Sadly, as it turns out this is the last new photograph we will see from my trusty old Canon PowerShot G11. I sold the little all-in-one along with another older digital camera in order to upgrade to one more sophisticated compact.
I find it very frustrating, seeing an interesting photo possibility but not having a camera. Some years ago I bought a Canon PowerShot G11 — a compact, rangefinder-like camera — and it has been a terrific little machine. The G11, however, is bulky and not really “pocketable.” Lately, I’ve been carrying an Apple iPod Touch which I acquired mostly for use as a PDA — a safe repository for personal data — but which was also useful as a communication device, when in a Wi-Fi hotspot, and as a snapshot camera. It is remarkable just how good the images from the Touch can be! Still, the iPod is really limited for a person as demanding as am I plus its internal battery isn’t holding a charge well these days. So I’ve been shopping.
I hadn’t really considered Samsung products due to my admiration and investment in Apple tablets. I’d forgotten they made a nice little camera-tablet hybrid… until Saturday!
Exploring Best Buy and looking at little cameras, I came across the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 and was amazed at its features. The Galaxy was a camera, alright, with an excellent zoom range, nice big (for its overall size) lens, and a lot of good features and built-in capabilities — some not unlike those of the Camera app on my iPod. The Galaxy Camera is about the same length and width of the iPod but several times thicker and heavier but would fit into the pockets of my winter coat. The huge bonus, however, came with the tablet features built into the Galaxy: Wi-Fi connectivity with full-featured browser(s), GPS with image-tagging and map location functions, and a huge family of apps including my favorite tablet image processor (Snapseed), astronomy map (SkySafari 4), and Twitter. I bought it.
At home I learned even more about the new camera/tablet: An Android device put the Galaxy Camera in the “Googlesphere” which meant that, once I signed into Google, my contacts and calendar were automatically! With a replaceable battery, I can carry a spare and will not have to replace the entire device simply because a battery finally fails.
Testing the imaging has shown me (unsurprisingly) that the Galaxy will easily replace my iPod for a carry-everywhere camera. With its superior optical capabilities I don’t have to worry if a subject isn’t best treated with a wide-angle lens (as in the Touch) or if the scene is a bit dark; the Galaxy’s big zoom range and larger sensor cover a wide range of situations. I’ve yet to compare finished images with those of the G11 but, since I’ve not been carrying the little Canon with me, that comparison may not be important! Two issues, also not surprising, with the Galaxy that will be frustrating sometimes are the noticeable shutter lag and the system’s full reliance upon its huge touch screen for camera controls in advanced shooting modes.
I’ve much to learn about the new camera/tablet but I already like it very much. Having a fully-functioning camera combined with a small, powerful Wi-Fi tablet opens up some exciting possibilities.
Unusually, I stopped by the lakefront for a second time in a weekend. We were between winter storms this afternoon and travels gave me the opportunity to stop and take in the scene. A cold wind was coming in from the north and clouds glowered overhead. Out over Lake Erie, dark streamers connected clouds and open waters — snow, no doubt — against an eerie backround of colored light. We did not stay long.
The sky cleared for a while Sunday afternoon and evening, providing us a break in the recent long string of gray, wet, and chilly days. As the sun set beautiful cirrus clouds graced the western sky.
Though the day’s grand sunset was blocked by trees from our direct view, we did receive an extraordinary and beautiful gift. High-altitude clouds, lit by near-full sun, were bright and white while scudding along under them, low clouds were stained in rusty tones by rays of sunset-tinted light.
The sight was typically short-lived as clouds dissolved into darkness and overcast again overtook us. For a shining moment, however, the sky was filled with multi-colored clouds.
This morning, venturing outdoors, I encountered a small herd of Whitetail Deer enjoying breakfast at the end of our neighbors’ drive. They were a bit wary of my presence but I was able to get my camera, shoot several photos of them, and move much closer to the group than I would have expected. Many consider them pests coming, as they do, into lawns and gardens to graze. I consider the deer beautiful and feel a bit sorry for their plight — they come into unsafe areas seeking food because we humans continue to remove their woodlands to build houses, shopping centers, and parking lots. So, my dear deer, enjoy your breakfast and have a safe day!
I’ve not been able to get out with the camera for a while and I missed my “photo Friday” entirely this week due to miserable rain. This evening, however, a break in the clouds and precipitation gave a glimpse of what was responsible: a towering cloud was building above scudding dark remnants, set against a sharp blue sky. I found an open spot and, with my little PowerShot G11, captured what I could of the scene. In the space of about 10 minutes, the boiling dome of cloud billowed upwards. As it exploded upward, the white cloud was sculpted by high winds cutting grooves in the tower and rolling filaments into streamers off to the north. It wasn’t long before the building storm cloud was hidden by much lower, less interesting layers. It was a fine few minutes spent watching nature sculpt water vapor.
The hot, and wet weather we have “enjoyed” lately have been great for plants and perhaps better for fungi. Various, mostly unattractive, ‘shrooms have been popping up in the garden mulch. What caught my eye this morning, however, was a tiny garden — really tiny — of bright orange fungi sprouting from the top of a fencepost outside our door. I grabbed my little PowerShot G11 and clicked off a few macro shots of the little wonders before we took off for some grocery shopping. Returning about an hour later, I took another look at the object of my attention; they were withered and sad looking. I suspect they’ll show themselves again since the little growths are only the tops of fungus that runs deeper into the seams of the wooden post.
Sometimes beauty emerges at the end. This one leaf, among all of the others, is dying early yet outshines its many healthy brethern. This little scene was along the trail in Medina County’s Hubbard Valley Park.
Always looking around as I travel, a river scene I’d spied caused me to whip the little Insight into a just-big-enough gravel spot alongside the road. As I was crossing a ford over the East Branch Rocky River, I’d spotted a lone Great Blue Heron standing in the dark, slow-moving waters. The bird was surrounded by dark green foliage lining the river banks and was lit by the morning sun. All I had with me was my trusty Canon PowerShot G11, but you use what you’ve got! I hopped from the car and gingerly headed back to the ford. The heron was far enough away it did not regard me as a threat and went about the business of catching breakfast. A few shots of the heron striding across the shallow river and I turned to take a few more images of the upstream view. A beautiful morning but, as usual, I had places to go and was already running late. Sigh. Good morning!
In the early evening the sun shined bright through scattered, billowing clouds. Cloud edges glowed bright white while the bodies appeared dark with lighter areas betraying layers.
As light flowed through the hazy atmosphere shadows and streams, rivers of light and shadow, formed rays* high above our heads. It was a fine show for anyone willing to look up, made by clouds, and sun, and a bit of air.
*This is the very definition of “crepuscular rays.” Go ahead, use the term, impress your friends!