Photography observations: grab bag post

13 March, 2006

Went around today with no aim or purpose. It was fun to just stop whenever I saw a good idea and do something about it. I am really getting my footing not just with my equipment but with the social aspects of walking around with a big camera taking pictures of random things. It’s a fabulous icebreaker in pretty much every context. I’m thinking I should have cards to tell people about my flickr page, but will that look like I’m trying to sell stuff? SHOULD I be trying to sell stuff, what with all the cute-kid pics I take? How good should I be before I can do that?

Thought on looking at today’s yield: Must get lens hood for the 17-40.

Had what is apparently the common Canon 300D “take a series in RAW, wait 5 minutes for the card to write them, have all sorts of photo-worthy things happen as it does.” Today was a cute as all get-out little girl, 18 months or less, who ran up to me, smiled, mugged, the whole bit. Rita unfroze and I got the back of her head as she turned away. Curses! (I got more of her later, but less smiley. Coincidentally, the girl’s father just got his PhD. Boy are we thick on the ground in this town.)

Glasses and viewfinders really go poorly together. How do you nearsighted photo-taking readers handle it? My rubber eyepiece smudges the glasses, and I can’t see the whole frame with them on. The diopter correction dingus works, but then I have to walk around blind or take them off and on a lot. (At one point I tried walking around with the glasses off and the camera to my eye. It was very…something, especially since I did it wide, at 28ish mm. I’m sure there’s some fancy theoretical concept applicable to the experience of giving up your sight to see as a camera does. Besides “fuckin’ trippy, dude.”)

I bled to get a shot today, I think it might even be first photography blood. I was at Haines Point and bored of all the ground angles of the sculpture there–you know, the Man with the Hand and the Rock in the Sand (as we call it in my family). So I climbed a tree. I had climbed a stand of bamboo an hour earlier. Spring brings out the monkey in me I guess.

Of course, I was a dumbass about it, too excited about the idea to execute it well. I picked the tree that was nearest when I had the idea, which was not the easiest to climb, nor the one with the best sight line to MHRS, nor the one with the sturdiest branches, NOR the one with the optimum branch configuration. I needed one hand to balance myself at all times (esp since my legs were so sore from the Idiotarod). So? you are saying. Suck it up, shoot one-handed! Ah, Reader, I had the lensbaby on. For those not familiar with them, the lensbaby needs a hand for operation of its bellows, and the hand that’s doing that can’t keep focus and press the shutter.

I did find a workaround though. No damned way was I climbing that tree for nothing. (I pondered switching over to the 17-40, right up there precariously balanced 8 feet in the air. Now THAT would have been hilarious, changing lenses in a tree. As if I wasn’t enough of a sight having just heaved myself up into the tree in a nonchalantly undignified manner.) Unfortunately, in the lovely weather the sculpture was crawling with kids, and the plan–to wait it out and shoot real quick during a lull–was untenable in my precarious state. So it didn’t even work out. Garr! The blood was from an ankle scrape the tree inflicted.

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