His Nibs

His Nibs wishes you a good morning, afternoon and/or evening. This photo captures him listening to a woodpecker’s drilling in the woods. Which is a little strange, as were more used to hearing them in spring.

Trees, a dog and a Pixel 3

Do you remember the time before mobile phones? Do you remember the time before smartphones had decent cameras? Me neither. The cameras on high end (and stupidly expensive) smartphones have become so good, so efficient that it’s difficult to take a “bad” photo. The software powering the camera leaves nothing to chance. Auto-focus, motion enabled, HDR and low light enhancement… They are all great leaps in photography. However, they have largely removed the requirement of craft or skill in the person taking the picture. I understand why many serious photographers sniff at smartphone images and disregard them as “proper” photography. Fair enough. But the smartphone does enable the enthusiastic amateur (me) to concentrate on the subject and composition. Which is a good thing, right? I simply wouldn’t be quite so much into photography without a smartphone. It’s been a major revelation for me in the last few years.

And so this is why I chose to buy yet another expensive smartphone instead of a “proper” camera, such as a Canon or Pentax DSLR (Don’t bother me with actual film, I’m digital all the way). For me, a smartphone is primarily a camera, with nifty sharing and online banking. It’s interesting (to me, and maybe to you if you’ve read this far) that I chose to get this Pixel 3 smartphone instead of a Canon for photographic reasons. But of course, it’s obvious. A smartphone is always in your pocket and you can whip it out and take photos on the fly, or the dog walk or whatever. And share them instantly ad nauseum.

Why the Pixel 3 and not, say a top of the range iPhone or Samsung? There are a few reasons. I really am not a fan of iPhones in general. I had one once and it took nice pictures but I disliked almost everything else about it. I think Apple charge crazy prices for average kit. I’ve been an Android user for a long time and prefer it over other platforms in almost every other way. Also, it’s familiar. I chose the Pixel 3 over other Android devices with great cameras (and there are quite a few to choose from) simply because of the reviews. It’s consistently described as the best smartphone for taking photos. So, simple really. Once I justified the cost of one to myself it turned up the next day. So far, so good. It takes really nice photoand does it with minimal lag. There are several very nice features and gizmos that it provides, and once I get a handle on them I may have more to say about them. I’m not going to give a full blown review. I just want you to look at the pictures I take of trees and my dog.

Good Boy of Sussex: July Update

So the dog is, we think, 10 months old now. We don’t know for sure as he’s a rescue. What’s a bit daunting is that he’s probably grown to twice the size from when he joined our family, and from the looks of him he has more growing to do. My wife has suggested we get him his own sofa. I think he would prefer his own room with a double bed.

He has grown, but he has not grown out of chewing every single thing he sees and can reach, which is a lot as he doesn’t usually need a ladder. This is vexing, but it’s offset by the wonder and joy of seeing him sprint through the local woods and meadows. He hasn’t yet discovered a lust for the hunt of rabbits, or lust in general. It’s sure to come.

He’s a lurcher, which is a mix between sight hound (like a whippet or a greyhound) and something else. We think he’s part whippet and part saluki, mostly from other dog owner’s comments. When we run out of things to spend our money on, we’ll give him a DNA test, just for curiosity’s sake. Lurchers are possibly the perfect dog for those who have children and don’t want to spend hours walking the dog, as they are gentle, sociable and sleep about 18 hours a day. They like their walks short and very, very fast. The rest of the time is spent chewing stuff.