Now that I am involved in the League, I’ve become intellectually excited about the prospect of creating images on a regular basis. Only, that mental excitement has not translated to me actually looking forward to the process of getting reacquainted with my Nikon D80… my beloved DSLR that has been sitting in its padded and zippered accommodations since Sarah, Keith and I went camping back in October.
Having to relearn complicated photography equipment and principles feels like a daunting task, one that would be easier to begin during daylight hours. When it snows. When the world starts to green up. When we plan a photography field trip to the city. WHEN I HAVE A NEW LENS TO PLAY WITH.
When we were camping Keith let me play with his 50mm lens, which resulted in some interesting depth-of-field images like these mushrooms. Overall, I really enjoyed the 50mm but there were several moments where I wished I could zoom out a little. This caused just enough hesitation that I didn’t rush out and purchase the lens for myself. Then, the other day I was reading Pioneer Woman’s blog, and she posted about her current favorite lens:
Nikon’s 35mm Nikkor lens is a wider-angle lens than the 50mm, but hopefully will avoid some of the distortion that can happen with the 20mm in close-up people shots. The truth is, I’ve never been particularly attracted to portrait photography, but I hope to challenge myself using Sarah J‘s children as models. And, of course, I’d like to hone my pet portrait skills! (Look at these photos, and these, and these!)
Since I am twenty days into a two-and-a-half month paid dog-sitting endeavor, and I spent my first seven days cleaning up a ridiculous amount of poop and pee until the old dog and I got on a schedule, I decided that not only was I more than earning my right to purchase a new lens but what would be a better time to work on my portrait photography? So, late last Saturday I made a carefully calculated impulse purchase and ordered the 35mm from B&H Photo. It arrived today!
OH BABY. This is a nice (and fun!) lens! It feels quality, not plastic-y, and has enough weight that you know it’s on the camera body. My first impression was that it was a bit loud, but perhaps I should have shot a few frames with my 18-55mm lens first to remind myself that this is a “real” camera and then swapped lenses. In the low, interior light of the house I had some difficulty focusing on my animal subjects — Miss Kitty, Kelsy and Dakota — but soon I found my stability in lying prone on the floor and using my arms and face as a form of human tripod.
OH BOY. Keith is going to be so mad because I forgot to pack my USB cable, and therefore I can’t download any of the pictures I took this evening. Sorry Keith!
I’ll post photos soon, I promise! Just got to find that USB cable…