G.A.S. for an Automobile

V8 BiTurbo Mercedes Benz

What a beautiful car!  Normally, I prefer trucks and Jeeps when it comes to my own vehicle, but this one definitely caught my eye.  So I guess G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) can apply to things other than cameras.

A couple of days ago I took our car in for service, and while waiting to talk to the “service guy” I was parked right next to this.  It’s hard to tell from the photo but the paint is a matte finish in dark gray, and then of course there’s the yellow trim … racing stripes down the side and on the hood.  This is the Mercedes Benz V8 BiTurbo and it is a mean looking machine.  Of course it will set you back close to $100,000!  (Way beyond my budget.)  🙂

As soon as I finished getting my car checked in, I grabbed my Fuji X70 and snapped a few images concentrating mainly on the wheel detail.  That gold brake caliper is so gorgeous I would hate to ever use the brakes and get it dirty.  If you look closely, the silver part in the lower right is the disc which I was told is made of ceramic.

The beauty of this little X70 is that it fits easily into my jacket pocket, yet puts out those beautiful X-Trans images from its APS-C sensor.  Once again I’ve shown myself that the best camera is the one you have with you.  You never know when that next photo op will appear.

Olympus E-M1 Mk II Tips

I finally made the upgrade to the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk II …

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Last week I finally made the upgrade to the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk II, and so far it’s everything I thought it would be. It’s fast – fast for Turn ON, AF, and Playback, and the Shutter Release feels almost instantaneous. It has great IBIS, and all the features we love about the OM-D line, plus some other great improvements. There’s an improved deeper grip and the menus are a little different, no less confusing than before, and still as deep and complex. But I do like it it and will soon be parting ways with my E-M1(Mk I).

I want to address a couple of the things that seem to be most confusing about this camera. I agree Olympus cameras can be complex and frustrating, even after four years of using and writing about them. But, they are still my overwhelming camera of choice. Partly for that very complexity that allows us so many choices and variations in camera setup.

Continue reading “Olympus E-M1 Mk II Tips”

A Different View of Mt. Rainier

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Mt. Rainier through the HUD on a B737-800
In 2002, I was fortunate to be flying as a Captain on a Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-800 which was one of the first airliners to have a “heads up display” (HUD) for the Captain. This HUD is a piece of glass that hangs in front of the pilot, near the windshield, and displays all of the necessary flight data, including altitude, airspeed, heading.  The beauty of this system is that it allows the pilot to fly the airplane much more precisely than with previous instrument systems.  Plus, he can do that all while continuing to look out the front windscreen.
This image shows Mt Rainier, in Washington state, not long after take-off from Seattle. The HUD shows that we were climbing through 10,980 feet at a true airspeed of 311 knots and a heading of about 118 degrees. The small double circle with the wings sticking out each side shows that our current flight path will take us above and to the right of the mountain’s peak. Of course, we will turn back on course before we get too close to the mountain.

I made this image with my first digital camera, the Canon D30.

Respite

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Like a Leaf …

No doubt, life can be chaotic at times.  Do you ever feel like a leaf in a wild whitewater river, being swept along utterly out of control?  Just remember to look for a rock to cling to, a momentary respite from the maelstrom.

But life does go on, so catch your breath, rest a moment, and prepare for the next challenge that is sure to come.  And think how boring it would be without these trials to test us.

I found this scene in a small public park in Buena Vista, Colorado.

How To Catch a Bullet … updated

Update:  Yesterday, I accidentally posted this to Google+, so decided to just go ahead and update it.  See the bottom of the post for more info.

Okay, the title may be ever so slightly misleading … what I meant was how to catch a bullet inflight with a camera.  🙂

For some time now, I’ve wanted to try some sequence shots of a semi-automatic pistol in action.  This weekend provided the perfect opportunity while a photographer friend was visiting and we had a nice warm, sunny day.
(Yes, I know you can stop a bullet in flight with flash and trigger of some sort, but this was done the old fashioned way … pure luck!)

We set the camera at ISO 400 for a fast shutter speed of 1/6,000th of a second at f/3.3 using a fast 85mm lens on a Nikon D700.  Then while I did the shooting, my buddy took the photos.  Fortunately, I had the MB-D10 Multi Power Battery Pack on my D700 so the burst rate was up to 8 fps.  The pistol was a Beretta Px4 Storm, shooting .40 caliber S&W ammunition.

Continue reading “How To Catch a Bullet … updated”

Time Travel …

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Layers of color, light, and structure

Years ago I wrote in my profile somewhere, “Photography provides a way to capture time and then travel back there whenever you wish. Every time you look at a photo, it can transport you back to that moment, allowing you to relive and remember.”

Recently, I was browsing through some of my old photos and came across a series I took in 2004, back in my Canon days with the 10d.  About a week after I retired from flying airplanes for Delta Air Lines, I struck out on a solo photo journey through part of the great American southwest.  The main points of interest on my itenerary were those awesome national parks:  The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and Canyonlands.

I started very early at The Grand Canyon, and spent several hours roaming the rim and shooting the canyon.   Continue reading “Time Travel …”

Light, shadow, perspective … ever changing

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This game room is in our apartment complex office, and in the afternoons has an ever changing pattern of light coming through the west windows.  That, coupled with the simple chess board on a small table, and perfect art on the wall, always gives me a chance for a new perspective on a familiar subject.

Taken with the Olympus E-M1 and the 12-50mm kit lens. This lens is incredibly cheap right now ($150 USD … normally $500), and is a great buy. It’s got a fairly slow aperture at 3.5-6.3, but a nice range of 24-100 (FF equiv.), and a very good close-up ability.  At that price you can hardly go wrong with this little jewel, especially if on a budget.