Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Nikon or not to Nikon

So you've had a day to think it over and you're still hanging around, which must mean you are thinking about, maybe, wanting to, sort of, try, might get a “real' camera.

Now you know how I feel about the high priced spread, owning a Nikon makes you a Nikon owner not a photographer, it makes you pay more for lenses and accessories and it takes longer to learn about all the bells and whistles, cause they just know you don;t need any help cause you are a Nikon owner.

But if you still have your heart set on a Nikon, you picked a pretty good time.

So let's start with the basics...

How many pixels do you really need?

You can get a camera with enough pixels to make a warm blanket and still have a coupla dozen left over. That won't make your pictures any better. In fact the forty megapixels in your phone won't make your pictures any better cause they are dinky.

To get all those pixels in a phone sized sensor they have to be tiny. You want enough to make wall-sized enlargements if you want them but not so many that you have to get a new hard rive to store them. In fact if you shoot RAW you will have to think about getting a larger hard drive anyway, but we'll deal with that later. For now we're talkin pixels.

Twelve of'em. That seems to be the magic number, enough so you can make BIG prints and still have enough space on your hard rive for the new Katy Perry MP3.

Now there are a lot of cameras lurking about with that sort of pixel count and if you are looking at a Nikon them a good place to start is the D90.

What makes the D90 such a good deal? Well for starters you can get your hands on one for under three hundred dollars, two hundred and eighteen to be exact today through KEH. Sure there are other places where you can get a camera and you should look at them too, but KEH offers one of the best all around deals. (They also have a D5000 starting at $175 so you can pick and choose.)

Now remember the golden rule, ELECTRONICS work are they don't. With cameras the real marker is shutter count. A Nikon can stand 100K shutter activations. Now if you get one with less than 60k on the clock you'll be dead long before you push it past the 100k mark.

(I didn't know all this when I got my Pentax K-x. It had 46K on the clock and a shutter rated at just 50k. Doesn't seemed to have hurt it or me, it is still clicking away and looks like it will for some time to come. So a Nikon should offer even better durability.)

I won't go into all of the bells and whistles there are sites all over the Net you can find that sot of thing. I'll just say that you can do almost anything you can think of with one of these babies.

But as with all things there are some liabilities.

The lenses will cost you.

Fortunately there are a lot of guys who wanted a Nikon and if you shop around a bit you can get your hands on one for under a hundred dollars. And that is if you shop local.

Our friendly, neighborhood pawn shop in North Bend, World Pawn has a hand full of Nikon brand lenses and a coupla nice aftermarket guys.

What to get?

For your first lens, and this is where buying by the component, (That means a body only) is a big help. Nikon often ships their kit lens which is a 18-55mm do-nothing special piece of glass. You can do so much better and for the first piece of glass on your camera I recommend a 55-200 or a 55-300. This workhorse will get up close and personal when you want it to and reach out and grab those wonderful birds we are so lucky to have living in our neighborhood. You might as well have a lens you can learn on and do a lot of stuff with while you are making friends with all of the dials and switches.

Oh yes, when you get your new baby you can set it on Auto and walk away and it will take wonderful pictures. But do yourself a favor and set it on P for Program. This is a lot like Auto but better. You won't notice a thing but you'll take better pictures.

So let's review.

Don't shop on Craig's List

They want more than any of their stuff is worth and you will have absolutely no guarantee that any of it will work and if it doesn't you have no recourse.

You can go to Wally World or Freddy's and plunk down four bills and get a kit with last year's discontinued model and a lens that's really a paper weight or...

You can go to KEH

I cheated, that's the page for all of the twelve megapixel cameras so you won't even have to poke around.

Or you can go to B&H

Or you can go to Adorama

Or you can go to

Any of these guys will do you a solid. And for less than the cost of a kit, with a lens which you don;t want anyway you can get a camera which will take better pictures than you do and you can work your way into actually understanding it and live with it for the rest of your days or...

