Friday, 29 May 2009

Tough choices

My reliable old companion, Canon 30D has come to its end. I bought it second hand and proceeded on using it in all kinds of conditions for every cent that I paid for it. I put the poor camera thru a lot of abuse and it kept on going. Now I have to sadly say that its shuttercount has reached it's limit and I need to find myself a new camera.
The problem is that I don't know which camera to buy. Well, I do know that I will stick with canon, simply because of all the lenses I have. I don't feel like changing all my gear, getting a new camera body is expensive enough. From all the camera models that canon makes, I can rule out all of the 1-series bodies, I simply cannot afford to put that much money into my hobby. 100-series cameras feel small, light and just aren't up to the task I have in mind in some areas. That leaves me with the "ten block" and here is where the problem begins. I really don't know if I should buy a new 40D,
a 50D or maybe look for a bargain on a used one, in which case a 30D could be considered also.

I would be very grateful for any comments and ideas on what to do, especialy if opinions are backed up with reasoning and facts.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Pictures from the meet

So. I managed to go thru the pictures I took at the meet. As usual, a lot of them were a load of crap, but I did manage to take some that I feel ok to publish. I suppose the pictures tell something of our get together. Many thanks to all the guys for attending, it was nice to trade views on the world, photography and maybe give everyone a glimpse of what photography is for me and what my hide projects are all about.

This is what the bunch looked like underneath the camonetting:
The scenery looked something like this, when viewed thru the holes of the netting:
Despite claims to the contrary, some birds did come within photography range:
As we headed back, the bunch broke up a bit, as everyone was looking for their own favourite route back:
If one kept his eyes open, there were things to be spotted and photographed along the walk:

Thursday, 21 May 2009


We held the allready once cancelled "swamp meet" today. The usual gang attended, only the venue of the meet was a little different this time. The walk from the cars to the hide must have been an experience for the guys, the swamp is a little soft this time of year. At the hide we sat about, talking about cameras, photography and the world in general. Our talk was loud enough to make sure that birds would stay out of photography range. We did however spot quite a few birds and heard many more. The most common species seemed to be "gull" and " a black gull"...

All in all, I do believe the guys did manage to take some pictures. My shots of the day are still on memorycards awaiting transfer to my computer and then publishing. I'll try to get the pictures out tomorrow, now I need to chill out a bit, take care of my dog's evening feeding and walk and then it's time for bed so that I can get up bright and early for work in the morning.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Backyard life

Sometimes I wonder if this nature stuff is getting a bit out of hand. Or what do you think of the following:

I have been observing life in our back yard all spring and I suppose I should get my camera out and start spending more time in our yard waiting to get a few pictures. Right behind our fence is a small hole leading underneath a tree. A small mouse has set up house in the hole. It comes out of the hole and runs under the fence to our yard, heads past my dog kennel and hides under the small stack of lumber I have stored in my yard. After hiding a moment under the lumber pile, the mouse comes out and heads on to one of my wife's flowerbeds. It snoops around the flowerbed for some time and then heads across the lawn to the next one or back to it's hole. I suppose I'll have to get a picture of it one of these days. As long as the mouse understands to stay in the yard I don't mind. If it wonders into the house, even once, it will most likely pay for the mistake with it's life.

One of my kennels out back is not in active use at the moment, and now a nest has appeared on top of one of the supporting beams for the kennels' fencing. There are six eggs in the nest. A fieldfare seems to be looking after them. The fare moves away from the nest when ever a dog comes close, but since the kennel is not being used at the moment, it is mainly left in peace. I do have "blacklisted" fieldfares, since they tend to eat everything from berrybushes. Last summer we had zero strawberries because of the birds. I guess I'll take a picture of the bird and it's nest in the near future and just get some netting to cover the bushes as the summer progresses.

Saturday, 16 May 2009


I made a quick trip to the swamp this afternoon. My goal was not to get pictures, but just to do a little walk-about in the area. I also did have a clear mission to accomplish: I had decided to scout a good route to the hide in preparation for the "swamp meet" next week. Walking on my own, it does not matter that much if I have to back up from time to time since the ground is too soft or wet to walk, but with a larger group of people in tow, it is not a very good option. At the same time I had a chance to check how my lightweight hide had survived the few days of inactivity. It was good that I decided to head out to do some scouting, the route that I had previously used had become rather soft and risky, so I scouted a different route from a slightly different direction. The hide had also taken some damage from the windy weather of the last couple of days. The tie-downs for the camo netting had broken and the entire netting was in one heap in front of the hides' entrance:
I put the netting back into place and fixed the tie-downs all around. While at it, I put up the netting to cover a slightly larger area next to the hide. I used the trees near by to get good anchorage and elevation for the netting. Now there is plenty of room to hold the meet, there is room for everyone underneath the netting and plenty of observation- and photography slots.
What do you think, good enough?

Friday, 15 May 2009

Well, I'll be darned

A couple of days have passed and now it seems that this laptop is working. At least the "power off" problem is gone. I seem to have a talent in fixing these things. Maybe I should start a business of cleaning coffee stains from inside computers?

