, I exposed a few frames of a 35mm roll of Kodak Velvia 100 that I had in my Minolta XD-11. We had driven to Source Brewing to pick up the new release and ended up staying to sit in the back lawn and enjoy a flight before heading home. The sunset was setting as we were leaving.

On the way up through New Brunswick, we stopped for soft-serve ice at Magnifico's, a popular ice creamery we often visited when my nephews lived in South River. Honestly, despite some blurring from low shutter speeds, some of the images from the Minolta are decent. I sent the film off for development and scanning to Boutique Film Lab.

As you may know, in July, Fujifilm has discontinued Velvia 100. The film cannot be sold or developed after September 2021. This is the last roll of Fuji Velvia for me.

August 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | FUJICHROME Velvia 100
August 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | FUJICHROME Velvia 100
August 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | FUJICHROME Velvia 100
Source Brewing
August 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | FUJICHROME Velvia 100

10811_KW_8108_Velvia-100_108968-R1-E039-960x661.jpg" alt="Magnifico's" width="960" height="661" class="size-medium wp-image-82509" /> August 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | FUJICHROME Velvia 100[/caption]

Source Brewing
August 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | FUJICHROME Velvia 100
Source Brewing
August 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | FUJICHROME Velvia 100
Source Brewing
August 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | FUJICHROME Velvia 100
https://islandinthenet.com/
Magnifico's | August 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | FUJICHROME Velvia 100
https://islandinthenet.com/
Magnifico's | August 2021 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7 | FUJICHROME Velvia 100

Kodachrome 64

I've been preparing to sit the CCSP certification exam for several months. Despite knowledge of the material, some people, like myself, don't perform well on multiple-choice tests. We do better on practical tests or tests where you write in your answer. I completed an online CCSP training course a few months ago, and since then, I have been taking practice tests. I completed a practice test every chance I had, especially this week. I feel confident that I will pass the exam on Saturday.

Today after my last practice test, Bhavna, Shaan, and I drove up to New Brunswick for soft-serve ice cream at Magnifico. I wanted to capture some images for the Lens-Artists Challenge #162 – It's All About the Light before the weekend. The images below are the JPEGs created in cameras using Fuji X Weekly's Kodachrome 64 Film Simulation Recipe.

Magnifico's
Magnifico's | Friday 27 August, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T3 | XF27mmF2.8 | 140 sec at f/7.1 | ISO 640
Magnifico's
Magnifico's | Friday 27 August, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T3 | XF27mmF2.8 | 140 sec at f/7.1 | ISO 1000
Magnifico's
Magnifico's | Friday 27 August, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T3 | XF27mmF2.8 | 170 sec at f/7.1 | ISO 320
Magnifico's
Magnifico's | Friday 27 August, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T3 | XF27mmF2.8 | 140 sec at f/7.1 | ISO 640

Saturday 28 August 2021

I was excited about today. Today was supposed to be special in a few ways. I would participate in The Photographers Group one day project, One Summer Day.

The 28th is the last Saturday of blissful August. Our objective for this project is to chronicle the day, to visually record this summer day from dawn to dusk. We will create an online gallery of all the photos and the top photos will be exhibited at the South Harrison Street Outdoor Gallery and compiled into a book.

I had a busy day ahead of me. Blood draws in the morning for my quarterly blood work. Then stop in at Sakrid Coffee Roasters for a cappuccino. Then home for two hours to watch the F1 qualifying race for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. Then back out to Princeton University for about an hour to help an international student - child of some doctors from St. Vincent - get his smartphone set up on Verizon. Then back home to relax until my scheduled three-hour exam for my CCSP certification.

I’m interviewing with Amazon Web Services on Monday, and I wanted to mention that I had passed the exam. I had prepared for this certification which I feel will help open doors to more career opportunities. I completed my online training months ago and have been doing practice tests and exams to prepare for the exams. This week I did about eight hours of testing, and I felt confident I would pass the exam. It also meant that I had very little time this week for photography.

