Sunday, August 27, 2006

My new camera - I love it!

I've been intending to purchase a SLR digital camera for the past few years, and have finally done the deed. I was kind of balking at the prices a few years ago, but they've come down enough that I didn't feel too bad about parting with my cash. What has all this to do with woodturning, you might ask? Well, I bought all my gear for about the price of what I sold my "Hidden World" piece earlier this summer. Yesterday I bought a Canon EOS Rebel plus a 75 - 300 mm zoom lens, an extra battery, and two 1 GB cards and, after reading the manual last night, tried it out this morning. We've had a lot of rain since yesterday evening, but the weather cleared for a couple of hours late morning - just enough to go for a short bike ride along the bike path to try out my zoom lens on the birds in the river and wetlands park.

The first pictures were done at home - just to try out the different settings. Here's a close-up of one of the roses Steve gave me earlier this week (for our anniversary). I didn't mess with the aperture settings, but will play with this to work on the depth of focus. I like having that control again - I can reduce the aperture way, way down and increase the depth of field. That's one of the must have features for my field work and botanical photography.

Emma's always a willing subject and I took a lot of photos of her and Darwin this morning. You can see those on Emma's blog.

I like this one - it's a good picture of Emma being her regal self.

This was my first trial of the 300 mm zoom lens. I didn't use a tripod for this, and I was very surprised at how well it turned out. I was across the river from this great blue heron, had the maximum zoom, and used a high shutter speed to counteract the movement of the lens.

The next stop was the OSU wetlands park and the billabong there as part of the overflow into the wetlands. The water levels have really gone down over the past month, so the fish are being corralled into a smaller and smaller volume. This makes it very attractive for Great Blue Herons and this migratory Great Egret. We saw a Green Heron yesterday, but that was before I had the camera. This egret is pretty far away from the bike path, but I was able to put the zoom lens on and get a good image.

This is the Great Egret shown in the previous picture, but taken with my 300 mm zoom at a high shutter speed.

The Great Blue Heron was a little farther away and to the right of where the egret was fishing.

Here are Steve and my bikes. Yesterday we rode 23 miles - all the way to the northern end of the bike path and back. Steve rides the recumbent.

Here's the view of the Olentangy bike path heading north along the billabong of the OSU wetlands park.

Same spot, but looking south. There's Steve in his cycling garb.

A little ways south of the wetlands park is the Dodridge Street bridge. This is the view looking north. There are some geese on top of the dam. It's hard to see them with the 55 mm lens, but I took some close-ups with the 300 mm lens (see below).

Here's the view south, looking at the bridge for Dodridge Street.

The bike path bridge at Dodridge Street heading south.

Same place, heading north.

There are usually ducks and geese out on the rocks above the dam; sometimes a blue heron is there and we've seen belted kingfishers here as well.

Here they are through the 300 mm zoom lens.

So, I think I'll like my new camera. I need to keep reviewing the manual until I learn all the settings and bells and whistles, but I think it's going to be a lot of fun to use.

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