Tag Archives: trees

Photography: Don’t Be Fooled by Big Numbers and Fancy Paint Jobs

Very often, as I peruse the ‘used’ cameras upon EBAY, I pause when confronted by low prices, big spec, or natty colour schemes. But seldom do I bite. Last week was an exception. I’d first noticed the very attractive and well specified Samsung WB30F a couple of years past; but it was always too expensive to warrant spending money on a camera that I didn’t need. So when no one else seemed interested in said camera, I bought it at rock bottom price. Today it arrived, and so I rushed outside to give it a try. But, just as a comparison test, I grabbed another camera (at random) and took a picture of the same subject within seconds of the Samsung shot. Below is a group photo…

Top  right is the WiFi able, 16 megapixel Samsung with its x10 zoom. Top left the rather lower spec 7 megapixel, x7 zoom Ricoh Caplio R5. Below each camera is the photo taken with it. Now you tell me how the Samsung is more desirable and worth so much more than the Ricoh. And (rhetorically) why does the older camera out-perform the newer? Answer: the lens. Look at the pissy little opening on the Samsung.  How’s that supposed to let enough light in? Then regard the Olympic swimming pool sized one on the Ricoh. Nuff sed. So when browsing for a camera, forget the spec and the colour: just let your eye measure the lens.

P.S I still like the Samsung though. I mean, look at it: it’s so pretty!

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

A while back – probably longer than I imagine – I posted some pictures of plastic bags in the wild. By that I mean plastic bags that had almost disapppeared beneath the debris, soil, leaflitter, etc that had been produced over the decades that the aforementioned plastic bags had lain, untended and forgotten in the woods. Well, recently, as I took a stroll along a Deer trail in another wood entirely, I stumbled across this black plastic bag, that – judging by its almost perfect and shiny condition – appeared to be a relatively new arrival…

Aware that there had been considerable and recent forestry worker activity there, I was quite disgusted that they should litter the forest so – they did, after all, leave a temporatry lavatory behind, which I didn’t approach, despite my apparent obsession with toilets. But then I paused to take in the lay of the land. The thick, almost impenetrable undergrowth that I recalled had long gone – to be replaced by a carpet of ground ivy – but I recognised my location in a second. Speaking aloud to myself, I said:

“If I find some galvanised steel grilles, this is it.”

Kicking at the ivy for maybe five seconds revealed this…

Like the plastic bag, its condition was excellent. Not a trace of rust anywhere – despite being submerged in soil and tree roots. I figured I had my litter culprit. But just to make sure I stepped back a few paces and regarded the trees closest…

Yup, there they were: the three trees that in 1974 had been mere saplings – to which my pal, Steve, and I had tied poles to form the support of a den roof. We’d also collected chicken coope grilles and used agricultural bags from a nearby farmer’s dump. But having begun the construction we were interrupted, and – being teenagers – instead of returning to complete the task, we forgot all about it, and did something else equally unimportant. Judging by the condition of those man-made den components, kids in a hundred years will still be able to finish the job for us. I’d like to think they will – assuming the wood is still there of course. And it goes to show just how well made things were in the sixties and seventies. Buy it once: never need replace it.