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True Ramblings of a rambling mind

Posted Sunday, January 31, 2010, at 10:12 AM

(Photo)
Just have to read the column to find out about this one.
All this snow has me thinking about a trip I have made for 12 years to the frozen North. This year the frozen North came to me so no need to go.

That is not actually why I used to go to Montreal at this time of year. It was for a Paper Industry trade show, but it has been dying a slow decline and this year it will lose one more attendee.

The cold, snow and thoughts of Montreal triggered another memory of a business associate from Quebec who passed on last week. It was not an easy passing for my friend and his family but I am SURE he is having a GOOD time in Heaven now. Likewise, I would bet they are glad to see him because he always lit up the room when he was there.

Thinking of Pierre made me think of French food and got my culinary creativity up, so I cooked French toast for breakfast (with a few "special" ingredients). I had already eaten the first batch by the time Deb and her mother got up, so I cooked another batch for them. They did not take my temperature, but you could tell they were wondering what was going on.

This morning's sun on the snow had my photographic juices going too so when I headed out to feed the drop-off cats, I carried my camera with great anticipation. It was as beautiful as I expected but oops, I forgot to charge the battery. That did not happen with my old film cameras. The meter battery might die, but I could still use the old brain for settings and shoot anyway.

While this camera has a 5X zoom it is no where near capable of taking the close-ups I am used to with the film camera so I tried an experiment I read about on the internet, shooting through an existing 35mm lens. Something was missing in the translation I guess 'cause all I got was the picture seen above. Interesting, but not what I had in mind.

The sun is so bright on the snow that being out there was actually painful, plus the screen was so hard to see that I just pointed at what I though I wanted and shot. While I love the portability of this camera and it is great for snapshots, I am severely limited in creativity through the lens, or at least the kind I was used to with film.

Of course being digital, I can bring it back in to the computer and get creative like I used to in the darkroom, without the chemicals ad restrictions of working in the dark. Plus, the software makes difficult processes so easy.

So what is the bottom line when comparing digital and film? I won't know until I work with a full blown, professional DSLR, which may never happen, so....... the jury will stay out, for now.

We had about 5.5 inches of snow up here on the hill and I believe we would not be able to feed the cats or get back home without the 4 wheel drive truck. One of our neighbors on another hill has no tire marks or steps in their driveway so they are either tucked in for the duration or went somewhere to wait out the freeze.

Well, I have plenty of time to work on eBay and other computer stuff, so I guess I will get to work. We hope everyone is able to stay warm.


Comments
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Our dogs loved the snow, I wish I had a video cam. Our collie mix figured that for traction he needed a wider "wheel base." Watching him try to chase the birds was hysterical. At 50+ pounds his weight did not break the ice crust, so he slipped and slid -legs at full speed, but forward motion was very slow. Our boxer-lab mix watched from the porch to assess the situation. She hit the ice crust with her rear tucked low and her front legs stiff with a great high stepping "lick." Her stance and gait allowed her to move easily across the yard. She's a TN dog and I guess she's a "Tennessee Walking dog!" We will not discuss how my other half navigated the ice to bring in more wood. Sometimes he reads what I write and it's not right to laugh at the person who bravely goes out and bings the wood in to heat the house.

-- Posted by amalphia on Sun, Jan 31, 2010, at 12:18 PM

I think we get the picture amalphia but I appreciate YOUR appreciation of the commitment we guys give to keep the house warm.

It was the first real snow for three of our pets and yes, they all seemed to have as much fun as children. Taking a still picture does not get the point across as well as a video. I fumbled with my camera to try to figure out how to do it, but the shot was gone by then.

By the way, I forgot to mention in my original post that I was shooting through a 25-200 foot zoom lens. Since it was meant for an SLR camera I guess the digital did not compute.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jan 31, 2010, at 12:42 PM

I have one of the "low" end dSLR's and absolutely love it. I have taught myself so much in the past year that I've had it...I've always wanted to get into photography, but the expense along with processing just wasn't in my budget thru the years. Digital has changed that. Unfortunately I've taken so many "good" ones (and even came in 2nd place in a contest) that I need a few more walls in my house! :) And what a beautiful morning to take a walk! The ice twinkling in the sun made for some awesome sights! We may not have had church this morning, but we were enjoying God's gifts for sure!

p.s. I have also seen that film lens swap, but can't remember what it all entailed either.

-- Posted by neighborhood mom on Sun, Jan 31, 2010, at 2:53 PM

Yes, Neighborhood mom, the iced trees were beautiful. I said they looked like they were covered in sparkling diamonds. I asked if a still shot could capture the sparkle. My other half is the photographer in the family and he said, "No." It's the subtle movement of the frozen tree limbs that causes the light to refract off the ice. He's so factual sometimes - I like my diamond trees better. Still would like to try to get a shot of them before they are all gone.

-- Posted by amalphia on Sun, Jan 31, 2010, at 5:08 PM

amalphia, you can get the sparkle by using something called a crosshatch filter. And Steve, I just got my first DSLR with a 1000 mm lens and I'm totally blown away. Using it right now with regular lens to convert all my old slides to jpegs. Got a lot of beautiful ice tree shots today and one picture of a goliath woodpecker in flight.

-- Posted by cherokee2 on Sun, Jan 31, 2010, at 7:08 PM

1000 mm! Holy Cow, that is a powerful lens. In the old days, you would need a caddy to carry that around for you, how much do the new ones weigh?

What brand DLSR did you get?

Because of all the lenses I have I am locked in to Nikon, but I have read that there are adapter rings, anyone use them?

I would think you could probably put a crosshatch filter in front of a plain digital. I kept trying to create the effect in Adobe Photo Shop but never got what I wanted. I probably should call our daughter. She would know if I PS has a filter to do that.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 3:41 PM

Steve, my camera is an Olympus e-520 and the 1000 mm lens for it weighs about 12 ounces. And they make adaptor rings for almost everything. I just made a frame for the camera to re-shoot all my slides. With a piece of translucent plastic behind the slide and a small flurescent behind that it works very well. What wow'd me is it holds 2 ram cards, one of which holds 3200 large format pictures, and the other will do panorama shots.

-- Posted by cherokee2 on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 7:17 PM

I'll take a look. Thanks!

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 8:59 PM

I'm in Alabama, safe and warm, not dealing with the snow YAYYY!!!!!! I hate the snow so I'm enjoying spending my time with my fiance and his family cozy and semi-warm unsnowed in down here :) It's nice to go to the store and not have to deal with all the ice. Icckkkk! Steve, post pics of your animals in the snow soon. Can't wait.

-- Posted by freakyfriday on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 9:01 PM

Wow, that's awesome cherokee2! My longest is the 70-300 and I love getting some close bird shots with my Nikon. I can't imagine 1000mm! I will have to check out the crosshatch filter also!

-- Posted by neighborhood mom on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 5:48 PM

What kind of Nikon neighborhoodmom?

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 10:20 AM

The D60...basic, but it does the job for me. My brother bought the D5000 and has no clue how to use it. I've been tempted to drive to KY and snag it from him...but my camera being used is worth more than his sitting on his shelf!

-- Posted by neighborhood mom on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 12:20 PM


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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.