Yesterday, it was my pleasure to show fellow blogger and photographer, Paul
Lester, a little of the southern California desert, in particular, the Palm Springs
Aerial Tramway and Mount Jacinto State Park. Paul is the photographer who
shot the amazing image at Joshua Tree National Park the other evening that I raved about in a reply to a reader’s comment here. You can view that image
on Paul’s fine blog here and his post about shooting up on the mountain here.
Warning! Be prepared for great photos and writing, the site may be habit forming!
We met at the tram station around 0900- no I wasn’t late- and yes I was playing Pink Floyd DSOTM on the Morongomobile’s Entertainment Center, with my desert rat hat I was easy for Paul to spot, plus being a pound or too overweight possibly, the added bulk made recognition easier, I am sure.
After introductions, we made our way up and into the rotating tram cars, which
they so kindly arranged to leave right when we were ready to sally forth, and the shooting(with cameras) began. Paul was cranking out the shots with his
big Nikon digital slr and I was too busy trying to stay balanced on the rotating tram floor and to get shots off with the extremely slow and frustrating P510.
On the ascent, I noticed several subjects worthy of further looks in the future
for photographic study, but due to the unsure footing and the sheer sloooooowwwwwnnnnneeeeesssss of the P510 focus and processing, I
passed on taking the shots, but will do so with my Nikon D70 digital slr or any
of the many film cameras still owned, admittedly covered with dust; the most
ancient and classic ones fully capable of taking the shots.
Let me just say for the record that Paul has the quickest eye spotting things
that I have seen in a long time. He spotted both of these critters, plus numerous birds, and other photographic opportunities way before me, if I saw
them at all.
We ended up walking a couple of the nature trails, taking photos and shooting
the breeze. Here are a few pics of the area.
The guy in the photo above was a pretty good story teller. Never did tell us what a “midden” was. Look it up, I ain’t
That’s about it folks. Just a couple more things. I really enjoyed meeting and
visiting with Paul, who like my father, seems to have never met a stranger.
It seemed like right away I was visiting with an old friend I hadn’t seen in awhile,
when in fact, this was the first time we met in person. I hope to meet up with
Paul again, and next time, I look forward to showing him( and any of you readers with the interest) the wonderful and scenic Mojave National Preserve
and Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Who knows, there might be someone
reading this who could be the next “Bighorn Whisperer.”
Finally, the long awaited final verdict on my newest camera, the Nikon P510.
Grade overall: C+. For shooting bighorn, just for that reason alone, I am keeping the camera. But for anything with movement, such as shooting Blue
Jays etc: F. For video I give it an A- due to wind issues and the lack of an audio
jack for hooking up wind-resistant microphones. For other photography including closeups, it gets a solid B. Overall, I give the Nikon Coolpix P510
a solid C+ overall.
Having said all that, if you want to shoot bighorn sheep that are far up the hillside, run, don’t walk to the camera store and pick up one of these cameras!
Folks, again may I suggest that you go checkout Paul’s fine photography blog
where he discusses life, in writing and through the camera lens.
Hope to see you again out here on the backporch.