Category: Travel

Opportunities and Gear

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Lately I have been reviewing my older images to see what I liked best and thinking about how to increase my opportunities for making more such images.  The above is one of my favorite images.  I made it back in 2001 using an inexpensive small pocket Olympus film camera in Peru.  I lost the negatives a long time ago and all I have left are small scans of the 4×6 drug store prints that I had printed after the trip.  What makes the picture so great isn’t the camera or processing.  It was my being able to grab a quick shot of an unstaged composition in which everything came together perfectly to make an excellent establishing shot.  The row of buildings you see in the distance is the entrance to Machu Picchu in Peru and then the walk across the terrace to arrive at the ruins.

As the years have gone by I have switched to better and better cameras (lots of them) with increasing complexity, size, and cost without really increasing the number of pictures that I am most proud of.  No doubt, my later images have been more technically perfect, but what good is that if I don’t make images that I prefer and have fun making.

In the last many months I have been working on returning to the use of smaller cameras and lenses in order to lighten the load.  That has meant dropping from Fujifilm gear back down to Olympus micro 4/3 cameras for my Homewood images.  I am also using my reduced, in number, set of micro 4/3 cameras and lenses for my personal imagery, but I wanted to go even smaller, lighter, and simpler with my walkabout gear.  To accomplish that downsizing I have gone back to a small rugged waterproof pocket camera.  I purchased an Olympus TG-6 camera to replace the Ricoh WG-60 and the Canon G5X Mark II cameras.  I hope to move out more often and further with the TG-6 even though I won’t be traveling internationally; i.e., I have traded gear for mobility and hopefully more opportunities.

Some will interpret my changes in gear as sacrificing gear for opportunities, but I’m not so sure about the sacrificing bit.  In my opinion I have found that the Olympus TG series of cameras are quite flexible and capable so I see this as just another challenge to see what I can make with the TG-6 in the future.

My next step is to wait on warmer weather and then go back out walking around home and see what I can find to photograph; but, I really am missing buying and trying different types of cameras.  I got into the habit of buying new cameras and lenses for each international trip I took.  My love of travel morphed into an obsession with photography gear.

Older Pictures & Cameras

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There has been some chatter on the web about reworking older pictures, so I thought I might have another look.  I took this picture in Tunisia in 2010, the year before we moved to Homewood, with an Olympus E-P1 and the 14-42mm kit zoom lens.  I only have jpeg files from which I converted this one to B&W.  I really liked that old camera.  With good light and a better lens it could still be making good images.  The key is good light, low ISO, and f/9 (in this case).

Look close, and several of you should recognize someone.  I remember how quickly I went up those steps to get this picture, as well as how high and steep those steps were.  I could never go that fast now.

This theater must have been great when it was built and used by the Romans.  It had a great view and captured the breezes nicely.

My real reason for going back through some old pictures was that I was looking at images I had made with micro 4/3 cameras and different lenses.  I have been thinking about a backup camera and have wondered about whether an older used one might work good enough.  I doubt I really need a backup camera so I tended to look at some of the smaller, more range-finder like cameras and general purpose zoom lenses as well as prime lenses that I had used in the past.  I really don’t want to get back to having more cameras and lenses then I need so I’m going slow as I think this through. 

Change the Time

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Don’t forget to change the time on your cameras.  I was watching Fiona’s latest video this morning when I decided to run another experiment with using the tiny Ricoh WG-60 camera.  I was curious whether or not I could make the above image under that kind of lighting … just my laptop in a totally dark room very early this morning.  When I was examining the image I noticed the time stamp and remembered that I needed to change the time on my three cameras.

Fiona was in Iceland with some friends making a video using a drone.  I don’t remember ever seeing scenes of Iceland like these.  Take a look on her YouTube channel.

By the way, why do we still keep changing the time back and forth?  All of the original reasons for daylight savings time have been negated by changes in our technologies, energy consumption patterns, etc.  I expect that a new look at all of the facts for today’s environment would show that it is more harmful and expensive to keep changing back and forth.  But why should I expect anything different?  We don’t utilize science, reasoning, and an unbiased review of facts and the truth for anything else these days. 

More WV Memories

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Looking southeast from Corridor H in West Virginia on Oct 8, 2015 a little past 10am.  You can see why they call them the Blue Ridge Mountains.  We were on our way back to Homewood at Plum Creek when I stopped at an overlook and made this image.

On the Amazon River in 2006

We took a river cruise on the Amazon River 13 years ago.  Looking at the pictures recently, it occurred to me that I am still wearing the same Tilley hat.  I took a picture of it hanging on my door recently.

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When we were on the river in the heat and humidity, the camera I used was a small Sony DSC-W7, 7.2MP digital camera that used AA batteries and only had 3x zoom.  I had to take great pains to keep it from fogging up due to the differences in the temperature and humidity between our cabin and the outside and the rain, that happened frequently.  If I were to repeat that trip now, which I would like to do, I would just take and use my Olympus TG-5 camera, the one I used to take the recent picture of the same hat I wore on the river.  Yes, I would take the TG-5 rather than one of my two WR Fujifilm cameras and longer WR zoom lens.  The small size of the TG-5 would be worth it when getting in and out of small boats every day, especially since it is waterproof, not just weather resistant.