Friday, July 3, 2009

Fog In My Eye

Some of you have probably noticed the round, dark spots that have appeared in many of the photos of my recent posts(here and here). About 5 weeks ago I had a batch of photos that all had a dark circle just left of center, in the upper half. I originally just chalked this up to a dirty lens. I cleaned the camera, and the next batch of photos showed no sign of these spots. Problem solved! Not so fast! The spots have reappeared in many recent photos, and closer inspection has revealed that there is condensation inside the camera. In certain conditions the condensation appears on the inside of the lens (it is like a built-in barometer). The camera has not gotten wet so-to-speak, but there have been several times this spring when I have been caught in the rain. Also, the past month has created such a damp environment aboard that everything from laundry to my cell phone has a certain degree of moisture in it.Zip-loc bags only help so much. My film camera was a Fuji that was given to me secondhand about 20 years ago. I had an assortment of lenses and took that camera everywhere. Eventually the marine environment and time took it's toll. When I made the switch to a digital camera, I deliberately chose something that I would not have to worry about. If I wanted to walk out on a jetty or take photos of spray coming over the rail, I didn't want to be worrying about the camera. If the camera was too valuable, it would start dictating where I went, and under what conditions. Salt water, dampness, and cameras do not mix. I think we have all met people who own something nice, but who are reluctant to use it for fear of damaging it. There is a fine line between taking proper care of something, and being more in love with the product than it's purpose. Sometimes you own an item, other times it owns you. There have been some drawbacks to this small Sony. The quality deteriorates sharply when there is distance involved. Also I simply do not have the zoom capabilities that I had been previously so accustomed to. But I have learned to improvise. The next few weeks of photos will determine what I decide to do. In the meantime, I have been messing around with Picasa, trying to minimize the spots. These photos were taken along the East River on the Guilford-Madison line. The river was swollen from the recent rains, leaving a portion of the parking lot and boat ramp submerged. Water, water everywhere.


TheLongIslandGuy said...

I have similar problems with my 5 year old Canon. Not condensation though, dirt on the sensor. Impossible to fix.

In your case, you could try baking the camera for a couple of days over a lamp. That might drive out the moisture. Just don't let it get too hot.

Camera recommendations:

I use a Canon compact and a Nikon D40 DSLR. The compact is great for discreet shots in restaurants (if they see you taking pictures of your food the service suddenly gets WAY better), and it's what I use to shoot all my videos.

In my experience the Canon compacts typically have a convenient menu structure and produce high quality images with great color.

The D40 is what replaced my Olympus 35mm gear and I'm extremely happy with it.

In the test shots that I've done the 6MP resolution of the D40 equals the resolution of the Kodak ASA200 film that I used to shoot with my Olympus.

The D40 is what I use any time discretion is not an issue, and when I need to shoot action. It's also my general purpose kid's b'day, bbq, take on vacation camera.

You can't beat it for the price.

Unknown said...

I was going to make a simple comment on the significant moisture of being on the Sound, but the info The Long island guy is very valuable. Not being a photographer, I use what ever I have around (like my cell phone camera) to capture ideas, but have to resort to my lab camera (a Sony cyber shot) for shots with more quality. It is good for what I do, but what the previous poster said is much more valuable.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this weather is rough on the gear. I like your fog shots. You do them very well.

Cindy said...

Thanks for your kind words.

I love the last shot especially with the summer houses in the distance.

I had a camera fall in the lake last year. Thought I'd put it in a warm oven for a bit. Reminded everyone not to turn on the oven and then being very overtired, put the oven on myself. I consoled myself thinking the lake had probably already done it

Unknown said...

Thanks for all of your advice and insight. I will keep you updated on how it goes. It has improved slightly, so far.

I have a similar story concerning some Christmas presents. My girlfriend didn't cook, so the oven seemed like a perfect place to hide some gifts.

Thanks Steve
Thanks Whitemist