Day 509 – Recent photos

OK. The first half of the photos from our recent (ok, not so recent now, but I have a decent excuse) trip away are now edited and up on Flickr. Truth be told, I’m a little disappointed with the overall quality. That said, it was a really hard job packing all the sheer scale of the landscape into a camera, and we were there for family time rather than photography time.

And there are one or two of them that I still quite like:

Moody stuff. Go full screen for more effect.

The second part of our trip was less landscape and more animal. But it also makes up about 80% of the photos I took. I’m on it, but with energy and concentration at a premium right now, it is going to take some time.

Please bear with me.

Day 421 – Send me a sign

No. Not one with your finger(s). Stop it.

I’m considering buying a new lens for my camera. I’m not a professional camera person, and while science never paid well, no science doesn’t pay at all, thus that R243,000 one is sadly just out of reach.

By about R230,000.

But there is one lens I’ve been looking at that’s just about doable, price-wise. But still a luxury item.
So I’ve been reading reviews, looking at blogs, examining ratings and comments on photography sites, and generally looking for anything to put me off spending what is still a sizeable chunk of change on a new lens that I could quite easily manage without, but which would also be a lot of fun and (hopefully) improve the standard of my hobby. But that isn’t working, because all the reviews, blogs, ratings and comments said that if I couldn’t afford something more expensive (and I’m very much in that boat), then this was the lens for me, because it even outperforms lenses which are much more pricey. There are five star ratings and positive words everywhere.

That doesn’t help.

And I’ve been seeing some amazing shots on Instagram and Flickr using this sort of lens and wishing that I could produce that sort of thing. Which I’m sure I could… if I bought this lens.

dinosaur on Twitter: "https://t.co/kJotqj94E6" / Twitter

Even then, though, I decided that it was too much. And so I went back onto my favourite photography retailer site this morning for final confirmation that there was actually no justification for spending that amount of money. I knew that simply seeing the total would be enough to put me off once and for all and… oh look they’ve knocked R900 off it.

ARGH!

Is that the sign I have been looking for? Well no, because I was looking for a sign that told me not to buy it. This was quite the opposite, and now I’m even more in limbo.

There’s no point in asking photography people because they will invariably say one of two things: “Get a better camera”, which is several times the cost of this lens and clearly an absolute non-starter, or “Yes, you can never have enough glass”, which is kind of true, but overlooks the fact that I’m not anywhere as near as much a photography person as they are.

I’m stuck.

Somebody, send me a sign. Please.

Day 304 – Wander with a camera

A quick trip to Kirstenbosch Gardens (we’re members now, don’t you know?) this morning with a camera (50mm prime lens only) in hand yielded some decent exercise and a few nice pics, not least this Common Garden Orbweb Spider (Agriope australis), which was much better camouflaged than you might imagine.

Not sure what the thicker woven threads top left and bottom left are, but it was quite an impressive construction for a relatively small spider.

And how about a bit of Erica densifolia to brighten your day?

Because of… well… you know what, a lot of outdoor spaces (basically those without controlled entrance) are out of bounds at the moment and even Kirstenbosch is only open 9-6, leading to huge, mostly socially-distanced queues outside the gates when we arrived. And then the frustrating stupidity of the official at the entrance with his mask under his nose, touching everyone’s hands while taking their temperature, but telling us all to behave safely.

Still, once you’re in, and past the muppets, you can lose yourself nicely for a while.
This was an hour or so well-spent.

Day 217 – Number Project

Some time ago (and I mean literally several years of time ago), I – mentally, at least – launched a photographic project with the aim of photographing as many numbers as possible. Not all the numbers, just the ones from 1 to 100.

No rules other than there being one of each number and no context to the numbers in question. Just snap the numbers wherever I saw them. In fact, the more diverse the situations, the better. Different colours and fonts, different angles, different light.
I would then arrange all the numbers onto a single image, with 1-10, 11-20 and so on, on each row, print it and put it on a wall.

Sadly, being in my head is as far as the project ever got, but I think it’s something that needs resurrecting and actually doing. I’m not sure what the time frame is on this, because if I try to rush it, it’ll be contrived and rubbish, and if I leave it too long, well, it will retreat back into my head like a lovable cartoon character into a convenient hedgerow.

You know the one:

I don’t want that to happen. Apart from anything else, the leaves would obscure my vision.

So, I’m going to give it a go. I’m going to put the results into an album on Flickr, and I’m going to keep the blog updated with some of my favourite number-related images under some super cool title and tag (once I think of something appropriate).

Keep me honest by asking how much I’ve done when you see me on a flying visit to social media. Question me about whether I’ve got number 38 yet. Test my willingness to discover new photographic subjects by suggesting a number 61 that you saw in Noordhoek.

I have high hopes that this might actually happen. Let’s give it a go.

 

Day 157 – Distant vistas

I filled the car with diesel for the second time since March, chucked in the family and a camera and headed North East. I wanted to see snow on mountains. Not snow on the ground: I’m happy to leave that for the locals – who didn’t have the privilege of having it on their doorstep every winter – to queue for.

A quick trip over the Du Toitskloof Pass gave us some ok spots, but I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed. I wanted a bit more snow, a bit more drama. And that seems a little greddy given some of the views:

We could have gone much further inland towards Ceres, but that wasn’t really the plan, so we headed back through the tunnel, towards Franschhoek and then over Helshoogte to Stellenbosch.

Yeah. OK. Not bad.

From there, down to Somerset West via the (absolutely terrible) Mooiberg Farm Stall and a hope of some easy pickings on the Helderberg. But no. Horrible grey clouds hanging just around the snow line. Very disappointing. Coffee and home then.

It was a nice trip around our little corner of the Western Cape. But – photographically, at least – the whole thing could have been a bit more lucrative.

Some pics here.