31 December 2010

New Year's

Well, I've got all the emergency lights charged up, which is a normal end-of-month thing.

I thought "hey, I haven't used the camp cookware at all this year; I should make sure nothing has gone wrong in there", and, well, about 100 L of water later, I have the remnants of the Sea Suds out of the dry bag that holds the camp cookware, and am considering what to do with the rest of said soap, since sitting in Sea Suds seems to have pitted the aluminium pot.  Somewhere in there the dry bag fell over in the sink and managed to inundate the counter top and the floor and generally make Aoife go hide, but, hey, the kitchen floor could well have used that mopping.

I have at least some employment next year; I got into the home bike mechanic's course I wanted to take in February, there's an actual frame with my name on it and I sent in my final decision on paint colour today.   My computer died the death (that very distinctive motherboard capacitor pop) on the 22nd of December, and I was -- not without some budget flailing, but I was -- able to replace its innards with parts that weren't 4.5 years old.  It's fast again.

I'm warm, I have food, I have work, I'm not bored, and this seems overwhelmingly likely to continue for the foreseeable, so things are pretty good.

Didn't get anything like as much birding done this fall as I would have liked; that work-life balance thing wasn't, and I need to get better at that.  But I did get in some, and have seen my first California Gull, Tufted Titmouse, and Northern Pintail Duck.  And the new-this-year big scope works a treat for distant roosting gulls.

Photography, also not so much.  Part of that is the interesting plateau after "this is cool" where one realizes one completely sucks at this.  In this particular case I have no idea how to stop sucking at it -- aside from heaps of undirected practice -- so there has been less.  One tentative New Year's plan is to try to fix that by buying a K5, which is irrational but might work anyway.

Really quiet week off; pretty much caught up on sleep.    (see also, balance, work, life, not, above.)  Few but very welcome social interactions.

Much better year than 2009.


Unknown said...

As the possessor of too many cameras, I'd suggest analysing how you suck at photography before throwing a new camera body at the problem.

ISTR that bythom.com has some pithy comments about photographers that think a new body will solve their imaging woes.

Graydon said...

Well, lessee --

Some of it is technical; presumably there is some technical help (improved autofocus, higher ISO, fine focus adjust for individual lenses) there so far as a new body goes. (We will leave off wisting after the FA100WR. :)

Some of it is (what appears to be) a complete lack of artistic vision, or even general comprehension of "artistic"; I maybe get craft, but a lot of what appears to make photographs interesting to folks into photography as art I just miss.

Some of it is that the thing I appear to have a bit of a knack for -- candid portraiture -- is something I have considerable ethical issues with.

Some of it is just plain old lack of technical knowledge, or at least, a lack of sufficiently ingrained technical knowledge that I can rapidly apply it. The fix for that is, more than anything, more practice.

So maybe more practice would be a good thing; certainly having a live view, so I have a prayer of getting shots through the effectively f12 telescope in focus, would be usefully nice.

But since so far as I can tell, I know too little to either address the weaknesses nor push the strengths, I can either give up or keep plugging away, and giving in to a certain amount of "shiny!" certainly encourages the plugging away.