Let’s Talk Cameras

Let’s talk cameras. Or should I say, let me talk about the cameras I have had and why I liked or hated them.

When I was a kid I received a little instamatic Brownie camera. You know the kind, it used 110 film. Came with a small instruction booklet that told you to take pictures with the sun behind you so it would light up the faces of the people you were taking pictures of. It was all automatic. No manual adjustments whatsoever. I loved that little camera. Of course, I was all of 12 years old. But it was my first camera. It did, however, require film development at your local drug store.

Next, came my Poloroid. It was a big, clunky thing. But I loved it because it was instant pictures. All you had to do was pop in a large squarish film pack, take your pic, wait for it to pop out and watch the magic of it developing before you own eyes. Of course, you had to coat it with some kind of goo (film preservative) and let that dry before you could actually handle the photos much. I’ve had two of these particular cameras and the second was an improvement over the first. However, the film was expensive for these babies.

In my early 20’s, I bought my first 35mm camera. It was a Canon and it was entirely manual. I had to learn all about ISO’s, f stops, types of film, hot shoe, etc. I took many a picture with this camera, but as with all film cameras, I was never really sure if a picture would develop as I envisioned or not. I always had to wait for the results from my local photo lab. Sometimes I was very happy with the results and sometimes not. It was always an iffy thing.

In between that Canon and my digitals, I’ve owned a slew of 35mm cameras, some better than the Canon and some not. I even owned a Minolta at one time, not my favorite camera by a long shot.

Then came the digitals. I was in heaven. No film to deal with, had built in flash, moderate zoom at the press of a button, and I could see my pictures instantly.

My beginner digital was a 2 megapixel camera with a 10x zoom and built in flash. Oh WOW! I studied that instruction booklet front to back several times. I could take my pictures, download them to my computer and view them right away. I could even send them to friends and family. I owned several small, pocket size digitals before I stepped up to a larger digital camera.

My next camera was a Kodak digital, automatic and manual. The megapixels were more, the zoom was greater. It was an extremely user friendly camera. One almost didn’t have to read the manual to understand how it functioned. Manual settings were EASY to figure out and use. And the photos came out crisp, sharp and very detailed. The camera could recognize and adjust for any “shake” whether in auto or manual mode. Rarely was there a blurry photo. It even had a movie mode. You could use a CRV3 battery or AA’s, including rechargables.

Then I bought a Nikon Coolpix….12.1 megapixel, 15x zoom. Hmmmmm…It’s okay. But I wouldn’t call it the best camera I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t call it all that user friendly either. The flash is not automatic. You have to lift it manually if you think you might need it. Manual settings are okay, but the camera is so sensitive to movement that you can’t take a picture without a tripod on any manual setting. Handheld pictures come out blurry in any manual setting. I found myself using the auto mode more and more often. The photos weren’t any better with the Nikon than with the Kodak and I paid more for the Nikon. It doesn’t have a viewfinder; it only has an LCD screen. So on a bright, sunny day you can’t see what’s on the screen. You are blind shooting, hoping you get a good shot. Oh and it uses 4 AA batteries and goes through those batteries like a child eating candy. I have tried the rechargables, still uses them up quickly.

As a comparison, for the money, you get a better camera and more features with the Kodak than with a Nikon. I think you are just paying for the name with a Nikon. But if that’s your thing, then go for it.

My latest camera is a Poloroid Lumix DMC FZ70 super zoom camera. OMG! I love this camera! It has a 60X ZOOM, 16.1 megapixels, 3 inch LCD screen and a viewfinder, manual and auto settings. The battery came with the camera and it is rechargeable (came with the charger too). Pretty much straight out of the box the camera is user friendly. The manual is easy to understand and there is also a CD with additional information on it.
The only thing I didn’t care for was the photo program that you need to download from the CD in order to get your pictures from the camera to your computer via the USB cord. Yes you can take out the SDHD card and download your pictures straight from that, but that can be a pain in the bohunkus. I guess I just like using a USB cord download option.

