I have way too many interests and they include: Photography, My 2014 Mustang, Military History, Strategy Games, Computer Devices, Science Fiction, Movie Buff, Bad Science Fiction Movies of all types, Military Strategy Game Collector, Nikon Film Camera Collector, WWI 1/144 scale Plane collector, Wings of Glory and more... :). Nikon NPS Member. Professional Photographer.
That is an amazing display, thanks for sharing that, Herman.
For long lasting sand sculptures you need quarry sand. You can look up there formula, there is a mix that makes it bond and weather better. Regardless, they don't last forever in the elements (unless they are perhaps treated with a special coating of some sort).
COVID be damned! I got a media pass to attend a race in Grand Bend. About 3 hours west of Toronto. What a great 3 days away I had this past weekend.
Let me share it with you as this is the only real excitement I have had since COVID.
Day 1.... up at 5:00am and out the door at 6:00.
Arrive at the track at 9:00am.
My Media security meeting .....
"DO NOT TAKE PICTURES OF PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT SOCIAL DISTANCING!"
OK, this made me laugh. But, sure, I am game. No problem. We are easing out of this quarantine and ... well, people have forgotten already. I am just going to leave it at that.
Where do I go?
Over there ...
OK, so I drive there and almost end up on a hot track until the marshal jumped in front of the car screaming at me to stop.
OK, I told him I was instructed to go here!
He shook his head, mumbled something about the track idiots and told me where to park and where to go. Apparently, the "track management" does not run the races, they rent the track out so one hand doesn't always co-ordinate with the other.
I missed the "main guy" at this booth I was supposed to go to so I was told I had to wait till 1:00 pm to get on the track!
Riiiiiight. After driving 3 hours? Who are they kidding.
So, they quickly found someone to take me into the inside track! Enough said.
Met up with some great marshals, they pretty much let me go almost anywhere as long as I didn't try to kill myself by being stupid. I brought with my my 500mm and my 200-400mm so I had excellent reach and got some simply amazing images!
Got a huge interest on my photos. Sent out over 30 contact sheets and the sales have started coming in.
I shot 4 cards worth of pictures in Day 1. Why? Because I love to hear my shutter click. Missed it.
Insanity really, especially this week trying to sort through the images!
I meet some great people with some great dogs. Really enjoyed the first day. Windy, cool, almost perfect weather.
Went to my lodging, a B&B in Exeter. Wow, what a treat that was. The room was amazingly comfortable. Huge, 12' ceilings, an old victorian era home, renovated, very tastefully! The attention to detail by the owner is exemplary!
I had a hand written custom card presented to greet me. A chocolate bar, surprisingly one of my favorites, on my dresser and the owner and I hit it off very well. He is a real entrepreneur and we had a lot of stories and things in common. We chatted mostly about how COVID has killed businesses in Exeter.
Up early, my breakfast was out of this world ... omelette, coffee, orange juice, home made muffins, toast and homemade jam... I was stuffed!
Day at the races was like Day 1. Full of photo taking, walked the Paddock and left business cards everywhere! Paid off in spades after the race. Tons of new contacts.
Best event of the day? I see this plane wobbling in the wind. Very low and coming towards me. Keeps coming lower, and lower, and lower and ..... fight or flight or empty your pants time!!!! ..... still coming down .... towards me. What do I do? Run for my life?
No, I take pictures. It LANDS ON THE TRACK!! Yes, the RACE TRACK!!! The race track believe it or not, is also, an AIRPORT! Planes land in between races. Well, now I have heard everything!!!
Drove home, went to get dinner, showered and crashed!
The thrill of the day was seeing what was for breakfast! Lemon Cheese Cake French toast!!! Oh yea, that was something! With three huge slices of pea meal bacon. I died and went to heaven. Some fancy toast, coffee, fruits .... I didn't want to leave!
Same as Day 2. Only difference is it as a longer day and lots of checkered flags!
I pack and drive home. Stop at the enRoute to get something to eat.... you can't go in without a mask. Now, I don't care, fine. BACK TO THE CAR I PARKED A MILE AWAY on the other side of the building because they have NO SIGNS!!!! You have to go to the door, read 12 point type that tells you.... GO THAT WAY. Get there and they send you back.
Go inside!!!! NO CASH!!! I didn't care about this as I always use my phone, so who cares, but other people LEFT! Why? NO SIGNS.
Just STUPID COVID RULES almost like they do this on the fly, no pre-though! They genius of all the B S.... we all go in one door and share germs going out the same door. The place has 3 massive entry points!
Ate in the car, gassed up and on my way!
Spent the last 3 days working on pictures people wanted.
It was so nice to be out again, I can't tell you!!
I am a military nut. My degree in University in the end, was pretty much military history. (started in accounting, focused on Economics, after two years, everything I learned was debunked ... switched to history to get the heck out of there! ... then started a computer business a few years later .... .... see the tie in? )
Can you fly either/or WWI and WWII combat aircraft?
If so, can you direct me to a good simulation. It has to run on an iMac.
I don't like the one slide with the comment, "Strengthen China Business." I am the complete other end of the spectrum here. We recently purchased a Toaster Oven ... took it home, "Made in China"..... RETURNED TO STORE.
I am making a serious, serious effort to stop buy goods made in Communist China. If this is where Nikon is making their investment.... well, I will be purchasing less product. I don't care if I pay more. I do NOT want my money going to Communist China.
This is how I feel right now. I am surprised at Nikon a little bit.
There is going to be a huge economic fall out in the coming months and a lot of people want China to PAY! I am one of them.
OK, off my hate Commies rant....
The photography industry from my small perspective is in big trouble. I am hearing people are postponing weddings!! So, this is #1 photographer money maker.
There is no sports to speak of.
No one is thinking portraits.
So, what is left? Product Photography?
- with 10,000 hungry photographers who will be offering to pay, to get the work?
How is a high end, premium brand that charges top dollar going to sustain itself in a market place that has no disposable cash? Locally, I am seeing big chains selling off Easter Product that arrived by the boatload for an Easter than never happened for $1. The lines ups outside the stores were huge. The losses inside the store...equally huge. But what are you going to do with the product?
My daughters company.... you may have heard of it.... Hudson's Bay, has been giving things away to staff! Chocolates and other items that will be stale date and have no hope in selling. This is all profit out the window. I am sure the camera companies are sitting on full warehouses as well. Nikon just started a spring sale, but the discounts are nothing spectacular, which tells me the Captain hasn't gone below deck yet to look at the damage and water coming in!
So, it will speed up the Z line. That's nice. And.... sell it to whom? I wonder if Nikon realizes their trajectory is a downward one? Their sales and revenue contract every year, it is managed, they are financially in good shape, but their curve is not an upward curve! A controlled Shrinkage in all aspects of your business, from Market Share to Bottom line is not sustainable model of business in the long run.
I am not dumping on Nikon (I have been thinking about the industry for the last month or so), but I suspect Canon is having the same meeting, SONY, Olympus and Fuji, just to name a few. Everyone has the same plan selling to a market that primarily has gone to sleep for the foreseeable future. The companies that will still be floating will be the ones with other businesses to sustain them, namely, the fittest will be the ones who are the most diversified and can at the very least, break even with their bottom line and ride out the storm.
Lucky for Nikon, they are entering the storm with a PROFIT from operations last year. So, they are heading into the storm in a good position. That is the bright light in all this.
However, saying they are going to do all these great things to right the ship is a whole different story than fixing the gapping hole caused by the iceberg that is running from Stem to Stern. Unfortunately, I see a very dim future for the photography we have enjoyed the last 10 years or so.