We forget how special this was at the end of such a traumatic and tragic year – 1968

It was a great way to bring such a horrible year to an end. Vietnam and the Tet Offensive, Bobby and Martin taken from us. The USS Pueblo and crew captured. Convention riots and the “protest” at the Mexico City Olympics. Colleges under siege – My Lei murders and a lost submarine. Hair opens on Broadway and 2001: A Space Odyssey in theaters. We get Nixon. The USS Pueblo crew returns and America sends three humans into orbit around the moon in December. We see the Earth as a little blue and white marble in the blackness of space. 1968 – I was 14 and took in every minute of it.





The Apollo 8 mission brought the events of 1968 to a hopeful close. Could we really land humans on the moon! Apollo 8 got us going. Could Vietnam end? No more assassinations – please. Nuclear weapons flying on B-52s over our heads and U.S. Navy Sailors perish on a sunken submarine (USS Scorpion – 99 Sailors).

You couldn’t jam more stuff into a year if you tried in a thousand lifetimes.


If we were water vapor… we could float with the clouds.


Cumulus congestus – Towering cumulus.



Cumulus congestus to cumulonimbus.


Cumulonimbus approaching the troposphere (fuzzy top).

Within a 5 minute period, these cumulus cloud clusters transitioned to towering cumulus (cumulus congestus) and then grew into a large cumulonimbus cloud mass that produced lightning and rain. They formed so quickly that they dissipated within another 10 minutes.

Florida Atlantic coast – mid afternoon – 7.24.2017


Jacksonville’s Monorail!?

Officially known as the Skyway. First opened in 1989 and overhauled in 1997 – located in downtown Jacksonville (Florida). It serves a limited area from near Florida State College at Jacksonville to the convention center and crosses the St. Johns River along the Acosta Bridge to the Southbank.  Also known by a handful of “colorful” local names, it is Jacksonville’s attempt at an automated people mover.


Running north just under the elevated tracks.


Headed north to the Rosa Parks Transit Station.


At the Rosa Parks Transit Station.

It was free to ride courtesy of the Jacksonville Transit Authority for a time while they worked on a plan for payment. Ridership jumped nearly 61% as one would imagine! Estimates are as many as 5,000 people ride it everyday.

Thanks for stopping by!


Funny Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel — FLOW ART STATION

Funny Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel Underwater Dogs is a funny series of photographs by Seth Casteel. Based in Los Angeles, Seth delivers spontaneous and priceless results to capture our favourite pets in images that will surely last forever. Some of them are really funny and some a bit scary, you’ll be the judge! For […]

via Funny Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel — FLOW ART STATION

Crazy funny stuff! Super imaginative! Amazing pics of dogs as never captured before… scroll through all the pics… pick your favorite.


Fuji Fail-ed… Discovery S700 Zoom Date

It was bound to happen. One klunker out of a bunch of good ones isn’t bad. We think it isn’t so much a bad build as possibly improperly stored… maybe.


Another in the long line of plastic fantastic Fujifilm cameras from the late 1990s.

Part of the Discovery series of compact 35mm point and shoots from Fuji Photo Film. This one came to us still new in the box, unused but maybe stored in a too hot environment. Some of the plastic bag protecting the camera became stuck to the back film door (see below). This one is, using a nautical term, dead in the water. Despite a new battery, the camera won’t fire the flash and the shutter works intermittently or not at all. The power zoom works but beyond that, nothing else. Possibly a short in the circuitry caused by the hot storage (pure speculation).


Sticky residue on the film door from the factory plastic bag. So far it’s resisted all attempts at cleaning it off.

When the battery was first inserted for the date mode, this is the programmed date that popped up. We’re thinking it may be the build year. Why not?


Talking about the date mode battery, what a pain to change it! Number one, it’s not even mentioned in the owner’s manual for starters. It takes a CR2025 3V lithium button battery but it wasn’t mentioned. Take a peek at what it takes to get at it… ⇓


Remove 6 screws and the film pressure plate, the battery cover and then peel up 2 felt light seals!


