Thursday, June 28, 2007

My new toy!

Had a call from Jorge today. Who knew there was cell phone coverage on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater? What a world we live in now – imagine Teddy Roosevelt, calling his wife back in Washington to tell her he’d bagged himself a big buffalo – and that he was sending photos of it to his blog over the phone…

Anyway, he sounds as though he’s having a great time, and that they’ve seen just about every animal he could imagine. “I’m almost sick of lions,” he says. They have one game drive left, and they’re hoping to see a rhino, as that’s all they haven’t managed to catch a glimpse of yet.

But let me get back to the subject of my post. My new toy – I finally caught up to the 21st century and got a digital SLR camera. I was probably one of the last film hold-outs in the world. And I really mean that - I'm such an old fuddy-duddy that I still use a camera from the 1970s.

I had an even older one, the OM-1, which was fully manual – you had to select the aperture and shutter speed on your own every time, based on the light meter, and then focus on top of that. Man, that camera took good pictures. It disappeared while I lived in New Orleans – I think it was pinched during a party. (One of many, many things stolen or destroyed while I lived in N.O. What a black hole that place was.)

I have clung to my poor little Olympus OM-F for as long as I could, but the quality of photo printing has declined so much over the last five years, that even if I took a great shot, it still came out looking fuzzy and green all over. It's just time to move on.

I’m still learning the ins and outs of the new one, but I've posted a couple shots I like so far. Maybe it's just me, but none of the new cameras compares with the clarity and beauty of the photos from my old clunker, though. I think it's that there's too much to fiddle with. It used to just be camera, lens, photographer, and what you did with those three things made all the difference. Not that I'm a particularly good photographer - but at least I want the camera to pull its weight, you know?

Anyway, I'm toyless for a bit - Jorge has taken the camera off to Tanzania, so hopefully I will have plenty of photos to share of his trip soon.

Puppy! My neighbor's dog.

And Jorge, always willing to oblige with a pose.


Jennifer said...


I've really been enjoying your blog lately. You were looking for a new blog name a few weeks ago ... how about Misadventures in Being Married to Jorge? His escapades crack me up. Y'all are so perfect for one another! But he's like Lucy and you're like Desi, ha ha ha!

Mary said...

Oh, you're really going to enjoy your new toy. If you can, buy a 50mm 1.8F lens for the camera. You can buy a new one for like less than 70 bucks and you won't regret it. It's a fixed focul point, but it makes for really sharp and clear pics.

Have fun learning your new camera.

PS - I belong to a photo message board (a few pros, but mostly people in the same boat as us). Lots of info and they have weekly challenges for bettering your skills.

here's the link; would love to see you there and i know others would really enjoy seeing your pics of africa and other travels. come and play!!!!

Chris said...

I'll second the recommendation for the 50mm 1.8, it's a great bargain lens, nicknamed the "plastic fantastic". I use mine mostly for portraits of Gareth. For African vistas, I would suggest an ultra-wide angle, the Canon 10-22 or Sigma 10-20. More expensive, but could be worth it.