Friday, July 25, 2008

What the hell???

Okay, so I dropped our little Canon PowerShot A75 while we were walking around Chicago. Seemed to work fine, although I messed up the settings when I pulled it out of its case to take a shot ... so a number of my shots were vastly overexposed. But then that evening, when we were trying to take pictures of Jack and Claire, the Cutest Nephew And Niece In The Entire World, the flash wouldn't fire. And the camera kept having problems.

Okay, okay, I know when I shouldn't mourn, but move on. Especially as this camera was about 4 years old, and at its best, could only take a 3.2 megapixel image. I'm not a "bigger is better" kind of guy (at least that's what I tell my wife), but in this case, I decided that I'd like something that shoots a bit bigger, so hopefully if I grabbed a good spur-of-the-moment shot, I could always blow it up to 8x10 and frame it. So I bought a new quick shot camera, a Canon PowerShot SD850IS. It was actually not that terribly expensive, which is nice, and it works pretty much the same as all the Canons I've owned, so I don't need to fiddle around too much with the instructions. It's a point and shoot, which is what I want for taking around on the days I don't feel like lugging around my SLR.

But it's friggin' neat ... first off, the thing has Image Stabilization, which is a nice feature. I'm not sure how they can put it in a $200 camera, but if you want a Canon SLR lens with IS, it's well over $1000 (which puts it about $800 over my price limit), but I shan't complain, because it works nicely.

But complete geek/neo-luddite that I am, I'm actually really impressed with this feature where you click on a setting, the camera picks a color in the viewfinder, and then only keeps that ONE color (or two, it appears), turning EVERYTHING else in the image black and white. Okay, I know some people can do this in Photoshop, but I can't do squat in Photoshop, so the fact that the camera does this automatically just amazes me. I have no idea how it works, but it's cool, in my 1980s computer mind (hey, remember I thought the Commodore Vic 20 was cool, too).

Now of course, I want to run out and take all sorts of photos with this feature on ... I have no idea why, and frankly, I know the uses are gonna be pretty limited, but I'm just absofrigginlutely amazed that this little camera, about the size of a pack of smokes, can do this as well as a host of other way cool things I haven't figured out yet. I'm tempted to bring this little guy with me even when I bring the big SLR, so that I can fool around and take some quick candids and maybe some fun stuff like this "Color Accent" feature.

Geez, I'm a geek ...

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Here's a couple of shots from the weekend in Michigan a month or so ago ... We were visiting the Saugatuck/Holland area. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice area, but there wasn't a whole heckuva lot to see and do there, and we exhausted nearly all the possibilities in the first day. We almost left early, but stuck it out, and actually enjoyed ourselves on the final day, as the weather had FINALLY cleared up!

But while there wasn't much to do, one thing there WAS, and that was wonderful beaches. I'd have to say these Lake Michigan beaches were the finest I've ever seen in the Great Lakes, and they rival the wonderful Atlantic beaches on Cape Cod. I was also shocked to see how extraordinarily clean they were ... no junk, no pollution, and not even any beach debris. I'm not sure where it goes, but it ain't there. Maybe it just keeps going in the lake and washes up on Lake Erie's beaches???

Wish I had more pictures, or better pictures, but it just wasn't in the cards that weekend. I guess I'll have to wait until our week in Cape Cod comes up again in another month or so!

Of course, with my luck ... it'll rain the whole week!!!

Still Alive

No, I'm not dead ... I'm just spending my summer trying to strip and scrape the paint off my front porch and garage, so that both may be repainted. In short, it's worse than death. But it's the price you pay when you get a century-old house, and once they're done, then I need not worry about them for a few years, and frankly, next time I paint them, I won't need to strip them bare again, because I did it this time. So next time it'll just be throw another coat of paint on it!

So I haven't had much time for taking pictures, to be honest!

We did take a brief vacation to the western coast of Michigan, which was nice, but there wasn't a whole lot there to see and do, so I didn't get many good pictures. Nor did the weather cooperate! I may post a couple, but I'm not overly happy with what I got.

In the meantime, here's a couple of flower pics I shot today in the backyard.