Posts Categorized: photos + text from the road

It has been a Rough Morning here at Camp Hanen

Ms. Belle has had a rough morning...

Tues. 03.06.18 – The fabulous Ms. Belle has had a rough and tiring morning here at Camp Hanen!

She woke me up at 6:00am to go out to use the doggy potty, it was cold and windy while she minded her chores. From 6:30am to 8:00am, she carried on a heavy kiss bombardment and foot stepping/stamping campaign to get me to feed her breakfast before 8am.

After her hard won breakfast, she got up on the bed and promptly went back to sleep.

A Sunday Nap

Napping Belle

Sun. 03.04.18 – There is a funny, poignant moment in the life of a dog owner / lover when the said beloved pet is older but not yet decrepit. Funny because you distinctly remember the tiresomely rambunctious puppy and young dog who you wished would nap in the afternoons. Poignant because now the beloved dog naps most of the day away only to become alert in time for dinner.

Belle le Cane, aka Bellie Pooh, is now nearly thirteen and she enjoys a good solid nap to a walk or a game of fetch these days.

Photo taken today by Ms. Jen this afternoon with an Olympus Pen E-LP8 mirrorless camera and an Olympus M.40-150mm lens.

The $/£/€ 1,000 Smartphone: Oh Hells No!

This was originally posted as Early Access at my Patreon account.

Please forgive any awkward writing, as I wrote it quickly in the Patreon editor in a snit about all the super expensive flagship camera phones.


Olympus Pen - Lagging Behind

Tues. 01.30.18 – Yesterday, I enacted out a strategy that I have been considering for nearly two years: I bought a small mirrorless micro four-thirds camera with interchangeable lenses that is not much wider than my camera phone in its wallet case.

Two years ago, when the top of the line flagship smart / camera phones were approximately $/£/€ 800 when purchased new and unlocked, I looked around and saw the the cameras on these expensive so-called tech wonders were only OK. Meh – certainly not worth $800.

The years of great leap forwards in terms of technology for camera phones are not necessarily over, but the companies that design and manufacture said smartphones do seem to be more interested in increasing their market cap than giving me the photographer a kick-ass camera phone.

In May of 2010, Roland and I were invited to a private meeting in San Francisco to help Nokia envision the smartphone of 2015. I asked for a mashup of a smart phone and a mirrorless camera system with interchangeable lenses.

Samsung released one poorly done mashup in the mid-2010s and it garnered more complaints than users. Since then it appears that no other tech company cares to try. This makes me sad.

I want good lenses, a good sensor, and good algorithms to power my camera phone. The newest versions of this or last year’s flagships have focused on algorithm and have taken out the photographer’s prized manual settings (I am looking at you, Pixel2).

My current $500 Microsoft Lumia 950, as of July 2016, is still performing better than the Pixel2 in a few blogger’s comparisons (Steve L’s post if you are interested) when the algorithmic magic is examined closely and photos compared at 1:1 crop. I have to fight the Lumia’s software’s choices on low light. Why would I spend $1,000 to fight a camera that wanted to make its own decisions about how low light should be rendered?

Most of all, I guess I am now officially Middle Aged, as the very idea of $1000 for a flagship smartphone makes me want to yell and shake my fist. Even with the best components that is over $750 pure profit for the tech giants. No.

Why should I when a vast array of tech companies are releasing more than sufficient Android smartphones for $200-400?

Thus, my new strategy: Buy a good small to tiny mirrorless camera system with wifi and interchangeable lenses on sale with rebates and then get a small sufficient Android when the Lumia 950 dies – all for less than a flagship smartphone.

Then go take photos with a darned good small camera that will fit in a corner of my purse and do all communicating and internet functions on a phone I can root and hack all for less than $1,000 in total.

Yesterday, I implemented the first part of this strategy when I bought the Olympus Pen E-LP8 camera and two lenses (14-42mm and 40-150mm) on sale with rebates for a total of a bit less than $700. My Lumia 950 is doing just fine right now, but when it is not, I will take recommendations for a nice little hackable Android phone.

My future is my now, for less than $1,000.


Photo of a dad and his two daughters off across the sand for a beach day taken at noon today at the Huntington Beach State Park with my new Olympus Pen E-LP8 using the 14-42mm lens. I am very happy with the quality and color of the photo, I did crop it in Lightroom and do a few adjustments.

The Marble Arch at Dusk

Marble Arch at Dusk

Photo of the Marble Arch at Dusk taken on Fri. Nov. 10, 2017 approximately a half hour after sunset when all the lights would be on but still some light in the sky for the Black & White No Explanation Challenge on Instagram. This is the original color photo before I used the Instagram editing features to make it B&W to post on that site.

All seven original color photos can be found at my Patreon.

Evening Thunderstorm Surprise

1 - Thunder Storm Rolls In 2 - A Light Dusting of Snow on Mt. Laurel 3 - Thunderstorm Sunset

09.12.17 – This evening a thunderstorm crossed over the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains and rained quite heavily at Brown’s Owen’s River Campground (photo #1), and after the clouds continued north-east, I could see a light dusting of snow on the bowl top of Mt. Laurel (photo #2)! Of course, I had to bring out the Nikon with the telezoom lens to see if I could get a good photo of it! As the sun descended minutes later in the west, the black clouds of another thunder cell framed the setting sun (photo #3). It was an exciting half hour of thunder, lightning, rain/snow, and dramatic light.

Photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 and a 70-200 f4 lens from the safety of her gently used little RV at the Brown’s Owens River Campground, Long Valley Caldera, Mammoth, California.

Tidbits for Palm Sunday

The Snow, it is falling and falling this weekend in Mammoth
Sun. 04.09.17 – The Snow, it is falling and falling this weekend in Mammoth – photo by Ms. Jen with her Lumia 950

Tidbits for a Sunday afternoon’s reading:

The Art and Design of End Papers

The beautiful choral music of Suor Leonora d’Este

Thinker, tailor, soldier, spy: The extraordinary women of Ghiyas-ud-din Khalji’s harem

Erica Wilson, The Julia Child of Needlework

Which led to the Queen’s Coronation Gown and her Maids of Honor, then and now:

A book review that is a good read in and of itself:The Souls of China by Ian Johnson – the resurgence of religion after Mao

“Johnson spends weeks with Taoist musicians, whose ritual performances bring the deceased “over to the other side”. He attends an unregistered Christian church in western China that challenges the party’s claim to be moral arbiter of society. He dines with celebrity Zen Buddhists, who dispense wisdom to real estate developers, the offspring of party aristocracy, executives and bank managers. He practises qigong – religious breathing exercises and meditation – with a master in an apartment block reserved for once-persecuted party elders rehabilitated after Mao’s death. With nicely understated irony, Johnson weaves the political rituals of the self-proclaimed atheistic CCP through this calendar: its conferences held in the Great Hall of the People, a communist temple saturated with legitimising ritual symbols; the intensely ritualistic departures and ascensions of communist leaders. “Like a Taoist priest,” he observes of Hu Jintao anointing a successor at the 18th party congress in November 2012, “Hu emulated an immortal … dyeing his hair jet-black to make himself look ageless, and surrounding himself with propaganda banners conferring immortality on the Communist party.””

Note to Self: Go on one of these UK walks
It’s blooming spring! 22 great UK walks

After spending so much time in Arizona the past two years, this article on living in Arizona is spot on.
Mike Powell : Why I live Where I liveZonies: Part 7
with a link to Walter Percy’s Why I Live Where I Live

Unusually strong April storm headed for Northern California this week : This storm was fun. I spent it up at Mammoth. My Instagram documents: 1, 2, 3, 4