Wednesday, September 22, 2010
So since it’s about to be fall (later tonight), I suppose I should start thinking about posting some fall color shots to get everyone in the mood. Perhaps I’ll start hitting that up later this week. In the meantime, you get winter. This is (yet another) shot from Whistler-Blackcomb Ski Resort. As with the last picture I posted from the area, this is from the 7th Heaven area on Blackcomb. (Although, that one was just taken a couple weeks ago while *hiking*, not skiing. And, I’ll be posting several more shots from that hike in the next couple weeks.) It’s totally true that the area around Whistler (including Squamish) have been represented more than their fair share of times in this blog. But, quite frankly, it’s because the area is probably the prettiest area that I go to with any frequency.
When I took this picture, back in 2003, I had some weird practices for taking pictures. First, this picture was also taken in that period between when I used my 35mm SLR and when I got my first digital SLR, so I used a pocket point and shoot digital exclusively. (I used the word “also” because I posted another picture a week or two ago from the same general time period, if you were wondering.) I suppose that’s not “weird” per se, but roll with me here. Next, associated with Moore’s Law, flash memory is a heckuva lot cheaper now than it was even a few years ago. Or, to say it in a way that’s more applicable to the discussion, flash memory was a whole lot more expensive per-byte than it is today. So, back when I shot this picture, I was using a 128 mb memory card in my camera, that cost more than the 8 gb card I currently use in my SLR. That’s pretty ridiculous. It also meant that I found myself needing to download the images off my camera pretty frequently. And, related to that, it meant that I spent a fair bit of effort strategizing about what image size to take my pictures at.
Wait, what? Yeah, whereas these days I just leave the camera set at the largest size and highest quality, back in the day I’d take the vast majority of my pictures at a very small size (640×480 for my first camera, incrementally larger with the next couple), and then if there was a picture that I thought I may want to blow up or something some day, I’d bump it to Large. (Most of my pictures were just of my buddies and stuff, so the large size wasn’t needed. But if I was, for example, taking a picture of a mountain, I’d bump it up.)
So, why does this all relate to this picture? Well, because, I umm, took this picture at 640 x 480. Meaning, you’re looking at the full-size image. Meaning, if you loved this picture and wanted it printed out nice and big and hung on your wall, you’d be out of luck. It’s unfortunate too, because I like this picture. When I took it, I didn’t realize it was set on small until after I took it. So I then moved it to large and “took the picture again”. It was bright sunshine out though, so I couldn’t really see the details to see if I had actually gotten the same shot again or not, I could just basically see that the sky looked basically the same. Of course I realized later that the full-size version was crap, and only the little tiny one (this one) was any good. So, whoops, live and learn. That actually burned me a couple times before memory cards actually got cheap enough to just leave it set on Large all the time.
So, there you go. Not only was today’s picture taken with a point and shoot, it was taken with a point and shoot set to the smallest picture size that the camera could do.
Notes: Canon PowerShot S230 (Point and Shoot). 1/1500s, f/9.0.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Today’s picture is a fairly old one, taken in that odd time between when I used a 35mm SLR and when I got my first digital SLR. When I got my first digital pocket-sized point-and-shoot, I started off by bringing both that and my 35mm with me when I’d go hiking or whatever. The idea being, I’d use the little guy for most of my pics, like taking pictures of my buddies or whatever, but if there was a shot that I would theoretically consider blowing up someday, I’d bust out the SLR. But obviously I quickly came to the conclusion that one of the two was dramatically easier to use, and actually took some decent pictures to boot. So I found myself reaching for the 35mm less and less often.
There were actually two last straws, that both hit at right about the same time. First, I had gone on a hike near Mt. St. Helens, and on that hike I had taken 3 or 4 rolls of pictures with the SLR. It was one of those days where the conditions were absolutely perfect. It was sunny, not too hazy, and there were these little fluffy white clouds that made the skies really interesting (and I had a polarizing filter to really bring them out). I was stoked to get the pictures back, because I knew they’d be amazing. Except.. they weren’t. They all just plain sucked. Four rolls of shots, and not a single gosh dang one was worth anything. It crushed me. And no, this wasn’t the only time this had ever happened to me. But it WAS the *last* time this ever happened to me. And, as if that weren’t enough, about this same time I decided to blow up a picture of Mt. Shuksan and Picture Lake. You know, that one view. I had two versions of nearly the same picture, one taken with my 35mm, and the other taken with my *2 megapixel* pocket point-and-shoot (the one I just linked to is neither of them, but it was pretty similar to both). I blew them both up to 12×18, and as it turns out, the point-and-shoot version was actually better. Even at only 2 megapixels, it looked fantastic at 12×18. Even with a crappy little plastic lens, it looked fantastic at 12×18.
After those two events, I started leaving the 35mm at home, and I never looked back. It was several years until I finally got up the courage to make the leap into an actual digital SLR, and this particular trip to Colorado landed right inside that window. So all I had with me for the whole trip was a little pocket point-and-shoot. I had upgraded to a 3.2 megapixel version by then, but still. Nowadays, I of course wonder about all the awesome shots I missed out on not having the equipment, knowledge or skills that I do now, but that’s never a worthwhile thing to worry about. I’ll just have to go back, right?
