J. Franklin Campbell, photographer and walker
J. Franklin Campbell
Walker & Photographer

Photo Walks in
Mason, Michigan (USA)

A new season, a new camera, and a new Photo Walks web page. With the coming of good walking weather I've started my walks in Mason, Michigan (USA) once again. My old web page is still up and can be seen at 2009 Photo Walks. I've spent the winter working hard in the gym on the treadmill. Walking is less work (burns fewer calories) but is a lot more fun. Also, I can pause along the way to take photos and document my farming town of Mason, Michigan, a pleasant community of about 6,000 or so.

The Canon G11, which replaced my older G9 used for the 2009 web page, served me well during 2010, but it was time to upgrade my camera gear to improve my photos here and to make my photo walks even more enjoyable. In May 2011 I added an Olympus PEN E-PL2 micro four thirds camera, which will be my main walking camera from this point. I added a page with links related to the E-PL2 camera as well.

2011 Photo Walks

Photo Walks Home Page

2011 Mason Photo Walks:   12 April 2011 | 26 April 2011 | 24 May 2011 | 29-30 May 2011 (storm) | 12 July 2011 | 
            20 Sept 2011 | 
2011 Mason events:   Mason State Bank 5K May 2011 | Spring Fling May 2011 | 4th of July 2011 |
            Sun Dried Music Fest 2011 | Balloon Launch | Down Home Days 2011 |
2011 Trips outside of Mason:   Meijer Gardens (April) | "Old Town" Lansing | Meijer Gardens (Aug) | 
            Camera Club (Sept) | Scott Kelby Photo Walk | ArtPrize | Camera Club (Dec) | 

Other pages: Olympus E-PL2 links  | Canon G9 links  | Canon G11 links

Photo Walks for Other Years:   2009  | 2010  | 2012  | 2013  | 2014  | 2015
Monthly Meeting of Lansing Photo Meetup, Lansing, Michigan, 21 December 2011, Olympus PEN E-PL2 with Olympus 9-18 or 14-150 lens

21 December 2011

Camera Meetup meeting in Lansing, Michigan (USA)

This month's meeting of my camera club in Lansing, Michigan had a Christmas Light theme plus some portrait photography. It's always fun meeting with fellow photography enthusiasts. It was also our first meeting at Mark Chamberlin's new photo studio. Mark has done a great job organizing this group plus providing a regular meeting place since the space at our previous spot became unavailable.

Go to: 21 Dec 2011.

ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 6 October 2011, Olympus PEN E-PL2 camera

6 October 2011

ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan (USA)

Our daughter Meg was quite enthusiastic about this huge art contest held annually in Grand Rapids, Michigan (ArtPrize) and recommended it to us. As members of the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, also in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we decided to check out this remarkable-sounding city-wide event. Though it's been a long time since that event, I am finally posting a selection of photos I took on that visit. As they say, "Better late than never."

Go to: 6 Oct 2011.

Scott Kelby's 4th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk, Marshall, Michigan walk, October 1, 2011

1 October 2011 - Scott Kelby's 4th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk (Marshall, Michigan walk) with Olympus PEN E-PL2/14-150 lens

Pro photographer Scott Kelby organizes a worldwide photo walk each year. This year the dates set were October 1 or 2 (Saturday or Sunday) instead of a single day as in the past. My photo walk was organized for Saturday afternoon in Marshall, Michigan (USA). In my 2½ hours I took 220 photos using my Olympus PEN E-PL2 camera with Olympus 14-150 zoom (I reduced the count to 48 for my web page). I carried my new Panasonic 20/1.7 lens in case I needed low-light capabilty, bu the day was beautiful and sunny, so I used only the 14-150. After we finished our photography we met at Schuler's restaurant for an excellent meal.

Scott Kelby's 4th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk web site
Scott Kelby's 4th Walk Flickr page
Marshall Walk Flickr page

Go to: 1 October 2011.