You can see what you have been missing and maybe buy a newer model and get into the main stream and spend more than the gross annual product of the Arch Duchy of Findyke. It is up to you, but while your deciding and in this dreadful, upcoming election year when all of the good programs will be preempted for debates, commercials and scandals you will want to be outside taking pictures and away from anything which can carry a political speech and you will be surrounded by Nature and all that is green and good and you will live happily ever after!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Quest

I Thought, yes, I do think, and here it what I thought, I thought that instead of harassing, haranguing and haunting you before Christmas, when prices are high and everyone is out shopping like mad, waving money in both hands and fighting to get the very latest bargain, I would wait until after the holiday to make with my annual whine about going out and getting yourself a descent camera, when you are still flush with all of the money you got from your friends and family who were too lazy and thoughtless to go and get you an actual, thoughtful, personalized and desired present and instead slipped a few bucks in a cheap card and said, “I'm done, yeah!”

I mean let's face it. The kids split as soon and they food was taken away from the table and the thing on the couch won't move until after the last game is played on New Year's Day and you've already cleared away the wreckage from the present glut and the tree doesn't have to go up for another week and unless you got a new, nifty neat and cool super wide-screen. LCD, internet-ready television you have no chance of getting the remote out of enemy hands and into someone's who doesn't think Tampa Bay vs Chicago with three wins between them is something which should claim three hours of your precious time and of that only ninety minutes will be actual game and the rest will be old Christmas commercials and you won't see anything new until they bring out the Stupid Bowl ads sometime in late January, so why not count up all that cash and go see what you can get for it if you are willing to spend a little time on the computer?

Okay, so I know that your heart is in the right place and you want to do the right thing and that means shopping local and Fred Meyer and Wally World will have some fair prices on camera equipment either this week or the next and you really do want to support your friends and neighbors but you won't get the best bang for your buck if you do and you do have to watch closely and make sure that that camera advertised at $399.99 is the newest model and not the model they just took out of production and you could get the same thing at Amazon for a hundred dollars less and besides you don't want to blow all of your mad money on one thing so let's have a think about this and see.

You could look at Craig's List and please don't cause you will lose your mind and all of your cash and not get much in return and when something goes wrong and it breaks you won't be able to get a dime out of it and the seller will just laugh and change their email address. And besides people think when they sell their old stuff it is made out of gold and they price it that way and why should you pay four hundred dollars for a camera which was taken out of production so long ago that your kid didn't even know how to program their Ipad and you know how long ago that was so...

Let's take a look at what you should do.

KEH is the best site for used photographic equipment and will have a larger selection and better rices than just about anybody. They do repair work and on the off chance that you buy something from them which breaks and isn't covered by their warranty they can fix it for you.

B & H is number two but they have some pretty neat things

Including Gift Cards so you can hide your cash in one of them and the kid won't sneak it out of your purse when you aren't looking and take it down to the local beer store and get high and wreck the car with the mayor's daughter, who is only fifteen in the backseat with just her smile and some texture pantyhose and the policewoman thinks every teenager is a walking hormone and should be neutered and charges the kid with felony assault and asks the D.A. if the Death Penalty applies.

Exceptionally wide selection and they carry lower-end items which you might want to extend your shopping pleasure and they have gift cards which you should refer back to the last paragraph to see why that might be a good idea.

And just because they are our neighbors to the north doesn't mean that they don't offer exceptional quality and value for your buck, so don't be a snob and take a look and see if they have what you are looking for.

You want to buy new and you think that any camera which isn't in the original packaging is just some other guys garbage and you know it will take your money from your pocket straight to Goodwill.

There is nothing at all wrong with new. It just costs an arm and a leg. The new Canons have a fifty megapixel sensor and take sharper images than a medium format film camera of just a few years ago. That is sharp and you can brag about it to your neighbors, but is it what you need?

I got all I need in my phone.

