Neither enough time or money
I have a wish list of camera gear that I’d like to have someday, I doubt if I’ll ever be able to afford it all though.
I also dream of the time when I’m free to go where I want when I want, and not be tied to a work schedule that interferes with my chances to get outside and shoot photographs of the things that I see. Of course if I had more time to devote to photography, I wouldn’t necessarily need all the things that I have on my wish list.
I’m also pondering the question of just how good is good enough for me as far as the quality of the images that I get.
As it is, I have neither the time or the money to get the photos that I would love to shoot.
I have four years to go before I can retire, and I’m so looking forward to that day when the only schedule that I’ll have to conform to is the one that I set for myself. Or, I should say, the schedule that nature sets for me.
That means that you’ll probably be seeing more photos like these when I retire. 😉
I said in my last post that my goal is to get at least one memorable image every time that I’m out, I think that I met that quota on Monday.
If you can believe it, a guy that I see regularly at the wastewater facility stopped to chat while I was shooting the sunrise, and asked me what birds I had seen so far. My reply was that I hadn’t even looked for birds, I was too busy shooting the sunrise, and the only birds that I had seen were the ruddy ducks that were helping me create a foreground for my landscape photos. He drove off to look for birds, paying slight attention to the gorgeous view to his right, which I found hard to believe. By the way, that’s the same guy that I’ve seen shooting the eagle in the eagle tree for an hour or more at a time. I guess he loves birds more than one of the most awesome displays of color that I have ever seen.
In this instance, the magic light lasted long enough for me to shoot a series of images with both the 60D on the tripod with the 15-85 mm lens on it, and another series with the 7D, using both the 70-200 mm and 100-400 mm lenses on it.
Last week, I had only a few seconds of magic light in which to come up with this image.
I did have enough time to remember to add the polarizing filter to the 15-85 mm lens before I shot that one. I shot three different compositions of that scene before the hole in the clouds that created the spotlight effect on the trees closed for good. I’m not sure where the lens flare came from, I was shooting at 90 degrees from the sun as you can tell by the shadows.
So, with these images in this post so far, the images of the Mandarin duck from my previous posts, and seeing the images that other members of the North American Nature Photographers Association, I have to say with all modesty possible, I’m turning into a good photographer, not great, but good. I’m beginning to understand light.
Diffuse light is usually good light for photography, but not always, sometimes it’s just dead and lifeless.
Morning light is almost always good, even in full sun, the warmth of the light adds a little more punch to the colors.
It’s the same scene, shot a few days apart, in different lighting conditions.
I’m having a hard time prioritizing what I want to upgrade next. I’d like the high-resolution Canon 5DS R both for image quality, and because it will auto-focus to f/8. I’d use the 60D body for bird portraits, but that camera won’t auto-focus with a long lens and tele-converter on it. So I’m stuck using the 7D and swapping out tele-converters all the time, and missing some shots because of that. If I went the other way, using the 7D for portraits, then I’d miss action shots if I used the 60D for those, because it doesn’t auto-focus as fast or as accurately as the 7D does.
I’d like to upgrade my wide-angle lenses, after I’ve seen how well the Canon L series lenses do on the 7D, the mid-priced lens that I have are okay, but I can also image how much better my images would be if I shot them with better glass. The wide-angle lenses I have are over achievers, that is, they produce better images than their reasonable price would suggest, but they are not the same as the better lenses on the market.
Recently, I saw a photo of the aspens in full color out west, I won’t say where I saw it to prevent embarrassing the photographer. It would have been a great photo, but there was so much barrel distortion in it that even some one who had no idea what barrel distortion is would have been prompted to ask why the trees on both sides of the image look so weird.
