Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Glassport to Boston, PA and back

Yesterday I took my Civic down to Matta Motors in Glassport, PA to get some work done on it and have it inspected.  Knowing it was going to take a few hours, I brought along my LeMond Poprad Cyclocross bike so I could do some exploring.  Of course a camera came along as well, and I got some cool pictures of a couple of abandoned buildings along the way.  One was in Glassport along the river, the others were along "The Loop" trail in McKeesport, PA.  "The Loop" is an alternate route to the GAP bike trail that takes you up to Boston and passes some of the old businesses along the river.  I poked into the Fort Pitt Steel Casting Plant, and the McKeesport Steel Foundry.  On the way back you ride along the GAP bicycle trail and pass Dead Man's Hollow which has some more ruins along its trails.  Of course I went in to investigate.

A gallery of photographs from the day - http://www.jonpratt.com/2011/Glassport-to-Boston-Loop-0829

A few pictures from my adventures -


McKeesport Steel Foundry Inc.
McKeesport Steel Foundry Inc.

The Heatmeter
The Heatmeter

the haunted ruins in Dead Mans Hollow, Allegheny Land Trust
the haunted ruins in Dead Man's Hollow, Allegheny Land Trust

Fort Pitt Steel Casting Plant along the McKeesport, Boston Loop on the GAP biking trail
Fort Pitt Steel Casting Plant along the McKeesport, Boston Loop on the GAP biking trail

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof Nikon Coolpix AW100 with sample pictures

Nikon's new waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof camera may be the ticket for me.  I'm tired of going through a point and shoot every 6 months or so...mountain biking and cameras don't get along very well.  It's just too bad that it doesn't shoot raw or have manual controls... comes in blue, orange, black, white and camouflage.

Here are the specs and some sample images

Specifications

  • Type
    Compact Digital Camera
  • Effective Pixels
    16 million
  • Image Sensor
    CMOS
  • Sensor Size
    1/2.3 in.
  • Total Pixels
    16.79 million (approx.)
  • Lens
    5x optical zoom, NIKKOR ED glass lens
  • Lens Focal Length
    5.0-25.0mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 28-140mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
  • Lens f/-number
    f/3.9-4.8
  • Lens Construction
    12 elements in 10 groups
  • Lens Zoom
    5x
  • Digital Zoom
    Up to 4x (angle of view equivalent to that of 560mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
  • Vibration Reduction
    Lens-shift VR
  • Autofocus (AF)
    Contrast-detect TTL AF
  • Autofocus (AF) Focus-area selection
    Auto (9-area automatic selection), Center, Face priority, Manual with 99 focus areas, Subject tracking
  • Focus Range
    [W]: Approx. 1 ft. 8 in. (50 cm.) to infinity
    [T]: Approx. 3 ft. 4 in. (1 m.) to infinity
    Macro close-up mode: [W]: Approx. 0.4 in. (1 cm.) to infinity
  • Focus Lock
    Yes
  • Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points
    99
  • Monitor Size
    3.0 in. diagonal
  • Monitor Type
    TFT-LCD
  • Monitor Resolution
    460,000-dots
  • Monitor Frame coverage (shooting mode)
    98% horizontal (Approx.)
    98% vertical (Approx.)
  • Monitor Frame coverage (playback mode)
    100% horizontal (Approx.)
  • Storage Media
    SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card
  • Internal Memory
    Approx. 83MB
  • Storage File System
    DCF
    EXIF 2.3
    DPOF compliant
  • Storage File formats
    Still pictures: JPEG
    Audio files: WAV
    Movies: MOV (Video:MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Audio: AAC stereo)
  • Movie
    Audio file format: AAC stereo
    Movie file format: MPEG-4 AVC H.264
  • Voice Memo Function
    Yes
  • Image Size (pixels)
    4608 x 3456 (16M)
  • ISO Sensitivity
    ISO 125-3200
    Auto (auto gain 125-800)
    Fixed range auto (ISO 125-400)
  • Lowest ISO Sensitivity
    125
  • Highest ISO Sensitivity
    3200
  • Exposure Metering
    256-segment matrix, center-weighted
  • Exposure Control
    Programmed auto exposure
    Exposure compensation (-2.0 to +2.0 EV in steps of 1/3 EV)
    motion detection
  • Exposure Modes
    Programmed Auto
  • Scene Modes
    Back Light, Beach, Black and White Copy, Close Up, Dusk/Dawn, Fireworks Show, Food, Landscape, Museum, Night Landscape, Night Portrait, Panorama, Party/Indoor, Pet Portrait, Portrait, Snow, Sports, Sunset, Underwater
  • In-Camera Image Editing
    Crop, D-Lighting, Filter Effects, Glamour Retouch, Quick retouch, Skin softening, Small Pic
  • Exposure Compensation
    ± 2 EV in steps of 1/3
  • Exposure Lock
    Yes
  • White Balance
    Auto, Cloudy, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Manual
  • Shutter
    Mechanical and CMOS electronic shutter
  • Shutter Speed
    1/1500-1 sec. (when ISO sensitivity set to Auto)
    4 sec. (when scene mode is set to Fireworks show)
  • Top Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution
    Up to 3 shots at approx. 7.1 frames per second
  • Continuous Shooting Options
    Best Shot Selector, Continuous H, Continuous L, Multi-shot 16, Single
  • Aperture
    Electronically-controlled ND filter (-2 AV) selection
  • Self-timer
    Can be selected from 10 and 2 seconds duration
  • Built-in flash Range (approx.) (ISO sensitivity: Auto)
    [W]: 0.3 to 3.5m (1ft. to 11ft.)
    [T]: 0.5 to 2.2m (1ft. 8 in. to 7 ft. 2 in.)
  • Built-in Flash Control
    TTL auto flash with monitor preflashes
  • Built-in Flash
    Yes
  • Interface
    Hi-speed USB
  • Interface Data transfer protocol
    MTP ,PTP
  • Video Output
    NTSC, PAL
  • HDMI Output
    Can be selected from:
    Auto, 480p, 720p, 1080i
  • I/O terminal
    Audio/video (A/V) output
    Digital I/O (USB)
    HDMI Mini Connector (HDMI output)
  • Supported Languages
    Arabic, Czech, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portugese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukranian, Vietnamese
  • Power Sources
    One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12 (supplied)
  • Battery / Batteries
    Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12
  • Battery Life (shots per charge)
    Still pictures*: Approx. 250 shots
    *Based on Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA) standards for measuring the life of camera batteries. Measured at 23(-/+2)°C (73(-/+4)°F); zoom adjusted with each shot, flash fired with every other shot, image quality set to Normal, image size set to 4608 x 3456 (16M). Battery life may vary depending on shooting interval and length of time menus and images are displayed.
  • Tripod Socket
    ISO 1222
  • Approx. Dimensions
    Height: 2.6 in. (64.9mm)
    Width: 4.4 in. (110.1mm)
    Depth: 0.9 in. (22.8mm)
  • Approx. Weight
    6.3 oz. (178g)
  • Operating environment
    Temperature: -10 to +40°C (14 to 104°F ) for land use
    Temperature: 0 to 40°C (32 to 104°F) for underwater use
  • Supplied Accessories
    • AN-CP23 Strap
    • UC-E6 USB Cable
    • EG-CP16 Audio/Video Cable
    • EN-EL12 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
    • MH-65 Battery Charger
    • UR-E23 Filter Attachment
    • NikonView NX 2 CD-ROM
    • Reference Manual CD