This particular picture was taken in the San Juan mountains, in the southwest corner of Colorado. There’s a little dirt mountain road that heads into the mountains from Lake City. Eventually it goes over some pass (Cinnamon Pass maybe? Not sure), but I was just driving a passenger sedan (a Subaru Legacy, AWD, but a sedan nonetheless), and the road got pretty gnarly, so I turned around before I got stuck. I did spend a night up there though, and this was snapped right before the sun went down. Ahhhh, alpenglow, my favorite.
Notes: Canon PowerShot S230 (Point and shoot). 1/500s.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Wow, what happened to Tuesday?? That was weird. Oh well, it’s Wednesday now, and here’s Tuesday’s post. This was taken at some random spot on the mountain at Crystal Mountain Ski Resort, here in Washington state. Good times.
I realized a couple weekends ago when I was in Lake Tahoe talking to my cousin that, while I do talk about the general idea behind aperture and shutter speed and ISO and all that other crap here and there, I don’t really have one nice, easy-to-find spot with all of that written down. I wanted to direct her to that page, but it doesn’t exist yet. Also, I couldn’t just direct her to the blog itself and tell her to read a few entries either. Whenever I’m writing up a post, I feel like I’ve already covered that ground, several times, so I don’t feel like going over it again and again and again. But, it’s been quite awhile now, and I don’t even remember where all that stuff is. So, I decided I should go ahead and make up a new sticky page, that’ll be right up above in those tabs that you only see if you’re looking at the actual website and not reading this entry in a feed reader. Oh, no, it’s not there yet. But the intention to put it there is totally there. And that’s half the battle.
And I’m not even going to mention Flattr today. So there.
Notes: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS (Point and shoot). 1/640s, f/8.0, ISO 80.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Wow, new posts on Monday AND Tuesday?? Wow, you guys must have done something right, for sure. Today’s picture is fairly old, from back in 2003. At that time I was only recently sworn off of my 35mm SLR, and I was rocking my second little pocket-sized point and shoot from Canon. (Film purists would argue with my logic, but I truly felt that I was getting better results (and much more convenient results) from my digicam than I was with my full-size 35mm beast.) I spent a fair bit of time laid off from work, so I had the opportunity to go on a few nice, long roadtrips that summer. I ended up in Montana a couple times, including the time when I got this shot in Glacier National Park.
You’re looking at Saint Mary Lake, which is on the east side of the park, right along the main road. (The “main road” being Going-To-The-Sun road.) I had driven through west-to-east, but unfortunately I was on my way somewhere (Colorado), so I didn’t have any time to hang around or hike or anything. (In fact, I originally wasn’t planning on swinging by Glacier at all – it was a split second decision when I saw a sign for it along I-90, which resulted in a 2 or 3 day detour. That’s the joy of not really having a tight schedule though, you can afford to just toss in a few days here or there of “other stuff”. I hate only having a couple weeks of vacation a year.)
As I hinted earlier, this was taken with a little pocket point and shoot. A 3.2 megapixel in fact. I’ve said it many times before, but it definitely bears repeating: just because you don’t have a big fancy camera, you can still get some nice shots. It’s definitely true that there are things you can do with a fancy camera that you can’t with a point and shoot, but there’s no reason you need to let that hold you back.
Notes: Canon PowerShot S230 (Point and Shoot). 1/800s.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Apparently this week’s pattern is to post pictures from cameras of lower and lower quality each day. Monday, it was a photo from my most modern SLR body and the “new hotness” lens. Yesterday, it was my old SLR and my crappy lens. Today, it’s from a no-longer-current pocket point and shoot. Tomorrow? It’ll be a pencil sketch on notebook paper.
This was taken from near the bottom of the Summit Central ski area, which is one of four that make up the Summit At Snoqualmie. Summit Central was known as Ski Acres only a couple years before I moved out here, but that’s not relevant.
In other news, I suppose this is a fine opportunity to once again give a tepid encouragement for all of you to vote for me in the Blogger’s Choice Awards. For those of you who aren’t familiar with those awards, it’s a website where you can nominate yourself, and then tell all of your readers to go vote for you. Thus, it’s totally just a dirty trick to get folks like me to do their marketing for them. You have to register an account (with a valid email) to vote, so it seems pretty skeezeball. However, I *can* say that, since I gave them my email a year or so ago, they’ve never send me any kind of spam or anything. That’s not to say they won’t ever, but it’s definitely not QUITE as skeezeball as I expected it to be. The award itself is meaningless, but what ISN’T meaningless is the traffic they send to my page, simply by me being in the running. So, if you feel like helping a guy out, go ahead and vote for me. Here’s how:
1) Go to bloggerschoiceawards.com. I’m not going to link to it, because I don’t want to give them my linkjuice. But type that into your browser’s address bar, and create an account.
2) Go to the Best Photography Blog category. (Also, Best Travel Blog, Best Hobby Blog, and Best Blog About Stuff. I know, I know, shut up.)
3) Vote for me. At the time I’m writing this, I’m in second place.
Notes: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS (Point and shoot). 1/250s, f/14.0, ISO 80.