Life Thursday Doors Zambia

Thursday Doors Camera Problem

With the plastic grip attached

Two years ago, I decided to buy a new camera. My trusty Canon 6D has served me well until I tripped over a tramline in Amsterdam. I had the camera around my neck and it got the ground, damaging a dial on the top.

I fixed it myself, but it fell off again, and I lost it. So I bought a replacement and fixed it on with Araldite glue. Unfortunately, this also fixed the dial in one position. I can use the camera, but I decided to buy another.

The Canon is full frame, and heavy, especially when lugging around lenses. So two years ago, on Black Friday I bought a micro 4/3 camera, a Panasonic Lumix G9. This has served me well in my travels (Myanmar, Thailand, Mallorca, Budapest, Venice).

It is supposed to be “tropicalised” to cope with dust, humidity, heat, snakes, etc. However, a few months ago, the blistering heat of Zambia melted the glue of the plastic grip covering the hatch where there SD cards are housed.

The grip has become unglued

I didn’t want to repeat my adhesive disaster, so I asked on line for advice. Panasonic were hunkered down behind Covid-19 proof firewalls, but I eventually got in touch with an authorized repair shop.

To glue the plastic skin back on was going to cost me over $100! I’m not going ahead with it. I can use it as it is, without risk of anything falling off or getting damaged. Grrr.


African Fish Eagle

One of my friends who lives on the eastern bank of the Luangwa River has a smartphone. The ring tone is the squawking call of a fish eagle. I still find myself looking up into the sky trying to spot an eagle when her phone rings.

Fish eagles are imperious birds. They like to perch high in dead trees, so they get a great view. This means that they are easy to spot and photograph. I took a dozen photographs of an immature fish eagle scanning a cabbage-covered lagoon in the park, trying to shoot every angle of his head. On returning home, I loaded up the images into my laptop, intending to delete most, keeping just one or two for posterity. But the eagle was so magnificent, that I found it impossible to cull most of the photographs. Here are a few for you to enjoy.

If they are not perched by the riverside, I sometimes see them on the ground, tearing at a lizard or a fish which they have captured in their talons. I have only ever photographed a fish eagle swooping down to pluck a fish from water once. And that was a cheat, when a guide took us out into Lake Naivasha in Kenya and threw a dead fish into the water. Our cameras sounded like the staccato of machine gun fire as the habituated eagle picked up the floating fish and flapped away.

In 2018, I bought a new Panasonic Lumix G9 camera, with a couple of Leica zoom lenses. They were on sale so I treated myself. There is a mode on the camera to record 60 pictures in a second. Even better, if you half press the shutter button, it will record the previous half second’s images. This makes up for my slow reaction time. So I pointed the camera at this majestic fish eagle, pressed the button as soon as I saw it take off and got sixty brilliant pictures as it left the branch. Job done, I thought.

Then I turned away from the viewfinder and watched the eagle swoop down onto the surface of the lagoon and catch a fish in its claws. It flew off into the distance to eat its fish supper in peace from intrusive paparazzi.

It was better watching the eagle in action with my naked eye than using my camera with its fancy electronic wizardry.