|My new camera with the macro lens.|
|Me and my new toy!|
I love my new camera. I love the heft of it. Unlike my point-and-shoot, which weighed just six ounces, this camera, when the macro lens is attached, weighs nearly three pounds! I love having to support the camera by cupping my hand under the lens: it feels so professional! I love the sound it makes. I've only had it a few days, so there's going to be lots more to learn about it, but the camera itself and the lens are easy enough to use in automatic settings that I've been able to start right in on taking pictures. There are all number of things that could be played with and there are some involving focus--such as how to select certain areas to focus on--that I will attempt to learn sooner than later, but it's certainly user-friendly enough that I've been able to have a good time already!
This lens's very shallow depth of field (the distance between the nearest and furthest points in focus in an image) creates a few challenges, though I'm sure with practice I will become even more adept at making the most of it. I've gotten used to taking photographs of objects at an angle, but that can result in images like the purple daisy below, where not even the whole center of the flower is in focus. It looks pretty smashing, but there are occasions when you'll want to have a slightly larger area as the subject of your picture! I'll have to adapt my practices slightly to make sure I always get the look I'm going for.
The shallow depth of field and the resulting blur can be used for artistic purposes, however. I was just reading about the so-called practice of "bokeh" (from the Japanese word for blur), the intentional use of blurriness in photography and now I'm finding myself in possession of a camera capable of producing beautiful blurs.
In this picture, for example, the tiny foreground flower is in focus, while the background flowers dissolve into what looks like a watercolor painting.
I like the way it separates out just a few blades from this sea of dry grass.
In the case of these fuchsias, it is just the nearest tip of one of the pink petals that's in focus, causing the rest of the scene to appear as though through a dreamy haze.
You can't see it so well at this size, but there is some incredible detail visible on the sides of these tiny flowers, which I think contrasts nicely with the simplicity of form and brilliance of color in the less-focused areas of the image.
Another things that really impresses me about this camera is its ability to function in lower levels of light. I bought the macro lens with additional image stabilization built into it (that's the IS in the lens name) because I often have a slight tremor in my hands, something that can be disastrously magnified when trying to take macro photographs and low light makes it even worse. There used to be all kinds of places in my house or times of day or even times of year that were off limits for photography because there wasn't enough light for my point-and-shoot to handle in the macro setting. Not so with this camera! Here's a comparison between the two:
This is the lock on our sheltered front door as captured by my old camera.
And this is what the new camera was able to "see." The difference is amazing! I can even take photos inside at night with standard house lamps without needing a flash! The ring light will provide soft, even lighting for situations when I do need more light than the camera can capture, but it's so fun to be able to pick up the camera at any time of day or any weather and snap pictures at will. Being able to make use of lower, softer, cooler light is also great from an artistic standpoint, since it evokes a lovely, wistful mood, as you can see in this photo of a pile of well-worn toe shoes.
The clerk at the camera store mentioned that this lens also worked well for portraits, which I've found to be very true, at least when it comes to my dog.
I also captured this cute picture of Abbey sleeping hard with her paw over her nose. She was afraid of the new camera initially, but she's quickly gotten used to me sticking it in her face!
So while there's more to learn, there's already been lots to enjoy with my new camera! Here are a few other recent favorites.
So look out, world, there are going to be even more pictures to come!