Getting out the F-80

Yellow Daffodils

Originally uploaded by gregorypleau.

I’ve been a bit lazy for the last little while, using Kristen’s digital camera for most of my pictures.

The digital lets me get a bit lazy about things, if I take a picture with the wrong aperture or shutter speed, no big deal – just take it again. Not the best habit to get into if I want to be taking reliable photos of subjects that DON’T stay still.

So I blew the dust of my SLR, and immediately remembered what I like about it. Composing a photo is just so much better with that camera. Of course mistakes are discovered a week later when you get the film back but when it works – boy does it work.

I just have to remember, not to try and handhold a shot that’s slower than 1/60 ….

It’s election season

Yesterday and today mark the annual election dates for the two Amateur Radio clubs that I’m a member of. Last night I joined several other operators that will make up the executive of the Peel Amateur Radio Club for 2006-2007. I’m filling the role of the Public Relations person, and I have big shoes to fill in this regard, as Eddie VA3EDP did a pretty darn good job. I’m up for the challenge though and look forward to the experience. Hopefully I’ll still be saying that this time next year. Keith Watson, one of the geocachers I go out caching with is the club’s Vice President now.
Tonight is the elections for the Halton Amateur Radio Club, and this ought to be an interesting night as well. The club meetings are held pretty close to one of my busier geocaches too.

1000 Visits to the photostream

Red Tulips in the Sun

Originally uploaded by gregorypleau.

Well, I checked this morning, and I’ve hit a little milestone on Flickr. 1042 visits to my photostream. I hope that you people out there are enjoying my photos as much as I enjoy taking them.

I’m routinely travelling with three cameras at any given time now.

– I’ve got the lame camera in my cell phone, 1megapixel, f2.8, 4x digital zoom that handles white balance about as good as a sleeping bat.

– There’s the Pentax Optio 555 – which is my wife’s camera actually – with a 5X optical zoom and 5 megapixel. The bulk of my flickr photos are posted from this camera. It handles like a miniature SLR some days.

– And I carry a Nikon F-80 with two lenses – the 28-105mm Nikkor AF and the 70-300mm Nikkor AF. This is the most capable of the cameras that I own, but also the most costly to run.

I’ve also shot photos with my older Canon Powershot A20 (that I still have!) and I can still go back to my dad’s old Nikon Nuvis camera – remember Advanced Photo System? They brought that out just in time for film to get killed off by digital. Ooooops!

As spring is here another one of my favorite photography times is upon us. I’m looking forward to the next 1000 visitors, and the photos that they’ll see.

Good Morning (Dove)

Good Morning (Dove)

Originally uploaded by gregorypleau.

This is one of the two doves starting a family in my next door neighbour’s wall-planter. They’re unbelievably tolerant of people coming and going, and even let me grab this picture from just a couple feet away.

They weren’t quite as impressed when I brought Latte (my cat) out to show them, but fortunately they didn’t get too excited and Latte constricted her activities to watching them.

The last couple days I come out my front door, there are doves on my porch – so I think it’s them teasing Latte now. We normally get a finch nest in our Maple tree out front so I’ll have to wait for them and get the Nikon out when they show up. The one with the telephoto lens so I’m not disturbing them

Not how I planned to spend my afternoon

I really should know better than to take this strecth of highway. This is Drumbo, and of every ten trips I take to London or Chatham that I get stopped in traffic on, 9 of those stops will occur here.

Normally I find it’s the trucks that can’t stick to the road around here, but in this case a motorcyclist tempted fate and lost it appears. He was whisked away in an Air Ambulance, but I suspect he may have had a passenger as well, because another ambulance took off on the other side of the road lights a blazing. Hopefully both of them survived to live another day. The cyclist tore the front off the bike so I’m not optimisitic on that.

I took the opportunity to snap off a couple pictures of the traffic backlog, from a place I don’t normally get to stand.

Quiet Harbour

Quiet Harbour

Originally uploaded by gregorypleau.

Another one of my favorite subjects, sunsets. I was trying to go for some composure here, using the tree at the top to lead the eye up and away from the subject.

The Marina itself has lines that draw the eye into the centre, toward the sunset. I used the program mode for sunsets on the camera for this one, my little digital here is quite clever at certain cliche items like sunsets and fireworks.

First to Find #9

Same old, same old has been happening with regards to the race to be first at a geocache, otherwise known as FTF; First-to-find. I went out and grabbed my 9th last night. For those of you keeping score on such things, I’ve found 840 caches so far, and I was the first person to crack open that nice clean, crisp and dry logbook 9 times. So 0.01% of the time I’m out geocaching I grab a FTF.

There are other cachers in the area that I live in that have a much greater thirst for these… often a cache is found within 30 minutes to 2 hours of being posted. Since I’ve got a day-job, I don’t tend to really pay much attention to a “Published” email from unless it comes at 4:30 and it’s along my commute.

This one sat out there for 8 hours before we hiked up to it, that’s after spending a half hour looking at every grave marker in a cemetery some kilometers away. Needless to say, we were rather surprised to find the logbook empty by the time we got to it. Still, it’s nice to get one once in a while.  FTF #9 for me, shared with Kristen (Kitten on the Hunt) who got her second.

Buffalo Fireworks from the Canadian Side

The “Order of the BFL” as we call our night caching group once again found a way to prove that there are scenic things to see when out on the trails at night.

In this case, the trail happened to be paved. While we were completing a multi-cache along the Niagara Parkway (based on the war of 1812) we looked left and saw a good reason to ignore stage 7 for a little while.

It seems that someone was having a party in Buffalo! Hard to see fireworks during the day….

Pardon my dust!

I’ve decided to take the plunge and try out a different software package for my website here. Up to now, I’ve been using blosxom – and it’s been a champ, particularly when it comes to that automatic geocache log post script I’ve got running.

Thing is, WordPress seems to have a better development community around it so there are just so many cool things I can do with this software – like posting my photos direct from flickr, or use my PDA to write articles offline and post them later.

I managed to find the import button, which should have brought most of the old content forward, with the exception of the geocaching logs. I’m not really up on the WordPress API yet to make another auto-script. The other thing is that I prefer to keep those logs seperate so they don’t take over the entire website.

Bad news for you, the person reading this, is that you’ll have to update your rss feed again.

Photoblog: RSSC Listening Station

This picture was a bit rushed, as we didn’t want the gate closed on us. This is the Regional Spectrum Services Center in Acton. It’s one of the facilities that Industry Canada uses to monitor the radio spectrum in the Greater Toronto Area. The tower is 200′, but it is the same elevation as the observation deck on the CN Tower due to the escarpment.

We had a pretty interesting tour of this facility last night.