Colorado away!

Liftoff of a Colorado-themed hot air balloon at the closing session of the (rain plagued) 50th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Colorado away!

We haven’t had a chance to attend the Fiesta for years, but this year’s event lined up perfectly with some family travel we had on the calendar. We showed up in town the Friday night at the end of the Fiesta, just in time for the Saturday morning and evening main events to be cancelled due to bad weather (an unusually wet October for New Mexico meant many events were cancelled through the week).

Luckily for spectators and the remaining balloonists, the weather improved overnight, so the Sunday morning mass ascension could still take place. A lot of pilots had given up before that point, so it was a relatively “thin” mass ascension, but we were all happy to see a respectable number of balloons airborne.

OM Digital OM-1, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 II lens
34mm, f/13, 1/80 sec, ISO 200

LS-P4 vs. LS-P5 audio recorders — an early comparison

The fine folks at OM System have just announced the upcoming release of their new LS-P5 audio recorder (it’s now available for pre-order). A variety of tutorial-centric videos have been released as part of this announcement, but I couldn’t find a direct comparison of the LS-P5 to its (slightly dated but still pretty good) predecessor, the LS-P4 (update on that situation is below).

LS-P5 Photo

Photo courtesy of OM System

So based on available information, I pulled together my own high-level comparison — I’ve got an LS-P4, and wanted to know if the new gadget would be worth the upgrade for me. Continue reading

Vernazza afternoon

Looking down on the Cinque Terre town of Vernazza on a stormy afternoon. The harbor would normally be full of small boats at this time of day, but they were all pulled out of the water due to dynamic sea conditions.

Vernazza afternoon

Earlier this year, we were able to spend a bit of time in Italy. Out of this, we had three days to rattle around in Cinque Terre — a group of 5 old fishing towns. They’re quite a photogenic group, although I’d vote for Vernazza as the prettiest. They’re all also connected by both a seaside hiking trail, and shuttle service on the local rail line — so you’ve got multiple options for getting around to see the sights, as a function of your schedule and exercise tolerance. I took this shot from the trail on the north side of town — not terribly far to go for a “postcard” view.

Olympus E-M1III, M.Zuiko 8-25mm f/4 lens
8mm, f/11, ISO 200, 1/200 sec

SmallRig cages compared — Olympus E-M1III vs. OM System OM-1

Like many photographers in the Olympus / OM System world, I’m in the process of upgrading my photography gear from the E-M1III to the OM-1. Fortunately, SmallRig just started shipping a camera cage for the OM-1, since their long-unavailable cage for the E-M1II (which also fit the E-M1III) does *not* fit the OM-1.┬áBefore I sell off the old cage, I thought it might be helpful to compare the two models for anybody that may be in the market for one or the other.

At a high level, there are some key changes: some mounting points went away, or moved; the overall shape changed just slightly (in the process, access to body-front buttons is improved); and the new cage has a built-in Arca-Swiss mounting plate and captive attachment tool.

Front views compared Continue reading

Just a little walk in the woods

A calm, yet colorful scene in Keukenhof Park, Netherlands.

Just a little walk in the woods

What can I say about Keukenhof….? Well, it’s a big flower garden / park outside of Amsterdam, that’s only open to the public for 2 months out of the year — and during those two months, it’s covered in mind-blowing levels of floral color. We were able to visit it this year, and it’s got to be one of the most amazing visual experiences that I’ve ever had.

Continue reading