Roop Vision

Friday, September 4, 2009 (9:42 am)

Mini-Vacation, and in memory of my Canon

Filed under: Life,Photography,Weather — daweathaman @ 9:42 am
My Canon EOS 40D
September 11, 2007 – August 21, 2009

Just like any vacation, chances are that I have my camera strapped on my side. In the last five years since purchasing my first SLR camera, I have yet to have any major accidents with my gear. I’ve been fairly lucky – until August 21.

Erin (my girlfriend) and I were approaching our second night in Ormond Beach for our vacation just before classes started at UF. One of the things that made this vacation interesting was Hurricane Bill out in the middle of the Atlantic. Landfall was not a threat for the area, but the waves were. Swells from Bill caused higher than normal wave action and made high tide appear as if a hurricane was going to hit the area. It was a surfer’s paradise.

Really High Tide
(One of the last images taken that Friday evening (Aug. 21) shows how bad the tide and swells were.)

That Friday evening, Erin and I were walking back to our hotel on the beach. Keep in mind we were, not way out in the ocean. We were probably 30 feet from the sea wall. Near a beach ramp (similar to the one seen in the above photo), a swell came up out of nowhere. Water as no longer at my ankles – it was at my knees. As I held my shorts up to keep my pants (and new iPhone in my pocket) from getting wet, we slowly continued our walk closer to the sea wall go get out of the mess. As I kept walking, little did I know the concrete slab I was walking on was going to end and have such a big drop-off to the eroding sand. Sure enough, I slipped, and fell in the water that was now up to my neck. I immediately jumped out of the water and realized really quickly that my iPhone (which I only had for five days) and my camera were immediately done for. There is no way that electronics can survive salt water damage.

The effects on the camera were instant. The shutter started flickering and the light in front was blinking. The Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 lens was full of sand and it was hard to zoom in and out. The iPhone appeared okay at first since it was in my pocket, but slowly the iPhone started acting up saying it was connected to a headphone. Then it started saying “no SIM card.” My wallet and keys were soaked, too. Hell, I was completely soaked in salt water. “God must hate me today,” I remember thinking to myself. Surprisingly, I kept my composure. Erin, however felt really bad. She started to cry about a minute after leaving the water. “I just feel so bad,” she said to me. “It’s your camera. It’s you.”

I remembered later that I had insurance placed on the camera when I purchased it from Best Buy nearly two years ago. That calmed me down a little bit, but my attention turned to my phone. My only phone. My only way of communicating besides using a wi-fi-enabled laptop or amateur radio.

The next morning, I had to find a AT&T store to get a new phone. Unfortunately, I had to pay a hefty penny to get a new one. The good news was that I was able to borrow money from my mother to get the replacement phone. I got a near water-proof case for the new phone after this experience. Plus, the next time I go to a beach (or anywhere near large bodies of water), that phone is going in a tight Ziplock bag.

Once we got back to Gainesville, I sent the camera to the store to file a claim. They sent it off to be repaired, but I knew there was no way they were going to be able to fix it. About a week later, I was notified that they were not able to fix it and they were going to give me store credit (for the value of the camera’s comparable replacement). After doing some quick research – and learning that the 40D has been discontinued and replaced with the 50D, I knew what I wanted. Since I no longer had any Canon lenses (sold them) and I didn’t like the reviews on the 50D (notably the high noise at high ISOs), I decided to switch to the Nikon family and get the D90. In the end, I still had some store credit left.

So far, I like the D90. The quality is very good, even at high ISOs. The only two things I don’t like: the video quality at 720p HD (yes, it does video). I think it has to do with the Motion JEPG codec used in the camera. Also, got to keep an eye on the white balance settings in florescent lighting environments (a little too warm when left on Auto WB). Then again, I shoot in RAW (.NEF format), so it’s not that big of a deal to fix if needed. Other than that, a pretty solid camera.

I’ll leave you with a “Opie” shot with the new Nikon…

Opie

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Lightning @ Ormond

Filed under: Photography,Travel,Weather — daweathaman @ 8:08 am

Here are a few of my best lightning shots I got while in the Daytona Beach area for a short vacation in August. I was starting to get frustrated that I haven’t got any lightning photos in the summer. I guess my luck changed at the last minute.

Lightning_Ormond 4

Lightning_Ormond 3

Lightning_Ormond 2

Lightning_Ormond 1

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