Saturday, February 4, 2012

focusing; the Super Bowl; I am too a stud.

A year and a half ago, in August, Kevin gave me the Panasonic Lumix – a fit-in-your-pocket point-and-shoot – and I fell in love with photographing the natural world. The following spring, as I started watching the wildflowers wake up, my thirst to get to know dave (our 10-acre property in southern Vermont) only got stronger.

This time of year is a bitch, because while there is certainly plenty to see and document, it’s harder for me to get it done. The biggest obstacle is the temperature: the Lumix doesn’t like the cold, and neither do my fingers. (I’m a gal who runs cold: I have, literally, begun going into hypethermia while my sister and sister-in-law have each been as happy as chili peppers in the sunshine.)

But ahhh…today was in the mid-30’s, with sun. That’s good enough. I played with the new Nikon, my first SLR. I am learning-by-doing here: I vaguely remember something about f-stops from my brief relationship in college with a guy who was taking a photography class at the time. But really, I don’t know squat about it. Aperture, shutter speed, ISO setting – I have a tenuous grasp on what each is, but not a lot of experience monkeying around and aiming for specific effects. Plus, the Nikon does a bunch of stuff I really don’t know about. Meter balancing, anyone? Exposure bias? Uhhhhhh….

At any rate, one day at a time. Today was mostly about enjoying the sun, visiting some friends I hadn’t visited in a few months out in the field, and enjoying the process itself. I’m sparing you a lot of shots that are all similar to each other, with only one variable at a time changing (point of focus, f-stop, shutter speed…)

Today’s particular bliss? The moment of “yes! this!” when I get just the part I want, into focus. (No can do with the Lumix.)


Dried up ferns in the field…


…versus the thawed-refrozen snow itself.

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Happy sigh.

Check out how a spruce cone arranges its scales – like the flower mandalas I used to draw as a kid.



I can’t quite tell if the resulting quality is quite as good as the sheer exhilaration I feel when I’m taking them. This one sort of gets at it.

In other news, I grilled Kevin all about football this morning. We’re going to a Super Bowl party tomorrow; the instructions are to root for the Patriots. Apparently, if Kevin (who grew up rooting for the Giants, but who subsequently became a Pats fan at BU) has been informed that if he repents, he will be accepted. I trained my brain a long time ago to literally not hear sports broadcasts. Well, let me clarify: I hear that there is sound coming from the speakers, but my brain does not process it as language I understand. My default policy is to root for the Steelers, but that doesn’t do me a lot of good here.

So I was grilling him on the current and recent status of the Patriots and the Giants: I don’t want to completely dissociate tomorrow. The overall impression I got was that the Giants, if they win, will have been able to do so because a) this one Pats tight end is maybe not going to be quite as fast and forceful as he usually is, because he’s got a sprained ankle (I can relate) and b) they specialize in knocking their opponents just a little off their game. Kevin has a gift for sports – his whole family basically grew up playing street hockey, baseball, soccer, you name it and they’re all really…amazing in a way I would not have been able to appreciate when I was growing up, but which I certainly do now.

In other words, he made it all sound pretty interesting. I’m looking forward to the game, tomorrow.

But, like Linus, I need my security blanket. I’m not allowed to bring a book to a party any more than my siblings and I were when we were little and getting dragged off to parties with my parents’ friends.

But I can bring a camera.

And, just because I don’t “get” team sports, that doesn’t mean I don’t get the joys of being an athlete: I’ve got an 8.5 mile run in the morning.

1 comment:

  1. Nice. That camera plus your 10acres is going to be a winning combo for this year, I'd bet.