Barrel distortion is called what it is based on the shape of wooden barrels, which are wider in the middle than they are on the ends. You could also say that barrel distortion looks like both parenthesis signs together with what’s in the center of the frame being straight, sort of like this (|). In the photo that I saw, the trunks of the trees in the middle of the frame were straight, but the trunks of the trees on the left edge of the frame were curved like this ( and the trees on the right side of the frame were curved like this ). I didn’t know that any manufacturer still made a lens with that much distortion in it. I should say that some people like distortion in their wide-angle photos, not me, at least not so much as to make trees look like they’re about to fall over.
I went through that explanation because distortion in extremely wide-angle lenses is one reason that I didn’t want to stick with a crop sensor camera body for landscapes. You may remember that a while back I said that my choices for a second camera body were either the reasonably priced 7D Mk II and a very expensive lens, or the very expensive 5DS R and a reasonably priced lens, and that the total cost worked out to be about the same. That may not be true any longer. Sigma has come out with their third version of a 12-24 mm lens which they claim has no distortion, and is reasonably priced, as in half the cost of the comparable Canon lens.
Sigma may be stretching the truth when they say no distortion, but I’ve seen photos shot with that lens, and there’s very little distortion in them, at least very little that I can see. Those images are about the same as those taken with a slightly longer lens on a full frame camera body, which I could easily live with.
The new Sigma lens has just been released, it will be interesting to see more photos taken with that lens, and to read more reviews of it. The reviews so far have been very good.
The reason that it’s important to me is because I may not need the 5DS R body after all, a second 7D Mk II may be more than enough for me.
The 5DS R is the only camera that Canon currently produces that has higher resolution than the 7D which I have, and that’s only because the low-pass filter is turned off to create sharper images. Since Canon has just finished upgrading their entire line of high-end cameras, it’s doubtful that they’ll introduce something that I’d be interested in purchasing for the next four to five years.When they do begin the upgrade cycle again, the 7D will likely be the first one upgraded, as it was during this last cycle. So, as far as a second body, I may be better to hold off at this time, and wait to see what the future holds in store.
As it is, I think that the new Sigma 12-24 mm lens should be on my wish list as my extreme wide-angle lens of the future.
Also on my wish list is a gimbal head for my tripod.
The three-way head that I have on my tripod is almost perfect for landscapes and the occasional macro photos, but it doesn’t work for action photos or videos when I have to move the camera.
Okay, I made a decision about the second camera body. If the 7D Mk II can shoot photos like this…
…and it obviously can, then there’s no reason to plunk down an extra $2,000 for a 5DS R body for a slight increase in resolution. That $2,000 will cover almost all the cost of upgrading my wide-angle lenses.
That photo was shot with the new 100-400 mm lens and 1.4 X tele-converter and cropped slightly. I shot it during a walk around home, after working this morning. Here’s a couple that I shot at 400 mm and didn’t crop.
I knew it was going to be a good day when this was one of the first photos that I shot today.
This one isn’t quite as sharp, but the blue jay was scolding me as it flew.
I’ve only had the 100-400 mm lens for just over a month, and the 7D for a year and a half. If I continue to improve the quality of my images as I have been, it won’t be long and I’ll be very close to what the 5DS R and produce anyway, so there’s no point in spending the money on one.
But, I’ve been babbling long enough, here are the rest of the photos from today.
Last weekend around home, I didn’t have as good of light as today, but I saw a lot more birds.
I also spotted a couple of red-squirrels taking it easy.
I’ve got room for two more, so one will be this praying mantis that would not pose for me.
And, the other will be this flower. I’m terrible at identifying flowers, I don’t know if this is an aster, or a daisy that decided to bloom again since the weather has been so warm this fall.
To me, while I would like to be able to ID flowers, seeing them, especially this time of the year as winter approaches, is absolutely delightful!
While it has been warm enough for so plants to form buds, about the time that the buds are about to open we get a frost that kills the flowers, or results in stunted, partially open flowers. But, I’m not complaining, we haven’t seen any snow here yet, and it’s getting close to the middle of November. This weekend is forecast to be bright and sunny, with temperatures much closer to what I’d expect in the middle of October, so I’m hoping to spend as much time outside as I can, enjoying it while it lasts!
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!