Too cold to

Leftover pictures again. The past few weeks haven’t been great around here, with this past one including 6″ of snow on Wednesday and -24 temperatures Thursday. Not exactly pleasant for going out in, never mind taking photos. So here’s some images made before the deep freeze, although it was still freezing.

Edge of ice.
Blurred lines.
No sun around.
Fog in the clearing.

My mood

Things are not going well and everything is bothering me. So here are some moody pictures to reflect that.

What it looked like the day the air was white. (Best attempt.)
Cold again.
Ever-grays.
Avalanche material.
Ice with a flake.
Large load.

Leftovers

Some odds and ends shots in black & white.

Fog, not smoke haze.
Downy woodpecker. This was colour, but the ‘blown out’ portion was a ridiculous mess of white, yellow, and green while the bird was pretty much B&W in shadow. Desaturation solved the problem.
Mushrooms are in bloom.
Vigilant robin.
Beached shoes.
Male varied thrush hunting seeds in the bushes.

Lake? What lake?

Today has been full of surprises, and all before 10:00 AM. First of all it was very cold last night; some spots around the area hit freezing. Second I awoke to the lake being shrouded in fog. I took some pictures. After that it went downhill.

See how you can’t see the lake? A little enhancement helps:

When I first went to write this I was horrified by finding WordPress had suddenly shoved their terrible “Block Editor” on to everyone. Having spent a lifetime dealing with badly designed and broken things, I recognize ‘Edsels’ right away. The Block Editor is an Edsel.

At any rate, I was planning my day around slicing up some rounds of wood, putting them in the trailer, and hauling them home. This would be followed by making all the preparations to at last be able to bring wife and pets out to the cabin for their first stay since 2017.

Then the really bad news came.

Our neighbour had an accident while riding her horse. I don’t know the details beyond fractured skull and spine injury. Needless to say she’s in critical condition, has been airlifted to the nearest major hospital and we await further news. Meanwhile her husband is beside himself with worry, as you might expect. I remember exactly what it’s like from when my wife had her first car accident in 2009.

So at the moment we are on hold. If/when he is allowed to go see her he’ll need someone to look after their animals. Thus there is no point in moving out household here only to send Brenda back. We’ll just wait and see. There is no chance that the prognosis will be “full recovery” given the nature of the injuries.

This picture I’m dedicating to her, even though she may never see it.

It’s a beaver. A Canadian icon.

Weakly update

What can I say? It rains and it rains and it rains. Today, Monday, it is not raining. But it did last night and probably will again tonight. Lots of thunderstorms too. And some sounds of crashing in the woods that probably indicate trees falling due to the saturated soil. Likely they’ll go down across the road.

Oh, that road. They were trying to grade it when I came back out on Thursday. It was raining. All they succeeded in doing was churning up mud. Luckily I have 4WD and managed to slog through the first 12 kms slowly. Then it was back to hard potholes. I hate to think what it’s like now.

DSCN2589
Monday morning fog

I’ve made progress. The entire drainage system is back together and working. I tested it twice before closing up the massive hole in the kitchen floor. Then I started in on the upstairs.

I didn’t panel the walls and ceiling or put the new windows in; the contractor did that in 2018. Now it’s up to me to finish the divider walls and do the floor. This is sort of ‘secondary’ on the importance list. First priority now is to finish the kitchen floor. That needs more material, which I’m hopefully going to get on Wednesday, and a lot more hard work. Oh boy.

Some visitors stopped by today. I don’t know if these are the same deer I took pictures of at the end of June or not. If they are, those little ones sure grow fast.

IMG_2634

IMG_2636

IMG_2639

Nothing much else going on here photography-wise. I had plans, but they all involve sunshine which I don’t seem to be getting much of.

 

The Frozen Fog

(A photo-play in six scenes.)

100_0432
Hover through the fog and filthy air
100_0426
Upon the heath
100_0430
Something wicked this way comes
100_0428
What’s done cannot be undone
100_0434
Confusion now hath made his masterpiece
100_0435
So fair and foul a day I have not seen

“Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury; signifying nothing.” William Shakespeare

Images taken with the Kodak V1003 on a cold and foggy day.

