There were two nations’ birthdays in four days, thus a slow spell at work; so we decided on a solid week of Cottage Life. And we invited all our friends to come for lunch. Friends came, work got done, and photos got taken.

Work · We have pretty good cell coverage on the island from Telus Mobility and get 3 bars of HSPA+; Speedtest.net says 3.5M down/2.3 up, which is plenty enough for my job. We make a hotspot with a Galaxy Nexus; reliability is better out on the deck than in the cabin, which is a better place to work anyhow.

The only major productivity hit working over there was from not having my 30" Dell screen. It slowed me down more than I expected; If we were going to make a habit out of this, our quaint maritime cabin would have to find room for some sort of big honking outboard monitor.

Cameras and Kids · I’m still very much in honeymoon mode with my Fujifilm X-E1. But that’s the road camera; the Pentax K-5 it replaced is the right choice for the cabin. It feels huge compared to the Fuji, though it’s about the smallest APS-C SLR on the market. But that’s not a big deal there, I’m usually sitting on the deck or leaning on the railing as I shoot. And also, for Pentax I have the big heavy glass. Most especially the Tokina 400mm that lets me do things like this.

Tugboat on Howe Sound

I have a thing for tugboats. They’re 100% utilitarian and I still find them beautiful to look at. I’d love to spend a couple of working shifts on one sometime, see what that life is like.

And then there’s the Pentax 50-135mm f/2.8, by any sane measure the best camera lens I’ve ever owned. Yeah, I may rave on about the Tokina or the Fuji 35mm, but this thing is razor-sharp at any aperture and zoom, focuses in a flash, and the focal-length range hits a huge 80/20 point.

Mind you, it weighs more than the camera body and is the size of a small cannon, but it makes shots like this easy.

Boy leaps off boat

Yes, a boat is also a diving platform, given no alternatives. The propensity among young males for leaping off the highest available surface seems part of them, like their knees or noses.

Lest I give the impression that we play hard all the time, here we have a 7-year-old in a hammock with a tablet. Game designers of the world: This is what you’re trying to achieve!

Girl in hammock with tablet

This hammock was purchased at the Hilo farmers’ market, and if you ever get to the Big Island, I totally recommend a visit.

Much and all as I love both the Pentax and the Fuji, I have to say that the Fuji raw files are better; the highlights here are blown out to a degree that even the formidable powers of Lightroom 5 can’t entirely rescue. With the X-E1 I’d have less harshness. But then again, I wouldn’t have had a telephoto and she would have seen me coming.

If You Know Me · If you’re in Vancouver, at some point you’ll get an invite to come visit us at the cabin. If you know me but are elsewhere and are coming here, let me know in advance and let’s try to set up some island time.



Contributions

Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Paul Hoffman (Jul 12 2013, at 09:18)

Wearing a hat during a working meeting might be a bit rude. But you're outside, and bald, and susceptible to skin cancer, and have a good hat collection.

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From: Neil (Jul 12 2013, at 13:23)

I feel like tugboats would be something like the world of "Deadliest Catch" - wavy, wet, and big heavy things can crush you in a second.

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From: Ross Reedstrom (Jul 15 2013, at 10:27)

At first glance, the last picture seemed a neon/psychedelic manta-ray of some sort. :-)

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