Walk Down to Therapy

I played with the settings on my Ricoh WG-80 camera as I walked down to therapy.  It was raining on my trip home and I didn’t take any pictures.

This afternoon I will be making pictures (with a different camera) of the participants in the Music and Comedy show during their dress rehearsal.

Color Coming (if I choose)

Colors are starting to arrive so I went walking with my Pentax while looking to see what I could find.

Given the few things available for me to photograph and the cameras and lenses I have, I am still trying to figure just what I’m going to do in the future. All things change.  That is the nature of life.  I’m also photographing an upcoming event here at Homewood as well as taking therapy for my physical issues, and I’m waiting until after the event and my therapy to decide on the nature of my future photography.

Vestibular Hypofunction, Aging, and Photo Mode

230316103856Soon after I retired, long ago, I had a severe problem with vertigo and dizziness and was found to have a rather sudden case of vestibular hypofunction, but they never pinned down the cause.  After many months, I slowly became able to compensate for it and returned to functioning almost normally; but, many years later, I still have the vestibular problem.

My current situation is that aging has brought on conditions which slowly decrease my ability to deal with the loss of my vestibular functioning; i.e. my abilities to compensate with my eyes, legs, and feet.  These losses are important when working in “photo mode”, especially for someone with vestibular hypofunction.  In my situation, I am referring to “photo mode” as the action of continually swinging my head and turning my body while I scan with my eyes while walking, often on uneven surfaces or among people who are moving around me, as I concentrate on potential images.  These aspects are crucial in walking and continuing to look around to catch photogenic happenings such as in events or on walks.  I have had several close calls of losing my balance and almost falling with my camera in my hands as I move and look around.  Fortunately, I recovered quickly enough, so far.

Since I cannot continue to take chances of falling and injuring myself, I have entered into a program of therapy to help me deal with my conditions.  There is no cure, but I hope to slow down the effects of aging.  Fortunately, we have therapy right here on campus that is provided by Functional Pathways.  They are very good.  While medicine adds days to life, their occupational therapy adds life to my days.  In my case they are working diligently with me to help keep me functioning to continue taking pictures around Homewood.

The above are also reasons that have forced me to see what I can do photographically with the small rugged, easy to carry pocket cameras.  I have already dropped one of them with no harm to the camera.  Since the camera is carried in my pocket I am learning to slow down and stop to look around, and then take out the camera to make a photo during my walks; but, I can’t work that way during events among continual activity.  I need to use bigger, faster, and heavier cameras and lenses and have them in my hands ready to capture images during the events.  I will have to wait and see how much the therapy helps me and then make a decision as to if or when I will have to stop photographing events.


Soon to be transferred to pots.

Soon spring will really be here and there will be more flowers to photograph … if I so desire.  A problem is that I’m tired of photographing flowers. 

I’m still trying to come up with ideas of what I can photograph on almost a daily basis as I walk; but, if I can’t find new things to photograph I might concentrate on photographing the common, everyday, already photographed stuff, differently.  My desire for doing this is to encourage myself to get out and walk more and get up and down and around more.  It helps prevent me from getting stiff and aging faster.

Ricoh WG-80 for ICM

If everything comes together, like lighting, subject, and using the few minimal control settings, I can even manipulate the Ricoh WG-80 to make images like these, but it isn’t easy.  If I purchased a ND filter for the camera it would be easier to make photos with intentional camera motion (ICM).

No, I haven’t gone over the line.  At least I don’t think so … not yet … maybe soon.  Some might think that I already have.

Beaten Down by the Cold Rain

230313132912I’m wondering at this stage if I should sell my Pentax KP camera and 18-135mm lens and just use one of my waterproof pocket cameras for my walkabouts and personal photography.  I am also wondering why only use my Fujifilm camera and lenses for photography of Homewood events.

Those changes would be a drastic step backwards, at least in some eyes, so I’m just going to let things evolve and see what happens.

I used the Ricoh WG-80 to make this image and if all I do while walking about is photographing similar flowers, etc., why not just use pocket cameras?

I have also started therapy for my balance issues which have been affecting my photography and I need to see how I progress.

I need to decide on what I will want to photograph, and how I can do it, in the future.

Pocket Walkabout Cameras

The WG-80 camera works if I just happen upon a different view.  Yes, the colors are fine too; but, I liked these better in B&W since the colors didn’t add anything to the photos.

I now have two waterproof pocket walkabout cameras, the Ricoh WG-80 and the Olympus TG-6.  I’m still working on how I might use them differently.  The TG-6 is probably the better overall camera image wise, but it has fewer MP and a shorter zoom range.  Maybe more significantly, the WG-80 costs between 1/2 to 3/4 of what the TG-6 costs.  I have no plans to use either camera underwater so I have no idea as to which is best for underwater photography.  My interest in these cameras is solely for their size and ruggedness.

Do I need a rugged camera?  The answer is yes. I have already managed to drop one of them on the floor with no signs of damage.  Next, I’m likely to drop one in a puddle or the mud, or spill a drink on one of them. 

The Lowest of the Least

I’m back to trying to see what I can do with the least of the cameras.  In this case I used the Ricoh WG-80.  It is a lower cost waterproof pocket camera with minimal controllability.

It was only 39 degrees F. and wet outside so I didn’t venture far to capture this test image.  I still have some things to try before I decide how to best use this camera … maybe in macro mode.  I may also devote it to blurry B&W.  It depends.

Working Differently

My personal challenge, or desire, is to find a type of photography, that I can do with just rugged waterproof pocket cameras, that is different, that is expressionistic, and that expands the utility of such cameras.  My optimum goal would be to apply it to different subject matter, including people in such a manner that they wouldn’t be recognizable.  These images are just a sample of my trials so far.  The main difficulty with using such cameras is that they don’t have shutter speed controls and I have to trick the camera into slower shutter speeds.

If I could make this work it would save me a lot grief about buying more expensive cameras and lenses and then carrying them about while looking for images.  It would also give me additional ways to photograph common scenes.  Since this scheme I’m exploring also uses photography software in the processing, it also gives me other avenues to learn. 

What is the saying … different courses for different horses.

Try Again?

In 2019 I walked a few streets in Hanover, PA with my Pentax DSLR KP camera and the HD Pentax DA 20-40mm lens and made the above images.  I sometimes think it would be nice to go back to the streets, but I’m wondering if my back and legs will hold up well enough now, four years later.  I’m also wondering about using my KP camera again for such photography, and if so, with what lens.  

I don’t have that 20-40mm lens anymore but I could use the 18-135mm lens on my next trip to the streets if I decide to go; or, should I get another lens?  The 20-40mm lens had better image quality, but is it worth it?  That is hard to decide when I can’t compare them; but, the 20-40mm lens would be 4 oz. lighter in weight and cost me an additional $400.

Or, should I switch to using my Fujifilm X-T30 II camera on the streets?  It is smaller and lighter, but I would be concerned about falling and breaking it.  I would also need to keep it dry since it isn’t weather resistant.  Another alternative that I am considering is replacing the Pentax with a used Fujifilm X-T3 camera.  While I don’t have anything else to do, I keep juggling these decisions and considering the pros and cons from different perspectives.

I will probably stick with a rational choice and just keep and use the gear I have, at least until I decide what I can and want to do in the future.  Since my going back to the streets is “iffy” and it isn’t rational to invest anymore in an older heavy camera system without a future, I’m not likely to buy any more lenses for the Pentax.