Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Photographic, Blog, and Dog considerations, 8-17-11


In the future I’ll be uploading photos to Why? The main reason is that SmugMug provides a much better display, the sort of display I see on my computer screen when I’m looking at and editing my photos. I plan to set up “galleries” by month, at least initially. The only gallery I’ve created thus far is for August 2011.

A secondary reason is that my blog is restrictive and slow. It posts only relatively small photos and takes a long time to do it. Also, it limits the number of photos I can post in a single blog note, and I’m never sure what that number is going to be, usually between 9 and 12. SmugMug allows me to upload as many photos as I want at one time, and it posts them quickly.

If you go my SmugMug site and move your cursor to the upper right side of an emphasized photo, you will be able to enlarge it up to X3. The X3 size is close to what I see on my computer screen.

I acquired the software program Lightroom 3 recently. The main reason I wanted it was to be able to eliminate “noise” when I am shooting in low-light conditions in the early morning. I now feel free to shoot up to ISO 800 on my E-1 and ISO 1600 on my Pentax K20d; although I prefer to be at ISO 400 when the morning brightens up.

One of the adjustments I regularly fiddle on a camera is “White Balance.” In terms of Kelvin number, I use 5300, 6000, 6600 or 7500 depending upon the available light. If I happen to guess wrong, I discovered, I can make the correction with Lightroom 3, a very nice feature.

The future of the Olympus DSLR is in some doubt. Their “pro” E-5 is the only one they are selling at the moment. They have been concentrating on their smaller Pen series which has disappointed many Olympus loyalists. I don’t manage well with small viewfinders; so the only Olympus I use with regularity is the 2003 vintage E-1. As to the future, I may buy an E-3 if the price of a low shutter-count camera drops sufficiently. The only Olympus “pro” camera newer than the E-3 is the E-5, which is still selling at around $1600; so I am not likely to get an E-5 for a very long time. I have decent Olympus glass, but will probably add a 70-300mm Olympus lens at some point.

The future of Pentax is in somewhat less doubt. My K20d has only the K-7 and K-5 above it in the Pentax “pro” line (not counting their Medium Format 645d). The K-5 is the only Pentax camera that interests me, but they are still selling for about $1200 on Amazon. The price would need to drop below $500 (for a used camera with a low number of shutter actuations) to be a real temptation for me. I have several Pentax lenses but they probably aren’t as good as my Zuiko lenses. I may buy a better quality Pentax lens at some point, but I prefer a lens that gets me out to 300mm on hikes, and I have two lenses that will do that for me.

There are good cameras of other brands out there, but I try not to spend much time reading about them lest gear-lust overtake me.


I plan to use my Blog, in the future, for the sorts of things I discussed before I launched off into Photography.


If you look at the photographs of eight-year-old Ginger (red collar) and six-year-old Sage (blue collar) you will see white on their muzzles – more so on Ginger’s. I vaguely planned to “downsize” next time but I have been unable to find a breed that fits my situation as well as the Ridgeback. The latest breed I looked into was the Karelian Bear Dog, but a local breeder frowned on the idea of taking a KBD into foxtail regions during foxtail season. Unfortunately the river where we do our routine hiking is filled with foxtails as long as this season last.

It was because of the foxtails that Susan grounded her Schnoodle Duffy; then, sometime later, Ginger was bitten by a coyote, and Susan decided to ground Duffy permanently.

While the girls are too fit and strong to have much to fear from coyotes, that could change once the first one gets old. I hope to have a strong & fit dog (probably a Ridgeback) fully grown and available to ward off coyotes by the time that happens.

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