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Annoying Little Screen Scratches

Findind scratches on things I own can sometimes drive me crazy. Specifically scratches on the liquid crystal display (LCD) of my Nikon D3200 camera. A small group of tiny scratches that I cannot remove or ignore. How the scratches got there, or how long they have been there, I am not certain. I just recently found them. Now It annoys me to no end.

For the first while that I owned my camera, I left the protective shipping plastic cover on the screen until it lost its adhesiveness and peeled off. Although I looked for replacement plastic, I was not able to find any. The food plastic wrap I tried did not work well. The manual does not give any instruction on how to protect the screen from scratching, or any warning, only how to clean the screen. From this, I came to believe the screen must be made durable enough to not scratch easily. That belief appears to be wrong.

It is true the minor scratching does not have any effect on the photo taking ability of the camera, and the damage is hardly noticeable, but I paid for the camera, took care of the camera (so I thought) and less than two years later it has this annoying little damage. 

The screen has been rubbed with a soft cloth like mad as I try to remove the marks to no avail. There are lots of dubious ways on the Internet on how to fix such damage. No thank you! I am not putting toothpaste or petroleum jelly on my camera! 

My anger is mostly directed at myself. I should have taken extra care of my camera, but I am also a bit angry at Nikon for not providing a permanent protective cover for the screen to prevent these nicks and scratches that are bound to happen without any protection. 

Unless there is some way of repairing this very minor damage, I am going got have to live with it as a reminder to obsessively protect these types of screens in the future. 

© Trevor Dailey 

Springbank Park Photo Walk

Springbank Park is where I ended up doing more of my aimless photo walks. One of the reasons I chose this park was because of the history, and I haven't explored the park very much. It is the largest park in the city. Before I went, I did some reading on the history of the park. Arriving at the park with my camera and a single 50mm lens in the morning, I walked the asphalt paths looking for some good photo opportunities. The long, meandering, asphalt paths had joggers, bicyclists, and walkers, and most were at a senior age. There were many active young mothers with small children in strollers in contrast to the seniors. The bicyclists were a hazard because none would give any warning on approach from behind. Posted written instructions for bicyclists in the park is not heeded. 

The park looked similar to every other park in the city. In fact, a few times I for a second or two thought I was in another park I had been walking in. Everything felt so planned, and it probably was. Every park in the city likely is the result of some City Hall created template for parks. Eventually, I found some goods shots, but nothing that stood out from most of the other parks in the city. Only a single historical plaque interested me enough to feel the day was not a waste. 

In about 1878-79, a dam was constructed along the river to create a reservoir to supply London City with water. This dam, now long gone, increased the level of the Thames River from a maximum depth of about 5 feet in parts, to depths of around 15 feet or more in places. Springbank Park became a popular picnic area for Londoners, and boats including the "Victoria" were soon were travelling the river ferrying passengers along the 4 mile stretch of raised river water. Many people still thought of the river as shallow, making jokes including one that the "Victoria" once grounded itself on a discarded tin can on the river bottom. It took a tragic and horrific disaster in about 15 feet of water for the truth about the river to be learned.


On May 24, 1881, one of Canada's worst marine disasters occurred on the Thames River near this site. The "Victoria", a small, double-decked sternwheeler commanded by Captain Donald Rankin, was conducting holiday excursion trips between London and Springbank Park. On a return trip to London the boat was dangerously overcrowded with more than 600 passengers, Oblivious of the danger, the crowd repeatedly shifted from side to side, resulting in flooding and a precarious rocking motion of the boat. It finally heeled [sic] over and the boiler crashed through the bulwarks, bringing the upper-deck and large awning down upon the struggling crowd. The "Victoria" sank immediately and at least 182 people, the majority from London, lost their lives.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation, Ministry of Culture and Recreation

Through my research, I was able to learn the where asphalt path along the river likely follows the old rail path of a long forgotten street car service, and where the river boats including the "Victoria" once docked for embarking and disembarking passengers at Woodland Cemetery. I located the hardly visible remains of the concrete steps leading up the slop to the cemetery that are still visible. It was at this time I started to be very interested in taking photos of these places forgotten to history. The "dock" the steps, and the area where so many people died 134 years ago. 

Another site I found was the "Springbank Dam" that has not been operating since 2008 when part of the multi-million dollar taxpayer paid upgrade (not the first time) to the dam failed during testing and rendered the entire dam unserviceable. Lawsuits and counter-lawsuits now abound as the blame for the failure is spread among almost all those involved in the the dam upgrade. "Springbank Dam" was built in 1930 specifically as a dam to raise the level of the Thames River for recreational purposes. I suppose the horror of the May 24, 1881 tragedy had faded far enough into the past by 1930. 

