Saturday, November 22, 2008

A trip down memory lane - Mom's Olympus Trip 35

The very first camera I ever used was my mom's Olympus Trip 35. Olympus made over 10 million of these handy little camera's between 1968 and 1988. She got it back in the 60's or early 70's so its older than I am. My first shots, if I am not mistaken were taken at my cousin's wedding when I was a ring bearer. I'd estimate that I was 3 or 5. Based on that fact, I have been taking pictures for around 30 years. Crazy!

When I got my Nikon D50 my mom gave me the camera as she is using a digital point and shoot now. (Prior to that she had a "modern" film point and shoot). I brought it home and took a few pictures with it. Unfortunately, when Renae and I moved into our new house I wasn't able to locate it. At least until tonight.
Renae and I were cleaning up our basement this evening. I've been looking for the old camera at least once every month or so. In the one container I was sure it was in I found it. I swear I had tore that Rubbermaid container apart at least 8 times in the last year without finding the camera.
So besides being significant in that it was the first camera I ever held in my hands, it also gives me another way to experiment with film. I enjoy my Holga but this allows me to use 35 mm film and, if I use a flash, I can even adjust the aperture.

The thing that has appealed to me about this camera since my mom gave it to me is the fact that it doesn't require batteries. It has selenium cells around the lens to power the light meter.
The manual can be found here:
There's even a site dedicated entirely to the Trip.
The image I've uploaded isn't quite the same as the one I have. Apparently the ones with the black shutter release are a little newer. Mine is chrome.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A fine day for photography!

I had a great day for photography yesterday. Renae has baby shower for a friend. Naturally, baby was there and of course I had to take some pictures. He seemed quite fascinated with me for some reason, even when I was talking about photography. Ethan was a great little model.

So while the baby shower was on I banished myself. I had promised to help my brother-in-law stack his new dryer on his washer. After that we went outside and I took some pictures of Finnigan: Wonderdog Extraordinaire!©

So after playing Frisbee with Finnie, I ventured forth to Banff. I had never been on the Lake Minnewanka loop so I thought this would be a great little trip. With all the snow and ice it was marvelous.

Of course, being Christmas time my wife and I need to find great gifts for that special someone. (In our case, like most people, someone is pluralized many times over). On the way into the Banff town site I saw a cow elk grazing by the highway. There are signs all over the park cautioning motorists about them but this was the first time I had actually seen one.

It was getting late in the day (late for photography anyways) so I decided to give Vermillion Lakes a try. This is probably the most photographed bit of scenery in Banff and maybe even the entire Canadian Rockies but I still love to go out there to shoot. This time was also great.

So with the sun pretty much gone I headed for home. In retrospect, I wish I could have gone home a bit earlier. Just outside the Banff townsite there was probably 100-200 elk. Like I said before, I had never scene one elk. Here was an enormous herd. It was too dark to capture them and I was concerned about the weather. Maybe next time. After all, with this bounty of picture opportunities I guess I can't get too greedy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Woodies! Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter...

So DP Challenge has a new challenge called Where In The World Is Art Roflmao? Art has a peculiar photographic style that incorporates humor and um...lots of woodies. Woodies being those little wooden posable figures used for art. He also uses a lot of rubber ducks and stick on "googly eyes". Yes. Its strange. Ecletic might be a better term. Maybe strange. I dunno. You can check out his DP Challenge profile here:

It was for this reason I went outside to a nearby playground with my two woodies. My initial idea was to pose them either "pointing" to where Art might be found or shrugging indicating they didn't know where he was. When I got there I found that there was some convenient rocks around the edge of the sandbox. I also found out that shrugging doesn't work with my particular woodies.

The rocks almost looked like caves so I considered putting Art with Osama Bin Laden. We'll see. There's time for retakes I guess.

The rocks also presented a different opportunity. I removed the base and stand from one and hung him from the edge of the rocks making him (hopefully) look like he is rock climbing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Remembrance Day Ceremony

This Remembrance Day I attended the wreath laying ceremony at the Central Memorial cenotaph in downtown Calgary. It was a tough decision but I did bring my camera. On the one hand, it is a very solemn ceremony and my focus was to remember the sacrifice the men and women of our country have made in name of freedom. On the other hand, it is also a celebration of that same sacrifice and the victory they helped the Allies achieve in the wars.

Unfortunately, I, like most people , remember the sacrifices made during the World Wars and seem to forget that Canadians have laid down their lives in other conflicts. We forget that those who fell in Korea and Afghanistan made no small sacrifice and deserve to be remembered no less. That message hit home when, during the wreath laying, family members of soldiers who died in Afghanistan layed theirs wreathes.

In attendance were members of the Calgary Highlanders, as well as members of the Calgary Police Service, Calgary EMS, the RCMP, and the Calgary Fire Department.

Lightroom 2 fun

As mentioned in an earlier post, I've started using Lightroom 2 for my editing. I am really enjoying using it as it is quite powerful yet simple to use. Strangely, the biggest feature for me is something that's available in pretty much every editing program: dodging and burning. Lightroom, all edits are non-destructive including this one. Since you are also dealing with the RAW file you also have a lot more data available making it easy to pull out the detail in the shadows and highlights. As an example I took this picture of an old house and worked the image a fair bit and converted it to black and white. I burned the sky and dodged the house itself.

South of Cochrane, Alberta. Nikon D50. Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 ED lens at 18 mm. ISO 200, f/8, 1/50 second.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

And...the winner is...

Well...I didn't win per se but I did get a third place ribbon and my second image was considered for a ribbon in the recent Foothills Camera Club "Animal Portaiture" print competition. There was some fantastic images and I think the lowest score I saw was 20 (The scale goes up to 30).
The other remarkable thing was that the image I believed was better was the one that didn't get the ribbon. Both were well received during the viewing at the end of the meeting though so I guess I can't complain.
The gosling I took in early May and I believe he was only three days old at the time. His mom put her head in the water for a drink or a bite so this little guy thought he would try it. He ended up going end over end in a continuous somersault. Eventually he dove under and swam back up to the surface obviously disoriented. In the shot just before this one, a water droplet under his eye looked like a tear-drop and was soooo cute! Unfortunately my depth of field was a little shallow and his beak wasn't as sharp as I would have liked.
The colt I found during an impromptu trip to Spruce Meadows in June. One of the staff told me that the pastures across the road from the complex had a lot of babies to photograph. They were really quite inquisitive which was cool but also problematic. They always came right up the fence so I had to shoot around posts and wire etc. Still it was a fun afternoon of shooting.