Paranoia … it’s Alive and Flourishing!

Most of you wouldn’t be familiar with these lyrics:  “Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep …”.  It was from a popular song written in 1966 by Buffalo Springfield called For What It’s Worth, but it still rings true, today, as I found out in a local grocery.

I live in a relatively small neighborhood and sometimes I take my camera out for a walk.  Often, I’ll stop by one of the local stores to see what’s interesting, photographically speaking.  What I like about the super markets is they have great lighting and are full of all kinds of detailed patterns and bright colors – perfect for photography.  And the one I frequent most seems to be struggling because there are almost never very many people there so it just makes it easier to take photos relatively unimpeded … usually.

This morning was different.  I was wandering around snapping a few photos, some of their “secret” stuff like apples and apricots, when I was approached by a manager asking what I was doing.  So I told him and showed him the last few shots which were very colorful (apples) and competely benign – not incriminating in any way.  He said they have to be careful and on the “lookout” for competitors and/or journalists, but then was nice enough to tell me I was okay and maybe just ask in the future.  Okay, I guess I can understand that, but still ….

So, what is going on in our society?  I’ve noticed other times when people would look at me with that concerned frown on the their face as they wondered, “Who’s the guy with the camera and what is he up to?”  I’m not “up to” anything.  I’m just a photographer out looking for some interesting images.  If I were doing something nefarious, I wouldn’t use a nice camera, I’d use an 8MP iPhone, get great images and no one would ever know – or wonder.  Maybe it’s just that I look intimidating.  A 63 year old with a slight (very slight 🙂 paunch, grey hair, not tall and obviously not in great shape is a scary sight.  Yeah, that’s got to be it.  hehe.

I guess I’ll just start asking permission but then that makes me think of a couple of quotes:
“If you can’t take the answer, then don’t ask the question.”
“It’s better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.”

Y’all have a great day!

The apples and the balloons were shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M5, using the Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 lens.

Learning the Olympus System

Ever since ordering the Olympus OM-D E-M5 over a month ago, I’ve been waiting rather impatiently for it to ship. Unfortunately, that probably won’t be for another couple of weeks.

So in the meantime, I decided to get an Olympus PEN E-PL1 ($289 on Amazon w/lens) and begin to get familiar with Olympus’ menu system and general camera functions. In reading about both cameras, it appeared that they had similar menu setups and would make for an easy transition to the E-M5.

I’m thoroughly enjoying the E-PL1 and have been pleasantly surprised at the quality of images that can be coaxed from this little “PEN”. These images reflect a few of my favorites, so far, and have various amounts of post processing applied, from just a crop to some fairly aggressive black and white work.

All images are from the Olympus PEN E-PL1 with the 14-42mm kit lens.

ISO 1000, f/5.3, 1/40s, 37mm

ISO 200, f/8, 10 seconds, 42mm (light painting)

ISO 200, f/8, 1/1250s, 39mm, B&W processing in Nik Silver Efex Pro

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/1500s, 42mm, cropped only

ISO 200, f/8, 10 seconds, 42mm, (light painting)

The Hacker

Looks can be so deceiving – just look at her. She looks like the sweetest, most innocent dog on the planet. Well, she sure had me fooled, too.

I’ve been suspecting that someone has been using my computer but couldn’t imagine who it could be – we haven’t had company in over a week. Then, today I walked into my office and caught the culprit, red-handed – my dog, Bella! I was just in time, too. She was about to place a HUGE order with the online pet store: dog treats, dog toys, new bedding, a cat (someone to torment, I suppose), and misc. other “goodies”!

Man, if you can’t trust your dog, who can you trust? 🙂