London Mayor Brown is standing by his commitment to the "Springbank Dam" claiming it will provide some kind of vague benefit to the people of London. It will only benefit those it benefited before and that is rowing and boating clubs; and they aren't putting in any of their own money into "Springbank Dam". Opposition from certain groups to the dam has increased since 2008 as the river level has returned to more normal levels without "Springbank Dam" operating. Unfortunately, there is plenty of propaganda coming from both sides of the issue.

The city has many parks, and I will be exploring more city parks, and returning to Springbank Park again, with my camera. 

© Trevor Dailey 

City Photowalking

There is a place that is a really good place to take train photos. It is in the city, and it is a unique Canadian Pacific Railway crossing located at Pall Mall Street and Waterloo Street. Having never been there when a train crossed, I travelled there on foot today with my camera and scanner receiver programmed with the railway frequencies. Finding a perfect place to sit in a public park, I waited for the bells and flashing lights to signal an approaching train. I waited for more than one hour. No train. Finally giving up, wanderlust came over me.

A short way away, I was stopped by two tourists from Chicago who were looking for some guidance with their tourist map. The tourist information centre (city run and taxpayer funded) they had just been to was closed, and they were told there was another one (city run and taxpayer funded), but they did not know where it was, only knowing the street address. I told them it was too far to walk to, being about 6 km away, and I then tried my best to help them out. They mentioned they wanted to go to the Covent Garden Market, and I said that was a good choice. It was a fun and friendly conversation, and after I apologized for not being of much help, we parted ways. They will be in town for a week, so I am certain things will work out for them. Why the only tourist information centre downtown is closed on weekends is beyond me. Welcome to the City of London, Ontario. We're closed.

Along my aimless travelling, I met quite a strange man who "spoke" to me as I walked near the Men's Mission. I really should never have let him walk up to me, but he turned out to be harmless and quiet entertaining in the short time before he walked off. I couldn't help but laugh at the situation. I encountered two or three mentally ill people along my way, and one was also entertaining. I wish I had taken a few photos of them.

I missed four Canadian National trains at a crossing, and that wasn't any big deal except that one had a locomotive that wasn't CN. I didn't recognize it at the distance I was, but I wish I had a photo of it. It was a case of not being in the right place at the right time.

I took a few photos of historical plaques on buildings in the downtown core, and I might go and look for more tomorrow. After a few hours, my feet hurt, my walk slowed, and I knew it was time to go home.

On the way I passed a pretty young woman in a very nice dress. I wasn't sure if it was a costume, or if she had a unique sense of style. Kind of an Alice in Wonderland type look. It is hard to describe. Again, I wish I had a photo. I should have asked her if I could take her photo, but maybe that would have not been appropriate.

A young girl on a skateboard was taking photos with her handheld device, pointing it up at a high building. I started to get my camera out with the intention of taking a photo of whatever she was at the same time. Not to mock her, but just to share an interest in photography. I didn't get the chance before she skateboarded off. She stopped at an area beside the largest building in the city. I being now across the street, pretended not to see her, and I took a photo in the way she was doing. I don't know what she thought of me.

My last encounter with a person was unusual. As I walked down a wide sidewalk, there was a pretty young woman with red hair walking toward me. No one else was around. Out of respect, I always give way to women and girls on the sidewalk. I'll even walk on the grass. It is a strange reaction, I suppose, but I do it on instinct. I gave her a lot of room. She started smiling. One of those "you make me smile" type smiles. I don't know what caused it, she likely thought my reaction to her was humourous, or more likely it me she was found humourous. I smiled back, and what happened didn't register until I had walked passed her. "I made a pretty girl smile" I thought, and that ended a good day out for me.

© Trevor Dailey

Camera Lenses Monopods And Videos

On Saturday, I went to the Jet Aircraft Museum Jet Blast. The only lens I had was this Nikon 50mm lens from Lens Lenders. I like the lens, but it wasn't the lens I wanted for the Jet Blast; or so I thought.

The lack of a zoom was a negative at first because I could not get all of what I wanted into the photo by zooming out or in. I had to walk backward or forward to try to get the shot I wanted. Most of the time, I did not have enough space. Instead of giving up, I adapted.

I looked for closer shots that I could make look good. More so-called 'artistic' type photos. I took a lot of the photos, putting the subject matter in the photo closer. It is hard to explain, but it worked. I found the lens to be a really good lens. I took maybe 130 photos in around three hours with the lens. Most of them I am very pleased with.

Two other photographers and I had a short discussion about monopods and tripods for cameras. The two did not use them. I do. For me, the monopod is for keeping the camera steady, holding weight up is secondary. I will try to always use a monopod when I am waiting for something to happen, but I do not know when it will happen, but I know where it will happen. I will use the mono pod to eliminate camera shake when taking a video. Anytime I want the camera steady I will use the monopod. I find it very useful.

