Getting Started


During a brief spell of sunshine this morning, I focussed on the front garden and the back drive.

Clematis Mrs N. Thompson, pink rose, honeysuckleHoneysuckle

Clematis Mrs N. Thomson, pink roses and honeysuckle still festoon the front trellis;


and in the beds thrive pink poppies,

Rose Hot Chocolate and fuchsia Chequerboard

the rose, a deep red Hot Chocolate, and red and white fuchsia Chequerboard.

Back Drive bed

Lavender, poppies, antirrhinums, and pansies are among the many plants along the drive.

Just before 2.00 p.m. my memory card was delivered. First I had to extract it from its packaging. This was no mean feat. With the aid of the indispensable downloaded manual I managed to insert the device into the camera, and, following directions, format it and bring up information on the display. I was even able to attach a zoom lens and take a couple of test shots.

Bee tester 1Bee tester 2

Regular readers will recognise my old friend the bee who allows me to catch him on the wing.

Having taken these testers from a reasonable distance, I called it a day. There’s only so much new information that can be absorbed and retained by an elderly gent who began school life with a steel-nibbed pen you dipped into an inkwell set in the top of your desk.

Did I say ‘retained’? Forget that one.

One slight problem remained before I could publish these last two pictures. The memory card was too big to insert into the slot in the computer.

‘Now what?’ ‘Maybe that is what the USB lead is for?’ I fiddled around with the camera body and found a hidden compartment that would take one end of it. ‘That must be the link with the iMac’.  ‘But I’d best seek confirmation on the manual’. That was on page 185.

Have I mentioned that the new kit weighs a ton?

This evening we dined at Royal China in Lymington. The food was as good as ever, and the service as efficient and friendly. We both drank Tsingtao beer.

55 responses to “Getting Started”

  1. ….I remember that inkwell and pen too. Strange, I don’t remember much messiness, even though we were quite young to be handling such things. (Tales of the boy-seated-behind-girl-with-long-hair-braid-silently dipping her braid into his inkwell are proverbial). We each had a pen-wiper also. Neatness counted and was strictly enforced under the eagle eye of Sister Mary Alma.

  2. I had to smile at your camera initiation. Yes, these cameras and telephoto lenses do weigh more, but I can assure you you’ll get used to it. I did fairly quickly. I have severe spinal disc disease and have had 2 lots of lumbar disc surgery. With constant sciatic pain (amongst other chronic pain conditions), I even manage to carry my heavy 150-500mm lens. Admittedly when really fatigued and planning on travelling some distance via public transport, I take my cameras and lenses outdoors in a wheeled trolley. I do tire easily, but that’s also because of a health condition – severe obstructive HCM.

    May I suggest a good padded camera bag which will hold at least one body and 2 lenses and if you haven’t done so, buy a spare battery so that you never run out. I was told (and I don’t know whether it’s true) that its best to use up your whole battery and only recharge it when its empty. By carrying a spare fully charged battery you’ll never get stuck outdoors or away from home with a dead battery. I ensure when I get home (or indoors if I’m shooting at home), first thing is put the dead battery on the charger, download the day’s images and clean my lens.

    If you haven’t already done so, may I recommend you buy a UV filter and always keep one on each of your lenses. An inexpensive UV filter has a negligible effect on your image quality. Very early on, I was fiddling with the camera trying out a new tripod in my kitchen, when I dropped the camera in 2010. The UV filter at $30-$40 shattered, but my $868 telephoto lens was intact. Same applies outdoors. No matter how careful, there is always the potential to drop/knock a lens.

