My pictures are terrible

Yes, I know they are.

There are three things causing this:

The first is the usual “photographer’s bad luck” that everyone suffers from, wherein the shutter goes off too soon/late or the exposure is just a bit wrong or the framing fails or something happens and the image doesn’t come out as expected.

The second is my failing eyesight which not only contributes to the factors mentioned above, but prevents me from noticing any problem until I’ve got the image on the 15″ computer screen. Sometimes not even then.

The third is that my favourite use-it-all-the-time camera, the Nikon P610, is worn out. I know; it’s a poor carpenter that blames his tools, but in this case it’s justified. I have evidence: Nikon P610

Really, the lens is not supposed to do that. This explains the focusing errors and the zoom jamming. On top of that both the image sensor and the EVF are fading away like old soldiers. Not surprising since the last SD card had about 5,000 pictures on it before I stuck a new one in. I think I bought this camera about 7 years ago when they first came out. It has had a lot of use.

Of course I still manage to get some good pictures from it:

Varied thrush
Red is dead

But I can’t say I’ve made any really remarkable pictures with it for some time. This may be misinterpretation on my part owing to looking at the world through a permanent blurry grey haze. Whichever, there’s no denying the problems are there.

I guess my “professional snapshots” are going more “snapshot” than “professional” these days.

Anyway, back to cabin work. And hoping the forecast doesn’t presage another Summer of wildfires. Aside from the one currently burning near Lytton (the town that was obliterated by fire last year) that is.

Well guess what

I have spent an entire day’s worth of hours reworking my computer. Upgrading, downgrading, replacing the hard drive and restoring backed-up data, programs, and settings … To be rewarded with only minor losses of images, downloaded data, and some documents. They’re on the ‘defective’ drive somewhere and I may yet be able to get them back.

Of course all is for nought because the damn thing still freezes. What’s more, despite this being an identical OS install to what I had before some things are different and don’t function right even when they function at all. I suspect some of it is hardware failure caused by heat due to laptops’ notoriously poor design for dissipating heat. Also I noticed the CPU usage pings 100% from time to time.

And it is just so much fun trying to deal with this when … well have you ever seen how small the screws are that hold these things together? Imagine it with my eyesight, which is something like this:

This is what you see.
This is what I see.

Not exactly conducive to precision close work. Or anything else. Like photography.

So I’m up the proverbial creek without a paddle or a canoe. If the thing had just completely quit and not put me through that false hope of repair I’d be happier. But …

Anyway. No solutions just now. Not for anything. Whether or not I post more pictures is kind of ‘iffy’: I have some already processed but I am loathe to do more for fear of losing them. I’ve lost thousands before, but not under circumstances where I could see it coming and thus should have avoided it.

Yeah I don’t know what I’m going to do now.

Problems: 610

There are so many problems in my life right now that not only am I unable to keep track of them I can’t keep on top or ahead of them. Problems, problems everywhere and not a drop to drink. See? I can’t even find humour now. Well when a $3 box of cereal costs $7 and 5 lbs. of potatoes is $6 and … well that’s just part of it.

Even Duncan dog has problems.

For the sake of your sanity if not mine, let’s just look at one problem: my Nikon P610. It’s still my main ‘go to’ camera, but it is going. Lately the zoom has begun stopping/starting instead of running smoothly. One day the whole thing locked up with no response from any control, including turning it off. I had to remove the battery to ‘reboot’ it. It has become unreliable. Regrettably it is also irreplaceable.

Camera says this shot is 3 stops overexposed.
Camera says this shot is correct.

Yes I realize that is a snow scene and thus needs more exposure (I’ve only been doing this 50+ years so don’t mind me). It’s just that in addition to needing every shot tweaked on contrast it has now begun to habitually underexpose everything, regardless of reflectivity.

Nice effect but not what I was shooting.

I have other cameras, but none of them can do what the Nikon could. Namely this:

The moon in its tower.

So there’s that to contend with, alongside worsening eyesight. I know: I’ve been told to go see the doctor but I already know the results of such a visit because he told me the last time; there’s nothing can be done.

At least the dog got out.

All things considered, I hardly notice the toe I broke last week. Yes, really. Trying to walk on this nightmare of ice that is renewed daily … well see what trouble Duncan got himself into? Yeah, like that.

Something good happening for a change would be nice. About as likely as a chocolate tea kettle, but nice.

It’s been a bad week

Let’s cut to the chase, as the saying goes. The result of my latest eye exam amounted to “there’s nothing more we can do” and “watch out for it getting worse”. About what I expected, really.

Things did get worse, but they were different things. E-Bay canceled my account with no explanation given. A few minutes searching turned up the fact that this happens more often than it should, and that there is no recourse. Well fine. Another small pleasure taken from me without reason. I hope they understand that shutting down accounts of buyers and sellers is not a good business plan for a web site that relies on buyers and sellers. But I doubt they do. (It is especially frustrating as there were a couple of things I was trying to buy and I had finally managed to get one of my items listed for sale.) On the whole it’s about as bad as every other site on the Internet: causing grief for legitimate users while utterly failing to stop abusers. Even WordPress keeps tossing up “unsupported browser” messages.

I have been systematically removing all my Facebook posts, because it is a failure of a website too. If you can’t use the site, why have an account? PayPal will be going under the axe as well, since I only ever used it for e-Bay and now PP has added an “inactive account fee” (as of November 20).

