Frank chose the phrase "back catalogue"1 for the weekly photo challenge. Frank, thank you for this!! Until my eye-sight returns to normal, I can’t drive, which means my photographic opportunities are limited to my home or to wherever I can safely walk. I submitted nothing for the last two challenges. My Adobe Lightroom Classic catalogue has two decades worth of digital photographs. I was sure I could find a picture to share “as is” or to re-interpret. The challenge with this challenge was deciding how far back in the catalogue to go, what to choose, and why?

After thirty minutes of skimming my catalogue, I chose this image of the Statue of Liberty from 15th August 2012. Bhavna, the kids and I took a day off in the middle of the week to visit Ellis Island. We had hoped to avoid the tourist crowds. We need not have feared, though, as it started to drizzle when we got to Liberty State Park, New Jersey. We were undeterred and toured Ellis Island, enjoying the indoor exhibits. We thought that maybe the rain would let up by the time we finished touring the facility so that we could visit the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, New Jersey.

But as we excited, it was still raining, and since none of us wanted to walk around in the rain, we waited for the return ferry to Liberty State Park. As our boat crossed the water, the sun attempted to force itself through the rain clouds. I pulled out my Nikon D40 and snapped this shot.

I used Google Colour EFX Pro to add some "grunge".

22 June 2013 – Grand Central Terminal: 100 Years of a New York Landmark – Nikon D5100 + 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18 mm @ 18mm, 20s at f/16, ISO 100 – DxO Silver Efex Pro 2

The second image is from a June 2013 field trip to Grand Central Terminal on Park Avenue at 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York. My friend and instructor, the Princeton based photographer Alan Kesselhaut , organised the field trip, obtaining tripod permits for the well-trodden Main Concourse so that we would not be chased away by transit police. At the time of our visit, Grand Central Terminal was celebrating 100 years of continuous operation, making this field trip significant. The window was darkened in certain spots to create the number "100".

Interesting side note, there is an Apple Store in the space at the top of the staircase just below the large window.

The image was originally a colour HDR photography. For this version of the picture, I applied one of the B&W presets from DxO Silver Efex Pro 2.

24 May 2013 – John Haines Hall, Princeton University – Nikon D5100 + 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 32 mm @ f/4.8, ISO 100

The third image is from the Spring of 2013. I was recently released from my employer of ten years and was a week away from starting as a consultant for a client in Trenton. I was bored at home, so I grabbed my camera and tripod and took a drive into Princeton on what was a fresh, crisp sunny day. I walked around Princeton University noticing that most of the co-eds had gone home for the summer break, but the campus still had some signs of life. It was late Spring, and many of the trees on campus were green with fresh young leaves. The ivy was crawling everywhere. The trees and the Ivy and the bicycles in front of John Haines Hall were full of bright colour.

I took several shots and combine then in Photomatix Pro for an HDR effect. I may have pushed things a bit too far with the saturation and vibrancy settings. I'm not sure what happened, but I can't find the original images from which I made the HDR.


  1. I have corrected Frank's spelling of the word catalogue. 

Frank’s challenge this week is fuzzy. The example image Frank shows in his post is what my left eye sees at the moment. Almost like looking through a dirty pair of spectacles.

While I have recovered from the physical trauma of orbital decompression eye surgery, I have a new complication for my vision. I have double vision.

At my post-surgery follow-up, the doctors performed some tests confirming that I have double. The good news is that this is temporary. The bad news is we don’t know the meaning of temporary. Is it two months or six months? Will I do better with corrective lenses, or will I require more surgery? We don’t know. I have another followup with the ophthalmologists in Philadelphia in about two months. I’ll know more then.

I would be lying if I said I am not frustrated and feeling dispirited by this news and the challenges before me.

I alternate between wearing an eye patch on each eye. Several years ago, I had cataract surgery in the left eye and laser surgery in the other eye. My left eye is used for distance vision, e.g. driving, and my right eye is used for reading and using the computer. Together my eyes gave me a full range of view. With the double vision, this is broken.

