Friday, September 25, 2015

Save Your Photos #25 of 30! Old School Tech

Yesterday, I accompanied my aunt to the historic site where she is a docent: Locust Grove.  I have been to this site many times before but this would be my first time accompanying a school group on their 5th grade history tour.  I thought this might present the history in a different way from what I had seen before and it did.

Upon arrival, my aunt asked if I would snap some photos of the tour experience and I agreed. However, I had left my DSLR back in PA and didn't have it on this trip, leaving me with only my iphone.  Though I do use and appreciate my phone camera, I didn't think it would give me what I was looking for in photo quality for the pictures I imagined taking.  That's when my aunt handed me something I hadn't seen for a while - a Point and Shoot camera!

When she first placed it in my hand I was confused... I thought OMG, I don't know how to work this!  There is no viewfinder for putting up to my eye, no settings for aperture and shutter speed.  It felt too small in my hand, like I might drop it... I was given instructions and thought I could do it.  I was nervous, a point and shoot - could I even remember back to these camera days? It had been so long since I didn't have total control over my camera settings.

My first thought was good grief, I hope it lets me turn off the flash - which it thankfully did and I could avoid flash photos for the entirety of the time I used it.  My aunt also added that there was a silent button so it wouldn't make noise when I snapped a picture - YAY!  Off we went.  The camera strap around my wrist - handy, a drop prevention unlike my cell phone camera.

Departing the visitor center and the original cabin staff office we headed off with our selection of touring 5th graders - down towards the house in continuing past until we arrived at the outdoor kitchen (summer kitchen) building.  The students had been divided into four sections and we had about 12 kids as well as a few chaperones.

I liked the original brick floors, the dry sink that turns into a table and the array of cooking implements required for open hearth cooking.

Stepping outside the kitchen while the students tested out some corn bread, I looked out on one of the other outbuildings we would visit - the tool shop.

Unfortunately, there wasn't enough room in the tool shop for me to hear that part of the tour - but I'm sure this won't be my last visit to Locust Grove.

Then it was off to the spinning room.  There were a lot of sheep at locust grove 200 years ago and therefore a need to card and spin wool.  They also dyed their own wool.  I was REALLY surprised to learn that the lichen on the trees outside the spinning room creates a pink/purple color when used in dyeing wool - that was probably the coolest thing I learned.  It made we want to learn more about dyeing my own wool.

I found the lichen to be extremely cool.  I think after reading about botany and mosses in Elizabeth Gilbert's "The Signature of All Things," I was fascinated at a scientific level.

The last part of the tour included all three floors of the 18th century home.  The kids learned about the home's owners, the Croghan family as well as it's relationship to George Rogers Clark, his brother, William Clark (of the Lewis and Clark fame) and numerous American presidents.  They also learned how in 2006, a team of historic researchers had helped the home be restored to an accurate rendition of how it would have looked during the time the Croghan family lived there.  The paint colors and wallpaper reproductions would have looked very close and in some cases exactly the way it would have been back in its original days.

At the end of the tour, we left the historic home and the students RAN - and I mean RAN off to get their lunches.  I had been surprised during the tour that a group of 5th graders had been so seemingly distracted, interruptive, and so difficult to control.  I figured I just didn't remember what 5th graders were like.

As we left the building and watched the kids run off to the picnic grounds, my aunt breathed a sigh of relief and told me that I had just experienced the worst behaved school group she had ever led on a tour.  We apparently had the most difficult of the four sections of the school's 5th graders.  Hopefully, there was something historical and meaningful that they will take with them.

The funniest part of the tour (well, so I thought) was when we stopped outside the smokehouse and my aunt was trying to describe what it was used for - curing meats - but when she asked the kids to guess what they might have smoked in the small stone building, one kid raised her hand and when she was called on - said WEED?

All in all - this post is about a camera - hahaha

My experience was that I was frustrated when I realized that this tiny little P&S camera couldn't post photos to instagram! One of the benefits of the point and shoot was that it was small and easily carried in a pocket or purse.  I liked having the wrist strap.  It would have been really tough to do a selfie with this baby which is why there are no photos of me and my aunt at this location - bummer.

I think the Canon point and shoot did better in low light situations without a flash than my iphone 6 however, my husband's Samsung 5 does great in low light.  

The point and shoot couldn't post a photo immediately- the process to get the photos to my computer took a LOT more work with a camera than it does with my phone camera.

There are not a lot of choices for changing the focus - therefore, every photo you take tries to focus on everything in the shot.. unlike my dslr which allows all kinds of focus and lighting options.

I'm not sure the Point and Shoot camera has a long life in this world - the ease and convenience of using a phone camera for most of the same things as a P&S camera plus the ability to instantly connect those photos wirelessly, etc... makes me think that these little cameras may soon go the way of a roll of film!

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