A Christmas Present (to myself)

Well, I broke down and finally invested in a tablet for Christmas.  I've been looking at them since last year when my notebook and desktop computers died.  I rebuilt the desktop computer but the notebook computer was a total loss.  A small tablet computer is useful for showing guests images, maps, and websites they might find useful on their visit to the area and without a small portable computer this was no longer possible.  So with a drop in prices just before Christmas I ordered a Surface 3.  It arrived and after getting software updates and my favorite programs downloaded it time to try out the camera.  While not a dedicated camera the built in Surface 3 camera in the 16:9 format does do a good job at capturing big images I would usually build out of multiple images taken with the canon point and shoot I usually use for photographs.  Below are 2 examples of single images I took using the tablet.  These are single snapshots that were then processed in the provided software.  The first is a Christmas Eve image of Portal Peak and the eastern flank of the Chiricahua mountains presented in Black and White (desaturated) with some tilt shift and vignetting added to draw the viewers attention to the mountains.  While the second image is of the Gray Mountain in the Peloncillos to the east, taken the day after Christmas after about an inch of snow fell in the valley.  This image was processed the same way as the first image.

While the colors produced by the tablet camera are good, I prefer the desaturated images of the landscape and have yet to print any of the images, but on the computer screen I'm pleased with the results.  Of course trying to shoot with a tablet can be bulky but the large viewing screen certainly helps with composition except in strong light.  I also noticed that lens flaring can be a problem in strong light but for a non-dedicated camera that is built in Microsoft did a good job.

It will be nice to have a device which I can use to quickly show guests information about the area and hopefully make their visit more enjoyable.

An image of the Chiricahua Mountains taken with a Surface 3 tablet camera.
Gray Mountain in the Peloncillo Mountains of southwestern New Mexico. Image taken with a Surface 3 tablet camera.  


  1. Well enjoy the present to yourself! I have thought about getting myself a Kindle or a Smartphone but so far, have bought nothing, but I like the notion of buying self a gift!

    1. I like the Kindle, I use an old one and find it easy to read and no clutter of books in the small space of the trailer.

  2. I'm not sure, but is that a "Santa Selfie" or a "Selfing Santa". In any event it will be a useful tool for trouble shooting the internet around here. Five buildings with WiFi covering a half a mile takes some work to maintain and I was dragging a huge laptop around to troubleshoot especially standing on a ladder, now just a simple tablet, much easier.

    1. from Susan of the GC: "Santa selfie is a noun and normal usage. Selfing is new to me.

    2. From Google: "sel·fie
      noun: selfie; plural noun: selfies; noun: selfy

      a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media."

      From my perspective they characterize the dichotomy between "people and personalities versus ideas and concepts". Although I must admit to making one, but the scene was about working on the road grader at PPR.

    3. Social media, what an oxymoron! Kids on smartphones texting each other while they sit on the same couch NOT speaking to each other!

      Selfies in dangerous situations, like with a bear, on a bridge, on a cliff, dumb

  3. I agree, but social media's popularity for many people make it something that I address from a business perspective. For me it is just one more tool I use.