Walking is challenging since I need both eyes to measure depth. I will not be driving. My spouse, although she has done much for me during this time, can only help so much and I do not want to overwhelm her. She has her health challenges. She will not be able to drive me to work each day, or to the early morning photography workshops and photo walks, I usually do at this time of year.

I am a freelance consultant. I have no vacation days and no paid time off. On Monday I will have a big ask of my client. Will they allow me to work remotely until my eyesight improves? It’s not a technical issue. I work remotely for two days a week. The client has systems and technology to support this. It’s more of asking for a policy exception.

I know what I can’t do. I can’t drive or go on photo walks. I spend a lot of time on the couch watching TV and movies. To remain positive, I am focusing on what I can do. If/when we leave the house to do errands, I go with my wife and I photograph whatever I can see. I have mostly used my iPhone 7 for this as e Fuji X-T2 feels too large to take on errands.

I have included a few photos that were captured using the double exposure feature of my Fuji X-T2. I think these images give some idea of what it feels like with my vision. The double exposure feature is easy to use. I select the double exposure feature on the command dial, shoot the first image, and accept the result on the LCD when the camera prompts to do so. The camera then overlays the first image on the live viewfinder so that I can see how the double exposure will look. Pressing the shutter then captures the second image overlaid on the first.

The images are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs.

Sep 22, 2019, Early autumn — FujiFilm X-T2 +XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

I keep repeating, but I had orbital decompression surgery on Monday. My face, especially around my eyes, looked like I had a rough night at fight club. After a week of alternating use of an ice pack for twenty minutes on, and twenty minutes off, and lots of bed rest, and being mentally unfocused due to strong pain medications, I can finally see out of both eyes. I am still on several medications, including whole-body anti-biotics and in-eye anti-biotics which I apply three times a day to both eyes. I have a double vision which the doctors expect will go away on its own or I will require additional surgery. I'll know more at my post-surgery appointment on Monday.

This week, I had not expected to submit a post for Frank's Photo Challenge. Until today, I had not even thought about the weekly challenge. I was focused on recovering from surgery. But I was skipping through the WordPress Reader and saw a response to the photo challenge and out of curiosity, I looked for this week's keyword and started laughing. Focus!!

Due to cataract surgery on my left several years ago, I had to choose the type of lens I wanted. I opted for distance vision. With the left eye, I can focus on objects that are further than two meters or more from my sight. Soon after that, I had laser surgery, phase reactive keratotomy, in my right eye, which allows me to focus on the nearby objects that are two-metres or less from my right eye. My brain combines both images to enable stereoscopic vision so that I can drive safely, read a screen, a book, and watch a movie.

Of course, seeing two of every car as I drive isn't ideal. With my post-surgery diplopia, I can't focus on anything in front of me unless I close one of my eyes. My wife gave me an eye-patch to alternately cover each eye. But when you can see out of one eye only, you lose stereoscopic vision and the ability to determine depth.

So what to do? I wanted to submit an entry.

I decided to save up my energy; it takes a lot out of me to cover one eye long enough to type these words so that I could submit two images. I captured both pictures on my Fuji X-T2 with a manual focus 35mm film lens, my Asahi SMC Takumar 55mm f/2. For the first image, I used the focus-peaking feature of the Fujifilm X-T2 to help me find the proper focus for the image. For the other, I focus on using just my eyes. I expect one image is sharper than the other.

The out-o-focus image is a decent depiction of what my vision was like a day after surgery.

I used Luis Costa's monochrome film simulation recipe, which I found via Ritchie Roesch's [Not] My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Tri-X Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe post. The last time I shot a monochrome film was in college in the mid-'80s. I don't remember explicitly shooting Tri-X, but I do remember capturing a lot of monochrome images. I don't know if this Tri-X recipe is close to Tri-X or not, but I like the way it looks.

Sep 14, 2019, Chive Flower — FujiFilm X-T2 + Asahi SMC Takumar 55mm f/2