At this point I have no pleasures in my life, only work and the pain that goes with it. It’s wood harvesting time, you see. Yeah, I know.

So today’s pictures are … failures. Some images to give you a taste of what normally comes out of the cameras these days. Can’t have people thinking I’m still turning out good shots all the time, because I’m not.

This is what I see: everything blurred at any distance all the time.
Barely spotted song sparrow in the bush – and it’s out of focus.
How I get tricked: camera said “in focus”. Except that was the little pine tree which I could not even see as I tried to fix on the broken poplar behind it.
There are spots. I could not see them looking through the camera; they only show up on the computer. They had to be on the lens as they don’t appear after cleaning it. Besides the Nikon shouldn’t get spots on its sensor.
See the duck? No? It’s in there, flying away because it can react faster than me & my camera.
This is an eagle. You’ll have to take my word for it because once again …

That’s the way it’s going now: mostly failures because I can’t see what I’m doing. About the only time I can get a good shot now is in bright daylight, and then it has to be a large, stationary object. At that I may need several frames to get one decent.

Needless to say I am not happy. I can’t even continue my revised Master Plan to make my photography a bit easier for me. Thanks, e-Bay you load of incompetent bastards.

There’s no joy left.

Oh noes

Welp, it happened: I got slammed with the WordPress Inoperable Version Dumb To The Nth. Fortunately I had this ‘backdoor’ link saved. This when I’m about to pick up my new addition to the tool box today. If this work-around their idiocy fails, that’s it. I do not care to suffer the slings and arrow of outrageous stupidity, nor fools gladly. Or even at all.

For today, then, this “Ditchumentary”: some images I took to document the flooding at the neighbours’ caused by run-off from the hill behind them where illegal logging was done. I doubt they’ll be able to do anything about it.

Looking West towards the flood.
Right in front.
Further West, showing overflow on to the road.

So many things going wrong here these days. Still no chance of vaccine and the case numbers are rising like crazy because people won’t follow the rules. I did a survey for the hospital visit and it was obviously designed to prove the results they wanted in four areas, three of which had nothing to do with the visit. Have not heard about future consultation, so I guess I just wait until the next emergency.

I’d better go get that package today as I’m feeling pretty nasty and depressed.

It doesn’t always work

The plan was to take some pictures of the full moon. I’ve done it before, but never with the Canon. Simple enough plan; stay up ’til the moon rises, and fire off some shots. Just for fun I’d use the Nikon as well, because it has the longer lens and can ‘get really close’.

You could say that things started going wrong quite early in the day. About 5:30 AM, which is when the zoo decided I should get up. I’ve been missing a lot of sleep lately, and the metaphorical pebbles were tumbling now. It got worse as moon time approached.

For one thing, we don’t get sun or moon rising or setting at the ‘prescribed’ times. Thanks to the mountainous terrain, we lose about an hour on either side. Moon rise was to be 8:33 PM. Add an hour and it’s nearly quarter to ten when the globe shows its face through the trees. By this time I’m in trouble; it’s debatable which was blurrier, my eyes or my mind. Obviously I wasn’t functioning well enough to figure out this wasn’t going well, because I did it anyway.

Two cameras. One with a really long zoom capacity, the other with a couple of different lenses to try. Shoot, shoot, shoot! And when you see the results, SHOOT! They’re all shot, because I was shot to begin with. Multiple images on multiple cameras with multiple lenses and not one single image worth saving. I was goofing up the exposure (wrong ISO, shutter speed, aperture), goofing up the focus (couldn’t remember how to manual focus the Nikon, couldn’t see the focus on the Canon), and knocking the cameras about when trying to frame and shoot. What an unmitigated disaster!

Well moon set the next morning was too early to try then (5:59 AM, meaning it’d be invisible before 5:00 for me here). The next day – rain. So much for this month’s full moon.

Like I said, I’ve done it before. I even shot the “blood moon” eclipse last Winter, where the biggest problem was the camera battery freezing up in our -30ºC temperatures before the cycle could be completed. (From fully charged to not working in about 30 minutes. Warmed up overnight; fully charged in the morning.) I just wanted to try the Canon on moon light. Oh well, maybe next month.

Here’s the only shot saved, full-frame, taken with the Canon and the entirely manual M42 mount Soligor zoom @ 280mm (roughly 448mm equivalent on 35mm camera) and f3.5:

IMG_1634

I could digitally crop this, and then you’d see how really fuzzy it is. Maximum aperture is not great on the Soligor, and stopping down isn’t possible as it has no manual control.

WordPress is DEAD

UPDATE: They seem to have fixed the “no media access” problem, but it is still running unusably slow.

Well I’ve just wasted a good deal of time attempting to write another blog entry and finding that not only is the site running like molasses in Winter but it won’t let me access my stored media – keeps shutting down the window.

I suppose this is a ploy to get people to pay for it. Nice try. If you want to offer limited services for free, don’t curtail them and then offer to give them back for money. That’s dishonest. I’ve barely touched the allotted storage capacity here and it’s become a struggle to produce even a short entry.

No, it is not my computer or Internet connection: this is the only site acting up at the moment. I’m well-familiar with how these things work and how to tell which part is not working.

Let me know if it ever works again.