Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Riverfest fireworks, and Happy Birthday Olympus Evolt E-500!

This weekend marks the "birthday" of my new camera. It was a year ago that I decided to give up film and enter the world of digital photography. Before I made the change, caused by my old and usually trustworthy film camera messing up and ruining a few rolls of film, I was a bit of a film snob. I would get annoyed with all this talk about digital photography. I would scoff - digital isn't true photography, and all that. Then I got one and haven't looked back.

Happy Birthday, Olympus Evolt E500!

I took this shot in honor of me owning this camera now for a whole year. This was actually taken with my old film camera. I've been using the new camera for everything and this is one of the only times I've used the old camera in the year since I got the new one. I had forgotten how much of a pain in the arse it is to buy film and wait for it to get developed. So it will probably be awhile before I use the old camera again. The shot above was taken at Buffalo Point, along the Buffalo National River.

The Olympus camera has a counter of how many pictures it has taken (or at least, how many times the shutter fired). A few days ago I checked it, and the camera said it had taken 15,891 pictures during the past year.

Now if my math is correct (which it probably isn't, Cormack translates to "bad at math" in Irish), that would equal out to:

1,324 shots a month

305 shots a week

43 shots a day.

And again, if I were to have tried to take that many shots with a film camera, it would be equivalent to about 662 rolls of 24-exposure film. Assuming that it costs about $10 to buy film and get it developed (a bad assumption since it costs more than that), I would have had to spend $6,620 using film to get the same amount of pictures. Pretty crazy, right?

I added to that count yesterday while trying to take pictures of the Riverfest fireworks over downtown Little Rock. There is a spot that I've used before to get fireworks, way back in 1997. The spot is an odd place to position yourself for fireworks, since it is located directly next to an old cemetery.

Little Rock

This was taken next to Mount Holly Cemetery, by I-630. It was a bit odd to be seeing fireworks in front of you, and a bunch of old tombstones behind you. But I like this since it has the fireworks exploding while framed by the buildings downtown. Sadly, though, most of the shots that night didn't turn out. The above shot is really the only one that turned out.

For some odd reason that I couldn't figure out at the time, all of the shots I was taking were coming out really dark. I tried to do all sorts of adjustments with the camera - like changing the f-stop, etc. But no matter what, everything seemed to come out really dark. In order to get a decent shot where you could actually see the buildings, all of the exposures had to be really long. The shot above was 13 seconds. I couldn't understand what the problem was.

When I got home, I looked at the camera and immediately figured out what was wrong. The problem seems so simple and silly that I don't want to publicly mention it. Promise not to laugh, but nothing turned out because I had left a polarizing filter on the camera. Polarizing filters are useful when shooting on sunny days or shooting waterfalls. I had used one last weekend when at the Buffalo River, and had forgotten to take the filter off. The filter itself is somewhat dark, so it cuts out light going through it. Dang. It was such a dumb mistake that I hate to have to admit that I did it.

Oh well. Guess I'll have to go back and try again at the next fireworks downtown. Though I think I might try to scout out a few different locations that might be a bit better. Stay tuned!

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