Old School Consumer Electronics

Don Jones Stereo-21

Our television gave up the ghost. While it was a fairly modern hi-def LCD TV, by today’s standards it was quite small. We still hold to the old “TV as furniture” ideal, and kept it in a cabinet in a corner. This was actually a design decision, as we have picture windows overlooking our back yard and lake, and didn’t want a large TV interfering with that view. Perhaps it got jealous of the big new TV in our newly remodeled basement. Who knows? The upshot is that on Wednesday I found myself heading out to buy a new one. Continue reading “Old School Consumer Electronics”

The $10 Kayak

Inflatable Kayak Launch-15

Once upon a time Confluence Watersports in Easley would have a special sale for “friends and family.” Employees and even the general public could come purchase kayaks that were factory seconds, demo boats, discontinued products, and other items that couldn’t be put out for regular retail sale. The incredible prices are how my brothers and nephew have built up our fleet of kayaks.

Of course, you had to be careful. One of the boats we got had a warped hull, and had a distinct pull to the left. My favorite Pungo had all of the seat webbing sliced, and I had to replace it. One of Chip’s boats lacked covers for the storage hatches. For the prices we got these boats, we could cope.

The problem was that people started purchasing LOTS of kayaks at once and reselling them. This was undermining local merchants like Sunrift Adventures and Grady Outdoors. The sales were closed to the public. In order to attend the sale you had to have a ticket, and you were limited to two boats. Continue reading “The $10 Kayak”

New Waterproof Camera – Fuji XP85

Fuji XP85

Over the Fourth of July weekend we went down to Florida to visit Laura’s sister Amy and her mother. Since we’ve been going down regularly to help out I’ve left a bit of paddling gear and our tandem kayak so that I can do the occasional escape.

I was on my way out for a quick paddle when my trusty Fujifilm Z33WP slipped out of my hand and hit Amy’s tile floor, point down. It cracked the corner of the casing. The camera still works, but it was no longer waterproof.

Untitled Continue reading “New Waterproof Camera – Fuji XP85”

9 Bits of Advice for the Casual Adventurer

“What’s in Your Haversack?” from the Adventure Archives Blog.

Over the past year I’ve joined several Facebook groups focusing on local history. I’m most active on the “Abandoned, Old, and Interesting Places in South Carolina” group, but there are similar groups for North Carolina, Georgia, and the south in general. I’ve seen some fantastic photography and learned about some new locations to explore from participation in these groups. However, to be honest, I was starting to suffer from a bit of “decay fatigue.” I was starting to see the same photos of old falling down farm houses and barns over and over, often with no explanation as to their history or significance.

Those minor sins aside, what most of the participants share is a sense of adventure. I decided to put together my own thoughts on advice for casual adventurers. Continue reading “9 Bits of Advice for the Casual Adventurer”

The Selfie Stick

Selfie Stick

Behold, the Selfie Stick!

The very name conjures up the worst in narcissistic tendencies. Selfies are bad enough, but to have gear specific for the purpose is even worse. However, I’m here to defend the Selfie Stick, not as a narcissist’s assistant (I wanted to see how many S’s I could get in this sentence), but as an essential tool in my photo bag. Continue reading “The Selfie Stick”

A Panoply of Cameras

Panoply of Cameras
A Panoply of Cameras

Sometime before Christmas I was doing some straightening around the house and I kept stumbling on cameras that were out of place. Some are ones I’m currently using, and some are vintage cameras we keep for nostalgia. I began to wonder exactly how many imaging devices I have in the house. In addition to the obvious cameras, there are webcams, tablets, computers, and just about any phone we’ve purchased in the last decade. That’s a heck of a lot of cameras. I decided to gather as many as I could an create a panoply of cameras for one grand photograph.

This post tells two stories. The first is the story of the an image. The second is an idea for series of future blog posts that the image engendered. Continue reading “A Panoply of Cameras”

Fake GoPros – Buyer Beware

Fake GoPro

Before Christmas I wrote a post with some things to consider if you wanted a GoPro. There are some other options out there. With the success of the GoPro, other companies are putting forth their point of view cameras. And, of course, with the success of GoPro come the imitators. There are lots of fakes and look-alikes on the market. Some of these look good – others, not so much. Continue reading “Fake GoPros – Buyer Beware”

So You’re Considering a GoPro

GoPro Hero 3 Black
GoPro Hero 3 Black

This morning I got a message from a friend considering a GoPro camera as a Christmas present. Since I’ve gotten that question several times, I decided to put together a blog post with what I’ve been telling folks who might be thinking about getting one, either for themselves or as a present.

I’ll state up front that I love my GoPro, but sometimes it’s a love-hate relationship. Even though I (and lots of other people) come up with different ways to use the camera, it’s a niche product, and you have to know its limitations. TL;DR version, I wouldn’t recommend it as your sole camera, but if you’re an active, creative photographer, you’ll find yourself using it in all sorts of ways you never imagined when you first got it. Continue reading “So You’re Considering a GoPro”

Time Lapse with Daffodils


Last weekend I tried setting up a back yard time lapse to see if I could capture the water rising when the beaver rebuilt his dam. Well, the beaver did rebuild, but I wasn’t able to catch the activity. I didn’t even get to catch the water rising. However, I did promise to post the results, and here they are…

As seen in the video, there’s a long stretch of nighttime, and that’s when the water rose. It’s low when the video starts, then when the image comes back in the morning, the water comes back up. Oh well. You can see the neighbor’s huge television from across the lake flickering in the upper left corner in the nighttime shots. Continue reading “Time Lapse with Daffodils”

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