Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Look this way, smile!

Do you remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? If Goldilocks were a photographer, I wonder if she would ever have found a camera that was "just right." I'm still working on it.

My workhorse camera is a Canon 60D, metal body, not entirely comfortable for carrying long distances, especially hung around my neck on a strap. One of the regular readers of this blog is my Better Half's Brother [BHB]. Last Christmas his kindness and generosity led him to send me a Canon Powershot N plus a small hard case with a belt loop to carry it. Until recently, I've been too wrapped up in learning how to better use the 60D to spend time trying out the "new toy." This week I gave it a shot. (No apologies for the pun.) I admit it is much easier to carry than a metal bodied DSLR weighing about 1.5 pounds. The ring for telephoto zooming is convenient and, very roughly, comparable to using a telephoto lens on a DSLR. I can't figure out how to use the touch screen to release the shutter without simultaneously moving the camera, I suspect in part because I also find it challenging to use the LCD instead of a viewfinder to frame the picture.

A lot of this comes down to what you're used to, or readily can get used to. The alternative to using the LCD touchscreen is a ring in front of the zoom ring. I can make that work in the warmer seasons, but have no hope of being able to use it if I have gloves on. All in all, I'm happy to deal with some of the tradeoffs between the two cameras, since I'm a firm believer in choice being better than no choice. Yesterday's exercise was triggered by the sighting of a great blue heron when I didn't have the "big" camera in the car and I didn't know how to zoom my cell phone's camera. The time had come to try out the "N."

great blue heron (with Canon Powershot N)
Photo by J. Harrington

family of geese (with Canon Powershot N)
Photo by J. Harrington
I suspect that, with more practice, I'll get better results but these aren't bad for openers. So, it's time to say a sincere "thank you" to BHB for increasing my photographic options during one of My Minnesota's two seasons, you know, road work and Winter. Obviously, the man in Berry's poem needs to learn about self-timers and tripods. There's so much to play with many options when it comes to photography.

The Vacation

By Wendell Berry 

Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.
He went flying down the river in his boat
with his video camera to his eye, making
a moving picture of the moving river
upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly
toward the end of his vacation. He showed
his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,
preserving it forever: the river, the trees,
the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat
behind which he stood with his camera
preserving his vacation even as he was having it
so that after he had had it he would still
have it. It would be there. With a flick
of a switch, there it would be. But he
would not be in it. He would never be in it.


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