So I've had this D70 kicking around the desk for awhile. I got it from the uber-talented Tim Nguyen (he's pretty awesome, if you haven't heard), and initially gave it to our first-born to get hooked on this crazy thing called art. She eventually upgraded to a D40x, and the D70 went back into the dark.
To the keeners, yes, that is a Minolta adapter and a weird third party prime lens (company by the name of Albinor?). With the amazing 256MB (yes, MB) card, I can rip through 43 whole RAW files on this baby!
In it's day, the D70 was huge, and it was the first DSLR I've used as a journalist. This baby rocked! AND it has a Hoodman on the back (those of you that know are laughing!).
Now, about those primes that are going on this baby, I caught a great deal with a local second-hand store. Included were a macro 28mm, a Minolta 50 mm (the only real brand name of the bunch), and a 135mm (brand name of Image). Next was the search for a Minolta/Nikon adapter so these 40 or so year-old lenses could work on my modern digital bodies. Turned out that the adapter was almost three times the price of the lenses, so I was into this project a whopping $65!
What I love about using these old beasts of burden is that it forces you to slow down; to think about each frame. I still find myself hitting the button in the back I usually have designated to auto-focus, wondering why the body isn't doing anything.
Oh yeah - I need to physically turn the lens until it looks sharp!
In short, if you're looking for a great way to bust out of a shooting rut, buy a cheap DSLR off the internet, grab some even cheaper primes, and go nuts. I'm loving the effects that I've achieved with my gear. The above salt shaker and mixer images were shot with the D70 and the Albinor f/2.8 28mm lens with a SB600 speedlite. I've tossed the 135 on my D7000 and got the below image of a rattlesnake. Of course, it was one of those days that I thought bringing all my Minolta primes would be 'artistic,' justifying the fact that I've never seen a rattler at that location previously.
Now I understand why UFO and bigfoot images are so sucky. People are forced to use the absolute worst gear possible to get a once in a lifetime image!
UPDATE: A press release from the City of Brooks said that $57,589 was raised plus 34,000 lbs of non-perishable food items, toiletries and other supplies. Mayor Barry Morishita complimented the support from everyone involved, especially the volunteers and organizing committee "who in a matter of days created an event that usually takes months to coordinate."
Find our still image gallery here. You can purchase prints printed in our pro-lab and shipped to your door. All profits from these prints will be donated to those affected by the wildfire. The link will remain active until May 24, 2016, when we will be donating the money.
Well, its was a tight timeframe, but organisers managed to pull off another huge event in Alberta's Centennial City. Last weekend, the Centennial Regional Arena just south of Brooks was THE place to be with the Giving Back to Fort Mac event.
Kicking off the event were activities outside the CRA, taking advantage of the gorgeous summer day. A live entertainment stage, food vendors, bouncy castle, face-painting and henna tattoos were a few of the cool things to check out. All the while, Tyler Carr of 101.1 The One was interviewing local dignitaries on the radio and beaming that famous grin of his!
Among the main organisers were Frontier Signworks and the City of Brooks, with several local businesses donating time, money, or items to the cause.
Food and beverages were supplied by JBS, Tim Horton's and Freson Bros., who all had tents set up to feed the masses, and stage entertainment included the talents of In Sequins dance studio and the popular BMB Productions.
Vendors were also on hand to sell t-shirts and stickers in support of those displaced but the Fort McMurray wildfire, and a collection site for non-cash donations was set up on the north side of the CRA. The people at the sorting station were kept quite busy as items filled semi trailers.
Another surge in donations occurred later in the afternoon when local bikers the Sanctioned Souls pulled into the CRA parking lot, bringing with them the results of a day well-spent collecting for the cause. These folks travelled a huge chunk of southern Alberta, hitting centres like Vulcan, Lomond, Patricia, Rolling Hills and many stops in between.
Things moved indoors at around 3 p.m. when the bands hit the stage inside the CRA. Now how Canadian can you get with this fundraiser: silent auction, beer gardens, Bandits game and live classic rock on the stage. T'was a thing of beauty!
The bands were familiar to everyone around, with the likes of Gigglestick, Lobido, the Wine-Soaked Preachers, Pickle Juice, Smokepack, the Paragoners, and Freedom's Note (all the way from Fort McMurray). Even local politicians were on hand throughout the day to offer their words of encouragement, including Brooks Mayor Barry Morishita; Rosemary Mayor Don Gibb; County of Newell Reeve Molly Douglass, Bow River MP Martin Shields, Strathmore-Brooks MLA Derek Fildebrandt, Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo MLA Tany Yao, and Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean.
If you want to see video clips of the day and hear form the politicians, click here.
Early reports noted over $31,000 in cash alone was raised. This will be matched by both the provincial and federal levels of government, plus trucks have already delivered the physical donations to collection points up north. Im not sure when - or if - Mark Tanigami actually had time to sleep during the weekend!
In talking with MP Shields and MLAs Hildebrandt and Yao, similar turnouts were witnessed in fundraising events in Strathmore and Chestermere (held the same weekend). It's amazing the level of support out area can commit to our northern neighbours.
Sometimes, it takes a tragedy for people to show their true colours. Luckily, in Alberta, that means helping those in need.
Last week, we witnessed tragedy unfold in northern Alberta, causing the evacuation of nearly 90000 people from Fort McMurray and surrounding area. Given such a large migration of people, only two lost their lives fleeing the flames. The situation was very grim, but could have been infinitely worse had it not been for the cooperation of citizens and the emergency response personnel involved. The fire in Fort Mac is a prime example of how Albertans care for each other. There have been countless stories of generosity - from a business offering free food or items, to people opening their doors and welcoming strangers into their homes. It's just what we do.
But, we're far from out of the woods yet.
In response to this tragedy, some amazing local groups and businesses have rallied together in Brooks to hold a special event - Giving Back to Fort Mac. This is going to be huge - live entertainment, food, vendors, all sorts of ways to help those affected by the fire. If you're in or near Brooks, AB on Saturday, May 14, please consider coming to the Centennial Regional Arena to show your support. We'll be onsite covering the event, and hope to see you there!