Street Photography in Lansing at the Mid Michigan Photography Meetup, September 21, 2011

21 September 2011 - Street Photography at the Mid Michigan Photography Meetup

Once again following a monthly meeting of the Mid Michigan Photography Meetup a number of members went to the streets to take photos. Here's a selection of the photos I took in Lansing, Michigan's "Old Town".

Go to: 21 September 2011.

Ingham County Courthouse in Mason, Michigan

20 September 2011 - Ingham County Court House and Railroad Locomotive Repair

Driving back and forth between my home and the local SNAP gym I've often noticed the locomotive sitting unused on a railway spur track. Occasionally I've seen a crew working on this engine, but recently I've noted two large cranes. Since I was in need of a quick exercise walk I determined to check out the cranes to see what I could. On my way there I also took a variety of photos of the famous Ingham County Court House, which dominates the Mason downtown area. It's a beautiful building worthy of being photographed. I've often noticed how it can be seen from many locations, as can be seen from a few of my photos. I particularly enjoy the window reflections showing the building. The photo at the right shows a nice reflection of the American flag in a window of the court house.

Go to: 20 September 2011.

Down Home Days in Mason, Michigan

17 September 2011 - Mason Down Home Days

The Spring/Summer season kicks off in Mason each year with the Spring Fling and summer ends with the Down Home Days. As usual I walked to the downtown square to enjoy the event and take a few photos. The walk home was a little harder, given the heavy bags of items from the Farmers Market (the bag of apples contributing most of the weight). I tried out my new Panasonic 20/1.7 lens, finding it a quite nice lens.

Go to: 17 September 2011.

Balloon Launch at St. James Church 30-Aug-2011, Mason, Michigan

30 August 2011 - St. James Church Balloon Launch

A hot air balloon launch was originally scheduled as part of the St. James Community Festival & Camino of St. James 8K Run/5K Walk held at the St. James Catholic Church in Mason on August 13-14, 2011. It was delayed due to weather till today. A collection of hot air balloon enthusiasts gathered for a 7pm launch of their colorful air craft and provided a fantastic opportunity to observe the methods of filling the balloons with hot air and launching them. Watching them rise into the air and drift off into the distance was an exhilarating experience.

Go to: 30 August 2011.

Mason Sun Dried Music Fest 26-27-Aug-2011, Mason, Michigan

26-27 August 2011 - 2nd Annual Sundried Music Festival

Last year was the first annual Sundried Music Festival in Mason (see Sun Dried Music Fest 2010 for some photos). This year's event felt even more crowded with music fans and was expanded to start on Friday evening. I took some photos on Friday, when The Full House Band performed on the small stage. I took additional photos on Saturday, including some shots of the Backwoods Band on the large stage. There were many vendors, some activities for the children and a beer tent. A surprising number of people took advantage of the clear area for dancing, including people of all ages. From all appearances people were having a lot of fun, with many on blankets and folding chairs on the Ingham County Courthouse lawn.

Go to: 26 August 2011.

10 August 2011

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan with the Olympus PEN E-PL2 and M Zuiko 14-150 lens

I got an M Zuiko 14-150 zoom a few days ago to use with the Olympus PEN E-PL2. The 14-42 kit lens proved to be too limiting for photo walks and using my Nikon manual focus lenses slowed me down. Our trip to the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan today was a perfect opportunity to test the lens for use in my Mason Photo Walks. My immediate reaction was that the lens was a bit heavy on the rather light E-PL2 body, but it isn't too bad. I just support the camera by holding the lens in my left hand. The zoom range is very nice. The E-PL2's in-body image stablization didn't seem to work satisfactorily at the long end of the zoom, but this may just require a bit of familiarization to learn how to hold it steadily. The image quality seemed similar to the 14-42II zoom, which I had found somewhat unsatisfactory. However, for the purpose for which I bought it (use of reduced size images on web pages) it seems to be acceptable. I can still use the Nikon lenses for more precise work until higher quality lenses become available for micro four thirds cameras (assuming I will be able to afford them). It is rumored that Simga is going to produce lenses for this format. So far I am finding this format excellent to work with, compact body with image sensor a bit smaller that the digital SLRs but much better than most compact cameras. Please check our my photos from this trip. Note that a few photos shown were made using the Art Filters built into the E-PL2 camera, notably the Dramatic Tone filter (you can identify these by the dark clouds in the sky).

