A few weeks ago I finally purchased my first dslr camera. It’s used but still in great shape and takes really good photos (the evidence is in front of you). When I was younger I was really into 35mm cameras (specifically this one). I would take road trips specifically to take photos. Then, as I got a bit older and accumulated responsibilities and started to take things a bit too seriously, photography was one of my hobbies (art forms) that gradually got pushed aside. Though in recent years–with the advent of the digital camera, but more importantly when I decided to start taking care of myself again–I’ve rekindled my love of viewing the world through a camera lens. But until recently I’ve only used point-and-shoot cameras, which I still use and love. Then recently I purchased the used dslr–which is the digital equivalent of a 35mm, I believe–and a whole world has opened up to me. Anyhow, and to cut to the chase, I went out for a cold walk with my camera and tripod to take some night shots and play with the light/shutter settings…the result are these photos. It’s interesting, I think, how warm the colors are but how cold it is outside (25F/3.8C)…sort of like looking through night vision goggles. Anyhow, I thought I’d share a few of them.
Okay, so before you look at the photos (if you haven’t already) I wanted to show you the camera I shot them with. Yup. That’s it. A little palm-sized point-and-shoot Sony Cyber-shot. 12.1 megapixels. This camera, in fact, is what I use for most of my close ups and much of the food photography on this blog. It can be carried in my pocket, and–worst case scenario–if I broke it, it could be replaced rather easily (but I hope it doesn’t as I really enjoy it). I do have two other “better” cameras (neither of which are DSLR and one I purchased used) but this is the one I use for close ups. And while I am in the market for a DSLR camera (a used one that would fit my budget) I get by fine without one. The reason I mention this is that I really believe it is not necessarily the camera (or at least not always the camera) that takes the good photo, but the person viewing what’s in front of them through it. I’m just saying…
This camera not having a great zoom–and when I zoom from a distance it gets blurry–I have to be right on the subject at hand for a crystal clear photo. Thus, for these photos I was, without exaggeration, just a few inches from the bees. Anyhow, here they are.
I’m still getting used to my somewhat new (used) camera. I had some time yesterday and went for a walk and shot a few photos. The above is of one of my dogs, Maxwell…how could you not love that face. The image first below is the rear of Kleinhans Music Hall. And the bottom three I really enjoy, not because they are really spectacular but because of their clarity. I’ve been experimenting with the camera’s zoom. The bird was taken in my backyard, and likely 50 feet up (you can even see it’s claws gripping the wire and the actual texture of the electric wire), but the cross and the tiger were both easily hundreds of feet up and away. The cross was on the roof of a church and the tiger on an old mansion.
Winter, I think, is an amazing time to take photos…an amazing time in general, especially with the crazy weather we’ve had this year. The contrast of color-to-bleak and lush-to-stark inspires me. The above photo (birds in a tree) was taken yesterday when we had crazy-strong wind gusts…the birds just swayed back and forth in the wind at the top of the tree. The photo directly below (stick, moss, and snow) is of a ledge on a stone wall that I see nearly every day as I leave work…the time of day is just right; the light–when the clouds break–enhances any small debris that the wind happens to blow onto the ledge. And the bottom photo (frozen herb) is a picture of my front yard…despite the roller coaster weather the parsley still survives and thrives. After snapping the picture I ate a couple leaves. Click any image for a larger view.
Shortly after writing my somewhat self-righteous post this morning about commuting to work in the snow I ended up using my truck anyhow. The reason I mention this is that in an indirect way it influenced these photos, or at least influence me taking them. But I’m jumping ahead. I drove my truck because my son asked me to take him to a friends house on the other side of the city (I may be half-crazy riding bikes in the snow but I’m not going to force my eccentricities on others, especially my son); I also combined the trip with an errand I’ve been putting off. And as I drove I passed Delaware Park, which of course is part of the beautiful park system originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. It was snowing pretty good (our first lake effect snow of the year) and the wind was whipping as well, creating white outs at times. The photo directly below is a good example of this; if you look closely you can see the snow whipping sideways (classic lake effect). Anyhow, the park looked especially beautiful to me…tranquil in the midst of chaos. I was bundled up pretty well, and had my little point-and-shoot camera in my pocket, so I pulled the truck to the side of the road and walked a few hundred feet into the park. When I turned to look at the road I could barley see the truck. Everything looked filtered, or like an impressionist painting. I stood there for a few minutes before snapping the photos, just trying to be in the moment and letting the wind and snow whip against my face. Though just a few hundred feet from the road I could have been a hundred miles from nothing. Then reality sunk in as I began to get cold. So I took off my gloves and with nearly frozen fingers snapped a bunch of pictures. These are some of my favorites. They’re also great examples what one can do with an inexpensive camera, that you do not necessarily need an expensive one to take interesting photos…just the desire to capture what you see. Click any for larger views.