Getting up to, and down from, Dolly Sods in West Virginia is a slow rough trip over a very rocky road. The roads are steep and the rains wash out the soil leaving the rocks protruding so that your vehicle tires have to keep running over rough rocks. It makes for a very bumpy ride. The trip had me missing my older four wheel raised pickup truck with ten-inch clearance and sturdier tires. Fortunately we didn’t have any trouble but when I stopped on top near a pickup truck, the truck driver asked me if I had any wire or a metal coat hanger. I didn’t. His tail pipe had vibrated loose, or was knocked loose, and was dragging the ground and he needed to tie it up.
We walked along Lake Pendleton at Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia. At the end of the walk we went up the wooden steps to get on the old mine road beyond the park, and made the following images.
Beaver Dam on Blackwater River in Canaan Valley Resort State Park in West Virginia
We went to West Virginia to see the leaf colors and visit some of our old haunts: Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley State Parks, Dolly Sods, and Seneca Rocks. The leaves were at peak colors on the higher elevations, but in general they are duller this year.
I am at a loss. I am adrift. I don’t know what to do with my photography. I do not want to make photographic clichés. I’m tired of all of the lies and ways we try to convince ourselves that all is right with the world.
I wrote that I was going to “hang it up” for awhile while I looked for other directions for my photography and blog. And then I found I missed posting and I responded to the concerns of some who only wanted to see more “eye candy” or more of my monochromes or more of my colorful flowers.
Over time I have kept reverting back to what I enjoyed in the past, which was to try and play with different cameras and lenses. None of this is wise or enjoyable anymore; therefore, I am back to wondering what I should do for the future.
I think I need more time and I need to get back to searching for a better path going forward. In the meanwhile I am going to keep striving and stop posting as much as I search for a more sustainable and simpler way forward.
If you see me out and about, this is what you might see. The camera may be either horizontal or vertical, but it will most likely be the Sony A6400. It took me a while, but this camera is replacing all of my Fujifilm and Pentax cameras. I am keeping the Leica X2 and the Olympus TG-6 for special uses.
Is the A6400 my dream camera? No. I would prefer something that is not as complex. My dream camera would also depend upon my subjects and what focal length I would need; but, the lens would probably be a normal to wide focal length prime lens.
I decided to continue with the A6400 since it is a small lightweight versatile camera with which I can maximize the amount of my photography as I age. If I continued with the Pentax K-3 III, I would need to reduce the amount of time I carried and used it due to its weight; therefore, I sold my Pentax gear and I’m using the Sony A6400.
As you can see below, I am managing to get my cameras and lenses down to a size I prefer. Also note that lovely hood that comes on the Sony 20mm pancake lens in the image below. The image above shows the camera with the Sony 35mm f/1.8 lens. I also have the smallish 18-135mm lens in case I need it for the range and image stabilization.
Yesterday morning’s view just before the sun rose above the horizon. My first reaction was one of hope. Hope that the weather was changing and that later we would get some rain. We didn’t. The clouds started building later in the day but then flattened out to a thin gray layer. But no thunderstorms, no rain.
The number of covid-19 cases in our part of the country are holding pretty constant. The only change is that people are trying to open up more and get on with a life with continuous covid-19 around. A vaccine should help, but I don’t expect it to be a panacea.
I’m now thinking that no changes might be a good thing. It could be worse, and probably will. We could have damaging storms, and even more depressing economical news on top of what we have.
I’m starting to hope that maybe next spring things will be different. I’d like to say better, but I’m not planning on it. Not looking forward to the rest of this year nor the winter.
I’m still trying to think of another way to pass the time in the coming days. Something other than photography which has all but died as far as I’m concerned.
It is hard to avoid this question. What is the best camera? Of course that depends upon what is being photographed. But I am approaching the answer from another direction.
If I am making pictures in low light, like I did in the photo shown here, my Fuji X100V is my best camera. In low light or while photographing clouds with low contrast, it tends to not focus as well as my Pentax DSLR; but that is easily overcome by switching to manual focus and running the focus out to infinity, or just short of it.
If I am walking and wish to be ready to turn my camera on quickly and zoom it out and focus quickly to capture a mink in the creek, or a deer running across the field, my Pentax KP with a zoom lens is my best choice.
My problem is, how often do I need these capabilities? I can’t always take multiple cameras and lenses just in case I might need one of them. If I can only take one camera, which one is the best one to take? I’m faced with this question every single day.
I have rationalized my way through deciding on the best camera over and over and I keep coming to the same answer. The best camera is the one that is easiest and quickest to use with the most versatility that I would most likely always have with me. Most people might say, their smart phone. I have considered that, but I have a better choice, my Olympus TG-6 camera.
The TG-6 is a small, waterproof camera which has a non extending fast zoom lens between the effective focal lengths of 25 – 100mm (plus macro), a small sensor with good DoF, and a very capable processor for handling a range of conditions. It is the most versatile in capabilities. If I were to travel again to the Sahara desert, or towns in Europe, or go deep into the Amazon rain forests, it would always be with me. Some of you might also be surprised if I told you that it is the primary camera I would now take on such travels. I would also have a second TG-6 or my Ricoh WG-60 with me on the trip for backup.
The question I need to answer is, why do I use anything else for my blog pictures other than the TG-6?