Go to: 10 August 2011.

A walk in Mason, Michigan (USA), July 4, 2011<br>Nikon D200 with Tamron SP 35-80 F2.8-3.8 lens ISO200

12 July 2011

A Photo Walk with a Nikon D200 with Tamron SP 35-80 F2.8-3.8 lens

Today I wanted to try out my old Nikon D200 again. I haven't been using it much because it is a quite heavy camera. Is it worth getting my first Nikon autofocus lens, or should I just retire the Nikon and continue with my new Olympus PEN E-PL2, a much lighter, smaller camera in the new micro four thirds format? The Nikon has a somewhat larger digital sensor and more professional layout, but would it suit my type of photography? I had some errands to run in Mason so I combined it with a photo walk using the Nikon D200 with an old manual focus Tamron zoom. The photo subjects were chosen strictly for visual interest. I hope you find them interesting.

Go to: 12 July 2011.

Annual Mason Independence Day Parade, July 4, 2011<br>Olympus PEN E-PL2 with Nikkor 35F2 manual focus lens ISO320

4 July 2011

Independence Day in Mason

Mason always celebrates Independence Day in a big way. We had a classic car show in the square in the morning and afternoon, a parade and, after dark, a fireworks display at the Ingham County Fairgrounds. I attempted to document all three here.

All photographs were taken with an Olympus PEN E-PL2 micro four thirds camera using a 35mm F2 AI Nikkor lens with manual focusing. The camera was set to "vivid" color, which appears to have been a bit too much. Still, it was a worthy experiment. [update: I introduced too much contrast when I processed the photos for the web page, making the colors look rather garish. I have changed my settings and uploaded all photos. I may return to setting the camera to "vivid" color and give it another try.] The camera is capable of very accurate manual focusing given a bit of time. Fast moving vehicles in the parade presented a real challenge leading me to frequently focusing on a spot and taking the photo as the vehicle arrived at the spot. It wasn't foolproof but in general focusing was not a big issue.

Go to: 4 July 2011.

Street Photography  in Lansing at the Mid Michigan Photography Meetup, June 15, 2011

15 June 2011

Street Photography at the Mid Michigan Photography Meetup

Tonight was the monthly meeting of the Mid Michigan Photography Meetup in Lansing, Michigan, about a 17-mile drive from Mason. It's always fun to share your interest with other like-minded and friendly people who are willing and pleased to share their knowledge, wisdom and love of something you love. We discussed Street Photography during the meeting and then went to the street to give it a try. Street Photography is pretty much what I do on my Mason walks, but I heard about other facets of this fascinating branch of photography. It was also fun to make further use of my new Olympus E-PL2 camera. The photo to the right shows most of the members who braved the rain to take some photos and to continue the discussions that had started inside.

Go to: 15 June 2011.

A Walk with an Olympus PEN E-PL2 with Nikkor 35F2 manual focus lens, Mason, Michigan, May 29, 2011
My neighbors across the street
lost their porch

29-30 May 2011

Big Storm in Mason / Memorial Day

A powerful storm blew through the Mason area on Sunday night May 29 about 6pm. It knocked trees down, shut down electricity, TV and Internet, and got people out on the street examining the aftermath. I went out shortly after the storm and on the following day to document a bit of the damage and to experiment with my new Olympus PEN E-PL2, a micro four thirds format camera. My first trip out was with my old Nikon 35/2 AI manual focus lens. The following day I photographed with the 14-42 II Olympus kit lens. I didn't see much damage to houses, but our trees sure took a hit. The power company called in crews from all over the state and at least one neighboring state to help repair the electical system. Thousands lost their power. We were lucky here to have electric service resumed after only about 28 hours, though TV and Internet took an additional day.

Go to: 29-30 May 2011 (storm).

