Monthly Archives: August 2009

This Weekend May be a bit Chaotic

Bill West fishing in Oregon in 1986

Ok, so looking into the very near future, all plans this weekend may be completely disrupted – please forgive me ahead of time.
The family storm clouds are gathering and Bill may be taking off for the Great Fishing Lake. He is 93 and his bio systems appear to be on fail.
Whether Bill makes a recovery or passes on, I would like to say ahead of time, Bill West – you have been the best possible step-grandpa that anyone could dream up over the last 36 years. Our whole family has been blessed by you being in it.

Photowalk This Evening with a Nikon D70s

Palm Tree Former Date Strands
Morning Glory Telephone Pole Closeup Neighborhood Dog Greeting

Photos taken by Ms. Jen with a Nikon D70s

Thurs 08.06.09 – Last Saturday, I asked Thomas Bertling if he had an extra digital camera that I could borrow for a month or so. Thomas had a Nikon D70s camera body that he uses occasionally for strobe work and won’t be using this upcoming month, thus he was willing to loan it to me if I could supply the lenses, usb cable, and compact flash card.
Luckily for me 4GB CF cards are cheap on Amazon and my Nokia N95 usb cable works great with the Nikon D70s, so the only hurdle was the lenses. My Nikon FM3a film camera’s lenses have the same mount but both are manual only and don’t work with the D70s’s auto-focus nor with the light meter. For the first day or two, I tried to guestimate the settings but the photos were coming out a bit blurry and dark, except in bright sun.
After some doing this week, I was able to obtain an auto-focus Nikkor 50mm 1.8 lens for the time being. Today was my first afternoon that I had the time to set it all up, read the manual, and then go out for a small neighborhood photowalk. The above photos are my favorites from the 46 I shot this evening.
I like the Nikon D70s. I like switching between manual and auto-focus. I like coming home and seeing the results quickly. I still, other than resizing, don’t like to do any ‘processing’ in Photoshop. With two of the above photos, I attempted to fiddle with curves, levels, and color, but decided that I preferred the original file to the processed one.
I realized that there are whole slews and herds of photographers out there who prefer and are happiest when they are processing images in Photoshop, but I am not one of them. I prefer the act of shooting, which is why I have so tenaciously stuck to camera phone photography for so long. In my month long test of using the Nikon D70s, I want to expand my options in the act of shooting, but will be shooting in JPG rather than RAW, so that I don’t have to worry about doing something I don’t enjoy which is processing images in Photoshop.
Watch this space and my Flickr stream for the results of this month long experiment. Big thanks to Thomas for the loaner camera body.

Canning Tomato Sauce

Canning Tomato Sauce
Photo taken with Ms. Jen’s Nokia N95.

Thurs 08.06.09 – The Callis’ are currently awash in home grown tomatoes, as evinced by Bird’s Tomato Stand. I suggested last week that we make some homemade tomato sauce with a bunch of the tomatoes and then can / preserve it for later use.
Today, Bird, Tammy and I made a big pot of tomato sauce, simmered it for over 4 hours, and then this evening I canned them. Right now the jars of tomato sauce are in the hot water boil/bath to process them.
This is a first run to see if the experiment is successful, if so, then next week when more tomatoes ripen we will can a second batch of homemade tomato sauce.