    I never ever take my memory card out of my camera to download the day’s images. I always use the USB cable. Personally, I format and clear the memory card after downloading each day. Some people store their images on a memory card as well as their computer, but I always delete them after downloading to my computer so I’ve always got plenty of room on the card. I have 3 memory cards but generally use a 16KB. I have a 2 TB back up disk running remotely on the other side of the room. With the Apple Mac, it automatically backs up every hour of the day and then, every day of the week. After 4 years, the back-up disc is now full, so it automatically deletes the oldest back-up so there’s room for the newest auto-backup today. So apart from storing all my images on my laptop and I have thousands, I also have a back-up. I also bought a power-surge protector to put between my computer plug and the power board with all my equipment so that my computer is always protected from probs.
    I went from a little Canon point & shoot to a Canon DSLR so all the camera dials were pretty much the same which helped me move into the DSLR world.

    Feel free to drop me an email if you’ve got any questions about your DSLR. I too read the manual straight off, but at my age with chronic short-term memory issues, found I couldn’t retain all the info. let alone understand the whole Exposure thing. I found it easier to learn via trial and error. After using Auto on my point & shoot, I actually never used Auto on my first DSLR. I always used Manual mode. I used to set the ISO on 800 as I knew I would always get a good shot on that setting for any conditions, pressed the shutter button and allowed the camera to tell me what to change the shutter speed to. Most people use Aperture Priority mode. I occasionally use Aperture priority depending on the light conditions and when the subject is moving, use Shutter speed Priority. But I still get a better shot on Manual Mode.

    Of course, now, after 6 years of photography, I understand the Exposure ‘triangle’ better and can easily change camera settings to get better exposed images. Not that I always choose the best camera settings for moving birds, but my cognitive function is intermittent, so try to do bird photography on the days when I’m thinking clearly. (this is another health condition, not an old age symptom).

    My Sony a6000 ‘mirrorless’ camera shoots a superb image on Superior Auto, so sometimes I use that setting on my Sony. But I had the camera for a year before I thought to try the Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto dial settings. In fact all my spectacular sunsets from my apartment balcony were usually made using the Superior Auto setting on the Sony a6000 since moving here.

    If you know all the afore-mentioned, feel free to delete this comment to save clogging up your comment section of this post. I won’t be offended.

      • I actually have a series of memory cards which I store in a large home-made sandisk wallet (converted from one for scusi cards) much like some people store CDs and this even though I download on my laptop because sometimes all your memory gets deleted by viruses. It is very much like an album except that it is digital and to watch it one has to insert the sandisk/other memory card directly into the laptop (some laptops have an insert for the memory cards like some of the HP Pavillion).

  3. I always look forward to your posts. The flowers seem to brighten even the darkest days. And that bee is so adorable!!! Thank you, Derrick, for letting us share in your piece of Heaven 🙂

  4. All memory cards need emptying at some time Derrick. I learnt in Chile with my Canon, I never checked the card until I found it only was capable of holding 250 pictures, not a good thing in a foreign country on holiday, now my memory card holds 8,500 before it needs emptying. The car dash cam also needs emptying unless you run it on continuous loop.
    Little factors I have had to learn over the years.

  5. The photographs are lovely. My favourite is the pink poppy. It looks like this camera is giving you some sort of magical touch on the macro where the landscape is fading out and only the main object is captured crystal clear. I find this kind of focus fascinating.

  6. I know you’re going to love the new camera. I’m often tempted to get a ‘proper’ one but the weight always feels like a problem for me – not just carrying it over an afternoon of taking pictures, but holding it steady enough to shoot.

    The double pink poppy is heavenly – more shots would be a welcome treat! I love the roses with the fuchsias – and, of course, the bee.

  7. Lovely, lovely, as always. And it looks as though you’re off to a great start with your new camera.

  8. The variety of flowers really demonstrates how diligently gardener was in her plantings and color contrasts in possibly moving around, one location to another.
    Eating out is like a reward, along with your marvelous people where there were strawberries and cream last post. . . 🙂

  9. The photos are really lovely.Particularly liked the roses and clematis. We are getting to know quite a lot about cameras just reading your blog and the comments of your readers. We might even get inspired to move beyond the phone cameras!

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