Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘photography

Long Time

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It has been a long time since I did a jigsaw puzzle at home. After visiting Judy’s and Mary’s houses over the holidays and seeing their puzzles in progress, I felt a renewed motivation to get out one of my own again. Luckily, I had a very special new puzzle in my queue.

For the first time ever, I’m building a puzzle of a picture that I took. Elysa had this made for me as a gift after I mentioned that I thought the image would make a great jigsaw puzzle.

I’ve only spent a little time on this so far, but already I can sense the difference of studying pieces of an image that I captured. The location is a northern Minnesota forest on land owned by our friends, Mike and Barb Wilkus. We were hiking through the woods on a beautiful fall day and I stopped to snap a shot of the small lake surrounded by trees.

I’m going to love working on assembling this puzzle.

It will become a battle of wanting to make quick progress even though I also don’t want the project to end soon.

I suspect this will be a puzzle I have no problem assembling over and over again, although I feel it also deserves a turn or two up at the Wilkus cabin. Hopefully, both scenarios can be achieved over time.

That part of my brain that loves jigsaw puzzling is very happy indeed, especially because it’s been a long time since I’ve built one.

Maybe even more so, because I stood in this very spot.

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Written by johnwhays

January 15, 2020 at 7:00 am

Ahead

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Written by johnwhays

January 13, 2020 at 7:00 am

Winter Walking

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Referring back to my recent post about feeling maladjusted to real cold, this morning’s walk was extremely refreshing at -1°(F). The big moon was low in the west and lit up brilliantly by sun rays that hadn’t crested our horizon yet. I hastily tried to capture a shot with the new Olympus pocket camera while standing on the trail down to the northwest corner of our property.

Nothing spectacular about the image, but that is not the camera’s fault. I didn’t do anything to contribute toward making it a better photo. It was a quick exercise in seeing how well I could pull the camera out of a deep pocket and get a shot with my bare hand while Delilah patiently waited to get on with the more important tasks on her mind.

The pads on her feet are calibrated for the indoor comfort of our house, so the bitter cold snow gets painful for her to stand upon. We made the morning jaunt a short one today, skipping to bother even opening the chicken coop until after the sunshine offers at least a suggestion of possible warmth.

Yesterday, in the bright light of midday, I took some pictures of the snow conditions we are stuck with so far this year.

The snow is crusty, not very deep, and rather uninviting for romping around. That’s not all bad, though. I’ve needed to do less plowing and shoveling, and walking the trails with Delilah can be done without putting on snowshoes.

On the bright side, there is at least enough snow to offer the classic sound absorption that creates mystical quiet in the great outdoors. Both yesterday and this morning the glory and wonder of a winter walk with just the sound of boots on snow were at a peak.

When I stop moving, the lack of sound slowly reveals the delicate notes of a single bird in the distance or the sound of Delilah breathing in the trace of a scent hanging in the still air.

We live in a winter wonderland, no matter how much snow we get.

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Written by johnwhays

January 11, 2020 at 10:28 am

Whatever Is

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I tried some perfunctory experimenting with the new camera after work yesterday without bothering to know anything specific about the features or settings. Who has time to read and learn from manuals? I took pictures of Delilah and then the moon with underwhelming results.

I spotted a leaf melting in the snow, but the sun had already set and the lighting wasn’t optimal.

I was excited by the empty imprint below the leaf. I wonder if that leaf is responsible for both impressions or if the empty spot was a different leaf that blew away.

Another image of the interesting snow patterns that Cyndie provided a few days ago highlights how much more rewarding it can be to take pictures with the help of some sunlight.

It’s relatively quiet on the ranch of late. Somehow the chickens have continued to dodge the fate of any predator visits. I needed to engineer a fix for our busted mailbox door. I kludged something that works for now but is unlikely to last very long. I’ve seen how rough that mailbox gets treated.

If luck is on my side today, the body shop will complete the job of repairing the front end of my car that got busted up by airborne road debris last month. I miss my car. I’ve been driving a rental all week, the cost of which was covered by my insurance. To get anything more than the most basic models would involve added expense. I didn’t want to pay. ‘Nuff said.

Despite repeated annual attempts to not give a hoot about NFL games, I have yet to completely kick the habit that has been with me for my entire life, so I plan to watch playoff games all weekend. I’m operating in standard Minnesota fan mode and fully expecting the Vikings to fall flat, while quietly hoping the team surprises me and gives us something to crow about.

When I’m not watching sports, we have been taking in a few new movies at home on DVD. We just saw, “Knives Out” and were thoroughly entertained by the screenplay, the production value, and the wonderful acting. I’m always impressed when actors I’m fond of choose to take on a role playing unlikeable characters. We recommend this movie!

That’s the news for today from ranch Wintervale-be-gone, where all the animals are both smart and good looking.

Be kind to someone you don’t know today.

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Written by johnwhays

January 10, 2020 at 7:00 am

Unplanned Solution

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I thought it would be so simple. Just drop my camera off at the shop to be sent out for cleaning. However, my plan was dashed the very moment I removed the trusty old Nikon from my pocket. Without a hint of hesitation, the clerk informed me there was no repairing this model. In today’s economy, it is cheaper to simply replace it.

This means that my Nikon is basically a disposable camera. That’s just wrong.

Of course, I won’t throw it away. There must be some use for it, even in a world where cell phones are more often used as cameras than for calls.

Admittedly, I tend to rely on my pocket camera more than my phone out of a sense of protection for the phone. I’m more willing to risk the camera to the harsh elements and risky handholds many situations present than I am my phone.

What could I do? I bought a new pocket camera built to withstand the abuse to which I expose them. This go-round I have chosen the Olympus Tough TG-6.

I’m looking forward to the macro mode feature it offers. After I charged the battery last night, the first picture taken was of the reflection of our old Hays family lamp I saw on the surface of the granite countertop below.

I was intrigued that the “auto” mode chose to focus on the image being reflected and not on the actual counter surface.

I look forward to getting to know this camera better and using it to capture a new level of filled-frame images, among the myriad other visuals that tend to catch my attention.

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Written by johnwhays

January 9, 2020 at 7:00 am

Dreaded Spot

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There is a speck on an internal lens of my trusty pocket camera. It showed up on images I captured this morning. I meant to feature some disappearing tracks in the snow, but I got an unwelcome distraction instead.

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Bummer!

I consider myself to be something of a hack photographer. I love framing and capturing images and cropping results for aesthetic effect, but I don’t put energy or attention toward camera details. The three pillars of photography, settings for shutter speed, aperture, and ISO are details I leave up to the auto mode of the camera.

For convenience, I long ago settled on a pocket camera so I could take pictures on the fly while out and about on my daily activities without the burden of a sensitive piece of equipment dangling around my neck or over my shoulder. I tend to be pretty rough on my equipment.

My previous pocket cameras which took fantastic pictures were Canon PowerShots, but the motorized pop-out lenses couldn’t handle the abuse of dust and debris that I subjected them to. My camera retailer steered me to the waterproof Nikon COOLPIX.

It’s been a trusty friend and has served me well, but my abuse is taking a toll. It needs a thorough cleaning.

Not a cleaning that I will do myself. I’m hoping the cost of professional cleaning is less than the price of a new camera. I don’t like the thought of this becoming a disposable item.

Most importantly, I don’t want to have blurry spots on my pictures of the morning sky on a beautiful December day.

Such a distraction.

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Written by johnwhays

December 22, 2019 at 11:16 am

Goodness

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

December 14, 2019 at 11:10 am