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The Good Old Days

Please Play with Me!
These are photos taken in November 2008 when Ruby was ten weeks and Max was eight. Their fourth and twelfth year birthdays, respectively, are coming up in August. For whatever reason I got all sentimental and started to look for these particular photos. Max has certainly grown older since then, with prominent dark areas around the eyes. Ruby has just grown up, although if you see them standing side by side there's no mistaking smaller Ruby from larger Max.

Max is still as energetic as ever, and takes to his walks with the same gusto he's shown since he was a five month old juvenile. Ruby has been "trained" by Max, and acts as his backup annoyer when I don't move fast enough to dress them out in their leads for their daily walks. The only difference is I'm now careful not to walk Max nearly as far as I once did. His age, my knees, and the heat and humidity make me more cautious about the time and distance on any single walk. Instead we spend time out in the big back yard running, chasing, and playing catch.
Mellow Moment
In spite of what the photos may show, Max is devoted to Ruby and always has been. When Ruby first arrived he was more curious about her than territorial, trying to figure out how to play with her. He did love to tease her and Ruby teased right back. One of my favorite photos was this last one of the two of them on perimeter patrol. Max was always checking out the fence, and Ruby was right behind him. When they were walking like this they reminded me of the two Warner cartoon characters, Spike and Chester, although not nearly as crazy. And neither chase cats.
Showing Ruby the Perimeter
It was also the good old days as far as my photography was concerned. All these photos (and a whole lot more) were taken with the Olympus E-300, an 8MP 4/3rds camera and the 40-150mm 1:3.5-4.6 and the 14-45mm 1:3.5-4.5 kit lenses. The lenses had no ED or other special elements in their formulation, and they were both large and relatively heavy with metal bayonets, but they were both very good lenses for what they were. The 40-150mm lens in particular, which was used to take the top two photos, gave a pretty good performance, almost as good as my Zuiko Digital 50-200mm 1:2.8-3.5 SWD Mark II. I'd had this particular setup since March 2006 and I'd really gotten (back) into photography. I was so impressed with the Olympus system that a month later, in December, I'd purchase my E-3 with two lense, the 12-60mm, and 50-200mm.

The images were JPEGs taken straight from the camera and re-sized with Olympus bundled post processing software.

As much as we talk about the latest cameras such as the digital Pens and the OM-D E-M5, when I look back on what I've taken with everything over the last 10 years I would be challenged to re-shoot then any better. Which begs the question, has all that camera gear purchased since the E-300 really been necessary, or worth the extra expenditures?

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