The official start of summer can be one of a few things. It could be the first proper wash and wax of your car (if you bother with that sort of thing). It could be the first day you are able to comfortably wear shorts. Or it could be the first autox event of the season!

For the sake of this post, we're going to call it the last one. That's right, this past Sunday, the Glen Region hosted our first autox event of 2013 at the Ithaca Mall. We had a record number of drivers register (59 total - haven't seen that many driver's since 2010 when we still had the Seneca Army Depot!) and beautiful weather.

I also got to try out my new camera. No GoPro this year (no videos) but I swapped my Sony NEX-C3 and 16-55mm lens for a NEX-6 and 55-210mm. This was my first time really trying to capture anything with it aside from the random cat photo. I think it went fairly well. Shot mostly in manual mode capturing RAW data (this is new to me).

Usually at these types of events (and WGI races) I'm setting my camera to continuous shooting or speed priority using manual focus and shutter priority and taking LOTS of photos where probably 2/3 are garbage. My system was easy enough to weed through those fairly quickly so I didn't really care how many there were. This time though, I took far fewer.

I probably took less than half of the photos that I would have taken. And no, not all of them turned out very good - but the ratio was higher. Maybe only half of them or a little more than that were garbage. And I'm OK with that. Of course the real change here was shooting in RAW. Most of my simple photo editing is just done in Picasa. It is quick and easy and handles most of what I ask of it.

While technically Picasa supports RAW formats, it's not so great and handling them. So I'm trying out Aperture on my iMac to see if I like that. So far, so good. This first gallery I've done with it was just very basic (and fast) exposure adjustments. I really didn't touch much more than that... yet.

Camera nonsense aside the event went swimmingly. Lots of drivers. Lots of runs. Great weather. Can't beat it. I came in first in my class (of 2 cars) and 2nd overall (of 59). So close to 1st place in PAX too. I just couldn't improve on my afternoon runs for some reason. But that's OK, it's early in the season yet. Lots of time to go.

I will be the event chair for our next event. It will be Sunday 5/19 at WGI in the TV/media lot. Registration will start and end promptly at 8am and 9 am respectively. This will be a new lot for us and hopefully it works out well - we need new sites!

Head over here to see the full album (~150 photos) from this weekend's event!

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