A Walk with an Olympus PEN E-PL2 with Nikkor 85F2 manual focus lens, Mason, Michigan, May 24, 2011
Olympus PEN E-PL2 with
Nikkor 85/2 AI manual focus lens

24 May 2011

A Walk with an Olympus PEN E-PL2 with Nikkor 85F2 manual focus lens

58 minute walk

After injuring my toes on the treadmill a few days ago I've been taking it easy. I decided to test my toes today and get some exercise by taking a photo walk. This was a good time to test out my new Olympus PEN E-PL2 four thirds format camera. I went out with a single lens, a Nikon 85F2 AI manual focus lens. One advantage of the four thirds format cameras is the capability to use old lenses of various brands (with appropriate adapters). I took a variety of photos testing the capabilities of this combination.

I also added a new links page for the Olympus PEN E-PL2 camera.

Go to: 24 May 2011.

7 May 2011 - Spring Fling in Mason Michigan
Some of the booths at Spring Fling

7 May 2011

Spring Fling in Mason, Michigan

Every year we had our special downtown fair day Spring Fling. In the fall we have a similar Downtown Home Days. It's always fun to get out to see our friends, visit small vendors, hear some local talent performing, buy some baked goods, etc.

Go to: 7 May 2011.

Mason State Bank 5K Run/Walk, Mason, Michigan - 6 May 2011
Water bottles lined up for
runners/walkers finishing the race

6 May 2011

Annual Mason Bank 5K Race

I participated in my first 5K race last year (also documented here). This year the weather was much nicer. After an additional year of exercising at the gym I was intent on improving on my time. Last year I finished my walk/jog in 41.5 minutes. My first goal was to beat that time, my second goal was to break 40 minutes. I can report that I finished in 39.5 minutes, achieving both goals!

With my dedication to improving my time I decided not to carry a camera. The only photos are of the booth set up for distributing starter packages. I got my official race shirt, an identifying number to pin on my shirt, and a "timing chip" to attach to my shoe for accurate start/finish times. A lot of people recognize the shirt, which I frequently wear to the gym for exercising. Also shown on the photos page is a scan of the final results for my age group. I didn't come in last!

Go to: 6 May 2011.

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 29, 2011
The butterfly display offered
many photo opportunities

29 April 2011

A Visit to the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan

We drove to Grand Rapids, Michigan for our second visit to the Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. We timed our visit to see the annual butterfly display before it closed. It sounded like fun and was indeed quite interesting. It was a beautiful day to wonder around the grounds examining the sculptures and enjoying the outdoors. This time we purchased a year's membership so we plan to go back soon. The photo at the right shows a visitor with a butterfly on her wrist. She and others were taking photos. I love taking photos of people taking photos!

Go to: 29 April 2011.

26 April 2011 - Mason Michigan

26 April 2011

52 minute walk

I desired a birthday treat today (I reached my 69th birthday) but after dinner my BG (blood glucose) number was a bit too high for desert. It was so nice I decided to go for a reasonably long walk instead of doing the treadmill at the gym. I'm working on reaching my weight-loss goal (only five pounds to go, though I'll probably set a new goal of another 5-10 pounds). The treadmill has been a larger part of my program, but for my birthday I enjoyed a rather nice walk on a really nice evening with a good breeze. My walk accomplished its goal and I got my treat, this wonderful piece of chocolate cream pie.

Go to: 26 April 2011.

2011_04_12 Mason Michigan

12 April 2011

70 minute walk (actually 20 minutes of walking)

It's a nice Spring day and I need to take a short walk to lower my BG (Blood Glucose) reading. Someone asked me about a building on the Mason square with "ROOT" engraved on it, so I headed downtown to check it out, take a couple photos and get a bit of needed exercise. It was a beautiful day, and there was plenty of late afternoon light for photography. I paused to take an artie picture of the Courthouse Pub, showing the courthouse reflected in their window. Then I headed by my daughter's house to take a photo of her new raised garden plot.

Go to: 12 April 2011.

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