Share Your World – September 18, 2017

Complete this sentence: I want to learn more about …

How the menus work in my cameras. Every time I think I’ve nailed it, I discover yet another sub-menu to a sub-menu with a list of options that means absolutely nothing to me. Does anyone really use all these options? The explanations are meaningless, too. I’m always afraid I’m going to accidentally change something and the camera will never work again!

I swear they add these options just so they can raise the price of the camera because they’ve given you “extra options”!

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep?

A really comfortable bed. If the bed is sufficiently comfortable, I might never leave.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Camera equipment and dog toys. It keeps humans and furry folks happy.

Today we got four new squeaky toys which are, coincidentally, identical to their other, grungier toys. They were overjoyed. Thrilled. All three of them bounded around the house squeaking their toys until, finally, everything stopped squeaking. But for that two hours, they were the happiest dogs in the world.

My favorite!


Even a new camera doesn’t make me quite that happy.

What inspired you this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

My cardiologist inspired me to find someone who teaches Tai Chi. I need to get the body moving, even if slowly.

It turns out, someone in Northbridge gives classes. The price is right, too. I am coaxing Garry to come along. The stretching won’t hurt either of us and maybe we’ll meet other crotchety seniors with whom we can hang.



Since Ben got here on Thursday, we’ve been doing a lot of camera reviewing. We use the same cameras mostly … with a few exceptions. He has more of the upscale professional Olympus lenses, though we have the same cameras. He also has Pentax Q-7, which I gave him.

I swapped the Olympus PL-6 for an Olympus 14-45 mm telephoto. It needs an adapter for Micro 4/3. He bought my least-used (okay, never  used ) 06 longer telephoto lens for the Pentax Q system — and took the broken Panasonic FZ-200 which he hopes he can fix. I hope so too. That was a wonderful camera and although I’ve replaced it, I’ve never enjoyed a camera more.

I don’t merely use cameras. I love them. I love the way they feel. Holding it in my hands. I even enjoy adjusting settings. I know that’s twisted, but I cannot help myself. To hang out with another lover of cameras is the total talking of tech. I hardly ever get to do that anymore. I used to get that itch scratched at work where tech was the business, but Garry isn’t techie and isn’t interested in conversation beyond “Your pictures came out really well!”

So here’s to the makers of lenses and cameras and adapters. Who have taken us to new heights in graphic exploration. Who have made taking pictures free from sending out film to labs and eliminated all those toxic chemicals.

Here’s to digital software, electronic auto-focus cameras and everything that comes with them.

Cameras. They matter.


“Dignity. Always dignity,” said Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) in “Singin’ In The Rain.”

A perfect description of our lives. Yep. Dignity and nothing but. Dignity as the dogs attack our toes, leap gates, and laugh at our attempts at discipline.

“NO!” you say in your firmest voice.

“Bark, yap, chortle,” says Duke.

“Urk,” says Bonnie.

“Grumble,” comments The Duke.

We do not dignify, nor do we knight or enthrone in this household. But I did take a few pictures. Actually, there’s a story about the pictures.

I was looking through my cameras because I’ve got cameras hanging around which I haven’t used for years. A few are broken, but others were just unfortunate choices, discarded in favor of cameras take better photographs. This was one of those. An old Canon A something, I forget which.

That was long after they stopped making the good Canon A-series. That group ended in the 500s. My last good one was an A-530 (I think). After they started their “new batch,” the lens quality went way down. Everything went downhill.

So now, here I am holding a long unused Canon A. It needed four AA batteries. I put in the batteries. Stuck a chip in the holder. Took some pictures.

A camera that really works — very well indeed!

The pictures are good, but the camera was crap. The results were so grainy they looked as if they were taken through an old window screen. I realized that was why I gave up on that camera series. I saved the pictures, though — and dumped the camera. No one would want it and I doubt it would make it to a museum.


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Any Camera or Photographer

Photographs: Garry and Marilyn Armstrong

Using these cameras, we took a few pictures.


Marilyn discovers she needs a new battery.

Marilyn discovers she needs a new battery.

And in goes the battery.


Today, we were out in the world taking pictures. Two young woman, one with a camera, are out taking pictures for whatever is about to come next in their world. I used a “neutralizing” format for the two “almost color” pictures.





Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge Badge


Yesterday night,  I had no photographic software. But as I lay abed pondering the irrationality of life, technology, and all that … I realized I own Photoshop CS5. Not only do I own it, but without getting complicated, I really own it. Hugely. Maybe even bigly.

Bonnie, always number one

Bonnie, always number one

There wasn’t a whole lot of difference between PS5 and PS6. Nothing so big you’d simply need to own it. These days, I use more filters than the stuff in Photoshop. I use its straightener and change the size of things. I use the rotator and the basic size. I also use the text and sometimes, the various layers when I want to do something — different.

For most pictures, I use Photoshop so I can work with filters.

I’m also very fond of Bridge. It doesn’t get crazy dumping all 59,749 photographs into it. It just does it. I have them backed up. There are another 40,000 (give or take) that aren’t even on the drive because I thought probably, I could live without them.

Gibbs, my go-to subject

Gibbs, my go-to subject

The final issue, since yesterday’s blow out left me with nothing that will work in either of the C (Thunderbolt) ports, is whether the pictures would show up. They showed up. Ready to go, boss.

Considering the horror of yesterday, this was a simple, elegant sit down. Me, with my software gathered about me on the sofa. I made it happen. I did it.



Share Your World – 2016 Week 52

What’s your favorite ice-cream flavor?

Vanilla. I love the taste and smell of vanilla. Especially fresh vanilla. We also drink vanilla coffee in the morning.

If you were to treat yourself to the “finer things” what would you treat yourself to? 

I’d love to have some stuff done to upgrade the house and I would get someone in once a month to clean. But otherwise? Life is good. Of course, I’m always up for a new camera and lenses.


Have you ever been drunk?

Is there anyone who has never been drunk? I am the world’s cheapest drunk. Half a glass of wine will put me under the table and a whole drink with real booze? Call 911 — you’ll need a gurney.

I have never been a big drinker. If I had been a social drinker, watching the havoc alcohol has wreaked among people I love would certainly have ended that. Most of the heavy drinkers in my world are either already dead — with booze being one of the reasons why they are no longer with us — or they have rehabbed, dried out, and gone on the wagon.

drinks table dinner

Alcoholics Anonymous is a wonderful organization. It continues to quietly save lives without government support or big fundraising campaigns. If someone you know is drunk more than they are sober, try to get them help before they die of alcohol-related illness.

Complete this sentence: My favorite supposedly guilty pleasure is… 

Expensive equipment. I love computers and cameras. My taste exceeds my budget many times over. My best defense has always been to watch for sales … and buy good, used camera equipment. I may be a generation behind, but camera technology doesn’t change dramatically from model year to model year.

They are always coming out with some sexy new camera that I’d love to wrap my paws around, but I can’t do that. So I wait and I watch the market and when I see a bargain, I grab it.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I’m hankering for the next generation of the Olympus OM-D … or the new Olympus Pen F. When prices drop, I’ll be waiting.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m grateful the holidays are ending along with what has been a politically traumatic year. It hasn’t been an entirely bad year, otherwise. It started out in Arizona — which was great — and I managed to get through the entire year without major surgery, serious illness, or a single hospital incarceration. Getting older is a bummer, but the alternative is even less attractive.

I am hoping that 2017 will be better than I expect. I’m very unhappy with the way the world is going, so my fondest hope is that it won’t be as bad as I fear. With my expectations set very low, it would be difficult to disappointment me.

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