That baby was buried and stuck down with the light seals!


Back together.

Anyway, it’s a good looking camera and may have been fun to use.



Oh and the remote control (below), no mention of that battery either.


Another CR2025 button battery.


We’ve had great results with our other Fujifilm Discovery series cameras in the past. No reason to believe the series is not worthy of a look. Having said that, this is a new camera that’s never been used and still failed – but that’s why there’s warranties.


Quick specs: Lens Fujinon 35-70mm electronic zoom, 5 elements in 5 groups. DX coded for ISO 100/400. Continuous shooting at 1 frame per second. Weight 235 grams with battery and data back.

Can we recommend the S700 Zoom Date? Well no. There are much better models out there from Fuji. Stick with the longer zoom models still built in Japan.

Thanks for your visit! Comments always welcome.

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W



Yashica FR II – the camera that made me buy the Canon F-1

I know – the FR II and the F-1 are miles apart in features (and price). I purchased my first Yashica, a TL Electro-X in 1971 and used it faithfully through much of the 1970s. Being a young (and married) US Navy Sailor and money deprived, the TL suited me just fine – until I was transferred to Japan in 1977. If you were ever stationed in Yokosuka then you know what Building A33 means. It was the Navy Exchange camera and stereo heaven!!! Reps from all of the major camera manufacturers were present and demonstrated their latest gear to the now cash flush Sailors. Upstairs was a branch of Navy Federal Credit Union… if you couldn’t afford it, finance it! Pure bliss.

I’m so easily distracted.

So it was time for me to upgrade my trusty TL Electro-X, so naturally I looked at what Yashica had to offer. The FR was out but it didn’t do it for me and quite frankly, the Contax RTS didn’t either. So I waited and saved some money and started reading the Navy Exchange catalog every day (and night). The Canon F-1 looked promising but was expensive. The TL needed to hold me over as I was diverted to purchasing stereo equipment. Sansui pre and power amps, Teac reel to reel, Dual turntable and some killer Kenwood speakers. A small fortune so a camera upgrade would have to wait.

Now it’s the summer of 1978. My ship was inport (finally) long enough for Carol and I to spend some quality time together and to focus our attention on replacing the Yashica. Another visit to A33 and another visit with the Yashica rep. Now the FR II was the camera of the day (and he was still pushing the RTS too). No way. The friendly Canon rep was all too happy to take my money and hand me a bright new F-1 with 55mm f/ 1.4 lens and Canon 80-200mm zoom. The Yashica was sold off to a friend and that was it for Yashica (for the next couple of decades).


Oh happy day! July 1978 – my new Canon F-1 and Canon FD 80-200mm f/ 4 zoom lens.

Present day now and I’m finally an owner of a Yashica FR II.


I picked up this beauty recently because it looked to be in near perfect condition and I figured, why not. Well I gotta say that I’m impressed. Not impressed enough to regret my F-1 purchase back in 1978, but impressed.


The camera feels good in my hands – well balanced and the viewfinder is super bright. What a big difference over the Yashica TL Electro-X. The Contax/Yashica lens is crisp, clear and focusses easily (split-image). The meter is simple (this is a aperture priority camera) so you’re only messing with the f stops.


With the power winder attached it’s a tad on the heavy side but would be useful as a weapon (or anchor).


Simple lines and layout. The meter switch (upper right) is a bit awkward but the meter is accurate and that’s all that matters.


Uses all of the C/Y bayonet mount lenses which can be had for a song today. Here is a 135mm, f/ 2.8 lens that came with it in basically unused condition.


We have so many cameras in the queue right now I have no idea when we’ll get a chance to run a roll through it.

Verdict. I’ve waited nearly 40 years to shoot with it so I’m excited to see how it does out in the field. If you find a nice one for sale (mint condition) then give it a try. Stay away from the ones that look rough – these don’t hold up well with abuse. Prices are all over the place – you may be able to strike a nice deal with a seller who’s ready to part ways. Best of luck!

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W