Picture 3000

This is image #3000 on the latest SD card in my ailing Nikon P610. Yes, we’ve had yet more snow. The forecast is basically “guess and see” as the weather changes quickly these days.

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We wait and see about everything now, from weather to auctions to vaccines to … whatever.

Some random thoughts:

Black Friday sales have become a mockery of themselves just as the original sales were a mockery of (U.S.) Thanksgiving. It was bad enough that holiday has been corrupted by commercial (and to some extent political) exploitation. No longer is the famous parade about floats and balloons and bands; it’s about advertising and only advertising. And now the post-celebration sales orgy has turned into another pale ghost of what it was, with the “bargains” being no different than the typical reduced prices found at other times of the year. 60% off? Not likely. Get used to regular prices printed in red ink, descriptive non-sale tags like “great value”, and the ever-popular (with retailers) hiked-by-30%-then-reduced-by-10% ploy.

Upon the roof.

Our Prime Moron who bought 70 million+ doses of vaccine now tells us Canada can’t manufacture any and there probably won’t be enough for everyone or any time soon. What happened, Dustbin? Cheque for the bribe bounce? Something fishy about this sudden about-face on the availability and distribution of a vital prophylactic. I don’t know why I don’t trust him. Maybe it’s the four ethics violations he has to his discredit.

Look all around.

The real value in the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting 30,000 is that it proves anyone can play the game as long as the rules don’t keep changing. A stable government, no matter what kind, is one whose policies you can survive. How well remains open to question, but history tells us the worst thing for any country is to be run by someone who is demonstrably mentally incompetent. A highly unstable moron makes for the worst leader in the world ever.

Exponential growth.

Some people think being asked to wear a mask to help ensure the health of others is some sort of infringement on their rights and freedoms. Check the U.S. Bill of Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights: nothing in either about not having to follow regulations. If you think this is an indication of a totalitarian government, you have no idea what that means. Fail to comply here and you get a fine or possibly jail time. If it truly were a “totalitarian” government you’d be shot dead and dumped in a garbage can with the rest of the rubbish. Truly. There are actually governments in this world today that operate like that. Be glad you have no idea of what hardship really is. Think self isolation is imprisonment? Try a “tiger cage”, whiner.

The world is like this.

The USA has achieved 4% infection rate: higher than any other country on Earth by a factor of 5.

Ontario has passed legislation to make Daylight Saving Time permanent. Because stupidity is even more rampant than COVID-19. Sandford Fleming spins in his grave.

I still have not succeeded in getting a Canon 5D. Perhaps I never will. I’ll live, just the same.

All we have to do is sit and wait.

Image 3000

This just happened to be image #3000 taken with the Canon T100 using the 40mm lens. That’s not a good lens for taking a picture of an airplane in the sky, but it’s how it worked out. I cropped the 640×427 segment from the full frame.

Image 3000

It’s sunny today, so I’ll see if I can run the Nikon’s latest card up to 3000 and maybe snap a few more with the Kodak. Also I have a new (to me) lens to test.

Misc.

Well it’s raining again. From the looks of the forecast I have showers to put up with off and on for sometime to come. This interferes with the current vital project of harvesting firewood. I don’t like getting wet and I especially don’t like working in a wet forest with the greater potential to slip and have an accident.

New wood stove at work.

Yesterday I ‘saw off’ all the neighbours so when I’m out here now I’m essentially alone. If something goes wrong I could be in big trouble. It has happened before, and I’m not younger or healthier now. Yes I’m too old for this.

It also isn’t any good for photography, all this rain.

Speaking of which, a few notes.

Some of photographers I follow have recently posted items that I am going to comment on in a non-specific way. This is not meant to be mean or insulting to them, just my observations.

Award Winners.

