First flower piccies with new camera :)

6 August, 2008

Fresh from the garden this morning 🙂

Passion Flower

Passion Flower

For some people the Passion Flower is rife with religious symbolism. They’re certainly complex, and fascinating. I’m not sure where this one came from: I think my mother must have planted it.

Passion Flower - close up

Passion Flower - close up

One of my favourites is the simple Jasmine, though, with its exquisite scent.

Lovely Jasmine

Lovely Jasmine

A pal has suggested that I should take a look at extension tubes for capturing small things, so I’m about to go and do so.

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CCS camera cases for backpacking – Get them while you still can

6 August, 2008

Back in 1990 (ZOMG, it’s almost 20 years ago…) I bought a really lovely padded blue case for a second-hand camera I took to Belize on a diving expedition. A few years later I bought a second one for something else. They’re the nicest camera cases I’ve ever seen–extremely well padded, and either waterproof or close to it–and perfect for backpacking, but when I tried to get hold of one for my little point-and-shoots over the last couple of years I found they didn’t seem to be in the shops any more. The Lowepro bags, which were the best I could find, really don’t hold a candle to them.

CCS Warthog - front

CCS Warthog - front

Now that I’ve got a more sophisticated camera I’ve made more of an effort to track them down, and I’m v. sorry to find that the owners have retired and CCS cases are no more. However, their friends and co-retailers at RK Photographic have bought out the remaining stock, and they still have some.

I found them on the net last night, and I’ve just rung and ordered a Warthog for my EOS and a Kite for my little P&S (Canon Powershot A570IS). If my second and slightly larger P&S (Canon Powershot A95) doesn’t fit into the Kite I’m going to get a slightly larger one for that too, because once this stock has been sold CCS cases will be gone forever.

CCS Warthog - back

CCS Warthog - back

If you’d like what’s probably the best backpacking case in the world, ring RK Photographic now and buy one 🙂


So, are all piglets this stupid, then?

6 August, 2008

Sometimes I wonder how I manage to get out of bed and navigate to my clothes in the morning.

I somehow missed out on microwaves. My father had a little one in the corner of the kitchen, but none of the rest of us really used it, and I’ve never caught up. A few years ago I thought I’d better get one, just in case. I thought it would be useful for defrosting home-made chicken stock. It seems it wasn’t, though. I think the stock is still in the bottom of the freezer.

Anyway… a couple of days ago I wanted to use some butter straight from the fridge. It was solid, and it occurred to me to shove it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so. I did, and a few seconds later the microwave started making terrifying electrical flash things, and there was smoke, and loud noise and popping, sizzling noises. I was tempted to run, but I grabbed a tea towel and made a frantic poke at the Off button. Fortunately it stopped. It seems there must have been metal in the butter wrapper. How extremely scary it was! Shouldn’t butter wrappers come with some sort of warning?

And now today I realise that I’m too stupid to be able to work out how to use the zoom lens on my clever new D-SLR camera. With my little point-and-shoot I just pulled a lever thing that rested conveniently under one of my fingers, and the flower or insect dashed in close. There doesn’t seem to be such a lever on the new camera, though. I think perhaps I’m supposed to turn the housing on the lens, but in my Canon EOS 400D for Dummies book I was told that manually turning it might damage the lens, and now I’m terrified to touch it. And when I look up ‘Zoom’ in the Dummies index there’s nothing there 😦 I’m stuck…

Edited to add:
Okay, so I think I’ve sussed the zoom thing. It seems there’s a difference between the zoom barrel and the focusing ring, and it’s the focusing ring I’m not supposed to turn unless the camera is set to Manual Focus. Phew!


New camera – Canon EOS 400D

3 August, 2008

I’ve finally bought a camera that’ll enable me to take clear pics of flowers and wee creatures when I’m out walking. It’s a Canon EOS 400D.

I’ve never had an SLR before, and it seems to be horrendously complicated. All this stuff about F stops and lenses and goodness knows what. If anyone knows of any links to simple idiot-proof guides to learning the basics then please let me know.

Also, I’m planning to take it backpacking. Are the blue CCS cases the best ones for that sort of thing? I used to have a couple but they don’t seem to be so widely available these days. Maybe there’s something better around now.