Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Direction Change

A few of my many photo gear images have been posted to Motivated by the many times that I've not been able to find images of the more obscure camera gear, I decided to post from the catalog of eBay sold item images I have collected.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

After Stars at Tugboat Annie's

After Monday evening racing the BISF group usually meets at Tugboat Annie's for a burger, beer, and conversation. The evening was near perfect and I snapped quite a few shots on the sail back to the marina. While waiting for my meal I noticed this fine view, pushed my camera up against the glass, and let my camera soak it in.

Looking North up Budd Inlet from Tugboat Annie's with my latest disposable, a 2.1 Megapixel Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Value is relative. Today's blog may be of relatively little value. I present it, if no other reason, to entertain myself.

As a photographer I like to include images with my blog posts. Sometimes the verbage is created as an excuse to show off an image. But no image is included in today's blog to help demonstrate the value that images can add. My other blog is centered on Star boat racing. I'd like the reader to take a brief overview of my latest Star blog entry and then please return to this monolog.

The image of my pal Andy sailing the Star doesn't fit the text of the blog. Andy didn't steer during the races. The image was taken while sailing towards the racing area. It could have been of a stranger sailing on the other side of the country. But it creates value to the article by, from the top, anchoring the readers mind on a racing sailboat.

My photo geek personality finds incredible irony in the gear that we used to make images that evening. A free Sony Mavica FD75 that writes 640x480 pixel (.3 MB) images to a floppy disk! I'm not exaggerating when I report that its image quality is the poorest of any digital camera I have ever used. But those incredibly poor images and the camera that helped create them are adding value to the front page of my sailing blog. That service has kept the Mavica FD75 out of the landfill. At least until a better 'valueless' camera comes along.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Star Newbie

Sailboat racing season is upon us. Current projects include helping a friend re-rig his San Juan 21, selling our family's Venture 25, and various Laser and Thistle races. But the biggest news on this front is my entry into Star boat racing.

The Budd Inlet Star Fleet in Olympia Washington has about twenty active boats and one of the largest local fleets in the country. I have chartered a Star and will be racing it on Monday nights from now until early September. More details on my RaceOneDesign blog.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Budget Tele Rig

Just over one year ago I met a wildlife photographer at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. I was following and documenting a 3rd grade field trip. He was carrying some serious photo gear. The kind of gear hobbyists usually only see in the Canon advertisements. Later, when I viewed some of his images via the web, I could see he had the skills to use the serious gear. This meeting stirred an interest in doing some wildlife photography, but on my terms.

Because the Camerology website puts me in contact with lots of camera gear (but not serious photo gear money) I have easy access to cheap unloved gear. Just by keeping my eyes open I was able to procure most of the following gear at giveway (or less) prices.

Soligor Auto-Zoom 1:4.5 75-260mm M42 - Built like a tank. This lens is heavy, all metal, and cantankerous. The 260mm long end is equivalent to about 400mm in 35mm terms. And 400mm equivalent is considered the minimum in bird/wildlife photography. The weight of the lens aids in holding the rig steady. But having to control the zoom, focus, and aperture rings, which are spaced well apart, was challenging.

M42 to EOS Focus Confirmation Chipped Adapter - This item was the single most expensive component. And the smallest. The non chipped version of this adapter would be fine if your DSLR has been fitted with a proper manual focus style focus screen with split prism focus aid.

Canon EOS 10D - These bodies are quite cheap on todays used market. Mine was even cheaper due to a lens communication Err 99 issue.

Canon BG-ED3 Battery Grip - This item wasn't necessary. But it helped stabilize the the 10D with additional weight. And it was included with my manual focus 10D. It is also nice for those 10D owners who have original batteries that only hold a half charge.

Of course having all this stuff doesn't guarantee anything. Photography is more about skill than gear. And I'm no wild life photog. I held the rig steady enough some of the time. Returning to the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge helped as they animals are pretty accustomed to seeing visitors. Don't expect any National Geographic covers to come out of my portfolio too soon. But I found one to share.

A patient Blue Heron at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge waits while a fumbling photog discovers wildlife photography.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chambers Bay Ten Legged Monster

The concrete structure in the following images is about 40 feet high and 100 feet long. The land it lives on has been reclaimed from a sand and gravel quarry and is now a (mostly) public park. When I chose to shoot this structure the goal was not to convey its size but instead to create an 'artsy' image.

(Images from a Hanimex 35mm and Soligor 75-260mm 1:4.5 m42 on my manualized Canon 10D.)

These two images represent both the image I was hoping to create and also an image that presented itself for capture. It is up to the reader to decide which is which.