Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ergonomics, road races, camera considerations....

Not that this is demanding work, but I thought of ergonomics when I sat down with my laptop to compose a blog post.  Since my last posting I have had a lot of neck pain, prompting me to consider my writing posture.  I admit to being somewhat spoiled with a smart phone, taking pictures that automatically upload to Google, surfing the web and social networks, catching up on emails, all from a comfortable reclining position, but any lengthy writing requires the laptop.  So we'll see how it goes...




Howard ran the Bay to Breakers last Sunday.  If you're not familiar with San Francisco, this is a 12K, 7 1/2 mile road race through the city, starting near the Bay Bridge at the Embarcadero and continuing up the steep Hays Street hill, down through Haight-Ashbury and Golden Gate Park to the Great Highway and Pacific Ocean.  This historic race, now in its 101st year, features world-class athletes, costumed runners, and mostly just "fun-loving" folks.  Howard has been doing this for many years and fits into the latter group.





He got new shoes when we were in Pismo Beach; the latest Minimus design.  These have a flatter sole as opposed to the wedged heel variety he's been running in for 50+ years.  I don't know if this was a good idea...


Let me give you some race logistics as it affects our location here in Petaluma, about 30 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  First off, the start time was changed from 8 a.m. to 7 a.m.  This involved getting up at 4(!) to board the 5:30 ferry departing from Larkspur Landing with an approx. 45 minute crossing time to the SF Ferry Building.  Then a short walk to the Embarcadero, bobbing and weaving amongst the masses.

Next, one either walks/runs the course or takes the cross-town buses, schlepping camera gear, snacks/water, camp stool, etc. to the finish line, positioning oneself in such a manner to snap photos without being run over.  Or.....


We leave it to the professionals and stay at home, all warm and cozy in bed, watching our favorite Sunday morning TV, sipping the best SF dark roast coffee that was just brewed in the little French press.

Yeah, I baled on the action, what with all the security warnings and restrictions on back packs, especially on public transportation.  And remember I have a sore neck which is where I usually hang my camera.  End of excuses...

Howard called me from the finish line while waiting for the shuttle.  His right toe started hurting after 2 miles so he compensated and somehow twisted his ankle and walked the last mile.  By the time he got home at 2 p.m., his foot was swollen, black and blue, and ice and ibuprofen was in order.  Oh, the joys of getting older!





Not into fish heads, look closer and you'll see the meaty collar of this just caught Sonoma County salmon, priced at $2.99 per lb. at our local Whole Foods Market.  The fillets are $26.99!  I bought two of these, detached the heads, split the collars in half and sprinkled with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  Then baked at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Not your typical celebratory dinner but absolutely delicious.  We actually had enough left over for pasta the next night.


I purchased my Canon EOS Digital Rebel package from Costco in 2009.  Not knowing a thing beyond "point and shoot" techniques, I forced myself to use manual camera settings, experimenting with exposure, aperture, and ISO settings.  Not always successfully. 

Over the years, especially after viewing many of your photos, I've started thinking a new lens was in order.  I went to the local Shutterbug to get some advice and visual aid.  There is an 18-270 mm, f/3.5-5.6 all purpose lens that would replace both my wide angle and zoom, sort of an "all in one", priced at $400.  But if I really want to get super better quality there is the 24-70 mm, F/2.8 for (ouch) about $1300.  Shutterbug carries the Tamron brand.  I have yet to do comparison shopping of this and other brands online.  Would really like to get a better lens before our fall/winter trip.  Any of your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

6 comments:

Erin Erkun said...

It's the glass that makes a difference to the quality of the shots, not the camera body...so I've been told many times. Get the best lens you can afford without breaking the budget. And ask yourself ... like I always ask myself (sometimes unsuccessfully) ... "is the cost worth it for what I plan to do with the pictures?"

Desert Diva said...

I'm sorry to hear about your neck pain and hope that the issue resolves itself quickly. Wow, your hubby is "quite a jock" kudos to him for still running.

I have the same camera. At first I spent "mucho bucks" for lenses and other equipment. However, I also have a "point and shoot" Panasonic Lumix that is compact and easy to carry around.

In the past, I would buy a new lens as a Christmas present to myself. I've bought them used on eBay and Amazon.com. However, I can't see spending mega bucks for "glass" with a low-end Canon camera.

I have:
Canon EW-73B (EFS 17-85mm) - This is my standard "walk-about" lens.
Canon Macro (EF 100 mm 1:2.8)
Canon Zoom (EF 70-300mm)

I also have a Manfrotto tripod.

These all serve me well as an amateur photographer. In my experience, you can "tweak" almost any photo with a good post processing program.

Lynda Bogart Stilley said...

Absolutely great advice! Just what I needed. Thanks Cheryl...

Lynda Bogart Stilley said...

Thanks Erin...I have to be very conscience of our "fixed income" budget and weigh the cost versus effect I want to achieve. I would really like to take a step up in quality, but at what price?!

Sooziii said...

I have a Canon - an EOS 400D. My two lenses are EF75-300mm and an EFS 18-55mm. I also have a 16mpx Fuji T400 camera that I keep in my bag - it has a f5.50mm lens and zooms in close (10x optical zoom 28-280mm).

Sorry about your neck, think posture when using a laptop has a lot to do with neck pain .... lol.

Sounds like Howard should have stuck to his old shoes .....

Lynda Bogart Stilley said...

Sooziii, I have the same two lenses. Maybe I should invest in a good point and shoot that I can carry in a bag! Howard and the old shoes...totally agree. Something about old dogs and new tricks; not with old feet. Ha!