There is no getting around that camera in your phone, it is handy and in the right hands it can take fantastic pictures. But it is just a camera in a phone and no matter how many megapixels it has they are tiny and not all megapixels are the same. Sure when you go to the Stupid Bowl and see Katy Perry fall out of her top and Katy Perry does have something to fall out with which is not at all true of Taylor Swift and if she fell out there would be nothing but gasps and clucking and you wouldn't even have to cover the children's eyes and the thing on the couch might not even stop snoring, so even if you have a phone camera what would you get taking a picture that nobody would want to buy and even the most desperate hacker wouldn't hack your phone to get so it is just not worth the effort.

No, you need a quality camera and it doesn't have to be new.


That is a fact and no matter how old they are if they are working they will probably keep tight on working and that is a very good thing for you cause it means all those guys who got the new cameras for Christmas will have nothing to do with their old cameras and they won't be able to get the prices you see on Craig's List so they will either have to store them in the closet or sell them to their uncles or give them to Goodwill and that's where you come in.

You can buy one a coupla generation old and save a wad of money and have a camera which will last until your kids are bitching about all of the stuff they have to get rid of now that the old folks have gone to the big art show and why didn't they just get rid of all of it or take out a lot of insurance and open a gas jet?
I don't know what to get.

Have you looked? Okay, so you didn't. There's a fix for that.

This site will help you compare the cameras you look at and then you can see a numerical deferential which tells you which one Snapsort thinks is better and you can see if you agree.

And before I go here are a few to start looking at.

Nikon D90

Canon XSI, T1i, T2i. T3

Pentax Kx, Kr, K30, K50

Sony a33, a55

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Dance in the New Year

Happy Holidays.
Thank you for all your help and energy during the previous year.  2015 was a good year for dancing, singing, and playing music on the South Coast, and you made it possible.
We are starting the New Year with two big events on one day, January 2nd.
At 4PM we are sponsoring two hours of English Country Dancing taught by a skilled dance instructor from Ashland, Brooke Friendly.
At 7PM Brooke will call three hours of Contra Dances.
Music for both events will be provided by The Outstanding Open Band, a wonderful group of talented local musicians.
Attached is our PSA for these events.
Thanks again, and Happy New Year.
Paul, for the South Coast Folk Society 

From: South Coast Folk Society
Subject: English Country Dance and Contra Dance in Coos Bay
When: Saturday, January 2, from 4:00PM to 10:00PM
Where: Harding Learning Center, 755 South 7th, Coos Bay, OR
Guest Caller: BROOKE FRIENDLY from Ashland

Two Folk Society Dance Events Saturday January 2

English Country Dancing and Contra Dancing are coming to Coos Bay on Saturday, January 2.  Start the new year with a bounce in your step at these two public events sponsored by the South Coast Folk Society.  It’s all happening at the
Harding Learning Center located at 755 S. 7th in Coos Bay.  At 4PM there will be two hours of English Country Dancing, “Downton Abbey” style.  Period costumes are welcome but not required.  Nor is experience.  Brooke Friendly will teach and call all these lovely dances from England and the Outstanding Open Band will provide live music.  Dancers of all ages and skill levels are welcome.  Brooke will teach you everything you need to know.  All you need is a smile.   Admission is by donation.  A potluck meal will follow.
Contra Dancing begins at
7PM with a full lesson by Brooke Friendly and music by the Outstanding Open Band.  Contra dancing is a light-hearted form of social dancing that is easy to learn, and lots of fun for the whole family.  Brooke adds great passion, years of experience, and choreographic skills to every dance.  The Outstanding Open Band is a group of very talented local musicians who volunteer their time and energy to practice and play great music.  They will play danceable jigs and reels and a variety of old-timey music for three hours.  First timers who show up for Brooke’s lesson will receive a ticket for free admission to their next dance.
The Folk Society hosts Contra Dances every first Saturday at the
Harding Learning Center, and every third Saturday at the Greenacres Grange.   Both venues offer a full evening of social dancing to great live music.  These events are alcohol and fragrance free.  Refreshments are available.  Doors open at 6:45PM.  Admission: General $7, Students w/ID and Seniors over 60 $6, Members $5, and Supervised Children under 6 are free. For more information call Paul at 541-572-5370 or visit or Facebook

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Holiday Wishes

The very best and brightest holidays to you and all of yours.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Big Apple

