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Camera Tales: The Horizont

Push the shutter release button and something unusual happens. No click, just a brief mechanical whir as the narrow slit in a silver drum rotates counterclockwise across the front of the camera. This is the Horizont, a Russian-built swing lens panoramic camera, the first of several devices I would own and use to take long sweeping views of my world.  (more…)

Camera Tales: The Konica Autoreflex T (second exposure)

Konica introduced the Autoreflex T in 1968, the company’s first fully automatic 35mm single lens reflex (SLR) camera with through-the-lens (TTL) metering. The camera is built like a tank and, when the shutter-release button is pushed, it sounds like one. Its heft might suggest it was carved out of a solid block of steel.

The camera came with a 52mm f/1.8 Hexanon lens, those days considered a not-too-wide, not-too-telephoto good standard  focal length. Its all-metal barrel gave it a weight and sense of durability to match the camera body. The bayonet mount, introduced with the Autoreflex T, allowed for quick lens changes. Indeed, my kit soon filled out with 135mm telephoto and 28mm wide angle lenses.

Around 1973, I acquired the just-introduced Konica Autoreflex T3, an updated version of my first camera. The Autoreflex T was relegated to use as a back-up body or loaded with a different film. With two camera bodies, either switching film speeds or film type during a shoot simply required a quick change of lens from one body to the other.

This photography kit would be by my side through the bulk of the 1970s. My understanding of photography would evolve over that period, alongside my design education at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Architecture.  (more…)

Coast To Coast in Ireland: Two Days on Avondhu Way

Our day’s rest in Cork was well-timed at roughly the midpoint of our coast to coast walk. A chance to give our backs a needed break from carrying packs. But it’s still hard to leave our comfortable hotel room and catch an early morning bus to Fermoy, the starting point for the last two stretches of the Avondhu Way. (more…)

Coast To Coast in Ireland: Arrival

While my posts describing our coast-to-coast walk in Ireland are well behind the actual walking, our schedule continues at an unforgiving pace. In fact, today, May 29, we successfully completed our cross-country walk!

We arrived at the western tip of Ireland, Bray Head, on beautiful Valentia Island. Beyond the cliffs lies the Atlantic Ocean, calm today under clear, warm skies. In the other direction lies, a small fishing village and the final resting stop on our Irish walk.

It’s been 24 days on trails, crossing the island from Dublin to this point. A devilish 666 kilometers in total across mountains and bogs, through forests and along ocean cliffs. A tough slog indeed.
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Coast To Coast in Ireland: Cork

After 14 days of non-stop walking, a day’s rest in the nearby city of Cork is a welcome change of pace.

Cork itself is a place that calls out to the walker. It’s a bustling little city with streets that lead into still smaller lanes, encouraging us to lose ourselves with the throngs of fellow flaneurs in the maze of shops and pubs. 

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Coast To Coast in Ireland: Avondhu Way

Where the East Munster Way ends, in front of a small church in Clogheen, so begins the Avondhu Way. It’s the first leg of a much longer trail system, the Blackwater Way, named after and loosely following Ireland’s longest river, the Blackwater.

Blackwater Way carries a certain amount of mystery and uncertainty. Of all the trails that form the Irish coast-to-coast network, this one has the least information available. And what information that can be found talks about poor or missing signage, reroutings due to landowner quibbles, too much travel on tarmac. And its remoteness. 

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