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Technology in the countryside

Judi Castille - Charolaise in the snowTaking photos on the “big camera” as I call the Canon Mark III is quite time consuming. It’s a heavy camera, especially with the 70-210mm lens to get close-ups – eyelashes of cows for example, and if stability needed, I need to lug the tripod too. One solution for the blog was to get a Tamron zoom. This is smaller and very versatile – but the quality is not so good.  Over the last few months with my back getting worse, lugging the Canon with a variety of lenses hasn’t been easy. I also find it is better to concentrate on one project for the day and set up in one area. This means I can avoid walking too far. Changing lenses can be time consuming and at the moment I have the more extreme lenses – wide angle 7 – 21 mm, the zoom and a 100mm macro for close-up work.

That leaves me with the situation of missing shots when I am out, and even when travelling in our van. Our route to town passes many farms and so often the cows are doing funny things, or funny in my eyes – barging each other, standing in their hay troughs [where else can you begin to get your head into the middle for the juicy stuff?], queueing for water in their very orderly hierarchy after “top-cow”. Another DSLR camera but smaller? Still bulky with all the lenses and delays changing lenses.

So with a deep breath I decided to replace my poor old Blackberry. I like to type on QWERTY keyboard and using touchscreen with my pudgy fingers has always failed on the I-phones. Heading to town, I asked about a mobile that took great photos. The shop had second hand Samsung phones. I chose the S7edge. I absolutely love it – AND I can touch type fine – or have my fingers got thinner!

Armed with new phone and after an hour of playing and cursing re menus I went out for my first shoot. By luck it had snowed and the next few hours were wonderful. The phone camera was fast, the cows posed and with a little manipulation with just one sharpening filter and changing the white balance to take off the grey blue of the snow, I was very happy. OK I cant blow these photos up to a large size without loss of quality, a little graininess [noise as they say], but to be honest its horses for courses.  I want to show variety on the blog, not produce gallery standard.

Now I can get the variety and on-the-hoof as and when. The big camera certainly beats this hands down for depth of field and clarity. It cannot be replaced and wont be, as I still want to take large format photos when the scene merits it. I also have a tiny Panasonic Lumix – just for taking bees and things. It’s great at close-ups and you can push the lens right up to the little bees and they don’t even notice.

So here are the first of many [ sorry I was so excited] of our wonderful snow this week. Mr Bull – Janvier – looks like he has just removed his glasses after having a sun tan.  He looks a little bewildered by the snow.

This is Mistral – he seemed a bit camera -shy.  After I left he came up to the entrance where I had been standing and today he was still hovering about there.  I could imagine that he was now ready for his photo and waiting.  Sorry Mistral – photoshoot over. Oh dear.

Judi Castille - Bull MistraleJudi Castille - Farm BuildingsJudi Castille - Mr Bull hiding

Janvier the really friendly bull.  He is temporarily parked in the field near our house.  No girls for now – he is bored.  if he spots Mistral in the next field he does the man-thing and bellows.  Sometimes he rolls in mud, or has a good scratch against the oak tree.



14 thoughts on “Technology in the countryside

    1. He is lovely. This morning he was being very patient for his morning breakfast snack of pellets. We were chatting to the farmer and in the end, he had to bellow as we were evidently taking far too long and he was hungry!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. HI, yes going to have a look at that. Its been a revelation to be honest. And for blogging its great. How’s things going? I am back to UK this weekend re Mum. I am looking into the connection of thyroxine and my back. The ingredients of the French thyroxine maybe part of the issue.


      1. I use smartphones like a sketch pad and when I walk the dogs. I can get at leas a 16×20 inch print from a smartphone if I uprez it properly. I’m feeling better. I’ve been religious about taking meds on time which means I might have to set the alarm for 3am, take some pills and go back to sleep. I’ve walked about 12 miles in two days photographing Mardi Gras stuff… I see you,like Snapseed. Good.


      2. Snapseed was brilliant, but subtle transitions between filters and other tools. I experimented a little last night and may put them up on the blog as I am working on a project for the farm at the moment. Re back, I have a funny idea that it could be to do with the French Levothyroxine. Been reading about the connection and my back has certainly got worse since taking the French thyroxine. I am back in UK for a bit and so going to get some UK medication, get the French out of my system, about weeks I believe, and see how I go.
        3am – you could do what we used to do. Late working suits us, so we used to nap in the afternoon, then work till around 1.30am, then have a couple of hours in bed reading, listening to later night jazz etc, so often it was around 2.30 to 3am before we hit the sack proper. Then wake up around 10am. Here with the noisy farm, we wake up at 6am, so beds at 10pm – totally different life.


  1. Horses for courses indeed …. having the flexibility to snap without a time consuming set-up will surely be a boon and those boys look fabulous in their crisp virgin landscape


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