It’s great that you enter contests and win awards. Really. Not my thing but I am happy for you so keep it up and be happy yourself. I just want to say I’m amused by the fact the photos of yours that win prizes are not ones I would select from your efforts as being the best. This is more a comment on judging and competitions than your work. Hey I once won a poetry contest with the most trite piece of rubbish I’d ever penned. When you’re judged by other peoples’ tastes remember they aren’t necessarily any good. It’s fine that you can supply the right kind of photo to win, but the important thing is: are you making photos that you like? Please yourself and you’ll be happy.

Damsel

Film vs. Digital.

I notice some film images recently scanned and posted that were not sharp. I literally grew up taking film shots (insert the tired history: hundreds of cameras, thousands of images). This may be due to the scanning process, but since the same people use the same equipment and achieve different levels of results I can only conclude that sometimes film is not as sharp as digital (duh!). This is a milestone as there was a time when film, any film, had greater resolution. Other than a tendency to ‘blow out’ with overexposure, digital has unquestionably surpassed film in quality. If you know how to use it.

Sunset before the smoke came

Equipment, equipment, equipment.

I like new cameras. I like old cameras. I like digital cameras. I like film cameras.

I can only afford to use the digital ones I have, and fortunately four of them are more than good enough for my ‘professional snapshot’ style.

But I like cameras for their own sake. It’s the engineer in me. So I will read reviews of the latest Sony A7**** whatever, although I won’t necessarily want it. I will want cameras I can’t afford, usually for rather dubious reasons such as “I’d like to try it” or Eric L. Woods’ famous “because I like it” criterion. Mostly I dream about being able to pick up cheap digital to play with, like the Canon PowerShot A70 that I have or the old Kodak V1003 (both of which work, but have limiting defects now so don’t get used). The Fuji EXR is one of the best cameras I’ve ever had, especially for the <$75 price.

The point is that equipment can be a thing in and of itself, intersecting with the end result images. It is troublesome when you buy a lot and never use it, or buy something pricey which doesn’t give results (ahem, Lumix ZS60).

As such I’ve been focusing (pun intended) on the images more than the equipment lately. Mostly because the market for more equipment is not good where I am: poor selection and terrible prices.

Oh Red Cap!

Other notes.

I’m not terribly pleased with the way this WordPress work-around works, as it’s a pain to work with and limits my photo sizes to ‘small’. There’s probably some method of adjusting that, but I haven’t stumbled on it.

Life in general I shall not comment on. The world is a very depressing place right now, with little sign of improvement. Quite the opposite. My opinions on it won’t change anything, so I’ll just remain quiet.

Today I will bring in another load of wood, in the rain, and unload it, in the rain. Tomorrow … well I don’t know. The shed is about half full but I can’t count on the weather so I guess I will play it by ear and keep harvesting.

Sadly it looks like the Mrs. will not get to spend time out here this year. That was the main goal of my efforts too, but events conspire against it.

Try to be happy.

Tamron toy

I’m not very self-indulgent. I don’t spend a lot of money on my photography. This is just as well considering the results. It seems when I do fork over the big bucks the results are disappointing, and when I purchase something for mere pocket change it’s much more rewarding. Sort of the opposite of what should be expected.

When I bought the latest indulgence I truly believed it would be an asset. For one thing, Tamron is a venerable name in lenses. For another the specs seemed good, especially the wide focal length range which gets around the need to lens-swap on the Canon at 55mm. That was annoying.

On the downside, the lens lists for crazy money and there is apparently no support from Tamron in this country; the equipment is considered “gray market” and if something goes wrong they won’t fix it even at your expense. Not encouraging.

So when I came across a used one for half price I figured it was worth a shot. Short form: nope, it wasn’t.

Pros: short, light weight, easy to handle with a good zoom range of 18-200mm.

Cons: slow to focus, poor low-light focus performance, and it’s not very sharp.

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Small fry with the Tamron. It’s blurry, no matter how you slice it.
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Small fry with the Canon 55-250mm. Significantly sharper.
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Small fry with the Nikon P610. Makes the Canon lens look poor and the Tamron look awful.
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Tamron at full 200mm. Significant and inconsistent vignetting. Also the shorter focal length makes one yearn for the ‘missing’ 50mm.

