Tag Archives: Nikon

Shooting Up (Photo Gear)


It’s hard to see, but I’ve circled my Nikon 1 V2 camera that was attached to my CamelBak strap while I hiked the Grand Canyon.

When I started my research for my South to North Rim crossing of the Grand Canyon, naturally I was as concerned about the photographic end of it as I was the hike. I wanted to snap those iconic pics of the Big Ditch as much as I wanted to successfully trek across it.

The first question, of course, was which camera to use besides my trusty iPhone 7 Plus. I didn’t think the iPhone would have the image quality I needed to do a great job capturing the beauty of the Grand Canyon. But I wasn’t about to carry the camera that does have great IQ, my beloved Nikon D610, which is way too heavy and too valuable to risk dropping it to its possible death.


The Nikon 1 V2 is hanging from its Peak Design Cuff tether. Arrowed is the Peak Design Capture, which held the V2 when not in use.

So I decided to buy a used Nikon 1 V2 mirrorless camera . . . even though I have an even-older Nikon 1 V1. I liked that the V2 has a built-in flash, better image quality, and better build. And it’s a great size for hiking. I added a Nikon 1 6.7-13mm wide-angle lens and was hopeful I’d be getting amazing shots. By the way, Sony seems to be producing the best mirrorless cameras these days. Hikers really like them.

The next question was how to best tote the V2 and keep it out of the way when I was hiking with my trekking poles. I experimented with a small camera bag, but it was too awkward on my CamelBak Sundowner 22. Fortunately, I already owned the answer: The Peak Design Capture. This handy device allows you to securely clip a camera (using an included quick-release plate) to straps and belts. One push of a button frees the camera for easy use. I practiced with it before the crossing and felt it would do the trick.


A close-up of my CamelBak’s tethering system: “A” points to the oval link attached to the strap and the Cuff (“B”). “C” is the V2 on the Capture.

Of course, being a mom with a mantra of “better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it” (as my sons well know!), I wanted to tether the camera to the CamelBak strap just in case it slipped out of my hands. I didn’t want the V2 to tumble down into an abyss, never to be seen again.

BLOG link and tether horizontal

An Indigo Marble camera strap tether

My first step was to see what Amazon had to offer. The Indigo Marble camera strap tether looked interesting, so I ordered it. Unfortunately, the rope on the one I received was defective, so I sent it back. But seeing what the metal carabiner was like made me realize that I could come up with my own tether setup that would be sturdier. A mere buck or so bought me a 3/16-inch quick link (it twists open and closed) at Home Depot. I added a Peak Design Cuff wrist strap and voila! My homemade tethering system was born. And it worked great! The V2 was secure both on and off the clip.

Looking at my hundreds of photos, I was pleased with the performance of both the V2 and the iPhone 7 Plus. Both helped me capture and remember an epic experience. With a bigger sensor, the V2’s photos are more detailed and will look better in larger sizes. But the iPhone definitely has a terrific camera that’s always handy.


Some of the trillion steps on the South Kaibab Trail descent. (Snapped with the V2)

Pics like this one will look great in the Grand Canyon photobook I intend to make . . . one of these days!

Welcome Back!

A new cutie

A new cutie

Apparently our butterfly bush isn’t attractive to just monarch caterpillars.

Yesterday when I looked at the plant from the front door, I was surprised to see a little dragonfly hanging on for dear life amid the wind gusts. Of course, that meant I had to grab my Nikon dSLR and snap a bunch of photos before it flew off.

Love the big red eyes and blue nose!

Love the big red eyes and blue nose!

It’s been a couple years since we’ve had any dragonflies in the front yard, and I’ve really missed them. I hope this means that I’ll see them more often. Especially now that the butterfly bush’s leaves have been stripped bare once again.

The “welcome” sign has been turned on!

An Arachnid Comes A-Calling

Up close and personal

Up close and personal

I imagine that when most people see an itsy bitsy spider crawling on their computer monitor, they knock it off.

But as you well know, I’m not like anyone else. When I spied this little guy, my first reaction (after being relieved at its small size) was to grab my Nikon dSLR and start shooting.

What’s it looking for?

Safari and Chrome are to the left.

I guess traversing my iMac is one way to find the web!

A Moo-ving Photo Op

Was it something I said?

Was it something I said?

Last Monday my younger son decided to get in some disc golf practice. The Mister and I (and my Nikon dSLR, natch) tagged along.

Next to the course at the River Pointe Church is a large field with cattle and the occasional deer. One calf (pictured above) intrigued the kid.



So he whipped out his iPhone 4S to grab a quick pic.

And immediately got into a staring contest with the furry beast. Maybe it thought the phone was feed . . . or that the kid looked delicious. Either way it seemed mad.

The iPhone evidence

The iPhone evidence (by my #2 son)


Moo-ve away from the calf!!

A Squirrelly Tale

The arrows show where the squirrel jumped up and knocked on the windows.

