Friday, 18 April 2014

The amateur photographer

A quick count reminds me of owning nine cameras, but I’m sure there have been more, although not, I think more than the number of rucksacks I seem to have acquired. I’m off backpacking again at the end of this month and guess what? I’ve bought another camera.

As owner of a Skoda and some Regatta outdoor gear you can hardly accuse me of being a brand freak, but this camera has a Leica lens!

Ok, but that was not the main reason for its purchase. When I take photos on the walk I can only post those taken on the iPhone or the iPad on this blog, so I have the frustrating decision to take pics with my camera, or an iGadget, or both, bearing in mind I want the main record of my trip sourced from a decent camera.

The Lumix TZ40 (that has a Leica lens!) has wi-fi. That means I can plonk it next to the iPad and by magic, and with the help of a little blue light (after I have learnt a complicated sequence of button pressing) pics jump from camera to iPad. To a dumb non-scientist like me that is magic.

Our Thursday walk day was overcast and broody and I was only inspired to take four photos, and two at least were unsatisfactory. The learning curve continues.


Our walk took us through Near Sawrey, home of Beatrix Potter bringing coaches to this small village up narrow winding lanes (should have taken a photo dammit). By chance this morning I have been reading Mrs Tiggy Winkle and The Tale of Tom Kitten to granddaughter Katie who has been here on a sleepover.

The green saturation on this was originally garish. I've done quite a bit of fiddling in Photoshop to calm it down and also show the distant hills beyond Winderemere.

A big zoom then cropped again - not bad

Pete says this is symphytum (Comfrey), but I tried to take it from only a few inches without setting macro, and it has also been cropped since, so not the camera's fault

Big zoom to Langdale Pikes and Pavey Ark. Esthwaite Water in the foreground

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Katie update






9 comments:

afootinthehills said...

Hello Conrad

I've had a Lumix TZ7 with a Leica lens for a number of years and have been very pleased with the results. I'm sure the TZ40 will prove an excellent choice. Recently I bought a Sony RX100 with a Zeiss lens which is also delivering good results, but the Lumix is still in use.

The Sony doesn't have wi-fi but I'm about to buy Apple's 'Lightning to CD card reader' to transfer photographs to the iPad.

We will be away ourselves for much of your planned walk (and when M&G pass through the Ochils, otherwise we'd have sought them out)but wi-fi permitting we will be following your journey with interest. Good luck.

Lucy said...

Had a Panasonic with a Leica lens, which I liked the sound of, till recently, then handed it on to Tom. It was OK, but never as good as the old Canon Powershot which was my first digital. Got a new compact Powershot, miss the viewfinder, and still not as good as the first, but handy to put in bag or pocket. The integral batteries are all so much better these days. I know nothing of I-things; I download, edit then export in Picasa, upload to a web album and blog from there, which probably seems antediluvian and long-winded but works for me.

Alkanet, not comfrey, which was never so blue. The al- prefix bespeaks an Arabic origin, I used to know what it meant but now I'm not sure, perhaps something to do with red, which is odd because it's blue, but I think the root yields a red dye. The temptation of this example of insufferable know-it-allism has led me to break cover, I usually only occasionally lurk here. But your walks and photos are delightful.

Sir Hugh said...

afoot - Hi Gibson. The Panasonic seems to get a decent write up everywhere.

Have you got a long continuous trip planned?

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Lucy - welcome to the blog. I also have had a number of Powershots, the last one being the SX150 IS with double A batteries, and it was good but just a bit bulky for backpacking - every ounce matters when you are carrying your whole life on your back.

My walking friend Pete and his wife are fanatical gardeners with a profound knowledge of plants, so I will be having a bit of fun with Pete challenging him with your differing identification. The photo is so bad I'm surprised anybody could recognise it, but Pete did see the real thing. I much appreciate observing wild flowers, shrubs and grasses but have no depth of knowledge. I said recently that I find it difficult identifying them from the books because of the complexity of the classification system.

Sir Hugh said...

Lucy - Just noticed your previous comment. I have what I call my Cool Wall in my computer, bookie,writing room with little items that appeal to me stuck up there - that "duffers" quote is amongst them.

afootinthehills said...

No continuous trip planned this year Conrad. I'm giving my knee a good testing on shorter trips, for example, Knoydart and Rum. Also, Lynne is involved in the Beatrix Potter Intenational Study Conference in Birnam in late June and it's a special wedding anniversary then too so, all in all, we reckoned it best to leave any continuous walk until next year.

Roderick Robinson said...

Oh the delight of being in Apple's thrall: willing victims handing out shedloads of dosh to buy frustration and a very dubious form of elitism. Ah yes, you say, but they're so clever. They are indeed. But in an earlier, better informed era what Apple practises would have been more precisely identified as highway robbery. An addiction of course for which there is always the AA - Apple (eejits) Anonymous.

It's all there: the wide-eyed wonder that the new lens is Leica, that it's been necessary to learn "a complicated sequence of button pressing" (which, in the heat of the moment, will all be forgotten), that it seems like magic. It is magic. Read the company history and discover how the company name was changed because of the strength of the Leica brand (marketing speak for: we have discovered that this word can act on credulous buyers as car headlights act on rabbits). Take pride in being able to call Oryctolagus cuniculus a brother.

The learning curve continues, you say. But not the curve that relates to self-analysis. How many more cameras before bankruptcy and an awful sense of disillusionment reveals that it wasn't Apple/Leica you chased but chimera.

Sir Hugh said...

RR -My post was supposed to be poking fun at myself for being impressed with the Leica lens, and emphasising that I am not a brand freak. The problem of transferring photos from a camera to a blog has nothing to do with Apple, it is universal. There are other solutions which are more cumbersome than the route I have chosen.

Roderick Robinson said...

Those that feel tempted to use that form of humour must learn that the linear distance between irony and ending up with egg on one's face is ten to the power of minus nine millimetres.

I take it you mean "transferring photos directly from a camera to a blog." is a universal problem. That the usual method - transferring the photo from the camera to a folder in the computer, thence to the blog - doesn't work.

Sir Hugh said...

RR -;On a backpacking trip one doesn't have a computer to act as intermediary.