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Thread: More Blueberry Wine

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    close to Lake Ontario in Burlington, ON Canada
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    Default More Blueberry Wine

    Rang my friend Hans a week after we had drained two bottles of blueberry wine. Told him I had exposed both rolls of film from the Exa. “Good” he replied, “Have you thought of my offer for lunch? “Nothing yet, I don’t want to leave Mum (who’d experienced a minor blackout the week before.) I replied. “He rang off.

    In the meantime, my own world is still cancer related, what with regular monthly checkups and blood work. My oncologist let me know exactly what would happen next in the long term second series of treatments; he suggested I not travel to a foreign country, account my strength still had not returned post chemo, and I am not able to purchase health/travel insurance due to the chemo and surgery. And Mum at 90 having had a blackout meant i didn't want to venture too far in any event.

    The next day was a Friday, and asked Mum if I could leave and she said “OK, but take your phone with you and leave it turned on if I need you,” So drove to the house of Hans, had strong morning coffee on the back patio in the sun, and then we descended to the dark room. It all came back after many years. How to load film in stainless steel Kindermann reels, drop the two reels in the tank, add developer and go through the process, all in the dark. The large GraLab timer on the wall, the same one used for printing was my guide. Hans sat on the spare stool in the dark room and watched me try and remember what I had not done for over twenty years. He handed me the wash, the fixer and the rinse as I needed them. He was quick to note that I was just as fussy doing my film as I was in past years.

    The squawk box made noise as Emma told us lunch would be served in fifteen minutes. The film was removed from the reels one at a time and carefully hung in the drying closet, but not before Hans took out the two racks holding some processed black and white sheet film from the night before. He said, “have been playing with a new to me view camera and the images are wonderful. If you have some time we can review the proofs over an afternoon glass of blueberry wine.

    Lunch was on the back patio. Emma did herself proud. Enough food for an army! Wiener schnitzel in all of its forms, sauerkraut, and blueberry pie with clotted cream. Emma left us alone, to talk. Again strong black coffee was served. He asked if I had purchased the slide copier. Told him no, as I couldn’t justify the price of almost C$1500.00 it would cost. Told him and showed him the slide copies I had done on my Canon flatbed scanner. He looked at them and said “yah, these look good but how do they look under the high power loupe?” Told they were passable for web use. Hans nodded his head and said, “come downstairs, we need to package your film, and I’ll pass judgment on the scans. Bring your coffee. “

    Downstairs he showed me how he rolls film to keep it clean and did so for my rolls. He then put on labels and told me” we’ll keep these here for now. You need to get back into printing. The Bessler is there for you to use, but that’s for the later, mid-winter, not now.”

    He looked at my computer scans and announced “these are quite good, you were wise to not buy the Nikon slide scanner.”

    He pointed me upstairs with the comment “We need to go and look at some things this afternoon. Hans went to say goodbye to Emma and tell her we were going out for a bit and we’d be back for late tea and some wine.

    As we drove Hans said “it’s time for you to look at a proper DSLR. It is wrong for me to try and keep your digital experience confined to a handheld 3.1 megapixel camera. “

    I blinked and said “what did you have in mind?”

    We drove to a dealer I hadn’t been to in over a year. This dealership had always been good to me however they went fully digital years early, was one of Fuji Canada’s showplace dealers and hence couldn’t help me when I needed to purchase film. Hans had been up to his old tricks. I parked the car and followed Hans inside.

    “Good, you got him! “ noted Digby Wright part owner of the shop. The other two principals Andy Duncan and Bob Carruthers came out to greet me.

    “Is there a conspiracy here, “ I asked?

    Digby replied “no, but Hans was in here a few days ago to pickup some parts for one of the Fuji cameras he was repairing and mentioned you; what you’d been through and he thought maybe it was time you looked at a “proper” digital single lens reflex. “

    Into the back room we were ushered where the low, mid-range and top of the range of Pentax, Sony, Canon, Nikon and Fuji were on a table, along with the appropriate glass for each. Was told to listen to the demonstration for each before making a decision. Bob and Digby spent about half an hour for the entire range of cameras, all DSLR. I really liked the Pentax and the Nikon. Found the Sony not quite what I wanted and the Fuji although a beautiful bit of kit very expensive. The Canon camera although lovely glass felt like it was cheap and flimsy. So it was down to the Pentax or the Nikon.

    Digby excused himself, he and Andy had a shop to operate, Bob put a memory card in the Pentax, told me to go outside and shoot, and shoot and shoot. Hans took the D40X and did the same thing.

    Half an hour later we wandered back. The memory cards were removed and placed in the viewing unit. The D40X was first. Yikes, I was shocked that such a low-priced camera could do that quality. Next the Pentax. Not quite as good as the D40X in my opinion. So took one small section of each of the selected images and enlarged them, the D40X was much better for detail than the Pentax.

    “But I am biased” I told Bob, “what about the D200?” He said “here, let me put a CF card in and you go play, and don’t forget the card is only 512K, and you’re shooting RAW!” Hans took a D80 and did the same thing.

    So I repeated the exercise. It was getting later in the afternoon, so set the camera on automatic and shot into the setting sun and everywhere I thought I could make the camera fail to register an image. Brought it back and put the CF card in the viewer. Ditto for the card from the D80.

    Amazing, as good if not better than the D40X. I looked Hans, he shrugged his shoulders and said “that slide copying machine is about the same price as a D200 body, what do you really want?”