Winter Garden (White-crowned Sparrow)

I am writing to let you know of the upcoming Winter Open House at the Wild Bird Fund in New York City! I currently have seven paintings on display with them to help raise money to purchase necessary supplies and equipment for their expanded facility. The Wild Bird Fund is the ONLY establishment in N.Y.C. that helps injured birds to recover. They are doing wonderful, inspiring work to help local bird populations as well as migrants and I am so honored to be a part of this event!! I have provided the link to their website so you can learn about who these wonderful people are and what they are doing to make this world a much better place for ALL of us! I encourage you to watch the videos offered on their website that show how the wonderful work they are doing help birds and wild animals of all kinds. See how the efforts of these amazing people inspire community members to help however they can!
The Wild Bird Fund:
The Winter Open House will be Saturday and Sunday, December 19 and 20, from noon to 5:00 at the Wild Bird Fund located at 565 Columbus Ave., N.Y.C. My work will be on display there into the New Year.
I wish each of you a blessed Holiday season!!

The Longest Night

National Homeless Memorial at Coos History Museum
Contact: Bittin Duggan, New Community Coalition, 541-217-4095

This year, the Coos History Museum will host National Homeless Memorial Day on December 21st from 5-7 PM. The memorial is an annual event commemorated in over 150 cities and counties across the United States on the first day of winter, also the longest night of the year.

The memorial starts at 5 pm at the Coos History Museum, 1210 North Front Street, Coos Bay. The community is invited to join in for a shared meal of ‘stone soup’ and fresh bread. Food will be served at 5:15.

Candles will be lighted at 5:45 followed by a moment of silence in honor of those homeless who’ve died both in Coos County, and nationwide. After a short prayer, people will have time to offer remembrances and thoughts about homelessness.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Light Up the Night

Please spread the word.  The Shore Acres Holiday Lights Display has been open every night since Thanksgiving and will continue to be open every night thru New Year's Eve.   The garden house is open from 4pm-9:30 pm with hot cider, coffee, cookies and punch.  Come and enjoy 325,000 sparkling lights, including dozens of lighted sculptures and Christmas trees.  And wave watching is the very best at Shore Acres State Park.  For more information go to or telephone 541-756-5401.
Best regards,
Shirley and David Bridgham
Co-Chair Holiday Lights since 1987

Fiddle Around

Hear the Hardanger fiddle Dec. 19
COOS BAY - The ornate Hardanger fiddle is the national instrument of Norway. Its haunting sound, produced by vibrating drone strings, came to international attention on the soundtrack of the "Lord of the Rings" movies. Eugene violin maker Lynn Berg will give a presentation about his Norwegian Hardanger fiddles and his own unique VioLynns 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 in the Uno Richter Atrium Gallery, Coos Art Museum, 235 Anderson Ave. Coos Bay. Hege Bakken and Alayne Olmsted will play the instruments. Violinists can try Berg's instruments after the presentation. This event is part of the "Musical Instruments @ Coos Art Museum" exhibit. See videos about the instruments at Museum admission general $5, students/seniors $2, members free. Info: Gail Elber, 541-808-1773

