We are practising at half empty nesting this week. Bel is away on a school trip to Canberra, our nations capital. They ( 35 teenage girls and 4
crazy devoted teachers) have spent time at the War Memorial, Parliament House, the Australian Institute of Sport and Anzac parade...all as preparation for the 'real' reason for the trip...skiing!! Yes...I did say skiing... in Perisher. Lucky, lucky girl.
She is having a blast...I know this through stalking her on Instagram...and from a brief phone call she gave us sunday afternoon. At least she is thinking of us... a little. I thought it was a case of out of sight, out of mind so I was touched by the call...all 3 minutes of it!
In this compact conversation detailing what they have done over the last 4 days, she promised she was taking enough photos...she has nearly filled a 4GB SD card and about to put a new one in! That is a lot of photos for a compact camera over 4 days!! I seem to have created a monster.
It got me thinking though. I love photos. I mean seriously love photos...and taking them...and thinking about them...and the learning involved in taking better ones. I dream of photographing in exotic lands...at least, some place other than my house and suburb. I plan to own a better camera one day too. Sorry Dude, I have a very expensive hobby.
So, I thought I would tell you what's in my camera bag (at the moment!) It's a question I have been asked on quite a few occasions...snort...as if I am such a world specialist on the matter! I will say right here, right now...I have an incredible amount to learn about photography...I..N..C..R..E..D..I..B..L..E. I am a complete and utter amateur compared to so many other "hobby" photographers out there...and I AM just a hobbyist with a passion.
Anywho...My bag for a start (well...one of them) is an 'Epiphanie'. A handbag that is a camera bag or is that a camera bag that is a handbag? Either way, its blue and a damn sight prettier than your average camera bag. It carries my full kit and cabooddle...camera, 3 lenses, video camera and ipad...not that I normally carry all of this all the time, only getting to and from a holiday...www.epiphaniebags.com - they have a huge amount of styles and colours for the girly camera geek. I ordered mine from America last Christmas and it arrived within 2 weeks. Love. They are NOT cheap, but they are pretty and pretty costs money.
My camera is a Canon EOS Rebel 450D...ancient. Embarrassingly so. It's only 4 years old but soooo outdated. Crazy, I know. That's technology for you, blink and the latest gizmo, better enhanced gadget has hit the stores. The newer version of mine is the 650D. It has quite a few added features including a built in HD video camera and a swivel viewing screen. Both features I would love, love, love and use, use, use. These cameras are designed for the first time SLR camera owner/hobbyist. Easy to use, as compact as an SLR comes with plenty of features to create amazing photos. It has perfectly suited my addiction to photography and it's only now (after taking 55,000 photos...a day) I feel I could go to a more advanced camera...or not. The jury's still out on this one.
I currently (!!) own 3 lenses. My favourite until just recently has been my EFS 17-85mm image stabilized wide-angle lens. This lens shoots just about everything and anything beautifully. I thought it was the ants pants...until it needed a little overhaul at Canon's Casualty Department and I started having a love addiction to my newest addition, my 50mm 1:1.4 portrait lens. Oh baby, I heart you. Seriously takes beautiful portraits, even in low light and is awesome for my fixation of photographing fruit in bowls, fruit on platters, fruit on tables, fruit with flowers... I am, after all, a painter and I do enjoy a still life!
My third lens is a 70-300, image stabilized zoom lens. Brilliant for long distance, especially sports events and is useful for stalking people watching and for wildlife...It's fast. I use it least of all day-to-day and most of all when we are on our boat or being tourists.
On my wish list is a macro lens...for super dooper close-ups of bugs...on fruit in bowls. Just saying.
I also own a Canon Powershot D10 compact camera. I bought this camera for a resort holiday we had in Kota Kinabalu 2 years ago. Its brilliant. Waterproof, snow proof, kid proof. It takes awesome photos both above and below water and I often throw it into my bag if I can't be bothered carrying my 'real' camera. In fact, it's the camera Bel has with her just now and is putting to good use with photos and video footage of teenage girls doing pouting mouths and peace signs in the snow.
I have a HD JVC video recorder too, which rarely sees the light of day. I simply forget to take video... I use it for school events and assemblies where one of the girls is getting an award or speaking or for Bon's dance exams and concerts. Its handy...but it would be handier built into my camera!
One more thing, a must have for any photo mama/papa/diehard...Instagram. Hmmm...a lil' bit of fun with an iPhone. (It's an Ap...download it...right now...NOW!)
So there you have it. I'm currently (always) researching my next camera body (to go with the researching of the next overseas holiday, cause a girl's gotta have plans)...I will stick to Canon simply because I have the lenses but Nikon is also brilliant. Researching is half the fun...DPReview.com is my trusted site for camera dreaming. Oh, and by the way...I am not getting paid to say any of this...though I would like to get paid for saying all of this.
I love my photography, I can't help it, it's an addiction that's in my genes...my grandfather was an award-winning photo Nutter with a box brownie. If you have even a teensy weensy enjoyment of photography...Take it by the proverbial pixels - do a course, buy a photography book, sit for hours and hours on the net reading tutorials or do all of the above. Don't ignore the fun that can be had by capturing your life on film...ah? What is it called now? Digital film?
But what ever you do...learn to take your camera off auto. Your photo albums will thank you for it!!