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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Funeral for a Friend

On 14 July 2009, I bid farewell to a friend who has been with me through thick and thin over the past few years.

The passing of my Oly (short for Olympus) 5060 was nothing short of spectacular. We had kayaked to the middle of Mosquito Bay (in Vieques) in the total darkness of a moonless night to see the bioluminescent plankton in the water. Oly was safe in its underwater housing. We slipped into the water, to better agitate the plankton and make it glow.

Despite the inadequate lighting, I was hoping against hope that Oly could pull off a miracle and give us one good shot for the blog.

All of a sudden, Oly seemed to go into a seizure. The view-screen became especially bright in the dark of the bay and even when I switched it off, the light wouldn't go. With a cold chill in my heart, I held it up to see if perhaps the underwater housing had flooded. I couldn't see anything. And then Oly's flash fired right in my face.



I was blinded by the sudden flashes, and it was all I could do to find my kayak and put Oly back in. I figured that since I couldn't switch Oly off, and I didn't want to disrupt the tour further for others, there was nothing much I could do. I would check on Oly later.

It turned out that Oly was indeed flooded by the brine. The underwater housing had lost its integrity and allowed the water in the bay (which was 10 times saltier than that in the sea) to flood and ultimately kill my camera.

When we got to Bogota, Colombia, we held a short ceremony to commemorate the life and times of Oly.

Oly surrounded by its closest friends - clockwise from front - batt-charger, batt, strap, bag and lens cap. Underwater housing was too ashamed to attend.

Oly was introduced to me during my time with SriLankan Airlines by Cassandra Dragon from Asian Geographic Magazine. This was all the way back in November 2004, when I was preparing for a big dive trip to Maldives!

Since then, Oly 5060 has helped me capture numerous memories, with its swivel screen and wide angle lens. I have had to explain to so many people that Oly 5060 is neither a point-and-shoot camera, nor a DSLR. Oly 5060 straddles the fine line between these two classes of cameras, known as a prosumer camera. Of course, with DSLRs now hitting and going below the SGD 1000 mark, this class of cameras are all but extinct.

I wish that I had access to all the other pictures on my other trips, parties, outings, etc. Unfortunately, I had backed up most of those pictures at home to clear space for my HDD before this trip.

With what I have left with me, I will let Oly's output speak for itself.

Oly dived!

Stonefish at Sipadan - poionous and well-camoflaged!

A shy mandarinfish hiding in the corals at Mabul

Oly was fun!

Kungfu Frisbee at Sentosa!

Read this post for the story on this pic!

Performing Prince's hit single - Purple Brain

So cool that Elvis the Pelvis has turned blue

Oly swivelled!

Going close to the ground to catch a quartet of ducklings in Boston

An over-my-shoulder shot of a fly-fisherman in the Adirondacks, because they didn't look very friendly

Oly loved to get close to nature!

Face-to-face with a grasshopper in Moganshan, near Hangzhou

Taking in the hue-view of a flower in Salt Lake City

Fascinated with these ball-like flowers in Boston

Getting some grass in New Windsor, because grass was easily available in the USA

Oly had a flair for the dramatic!

Catching the ethereal dance of a jellyfish in the Monterey Bay Aquarium off San Francisco

Capturing the amazing power of a statue with a glowing groin in Denver

Fireworks over the Niagara Falls

Braving the stormy weather in Harbour Island, Bahamas

The magnificence of Captain Speedo in Eleuthera, Bahamas!

Oly loved me, my wife and my friends!

The wife and the gang o' divers in Pulau Aur, Malaysia

Sniggering at Canon not being used for this pic at Bryce Canyon

Giving me my favorite (non-pornographic) picture of the wife in the Nassau, Bahamas

Oly, though many cameras in the market have surpassed your capabilities in the last 5 years, I will cherish and remember fondly the good times we shared.

Taken by Oly's successor

Rest in peace, my friend.


Anonymous said...

And I thought I was the only weirdo who gets emotionally attached to my mobile phone and camera...

Debra said...

Those are some really amazing shots!

Dannie said...

Anonymous: Haha... well, Oly has really served me well! I sure wouldn't mourn for my current SE phone when I replace it!

Debra: Thanks! And these are only a small handful of what Oly gave me. Impressive, no?

Carol Mei Mei said...

Hey Dannie!

Solid pix!! I used to own an Oly (DLSR) too, so I can testify to their rich and warm colour tones. Unfortunately after being a faithful companion to me on many treks and travels, my Oly (also) rested in peace overseas - at Fox Glacier, NZ, in Dec 07. Till today, I have not thrown it away. Talk abt (over)sentimentality and strange attachments to inanimates....

Alice Jones said...

Great blog!!! I really like your post. That's very impressive. I totally agree with you.

Bahamas Cruise said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dannie said...

Dear Bahamas Cruise,

After discussion, we have decided to delete your comment as it seems that you are using our blog for your own advertisement.

We do not mind advertisements on our blog, but I'm sure you would agree that it would be fair that advertisers seek our agreement first.

Thank you.

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