Sunday, March 6, 2011

Eventful Week / The LX5 / The IR d5000

In this blog, I poorly showcase my new Panasonic Lumix LX5. This is also the dawn of infrared shooting with the converted Nikon D5000.

I was a little underwhelmed by the Nikon P6000; I think it is a great camera (see my review). My problem is that the images look much like the D5000 but just not as good. I wanted a different feel in my point and shoot images. Mr. Haataja and his wonderful blog lightscrape keep me interested in the 4/3 camera market, like the P6000, but mainly the Panasonic LX5. With time running out and knowing that I was going to have a lot of low light opportunity in Bellevue, I ordered an LX5. It arrived at the moment of departure with an uncharged battery. In the mad dash to get on the road on time, the brand new LX5 sat quietly on the floor by the door all weekend. The battery and charger had a bumpy ride to Washington and back in the pocket of a duffle bag.

The weather has been pretty darned crappy since I returned. It is winter here on the edge of America. Many important life events have happened for me in the last two weeks. None of them help me earn a living. One thing that is NOT a life event, my juror number was called while I was Washington. Traveling makes it tough to deal with an archaic phone-in jury duty service. I am in some kind of trouble, but my only recourse is to phone in every day (?) until March 11 (?). I’ve not done jury duty before and since I have been more of a traveler, well, I guess these sorts of things aren’t that natural for me. Same for returning my library books on time.

The LX5 traveled to the courthouse on Wednesday to see what was the deal. This window reminds me of Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate.
Curry County Courthouse, Andrew D. Barron ©3/2/11
The great tree. A go-to subject in town for me.
Gold Beach's coolest tree, Andrew D. Barron ©3/2/11
On the coast of California, a scene like this probably has not existed for 30 years or more. The edge of town west of Gold Beach, Oregon:
The edge of town west of Gold Beach, Andrew D. Barron ©3/2/11
Not great light for the first shots on the LX5. I was asked to pose for a group of painters again. It is a fun gig. I talked about bluegrass mandolin and played for the seven painters for three hours. I am sure they had trouble with the wiggly model. Wearing nothing but cowboy boots, a mandolin, and the rest of my clothes... I am sure they were unable to concentrate on painting with my ceaseless Bill Monroe adoration. At least it feels like an attentive audience. They pay me far more than I make performing. My life is increasingly comprised of meaningful activities that are valueless in terms of dollars in my wallet. Like this blog. As long as I stay inspired and steer this Titanic to it’s proper destination, life is good.
Alexandra's paint, Andrew D. Barron ©3/3/11
In my impromptu chataqua, I covered a lot of ground about Bill Monroe, bluegrass, fiddle tunes, and my own family’s musical legacy. I brought in an enlargement of one of my photographs of Jersualem Ridge Kentucky, and placed it behind me. I was wearing a yellow shirt, so they set up some daffodils.
Daffodils & Lebeda F5 Mandolin, Andrew D. Barron ©3/3/11
It was a very fun experience for me. Alexandra’s three hour portrait:
Andrew D. Barron plays bluegrass, Alexandra’s three hour portrait, 3/3/11
New leaves.
New leaves, Andrew D. Barron ©3/3/11
Friday.
Daffodils, Andrew D. Barron ©3/5/11
So far, the Lumix LX5 is a totally bad ass point and shoot camera. It has been a long road to find this travel companion. My new best camerafriend.

My dear friends provide the retirement home for the library cat Smoke when she was not allowed to move to the new facility. Smoke chose me as one of her people at some point last year. These days she is very frail and spends her time curled up on a heating pad. Here she is through the infrared Nikon (the IRd5k. Sigh; names).
Smoke, the retired Curry Public Library cat, Andrew D. Barron ©3/4/11
I went through another ‘ignored for fishsticks’ jam session in the bar portion of a seafood restaurant. As much as I like playing, it is excruciating for me to perform as background music. We each made three dollars for three hours of playing in tips. It was much more than I earned at Wintergrass. I don’t really know why this song has to be aborted in mixed-genre musicians. It is too important to fuck up, and when they all missed the first change, I put my guitar down. I began to understand how much Leroy must’ve appreciated my concern for the songs. Here I was in May. I still roll down the lost highway.

Saturday. In the nearby community of Port Orford, a 1934 classic film The Thin Man was being shown. Here is the hostess introducing the film.
Savoy Theater, Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron ©3/5/11
Savoy Theater, Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron ©3/5/11
Sunday. I woke up feeling much better as the skies were blue and I am recovering from all that happened in Washington. I went out to go for a walk in the sun and to shoot some. But I noticed the bees were not active, so I put a couple of incandescent lamps outside the hive and replaced the cedar shavings in the quilt. Soon they were happily buzzing around and eventually snacked on the bottlecaps full of sugar water. Time slips away observing the bees.

Today I was very very pleased using the Manfrotto 732YB tripod. It took a long time to pick a tripod; this is my first one. The kit 18-55 lens on the IRd5k makes the best lens flares. I am glad this trait survived the infrared conversion.
Storied cedar, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
I walked around to the neighbor’s and photographed the chickens that have given me breakfast since September. Check out Buffy, named for her screwy beak. B(ackwards)U(psidedown)&F(orward), on the left. On the right, notice the only white hen with big black eyes.
Makers of eggs, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
Here is the wacky rooster and his favorite gal, a small and docile turkey neck hen. At first I was critical of their bond, but even freaks need love, so I am happy for them.
Makers of eggs, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
I was lucky to hear the phone ring and soon I was off to Port Orford again for a hike. The scenery was incredibly well-suited for my ‘cameras-du jour.’ I will begin that blog next. It was a tour-de-force for the IR-modified camera. Coming up! Here is a nice interlude until the next post. Townes Van Zandt’s great homage to his mountains of home, performed last June.

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