Category Archives: Photography

Six Years Today

The First Nikon D300

The First Nikon D300

Six years ago today I bought my first Nikon D300, an upgrade from a D100. Fell in love with it and ended up purchasing a second one as a backup for the weddings and portraits I’ve taken. In the digital age thats a long time to keep a camera. Both cameras still take awesome images as long as the photographer plays his role. I checked them out and was surprised at the shutter count were as low as they are. They show 65,564 and 42,931 counts. Happy shooting!

I Used To

Bicycle in Old Town

Bicycle in Old Town

My blogging world has changed over the past couple of years. I do not read the blogs I enjoy on a daily basis. I used to. I do not set aside a time each day, or every other day, to write a post. I used to. I do not shoot everyday. I used to.  I do not post process images every day. I used to. None of this is a bad thing but different from the past 8 years.

I could come up with a few reasons for this change but this post is not going into that. As some know my home life changed a year and a half ago when my youngest daughter and her two teenage children needed to move in with me. That, my friends is a dynamic change, probably 10 stops of light.

I’ve, also moved into my retirement phase of life. Now that is an adjustment. I am enjoying spending more time in solitude, searching out places of quiet in parks, nature areas, churches. My retirement requires a financial adjustment on my part. I have to watch for those GAS attacks. There is no supervisor to hold me accountable, it’s up to me to get all those required tasks done. Yes, things are different as I move into this second phase of life.

Depth of Field

Depth of Field

Depth of Field

After seeing the photo from yesterdays post, I noticed the reflection on the glass of my iphone. I thought it interesting to see the texture difference between the reflection and the glass table top. I took the image on the left and was very surprised to see the outcome on the LCD. What the lens saw at f 5.6 was so much different from what my eyes saw. I then changed the aperture to f 22 and took a second image (on the right) keeping my focus on the reflection. You can see quite a difference and was a reminder of the difference depth of field can make.

Made It To Phoenix

Snow covered car and not my tent

Snow covered car and not my tent

Well, I arrived in to Phoenix yesterday evening about 6:30 pm, an hour later than I expected. Even though I left Cortez early I found myself stopping way too often. When I awoke I could hear the wet pavement from passing cars. But I was in for a surprise when I stepped outside my hotel room and found 2-3 inches of snow on my car. Glad I did not pitch the tent. :-) Below is an image taken just west of Cortez before sunrise. What a beautiful serene morning.

Snow covered trees west of Cortez

Snow covered trees west of Cortez

Snow covered trees inside Canyon De Chilly

Fresh snow inside Canyon De Chilly

I arrived in  Canyon De Chilly about 9:00 in the morning and spent more time there than I expected, which was not enough time. The scenery was breath taking but not as much as the sacredness I felt there. There were very few visitors because of the cold and snow from the night before and it is still early in the season. Loved the quiet of walking to vistas and looking out over the canyon. I had no desire to leave and will  go back.

Morning sun to melt the fresh snow

Morning sun to melt the fresh snow

I took the above image along Highway 191 in northeast Arizona. You can see the storm system that moved through yesterday on the eastern horizon. You can also see the dirt on my lens. :-)

Puffs of clouds to keep my company

Puffs of clouds to keep my company on my drive

If you enjoy scattered clouds against a blue sky then yesterday was the day for it.

Painted Desert

Painted Desert

I also made a quick drive through the Petrified Forest National Park. It was more than I expected, the colors and art work of nature at it’s best can be found in Painted Desert area of the park. It is called the ‘badlands’ for a good reason but what beauty in such a desolate and harsh land. Now to relax and spend time with my parents and eat!

Camera Repairs

Red Coat

Red Coat

“You just have to live and life will give you pictures.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

We all know a new camera or lens should improve our photography, right? Well, that did not happen after purchasing the Fujifilm X-E1. It seemed somethings were missing on some of my images. The image above is an example. I’m not sure what happened with this young (or old) ladies head. It’s gone! So, I called up Fujifilm customer service and talked to a rep. We tried reseting the camera. That didn’t help. It didn’t happen very often but as you can see it presents a problem. We both agreed the new updated software was probably not the problem. Since it was still under warranty I boxed it up and sent it to the service center in New Jersey.

I really needed to post this on April 1st but couldn’t wait. I did have to send in my X-E1 in for repairs but not because of composition. The EVF quit. Blank. Composition does become a challenge when the EVF is blank. I’ve been carrying the camera in a Fluid 18 backpack wrapped inside my rain jacket and that’s not enough protection. I’ve heard it thunk a couple of times. So, I now carry it in a Lowepro Photo Hatchback 16L This camera does not feel as hefty as my D300 so I think I need to handle it more delicately. However, I was impressed with Fujifilm’s service and turn around time. Had it back for a week now and it looks like my images still need some work. Maybe it’s the lens. Battery? SD card? Photographer? :-)

It’s Good News

Afternoon Walk

Afternoon Walk

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C. S. Lewis

On March 10th I gave my two week notice at work. I’m hanging up my wings. Moving more into my retirement years. Going to avoid airports and airplanes while keeping my feet on the ground as I take my time driving, anywhere. I may never wear another tie for the rest of my life. I found my uniform pants kept shrinking due to decompression cycles or the altitude. No more checking for unbuckled seat belts, telling people to turn off their cellular service. No more telling them the cannot have that purse between their feet and properly stow their bags. I do not have to hear a passenger ask if I’ll call and see if the airlines will hold their plane for them because we’re late. No more crying babies during descent. It’s all good news.

But, just like any job loss there will be things I’ll miss. The unique life style of visiting cities, finding those mom-and-pop coffee shops and restaurants. Conversations with total strangers. A paycheck. And, last but not least, cleavage in 17C. :-) On to new adventures.

Starburst

Windmill

Windmill

This was taken on a walk near my hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’s sort of a strange perspective as I was trying to crop out a banner tied to the bottom of the windmill and stay out of traffic. I do like the starburst effect the Fujifilm 18-55mm f2.8-4.0 lens. It is a sweet lens for me.