Everywhere and everything

Seems that May is ending and most hadn’t realized it just started. With the longer days of sunlight you just get busy with everything. It’s like you have finally come out of hibernation.

Everything is set for our summer vacation. Marjun leaves the beginning of July for 2 months. She’ll be in Denmark until the 25th were she will meet up with me in Dublin for the WOCCU conference. This is a 4 day conference with credit unions from all over the world. The last one we were at was Nashville, Tennessee and it was amazing to meet so many different people. The Irish will be putting out the red carpet to make this memorable. After the conference we tour Ireland by car for 5 days, then onto London and Norfolk to spend some time with relatives. The final weeks will be back in Denmark with family and old friends. There are a few old school mates that are planning to get together. I haven’t been back for 14 years so there will be some changes for sure. One looks forward to seeing the people, tasting the food and seeing all of those familiar haunts as well as something new. What always intrigues me is the different fragrances. There are smells that just bring back a flood of memories that can only be found in some unique corner of the globe.

Today it’s off to the passport office. That is a high priced product that seems to take longer to apply for, longer to get, and last a shorter time. If nothing changes why can’t you just append your passport with a new photograph? or better yet just get your Flickr account updated with a few pictures so they can always see what you look like.

The Nikon D-50 continues to amaze me. The clarity of the images is the best I have seen in a digital camera. With a true SLR lens you begin to notice the lack of limitations in taking any photograph. We were over at a friends place last week and took some pictures outside at about 10:00 pm with the flash. Clear, brilliant and simple to take. The optics on the lens makes a huge difference. The picture below was taken in a gymnasium from the far side of the door in the background. Cropping out the noise brings in the focus of people milling about chatting and enjoying a school reunion.

It is fun taking pictures, again.

This new camera continues to amaze me with its functions and possibilities. Since using small “automatic” digitals that really didn’t allow you to manage the variables to any great extent, you tend to just point and shoot. If you adjusted the aperture there was usually not enough light to take the picture you wanted. Not enough light meant the blinding flash would saturate your image with light creating those glaring shadows. With the return of the SLR controls you have to begin to “construct” your pictures thinking in terms of depth of field, control of the light, etc. With this camera you can bracket your white balancing, automatically. It only does that with JPGs not with the RAW files. Now the variances when you view what you have taken are just incredible. It seems like painting at times.

The biggest question to begin with is what type of file to take the picture in. RAW allows you to bring the file into an editing enviroment that gives you wonderful control. It really is like being in the darkroom again. But the files size! And because you can just click away , the total download is usually over 1G. You tend to become somewhat ruthless with trashing those images that are the least bit out of focus or no amount of cropping will help. It does bring some new excitement into an old hobby.

Season of meetings

Sooner than later this ‘season of meetings’ should be over. I don’t know what has been happening in everyone elses life but for the last few months the calendar is full of meetings. Never ending meetings. Meetings with and meetings without purpose. What is it? The new way to make social contact? Sorry but sitting in a boring meeting is sometimes worse than a root canal. The root canal has a knowledgeable end. Meetings take on lives of their own and go on and on and on. Long live the simple freedom to sit by yourself and think!

My last purchase of a good camera (SLR) was in 1979 with a Canon A-1. It doesn’t get used much anymore, is heavier than a kitchen sink, but was one of the best 35mm cameras made. It still feels good to hold and shoot. Last week after a number of months researching Lens and Shutter got a sale. I chose a Nikon digital D50 but not with the kit lens. I upgraded to the same lens as the D70s. And after hundreds of pictures this camera is impressive. It does everything the A-1 does with just new dimensions in taking pictures. It is fast, very fast. The RAW images are a joy to work with, and the ability to compensate with all the tools of the camera to take a good picture is at times unbelievable. I picked up the SB600 Speedlight flash which is a gem. No more flash picture with the black curtain ending the visual. Great bounce flash AND fast! I am sure there will be further comments about this apparatus in the future but the most striking thing about this camera is it’s usability. If you have a medium knowledge of photography everything that makes up this camera is understandable and very usable. Just a joy to use with some great results (as you can see).