Monday, November 18, 2013

A Favorite Location

There are places to which I return with my camera because I often find something beautiful and unique. The Lewes and Rehoboth Canal is such a place. Susan and I spent the weekend in Lewes and I spent early Saturday morning at the canal.

The canal is a short piece of the Intracoastal Waterway in Sussex County, Delaware. I return to a spot near its northern end, south of the town of Lewes. Saturday at dawn it was raining and misty. I considered staying indoors at the wonderful John Penrose Virden B&B (which is another location worth returning to) but I set out anyway. The Pentax K-5 is said to be highly weather-resistant and seemed unbothered by the wet and cold. My hands, feet and face were a different matter.

But the water, the vegetation and the light combined in interesting ways, and I forgot about the rain for a while.

Lewes and Rehoboth Canal

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Into the garden

I mentioned before that I was considering the purchase of my first smartphone. I read several reviews of smartphone cameras but didn't find them especially helpful. Maybe I'm spoiled by reading camera reviews that are usually quite comprehensive. In contrast, the smartphone camera reviews weren't very systematic and were hard to compare with each other. Many came to dissimilar and unclear conclusions.

Today I bought an iPhone 5s. I was swayed by its popularity among people I know, the decent 5s photos I'd seen (including the one in my previous post) and the pressing need to have a phone, having lost my previous phone a week ago.

I won't write my own inadequate smartphone camera review, but here are initial thoughts and a few shots. First, the photos look good: nice detail, good colors and adequate exposures. Focusing on close objects like these leaves seems to depend on whether there is any motion in the subject. Leaves lying still on the deck came into focus easily, but leaves swaying gently on a branch never got close to being in focus. The tap-to-focus feature didn't help in that case. But I was able to easily shift focus (using tap-to-focus) from foreground to background, as you can see in the last two images, when things weren't moving. All of these are jpegs straight from the phone.

Meanwhile I'm connected to the world again, using the first Apple device I've owned in perhaps 15 years.  Let's see how it goes.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

small wonders opens at Capitol Arts Network

The "small wonders" exhibit opened Friday night to an enthusiastic crowd at Capitol Arts Network. It was a new experience for me, and heartwarming to have so many friends come by. Thank you, friends!

The show has amazing variety.  I enjoyed talking to fellow photographers Stephen Berte and Stephen Borko and seeing their prints. Many other works in several media are there (one advantage of having small works: you can have lots of them in one gallery). Page Turner's small dresses constructed of antique fabrics, bones, and macrame are evocative, representing women of meaning in her life. See these if you're drawn to fabric art.

Capitol Arts Network is co-located with the Washington School of Photography, so while you're there go downstairs to see the stunning photos of Ethiopia by Andarge Asfaw.

At the exasperated urging of my children and friends I've decided to buy a smartphone at last. Naturally I'd like one that takes good images, observing the dictum that the best camera is the one you have with you. Here's a shot of me taken at last night's opening by life-long friend Scott Gunnison on his iPhone 5s. I tweaked it a bit in Lightroom, but even without tweaking it wasn't bad for handheld available-light. I may be tempted to enter the walled garden of Apple.

Photo by Scott Gunnison