Here are a few of my test pictures. I hope to be able to get out and get some more interesting photos next week.
Granted these were just out in my back yard, so experimenting with the zoom was somewhat limited.

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Blakeley State Park

A few days ago, hubby and I decided to visit a state park in Spanish Fort, Alabama that we had been wanting to visit, but never got around to it.

It is a large state park and is the site of the old town of Blakeley, Alabama. At one time Blakeley was comparable in size to Mobile, Alabama. It was, however, decimated (population wise) by yellow fever before the Civil War.

During the Civil War it was the site of several battles and remnants of those campaigns still remain.

There are many areas to picnic and camp. Camping is $30 a nite for RV’s. I’m not sure about tent camping. Information is available on the internet if you are headed that way and want to spend a few nights there.

I took quite a few pictures of the park and some of it’s wildlife. Enjoy.

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UGH!!!! Unorganized People!

Don’t you just hate unorganized people! Don’t you just want to smack them upside the head and tell them to get their sh*t together! Well, I won’t lie, there are times I would really like to make some unorganized people take a long walk off a short pier….wearing cement boots.

One place I used to work (I’m retired now) had a young girl who never, I repeat NEVER came to work on time. She blamed her tardiness on her kids. Said she couldn’t get them up in the mornings. EXCUSE ME! You are the parent, you are the boss, not your kids. You find a way to get them up even if you have to spring load their beds to toss them out every morning.

Needless to say, she no longer works there. I guess they finally got tired of her habitual lateness.

Another place I worked (nursing home) had it’s fair share of unorganized folks. Those that were habitually late, using one lame excuse after another, or those that could never get their work done for one excuse or another, etc. They irritated me too.

Now don’t get me wrong. I know that everyone has a day here or there where they cannot get it together. BUT seriously folks, some people’s organizational skills are in the toilet, quickly spiraling to the black abyss of the septic tank.

One would think, that retirement would bring relief from such folks. BUT that is not true. Currently I am dealing with a person who is in charge of organizing the craft and hobby exhibits at the Fair. Every year, entrants are to bring their items in on a certain day between the hours of 1p.m. and 6p.m. This person is never there on time to start accepting the entry items. In fact, this person is at least an hour late every year. I even volunteered to help with this year’s Fair and this person promised to call me by August. It is the 21st of September; the Fair is 4 weeks away and I have yet to get a call from this person.

No problem. At least my entries into the photographic arts would be handled by a person extremely well organized. NOPE! I got an email from this person, telling me that he had resigned his position as chairperson for photographic arts and the new person handling it would be……..DRUM ROLL…..you guessed it….the unorganized chairperson for the hobbies and crafts division!

Heaven help me! I am trying to be patient. I did contact said unorganized person…twice. I still have not heard back from them.

Please say a short prayer for me. I really don’t think I’d be up for visitors in a jail cell.

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9-25-2013 Still haven’t heard from this person.

Photo Shoots

Every year I enter photos in our local Fair. I have won a few blue ribbons, but that’s not really a big deal. They do tend to give out quite a few ribbons here.

Anyway, I live in a sub-tropical, beach area. And one would think, “WOW! What an opportunity to take some fantastic shots of the beach and local attractions.” Yes, that is very easy to do here, BUT if you want to win a ribbon at the Fair here, you better pick a different subject altogether. Those judges are so sick of seeing photos of the beach or the lighthouse or the fort or the boats or the local, but nationally known gardens. Those type photos, no matter how great, won’t get you a ribbon.

Initially, I focused on close ups of animals. Last year, I did some still life type photos and was surprised to get a couple of blue ribbons. I’m going to try that again this year, just different subject matter. Wish me luck.

So if you are thinking of entering some photos in your local Fair, think long and hard on your subject matter. And good luck to you.

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