On the Road – Christmas 2016
After some last minute delays, we finally got on the road on Sunday, December 25, Christmas Day. It was actually a good move because the traffic was calm and weather was pretty sketchy until Saturday. We made it to Benson, AZ where we laid over at a RV campground right off I-10. The next morning, we backtracked a mile and headed to Bisbee via AZ Highway 90 and 92 through Sierra Vista. It’s a a few miles longer but an easier route for a motorhome towing a Jeep.
I decided not to take my photography too seriously so all my photos were simple touristy snapshots. I also tested the new Canon EF 135/2.0L USM lens on a few opportunities.
These first 6 were made with a Canon EOS-M with the EF-M 22mm STM lens, my favorite walking around kit. The Great Dane in the first photo is Sunday. He weighs as much as me and he travels with his staff in a truck camper. He’s apparently a pretty mellow traveler and sleeps most of the time. The next 3 were along a dirt road back to a wildlife preserve. There wasn’t anything out there except cattle, a purple outhouse and a pony ride. There was actually money in the bucket so I threw in some change. The last is Mary with Reed, the owner of Killer Bee Honey. He’s a character and his mesquite honey is great.
The next 10 were with a Canon 5D Mk II with the new Canon EF 135/2.0L USM. The first two were made at Oh-Dark-Thirty with the temperature around 30F. In other words, it was way too cold for me to spend a lot of time composing and checking focus. The mid-range and background are sharply in focus but DoF wasn’t deep enough to get the near objects in focus. It’s impossible to evaluate lens sharpness in small web-size images that have been sharpened but, trust me, the 135/2.0 is sharp. The rest are basic funky, weird art (?) found all over Bisbee. The bumper sticker really captures the Bisbee “vibe.” As you can see, I call Bisbee “an island of blue surrounded by a sea of Arizona red.” The whole town is filled with “long-haired, hippie-type, commie, junkie, pink-o sympathizing liberals” and I really like it. I’d move there except it’s in the middle of nowhere.
This last shot was made at Whitewater Draw to show the low water level. Normally, this whole area is filled with water with the exception of the tiny island in the foreground with green growth. There should be ducks, avocets and other shallow water birds within 10-20 feet.
New Laptop for Travel
For this trip, in the spirit of not taking my photography too seriously, I ditched my humongous HP laptop with a gazillion gigabytes of RAM and many terabytes of HDD space for an HP Stream 11 laptop. The Stream is just above “toy” level but works great for checking e-mail and light photo editing. It has an 11.6″ screen, 4GB of RAM, a 32GB SSD (solid state drive) and runs Windows 10. Weighing just 2.6 lbs, it runs about 10 hours on a single charge. Best of all, it only cost $199. I deleted the included subscription for MS Office 365 in favor of MS Office 2007 because I didn’t want the whole suite hogging the limited disk space. With MSO 2007, I just loaded the products I use most.
For photo editing, I loaded Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP) because Adobe Photoshop Elements (PSE) has grown into a humongous porker that took up 1.9GB whereas DPP requires less than 120MB. I also added IrfanView, a cool little photo viewer/editor that takes another 2.5MB. For longer trips, I intend to haul along my fat laptop but only for specific requirements while on the road. The HP Stream 11 will meet 98% of my computing needs on the road.