Sunday, September 18, 2016

Some things change; other things stay the same

There have been a lot of changes (and some not so much) since my last blog post; however long ago it was.

First and foremost (as it's the largest change in size) I traded in my Subaru for a Ford F150 pick-up truck.  This is primarily to provide us with a decent tow vehicle for our camping trailer; which enabled us to spend a week in Colorado (near Colorado Springs) and provided me an opportunity to visit Pikes Peak and the spectacular views from the summit.

It also provided me with a great photo platform for a visit to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, here in Oklahoma. To me this is a wonderful location to escape the "noise" of civilization and unwind. When there's no vehicles driving down the gravel roads, all you hear is the sound of nature, mainly just the wind. You might be wondering just what I meant about the truck being a great photo platform; well that has to do with the local inhabitants of the prairie preserve, the bison heard. Jumping in the truck bed gives a great elevated vantage point that also prevents any errant bison from getting too close to me; a great safety feature.

The above is a 180 panorama I took from a scenic outlook spot with a 35mm lens (50mm effective). And I have to say that the rolling hills so remind me of parts of Dartmoor National Park in England, which is an all time favorite location of mine, that I grew up visiting as often as i could. Colorado helped to provide me a renewed taste of rocky and elevated terrain, something that's pretty lacking in Oklahoma. And I certainly intend to start traveling more to interesting locations.

Okay, back to the bison. For my photos of them I broke out an old Nikkor 300mm manual focus lens I have. And here lies a few discoveries: 1. I'm seriously out of practice using a manual focus lens, especially on moving targets and 2. the manual focus system on the Nikon D2X is not that great for moving targets. It uses a range-finder style indicator to show when you are in focus but the focus target is in the center of the viewfinder, so focusing and then recomposing provides plenty of time for the subject to move; I so miss the split focus indicator on my old manual focus cameras, so much easier to use and didn't require you to "centrally focus". Anyway, it unfortunately meant, as I found out later, that most of my photos are a little soft on focus, or off by a lot.

Now for the things that haven't changed. I'm still spending 8 hours a day in front of a computer for my "other job" and have lost my desire to spend long periods in front of a computer when I am away from the office. Unfortunately that has seriously effected my photography as, shooting digital photos, you have to do everything on a computer. Suffering from technology burnout is not conducive to being a photographer. Maybe I need to step away from digital and go back to film for a while, and have the photo lab do all the work for me. That way all I would need to do is any additional editing and sorting.

Whatever I decide to do, something will need to change so I stand a chance to recover my passion and drive for photography.