Live. Love. Harm no one. Help when you can. Be happy.
By: BriarCraft , 8:12 PM GMT on August 29, 2013
Three weeks from today, on September 19, I will abandon DH and the cats to fend for themselves while I go to meet up with some WU Photographers. If you want to know more about the West Coast gathering, see RenoSoHill's blog West Coast WU Photographers Gathering 2013.
For 12 years, until September 2011, I had a Fuji FinePix camera that captured 1 MegaPixel images at up to 3x optical zoom. It was my first digital camera and I thought it was pretty good until I started spending time in the WU Photo Galleries. Being frugal, however, I couldn't justify purchasing a new camera as long as the old one worked. Then one day, the little motor that pushed the lens in and out just up and died. I was heart-broken. Not!
Earlier that year, GardenGrrl had purchased a Fuji Finepix HS20-EXR camera that captured 16MP images with 30x zoom. It was a "bridge" camera with point-and-shoot capabilities, as well as a lot more. It seemed like a good fit, so I bought one. Even clueless, I've been able to make some pretty fine shots and I remain happy with my purchase.
Continuing to spend time in the WU Galleries, as well as WU Blogs, I have become more and more aware of the heights to which photography has soared. Yes, there are DSLR cameras and 70x optical zoom lenses, but I don't envy those. I still haven't figured out all the features of the camera I've got. And then there is a whole galaxy of photo editing software tools I won't even go into.
Segue to Road Trips:
Ever since I got my first car, a 1959 Chev Bel Air, I have loved to go on road trips. I used to fill up the gas tank, pick a road I'd never been on before, and just go. I discovered a lot of great places, mostly on the West Coast. At various times, I've driven as far as San Diego California, Fairbanks Alaska, Chicago Illinois, Little Rock Arkansas, El Paso Texas, and a whole lot of places in between.
I've seen Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, Anasazi Indian ruins and the Space Needle. So many spectacular sights that are vivid in memory, but not so much on old 3" x 5" snapshots. Of all the places I've seen, my very favorite is the central and southern Oregon Coast. How can that possibly compare to the Grand Canyon? Well, to be totally honest, it can and it can not. There are many places more exciting, more awe-inspiring, more grand.
Rocky and rugged. Secluded, uncrowded beaches. Windblown trees. Lighthouses. Promontories. Windswept dunes. Sheltered bays. Bridges. Wild rivers. Driftwood. Tidepools. Along the Oregon Coast, every bend in the road reveals something special.
Photo by Feather3, Sept. 16, 2012
Put It All Together:
Enter the 2nd Annual West Coast WU Photographers Gathering. I can go enjoy my favorite place on Earth, that I haven't seen for 15 years or so. I can meet real WU photographers, who are friendly, nature-loving, photo enthusiasts. I'm fully recovered from last year's hip replacement. I have DH's blessing. What more could I want?
Funny you should ask.
It has been 15 years. And my memory isn't perfect, and I never knew it all in the first place, so I wanted to brush up on the Oregon Coast. I found "Photographing Oregon" which contains a good section about the coast, as well as inspiration for future road trips. Looking through it yesterday, I already rediscovered Heceta Head, Shore Acres State Park, and Cape Perpetua.
And I'm never sure how it is I manage to capture a good shot or a not-so-good shot on my camera. And what's an f-stop anyway? To explain those things and more, I found a textbook, "Complete Digital Photography, 7th Edition". Even if I could read all 600 pages in the time before I head to Gold Beach, I couldn't absorb that much that fast, but I will learn something.
And by the way, every time the amount of light in a scene doubles, it is said to have brightened by one f-stop.
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Updated: 4:31 PM PDT on August 29, 2015