Thursday, May 26, 2011

The SD95, its quirks and a hot rose

I have been testing two point and shoot cameras. The first is my 'old' SD880, which suffers from a sensor spot, which is nerve-wracking when more and more pictures are destined for professional purposes* (and it still tickles me that good point and shoots yield printable, professional quality pictures. Thank you, technology) - the spot means I must find and exterminate it in Photoshop. Then there is my new, not-yet-loved Canon SD95, a whole new breed of point and shoot, which may actually train me to be a more thoughtful photographer. It also shoots RAW, which is one of the reasons I chose it after reading reviews extensively (and fretting for months) - and it has a wider angle. I find I am shooting fewer macros (its macro is not quite as good as the 880's) and more scenes. BUT. Last night I hated my pictures of the terrace, shot with the brand new 95. The blues were wrong (the iris blues were wrong, too), and the image not as crisp as I would have liked. I was so depressed. So tonight I set the same table (and even mixed the same drinks!) and tried with the 880. Blues are fine. Then I re-shot with SD95 and discovered a few things. So Vince and I are delving into the 95's innards and settings and I am realizing a thing or two about my technical knowledge, and also laughing somewhat at the fact that my fancy little camera is going to force me to use manual settings more...

* Of course Vince's old Rebel has been my new favourite thing for the last six months. Especially when attached to a telephoto. It's just so big to lug around. The small camera fits into every day without a squeak. The Rebel with long lens makes its presence felt and suddenly you are a Photographer instead of a photographer.

Are you still awake?

These pictures are taken with the SD880, the old Canon. The SD95's battery poops out fast, after 200 pictures. That's two to three days, for me, and quite annoying. I knew about it when I bought it and figured I'd have to get used to it, as all newer cameras are heading in the same direction there. I always have two batteries and charge one while the other is slipped into its slot (wouldn't it be nice if we humans had a spare battery at all times? Instead we have to sleep. Or meditate. Or garden. Or meet in the woods).

On another note, the Pat Austin (apricot-orange below) does not realize that her days are numbered. Sad, but true. I only have two shrub roses, and I expect them to perform reliably. Eglantyne met with the same fate last year. If I had six, maybe she could stay. She hates the heat. Today her buds opened and drooped from sunrise to sunset. Over. Pat Austin is not a heat tolerant rose, no matter what they say, and it is only late May. This is her second summer on the terrace and I had hoped she might have settled in and toughened up. But no. Afternoon shade might be good thing for this rose, but here there is sun from sunup to an hour before sundown (I was reminded today that sundowners are a peculiarly South African concept - drinks at sundown). I want another Abraham Darby (pink, below), I think, as that rose is just astonishing (see how it bounced back from the brink, here). But if anyone knows - from experience - of another David Austin, or other rose, for that matter, that is an excellent repeat bloomer with fragrance, and that does not just give up in the heat, please let me know.  Perhaps I will be inspired tonight, in Deb's garden [weird, I just read that post again. I had updated it with a note about a double tornado dream I had - that was in May. On September 16th  two tornadoes touched down in Brooklyn and Queens).

In tomorrow's news, Dead Horse Bay, high tides, otter spoor, a new edible weed, broken glass, scavenged bottles for It...


  1. I still love my old Pentax, but I realized last night I haven't used it in about 5 years, when we found and developed film in it that turns out to have been double-exposed baby pics of my son. I've gotten seduced by digital. But I'm still a total amateur.

    I love your photos. :)

  2. And I am a huge fan of super-zoom bridge cameras, specifically my Panasonic FZ35. All of the good things of a DSLR (can shoot manually,shoots RAW or if you're lazy you can let the camera decide through 27+ different settings), plus you can add lens attachments if you wish.

    I tried out a friend's Nikon DSLR, but the weight caused my hand to shake even more than it normally does (old horseback riding accident which caused nerve damage).

    I'll never be at the level of a professional photographer, but using the Panasonic gives me a lot of pleasure.

    Could you ship the Pat Austin to North Carolina? I get plenty of shade in the afternoon on my patio.

  3. Yes, Pat Austin would be much happier(and , likely, more prolific) with afternoon shade and warmth, as opposed to ferocious heat.If you want to send it to Karen, just put up with Pat til fall then do the growers' bare-root thing.
    And if you can lease every roof in your block you could have Graham Thomas!And buy a big chain saw!
    Written in Australia, but full of good info: Fragrant Roses by Susan Irvine.Published here by Hyland House. If you can't find it I can send you my copy.

  4. How about Eden Rose 85? One of my favorites. Only negative thing is that the flowers tend to hang after rain due to the large flowers and weak stems.

  5. Have just bought my second Rebel, the T2i. I considered spending way up and getting a Canon5D, but I've loved my first Rebel (Ti) since I bought it in late 2007. I carry 3 lenses: Sigma 17-70 for wide angle (GREAT lens, and does very good macro shots); Canon 100 Macro, plus extension tube; and Canon 75-300 (kind of a toy telephoto, but it's what I've got.) Then I have an old 28-105 zoom lying around if I need an extra mid-range lens in an emergency. With 3 lenses in my camera bag and very old shoulders, camera weight was a serious consideration, and the lightweight Rebel T2i fits the bill. (Didn't feel the need to spend the extra $200 for the newest Rebel T3i just to get a swivelling LCD screen). I haven't taken my new camera out of the box yet, but I know it will be great: 18MB compared to the 10MB of the XTi, plus HD video. etc. And I never shoot RAW anymore, too much hard drive consumed. Just large files and import into Photoshop.

  6. Holy crap: camera speak. Yikes! I love your photos Marie--these photos particularly. Not sure how much inspiration found in my jardin--maybe for bearded irises and large headed peonies? Is there room on the 66 sq feet?

  7. How timely. I was just complaining to my wife about our 5 year old camera and its shortcomings. I was about to email our professional photographer friend for recommendations to start my search for a replacement. This is great.

    It's a deep red climbing rose, but we love Don Juan. I would never have picked it out (it was given to my wife as a present by a neighbor) but it is a beauty, not insanely vigorous, and a tidy rebloomer.

  8. Look up the Austin rose by the name of 'Tamara.' If you could get even one sniff online, you'd order one or more immediately.

  9. A post about cameras and roses. Up my alley! I totally hear you on the desire to be discreet as a photographer -- and yes, point and shoots are a lot easier to manage. Even easier? iPhones! I can't say enough about how fun it is to shoot with my phone. Even if you sacrifice a bit of quality, there's something to be said for how immediate it is.

    Modern convenience aside, I've always secretly wished to see your terrace photographed in film. (Or do it myself. Medium format, Fuji Provia for its beautiful greens. Maybe Fuji Velvia at dusk.) Though it's always fun to get new state-of-the-art toys, I can't help but swoon for the vintage look. Nothing like the grain of film...

    Great, now I can't stop thinking about photographing 66 Square Feet. Maybe someday, pretty please??! :D


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