Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Night photos in Heritage Park

Messin with the camera again, I was over in Heritage Park again at dark.  I was on the motorcycle and didn’t have the tripod with me so holding the camera steady was a challenge. 


They play baseball on the other side of the dam, under the lights.  It adds an eerie cast to the little lake.


Zoomed in, it is actually quite dark out by now.  Intelligent Auto used ISO of 1600, too dark and noisy.

I had to start pushing the exposure, as this second shot is 2 stops farther open.  I was using a railing as a tripod.  Forcing the ISO back to 400 and using Program modes.


With the lens opened up shooting off toward the West where the sun was only a memory!


Not too bad for a point and shoot $300 camera.  I think the Panasonic is a keeper!  However, I was not able to use Intelligent Automatic for these shots.  It wasn’t up to the task. I tried both aperture and shutter preferred but settled for shutter preferred as there is not enough difference in the aperture settings to capture the low light.

Had I needed any more than 2 EV of added light, I would have had to go to full manual.  I did get the job done without it.  I am amazed at the lower noise level in the shots with minimal lighting.  Most of my former digital cameras would have been so grainy that the subject would have become secondary.

I think taking pictures on the edge of the camera’s capability is a good way to distinguish one camera from another.

Cell Phone Troubles

Today I tried to find a solution to our cell phone problem from this weekend.  Sometime on Friday, Loyce accidentally dropped her blackberry into the sink as she was unloading swimming stuff from her bag.  There was just enough water to ruin it.  Damn the luck!

We tried the home remedy suggested on the internet site of leaving it in a bowl of rice for three days.  That made it come on, but the display is toast!!

Since these things are purchased on a two year contract, and we are only one year into the period, there is no solution other than paying full list price for a new phone.  Man that is an eye opener!  Otherwise they will help some with the price, IF you sign another 2 year agreement. 

We are not convinced that cell service is headed in the contract direction, as more companies are selling the phones outright and charging a lot more reasonable rates for unlimited services.  Trouble is you have to pay off the contract with a penalty to get out of the monthly.  So pay for a new phone, or pay half or more of a new phone and extend the contract for 2 more years!  How do you win in these choices?

We studied and studied.  Also since we are leaving in the very near future, we do not have time to get the phone shipped to us before we leave.  So late in the day, I went over to Wall Mart and bought a prepaid phone for under $100 and we put the sim card out of the drowned phone in it.  It came right up and works nicely.  Not with near as many features, but perhaps it will tide us over until the contract expires, and we can make a better decision based on technology and availability at that time.

I just hate it when companies have your hands tied into an expensive price, and expensive monthlies.  They seem to have to make a home run on everyone!

Retired Rod


  1. Yep, I think that Panasonic is a keeper as well. Camera's generally work well on 'Auto' but it's not till you pull them off that setting that the real photo fun begins. Night stuff is a real challenge but the results can be very rewarding. You did well with the hand held reflections & other low light scenes. As far as cell phones go I still don't see the big need for the darn things other than emergencies. Why is it so important for people to be constantly yakking at each other anyway. What ever happened to nice quiet smoke signals.....

  2. That Panasonic is a great little camera, when I got the Canon, Donna took over the Lumix we had, she took a lot of pictures on our vacation with it and on a lot of shots you could not tell they were taken with the 7 megapixel Lumix versus the 12 megapixel Canon, if you looked close you might tell. We went through the same thing with Verizon on my cell phone, it got wet when I was unloading luggage from the bus in a rainstorm,Donna had gotten three identical phones for a family pack with a 3 year contract, we had about 2 years left on the contract and they said it wasn't covered,The Verizon store where she got them wanted full price for a replacement phone.($200) We said no, and when I went to PA. to visit my brother, I stopped at the Verizon store in Scranton PA. I told the manager my tale of woe and how I was dissapointed that Verizon wouldn't work with us after getting a 3 year contract on 3 phones, and he said , tell you what I'll give you a replacement for $40, Evidently they have some descretionary pricing. So that's what we went with. That putting the chip in the Walmart phone was a stroke of genius, I would have never thought of that, but again I'm an analog guy in a digital world.Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  3. Nice job on those night shots. It looks like your Lumix handled them pretty well. I'll have to give that a try sometime myself.

    The whole cellphone contract thing is a real racket. I often wonder if they abandoned the contract gimmick and charged for the phones, if the price of them wouldn't drop to the level they are without the contracts!

  4. You oughta try a Canadian cell phone Rod, then you will know what getting scre#$& feels like. About $0.35 a minute after those initial included minutes that you pay only about $0.20 for. We love our American Walmart prepaid phone, that we use when we are south of the Medicine Line, a lot as it is only about $0.08 a minute and that includes long distance too.

  5. Great night pictures, especially when you consider that you didn't have a tripod! Have you decided where you are going on your Colorado trip? Hugs, JoAnn

  6. Call the blackberry factory support for a solution. A small amt of moisture should not have the drastic effects you're seeing if the phone is only a year old. The service provider is only the middle-man in this event.

    Good Luck, Chuck

    Long time lurker but enjoy your adventures.

  7. I love the night shots. The lights on the water are beautiful.


Anonymous comments had to be eliminated.... For the most part this has removed unwanted responses.. If you can't post your comments, please email me and we will make other arrangements...