Monday, November 8, 2010

Photographic goodies:

I can't remember a time when you will find me without a camera. Over the past few years my companion has been a P&S pocket cam in my pocket. Often I have several with me. You just never know when you will need to record something. I upgrade often so if you don't need the latest model then I can put you on the waiting list . I notice lots of things and often stop to take a photo but since I purchased my new Canon T2i I seem to be going out of my way more to record "things"


Like these works of art painted on the sides of buildings. Perhaps the world needs another coffee table book titled, "Art painted on the sides of buildings, Volume 1" . It's just what I need, another project to utilize my spare time.


these images, painted on the brickwork are anatomically correct but not necessarily to correct scale. You are able to pick out the major buildings and bridges that identify Vancouver


My renewed interest in Photography has resulted in the purchase of a new printer which I sourced on eBay so I had to have a trunk to transport it home. It seemed that Canon had offered rebates on some of their products and many dealers had taken advantage of the "deals" and submitted their rebates to Canon for re-imbursement so there were great deals to be had on new cameras and printers where they had to remove the UPC label. I also lost the rebate on my camera purchase as my dealer perhaps, did not realize that Canon rebates were in effect at that time. I complained to Canon on deaf ears and they merely said that perhaps my dealer was not a "participating dealer" .

For these on-line purchases I have a postal box in Point Roberts, WA as many on-line vendors will only ship to the continental USA, and often they prepay shipping as in this case where they paid for FEDEX overnight service. We have an ongoing problem with shipments into Canada when you specify UPS as they are greedy and want to charge you $40. brokerage fees plus handling charges, so everyone I know will just ship to either Blaine, WA or Pt Roberts.

Luckily I am Nexus registered so usually I can skip the regular lanes. As I reach the US border I notice this long line. Most drivers are there to pick up their internet purchases.


I chuckle to myself as I am passing this line of cars wondering why they didn't apply for their own Nexus card, then . . .


I get to the front of the line and notice that the Nexus lane is barricaded and obviously closed. Now what do I do, butt into the next lane or what ?

Eventually I make my way to my postal box at the Letter Carrier where I have 5 packages waiting for me


Their main business is packages and they are also a FEDEX and UPS depot


I prefer service here rather than Blaine or Sumas as during the summer the lines are much shorter


Now I am getting anxious. My server goes back and forth a few times and then disappears. All I have are these small packages and I know my printer comes in a huge box. It is the reason I have made this trip across the border. At last he comes back with my printer in hand


I tuck the box into my trunk. There was no way I could have transported these boxes on my V-strom. Now goes the task of opening all the boxes to determine where everything is made for my customs declaration. Today everything I have is duty free, just have to pay the 12% HST

I turn around to look at the dwindling line. Many have come to pick up their new tires. Most people in our car club purchase tires on-line and save hundreds of dollars . Others may ship them to a service centre in Bellingham to have them installed.


I remembered to bring my camera and tripod with the thought of taking some water views but it was overcast and gray, similar to Key West this time of year so I looked at the price of petrol and headed back to Canada


Incidentally, a mile north on the Canadian side in Tsawwassen the fuel is much more


so it costs around $1.00 more per gallon in Canada. This is the reason that most people that live close to the border cross to fill their gas tanks and purchase their food supplies. Most often your food savings will "fill your tank" .


On Sunday I had planned to attend the Camera Swap meet. What to wear, what to wear. For those who know me know that I prefer shorts and sandals over jeans and running shoes. I know people who wear shorts year round, even during the snow of winter. The day started with sunshine staring through the window but I know there is no warmth. I have the 10c rule. Over 10c I wear my summer attire, but below 10c I change to jeans. I couldn't decide as the temperature gauge was "on the fence" .

I even went outside to "test the waters"


After a while I made my decision and arrived at the Camera show. I was looking for a UWA for my Canon. I have always been a Nikon user and I already had a few lenses. With the Canon I had nothing so I had to start over. I now have 4 lenses and one flash unit.


There were many tables full of delicious junque, tripods


and other tables full of cameras and other desireables. Stuff that you just can't do without.


and lots more stuff to ponder. I am a sucker for rangefinder folding cameras, the higher end ones such as Zeiss Ikona, esp Model A (645), or Kodak Retina IIa . I would even settle for a Moskva 2 6x9 folder (Zeiss copy) but nothing of that sort today, only tables full of mediocre stuff or pricey high end current models. I do like Nikon F's and there was one for a cheap price but I have become more selective over the years and let it pass.

I already have a few Leicas in my collection which I don't use so it was no use to purchase more to put in my drawer


As I left the building I noticed this in the bike rack

(My 2 wheeled content for today)

I did manage to part with some hard earned $$, so if you ask nicely I may let you know what followed me home


  1. Okay, Mr Scoot, what did follow you home(asking nicely). plus, what did you do at the front of the line? Butt in, or wait for a pretty girl and then look all innocent?

  2. I like murals too. It's always fun to stumble across one I haven't seen before.

    Drooling over the tripods...I'm on the hunt for my next tripod. What a great bunch of goodies to dig through. That would be one shopping trip I would enjoy. Looking forward to hearing about all the goodies you found!

    Like Gary, I wonder what you did at the line too...noticed you don't say. :)

  3. Bob,
    It's good that you print your images. I take photos and file them in some desolate hard drive and never see them again!

  4. Bob, I think you need to see the doctor about your scaled might be getting a little to comfortable in your crocs. :)

    There are probably some photo swap meets like that here, though I haven't seen them, and don't go out of my way looking for them. Like you, I would be spending lots of hard-earned $$. Pretty please, with lens cleaner on top, what followed you home? ;)

    Very interesting to see the influx for packages. Not something I would normally think about as I don't have any options. But considering the savings I can understand why it is done. Just another step in accomplishing daily living in another part of the world.

  5. I'm a little slow here and it took me a while to figure out what "UWA" was. I am also really curious to here what lenses you selected (and maybe what other things managed to find their way into you shopping bag.)

    I guess I am also slighhtly curious as to what happened at the front of the long line of cars. I remember many really annoyed people when I came through at the Sumas crossing last summer. You could pull into the parking lot at the duty free shop and then pull back out a few hundred yards in the line.


  6. That camera show looked interesting. And that's a lot of work to drive across the border to pick up stuff. That must be tough for regular eBay'ers in Canada.

    I try to always have at least my G10 with me. I like your artistic shots in this post. Looking forward to more good photography!

  7. Dear Bob:

    I wonder how many Canadians would opt for statehood in exchange for cheap gas, lower sales taxes, and free ashipping? Interesting pictures of the camera show and swap meet.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad

  8. yeah, the cross-border shipping issues with eBay and UPS (I HATE UPS!) are a pain, but few of us have the option of just popping across to pick stuff up. So I'm envious.

    I love the bike picture.

  9. Gary:

    I thought a moment, got out of the car and walked back to the SUV behind and spoke to the driver, who was also amazed that the NEXUS lane was Closed. I asked him to move over and block the cars behind so I could sneak in.

    I bought something very neat and will write a post about it


    I would have thought that you already had a tripod. Get something stable like a Manfrotto or better (Gitzo etc). I have a few Manfrottos of different sizes.


    I often have enlargements printed and mostly frame them to give away. I cut my own mats and I usually have large frames in stock.


    It is just a way of life living here with close access to the United States. Everything we buy is much more expensive here so most people go across the border down to Bellingham where the malls cater to Canadians. Bellingham is only 50 miles south of Vancouver.

    As a result of cross border and on-line shopping most stores don't carry much

  10. RichardM:

    Its okay for you to push your way around. You have a large truck with Alaska plates. That's the problem with a bigger city, everyone is in a rush and no one will let you in


    Pt Roberts, WA is not really that far away but I can only pick up stuff on Saturdays as they don't open MY hours. I can drive there in about 45 minutes and I am NEXUS registered and can take the express lane (if open).

    I also have a G10 but hardly use it anymore as it doesn't have HD video mode. I prefer my Lumix ZS3 which is more pocketable.

    Jack r:

    we should never have given you Pt Roberts. It just doesn't make sense for the US to have a piece of land only accessible through Canada, and mostly Canadians live there anyway. I don't understand the border crossing which goes NOwhere. It just seems like a waste of money . . .


    the US border is only around 40km from our home so it is close. many of us have had problems with UPS due to their greedy policies. I had a big problem with them and complained about the brokerage and COD charges and they mostly gave me a refund for most of it. Then I decided to just get a PO box down in Pt Roberts. I generally only buy from vendors who include shipping to continental USA, which includes Pt Roberts.

    why don't you change to USPS. Canada Post only charges around $5. to do this. Lately I've been buying from Hong Kong vendors and they include shipping to Canada and I ship it to my work address. Log into Paypal and add your work address and somehow it becomes address verified. I have never had a problem shipping to a different address than to where my billing statement goes by doing it this way

  11. Hi Bob,
    Yeah, I have two tripods. both are inexpensive pan and tilts. I think I'd like to get a ballhead and separate legs. I need something small for hiking/biking, but reasonably sturdy. You know...light, sturdy, or cheap...pick two :)

    Maybe you should write a post on your equipment..hint!
    Or maybe you already have...guess I need to go snoop through the archives!

  12. Bob - You're right. I do insist on USPS when buying from the States. Much cheaper and better service than UPS.
    That still leaves the problem however of vendors who won't ship outside continental US. Not sure why they do this - it's not like it takes more writing to put a Canadian address on a package - because they are excluding potential bidders/buyers. But it's their choice for whatever reason.

  13. We have similar problems in Alaska. Many vendors tell us that they don't ship internationally which somehow includes Alaska. UPS ground just started to be available in the past year but the best deal is still USPS. Unfortunately, many vendors don't want to use them. I guess that's fine since I don't need to buy from them either.

    I have also been shopping for a compact, stable, lightweight & cheap tripod.


  14. Have you ever used any of the online "pro" printing services like


  15. Heather is the photographer in our house. I take pictures.

    The camera has become one more tool for looking more intently at the world around me. So far I've avoided the temptation to give myself over to the real discipline and the accompanying cost that goes with the art of photography.

    I do so enjoy your adventures, the glimpses into the energy you invest in your craft, and, most importantly, the images you share.

    Thank you.

  16. Kari/blueKat: I have a few tripods, all are manfrotto. The one I use most is model 055 with linhoff ball head. I carry a smaller one on the bike in the tool tube. I also use a manfrotto monoPod with my video cam

    Canajun: I agree with you but they also have to put a customs declaration on the package. No big deal but many don't want to do it. Don't know why 'cause they would have more customers

    RichardM: you can't go wrong with a Manfrotto. very sturdy aluminum construction. Legs can also extend wider for more stability and the centre column can usually be inverted for those ground level macro shots. I purchased my new Canon pro 9000 mark 2 printer so I could get better quality. I have been getting good results at Costco. 12x18 prints only cost $3.49 each on 48 hr service. I plan on printing my own 13x19. There is a reason if you need my explanation, it's due to Costco's policy of limiting files sizes.

  17. Keith:

    I'm a hobbist and former camera collector. I love LF photography and have a few 4x5 cameras. I used to self develop B&W and used do my own printing. Digital just seems easier and you get to see your results nearly instantly.

    There's nothing wrong with being a picture taker. I like to do that too