Wednesday 26 February 2014

A Wet Leaf, and a Few Thoughts

Olympus OM-D E-M5, m.Zuiko 40-150 R

This is mostly just a photography post. The above image is one of my favourite shots from my late September visit to the High Falls at Onaping Falls, ON. This was on the edge of a small stream that skirts the edge of the falls. High Falls is a classic example of Northern Ontario scenery and in mid-fall colour as it was is an absolutely stunning area to visit. Living down in the relative flat & bland landscape of Southern Ontario, I really do miss the epic landscapes of my youth in Southern BC and Northern Ontario. Northern Ontario in particular gives you so many chances at gorgeous intimate nature shots as well as some epic rocky landscapes.

On the gear front, I've cancelled my pre-order for the Fuji 35/1.4, I still intend to acquire it at some point, but I felt that the investment would be more valuable if applied to other items right now. So instead I acquired a Voigtlander 28mm finder, the HG-XM1 grip for the X-M1/X-A1 and a Domke F-802 bag. The finder is well suited to my preference for working primarily with the 18/2, it's a little bit tight in framing (the 18/2 is a 27mm equivalent in 135 format terms) but is nice & bright and works pretty well so far. There's a slight intrusion from the lens hood, but it's minor. I'll probably do the same thing with the Voigtlander 21/25mm finder when I acquire the XF 14/2.8 R, although I expect more VF intrusion with the combo of a wider finder and a larger lens. The grip really does improve the handling, although it also has to be removed for access to the battery/card compartment. I do wish Fuji would do a MHG series grip for the X-M1/X-A1 twins, as those grips have Arca-Swiss rails and cutouts for the battery compartment, but I do understand why Fuji wouldn't do a $150 grip for a $400 camera. The bag is just another stop on the way in my search for the perfect camera bag. In this case I'm looking for a good everyday shoulder bag for my 13" MacBook Air + accessories and camera+lenses, preferably with some extra storage for purchases and other items I might need. This is going to be my everyday bag, the one I carry everywhere.

On the online presence front, I'm abandoning Google+ again. After a month or so of participation it's clear that G+ does not work for me, I simply don't like the apersonal level of interaction and the UI drives me to distraction. The lousy integration between accessing your image albums via G+ and via Picasa Web Albums is also annoying, why do I need to switch UI's just to get a simple direct link to my image for posting? Flickr, for all its weaknesses, is simply less painful to use and better supports getting my content in and out of it. G+ makes it almost impossible to link posts from elsewhere automatically and difficult to push posts out to other platforms. Frankly at this point I see G+ as Twitter for people who have an attention span, the interaction model is quite similar, although the content is FAR better. But I only use twitter as a method of broadcast interaction, and it's automated, and G+ doesn't really allow for the sort of integration I can do with Twitter.

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