I have been relishing this unexpected time for R & R that I have been getting since returning back to Calgary from my visit to the Philippines. Oh by the way, my version of getting some rest and relaxation is to bum around the house and just do nothing other than to watch TV, surf the internet, and eat as required.
I get that, but most of my idle time is being spent playing around with my camera and the new lens that I just got, a Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D. It’s a fixed lens, meaning there is no zoom. This means I had to move around with my feet to get my subject properly composed in the viewfinder of the camera. To get a picture of, say, my wife cooking, I had to move way, way back in order to get her and whatever she is cooking in the frame. Quite a challenge considering how small our kitchen is!
This lens had to be manually focused, so I’ve been practicing using it in case I had to cover an event with it attached to my camera. I’ve mentioned at an earlier post how devilishly hard it is to focus. What makes it even more difficult was that I don’t have 20/20 vision. Normally, I would look through the camera’s viewfinder using my right eye. That’s the ergonomically way to do it. But my left eye sees better, so I had to use that to look at the viewfinder. I think that sort of ruins the ergonomics of the whole thing.
Since I shoot mainly indoors and in available light, I had to make sure that I have a steady hand or else the images will come out blurry. I’ve been learning how to lean against the wall to steady my shot and how to improvise a tripod from available objects such as chair backs and tables. I don’t like using the camera’s flash when I take pictures indoors; the white light that comes out of it dims the background and gives people’s skin a ghostly shade.
Here is another self-portrait I took. If you click on the image, it would lead you to my FLICKR page. Clicking on the “all sizes” button at the top of the image will give you a much larger view of the photo. Just how sharp this lens takes pictures will be evident, as dust and smudges on the camera and the mirror are plainly visible when you view the larger version of the photo:
Having this fixed lens on my Nikon D40 and not being able to auto-focus with it makes me wonder how it would perform on a higher camera model, one where the lens can auto-focus. Suddenly, I find myself pining for my present camera’s newer, bigger and more expensive brother, the Nikon D300. Which incidentally became the subject that I used to tease my wife yesterday.
When we visited the Philippines, I brought my other camera, a point and shoot one. That was the camera that my wife, Liza, uses. When we flew back to Calgary, I left the camera with my mom back in the Philippines.
Now that we only have my DSLR as the lone camera in our household, Liza has been clamoring for her own camera. So I sort of teased her that she can have my Nikon D40 and that I would buy a Nikon D300 as my own. She can have a camera that is much more advanced than the old point & shoot model we left behind and I will have the camera that I’ve always wanted. Let me tell you, against Liza my argument sure was not able to hold any weight.
Anyway, enough about photography. I am raring to get back to work. If all things go as planned, I will be starting a new project this coming Monday. It will be a posing work for a 2D Flash series for TV, one that I had to hold off from signing on to last December because of our planned trip to the Philippines. I just can’t wait to get the ball rolling once more.
In the meantime, I will continue to take pleasure in the last remaining days of my R & R practicing more photography.