Holiday Marathon

LightsI have only been to a few holiday parties so far but I am in the minority. While I was sick with a cold everyone else was going to a steady stream of parties and having a grand time. It is now plain to see that all the parties are having an affect and people are starting to get worn out. Meanwhile… I am beginning to feel a little better but still on the tired side and wishing I could just hibernate for the next month or so.

I’t time to start thinking about getting some exercise so that when Spring arrives I will be able to fit into my traveling clothes and go somewhere exciting. I’m still trying to get out of town to Chicago or New York but the weather stinks right now and the flights are probably super crowded as well.

You can’t tell from this photo but I have gotten my hands on a new lens and I will be testing it out over the next couple of weeks if the sun ever comes out. The best reason for getting a new piece of kit is not just so you can say you have more stuff than the next guy but to give you an excuse to try new things or new ways of doing things. Most people will advise you to spend your money on really good camera lenses instead of the camera body because the lenses last much longer (at least in theory). I went the other way around when I got my last camera because I wanted a bigger viewfinder, faster focusing and more frames per second. The LCD display on the back of the camera was also a big improvement over the postage-stamp sized display of my old camera.  My idea was to get a camera that was more user friendly for the type of photography I liked to do and I’m pretty happy with that decision. Fast forward a couple of years and in my typical wishy-washy style, I finally convinced myself to bite the bullet and buy a new lens which is actually worthy of the camera.  I just hope I’m worthy of using it to take decent photographs. There is nothing worse than having a good piece of gear at your disposal and then finding out that you are a complete hack. Fortunately even hacks can learn and grow in time if they try hard enough.

I’m not suggesting that it takes a lot of money to make good photographs because in my experience some of the best photographs are produced with simple and inexpensive cameras that can be bought for under ten dollars. I just finished a roll of film in my Brownie Hawkeye Flash, that I converted into a pinhole camera. I somehow managed to get the shutter mechanism stuck and only one side of each frame was exposed. In fairness, the camera is over fifty years old so I could always blame my problems on that. The truth is that I had a lot of fun and it didn’t cost me nearly as much as taking photos with my ridiculously expensive digital camera.

I have also been having a lot of fun the last few days taking low resolution blurry photos on my ridiculously expensive iphone camera. My favorite application at the moment is called “Polarize,” which is a free app to make your photos look like old Polaroid SX70 photos. I have only had the iPhone for a couple of days but it is hard to imagine being without one if you are any sort of social person at all. It’s instant gratification times ten. Instant photos, instant messages, instant movies everywhere all the time. I don’t know if that is bad or good because the newness has not worn off yet and I’m still in the honeymoon phase. My only hope is that it lets me get more done instead of just wasting the little time I have.

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