But at 2 PM, when I arrived at the testing centre, I found the doors locked, and no one answered the phone. This was the end of my excitement for the day. I checked my email and found this disappointing message.

**PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL **

Client name: (ISC)2
Site name: Pearson Professional Centers-Princeton(Trenton) NJ
Exam name: Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
Exam date and time: 28 Aug 2021 2:00 PM
Case ID: 06992499

Dear Khurt L Williams,

\*This is a system generated message.\*

Unfortunately, we are unable to deliver your exam as scheduled on 28 Aug 2021 2:00 PM. We know this is disappointing news, and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

We are working to clear out your existing appointment. In most circumstances, you can select a new appointment for your exam on our website by signing in to your account.

Some event- or window-based exams may not be available for rescheduling on our website. If you are not able to reschedule, your program-specific customer service team is available to assist you. Additionally, if you have any special accommodations, you must call to reschedule your exam.

Please allow one business day before trying to choose a new appointment date through our website.
Thank you for your patience. We look forward to seeing you for your test soon.
Thank you,

Pearson VUE Customer Service

An automated system generated message with no explanation and no contact information?

I am so furious. Livid. Too angry to continue the one summer day project.

I found a new exam date, September 18, but I’m worried about how I’ll maintain my momentum until then. I have strong knowledge of the subject is but sitting exams is challenging for me. I’m also worried that the testing centre will also cancel the new exam date with no explanation.

I feel defeated. I don’t know how to let go of the anger. But I have to find a way before my interview with AWS on Monday. But for now, I want to sit on the couch.


I want to mention that we've had overcast conditions the entire weekend. Any thoughts of Komerebi are dashed. Flat light from the giant softbox that is the sky.

Where's the sun | Saturday 28 August, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T3 | XF27mmF2.8 | 160 sec at f/7.1 | ISO 6400
Blood draw | Saturday 28 August, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T3 | XF27mmF2.8 | 140 sec at f/7.1 | ISO 800
Sakrid Coffee
Sakrid Coffee | Saturday 28 August, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T3 | XF27mmF2.8 | 140 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 250
Sakrid Coffee
Sakrid Coffee | Saturday 28 August, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T3 | XF27mmF2.8 | 140 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 160
Sakrid Coffee
Sakrid Coffee | Saturday 28 August, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T3 | XF27mmF2.8 | 140 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 250
Lupita Bodega
Lupita Bodega | Saturday 28 August, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T3 | XF27mmF2.8 | 180 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 160
Lupita Bodega
Lupita Bodega | Saturday 28 August, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T3 | XF27mmF2.8 | 175 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 160
Sir Alphonso Mango | Saturday 28 August, 2021 | FujiFilm X-T3 | XF27mmF2.8 | 170 sec at f/2.8 | ISO 160

Kane Brewing Company's Head High

I am drinking a Head High by Kane Brewing Company at Old Man Rafferty's.

[exif id="35058"]

Dinner wirh my college kid.

Beer: Head High
Style: IPA - American
Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.6%
IBU: 80
My rating: 25
Venue: Old Man Rafferty's, New Brunswick, NJ
Brewery: Kane Brewing Company, Ocean, NJ, United States
Brewer's notes: Head High is our interpretation of an American-style India Pale Ale (IPA). This beer is all about the hops; we use a blend of five different varieties all grown in the Pacific Northwest. A small charge of Chinook and Columbus early in the boil adds a smooth bitterness. A majority of the hops are then added late in the kettle or post-fermentation to produce a beer that is heavy on hop flavor and aroma. The combination of Cascade, Centennial, Citra and Columbus give Head High a noticeable grapefruit flavor with aromas of citrus, tropical fruits and pine. Our house American ale yeast ferments to a dry finish that accentuates the use of imported Pilsner and lightly kilned crystal malt resulting in Head High’s straw color and crisp flavor.