Thursday, April 20, 2006

Spring has Sprung... maybe


We have had a sporadic spring here in the Pacific Northwest. On the calendar, spring was supposed to have been here nearly a month ago but it was blowing and raining so hard at Costco last week-end that I asked the guy checking receipts where spring went, and he said it and summer are skipping us this year and we are straight on for fall.


With several 60 degree afternoons this week, it seems to be back. I have my fingers crossed.

The new growth and colors were riotous splotches in the garden, and I took advantage of the sunshine to see how much I could capture with the digital camera (Canon Rebel) and its new zoom lens-- Canon Zoom Lens EF 100-400mm, 1:4.5-5.6 with Image Stabilizer.

I have a condition known as familial tremors (means shakiness). If I can use this telephoto and get sharp pictures, anyone can. I do hold the camera body in one hand and the lens in the other. The zoom weighs about 3 lbs which isn't that much; but to get stability, the extra hand helps me. The lens was expensive but this is a hobby my husband and I have both always enjoyed. I got my first camera as a kid-- Brownie Hawkeye box camera and have been upgrading ever since.

It isn't just the long distance shots of the animals or birds but also the way you can fade out background or foreground, and zero in on whatever your subject might be. I also took the picture that begins this entry with the rosemary out of focus and the sculpture in to choose which I preferred. For an artist, it seems to be the ultimate tool-- okay toy too.

(click on any image for full size)

9 comments:

Maria said...

Hi,
I didn't realize you shoot with a Rebel. So do I and it is a wonderful camera. Your photos are great. Think I need to consider getting a similar lens one of these days.

Must come back and read slowly some of your earlier posts. Right now I have to rush off to a Mervyns sale.

Endment said...

so you have joined the Rebel shooters :) The colors are lovely so filled with spring. We actually turned the airconditioner on this afternoon for a short time when the inside temperature reached 79degrees.
Weatherman says snow here May first...

Rain said...

Thanks on the photos.

We bought our first digital Canons in January '05 and have loved them. My husband has the Canon EOS 20D and it's a step up from my Rebel with the stabilizer in it also and more telephoto; but I didn't like the heaviness of it. The weight of the Rebel without the telephoto is about what the Nikon 35mm had been. You can't throw it in your pocket for a hike but the quality of pictures are worth that sacrifice.

The new thing for us is the zoom lens, and it's been wonderful too. It just opens up a whole new world of options.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

My 35 mm is Canon, but my digital is Olympus. I'll splurge and get a Rebel eventually, but for now, the 7 mpg Olympus is fine. By the way, I have familial tremor also, though it hasn't manifested as severely yet as it has in my older sisters. More challenges.

Rain said...

We had an olympus before the Canons, Fran, and liked it but ours was old. It had great color but was very pixillated. I still miss it on hikes as it was easier to carry. You get great pictures with yours. I really wanted the SLR again for composing-- even though with computers, you can do so much of that after you have the photo.

I am lucky so far with my tremors also. I had an aunt who had to drink with a straw. I find it inconvenient at times, and even with the keyboard, when I am shakier than others. I can though sculpt and paint, do detail work, I just have to sometimes use two hands.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Great photos with your new camera, Rain. We shoot with a Panasonic FZ20. It has a Leica lens and a 12X optical zoom. The lens is not interchangeable, and is part of the camera, so it's very light. However, the downside is that we can't change lenses and add a wide-angle. We have bought a lens extender which increases the telephoto by 50%.

I love the freedom that digital photography gives. It allows for exploration and experimentation without costly processing fees. Wonderful.

Mary Lou said...

OH MAN!! I want one of those cameras!! I have a sony cybershot 5 mp and I LOVE it, but I want the telephoto lens. I have been looking at a nikon also, but not sure which I want. The canon EOS looks good too. I have the SOny Maxim which was my first digital, and now this SOny. These are added to my Canon Advantix ELF (which I also found to be very convenient.) and my 2 Minoltas, a minolta XG-1 and a Minolta X-700, with all the lens, and gadgets. I also have a Mamiya 645 medium format camera that I cant find fillm for anymore.

I need another camera like I need a hole in the head, but if I had money, I would just drive around and shoot pictures for fun!!!

Carolyn said...

Hi Rain, I enjoyed your entire blog read all your posts over the last two days. I clicked on that first pic right away knowing that it was lush rosemary blooming, oh how I love rosemary in bloom. Your is gorgeous as is your statue. Lovely pics, all of them and summer will come to you, though I had my doubts if spring would ever arrive here this year too. I want to thank you also for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. I apologize for not sending you a private thank you ahead of this but..well, LIFE, it just got in my way, and I couldn't push it aside so I'm still catching up. Does that ever happen to you?

Paul said...

Lovely pics !! :)