Photography started out as a hobby, but within a short time it was a deep passion.  I considered getting an SLR, or a mirrorless when I bought my latest camera (spring 2012) but opted instead for a Panasonic DMC FZ150.  It doesn't have the clarity of a more powerful camera, but this superzoom does so much without changing lenses or adding attachments that another camera would only dream about.  And I don't have to carry a bag of heavy lenses and tripod to supplement my system.  I joke that if I took pictures with an SLR, my husband would be my personal valet, since I'd need him to help carry all my gear.

This camera goes from macros, to zoom in a flash.  The extended zoom length isn't so long that the body requires a tripod to balance the weight.  It gives has a variety of frames per second settings, but I pretty well stick with 12 FPS now - and I love the fact that I can get most shots of birds flapping, butterflies flitting, and playing around without a lot of blur.  When I do want to take pictures at a faster rate, there are those options as well - inlcuding slow motion shots.  And though I haven't played with SLO-MO much, I'm impressed with what I've created.  Additionally, and what was most important when I started looking, was the vari-angle monitor that lets me swivel it up and down, and side to side so that I can catch high, low, or side angle shots that would be hard to frame otherwise.

The camera has lots of creative settings, but I like doing most of that work on the computer, so I haven't played with those.  Intriguing though, is the ability to create 3D images.  Again, that's not an area I've touched on - yet - as I don't have a 3D monitor, but I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do in that area.

When I had a regular film camera, I would never have thought of taking endless burst shots of moving subjects, but now I come home with hundreds (over 1,000 at times) in an afternoon, and there's no problem with the camera slowing down.

Most of the time, all I do with the pictures is crop them, but occasionally I play around with the shots in paint.net on the computer, or very occasionally with Photo Art, or one of several ANDROID programs on the phone.  All of the creative programs I use are free, and the wonderful part of using paint.net, is that it's an open source program with a lot of free plug-ins, and a host of users who provide video and forum help.

Though this won't help much with anyone outside of the Greater Vancouver area, I have to pass my thanks on to the people who helped me select my camera.  There are a lot of really good camera shops with incredibly knowledgeable staff, but I found that once I'd done my extensive internet search, Kerrisdale Cameras provided the most competitively priced equipment, and staff that went out of their way to ensure I was taken care of.

Since music plays a big part in my life, I want to share some of that.  Enjoy the tunes on the Ear Candy page, and while you're at it, dive into the clips on Clips.  All in all, I hope you smile while you're checking out the pics, the music, and the rest.  And please feel free to share the site.

And because I like sharing odd thoughts and fun pieces, I'll add to the Random section in News as things crop up. I have the feeling that most of it will be insights and postings from my girlfriend's son Jeremy Baker, an announcer at 91.3, The Zone, in Victoria. He recounts wonderful moments with his young daughter Madelyn (Mads) that are exceptional and beyond.

I hadn't thought of putting musings on the site, but in response to some FaceBook postings, I started a section of mini posters in Just Thoughts. Using paint.net to layer the shots and play with the text, the final projects were a lot of fun to create.

Most important though, is all the help my husband provided in building this site.  We started with a great platform through zenPHOTO, but he fine tuned it so that it really took off. You can search by locations on the Locations page, and by month added, or month taken on the Archives page.  He made the Subject page come alive with all the birds, critters, plants, and tiny surprises captured on this website. You may not think of looking for a particular bird or dragonfly, but when you see the list of subjects included, you'll be amazed by what you can find close to your home. The Subject page also lists music by artist, and clips by category, so finding what you want is a snap. And you can always search using the search box at the top of each page. 

If you have any questions, or would like to comment on any pictures, albums, or content, please feel free to do so.

Karen VK