Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Beach hangovers ...

Yep, I'm back - couldn't get rid of me that easy.
Whilst I had to leave landscapes like the one in the above photo behind, I'm glad to be home.  It was worth the long flight and travel hassles but saying 'see you later' to my sons was so unbelievably hard this time - even though I know that there are very good possibilities they will visit me in the UK soon.      It's just one of the prices you pay when you emigrate.

I have discovered ASMR on YouTube ... it's not something new, been around for years and some people say it's a load of old baloney but it works (so far) for me - although I only tried it for the first time last night.  I immersed myself in a few videos to first find my 'trigger', which for me appears to be the sound of paper - i.e. pages being turned in books, newspapers, magazines, even Bibles! and also the sound of paper being crinkled up, folded or used to wrap Christmas presents.    I switched off my tablet at about 10pm last night and was immediately asleep.   I had a good deep sleep, the first in a very long time (although I did sleep well on holiday).  For anyone who suffers from insomnia this is a boon - and I'm not just talking about a couple of sleepless nights here folks, I mean consistent insomnia every night no matter what happens during the day or evening, to the point where you dread going to bed.     I really hope these ASMR things get me out of the insomnia rut.


During my quiet time on holiday at the beach, I decided to focus the next few months on improving my photography and actually do some additional semi-formal learning.  There is so much I don't know or understand and it's hampering my creativity and spoiling my photographs.  I've been interested in photography since I was a teenager (we're talking more than 50 years here) when I got my first Kodak Brownie (what a brilliant little camera).   My 35mm Asahi Pentax was divine and I used it primarily for astronomy shots, with tripod, time-release shutter cable and actual film stock - what a pleasure that was!  I miss using actual film rolls.  I've used various point and shoot cameras, the best was the Sony Cybershot (most reliable rendition of what the eye sees, colour and light wise, with no fiddling about).   My first bridge camera was a FinePix and whilst it wasn't the greatest lens on the planet, it felt like I had come up a notch and was actually doing 'real photography'!     I've had my Nikon Coolpix P510 with the diabolically efficient zoom lens (in its class) for over three years now and I still don't know how it works!



(hand held zoom also)

I was very frustrated on holiday because I really battled with low light shots or trying to capture the essence of a particular scene the way I was seeing it.       It was just too much pushing and shoving, fiddling about and very little of worth coming out at the other end (sound like Shirley Valentine hey?).    So I came home with the best intention of buying a new camera and getting stuck into DSLR right away - SLRHut have a great deal on Canon at the moment.    After a long time trawling the internet and YouTube for camera reviews, I realised it's not the bloody camera's fault, I'm just expecting it to do stuff the lens is not designed for.     If I had more knowledge, I'd get a lot more out of my existing camera, which wasn't cheap at all when I bought it.     It's time to improve my knowledge and actually understand what I'm doing - I'm tired of a hit and miss approach.   I am very interested in low light photography, portraiture and also landscapes and want to get much better at taking those types of shots.

So I've invested in a photography course, which is in hard cover book format - so I can constantly refer to it whilst I practice.   I have tried online courses before but I battled to remember the stuff, 'cos we all know I have the memory of a pea.    This is also one of the reasons why I don't want to attend a person to person course because I can't trust my memory and all the hot shot young dudes and dudettes will think I'm a fossil and should be doing a knitting course, or something like that.   

I'm supposed to get the book today - so for the next 20 weeks (that's how long they reckon it takes to finish the course), I will not be painting or doing other creative things.  I am going to concentrate on my knowledge, so that I can get me an entry level DSLR - I've got my eyes on the Nikon D3300 but I might end up getting a Canon ... going to need unbiased   :) advice on which one to look at.  No, won't be going mirrorless, too many cons.  


  

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