Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Into each life...

... that's frustrating. My whole writeup, that I had previously saved is gone. Starting over.

Ever do something stupid?

Rhetorical question. In my case, I lost a hard drive.

I don't mean I had one fail: I LOST IT. I MISPLACED IT. It was in my car (I bring my external drive with me when I leave my house for a day trip. What good is having backups at home if your house burns down or you get burglarized?). It's in a padded bag inside a leatherette  pouch (my old Palm Pilot case), and I always put it in the same place in the car. It's NOT THERE.

I was having lunch with my 92 year old mother. She gave me some pictures to scan: old pictures. Her mother. Her siblings (mostly gone now). Ancient stuff going back almost a century. I put them in the pouch and she even commented, "Oh, you have a safe place to put them", and that's the last I remember having it. Her walker was in that side of the car, I wonder if it fell out when I took the walker out. I've called everywhere I was in between, no joy.

So what did I actually lose? Well, her irreplaceable pictures... and a 2Tb Passport External Drive with my entire 60,000 image photo archive on it. No passwords or sensitive personal data to my knowledge.

Here's the good news: I had done a backup onto another 2Tb drive on June 2. And every image I imported after that point is duplicated on the internal drive of the computer.

Here's the bad news. I often skip backing up my LR catalogue even though it prompts me whenever I exit. It takes time, and I figure with only a few edits... so all of my edits from June 2 through June 12 are gone. Nothing critical, and I do have the exported JPEGS (although they're not full sized).

A lesson learned. I wonder if it's creeping senility... Anyway, I'm going to Costco tomorrow, guess I'll pick up a 4Tb MyBook. I wish Passport made a 3Tb or bigger drive. I don't really trust the MyBooks.

So you plan for hard drive failure, for fire and theft, but you can't fix stupid...

On to some better stuff...

My Stars Workshop is a GO!

If you haven't heard, I'm doing a two-part workshop on shooting stars (and other stuff at night). Shooting at night takes a lot of pre-planning and you have to know your equipment and what you're trying to do, or you'll be disappointed.

Part 2 is the actual field trip, tentatively planned for Oh-Dark-Thirty some clear, beautiful bug-free night around the end of July up in the Highlands. Obviously we can't schedule that much in advance because it is weather dependent.




Part 1 is a half-day classroom session. FWIW, I've created a handout for it and believe it or not, it's 10 pages of bullet points. I counted and there are 15 things you have to set on your camera before you go out to shoot stars. There are 17 things you need to bring with you when you go out, if you include your "recreational pharmaceuticals"!

Details on the workshop are here. Go over for a quick look, I'll wait here.

Back so soon? OK, here's the deal: as I write this, I have enough signups for June 28th to hold it at the Minden Cultural Centre. There are only a couple of signups for July 10th, and a few inquiries but no commitments for the GTA session tentatively pencilled in for July 19 or 20 (and I don't have a venue yet). If you want to attend, you MUST let me know. You can sign up at the web site or email me to make arrangements.

Several people are driving up from the GTA on the 28th. I know it's a 2- or 3-hour drive but here's some incentive:

  • It's being held at the Common Room, Minden Cultural Centre which also has some other interesting things going on 
  • It's attached to the Agnes Jameson Gallery which has a small but exquisite art collection 
  • The Minden Hills Museum & Pioneer Village is also attached to this venue. I've taken some excellent images in and around these wonderfully maintained buildings. (I'm not sure of their hours but I'll make time during the seminar for a break for those who want to get some shots) 




  • If you get up here early, head over to the Minden Wild Water Preserve (link takes you to Google images of the venue) which will be the venue for the 2015 Pan Am Games kayaking races. I can almost guarantee that there will be talented white water kayaking athletes practicing their skills in the challenging white water. (70-200 is best lens. But there are also great landscape and fast water opportunities, so bring a wide angle and a ND filter!) Only problem is you won't want to leave to come to the workshop!



Remember the old ad, "It's worth the drive to Acton"? It's worth the drive to Minden.

Lens For Sale

I like my Sigma DG 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO HSM OS lens in Nikon mount. I'm not very good with long lenses, but I've had some pretty good results with it:


Among other things, this got an acceptance at the GTCCC inter-club competition this winter. Shot at 400mm, 1/800 sec, f/8, ISO 800, this is virtually straight out of the camera. 


I shot this last week at the White Water. Again, virtually right out of the camera, except I did the B/W conversion in Silver Efex Pro 2. 1/1000 sec at f/5.6, ISO 1600, F=400mm. It actually makes a dandy portrait lens! 


Here it is. Comes with its own case, front and rear caps and box. 
The lens is in great shape, no scratches on any glass, the outside is 9/10 (my estimate). Never dropped or even banged. It's currently on sale at Henry's for $1050 (plus tax = $1200 approx). I'm asking $900 all included. Let's Talk.

PS it fits all Nikon cameras, it's FX so it will work on a full frame, it has what Sigma calls "OS" and Nikon calls "VR".

Some Pictures

Here are some of the "lost" pictures that I only have in JPEG. I had exported them for this blog before losing my hard drive.

We visited the old abandoned Chemical Factory and got some shots inside. HDR paradise, but I have to admit I wasn't "feeling it". Still, with a little perseverance...



A little 'over the top' but that's what you need in an environment like this! 


Different perspective, different treatment. Wendy was set up in the back. I asked her not to move while I took five bracketed shots (including one at 15 seconds!).  


Cheryl was doing her thing. A little motion blur... Hey Cheryl: don't wear flip flops in an environment like that. Sturdy boots are mandatory! 


And finally, a painterly approach using Topaz Simplify.
Until next time!

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