Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Testing gear as an excuse for photo fun

I like to try to photograph common subjects in unusual ways.  Sometimes I need a little nudge to get going.  Even though there may be no one watching me, it can feel a little silly to be putting time and effort into yet more pictures of...whatever...let's say another stupid dead leaf and some nondescript pine straw.  That unease absolutely should not be a consideration, but the psychology of hesitation is what it is.   So I find various modes of thought to push myself over that small initial hurdle, but today I had no trouble, thanks to an extra stimulus.

I just acquired a new bit of gear, a lens to replace another, adding a dash of new capability (I hope) and making certain things easier to do.  Its primary functions (in theory, at least) will be shooting wildlife, sports, and narrow landscapes.  However, this telephoto zoom has an excellent range of close focusing, which opens other areas for exploration.  Aha, what more excuse could I need to notice what the fallen leaves are up to today?  Here is one of my first shots with the new lens.

That was done right in my own front yard.  Oh, and looking back at the house, what do you know - someone has been watching me!  Ziva got the glass door quite misty!

Here are two small leaves on a very large one.  This lens will be good for shooting butterflies and dragonflies, I think.

Next is just a hanging leaf, but I like the patterns made by the blurred branches behind it.  One of the lens characteristics that I was testing is the quality of blur both behind and in front of the plane of focus.  Bokeh is the fancy (Japanese) term for blur character.  I am pleased with the bokeh as an ingredient of the first shot, at the top.

A tangled mess that perhaps could be a metaphor for life and its inherent beauty and struggle:

As I re-entered the house after my ten pace safari, I got a really quick shot of Ziva, who was moving. This actually was a good first test of high speed autofocus response in dim light, suggesting that I will be a happy camper when I get to chase after birds in flight, soccer players leaping, and dogs running.

[all photos using Canon EF 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS II]



  1. Yes...Ziva was watching and thinking: "He's so silly ... he could be chasing squirrels with me!" (the psychology of doggistation)

    1. She does much better chasing squirrels on her own. Together, we chase people and dogs on the Greenway. And if you want to see something that looks silly, you should check out Ziva grabbing her leash in her teeth and insisting that we play tug-o-war! While running!

    2. I do, I do want to see that silliness!! You both running along, she playing tug-o-war with you on the leash and you with camera in hand grabbing spectacular shots! Yes, yes, please!

  2. About "testing gear as an excuse for photo fun" ---- No excuses ever needed for that! (smile)
    Ars gratia artis! I think that's the phrase, but correct me if I'm wrong. And if an excuse is ever needed, how about the pleasure given to viewers by your photos!! thanks for those!


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