A Bad Day With A Camera

Chubzilla vs Mothra

While I am by no means a pioneer of night photography or light painting, at least not with film, I do get some credit for being one of the first people to push hard with it on digital cameras. This was back when nearly everything still had noisy CCD sensors that lit up with hot pixels during long exposures. Well, I found a way around that and even managed to get written up in some now defunct eZines for my efforts. I also discovered an issue that did not plague film shooters like it would digital night shooters.

Moths. The nasty, hairy little blighters are attracted to any sort of light in the darkness including, say, the focus assist light on your digital camera. The one that you cannot turn off even if you’re using manual focus. Early on I learned that I needed to regulary shoo moths away after having a couple of shoots ruined by one parking on my lens. I figure I have been automatically flapping my shirt cuff inside my lens every few frames while night shooting for at least two decades now.

The above image was the only one of the two to come out that night in October of 2003. None of the rest did because of a dirty great moth that parked on my lens for the second location I shot that night. That was when I developed the habit of shooing possible insects off my lens and it saved me yesterday evening. I only lost about four good shots.

I was a volunteer photographer for the Town of Strathmore for their Canada Day festivities. Unfortunately, I came down with something the day before and I was an absolute wreck yesterday. It’s pretty rare for me to stay in bed past 7:00 am. Yesterday morning I rolled out at 10:30 am, headed for my easy chair, then slept for another hour or so. Or maybe I went back to bed. I can’t remember.

I managed to leave my daughter — who now works for the town as their social media coordinator — in the lurch as she needed me out there with a camera. I just couldn’t. I had no energy at all, plus I needed to stay near a washrooom. Ugh. The past two weeks have been, frankly, nighmarish in terms of persistent illness. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.

The one part of the day I did make it out with a camera for was the Canada Day fireworks, but I may not have made any friends in the process. The town had agreed to reserve the northwest dock on Kinsmen Lake for me so I could shoot the fireworks with reflections off the lake. Unfortunately, the person who was supposed to cordon off the dock failed to, and we had to ask some early birds who had staked out a good spot to leave. I simply couldn’t have others on there bouncing the floating dock up and down, blurring my shots. There were hard feelings.

I had really been looking forward to shooting the entire day yesterday and was crestfallen for those parts of the day I was awake and trapped at home, sick. I still am, I guess (both sick and crestfallen). I’m glad I did get out to the lake for the fireworks shots even if I felt like I was going to drop dead from fatigue by the end of the shoot. I am also glad that I am able to function mostly out of habit now when night shooting as I honestly didn’t have much higher level brain function left. Dialing in the settings, toggling to manual focus, shooing insects at regular intervals, all automatic now.

It was a good end to a bad day.

The camera du jour was a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon 17-40mm EF L USM f4-5.6 lens. In other news, today makes it five months on the button since the launch of the blog. Still going.

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© 2024 Sean D. McCormick

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