The last few months have been difficult, very difficult, for most of us and particularly for me. First we had the lockdown and travel restrictions due to the pandemic and then my wife of 51 years, Val, was diagnosed with a very serious health issue early July.
For many years we have been inveterate travellers, but Covid-19 meant that instead of two pre-planned exciting overseas trips in 2020 there have been none. Indeed, in better circumstances, this week we would have been sailing on a small riverboat into darkest Myanmar along with fellow Macfilos contributor, Wayne Gerlach and his spouse.
My wife’s health issue has meant that I have been in a continuous state of stress, taking her to seemingly endless medical appointments and visiting her in hospital. I have become adept at driving a wheelchair in and out of medical facilities—and that’s quite a challenge, not quite as satisfying as piloting one of my classic Porsches.
This forced confinement to base has not been easy and my feet have not stopped itching throughout the winter. But, at least, I live in beautiful Terrigal and, even in the depths of winter, my regular early morning cliff-top walk has been enjoyable. It has also kept me fit and has helped me try to keep my mind in a good place.
Now the walk is even better as Spring has really sprung. The temperature has gone up and the gardens are suddenly bursting with colour.
Enter the Q2
As well as the lack of time and my fatigue, all the gloom has meant that my enthusiasm for taking photographs has waned in the last two months. The very week before my wife’s diagnosis I had been idly thinking about switching my Leica Q for a Q2. I did not need a Q2 as the Q, although over four years old and very well used, was still performing faultlessly.
I had mentally decided to stay with the Q when Val’s diagnosis arrived. However, on the spur of the moment, I decided to buy the Q2 as a sort of personal pick me up. Fortunately, some of the financial pain miraculously disappeared when Photoco in Adelaide sold the Q for me at an excellent price.
The therapy benefit of Q2 buying was sadly short-lived and I barely touched the camera until last week. In fact, the only photos I took with it were of my beautiful old cat, Phoebe, as we snuggled up together on the sofa in the evenings after yet another stressful day.
Last week I decided that it was well past time to give the Q2 an outing. So it accompanied me on my early morning walk as I came across a flock of pelicans (or, as I now see, it is actually a pod, or even a pouch, a scoop, a squadron or if they are fishing as a group, a fleet). I rather warm to the term fleet, so fleet it shall be. The fleet was in its usual berth by the end of the boat ramp at The Haven in Terrigal, waiting for early morning fishermen to return and sort their catch.
This guy, or gal (I never was any good at sexing pelicans), stood still just long enough for me to take one photo. It is a sizeable crop but if I had edged another centimetre forward it would have swum off, I’m sure. Of course, the biggest benefit of the Q2 over the Q is that the 47mp sensor can really handle big crops.
I also thought that I should include one of my Phoebe shots as I promised her that if she stood still long enough I’d make her famous by getting her photo onto Macfilos. She’s been a great comfort to me over the last few difficult months.