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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa


August 13th, 2008 · 5 Comments

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Just as intensely involved as I have become with physical fitness, I’m also going all out with my photography.

Yesterday I spent all day with my old pictures. Normally on a Friday I would have been hiking in the mountain and taking new pictures. But a huge change in the weather came through yesterday. It was one of the coldest August days in Boulder history going only from 48 to 63 degrees.

The cool weather wouldn’t have stopped me from hiking. But the heavy rain here and snow in the mountains did. I can wait until tomorrow or Monday, when we expect the weather to clear.

So I went through the 35mm slides that I took on something we used to call “film.” I have about 4,000 of them that I took in the past half century. Yesterday I picked out my favorite 100 slides for a camera store here in town to scan in to digital. I could have done it on my home scanner, but it’s time-consuming and tedious work and besides my scanner doesn’t have nearly as good a resolution as the store’s.

When I took the slides to the store for them to scan, I made sure to look around. I was able to hold in my hands the current object of my lust. It’s the new Nikon D700 digital SLR. It would be perfect for me, except for two problems.

The new Nikon lists for $3,000. And that doesn’t include any lens. The store demonstrated the beauty that I held together with a zoom lens that adds another $600 to the price. And of course I would also need a macro lens for my close-ups of flowers and insects.

The other problem is just how darn big and heavy the camera is. So I’m still not convinced that slightly better pictures would be worth the strain on my back carrying so many more pounds on the trail.

But I did see something else to carry as I wandered around the store. It’s an ultra lightweight tripod. I already have two tripods, but one of them weighs 3.6 pounds. I bought it in February to take a picture of the lunar eclipse and haven’t carried it on a hike since then because of its weight. My friend Barry gave me a mini-tripod that I have used a couple of times, but it’s only 5 inches long.

While I don’t know how much the ultra lightweight tripod in the store costs or weighs, I researched tripods online today. The tripod that I now lust after is the “Gitzo Carbon 6x Traveler” that weighs a mere 2 pounds. The best price that I saw for it, however, is $575.

I’ll have to think a bit before spending that kind of money on an accessory that costs more than my camera. But I did buy an important accessory yesterday at the photo shop — a polarizing filter.

Filters like this can darken blue skies, turning them a deep, rich blue. They are also good with foliage, making flowers and leaves less shiny by cutting down on reflections.

I can’t wait to use it so that I can get better pictures! Today, however, it’s too wet and dark for anything but moody scenes.

Some of the pictures that I have been taking are probably good enough to share even without a polarizing filter. And here are some flowers that I shot on the trail to Mount Chapin that I’m sending in lieu of a new report on my efforts to combine fitness and photography.

A Rosy Paintbrush Beside a Spring

A Rosy Paintbrush Beside a Spring

A Rosy Paintbrush Beside a Spring

A Rosy Paintbrush Beside a Spring

Colorado's State Flower, the Columbine

Colorado's State Flower, the Columbine


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Posted in: Hiking, Photography

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mary // Sep 8, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I like your new website and great flower pics!

  • 2 Scott K. Johnson // Sep 10, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Hi David! Love the pictures! I’ll tune in for future updates.

  • 3 Marcia // Sep 20, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Oh my……I have never heard of a Columbine and it is absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for sharing.

  • 4 Rolland Krueger // Oct 19, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Hi David, I Like your photos! It has been many years since I have been in Colorado. I took some photos in the mountains when i was there. Not many places to hike here in central Texas.
    I have been a pro photographer for 42 years, if you have any photo questions by all means ask !

  • 5 David Mendosa // Oct 19, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Dear Rolland,

    Thank you! Since writing this article, I have yet another camera, the brand new Cannon EOS 50D SLR. It’s wonderful and I am going wild with it. No questions about the camera, but I do sometimes have questions about the photo editing software that I use — Aperture 2, which runs on my Macs.

    Do you knw that program?


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