Cameras can be fun.

waterfallI’ve always been a camera person or ‘shutterbug’ but I’ve never had very good cameras.  Now with the advent of digital SLR’s, aka DSLR, I’m excited.  I bought my first one about 8 months ago and I can’t put it down.  My experiments in lens choices, exposure settings, and even software for adjusting and retouch – have led me down a road of discovery that has me more enamored than even what happened to me with the personal computer.

So I shoot pictures. Lots of pictures.  And some are great and some are horrible.  But thank goodness that it’s all digital.  I get to see the outcome quickly and readjust for making improvements on the shot and trying again.  While I do this, I learn more and get more of a sense for aperture and exposure and composition.  All of which are the real variables in photography.

galena-creek-lake-tahoe-nvMy choice of camera for my first DSLR is a Canon EOS 5i Rebel.  Love it.  I’ve picked up a couple extra lenses and the only lens that I still feel would be important to have is an adjustable wide angle.  The issue with getting this lens is the near $500 price tag. Gulp.  But I really need it because most of my shots are wide scenic shots.  So this lens would improve my shots a lot.  The owner of the carpet cleaning company that I use frequently is a shutterbug too.  He’s kind of funny because he’s into action shots like motorcycle racing or horse racing, etc.  I’ve seen some of his shots and they’re incredible.  But ask him to take some carpet cleaning or carpet repair pictures, and they look mediocre at best.

lake-tahoe-eastshore-hdrSince I live in the Reno Lake Tahoe area, most of my pictures are of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains.  I belong to a Facebook group called ‘You are Probably From Lake Tahoe’ and the group wall is littered with Tahoe photos from people trying to be professional photographers.  The works they publish here are getting old. Seems like the same stuff gets added all the time.  Really not much new shows up.  So I hope to think of some new pictures to take.  Kind of give Tahoe a more original look.  Some of the shots I’m doing now are in HDR and are pretty interesting.  I’ve also been trying some dark filters and opening the aperture up for longer times to do a motion blur of water.  That’s been pretty fun.

night sky lake tahoe september 2016

The $6000 car adventure begins

I don’t know why I feel like talking about this – but I really want to talk about it.  I bought a $6000 car the other day.  It’s a Volkswagen Jetta TDI.  If you know Volkswagen, you’d probably know that a TDI is a turbo diesel engined car.  VW is not the only car company that uses that designation, some of the other German car companies, in particular, use that.

So, the back story is that a young woman was driving this car through Reno Nevada when the engine blew up.  Seems that she’d been ignoring maintanence on it and was overdue for a timing belt (hell, I didn’t even know that diesel engines had a timing belt).  But, she blew it up either way.

Her father just said to leave the car with the repair shop and go by a new car.  So my friend Marvin, who owns the shop, got title of the car and rebuilt the engine.

So, here was this white Jetta with a near perfect interior, and a very good exterior, and a brand new powerplant.  I had to have it!.

Now, I did discover one issue – the windshield is brand new and does not have any tint.  Neither do any of the side windows.  I contacted a new car window tinting company, Reno Tahoe Window Tint to get a quote.  They came up with $185 to do all the windows and a strip across the front window.  I think it’s a good price, I just feel funny doing this kind of work to my beater car.  But, it’s Reno and a good window tint will save me in the heat of the summer.

Tonight, I did notice that I have a parking light lamp out.  I hope it’s alot less expensive to replace than the one on my BMW.  That thing was a ridiculous $350 to replace.  Crazy!