Hanover Barbershop Chorus

I took the above pictures when the Hanover Barbershop Chorus was practicing in the Chapel in Homewood at Plum Creek.  They are getting ready for their 46th Annual Barbershop Harmony Show … “Moonlight & Love Songs.”

I really liked their music!  They are very good.  You can read more about them by going to their website by clicking here.

I hope to see some of you at the show.  It will be on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 7:30 in the Hanover High School Auditorium.  Tickets are $15 and you can get them at the door or by clicking here and to learn how to get them in advance.

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Posted by on August 23, 2014 in Hanover PA, Homewood at Plum Creek, Photography



Aging Photographers … Lighten Up


There are several techniques that aging photographers can adopt so that they can keep on photographing after they no longer wish to carry or hold their heavy DSLR camera.   They can switch to lighter, smaller prime lenses and change what they photograph; i.e. stop photographing wildlife with big heavy long zoom lenses.  Or, they can switch to smaller lighter cameras with smaller sensors.  Even Saul Leiter moved “down” to micro 4/3 cameras and he hadn’t been shooting with a heavy DSLR camera or long heavy zoom lenses.  I have mentioned these techniques before as I adopted them.  This article is about a third scheme … using a lighter, smaller entry-level DSLR with a prime lens in order to cut weight.

One characteristic that I have noticed with my arthritic hands is that a lighter camera-lens combination is a big help but having a lighter camera-lens combination with a good hand-grip and buttons that aren’t too small or too close together is even better.  In addition, I thought that an appropriate hand grip would compensate for a little more camera weight.  For that reason I ordered a Nikon D3300 camera with a 35 mm prime lens to try.  My hope was that the hand grip would compensate for the heavier camera with an APS size sensor and lenses and mirror.  My motive for trying this approach was that I wanted to get a little better image quality in low light than I can get with my micro 4/3 sensor camera.  I also hoped that the 24 MP sensor would enable me to do more crop-zooming with the 35 mm f/1.8 DX lens.

Well, I tried this third approach and rejected it.  I didn’t find that the larger sensor was much better and I didn’t like the focus capability of the D3300.  It focused fast enough in good light but it needed to use the focus assist light in low light and I didn’t like shining a small spot light on my subjects.  The real killer was that the 35 mm lens back-focused about an inch.  Having this problem along with the camera-lens combination being larger with few external controls was too much to warrant me keeping it.  I returned it.

Another more subtle problem was that I didn’t find the cheap quality of the camera to be pleasing.  I need to like my cameras.  They have to feel and look like they have been well-engineered and constructed.  I think I have learned a few lessons.  One, I am done with the DSLR cameras and their large lenses.  I have sold mine with a few attempts to try others one more time, but this was the last time.  Two, going cheaper is not the solution.


Posted by on August 21, 2014 in Homewood at Plum Creek, Photography


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Internal Shadows & Reflections

This is what I sometimes do when I haven’t taken any other pictures during the day.  It is a series of images with lots of reflections and shadows taken inside our Villa as the sun light was approaching the horizontal.  I like light beams, reflections, and shadows.  I leave it up to the viewers to guess what parts are reflections.

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Posted by on August 19, 2014 in Homewood at Plum Creek, Photography



Breaking Through


The morning sun breaks through the fog.

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Posted by on August 16, 2014 in Homewood at Plum Creek, Photography



Stained Glass Window in the Chapel

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There is a window high up on the wall of the Chapel here in Homewood at Plum Creek.  It is high and hard to get close enough to see the details, so I decided to take a picture of it.  Since I didn’t have something high to stand on, I took it at an angle from down below and then corrected the perspective to get a proper view.  I just thought that some might like to see it as it was meant to be seen.

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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Homewood at Plum Creek, Photography


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Genuine Antique Person

This is an appropriate hat for a clown to wear.  I imagine that everyone living here knows who wears it.  The average age may be in the low 80s here, but most of us manage to have fun and enjoy ourselves.

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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Homewood at Plum Creek, Photography


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Do I Need a Weather Resistant Camera?

I have been thinking about how to increase the number of things, the times, and the places that I photograph.  One of the most obvious things to try is to expand into taking pictures in bad weather and in low light.  This would significantly increase my opportunities for photography this coming winter.  I took the above images with two different cameras a little after six am one rainy morning.

If I were to buy another camera better suited to such photography, I would prefer a small, weather resistant (WR), sturdy, discreet camera with a good sensor and lens for low light photography.  I would prefer a design that is an extension of my hand; i.e. a camera to be carried in my hand at my side and then brought up, turned on, focused, and fired quickly while out walking in bad weather.  While I would like it to be light-weight and small, I still would want it to have a good grip and a good viewfinder.  I want a viewfinder since I don’t want the LCD all lit up when on the street in a dark environment and I want to be able to easily and constantly change the exposure since this is a necessity in low light.  Since some cameras don’t focus as well in really low light, it would also need to have the capability for manual focusing.

The camera described above does not exist.  The closest, least expensive DSLR is probably the Pentax K-50 which I had and sold.  I sold it in hopes of finding something lighter and smaller, but I am still waiting for someone to make one.  The next smallest WR camera is the Nikon 1 AW1 but it is more expensive, has lower image quality (especially in low light), has no viewfinder, and doesn’t have a good grip.  It also costs more since it is water-proof and can be taken underwater and I don’t need that feature.

My options are to wait until someone makes what I want or to reduce my desires and obtain the best compromise.  Among existing options in WR cameras, I could get the Nikon 1 AW1, the Olympus E-M5 or E-M1, another Pentax DSLR, or a Fujifilm X-T1 with WR lenses.  None of the other WR options are as close to being affordable or meeting my desires; but, does it have to be WR?  Just how much will I use it in the rain or snow?

Another possibility is to get a camera that is not WR and then only use it from sheltered locations or cover it with a plastic bag when walking in the rain.   I am currently considering this approach if it helps me get better low-light, wide-angle images; i.e. the solution overlaps some of my other desires.  I managed carrying my Olympus camera under my rain jacket when in Ireland and then only using in sheltered situations or between showers.

For test purposes, I took the above leaf picture with an Olympus Tough water-proof small sensor camera (jpeg only) and the other two from the shelter of my porch with the Olympus E-PL5 and 17 mm lens manually focused at infinity.  For the time being I will continue to use these and photograph from sheltered locations while I keep looking for a better solution.

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Posted by on August 14, 2014 in Homewood at Plum Creek, Photography


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