    Well readers, you can probably guess. Yes I purchased the D200 and am using a 28-105 f4.5 zoom for its primary glass. The price was also quite amazing. When I asked why, was advised there was a 12 megapixel D300 on the way as well as new D3. I paid including somewhat less than the total price of $1500 including taxes.

    We returned to the house of Hans, cold blueberry wine was on the back patio! Emma joined us and made comment on the latest toys. Hams looked at her and said "woman, we have our treats, you have yours, now pour us some wine, and get another bottle for our guest." This blueberry wine tasted different; a friend of Hans bottles his own, I liked it better than mine!

    Hans commented“you’ll need some big Compact Flash cards for that D200, bigger capacity than what you had in the D100. What about those wide-angle lenses? The 28-105 will do you for now, maybe convert your extra glass and hardware into compact flash cards?

    The following day, went back to the shop on my own, traded in a pair of prime wide-angle lenses (including one obtained from California) and the F80SLR. In exchange received four Sandisk Extreme IV 4.0 GB cards. For your information the 4 gig cards listed at C$175.00 each. Figure I did fairly well given all.

    Have I gone totally digital? Nope. Like a certain member on this list, still will use both slide and digital. Both have their place. Hans also traded in his D100 (for C$200 (how the mighty have fallen)) the same day and bought a D200; he purchased a 17-55 mm AF-S ZM NIK G DX f2.8 lense for C$1800. His comment “Emma buys her toys, I buy my toys, we are both happy!

    1.The first photograph is of VIA 73 westbound on newly constructed track 3 (at mileage 33) of CN's Oakville Subdivision. Track Speed is 5 mph maximum. The cars and locomotive swung and swayed as they moved along the track. This third track was built to accommodate frequent GO Transit passenger trains, which tracks one and two to the north of track 3 are unable to accommodate during rush hours.

    2. During the construction of track three the area surrounding the wye and yard tracks south of the Oakville Subdivision at the location of the former CNR Burlington station were used for railway car and equipment staging. To avoid the requirement of a locomotive to shunt railway cars a number of Mack Chassis trucks were used as shunters. These are not the Brandt design vehicles constructed in western Canada. A railway coupler is on the rear of the frame, weight is maintained by the load of new sleepers on the bed of the truck. Traction is provided by dual tyres and small railway wheels for guidance. There were three of these devices working that same day (August 5, 2007) shuffling empty orange coloured multiple bay hoppers used for ballast delivery to the new number three track.

    3. The final photograph was taken August 12, 2007 same location although just east of mile 33 and the overhead signal bridge. The moon was rising, the ATCS setup belonging to a friend was active so was included in the photograph. Hand held one second at f4.0.

    Bryce Lee
    Last edited by Bryce; 06-08-2008 at 02:58 AM.

  2. #2

    Default

    First of all, my "edits" consisted solely of cleaning up some strange line breaks, no text was changed.

    This is a great story, and it's a nice 'next chapter' to your previous essay. It's interesting to follow your foray into digital photography and see where you end up.

    I like it, and you've already fixed my only complaint, that the images were too small originally, so I vote for approval.
    Bob Harbison
    RailroadPhotoEssays host

  3. #3

    Default

    Once again Bryce allows us to listen in on private conversations, both with others and with himself. Once again the photos, although fun to see, are really secondary.

    This is like reading someone's private journal. A little uncomfortable in a way but at the same time I can't help but read on. I catch myself stopping and looking around, hoping no one will catch me snooping into Bryce's private thoughts.

    Good stuff...I vote to approve.

    Martin Burwash

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Zanesville, Ohio
    Posts
    271

    Default

    I vote to approve.
    Chris Crook
    photojournalist

    pictures and yap

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by crook View Post
    I vote to approve.
    OK, but can you tell us a little bit more? (BTW, I already voted yes, so you can see I agree...)

    Please remember, part of the goal here is to provide at least some kind of feedback on the essays, what worked and what didn't.

    I'm not asking for an essay in response, but a line or two telling why you liked it would really be helpful....
    Bob Harbison
    RailroadPhotoEssays host

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    close to Lake Ontario in Burlington, ON Canada
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    Default line breaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    First of all, my "edits" consisted solely of cleaning up some strange line breaks, no text was changed.
    Suspect it's the writing software I use..
    an older version of Appleworks, once known as ClarisWorks.
    And the program has been modified to suit my needs.
    As long as people can read and decipher...

    Bryce Lee

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    close to Lake Ontario in Burlington, ON Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Burwash View Post
    Once again Bryce allows us to listen in on private conversations, both with others and with himself. Once again the photos, although fun to see, are really secondary.

    This is like reading someone's private journal. A little uncomfortable in a way but at the same time I can't help but read on. I catch myself stopping and looking around, hoping no one will catch me snooping into Bryce's private thoughts.

    Martin Burwash
    The only person who'll look over shoulder will be Janice,
    my telepathy abilities are not quite that far-ranging, yet.

    As to private thoughts, tend to be somewhat descriptive of happenings,
    more I suspect because of my background of having to describe to students of various age and maturity groups how things work in the audio-visual and these days media production
    field. Unless you can describe how, why, what, when, and where in short
    snippets, you'll lose your audience quickly.

    I doubt if my audience on this forum is immature; probably a hell of
    a lot brighter than many of us give credit.

    As to credits Martin, you've just received an A++!

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