What the Heck Happened to Steve

Elk Herd on Snowy Mountain

It’s been more than a month since my last post and more than a few people have been starting to ask if I’m still alive. I’m happy to report that rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated and that I am indeed alive and kicking 🙂 This month however has not been without it’s challenges!

 

On March 14th I finished my shift at my full time job looking forward to a week of vacation in which I had visions of photographing mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep and maybe even a bear or two! By midnight after the swing shift it was becoming apparent that my plans were changing rapidly. Soon a 911 call, a new lesson in pain and an ambulance ride were in the works and my vacation plans were kaput. A couple of hours later I was in surgery for repair of a life threatening incarcerated hernia followed by a second surgery the next night which was necessary to correct some pesky internal bleeding. Now a full month later I am finally feeling like life could return to normal at some point!

Whiling away the hours discussing cameras and photography with my photo bud Kevin have revealed that I need to direct some much needed attention to unexplored camera functions that I have never managed the time to look into.  Especially in Waterton Canyon I have noticed the requirement to rapidly and extensively change camera settings for different subjects.

One moment I might be photographing a beautiful landscape along the river while the next moment might find me scrambling to capture a bighorn sheep preparing to leap into the clear blue water. This can be difficult and often the action occurs before the settings are changed and the moment is lost.

Enter Custom Modes 1 and 2, something I’ve never bothered to mess with in 18 years of digital photography. So I’ve decided to have one function for wildlife and the other for landscape photography. For wildlife I’ve selected Auto ISO with a cap of 1600 and a minimum shutter speed of 1/500th of a second. An exposure compensation factor of +1/3 of a stop seemed like a pretty reliable selection along with high speed drive mode, back button focus and AI Servo for a focus mode. Then you just go to menu settings and find the custom camera modes, select and then register settings. The menu will ask you if you want C1, C2…. or more if you have a camera with additional modes. Wildlife is now C1 on my Canon.

For C2 and landscape photography I selected aperture priority set to f6.3, ISO 100, slow drive mode and again exposure compensation of +1/3.

Now I can easily and quickly switch between wildlife and landscape modes with one quick turn of the main dial. No more missing the money shot! As for the video settings I don’t really care, I don’t make money on video and the camera seems to just do what I want as if by magic.

Now all I need is for somebody to come up with a cure for this blasted CoVid-19 so the stay at home order can be lifted!

If you would like an escape from the monotony of staying at home you might enjoy a visit to my YouTube channel for some nice footage of deer, elk and bighorn sheep! Please subscribe if you like the videos and want to be notified next time I publish!

Irony

A beautiful morning this Friday, and a perfect day for Jill Howard to head to Utah for her valiant attempt at a Boston Marathon qualifying time in the Top of Utah Marathon. As I had mentioned in an earlier blog I was going to step out of my comfort zone in my Examiner reporting role by reaching out and doing a story on someone instead of just places and events. My first interview report was published this week and is now available on the Examiner online. Jill has been on a two and a half year journey through a life threatening illness and back again. Her recovery has been fast and remarkable and tomorrow she will show the world that she is back.

It was ironic though that I finished up the story on Jill’s recovery from brain surgery in the waiting room of the hospital while my friend of 25 years and life partner was on the MRI table getting a spine and brain scan to look for cancer. Today as Jill heads for Utah I will head for Colorado Springs to get the results of the MRI and wait while my friend gets mapped for radiation therapy. It will be a long day for us and there are a lot of long days ahead of us with ten straight days of radiation treatment to endure.

God is good and God is merciful, so I hope that in a few months I will be writing another Examiner success story about a miraculous recovery. In the meantime I am learning to take the days one at a time, living by Jesus’ advice that “Today’s worries are sufficient for the day.”.

It looks to be a glorious weekend in the mountains and I am looking forward to the big Oktoberfest celebration in Woodland Park. I have missed it every year that I have been here for one reason or another, but this year I am determined to attend. Be sure to subscribe to my Examiner column so you won’t miss my report on the festivities! It’s free and you will receive an email each time I publish a new article!