Tuesday 16 June 2009

A new camera!

I have finally found the camera of my dreams! Well, maybe not exactly, but I've had my eye on this  since February and eagerly awaited its release here this May. By coincidence its arrival in the shops timed perfectly with the arrival of my birthday!  I had an Olympus C8080 once, (before I dropped it, do you remember?)  It was an excellent camera. Olympus replaced it for me with the SP-57OUZ  but I haven't been so happy with it.  We have a very good local photographic shop, only an hour away - for here that's local!  Last week I drove over and bought the new Olympus e620
I've simply masses and masses to learn about  this camera.  They were very helpful in the shop and said I could go back if needed and they would teach me how to use it. I've never had an slr camera before and know very little about  the technical side to cameras and taking pictures. It involves apertures and shutter speeds, and ISO's, and white balance, and depth of field, and it hasn't taken me very long to discover that I'm totally out of my own depth of field when it comes to setting the settings and pressing the right buttons!
What I love about this camera is its articulated lcd screen. It means I can take photos from all sorts of odd angles. I can check the composition in the monitor and then toggle to the viewfinder to take the picture. I couldn't get the focus right for these foxgloves - that's four pages in the instruction manual on focusing and shooting functions!
The trouble though, about learning new things, (at least the trouble I have learning new things) is keeping all the new information in my head all at the same time, and then recalling it when needed. I read about  lenses. I read about focal length,  prime lenses vs. zoom lenses and then went on to read about shutter speeds and, in that instant, the knowledge I thought I'd gained on lenses fell out of my head - gone! It's like it fell out of my ears.  And I know when I've read about shutter speeds, and move on to exposure compensation, I shall lose  shutter speeds, and so on and so forth. The key I guess is in understanding what I've read and at the moment, it's all  great grey blob of  technological terminology that is beyond comprehension!  I'm determined not just to use the automatic setting on the camera,  it can do so much more if  I can just find out how!   But I love the challenge and I know I'm going to love this camera - I've already started looking at wide angle zoom lenses, if I could only remember what it was I needed to know about them!
And now that pole in the foreground is going to annoy me!

Tuesday 9 June 2009

All in a good cause

The day got off to a good start. Saturday the 6th June; a sponsored walk organised by one of the women from the local church in Ullapool. The aim, to raise funds for the building of a hospital in Khanewal, Pakistan. Fiona was staying in the area recently and saw for herself that the people where she stayed have no access to medical health care. No doctors, no clinics, no hospital so, she decided to do something about it.
The walk, across vast areas of emptiness started  at Loch a Bhraoin before  winding it's way up, and over hills, along tracks, down by streams, across moors and finally ending at Kinlochewe. A distance of fifteen miles.
The day was warm and I was ready for lunch by about half past ten!
The joy of walking in the wilderness is indescribable
 We were about twenty in number
and walked at different paces!
but it was such a privilege to walk with people (when I could catch them up!) that were born here, and have spent their lives here. They seemed so at home in the hills. The knowledge they have and their memories of childhoods spent in this vast wilderness adds a  new depth and dimension to this already awe inspiring part of the world.
It was a day of walking and and getting to know one another, sharing and learning about the people you so often see but don't make the time for.
A thousand pounds, I heard was a possible sum that may have been raised by our weary feet and blisters!
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