The other day as I was walking into the family room, I heard knocking on the front door window. I looked over and saw something brown and furry go from the left lowest pane to the right one, jumping up and hitting it.

What in the world?!? At least I knew it wasn’t Hoppy.

Once at the door, I saw a squirrel in the front landscaping. I quickly grabbed my Nikon dSLR and started shooting as the critter climbed our closest oak tree.


Was this the culprit?

Yeah, right.

Stop telling tales!

Classic misdirection

Totally squirrelly!

Colorful Leftovers

The gorgeous fall color extends to the leaves on the ground.

While I was snapping photos of that fabulous fall foliage last weekend, a few other colorful characters managed to make a lasting impression on me. Like the solo leaf above.

Feeling blue

And these blue petals.

I wonder what kind of plant this is.

Plus these purply things (sorry to be so technical; I pride myself on my plant knowledge).

But the day wasn’t just ruled by the flora’s sensational shades. Halloween hues also were on display.

Luck be a ladybug!

Who could resist the orange and black of a ladybug?

A bee gets his fill of pollen.

And, naturally, where there are flowers, there are sure to be bees. Especially when I’m behind my Nikon dSLR. That orange and black combined with the yellow of the petals?

Bee-yoo-tiful, of course!

Finding Fall Colors

Fiery trees brighten the landscape.

Wondering if I found any gorgeous fall colors near those brown reeds?

Pretty leaves make a welcome appearance.

I did! Although green and brown hues dominated the landscape, there were spots of spectacular shades of red and orange here, there, and everywhere.

Bright colors chase away a gloomy day.

Made me smile as I snapped away with my Nikon dSLR!

Danged Dipping Dragonfly

Not a very inspiring photo

This is the story of some frustrating photography.

After I pulled into our garage Sunday morning and got out of my Honda Pilot, I looked at our driveway. Dancing, darting, and dipping around it was a beautiful, blue dragonfly! It mesmerized me for minutes until I suddenly realized . . . hey, go grab your Nikon dSLR!

Marginally better

Which I did. And then I spent awhile trying to catch the danged darter with my lens. It wasn’t easy!

You can kind of tell what it is.

That darned dragonfly kept moving to and fro all around the driveway, refusing to alight.

Flying high among an abstract-looking tree

In situations like this, manual focus is your friend. But you’ve got to be as fast as the flyer, and that ain’t easy.

Just stop for one minute, please!

If only the darting d-fly would rest on the fence or bush or, gosh, anywhere, I could get a decent photo. But it just kept dancing around.

A nearby spectator

Why couldn’t the dragonfly be like this gecko and pose for me? Guess that would make it less challenging . . . which was fine with me.

Got it!

After what seemed like an eternity, the dragonfly finally hung in the air in front of me for about ten seconds, allowing me to snap a halfway-decent photo. And then it flitted away.

Leaving me only with a bunch of mediocre pictures. Definitely an unhappy ending!

This Bugs Me

A big bug stares at me.

Last week as I was walking to the back door, I noticed this large, green bug that looked like a leaf with legs hanging on a window. You know me, right? I ran into the house to grab my Nikon dSLR and a couple long lens choices. I wanted to get close but not too close . . . just in case it decided to attack me.

If a bug looks like a leaf, should it attack? Or just “leaf” me alone. (Sorry. I know I should’ve resisted.)

As I took a minute to observe the bug’s temporary (hopefully!) habitat, I wondered if it regretted its landing spot on our very dirty back window.


I guess so!

A Wing and a Prayer

This dragonfly is beautiful . . . but flawed.

Here’s a basic rule of thumb when it comes to photography and my beloved dragonflies: When you don’t have your Nikon digital SLR and 105mm macro lens with you, they’ll be posing for you. Mockingly.

Case in point? Yesterday at a nearby park. My younger son wanted to practice some disc golf shots on one of the holes there; it’s the location of tonight’s handicap mini finale. He drove us there in our old Mercury Villager so he could get in more practice before he tests for his license in December and parked near the hole’s tee box. When he put his disc golf bag on the ground, he said, “Look at that!”

The dragonfly rested in between trying to escape.

“That” was a gorgeous dragonfly, which was motionless on the ground. At first, I thought it was dead, but then it started buzzing about. Of course, I had left my good camera equipment at home, because I planned to shoot the action today. Fortunately, I usually carry my Canon S90 point and shoot, so I whipped that out and tried to get as close as I could.

Wonder what happened to its wing?

All too soon, it was apparent what was wrong with the d-fly: Part of its wing was missing. The poor thing could kind of hop around, but it couldn’t get off the ground. I really felt sorry for it, because now it’s a sitting duck to be picked off by a bird.

As we left the park, I bade the dragonfly goodbye, adding a brief prayer that it’s able to stay alive for the rest of its lifecycle. Wonder if it’ll be there tonight? You know I’ll be looking for it . . . with my Nikon D700 and 105mm lens!

Update: When I checked the park last night, the wounded dragonfly wasn’t in the same area. I’m hoping somehow it managed to hop into the nearby woods where it will be protected.