The smaller kids have been ill all week. First Susanna had a fever. When the fever was gone, we thought, o.k. no problems. I took the girls to the daycare center. They had been there for about an hour when my phone rang and I was told that now Tiina had a temperature. I went to pick Tiina up from the daycare center and when I got there, I was told that Susannas stomach was upset. So I took them both home with me and called work that I had to take the day off. Now the girls have been at home with a stomachbug all week. Today has been the first better day, but they are still not well enough to go to daycare. I really would have had some things to do today, but what can I do, the kids are obviously priority number one. I had received an invitation to the opening and banquet dinner at the police museum at Tampere. They are opening a show on the 100 year history of policedogs in the service of the Finnish policeforces and some of my photographs of policedogs have been selected to be part of the exhibit. I will try and stop by to see the exhibit the next time we head out west to visit relatives, since the city of Tampere and therefor the museum are along the way.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


It appears that this laptop of mine didn't get fixed after all. Powers out on it's own, seems that it heats up too much. At least the undeside feels awfully hot to touch when ever a "power off" -situation happens. Well, no worries. I'll just open everything up again and proceed with more cleaning, must be some kind of short circuit somewhere in there due to a coffee stain. Or then I've assembled this wrong and there is not enough air circulating thru the system to cool it. Maybe I'll manage to get this to work.

My darling wife got tired of this thing acting up and ordered herself a new laptop. I'll try to be extra nice to her in the near future so that maybe I'll be allowed to use it, too.

I do feel that it would be a shame to have to give up on this old laptop of mine. This isn't really anything special, but when it worked, it worked well for the uses I had for it.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


It's a shame I didn't take pictures, but yesterday photography was the last thing on my mind. Mainly I was concentrating on all the swearwords I could think of. I managed to pour a full cup of coffee right on top of my laptop. As usual, the laptop had it's power on. I grabbed some kitchen paper to wipe as much off as I could, but as the screen went into a mosaic pattern and coffee appeared to be leaking thru the openings on the undeside of the computer, I knew I had a big problem. I proceeded to switch the power off and dry as much of the coffee as possible. Then I just let the machine sit and waited and hoped for the inside to dry up without too much damage. After some time I tried to turn the power back on, but no luck. The power indicator light flicked a few times and then everything powered out.

I decided I had nothing to lose and proceeded to remove the covers off the laptop. Having never opened one before, it turned out to be a rather tricky exercise. Slowly but surely I managed to open everything up without doing any obviously visible damage. Everything inside the computer seemed to be covered in dryed coffee stains. I went to my workshop and took a bottle of pure alcohol and some cleaningpads and -swabs. One drop and swab at a time I started to wipe the stains away from everything I could see. Eventually I felt that I had cleaned everything and started to put everything back together. I was done at one a.m. I decided to leave testing the laptop to the morning and went to bed. Now I tried turning the power on and to my amazement this seems to be working.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Good move

I headed out to the wild in the morning. I didn't really plan on going to the hide to take pictures, since the best time to be there is when the sun is rising or then in the evening, waiting for the sunset since most birds and animals are active in the early- or late hours of the day and tend to lay low during daytime. So my idea was to go out more for the exercise and freshair rather than photography.

I walked about in the area and then decided to go take a snackbreak at the hide. At the hide I took another piece of camo netting from my backpack and set it up next to the hide, as a sort of "open extension" to my hide. I had just set the netting up and was enjoying my snack when I looked up over the netting. Four cranes and a curlew had arrived next to my hide. I had no choice but to start taking pictures. As I looked around I noticed quite a few more birds nearby. I remained at the hide for just over an hour and had lots to observe and even some pictures to take. My decision to move the hide was obviously a good one. Todays pictures:

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Getting older

I received a text message from my sister in the morning, wishing a happy birthday to a "old geezer". Ok. So I'm a year older, but I really don't feel that old. All the birthday greetings I received during the day made me think of how the years flow by. This in turn forced me to look up my idol from my teenage years from youtube. I doubt that Angus feels very old either, and he's quite a bit older than I am:

Monday, 4 May 2009

Still there

I took a quick trip to the swamp in the morning. My hide was still in place, even though there had been some really windy days and the tiedowns had loosened when the snow had melted:
I took down the entire system and moved it to another location, closer to the area where I had observed the cranes to spend a lot of time during my previous trips. At the new location I covered the hide with some camo netting:
On my way back I took a quick snapshot of the scenery and the hide:
Blends in rather well, doesen't it?

Sunday, 3 May 2009


My little miss "I'm 5 years old" is a keen swimmer. The local swimming club kid's group had their last practice for the spring today. I took my camera along when I took the girl to the sports center:
It's hard to take pictures when the girl acts like a seal, spending more time below the surface than above it:
Luckily the kids coach made them do a few jumps off the edge of the pool, so I managed to get a couple of pictures:
That was that for today. In the morning I'm hoping to get out to the wetlands again to see if my hide has survived the strong winds of the last couple of days, not to mention the usual springtime floods. Lets hope it's still there.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

My deepest apoligies

I try my best to make sure I keep all my agreements and appointments. However, now I have to apologize to all the guys from the Nikon bunch who were set on coming to the "swamp meet" on april 25th. Due to reasons that I could not control the meet had to be cancelled. The worst part was that I had no way of getting the word out of the cancellation. I am truly sorry guys.

May 1. went. We spent the day with the family. Went to the lake to grill sausages and so on. I managed to take a few nature related pictures:
And if those weren't proof enough that spring is here, a sure sign of spring is that flowers are coming up and blooming: