The Conservatory

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The conservatory at Como Park in St. Paul, MN.

Sony RX100 V, ISO 250, 14.7mm, f/2.8, 1/2500 sec

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Composition

Two images from a display about the Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Como Park Conservatory, St. Paul, MN

Untitled

No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t come up with an appropriate title for this image.

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Sony RX100 V, ISO 250, 25mm, f/4.0, 1/50sec

Tickets

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I used a trip to Como Park in St. Paul, MN to play with a new toy, a Sony RX100 V, which is the fifth generation of the well regarded RX100 series.  I’m putting it through it’s paces, trying to learn the menus and capabilities.  And so far, it is not disappointing me.  I’ve only scratched the surface of what it can do and what is in it’s extensive menus.  But I do like having, to what amounts to, a DSLR that fits in my pocket.  The 24-70mm equivalent lens suits me fine, if I need more reach, then I can reach for my full size DSLR and strap on the appropriate lens.  For stealth shooting, this camera is fantastic, especially since I can choose to mute the shutter sound.  As recommended, I did invest in a couple of extra batteries and, although a bit overpriced, I added the stick on grip, which, because of the small size of the body, does provide a more confident feel in my hands.  I like that it has a viewfinder, but have not used it much as of yet, probably will be more useful in bright outdoor situations when the display is hard to see.  The display is articulating, which makes getting those awkward shots easier and even flips completely around for selfies.  It’s not a touch display, but that doesn’t bother me, I’ve lived this long without that feature on a camera and survived.  It also shoots 4K video, but that was not a selling point for me.  I shot one short test video, but unless you have a pretty beefy setup for editing, it’s hard to work with.  Also, at this time, I just don’t feel the need for the increase in quality for video.  Perhaps in the future.

I’m not giving up my full size DSLR, but this is a nice option to have in my bag and I’m sure more of the images I capture with this camera will show up on future blog posts.

 

Sony RX100 V, ISO 125, 15.52mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec

24 Hours

After a long week of sports photography in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, it was nice to take a break and head north for a visit home.  It’s a little over two hours from where I stay in the cities to my home in Duluth, so it’s not a big deal to make the trip on the same day if needed.  If I feel I have the time, I will sometimes use these trips to explore alternate ways of getting north or south rather than use the freeway so that I might discover new photo ops.  But not this trip, this was a quick turnaround where I would have about twenty-four hours in Duluth.  Upon my arrival, as I came to the top of the hill, which affords a panoramic view of Duluth, Lake Superior and the St. Louis River harbor, I was greeted with no view of any city, lake or harbor.  The entire lake basin was hidden by a low lying fog bank.

Besides the tasks that need to be done, water plants, do my laundry, work a bit on cleaning the garage to be ready for my car this winter, local errands, I also had plans to be on the shore of Lake Superior for the lunar events Sunday night.  As most know, there was a rare combination of a full moon, super moon and a lunar eclipse.  I have never photographed an eclipse and wanted to give it a try.  But, before leaving for the lake, I took  a bit of time to document things growing in the yard.

Since the location I had planned to shoot the moon from was being used by a group of Native American women for a ceremony, I moved down shore about fifty yards and setup my gear.  As the evening progressed, the magic of the lunar event was enhanced by the sounds and sights of the ceremonial event taking place nearby.

As I mentioned, this was my first attempt at photographing an eclipse and the intermittent cloud cover didn’t help.  I did enjoy some successes, but there were many unusable images.  However, I learned from the experience and will be better prepared the next time I have the chance to witness a celestial event of this nature again.

And now it’s Monday morning and in a couple of hours, I will be loading the car and heading back south to shoot soccer games later today.  But my time in the northland was good, as it allowed me to slow down a bit and be removed from the frenetic pace of the big city for a few hours and to spend time by the “big lake” and be reminded why I move up here and away from the “big city.”

St. Paul Farmer’s Market

There was a time when going to the farmer’s market did not involve a trip across a metropolitan area to get your veggies.  But as more people choose to live in downtown areas, the markets are choosing to come to them.  And this is a good thing, it gives city dwellers an opportunity to find fresh produce that is coming directly from local farms.  The twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are blessed with many such markets, both in the downtown areas and in many of the neighborhoods.  Recently, before heading home to Duluth, I took a trip to the St. Paul market.  My route was very different from what our grandparents would have taken.  Like them, I arose early, but then drove to University and Dale avenues in St. Paul, parked my car and caught the Green Line light rail for the rest of the journey.  The Green Line stops one block from the market and you can download a free pass if going to the market.  The reason I chose Dale Ave. was because I knew I would be going to Dragon Star Oriental Market afterwards for a few other items. (the local oriental markets are a post for later)  If your city has farmer’s markets, I hope you take advantage of them.  Farm to table is some of the best eating you can discover and the prices are very reasonable.