Game changer.

panasonic-lumix-dmc-gf1.jpgGood things come in small packages.

This camera was a game changer for me. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1. A super-nifty little Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera with the legendary 20mm ƒ1.7 lens. So many nice images came from this little gem.

I learned of this camera through a blog post by Craig Mod titled “GF1 Fieldtest – 16 Days in the Himalayas.” His detailed review, high praise, and gorgeous photos with the GF1 were all hard to ignore.

The first time I held one and fiddled with it was December 2009 while attending a photo meet-up in Santa Clara, at the coffee shop across from Loyola Hall on El Camino Real.

One of the folks at the meet-up brought along his recently acquired GF1 and was kind enough to let me hold it and play with it a bit.

The minute I pressed the shutter release I was sold.

The minute I pressed the shutter release I was sold. It made a solid two-part click-thunk combo – you knew you’d just made a picture.

I’d gone from Pentax DSLRs to small point-and-shoot cameras in years prior to the GF1. Samsung NV11, Canon S3IS, Ricoh GRD2, Leica D-LUX 4. All awesome cameras, but the GF1 was so cool. Small, 12 megapixels, used interchangeable Panasonic and Olympus lenses, quick auto-focus, a 3″ display, and an external viewfinder could be added.

By Christmas 2009 I had one of my own, along with the 20mm ƒ1.7 and the EVF.

Some of my fave portraits were made with this little guy and I shot a lot of cool cars and beautiful flowers with it, too.

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Another new gizmo.

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Platypod Ultra.

I think it was a post I read from Scott Kelby’s blog. Not a commercial, but a ringing endorsement for a small device to use in place of a tripod when traveling.

Intrigued, I watched a video about the little gizmo and was attracted to its small size and portability.

A few weeks later it arrived on my porch.

The Platypod Ultra, a cool little tri/mono-pod alternative that doesn’t take up a lot of room in my camera bag and can even fit in my pocket.

It came with a few useful accessories… 4 screw-in feet, each with a rubber covered end and a pointed end, plus a lock nut, making it easy to adjust height and level the device on pretty much any surface.

The Platypod Ultra also comes with a 20″ long hook-and-loop strap that makes it easy to secure the device to small objects like a pole or a fence post.

Also included is a carabiner clip that’ll attach to the Ultra in a few places, quite practical for hanging it from a camera bag.

I attached a Giottos MH-1304 Pro Series II Socket & Ball Head. Works perfectly.

There are a dozen or so small icons scattered around the top of the Platypod Ultra in locations that give clues as to which of these accessories can be strapped, screwed, or clipped.

Pretty cool. I dig innovation, and this little chunk of metal rings true as a useful photographic tool.

 

Rockpile.

One foggy morning.

We went for a short drive yesterday to check out a new connection that opened between our neighborhood and the hood just north of us.

Though not quite a straight shot through, eventually the new route will allow us to avoid I-35 if we need to drive to Georgetown.

Pretty cool.

On the way, I noticed a humungous pile of limestone rock situated on the corner of an empty lot. Empty block, actually. No homes yet, just a paved road with curbs.

Specs | Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 + Wanderflust Pinwide and Pinwide Slit. Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

The pile is about 20-25 ft tall and about 50-60 feet across. Huge.

It was foggy as hell this morning. I thought that fogginess would make for great atmosphere, so I loaded up the GF1, the Pinwide and Pinwide Slit, the LX100, a light-weight Manfrotto tripod, and drove back up to the rockpile.

I fiddle and shot for about 20 minutes and came away with a few decent pictures.

The Slit shot is my fave.

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Rockpile. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 + Wanderlust Pinwide.

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Rockpile. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 + Wanderlust Pinwide Slit.

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Rockpile. Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100.

Journey through the past.

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Drop it.

It must have bothered me. Not enough to act immediately, but I’ve felt compelled lately to right a wrong that occurred some 10 years ago.

I really liked it. Was getting a lot of use out of it, too. I even took it to Omaha, Nebraska. Walked all over town with it while attending a conference for the university. Got amazing results with it. I absolutely loved the user-interface and menu system. Check out the specs on DPReview…

And then one day after work I was getting out of the truck and I dropped it. It wasn’t the first time that had happened. It was the third. And final.

It came with one strap lug and a hand strap. Not my favorite set-up. I’ll never be a fan of that configuration.

I absolutely loved the user-interface and menu system.

Over the years, I’d occasionally scour eBay to see if anyone was selling theirs. In early November I finally found a used Samsung NV11 in near mint condition for an extremely reasonable price. $66, including shipping.

When it arrived, I spent a couple of days reacquainting myself. Played with all the settings and took a bunch of meaningless pictures that eventually got deleted.

It was one of three cameras I used yesterday while on a photo stroll near the Texas State Capitol in Austin. PhotowalksATX. Great gang of folk.

I purposely set it to black and white and ISO 1600, and off I went…