30 September 2016

My newest lens

Whoa! I'm standing right next to an object, yet when i look into my viewfinder it seems like an arm's length away. Whoooooooaaaaa!

So i was pretty excited as you can tell.

I've got to really get out there (in the streets, countryside, hills, seaside, wherever) to play with this 10-18mm malarkey, but i at least took a shot of the man station from almost on top of it:

28 September 2016


I'm sat in the University Hospital Wales, Cardiff, waiting on someone having a routine procedure. Anyway, i was sat in the concourse with my book and phone (free wifi - fair play), and a feller in a wheelchair was purchasing a coffee from a little takeaway gaff. He was struggling to wheel himself with one hand (the other was holding a coffee) so I offered a hand, but he said he was alright. He parked up next to me anyway, and we got to talking. He came in last night for a transfusion. He has terminal prostate cancer. He hopes to survive until February to see the birth of two grandchildren. He got us both a bit emotional to be fair, but he isn't a maudler. In fact, the feller has left a hell of a legacy. Simply put, he was a decorator when he was able to work. However, the kind of decorating he did was pretty specialised, mostly for Cadw, the body that works to preserve Welsh monuments. I'm talking castles, churches, all sorts. He was even on telly with Eddie Butler (of Welsh rugby fame - he said he was a bit bombastic, which was pretty hilarious), decorating a listed building in Pontypridd. What a remarkable feller - it puts everything in perspective, listening to someone in that position. And he had a bit of devil about him too, having sneaked off the ward for a taste of real coffee. He had me rapt. I hope I can leave even a little bit of something worthwhile behind, like he has.

Edit - the point being that life is fragile and you only have one crack at it, so at least try to enjoy it. I could go on. Feeling a bit philosophical. I'm not going to though, as it sounds way preachy.

New lenses

Been getting a bit excited about taking photos of late. Wanting to build on my cheap and cheerful Canon EOS 1000d, I went and got myself a new lens to give a greater focal range. I'm no pro (and I'm not much of an amateur either, but hey-ho), so i took some advice from the esteemed and creative spacemunkie (aka Scott Symonds). I ended up with an entry-level-ish telephoto-lite lens, covering 55-250mm. Effectively, it picks up from where my standard 18-55mm lens stops, meaning that the fullest zoom on the standard one equals the lowest zoom on the new one, and the highest zoom on the new ones gives me a far greater magnification. And, unlike the standard lens, it has in-built image stabilisation, meaning i can take longer exposures in hand rather than with a tripod. I think that's the technical terminology anyway. Well, having enjoyed the new lens so much (i even packed the whole camera kit to go to Ibiza for hols), i have now also ordered the lens that goes before my standard one, giving me a 10-18mm set-up. This will be more of a wide angle lens, and better for close-ups. It will again have image stabilisation. I'm frothing at the thought of it arriving, fair play. Second-hand purchases all, as it's a pricey old game otherwise. Some shots with the 55-250mm can be seen below:

Still managed to get a little camera shake on the hanging shoes which is a bit embarrassing..

I also took out the 18-55mm for a day trip to Ibiza Town, and some shots from that are shown below:

(The last shot was of a feller with a mobile knife-sharpening rig. He wheels it around and sets it up outside a restaurant, and the kitchen staff bring out their knives. He powers a wheel by using a pedal, and that in turn causes the grindstone to turn. He has another stone for fine honing on the other side. I could have watched him all day. 

And now I'm just waiting for delivery of my newest lens, on the morrow. Grand stuff. I'm catching the bug.)