Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I am speaking of Climategate. It has been recently disclosed that some who call themselves Scientists have been fudging the numbers. In the first instance to refer to oneself as a Climatologist infers a field of study that just does not yet exist. There are licensed Cosmetologists but not Climatologists. It is safe to say that this important field of study is in fact being developed which emphasizes just how brand new the field is.
As a species we expect much more from certain groups. Scientists are one such group. From scientists we expect truth even if it hurts, scientific method, peer review and an attempt to eschew politically motivated "Truths." From those who have perpetrated the Global Warming Scare we got none of those things, quite the opposite in fact. This is serious for many reasons but perhaps the biggest reason is that it's so darned important to us. Every craftsman knows you must trust your tools, if you can't, then replace them.
To the other true scientists in the world I say it's time to stand up. Take the beating coming to you. Punish the perpetrators of the hoax, fix the problems and get on with this important work. Otherwise the politicians will gleefully run with the crap that's been developed and create a world we do not want and do so in your name.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Two days later the gunman was on the losing end of a gunfight with Seattle Police and was found to have been severely wounded by one of the slain officers and to be in possession of one of their guns. Later it was reported that the gunman had told others that he was going to kill as many people as he could starting with cops and to also include schools.
The information paints this picture: the gunman entered the coffee shop and immediately shot the 4 people he saw that were armed. He then picked up a weapon from a fallen officer to perhaps (or probably) finish his murderous rampage with the others in the shop. As a final action one of the dying officers was able to launch one into the gunman who then shocked from his wound, fled to the car waiting for him and was driven away into hiding. The officer saved several lives in the coffee shop and perhaps many others in other locations.
It is the middle of an unusual cold spell in the Pacific Northwest, temperatures are not expected to rise to freezing (32 Fahrenheit, 0 Celsius). This weather has been with us for a week and is expected to have a week more before returning to the usual 45 degrees and raining winter weather. My sister also reports snow on the North Shore, and that's not northern New England but Lake Pontchartrain just outside New Orleans. Fitting weather for the Memorial service. Also fitting weather I think for the alternative energy lovefest & political sideshow commencing in Copenhagen. In fact it could be an omen if this conference truly had anything at all to do with science. Sadly it's all about politics, pseudo-science is the sheep's clothing.
Friday, October 30, 2009
I did my homework and had a 5 page itinerary in a spiral notebook. Arrived at Acadia at O-Dark-Thirty to find it closed. HUH??? Since when is a National Park closed? I had noticed a few photographers at a bay I passed so they probably were as disappointed as I was. By the time we got into the park the sun was well up. Oh well. I later overheard some folks talking about black ice so perhaps there were some safety issues.
I did have a great time photographing the pink granite. I was particularly impressed with the eroding forces on the granite, ice, plant life and in particular the lichens. The lichens were various shades of green or else a grayish blue color.
The day grew steadily more cloudy and by noonish it was socked in. I missed the sunset I was hoping for but as I was driving back I could REALLY feel the cold in my bones. Funny how I didn't notice it at all walking though the park. Probably a good thing for me the day turned cloudy.
On this trip I brought a couple dozen large prints. A few on photographic paper, some on canvas and several on some very nice Arches watercolor paper. Anyone who asked for or admired a print was given it. Now this is a junk-science sample but all of the prints from the DP1 were given away as were all of my xPan (film) prints. The bayer sensor digital images (Nikon DSLR) came home with me.
Click on images for larger version
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
QuadCamera is an iPhone App ($1.99) which takes either 4 or 8 images and displays them together in a grid or in a photo-booth like strip. I had it in mind to make some sort of a kaleidoscope type image. These are the first attempts. I touched the volume rocker half way through one of the images and interestingly the screen icon displays on the image. I don't know if that will be of any use to me or not.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
OK so I succumbed to the siren call and bought a new 3Gs Apple iPhone. For the past handful of years cell companies tried different internet access schemes. I've tried a few and found them to be lacking. I had imagined that this would be the "Killer App" for cell phones, portable internet access.
Friday, June 19, 2009
As the DP1 was a new concept in cameras I started this blog in hopes that my experiences might be of some use to others. I am flattered to have received several e-mails from folks finding my experiences of use. Now that the DP1 is over a year old and the DP2 is available there is less use for this blog.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
One of the blogs I follow is "In My View" by Chris Eastwood. Judging from the photos of himself which he publishes, one of Chris' many talents is to actually look younger as time passes...not sure how he does that. Like me Chris shoots and scans film in many different sizes (including 120 folding cameras) and uses digital camera (s) as well. In a recent post he compared various scans of 35mm film to similar images shot digitally. This caused me to look again at my previous conclusions of scanned (B&W) film and to adjust my projected pixel count of film downward.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Most cities seem to have a collection of individuals best described as characters. Over the last 30 years or so I've met several of these characters. Many have had something distinguishing about them... wit, sense of humor, artistic or musical ability. One such person I've enjoyed interacting with is Seattle's Tuba Guy, AKA Ed McMichael. Previously with philharmonic and symphony orchestras he left that life behind, hit the streets and became well known in the city for his wacky hats, his tuba and his happy demeanor.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I've had my DP1 for just over a year now. It fits into my shirt pocket.
I was immediately impressed with the image quality attainable with this little camera. In the year I have learned how to better use this tool, and how to work around it's much reviewed shortcomings. The more I use it the more comfortable I become with it and the more I like it. I don't believe It will ever be as comfortable and intuitive as my Nikon F, circa 1970, but it is more comfortable for me than any other digital camera I've owned, and it fits into my shirt pocket.
