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[pct-l] Introduction and Trail Photography

As a digest follower and sometime contributor to the list for some time,
I've found myself missing opportunities to interact simply because the
digest is often too time late to allow me to meaningfully add anything
to the discussion.  Solution: I just took the plunge and subscribed to
the "real" list.  I'm looking forward to receiving every post and
putting in my thoughts in real time instead of after the discussion has
come to its own logical conclusion.

Up until now I've not introduced myself to the list, so I guess this is
as good a time as any.  I'm 52, live in San Diego, recently retired,
relatively inexperienced in backpacking, but passionately involved in
remedying that defect.  During my adult life I had a demanding career, a
marriage, and raised a family.  During that time my retreats to the
wilderness were infrequent.  Well, the kids grew up; the marriage ended;
and almost 3 years ago I was able to see an end to my working life.  I
began day hiking and did some trail crew work with a volunteer group
that supports the Forest Service in Cleveland National Forest, visited
Yosemite and hiked my butt off (my equipment then consisted of 25 year
old hiking boots, a book bag and a few plastic pop bottles), and found
myself transformed.  In the last year or so I've hiked about 700 miles
of the PCT in sections and try to stay in shape with shorter "winter"
trips in Anza-Borrego Desert (my girlfriend calls that my kamikaze
hiking).  My background is in engineering and operations, so I tend to
be an equipment and logistics geek.  Like everyone on the list, I've
read Jardine.  I take what I like and leave the rest.  I guess that
makes me a moderate; weight conscious, but traditional in style.  I
don't intend to do a one year thru hike, however the thought of hiking
the entire PCT over a 2 or 3 year period holds great appeal.  Have I
said too much?  That's plenty about me for now.

I've been following the excellent discussion on photography and have
just a few additional considerations to add.  I have an Olympus Stylus
Zoom 115 and I'll simply agree with all the other posts that have lauded
that particular camera.  By the way, I'm the guy Dude described who
dropped his camera in a creek and went in on all fours to retrieve it. 
I looked at the Canon ELPH Advantix, in fact was going to get one, but
its specs for water resistance are little or none.  I bought the Pentax
IQ Zoom 115, and loved it; the camera is water proof, and bullet proof,
but I returned it because it 's just too heavy and bulky.  But I learned
a lesson from the Pentax.  It has a built in infrared remote control. 
(Finally to the point of this post!!!)  An infrared remote allows me to
take pictures of myself, or myself and friends, so that I'm part of my
story.  So when I got the Olympus, I also ordered the optional remote. 
It's about 1 inch in diameter by 1/4 inch thick, weighs nothing, and is
very easy to use.  I'm not a photographer, but I really took some great
pictures on my last trip with the Olympus and the remote.  

One last point: If you're on this list, you also operate a computer. 
I've enjoyed scanning, working with the images, and sharing image files
with friends and family on the net.  And no, I don't have my own web
site, but I'd be happy to share a few images.

Happy trails, Tom
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