Category: Photography

Beyond the Battlefield

The last few days I toured with Homewood at Plum Creek on their bus; and I didn’t take my camera.  Instead of taking my Pentax K-3 and a large zoom lens, I decided to see how well my older iPhone worked.  I found that the iPhone worked OK if I just wanted to document something.  I think of it more as using the iPhone to take notes.  My biggest issue was the glare on the displays. 

We visited a new museum in Gettysburg.  It is the Adams County Historical Society’s museum covering the history of the county with an emphasis on the impact of the civil war on the area.  The museum covers from the earliest settlers to the current times.  What surprised me was that they have a room set aside to cover the history of photography and its use on the battlefield.  I especially liked the use of photography forensics.

Morning Walk

I didn’t see much on this morning’s walk:  just the oriole nest, a cow by the fence, the front of Town Hall, portion of a bird’s wing, the garden with the haze from the Canadian wildfires, and the recently planted planters.

I doubt that I will be posting tomorrow since I’m busy tonight and tomorrow.  I have also been busy taking more pictures for the model train guys and I have more upcoming photography of Homewood happenings.

Get a New iPhone?

I have been thinking about a “next step” relative to my cameras.  I like my Pentax K-3 III camera and I have no intentions of replacing it.  It is optimized for outdoors under wet or hot or dry conditions and is rugged and heavy.  I never intended it for a camera that I would always have with me.

I have always preferred smaller pocket cameras for photography within crowds of people; i.e., a more discreet camera.  A Fujifilm X100V or a Ricoh GR3 III camera would suit me fine, but they are next to impossible to acquire due to demand and limited supplies.  When I acquired my current Pentax DSLR camera I knew that and I had started thinking that now might be the time to switch to a better smartphone with better photographical capabilities.  There are no other new discreet affordable easy to carry cameras other than smartphones being made.  Using one in public doesn’t seem to bother others so it is easy to blend into “the crowd”.

In my case the lack of a zoom capability with longer reach has always been a stumbling block.  That situation is not currently as limiting with the latest smartphones, so I am considering upgrading to an Apple iPhone 14 Pro.  My biggest stumbling block now is considering a new system and making a massive change in my workflow.  Many of us 80+ oldsters are not eager to make such changes, especially since we aren’t sure what we will be photographing in the coming years.

Yesterday I took a walk and made various test images with my current iPhone SE (2).  The first image above shows contractors working here at Homewood at Plum Creek as they replace a drain pipe that had rusted and collapsed.  The first image was transferred from my iPhone as a jpeg file into my computer where I then created a virtual copy, adjusted the processing, crop-zoomed in, and then increased the pixel dimensions to achieve the second image.  The third image was taken indoors and then a similar workflow was used to achieve the last image.

I haven’t decided yet, but it isn’t a route that I am anxious to go down with my photography.  I will have my current iPhone in my pocket and will use it occasionally, but I still would rather have a good camera.

Which Lens?

I started out wondering which lens was sufficient if I choose one of my smallist lens, photographed plant details, and processed them in B&W using my Pentax K-3 III camera and Lightroom; i.e., what would I use when I didn’t have anything else to photograph and I didn’t want to carry a large heavy lens.

It was windy outside and that is never good for focusing up close with any lens, but especially with a macro lens.  For this exploratory photography session I chose the 35mm F2.8 macro lens and the 18-55 F3.5-5.6 WR kit lens.  I made the first five images with the macro lens and the last four images with the kit lens.  I them processed the raw files into monochrome images to fit my taste.  I liked them, but since most of my viewers like to see color images I then changed from Adobe monochrome to Adobe color images with no changes to any of the other processing variables.  This results in creating higher contrast, deeper colors, which usually work pretty well.

While the images can’t be compared directly since the focal lengths, apertures, time of day, and distance from the plants varied a little, I was surprised at how well the kit lens performed, especially since it was much quicker to focus and was quiet while only being slightly larger than the macro lens.  As a result, I will be choosing the 18-55mm lens a lot more often under similar conditions.

Now I can get back to playing with my personal monochrome images, and use the 18-55mm lens.  By the way, another reason I like the 18-55mm lens is that its’ most retracted position is at 35mm which is my favorite effective 50mm view of view.  The lens elongates slightly when you go to either 18mm or 55mm zoom positions.

Car Show at Homewood

On Saturday I photographed residents looking at cars in a show that was held at Homewood.  I will turn over the images of the residents enjoying the show and refreshments to the staff since they contain personal information that I cannot display on my website.  

Now that we are back to normal after the Covid restrictions and hopefully will be returning to more special events in the personal care sections, I hope to get back to photographing them again for internal uses.

Water’s Low

We had no measurable snow this past winter and the month of May set a record for being the driest ever for this region of Pennsylvania.  Our ponds at Homewood are low.

Be prepared for changes.  I think that we either will have water rationing or else we will have heavy downpours from storms coming up from the south and east with possible floods like in 2018 … or maybe both since they are both expected results from human created climate changes.