I went for a short hike at Piestewa Peak yesterday to get a little exercise and to test out some film and audio. More specifically, I wanted to run through a roll of Ilford Ortho Plus 80 on the Canon FTb using sunny 16 metering techniques. Sounds fancy doesn’t it. For audio, I wanted to test my Rode wireless mic’s ability to transmit and receive if the receiver was in my camera bag connected to my H5 Zoom. I also wanted to test whether I could walk uphill.

I’ve never shot the Ilford Ortho Plus 80. I think it’s relatively new. I won’t give a detailed explanation of sunny 16 here. You can find better explanations elsewhere. But here’s the gist as I understand it. If you haven’t got a lightmeter, a rule of thumb on a sunny day is f/16 + set the ISO (in this case 80) + the reciprocal of the ISO for the shutter speed, in this case, 1/80. I can’t get 1/80 on the Canon, so I went with 1/125th. I sometimes even went with 1/250th. I can’t remember if sunny 16 accounts for Arizona sunny, even in the winter.

I took my Fujifilm X-H1 along to compare its meter readings and results to the sunny 16 guidelines. I’ve included some photos from it below. Nothing special, but maybe some folks will drop by this site who have never been to Phoenix.


Phoenix from Piestewa Peak, January 2020.

Phoenix from Piestewa Peak, January 2020.


Piestewa Peak Trail, Phoenix, January 2020.

Piestewa Peak Trail, Phoenix, January 2020.


Phoenix.

Phoenix.

It was a beautiful day. As usual, I was kicking myself for not having gotten out there on that trail every opportunity I had. There have been opportunities. Lots of people out getting an excellent workout in a gym that doesn’t cost anything (state income taxes not included of course).

The Canon still feels awkward to shoot. That’s all subjective, though, not a bad design. Except for maybe the strap eyelets. I’ll have to experiment with a few straps to see if any are able to stay out of the way. I like the viewfinder and focusing. I have to double check, but I think the manual focus rotation is the opposite of my Fujifilm.

I was surprised that the audio worked. The transmitter was on my shirt. The receiver and the H5 Zoom recorder were in my messenger bag, which was resting against my back with the flap closed. I’ve included about a minute of the audio. For a few reasons: 1) I can add some relevant tags in the metadata and, with luck, connect with other audio beginners 2) I can start overcoming the dread of hearing one’s own voice 3) to make sense of some self-deprecating anecdotes.

In the wildly exciting 1 minute or so of audio, you’ll be bored to tears, and you’ll be wondering why I sniff a lot like Donald Trump. I wasn’t doing lines while walking up the trail. I think some of it is allergies, some of it might be a nervous tic, and some of it was telling myself stop sniffing you weirdo, which inevitably led to more sniffs.

The audio clip was long. I cut almost all of it out. I went with this section of it because it contains the sound of shutter going thwack. Love that sound. The ending is a little funny. I figured there was a good chance I’d accidentally turned off the recorder, a battery had died, or there was an auto shut off. I looked at the recorder, and it was still going. When I put it back in the bag, though, I must have hit the stop button. The end of the clip is the actual end of the clip. I kept talking to myself for another 30 minutes.

Piestewa Peak used to be called Squaw Peak. Native Americans pointed out that the term squaw is offensive. The standard debate that we are all now so familiar with ensued. There’s a demographic – usually white – that gets fired up when other demographic groups request change. You’re destroying our history and culture. Where will it end? How soon before the White House is permanently painted in the colors of the rainbow?

Melodrama and exaggeration. I’m glad Arizona changed the name. They chose Piestewa to honor Lori Piestewa.

State officials renamed the peak more than a decade ago at the urging of Native American advocates concerned about its negative connotations. It was dubbed Piestewa Peak in honor of Lori Piestewa, a member of the Hopi Tribe and the first known American Indian woman to die in combat with the U.S. military. She was killed during the Iraq war in 2003. ~ USAToday

I think in my younger days I was on the wrong side of the argument. If I thought the name Washington Redskins was offensive, it was only because I was a Dallas Cowboys fan. Luckily I grew up. If American Indians say the name is offensive, that’s enough for me. Seems like it should be enough for all of us. I can’t imagine that name will ever get changed, though.