My camera (Nikon D3200) has video capability that I am still learning to use correctly. The thing I do not like about video with my camera is I am not able to use the viewfinder to record. It is blanked out in video mode. I must look at the LCD screen. This makes me nuts. I don't take still photos like this. I use the viewfinder. I took three videos that day, and only one was worth keeping. The problem was, even on a cloudy day, the LCD screen was glared out almost completely when I was outside. I had to do a lot of estimating and guessing because I could not see exactly what the camera was recording. Two out of three times were complete failures, and I missed what could have been some good video.

I learn new things about photography each time I take photos, so I keep taking photos to learn new things about photograpghy. 

© Trevor Dailey

Cameras Attracting Cops

It has happened to almost every photographer. One is taking photos in public, and a police car rolls up out of nowhere. The photographer is questioned by the officer regarding what the photographer is doing, and what the photographer is taking photos of. Most of the time, the questioning is somewhat brief, and the officer continues on. For some photographers this experience can be confusing, unsettling, and the photographer can be filled with indignation by the experience. It has been a couple of years since I have last been questioned by a police officer for taking photos in public.

Today, I was once again out on one of my roaming photo walks with my camera. Trains are my newest photograph subject of interest. Locomotives photograph much better than I expected before I started taking photos of them. There is just something about them that, I think, makes for some good photos. That is, if one can find a good spot to photograph them from. As a photographer, I take care to respect private property, and to play by the rules. This means not trespassing, or placing myself where I should not be. Trains can be dangerous to be around, so for me, safety is very important. I also do not want anyone to have a reason to give me attention I do not want.

From the overpass, I had a fantastic view of the rail yard. There was the activity of shunting below, there was lots of photo ideas, and the opportunity to take a bunch of photos. Carrying my camera in a special camera bag, I removed my camera, and I started taking photos.

My mind moved to an experience told to me about someone who had been on a overpass taking photos, and a police officer had come along and questioned her. My situation was similar, and so I decided to hurry and finish so I could move one. Just finishing some shots, from my right a police car appears coming over the hill with its lights flashing.

"You've got to be kidding me! This is unbelievable!," I thought as I prepared to explain to the officer why I was standing on the overpass taking photos of trains.*

"Photography is only one of the oldest and most popular hobbies in the world. Why is everyone with a camera a suspect for a crime?," I thought .

The police car drove past me and pulled over a driver. Relived, I crossed the street to retrieve my cap the wind had blown off a moment before. Still with my camera out, hung about my neck, I walked to the bottom of the overpass and packed my camera away in view of the officer. This was not an act of, "I have nothing to hide" it was an act of, "I am just a photographer".

Shorty after, the police car raced off in the other direction with siren blaring and lights flashing, another fast moving police car soon followed in the same manner, and I continued walking on. The time to return home had not arrived yet, and I wanted to take more photos.

* No matter how annoyed one might be about being questioned by a police officer regarding photography, one should always be calm and be polite to the officer. One should never try to throw one's weight around by expressing a defensive attitude, or arguing with the officer about 'rights' and 'the law'. One should always know one's rights, but one should also use common sense. Railway police in Canada (CNR Police and CPR Police) have the same author​​ity as the regular police. Security guards have neither police nor peace officer powers. Although most security guards are professional, there are a few security guards who can be needlessly aggressive. One should always demand a police officer be called (or call) to attend if the security guard is overstepping his or her bounds regarding his or her authority. Prior knowledge of a police officer's authority and a security guard's authority is recommended, but one should always use common sense. 

© Trevor Dailey

What type of photographer am I?

Since 2014, I have owned a Nikon D3200 camera. This is my first 'professional' type camera. In the time I have owned my camera I have taken hundreds of photographs. Some are experimental, just for fun, or have a purpose. The camera is perfect for my current level of photography, but it has lots of room for me as I learn and grow with my photography. Having access to Lens Lenders is also a benefit. A question I have thought about is what type of photographer am I?

Judging by what I take photos of and in what situations I would probably describe myself as a 'historical' photographer. This means to me that I like to take photos to document events.

At my former place of work I took many photos related to the business. While not a perfect record any person looking at my photos long after what is there today is gone will have some information on what was there, and what we did there. A glimpse into what the business was about. Perhaps it will provide information to someone that I never thought would be important to someone.

It could be supposed that all photographers are this 'historical' type of photographer simply by what photography is. A photo is a record. However, I mostly take photos with the intention of historical preservation, so I might be a little different. Not that I expect people to be looking at my photos 100 years after I am gone, but if they do, I want my photos to be a historical record.

While many of my photos are the 'historical' type, many others are simply experimental that I delete soon after taking them. I learn best through experiment. Still other photos I take are just for fun that likely will never mean anything to anyone except me. While I am nowhere near being an expert photographer, I look forward to taking many hundreds more photos with my camera. I really just enjoy taking photos. 

© Trevor Dailey

Video: Military Police Photography (1965)