Black Tie

Call to Photographers

“2016 Eye & the Lens: Black & White” Photography Show

We invite you to join in this open photography show at Art by the Sea Gallery and Studio in Old Town Bandon.   Russ Hepworth, Port Orford photographer and writer, is the judge for awards.
Show Calendar:      
 Show runs February 3 – March 5, 2016Reception is Saturday, February 6, 2016    2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Delivery of Art:       
Saturday & Sunday, January 30 & 31st 11 – 4p.m.  
Bring ready to hang photography to Art by the Sea Gallery, or make previous arrangements for drop off.  Bring entry form, fee and, if desired, a bio when you deliver the art.
 Continuum Building, 175 2nd Street SE, Old Town Bandon, OR 97411.   Closed Tuesdays.  541-347-5355 
Entry Fee: 
$10 for the 1st entry and $5 each for entries 2 and 3.
Number of Pieces:  1 -3 pieces per artist, each must be framed and ready to hang.
Size Limitation:  Maximum 24” in either direction. (Work must be Black & White)
Sales:  There is a 25% commission fee charged on sales.  All entries must be for sale.
Awards: 1st place $50, 2nd place $25, 3rd place $10, and other ribbons.  People’s Choice winner will receive future show opportunity.
Pick Up Art:  Please pick up photographs on Sunday or Monday, March 6th or 7th   11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Please have your name, address, e-mail, title and price on the back of each piece you submit.
By entering this show you agree to allow Art by the Sea Gallery to use any images for promotional purposes related to the show.
We reserve the right to refuse submitted artwork due to subject, presentation or space.
Gallery hours in the winter are 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day except closed on Tuesday.
Questions?   Contact:  Ava Richey at    541-297-6118

Submission Form for “2016 Eye& the Lens: Black & White” Photography Show
(Please fill in completely and print clearly)
Name: _________________________________________________________________
Address: _______________________________________________________________
Daytime Phone: _________________________________________________________
Email: _________________________________________________________________
Website: _______________________________________________________________

1.  Title:  ________________________________________________________________
     Medium:  _______________________           Price    __________  

2.  Title:  ________________________________________________________________
     Medium:  _______________________          Price ____________
3.  Title:  ________________________________________________________________
Medium:  _______________________         Price  ______________

Please be sure your artwork has your name, title, and contact number attached to the back.
Sign here to indicate that you have read, understand and agree to the guidelines in the Call to Artists.
Artist signature: ______________________________________________ Date: ___________
____# of pieces checked in.  BY: __________________________________   Date:______
How did you hear about this show? E-mail, Poster, Friend, Newspaper, Website, Facebook, Coffee Break, Other_______________

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Library Looks

EVENTWatercolors and Oils by Christine Hanlon

LOCATION:  Coos Bay Library main room, south wall, 525 Anderson Ave, Coos Bay, OR

DATERuns from December 1st through December 31st, 2015

TIME: Exhibit viewing during library hours Monday-Saturday, library closed Sunday.

CONTACT: Christine Hanlon, 541-347-5003 landline or 415-254-0058 cell

Christine Hanlon, local artist and teacher, will be exhibiting  oils and plein air watercolor paintings in the main room of the Coos Bay Public Library for the month of December.
Ms. Hanlon has been on the fine art faculty of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco since 1998 but now teaches exclusively in their cyber campus. She received her MFA Painting degree from AAU in 1997 and lived in the San Francisco Bay area for 30 years before relocating to the coast of Oregon in 2012. She teaches both graduate and undergraduate fine art courses including the use of geometry in design and composition for students in various degree programs such as architecture, photography, painting, interior design, etc.

Her paintings have garnered awards at the Coos Art Museum including the Port of Coos Bay award and the Best in Show in their annual Maritime exhibitions. She has won first and second place awards in the 4th and 5th Annual Miniature and Small Works shows at the Art by the Sea Gallery in Bandon as well as a People's Choice award for her painting commemorating Bandon's centennial.  

Over the years, her work has been featured in the Artists Magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, as well as a feature cover article in Sea History magazine. Her urban homeless paintings have been in many juried and invitational exhibitions over the years, including a traveling catalogued exhibition which toured museums around California for almost four years.  Several of her large scale urban homeless paintings are on display at the Community Art Gallery in the offices of Oregon Bay Properties in North Bend, until May of 2016. Her artwork may be seen at Second Street Gallery in Bandon.

For more information about the artist’s work, please see her website at or contact her at 541-347-5003 or by email
Inline image


Hi All,

Attached is the information and entry form for the January – March 2016 Bandon Hospital (Southern Coos Hospital) art show.

The theme is: Symbols—Past, Present, Future.

This is a broad subject and can include ancient symbols such as petroglyphs, numbers, shapes, icons, signs of the times, symbols you have created, etc.

Delivery date to bring work to the hospital is Wednesday, January 6th, 2 p.m.  Or make other arrangements with me (541-297-6118) or with Susan (541-347-9888).

