Month: July 2014

Travel Photo Thursday: Overly Complicated Cameras

Travel Photo Thursday: Overly Complicated Cameras

I’ve been taking photos for more than a half-century.

When I was in high school, my grandmother gave me my first 35-mm camera, an “Auto S” rangefinder model made by the Japanese firm, Konica. I would later use it to shoot images for a photography class while pursuing a degree at the University of Washington.

konica 35 mm

As I recall, the Konica did not have interchangeable lenses, nor could you zoom in or out with the one built into the camera.

You could shoot in fully automatic mode, or manually adjust the aperture (lens opening) and (I think) the shutter speed.

It was more or less a “point-and-shoot” camera. Easy enough to use, but limited in what you could so with it.

But that would all change six years later when I purchased my first “SLR” (single lens reflex) camera.

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Making It to Mars

Making It to Mars

After reading Robert Heinlein’s 1949 sci-fi novel, Red Planet, more than a half-century ago, I was convinced that someday I would be living on Planet Mars, not Planet Earth.

After seeing the 1956 film, Forbidden Planet, in the theaters, I had no doubt that since interstellar travel was technologically feasible (at least in Hollywood) flying to our neighboring planet would be a space cakewalk.

After seeing the Russian satellite, “Sputnik,” flash across the night skies of Seattle the following year, I correctly surmised that my country, the United States, would soon be sending people into “Outer Space.”

From 1961 through 1972, American astronauts flew in space. Forty-five years ago this week, the most famous of them, Neil Armstrong, became the first human to set foot on the moon.

Since then, we’ve seen cosmonauts and astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle, space stations, and other craft, but my dream—and no doubt that of millions of other “Earthlings”—of being space colonists on Mars has remained unfulfilled.

But maybe, just maybe, home sapiens is finally getting a bit closer to blasting off on a voyage to that “Red Planet.”

And maybe I’ll be on-board when the first space flight to Mars takes place.

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Head to the Canadian Rockies!

Head to the Canadian Rockies!

A travel writer colleague of mine plans to be in the Canadian Rockies in October.

My advice to her: Take a Saint Bernard dog with a little barrel of brandy around its neck.

When is the best time to head to the mountains of Canada’s province?

From right now and through September the weather will probably be just fine for summer outdoor activities.

And October could be just dandy, so the brandy-toting dog might not be needed after all.

Here’s a little “eye candy” to entice you to pack your bags and head there.

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