Wednesday, August 19, 2015

World Photography Day

From the website (

"Why Celebrate Photography?

Photography surrounds us in every moment and yet, we often don't realise how powerful the images we capture every day can be.

Today, we can share memories across the globe in seconds. Photography is an invention that has revolutionised the way we see the world. We can visit places without leaving our home. We can share adventures with friends in another city and we can watch grandchildren grow up thousands of kilometers away.

There was a time when photography didn't exist."

Not so long ago, I was given my first (and only) film SLR. It was beautiful and perfect, and it had some miles on it.  It was a Canon AE-1 Program from somewhere in the early 80's, and I ran a lot of film through that thing. I'd take it to my son's hockey tournaments and shoot 200+ pictures, happy to get one or two good ones. It was my companion for a long time.

When I put it away during a move, it was an even longer time before I was able to fish it out again. Film was old school now, and I had a couple Canon point-and-shoot cameras that worked well enough. A Canon A60 at first, a 3MP gem that had some pretty decent manual controls. It was stolen from the car in Florida on a trip. I purchased one of their ELPH cameras to take pics during that trip and didn't really care for it - too small for my hands, and I couldn't get used to the square body, so it went back. It was replaced by a Canon A1100is, which took amazing pictures and was again my constant companion until it went into the pool with me one summer. That was replaced with TWO other cameras, one lost or stolen shortly after I got it, and the other was not a Canon and although it took really nice pictures, I just couldn't get used to the controls or menus. I replaced that with a Canon 120HS and loved that, sort of. I dunno, there was something just RIGHT about that A1100is, and eventually I bought another one off Craigslist. Apparently it was stolen, and I made every effort to find the rightful owner to no avail. I have that camera to this day. "Pinkie" is never far from my reach, even now. I am intimate with the controls, the menus, the way it takes just a little too long to focus in low contrast shots... It's my friend.

Fast forward to a few months ago when I found myself looking for a DSLR to travel with. I'm not big on the latest and greatest (as you know, I'm sure), so old is okay as long as it's good quality.  I found an Olympus E500 four-thirds body with two kit lenses and an additional prime macro lens. It was priced low on CL and I lowballed the offer as I do. The seller bit on it and I was back into a DSLR. Now, some of you may or may not know that there is some complaining about the white balance on the old Oly's. Once I figured out how to hit the custom WB, that went away. For an 8MP DSLR, it takes amazing photos. I'm sure there are better cameras, but for my money, I'll keep the Oly.

As I oft find myself doing, I ended up buying another camera for an amazingly low price. This was a Panasonic GF-1 mirrorless micro four-thirds camera.   See that word there? "Micro" isn't the same as regular four-thirds. I thought I was being sly when I grabbed it, and would be able to use the 4/3 lenses on the m4/3 body, but no. Instead, I ended up with an incredible camera. It really is about as much fun as you can have with photography. It takes beautiful pictures with the Sigma 19mm and 30mm primes I have and is almost pocketable with either lens on. If I spring for the 20mm Panasonic kit lens, it IS pocketable in a jacket. Imagine trying to stuff a DSLR into your pocket? No, I think not.

I have a carabiner and ring set-up for the GF-1, allowing me to simply hang it from my belt, ever at the ready. It's fast, it's quiet, and I find myself digging deep into my eyeballs to see the world through the prime lens.   Bokeh? Yes, please.

I love taking photographs. I love making ART out of the mundane, seeing the world in a different way, and sharing my obsession with clouds.

So, get on with taking pictures, will you all?
It's really good for the soul.

And here's my contribution to today: