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Tuesday
Dec142010

Because I Can, Part I

63.365 50mm f1.4 1/800 ISO 400I've been eyeing a couple of new lenses and wondering which one I should focus my wanting on, you know, in case Santa is listening.  Then last week one of Santa's helpers cleverly disguised as a colleague and supporter of my photography endeavor excitedly told me he has this lens I must try - the 105mm macro.  When I told him that I have been eyeing that and trying to decide between that and the 50mm f1.4 he said oh, I have that 50mm too.  I'll bring them both in and you can test drive them.

First of all, thanks Santa!  I've obviously been a very good girl.

So this evening in the grocery store parking lot I pulled out the 50mm.  Holy crap, people!  Look at this:  1/800 on a 1.4 aperature as the sun dips behind the mountains?  Are you kidding me?  And just because I had to test the DOF on this I aimed it at the nearest fairie lights.  For the record the depth of field is about 2 hairs width.  And the bokeh!  Beyond.

And then I went to take some pictures of my friend's one-week-old baby and I realized newborns move more than you'd think.  Before you know it the only thing in focus is her elbow.  It's a very cute elbow but still.  That's when I realized this lens can make you look like a genius, or a complete sucker.

Monday
Dec132010

Sugar Rush

62.365 65mm f4.2 1/15 ISO 400I had a hot date with a short guy in my kitchen yesterday, where we spent the whole day baking Christmas cookies.  When you are two you apparently believe that you are the first person to ever discover that butter creamed with sugar is a good combination.  Ezra would have been satisfied to stop at that step in the recipe and lick the bowl clean.  For me these are the sorts of observations that make parenting a toddler worthwhile.

It was not, however, the sort of scenario that lent itself obviously to a photograph, but as the day ticked away in a fog of flour, butter, sugar and chocolate I realized I needed to do my best.  It seems odd that on a Sunday, when I ostensibly have plenty of time to make an inspired image, I find the time only to shoot what's exactly in front of me.  But there it is, an ordinary, every day picture, commemorating a small moment that would otherwise be forgotten.  And forecasting the insulin shock to come.

Sunday
Dec122010

Pixie

61.365 102mm f4.5 1/13 ISO 200There is a picture, famous in a small circle, of my friend Angela and me on the occasion of the surprise 25th birthday party she threw me.  I met Angela shortly after I moved to Denver when I walked into a salon in my neighborhood, laid eyes on her, and asked her to cut off my shoulder-length hair.  The minute she put her hands on my head I was in love.  The fact that the pixie haircut she gave me actually inspired people to stop me on the street and tell me how great my hair looked compounded my affection.

It's been years since I let my hair grow out, but lately I've been feeling like it was time to return to my sassily shorn coif.  Yesterday I sat down in Angela's chair and let her go at it all over again.  When she was done I think we both felt like it is more than a haircut; it's kind of like a time machine which transports us back momentarily to that time, more than a decade ago, when we were always together.  For a moment I thought I caught a faint whiff of hedonism in the air.

We're both waaaay better-behaved now.  But I had to take this picture as an homage to that fateful haircut, a famous picture, and the enduring love a girl has for her hairdresser and friend.

Saturday
Dec112010

Meet Charlie Brown

60.360 10.5mm f2.8 1/2.5Apparently some days it's all you can do to point and shoot what's already right in front of you.  On those days you think that not even your brain is defense enough against the conventional.  And that's when you thank Allah, Jesus and Hanuman for whoever invented the fisheye lens.

Friday
Dec102010

Real-Life Logo

59.365 200mm f8 1/160 ISO 200It's funny how, even with the practice of carrying the camera with me everywhere, sometimes I still have to remind myself to actually take it out and shoot.  These telephone wires are at the intersection three blocks from my house and every morning there is a small flock of pigeons perched here, presumably clucking over all us rats on the race to work. 

I sit at the stop sign, awaiting my turn, and in my head frame up the picture of their silhouetted fat bodies facing east and then drive on.  Yesterday for the first time it occurred to me to get out of the car and actually take the picture.

I used to have a colleague with a bumper sticker that read COMMUTING IS PUNISHMENT.  I must operate on the assumption that I'm not actually being punished for some unknown sin, but I can say with certainty that commuting becomes dangerously hypnotic.