Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

August 22, 2010

Tools we take for granted

Filed under: light, Non Birds — richditch @ 2:02 pm
2001 Toyota RAV4

2001 Toyota RAV4

First, my apologies for those expecting another bird photo, but subjects are still scarce for me around Phoenix at the moment. Its not for want of trying: I was up at 5:00 am on Saturday for an early morning visit to see what the possibilities were with the Burrowing Owls I photographed back in June. The owls were still there, and instead of the two I’d seen in June there were now four of them. But I never had a chance to photograph any of them on a good natural perch against a pleasing background the entire time I waited – just a bunch of boring shots of one owl on an ugly metal fence.

While waiting for an owl to move down to one of the rocks it had used on my previous visit I looked back to judge the light and decided to break out a shorter lens for a shot of my Toyota RAV4 since I don’t normally see it from such a low position.

That got me thinking about some of the tools we take for granted. Here in  AZ you rely a lot on personal transportation, and because the environment is so harsh you want your vehicle to be very reliable. Otherwise you might get stranded a long way from help where you don’t want to run out of water. I bought my RAV4 in March of 2001, and it has been my daily transportation for 9.5 years. It will reach 150,000 miles in the next couple of weeks. I’d not give it a second thought to get in it right now and drive back to NJ or any place else. And with that thought I also realized I’m completely comfortable in it – the seats still feel fine; the controls are where they should be (unlike in my wife’s car); and it still meets my needs. When I bought my RAV I still had a job, my wife was healthy, I worked on a Bondi Blue iMac with a 4GB hard drive and 128KB of memory, I was just learning to scan my slides, and I made cassette tape compilations of music from CDs and vinyl LPs to play while I drove. A lot has changed in my life since then, but not my Toyota.

Nikon D70, 18-70 @ 50mm, ISO 200, 1/320th second @ f/7.1



  1. Rich,

    It is great to know someone else who loves their vehicle even though it is older and has a lot of miles. My FWD Cherokee has about 140,000 and it has gotten me out of a few tight spots.

    No apology needed that this isn’t an avian photo. Your Rava is part of your photography gear, it gets you out to the locations and the birds.

    Comment by Mia — August 23, 2010 @ 3:04 am

  2. Your Rav 4 looks quite similar to the Matrix I had before I bought my pickup Rich – same color even. The main thing I didn’t like about mine was the daytime running lights that you couldn’t turn off – not a good thing when you’re trying to sneak up on birds in your vehicle.

    Comment by rondudley — August 23, 2010 @ 4:09 am

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