Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Dad’s Camera

I was at my sister’s home the other day and saw my dad’s old camera. It’s an Eastman Kodak Camera, with  3 patent dates, 1908, 1916 and 1919. I have no idea when he purchased the camera, but I’m guessing it was in the late 1920s. 

I do know he took a lot of pictures with it over the years. It went on every family vacation. It was used at all the holiday celebrations. When it was replaced with a more modern Kodak Brownie, this camera lived in the trunk of the car in case a camera was needed. It was also used as a “safe”... take a look at the huge film compartment. My mother would stash money in that compartment when they took a trip! Try using your modern camera for a “safe” nowadays! 

As I look at it  now, I wonder if it still works. You cannot get film for it. The “lens” is dusty, and the “viewfinder” is clouded over. In fact it has 2 viewfinders: One for taking “portrait” shots, the other for taking “landscape” photos. It’s primitive, but in it’s day, it was a miracle.

On the back of the camera, the embossed stamp reads "No. 2A Cartridge Premo, Model B" that used film No. 116. I looked up the camera’s worth about $20 today! Kodak made a lot of these cameras.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A day in the life of...

I’m learning how to use the RAW setting on my camera. I’ve seen the setting for years, but I’ve not been brave enough to use it. Most digital cameras have an “AUTO” just point and shoot and the camera does the work. RAW is the opposite of AUTO. With RAW the camera does none of the work, the photographer has to do it. In other words, I get to figure out all the settings! It’s like “old fashioned” photography where you needed a light meter to get the best shot. I am not using a light meter; I’m using the histogram display on the camera to tell me what to do, then I’m setting all the dials so “stuff” works. It can get really technical, so I’ll quit while I’m still ahead.

To that end, today I was playing (or is it learning). I was inside the house, looking out the big windows when a couple of mockingbirds landed on the crook in the garden. I set up the tripod; put the camera on 20X zoom, figured out the right settings and started shooting. What fun! I was so excited that I could focus on their eyes and still capture the subtle details of their feathers. AUTO would never see that detail.

A bit later another bird showed up...don’t know his name, and he landed in the pyracantha. You have to be a hearty bird to land in a bed of spikes.

In case you are wondering if there is a difference between AUTO and RAW, take a look at the following 2 pictures. The first is AUTO.

This is the same scene in RAW

The color of the sunset was amazing...and the RAW photo showed it off with perfection!
I promise I won’t get too technical in the future!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The stories flowers may tell

 It’s officially fall, 
but there are still flowers blooming. 
Some of them might be a bit tired...
and all have a story
This white delicacy peeks out from under the greenery...
hoping someone will see it
The golden mum anchors the garden with hundreds of blooms...

While the impatiens are slowing down...
in Peru these are wild flowers found along the roadways...
here they live in manicured gardens. I wonder if
they are “wild” at heart?

No matter what, the spider mum flourishes by knowing
 it’s the loudest flower on the block.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


For the last couple of nights we have had some subtle sunsets. There were no clouds in the sky ... just a faint orange hue that glowed over the mountains. Really pretty. The trees still have their leaves and the leaves are green. As you can see, the fields are brown, but that’s typical for this time of year in CA.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


 This rose was discovered in my friend’s’s huge (about 4 inches wide) with a lavender “stripe” for lack of a better word, around the petals. It is unusual. Does any one know what type of rose it is?
Here’s a close up of the lavender around each of the petals. It looks like someone used a magic marker to trace the edges of each petal. Mother Nature was playing again!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sheep Drive

As we were driving west, we “ran” into 2 sheep drives. I don’t know how many sheep were in the flocks, but it took awhile to wade thru them ever so slowly.

The sheep just walk slowly. They follow the leader  well...and when one goes astray there’s always a dog to bring it back to the flock. Of course, the shepherd watches them closely too.
As you might imagine, the RV was well “decorated” after wading thru the flock.