Nikon Coolpix AW100 sample images, these are the original size, so click on them to view in their full resolution.


nikon coolpix aw100 sample picture
Exposure Time 1/1250, Aperture f/4, Focal Length 7.7mm (43mm in 35mm), ISO 125, 4608 x 3456



nikon coolpix aw100 sample picture
Exposure Time 1/800, Aperture f/4, Focal Length 5mm (28mm in 35mm), ISO 125, 4608 x 3456

Friday, August 19, 2011

Whistler, British Columbia

I took a trip to the northwest last week. Flew into Seattle and drove up to Whistler, British Columbia to do some downhill mountain biking and hit a few north shore trails. We spent a little over a week on Easy Street, right outside the Whistler Village and got to ride the park for 4 days. Incredible. Fog, sun, no rain, perfect. We also got to hit a few trails outside the park: A River Runs Through It, Gargamel, Half Nelson, and the I-5 Colonnade in Seattle. Pretty cool trails, except for the Colonnade which was so dusty and dry it was a little disappointing. I know it's under an expressway, but seriously....water, calcium chloride, done.

A River Runs Through It was incredible, huge skinny lines (300+ ft), teeters on skinnies, drops through trees...great stuff. Gargamel was a hike and a half, especially since I decided it would be a good idea to take my D700 up and some lenses; gets a little heavy after a while. Half Nelson in Squamish was a two mile downhill pumptrack, listed as having 68 berms and 102 jumps and tabletops. Pretty sweet.
After Half Nelson we decided to drive then hike to the top of the mountain, and later learned they were having a cougar problem in the area....smart.

Enjoy a gallery of photographs from the trip - http://www.jonpratt.com/2011/Whistler-British-Columbia-0806

A few pictures from Whistler, Squamish, Seattle, etc

cyclecide hanging out in Georgetown, Washington
cyclecide hanging out in Georgetown, Washington

Peace Arch, United States, Canadian Border
Peace Arch, United States, Canadian Border

TSA the new American religion
TSA the new American religion

Jon on a bridge on A River Runs Through It, Whistler, British Columbia
Jon on a bridge on A River Runs Through It, Whistler, British Columbia

On top of the world, Whistler, British Columbia, getting ready for a long downhill mountain bike run
On top of the world, Whistler, British Columbia, getting ready for a long downhill mountain bike run

The fog rolled in at Whistler Mountain Bike Park
The fog rolled in at Whistler Mountain Bike Park

Mark hitting a drop on Gargamel, Whistler, British Columbia
Mark hitting a drop on Gargamel, Whistler, British Columbia

The view from Garibaldi above the Half Nelson Trail in Squamish, British Columbia
The view from Garibaldi above the Half Nelson Trail in Squamish, British Columbia