Update: Since I don't seem to manage regular posts

Much has changed since my last maudlin “don’t smoke” post.

1) I have retired, and my house is now completely paid for! The retirement was for medical reasons of course and now I am on a disability pension (because there was not enough in superannuation to do more than pay off house and see to point 2 in this post). Taking this path has made my life just a little easier. I can sleep when I need to, and have better control of my diet because I’m not buying lunches every day. I can now get my rather considerable supply of medication at a much cheaper rate ($200 every month just for meds was unbelievable… and that wasn’t even all of them). I have time to work on getting the house into a reasonable condition (I had let everything go for months because I was just too damned tired)… its a slow process… knocks me about so I only get to do a bit every other day… and then start over… but at least I am making some progress. Its been three months now, and contrary to predictions by workmates, I have no desire to return to *that* workforce. I’m going to be looking to do some kind of volunteer work, perhaps RSPCA, once or twice a week. That will keep me from being a complete hermit.

2) I have bought more photography gear. The K-x I sold last year was succeeded by something called the K-r. I wasn’t going to buy that, I wanted (and still do) the K5 but I just could not afford to buy it and also get the prime lenses I wanted. To be perfectly honest with myself, it was an impulse buy and I should really have only bought the lenses. I could have bought one more than what I have, had I not bought the K-r. That said, I have been using it much more than I ever did the K-x, and I really like it. I do wish there was a way of combining the best features of my K200D with the K-r. I suspect, ultimately, I will end up selling both those cameras and get the K-5, or whatever its next incarnation will be. K-3? Probably.

In addition to the K-r, I now have a DA15mm f/4 Limited, and an FA43mm f/1.9 Limited. The “F” in Pentax land indicates a lens which can be used on a full-frame camera, and the “D” indicates digital only. Because I now have 3 primes, as well as an adapter which lets me use my old Minolta MC lenses on the Pentaxes, I’m nearly at the end of my lens purchasing. I still want the FA77mm Ltd, and perhaps in time I’ll be looking at other FA lenses. Just in case. If Pentax ever went full frame in digital, I would probably buy that.

I’ve also bought a couple of non-dslr cameras: A Panasonic FZ100, and a Canon G11 (might have mentioned that before). The Canon has replaced my Panasonic TZ7 as my always-in-the-bag camera and with its larger sensor, acquits itself extremely well. The FZ100 was another impulse buy and I am really not sure whether I am ever going to use it in any significant way. Likely not. But, its there if I don’t feel like carting camera bodies and lenses everywhere.

What this all means is that I have a lot of camera gear just sitting on a shelf, unused and unloved. oh well.

3) I’ve joined a camera club, meetings 3x monthly, 2 of which are “training” or tutorial nights. We can all learn more than we know. Keeps me in touch with people.

4) I’ve had more shots accepted to the Pentax Photo Gallery (link in right side column) for a total of 10 at the moment, and 2 still being reviewed. I think I have probably submitted about 20 since I was first invited to join the Gallery, so thats 8 or so which have been declined. Its not surprising, photography is very much an eye of the beholder thing. How it works is this: You submit a photograph, and then, about 2 weeks (sometimes longer, almost never less) later, your photograph will be either accepted, or declined. The voting process is something we all take part in, I try to vote on a minimum of 50 a day, because the Pentax people are unable to look at every submission. They do look at some, though, because some make it into the “Premiere Collection” – none of mine are there, I’m just out there with the rest of the rabble. Voting is fraught… I find myself a lot more critical now, of submissions, than I was in the past. I will always vote down family snaps, photographs which are out of focus, photographs which have horizons dipping wildly all over the place, photographs which have large dark areas which don’t add to the shot, and so on. I’m also inclined to vote down butterflies (there are already a million in the gallery) unless the shot is exceptional. I won’t vote up “messy” shots in which you are unsure of the subject. Yes… I know… critical. And there are a couple of mine now which if I was voting today, would not pass my own standard (and I wouldn’t submit them). Will I delete them? Nah, they got in, they can stay there.

4) Not sure that 4 exists. Might add to it later.