Looking forward to seeing your work.  All pieces must be framed, wired and ready to hang on the wall.  Please put your name and title information on the back of each piece and bring your entry form, or fill one out at drop off.

Let me know if you have questions.



 Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center Quarterly Art Show
                                                             Call to Artists

Symbols—Past, Present, Future
The Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center will host a show of artworks created using symbols from the past or present or ones speaking to the future.  You are invited to reflect upon petroglyphs, hieroglyphs, or other ancient symbols and means of communication, record keeping or mark making. Your own cultural heritage, past family stories—real and imaginary—could be included, as could your own artist-created symbols.  Artists may enter 1-3 pieces using painting, collage, mixed media, drawing, photography or assemblage in all artistic styles: representational, abstract, or futuristic.  All works must be able to be hung on the wall.
Please remember that art on the hospital walls is meant to entertain and de-stress the patients, families, staff and general visitors.  It is not a venue for nudity, violence, morbidity, or a political soapbox.  Thank you for your continued positive approach to art in these shows.

Show Calendar:           Show runs January, February, March, 2016  
Reception:                   Sunday, January 10, 2016    1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Delivery of Art:            Wednesday, January 6, 2016   2 p.m.
                                    Bring ready-to-hang art plus paperwork to the front desk at Southern Coos Hospital on Wednesday, at 2:00 p.m., or make alternative arrangements with show organizers.
Pick Up Date:              Saturday, April 2, 2016   2:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Artists must pick up their artwork on this date, during the indicated time period. Show organizers will be on site to coordinate pickup. We ask artists to please sign your work out—don’t just take it off the wall.
 If artists are not able to be present to pick up their work during this time, please make arrangements with the show organizers (see contact information below).
Location:                     Southern Coos Hospital and Health Center
                                    900 11th Street SE, Bandon, OR  97411

Entry Fee:                    Fee not required. Donations are welcome to help support continuing shows. Please make checks payable to Southern Coos Hospital Foundation.

Number of Pieces:       1 -3 pieces per artist, each must be wired and ready to hang, or matted and ready to hang.
Artwork Notes:            Please deliver your artwork with the following information included:
·                    A list of your artwork(s) with your name, address, e-mail, title of piece, and price.
·                     AND, please make sure your name and title of the art is on the back of each piece you submit.
·                     If work is not for sale, include a value for insurance purposes please.

Sales:                           The hospital does not charge a commission fee on sold paintings. The Southern Coos Health Foundation will accept a donation of a percentage of any purchased artwork.
Other Notes:               We reserve the right to refuse submitted artwork due to subject, presentation or space.

Images may be used for advertising and promotional purposes for this show.

The costs of producing and hanging this show are underwritten by Southern Coos Hospital and Health Center—for the benefit of the Bandon and outlying communities: patients and families, visitors, staff, and the public.

Questions?    Contact the show organizers:
Ava Richey:   541-297-6118
Susan Lehman:  541-347-9888


Submission Form for the “Symbols—Past, Present, Future” show
Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center.
(Please fill in completely and print clearly)
Name: _________________________________________________________________
Address: _______________________________________________________________
Daytime Phone: _________________________________________________________
Email: _________________________________________________________________
Website: _______________________________________________________________

1.  Title:  ________________________________________________________________
     Medium:  _______________________           Price/Value:    __________   Is Painting for Sale? ______

2.  Title:  ________________________________________________________________
     Medium:  _______________________          Price/Value: ___________ Is Painting for Sale? ________

3.  Title:  ________________________________________________________________
     Medium:  _______________________         Price/Value:__________  Is Painting for Sale?_________

Please be sure your artwork has your name, title, and contact number attached to the back.
 Sign here to indicate that you have read, understand and agree to the guidelines in the Call to Artists.
Artist signature: ______________________________________________ Date: ___________
____# of pieces checked in.  BY: __________________________________   Date: ______
 How did you hear about this show? E-mail, Poster, Friend, Newspaper, Website, Facebook, Coffee Break, Other______________