Digital cameras seem to fall into 2 general categories, point and shoot and DSLR. Point and shoots are small, easy to carry, slow to use and the image quality, although improving is not in the DSLR category. DSLR's provide great image quality but are BIG, noisy, intimidating and increasingly ridiculously expensive. The DP1 is the size of a P&S and shares some of their slowness. The camera does provide the ability to get around some of the slowness problems and delivers images that flat knock you out. I consider the image quality to be superior to my DSLR. Sigma has delivered a 3rd category of digital camera, available no where else as of yet. A high quality image maker that fits into a shirt pocket.
Perhaps the most written about shortcoming of this camera is it's slowness. Slowness seems to fall into 4 categories, “slow” lens (f4), slow to focus, shutter lag* and slow to write to the card.
*Shutter lag is most often a slow focus issue
Slow lens. A faster lens would be nice but not at the expense of size. In reality the f4 lens isn't that big a problem. My favorite DSLR lens is an f4 12 ~ 24mm. So f4 is the same. Also, without a mirror assembly to slap around causing vibration I can hand hold the DP1 at a much slower shutter speed. With the DP1 if “Continuous” shooting is selected 3 shots are fired dramatically improving the odds of a sharp image at a slower shutter speed. Finally although many DSLR lenses are faster than f4 very very few of them are as good wide open as the lens on the DP1. The lenses that are great wide open often have names like Leica or Zeiss and are wildly expensive.
Slow to focus & Shutter Lag. I had originally not understood why DSLR's had a mirror. It made no sense to me. As I researched it I found that auto focus doesn't work well at all without the mirror. The DP1 has no mirror and is subjected to the focus handicap. They are working around it and I am led to believe that the DP2 focuses much faster in low light. There is a really simple work around, manual focus. First however a brief operational review of auto focus with a DSLR. The Nikon I own has 3 auto focus selections. In 2 of them a failure to achieve focus disables the shutter...so I automatically lose the shot. In practice this is unusually frustrating to me. Also, I often photograph musicians in dimly lit clubs (flash usually). Quite often just before I release the shutter, or while I am actually pressing the shutter release, the camera will pick up something else, like a guitar string or something and change focus. I get back home to find strings in perfect focus but not performers. Not good at all.
Manual focus. I liked this camera immediately but really started to appreciate it when I took a minute to consider manual focus. This is a feature I believe that isn't offered on other pocketable cameras. The way this works is this: the lens has a quite remarkable depth of field, even wide open. I adjust the focus for more or less what I estimate the distance to be and the lens D.O.F. takes care of the rest. This completely eliminates focus lag and shutter lag. When I press it fires... instantly. It's quite simple and it works! For instance, f4 at 8 feet everything from 5 feet to 17 feet is in focus. f7.1 at 8 feet everything from 3.75 feet to infinity is in focus. How simple is that?
Slow to write to card. This is a real slowness that has no real work around. A faster card reduces write time slightly but it's still too long. I believe that this is something which could be fixed, here's why. The camera has a 3 shot buffer. When Continuous is selected 3 images shots are taken and stored in the buffer. The camera is “On-hold” after that for several seconds while it processes all 3 of the images. If only one shot is taken the camera is still on hold 'till the shot is processed even though there is obviously room in the buffer for 2 more images. Sigma! Don't close the front door to the buffer if there is still room for more images! Virtually all other digital cameras had the identical problem and fixed it! Get er done!
I've taken a lot of images with the DP1. Even with eliminating 2 out of 3 of the continuous images I take, and removing the poor images the Sigma file on my eSATA drive is 135 GB and contains 12,000 images. I'm guessing that's about half of what I actually took.
Customer service, excellent.
I have had to return the camera twice, once for dust and once because I damaged it. In each case Sigma had a brand new replacement camera in my hands exactly 1 week after I dropped it in the mail. The dust replacement was no charge. I paid for the damaged camera but it was VERY reasonable.
Damage: extending lenses are quite easy to damage while extended. I damaged the DP1. Sigma replaced it for $160.00 total charge. As a reference I had previously damaged my TVS111 film camera (extending lens). The repair cost me $180.00 + tax + S&H and although it's better it's not quite right.
Non removable lens. Quite a bit of chatter about this on the web. Some folks think this is a death sentence. I personally think it's whooey. As someone once said, if you have more than one lens it's a certainty the wrong one will be on the camera. I had my Nikon F film camera for 30 years and never really outgrew the 50mm lens. There is a lot to be said for having one lens that really suits you and learning how to work well with it. I have come to really appreciate wide angle perspective and although I might have wished for a wider lens I like this lens very much.
Also, Sigma appears to be planning a 3rd DP camera with perhaps a telephoto lens. I notice today that the DP1 is on sale for $350.00. Need 2 focal lengths, buy 2 cameras. The DP1 has a world class lens. A lens of that caliber is quite a steal for $350.00 and it comes with a camera attached. What you need then is a shirt with 2 pockets.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
A lot has been written about pixels and more is sure to follow. As a Sigma camera user I am aware of the confusion and marketing hype around this term. Does my DP1 have 4.7 mega pixels, or 14? Does my 10 mega pixel Nikon have 10, half of that? a quarter of that? or in reality no pixels at all. And the question many have asked, just how many pixels on film anyway?
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Nothing unusual here. These are snapshots. My youngest son at one of his college hockey games, his sisters, mother and the old guy he calls dad. He recently finished up his enlistment, 6 years, special ops. Now he's quite close to graduating from college with a degree in Geology. A scientist, wow!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Because I am a big fan of wide angle lenses I brought my Nikon with me to Zion, Bryce. These 2 images are obviously fisheye, Nikons fine 10.5mm.