Blog

First gear

I have had countless cameras over the years from a succession of compact point and shoots cameras to bridge cameras such as the Canon PowerShot s5. I guess after a time with each camera I got to the stage where I wanted a little more range and functionality. It was an article on the Panasonic GX1, an early example of the evolving mirrorless compact system cameras (CSC) that was the catalyst for getting me into this new level of cameras which provide the functionalities of a larger DSLR camera in a smaller lighter package, which is more incentive to carry the camera gear out more often. I ended up buying the Panasonic GX1 with the kit lens. It was a great camera but I then started hankering for better optics to be found in premium lenses. I bought a couple of new lenses and then found that Olympus lenses were compatible and Olympus had some pretty flash lenses. There was however an issue with Panasonic lenses having built in image stabilisation, but with Olympus the image stabilisation is built into the camera body. I bought the superb Olympus 75mm f1.8 portrait and street photography lens but had compatibility problems with image stabilisation. At this point I decided I wanted to switch to all Olympus gear.

After in-depth research I bought the newly released Olympus O-MD E-M1, the flagship camera in the Olympus compact system camera range.

Olympus O-MD E-M1

Olympus O-MD E-M1

This is the camera I still use today. Its had about four firmware updates in its life, each one enhancing the cameras ability even more. A feature that I really love in this camera is the Olympus 5-axis image stabilisation. This innovative feature enables hand-held shooting in dark locations and during telephoto photography without worrying about camera shake and the need for a tripod. It also prevents image shake in the viewfinder for stable framing. The Olympus O-MD E-M1 is without doubt my favourite camera to date. I love it! It is widely expected that Olympus will soon announce a MKII successor to the E-M1. I'm sure I will be eyeing it up

As I have progressively added to my gear, I'm pretty sure I will stay with the compact system camera category and in particular Olympus unless some generous manufacturer mistakenly gifts me a full professional kit in another brand .

I have two critically acclaimed Olympus lenses and a five star rated Panasonic portrait and street photography lens. I will cover these lenses and show specific photos taken with each, in a future post.  

 

The week that was

Without a shadow of doubt the highlight this week was being at an awards dinner at Sky City, Auckland, where my son Mike was announced as team member/employee of the year from over 1000 staff in the business he and I work for. It was a very emotional moment. I was so thrilled and extremely proud of him. 

9 March 2016. Sky City, Auckland.

9 March 2016. Sky City, Auckland.

 

Constructing a dislike for deconstruction

I had breakfast this week at a recently opened cafe in Mount Maunganui. After trying to find something at a reasonable cafe price for breakfast, which is not easy in this country, I settled on a salmon and cream cheese bagel. When it was presented, I was somewhat taken aback. I have only ever come across food presented in similar fashion once before and as with that time I won't be returning to this place anytime soon. This is a salmon and cream cheese bagel in the new era of deconstruction. I was asked whether or not I wanted cutlery? What a stupid question. Hell, no: I was so eager to bend down and lick it from the plate and spread it on the bagel with my tongue! I must remember to smear cream cheese and I guess any other spreads, chutneys and toppings across the kitchen bench at home when we have dinner guests so that they can enjoy the delights of constructing their own snack. My long black coffee to my utter disappointment wasn't presented as an empty cup, a few beans, a grinder and hot water. You'd think they'd get that right too!

Neighbours at war. It's the bringing together that counts.

Neighbours at war. It's the bringing together that counts.

 

I'm thinking it won't be long until we buy shirts with unattached sleeves to sew on. Oh wait! I bought a shirt this week and when I unpacked it a pre-cut piece of material in a pocket shape fell out.

Pocketing the difference

Pocketing the difference

I was quite perplexed as to how a shirt could come off the production line and go through the folding and packaging stage accompanied by a homeless half finished detached pocket. I shook the package further thinking there would be matching cotton, a mini sewing machine and instructions. Unbelievably there wasn't. I'm worried about my next pair of shoes now as I don't have an industrial sewing machine to attach the leather upper to the sole. For now I just have to deconstruct my thoughts about it all.

  

Family matters

Following on from my previous posts on family ancestry from my mother's side, here is a bit of information from my father's side. In the first photo taken way back in 1868 are my great, great grandparents Wilson and Anne Taylor. The photo is taken outside their thatched roof earth walled home in Dunbars Road, Halswell, Christchurch, New Zealand. To the far left is my great grandfather aged six years.The family emigrated from England, via Australia. In the second photo are my great, great grandparents on their farm in Springston, south east of Christchurch. They both died in 1887 just eleven hours apart. 

Halswell, Christchurch, New Zealand (1868)

Halswell, Christchurch, New Zealand (1868)

In the 1868 photo above is my great grandfather Arthur on the left aged six and my great, great grandparents seated third and fourth from the left. Second from the left is Charles (17), Edwin (4), my great, great grandfather Wilson (44) and he may be holding Ellen (2), George (12), my great, great grandmother Anne (39) holding baby Henry, and William (9).

My  great, great grandparents Wilson and Anne Taylor (1880)

My  great, great grandparents Wilson and Anne Taylor (1880)

My great grandparents Annie & Arthur. My grandfather Arthur Gordon Taylor is the boy to the right.

My great grandparents Annie & Arthur. My grandfather Arthur Gordon Taylor is the boy to the right.