Catching Up – A New Lens

Downtown with New Lens-6

I know February is a short month, but it’s hard to believe I’ve let it slip away and that we’re now in the first full week of March without any kind of update. I could blame it on being too busy, or that I’ve had a cold, or a dozen other excuses, but mostly it’s just not getting around to it. Regardless, here’s an update, mostly focusing on the acquisition of a new camera lens and the outings to give it a test run. Continue reading “Catching Up – A New Lens”

Working with Google PhotoScan

Google PhotoScan Screenshot

This week Google was making news with the release of a new app. PhotoScan is designed to capture old photos from photo albums, with algorithms to enhance the photo and minimize glare. I have tons of old photo albums from Laura’s family and from my own family, and I’ve been trying to find the most efficient way to digitize these images with the best possible quality. I figured I needed to give PhotoScan a shot.

Google PhotoScan App Demo

Here are my first impressions… Continue reading “Working with Google PhotoScan”

What’s in Your Car?

Overstuffed Car
Photo by Mark Bloom at Tales from the Trash

Every now and then I run across a “What’s in your bag?” post or discussion on various photography forums. I’ve seen it applied to other subjects such as fishing, or even just travel in general The question really boils down to, “What do you think are the essentials?”

It’s not an easy question to answer. You can’t really grab some checklist off of the Internet and expect it to work for you. Such a list evolves through experience, and as you add and subtract items that either gain or lose their usefulness.

My problem is that I have too many bags. I have several for photography-related gear. I’ve got two dry bags that are always packed with what I consider kayaking essentials. I also have a bag for audio recording gear. Sometimes I’ll mix and match content from these bags for a specific adventure. I have already made a list of some of what I consider to be essentials in general. Rather than look at what’s in a bag, I thought that today I’d consider what was in my car. Continue reading “What’s in Your Car?”

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”