So what is the lens good for? Anything? Well it’s not bad for average picture taking of general scenes.

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When sharpness isn’t important, it’s fine.
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Female common merganser and her brood, watching the sunset. This would have been much better with the Canon lens, but there was no time to swap (why I like the vast range of the Nikon).
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The sunset they were watching.

For the record, I’ve made three photographic purchases in the past two years which I regret: the Nikon W100, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS60, and this Tamron 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 Di II VC. They all could have been great, but disappointed for the same reason: lack of sharpness in the lens.

I am now loath to make any more purchases at all, for any amount of money. It’s a shame too because I think I found a replacement for the ailing Nikon P610: a Sony DSC-HX300/B for <$300. Other options are well over that (like a used P610 for more than mine cost new). I’m not keen on buying any more lenses for the Canon either, as it seems ‘affordable’ is a synonym for ‘low quality’. It would be worse if I shelled out for the top dollar glass and was still disappointed.

I’m not trusting new equipment right now.

 

Back at the lake

Last weekend I roasted in 30+C heat finishing the roof on a shed I started building years ago. Now it’s done and can be used. So I immediately shifted back to the cabin where there’s no end of projects to work on. But all work is no fun so …

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Always an interesting sky.
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I wonder what this plane is and why it flew over.
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Ant in a hole in a tree.
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Valuable rock.
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Damselfly.
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Dragonfly.

Pictures taken with the Canon T100. First three with my new Tamron 18-200mm zoom. More on that later.

 

To be brief

Some bad things happened quite suddenly around here. Not catastrophic (at least not yet), but bad. This morning I have no idea how to proceed with anything. So let’s look at some pictures instead.

Shooting around the yard with the Canon T100 and 55-250mm Canon lens, as I ‘practice’ for when the Nikon fails completely.

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Turkey vulture overhead. An omen? Notice how fuzzy the lens is. The Nikon would have this sharp and closer.
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Bee drenched in pollen. Again not sharp and the exposure is questionable.
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Exaggerated clouds
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Documentation: I finally replaced the wiring and lights on the utility trailer. I’ve had the kit for more than ten years. I don’t do things quickly.
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Junco feather. Again it would be sharper with the Nikon. When you go to 100% on the original image you see it’s in focus, just ‘soft’. The Canon lenses do not perform.
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Albino Raven Moth. Or something. This creature is very tiny: the image is about 10x actual size. Again not sharp.

Anyway the kids have gone home, I haven’t finished the shed roof, and I’ve got to go back to work on the cabin. Someone invited the younger lot up to stay too. Also the Nissan has thrown up a new fault: high oil pressure (possibly the sensor or gauge has failed, possibly the pressure relief valve is stuck). If that fails I could well be stranded out in the middle of nowhere. It’s a long walk to civilization from anywhere along that road. No money to replace the vehicle either, even if there was something available to replace it with.

We live in interesting times, which I’m sure you know is an ancient Chinese curse.

I’ll be looking at the moon …

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Taken with Nikon P610 at ISO 6400
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Taken with Canon T100 at ISO 6400

In a rare moment of no rain, the full moon (at 3:30 AM). When cranked up to ISO 6400 the Nikon presents images that look like oil paintings. The Canon fairs better due to its larger sensor. Further proof that those high ISO claims are just numbers, not anything you should count on.

Nice though the pictures are, none are as beautiful as the scene actually appeared.

Lately

The good news is small: I have the cabin ready to move the trailer out there.

The bad news is large, and it is everywhere, and you can’t have missed it.

Because of these two things I haven’t taken any pictures lately, so I’ve processed one that was left languishing on the drive to make a kind of artistic image.

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Moony Blues

What next?

That’s a very good question.

We’ll find out when it happens.