OMG SUN!!

Been in need of Vitamin D, this has been a crazy Winter!  Granted, not the crazy mid-West winters, it’s all relative.  I’m healed up, just can’t hear from all the gunk from the ear infection.

Finishing up some obligations before I head out on my next adventure.  The last few days I’ve been playing with a new camera lens for my Sony a7ii, it’s a 70-300mm lens.  I’ve also discovered the apps once I finally registered the camera and downloaded a “smooth reflections” app.  At first it seemed as if the app was just a settings override for the camera, it’s actually a series of photos to smooth out the water.

The first attempt was sunset zoomed to the Golden Gate from about 5 miles away (Featured photo).  It was a good 40 knot wind, that shutter just kept going, and going, and going.  I had to turn it off, seems like I picked too windy a day for that particular app.  This was the view when I turned around, applied a PSExpress filter to the left pic.

Then I took my normal walk around the reservoir to set up at a dock.  That worked a little better, it was still pretty windy.  I let it click through, the first shot was 66 pictures, second around 45 pictures.  It seems the app works best if the water doesn’t have white caps, like every body of water has right now with the winds.

Always good to practice, see what the camera is capable of.  I tried the “fun” button, with the glare on the screen and it was hard to really see how it was going to turn out.  Besides, all that is in the Photoshop Xpress on my iPhone.  Instead of clicking through settings in a glare, I can casually do it indoors with my latte.  They mentioned “in camera” at the Sony seminar, sometimes I enjoy messing with Photoshop to see what pops up.

The other thing that I discovered was my iPhone has a “for you” in photos I never noticed.  I clicked on it, it made movies out of events or a time period.  Cheesy music, but since I take so many pics it was fun to see in just a few minutes.  One was showing my friend how to use his drone, then we went sailing.  Not sure which pictures are his or mine?  My drone lessons usually include a photo contest at the end and we sent each other the pics.  Turned out really nice though in a movie.

The other one is my trip in May, including the condom machine in a women’s bathroom somewhere along the way.  Guys, you wish we were coming out of a gross bathroom thinking, “I better grab one of these, just in case.”  Especially in Farmington, not going to happen.

 

Have almost everything set up for my trip to Seattle.  Really excited, I can’t believe how much this weather and these mild injuries have me down?  It looks like there’s at least a few days of great weather, still kinda cold.  Nothing a good walk won’t cure.

 

Camera Ready

The problem with getting older and being a half-ass photographer is that to keep up you have to upgrade your equipment every few years.  I upgraded a few months ago to a Sony a7ii with a 28-70mm lens.  It was a package deal from Mike’s camera last November, it’s replacing a Sony Nex5 I’ve been using for the past 5 or so years.  I bought both cameras from Mike’s, there are a lot of advantages to still buying from a camera store – one is the classes and ongoing support for the camera.

I bought a nice camera for my son once from Best Buy as a graduation present, the guy practically spit into the lens to clean it as we watched in horror.

Last night I went to a Sony seminar at Mike’s to learn a little more about the camera.  I’m very familiar with cameras, not above going to find out what new features I might be missing and a few tips.  One of them being that I’ve been cleaning the sensors wrong, I’ve been laying the camera down flat and blowing into it so the dust can just go right back in.  It’s little tips like that I go for.  I’ve taken many photography classes, it’s amazing how much I forget and how obsolete my college classes are.

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Darkroom class 1997??

My first camera was a Pentax K-1000 my parents gave me for my 16th birthday in 1978 (photos above are from Manhattan Beach, 1978).  Sadly, between my boys that camera has been lost 😦  I used that camera up until my youngest was crawling around in 1998, then I switched to my first digital camera that was about $1,000 with 500k of memory.  You had to anticipate the shot, once you held down the shutter it was almost a minute before the camera actually took the picture.  By that time my boys were on swim team,  I switched the slide shows to all digital for swim team and Junior League those years.  I still have pictures of every kid in Walnut Creek, now 25 year olds.  I remember someone saying they thought digital would never catch on, there’s always a naysayer.  I was all over it!

This only shows pics, the songs were copyrighted:

Then I got an ill-fated job with the Contra Costa Times as a contracted out photographer and bought a Minolta something or other.  Honestly, I didn’t do much research on it, I took the advice from a guy at our office who is really into cameras.  I had to cancel a job at 5am due to spending the night in the emergency room with my husband, who severed something in his knee the night before playing volleyball.  It was a 3 day shoot, luckily I was not the main photographer, but I had a babysitter lined up all weekend for it.  Not surprisingly, I never got a call back for work again.  I also quit Junior League, he was down for months with surgery and couldn’t drive.

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Quitting Junior League was interesting, not sure if they knew why I had to quit but not one person called to see if I needed help or if we were OK? I petitioned to become a sustainer, that was a no.  When I bought my Sony Nex5 I was in that class at Mike’s camera coincidentally with a woman who was a big sustainer, she recognized my name.  She thanked me that night on upgrading JL to all digital, gave me all the credit for making them cutting edge in technology at that time.  That was nice, especially because the end seemed so, “Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.”

Then came the iPhone cameras which gave photography a whole new twist, making virtually everyone a photographer.  Somewhere in that time we got a Cannon Rebel digital, replacing a film Cannon my husband had.  When the cameras on the iPhones got decent, you have a camera with you at all times.  I have no problem whipping out my iPhone for pictures, it’s so convenient.  People who know nothing about photography starting getting awesome shots, those selfies look better than posed shots a lot of times.  With FB and Instagram photography blew up (good & bad, kind of killed writing & photography for a living in general).

Below is Golden Gate with my iPhone, Hawaii sunset w/ Sony Nex5 & looking out from Manhattan Beach Pier Marine lab with the new Sony:

I still like to have a nice camera though, and a drone for fun.  I was using the drones for work before we hired two 25 year olds to replace me.  Now I use it for fun, it’s a whole new world in photography and technology that’s fun for me.

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3D with images on the left to practice AutoDesk Recap 360, a few hundred images.

This one is with the drone, about 800 pictures I did years ago when drones still crashed & flew away.  The drone technology has advanced to just pressing the button, instead of crossing your fingers as your pre-flight routine.

Not sure if I’m losing my “eye” as  I age or if people are just so damn good at it now!  On my Instagram (@hellereng) I’ve had several known photographers follow me and I’m super flattered.

Glad there are still some actual camera stores around, many are gone.  Camera and book stores used to be my favorite places to go and browse around, I miss that.  Amazon is bringing the books stores back, after they made a clean sweep to make sure there are no Barnes & Noble competition (Which is fine by me, B&N wiped out small books stores first).  Time marches on, still trying to stay cutting edge if at all possible.

The Featured image is of Lou Silva & Rob Ryan from a volleyball tournament in Manhattan Beach when we were teens in 1978.  They have both passed on, can’t believe I got this shot.