 

 

Two photography things I want

It’s not good picture-taking weather here right now as it is cold and foggy, when it isn’t actually raining. The outdoors is icy, in other words, and not fit to set foot in. When this trend will break is anyone’s guess. The weather forecasters have a reputation for being wrong in their predictions, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime I’m reading various blogs, mostly about photography. Yes it’s a life-long hobby for me that I’ve found renewed comfort in lately. When daily life is basically a struggle, anything fun and familiar is a welcome relief.

Some of the blogs go on about just getting into photography, and they give me hope for the future. Some of them are from professionals, and they give me amusement and sometimes despair for the current state of things. I wonder a lot about the equipment-obsession that seems to afflict so many these days. Okay, easy for me to be aloof because I’ve had literally hundreds of cameras so I guess I got it out of my system. Although I do still look at equipment, because it’s interesting. That doesn’t mean I want it all, though. However there are in fact two things I do want to further my photographic fun.

The first of these is a ‘normal’ focal length prime lens for my Canon EOS Rebel T100. That would be somewhere in the 30-35mm range. Canon makes reasonably priced EF-S series prime lenses in 22mm, 24mm, 40mm, and 50mm focal lengths, but nothing around the 30mm spot that would be normal for the APS-C cameras. Maybe they think people who buy these don’t take ‘normal’ pictures? Maybe they think we’re not normal? Maybe they just blundered. The kit zoom lenses are noticeably lacking in quality both for build and image, and if I can see that then people with good vision must cringe at their results.

So let’s look around and see what ‘third party’ lenses there are.

Youngnou 35mm f2: The reviews say it all. There’s no point wasting any amount of money on this.

Rokinon/Samyang 35mm f1.4: No doubt a reasonable quality lens, but it’s manual focus & exposure. I’ve already got a Super Takumar that does that, probably with better resolution, even if it does tint everything thorium yellow. Certainly not going to pay around $600 to not have the auto functions the camera is capable of.

Sigma 30mm f1.4: This looks like the ideal solution. It’s just about the perfect focal length. So what’s the trouble? To start with the price is 50% more than the camera cost. I mean this is like 3X what the Canon prime lenses go for. That seems more than a little steep to me. What’s worse is it is not sold in Canada; it has to be “ordered in” and let me tell you importing items into this country is a gamble. You’d be better off spending the day at the casino, in fact: less aggravating and you probably won’t lose as much money because you can stop whenever you want. Our bureaucratic system has ways of continuously milking the unsuspecting buyer. If it started out in the <$200 range it might be worth a go for this lens, but at $500+++ … no.

Now it isn’t exactly fair to say Canon makes no 35mm lens for this camera, because they have done and do. You can get a used EF 35mm f2 for $600-700 or maybe less if you can find a bargain. Often these bargains are ordered in from Japan, so see caution in above paragraph. The Canon site lists this new for $749, so the other offers aren’t exactly heavily discounted. That brings us to the other option:

Canon 35mm f1.4: this version is $2,299.99 from Canon, but can be found elsewhere for $2,069 – with free shipping. That’s about five times what I paid for the camera, or ten times what other Canon prime lenses for the same camera cost. Can anyone explain why? Must be a helluva lens. Oh and you can get one used for a mere $1,378 – from Japan.

All prices and specifications subject to change without notice, of course.

And you can probably get a better deal in the USA, or anywhere else for that matter. Canada isn’t exactly a shopping paradise.

But you can see that when looked at sensibly, it doesn’t make sense. Especially not alongside the other prime lenses which sell for under $200. Why is there no 30-35mm equivalent here? Maybe I should ask Canon. The ones costing three or ten times as much really aren’t in the budget for fitting to a $400 camera.

Until some fiscally prudent solution presents itself, I will continue to use the Takumar when I want ‘normal’ focal length for that camera, even if I do have to correct the yellow out. Otherwise I will run the slightly fuzzy zoom lenses.

What’s the second thing I want? More time to use the equipment I’ve already got. Time is a precious commodity when it takes longer than normal to do most anything. There are many tasks making demands on my limited number of available hours. I wish some of them would go away. I wish the weather was better for shooting in. While I’m at it I may as well go back to wishing for that affordable lens. And a lottery win. All are about as likely to happen.

Now here’s a shot taken out my front window, across the road, under the power lines, and over into the next valley courtesy of the Nikon P610 and its amazing optics. No processing; this is just how it looked.

DSCN1971