Saturday, December 9, 2017

Motive for hiking and shooting photos

When I first tried the TAv setting, it was during discussions with someone over the Pentax TS-1.  This was this person's favorite camera.  I'm old (83) and some times have twinges, and since hiking keeps me in pretty good shape and photography keeps me hiking, I need alternate kits and the TS-1 seemed like a good idea at the time.  But I didn't like its having only one dial.  This TS-1 person recommended various automatic settings including the TAv (although I don't think that is the setting he used).  In any case I gave it a try.  In editing, the changes in the photos due to different ISO settings didn't feel right.  So I set the TS-1 on a shelf and maybe I'll use it the next time a shoulder or knee develops a twinge -- or maybe not.  I subsequently bought a K70 which has two dials.

Now as to what I might have to lose by trying the TAv setting, I probably have a different motive for going shooting than anyone else on this forum.  Maybe not, but I'd be surprised if there was another.

My wife had a serious illness and while I could slip away to the local river for a couple of hours hiking, I could not risk driving long distances.  I had to be on call.  She was sleeping most heavily at dawn and that is when I would take the dogs for a hike.  After many years, and on July 4th 2015, she died, and even though there is nothing now preventing my driving further up into the mountains, I'm used to the convenience of the local dry river-bed.  Also, would using up energy in a drive further up into the mountains be the best thing?  I need to hike to keep in shape, not drive.  There is nothing wrong with me (that the doctors know about) at age 83.  But if I go back to the same place to hike day after day without any additional distractions, I would be bored.  I have been bored.

Then I discovered that by taking different lenses on hikes, they would present me with different challenges and give me different looks when I ran a hike as a slideshow on my monitor.

But of course that isn't all.  I retired after 39 years from Boeing.  My education was in English literature, but I was a quick study and learned engineering in companies that were largely meritocracies (Douglas, McDonnell Douglas and finally Boeing).   So despite being a retired engineer I have an artistic background.  I appreciate not only good literature but classical music and  painting.  I'm not convinced that photography is art, but I know what an "artist's eye" is and do look for the best shots presented to me.

I have been on a Rhodesian Ridgeback forum which folded but there are 20 or 30 people who want to receive photos of each hike.  For them the activities of the dogs are more important than artistic (if there is any) merit.

And for me, I make things up to keep up my interest in taking a camera with me hike after hike.  Right now I have a raft of lenses to try with the Pentax K1 full frame camera.  I felt frustrated by not getting it all right with them immediately and intuitively.  Perhaps you can see at this point that the more automatic I make my camera, the fewer challenges I'll have on a hike.

If I had many days like today, encountering dogs owned by homeless people who live under bridges and elsewhere in tents, then I'd need the TAv setting in self-defense.  Fussing with the EV setting cost me some time and maybe I've fixed that problem by setting the EV at +2 -- maybe not.
I just changed the ISO to automatic.  I decided I've been enduring too many challenges all at once.  I think I'm going to like the FA77 lens better than my other primes, but you couldn't tell it from the shots I took today.  I need another outing with it.

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