Category: Homewood at Plum Creek

The Way It Was/Is/Could Be?

It was around 40 degrees F. and dark and foggy this morning when I was out with the TG-5 in my pocket, so I thought I would record what it looked like.  While the TG-5 doesn’t give you nice high resolution high quality images, it still does a good job of capturing the sense of how it looked.

Sometimes I tend to rebel against the very good images of others that were made with very nice, but larger and more expensive cameras.  Those who own such cameras and lenses tend to concentrate on the technicalities of the image quality and cause me to think about the reason for the images.  While I appreciate the quality of the gear, I have tended in the last few years to seek out a happy compromise between owning the best camera and the most portable and easy to carry one.  These thoughts have brought me to owning the Olympus TG-5 camera, which I used for these pictures, and the Fujifilm X100F, and the Olympus E-M1 Mark II and PEN-F cameras.

In my spare time (I have lots of that), I am always on the hunt for the smallest camera with the highest quality optics that might be a compromise to replace all of my cameras.  If I could find an affordable compact camera with a fixed prime lens with great low light capability and enough resolution (megapixels) that enabled me to crop-zoom, and still fit in a jacket pocket and make high quality images, I would get it and sell all the rest.

Those of you who have been following my blog for a long time also know that I have even threatened a few times to only use a pocket camera for my personal photography and blogging.  Some people do it with smart phones, why not with the TG-5, or preferably, a better camera?  Maybe with just the X100F, but I would still prefer something smaller with greater resolution for even greater crop-zooming that is weather and drop resident.

A Challenge

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I was walking the halls on a dark dreary day and saw this tucked away in a dark corner next to a resident’s apartment door.  The scene wasn’t super interesting, but it was a new decoration, and it represented a challenge for me to make a photograph.  The challenge was that I only had the TG-5 in my pocket.  The camera was hand held with a shutter speed of 0.5 sec. under very dark conditions with a very small sensor, but it worked thanks to the help of LR.

Getting Ready

Our weather has been cold, dreary, and wet for a few days and I have redirected my efforts to the inside and my micro 4/3 cameras and lenses as I get ready to return to making some images for Homewood publications in the coming couple of weeks.  As such, I have been making sure that I have my Olympus PEN-F and my Olympus E-M1 Mark II set up the same since I might end up using both with different prime lenses.

Since I haven’t been using my micro 4/3 gear so far this year, I need to get back into practice using it and put the X100F away in the drawer for a while.  The images I will make for Homewood publications will be in color (you can start breathing Lois), but I am also still working on a B&W style for my own preferences.  I have shown a few examples of them above.  I have mostly used the X100F and TG-5 for my previous B&W work so I’m also using my test images made with the micro 4/3 gear to see how they might change my B&W processing.  I made all of these from color jpegs recorded on the Olympus gear since I have shifted to using the out of camera natural color jpegs for my Homewood documentary work.

Early Walk this Morning

I walked down to the Community Center this morning so that the clinical technicians could draw some blood.  Since it was only 42 degrees F. and had been raining on and off, I took my Olympus TG-5 and made these images as I walked down and back.  I was just having a little fun with the pocket camera, but the images reminded me to not under estimate what can be done with such a tiny sensor.

I have always liked the Olympus colors and these images reminded me that I need to get my Olympus E-M1 Mark II out and pick some lenses for an event that I am photographing on Tuesday.  I’ll need longer focal lengths and much fast shutter speeds so that means I’ll need a camera with better low light capability at higher ISOs.  I should probably have taken that camera with me this morning so that I can get back in practice using it, but it was more fun to take the TG-5 out of my rain jacket pocket and use it.  It presents a different kind of challenge.

Comfort Zones

We all have what I call comfort zones.  They are usually someplace we like to be, or something we like to do, or something we like to believe in.  They are areas that we retreat to when confronted by what we don’t like or at least find uncomfortable.

The above images represent some of my comfort zones.  Physically I often have pain standing or walking and those are times when I retreat to my lounge or computer chairs.  I also find that making pictures takes my mind off of other things that I find to be uncomfortable to deal with.  And the above processing style is something that I have grown to be quite comfortable with and prefer.

It would be nice if we could always spend our time within our comfort zones, but that isn’t always possible.  In my case I need to go out to find suitable compositions to photograph.  To make photographs has come to be my favorite thing to do these days.  What else is there?

For lack of new and different things to photograph, I need to go somewhere and the closest area for me to go photograph, other than here at Homewood at Plum Creek, is to Hanover Borough.  I had planned to do that yesterday since it finally warmed up, but I didn’t go.  My back was giving me a lot of trouble and something else was bothering me.  I have taken many pictures over the last 5 years around Hanover, but I have never made any that really enthused me.  Last evening, I think I figured out one of the reasons why.

In the past I have mostly photographed in the middle of the day and I never found the kinds of light I like.  I prefer shadows, steaks of light, lots of dark areas, etc.  It turns out that the middle of the day is the most comfortable time of the day for me to go to town to make pictures.  It is looking like I need to extend the boundaries of my comfort zones and figure out how and when to go out looking for images when the light is better.

X100F in the Dark of Night

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It was quite dark, and I was curious as to how the X100F would perform if I tried to capture the lights and glow on the clouds.  I was pleasantly surprised to watch it quickly focus.  This is a Classic Chrome jpeg at ISO 6400, f/5.6, 1/13 sec that was taken handheld with the exposure dialed back to around -4.

This is just one of a series of experiments I have been making to establish the limits on my use of the Fujifilm X100F.  I found this to be of enough significance to share since it isn’t a use that I would expect.

Deceptive

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Images like the one above that I recorded this morning are deceptive.  They make for “feel-good” images but are dishonest in a way.  This image only existed for a few minutes and to post it as representative of anything is wrong.

While we ooh and ahh over it, we aren’t thinking about reality.  I find the current state of affairs in so many things to be wrong and extremely depressing.  For example, while you aren’t thinking about it, global mean sea levels are rising at a faster rate.  You might want to start thinking and doing something about it.  It will affect more than the value of ocean front property.

In addition, we just reached a record low in the amount of global sea ice.  This is just another indicator of the major effects of global warming.  At the same time, the damage costs of the storms in the Atlantic in 2017 were the highest ever.  This will only get worse as the sea level rises.  More and more of our financial resources will be absorbed in rebuilding which draws funds away from everything else.

At the same time, Congress’s decrease in our taxes will just add to the national debt.  This will, in conjunction with increased needs for funds, just make the day of eventual collapse of our economy even greater.

Sorry, but it is a depressing world we live in, especially with an administration that doesn’t seem to believe in science and is doing everything they can to make the eventual impact on our citizens even greater … well, at least for 99% of us.