Sunday, January 10, 2010

Not a lot of photography so far this year

2010 has not been a big year for photography for me. I did something to my wrist which made it very uncomfortable to do simple things such as zooming and focusing if they involved turning anything and I got very busy at work over the holidays.
I missed out on some photographic opportunities because of my wrist. At times it seems a little better but then it reminds me of the agony it can cause when I go to do certain things.
I should be out taking a lot of pictures given that I have two new cameras, a Canon 7D and a Canon S90. Instead I have been sitting in my office moving pieces of paper around and typing stuff into the computer. Doing these things gives me a great feeling of professional accomplishment. However, taking pictures would be a lot more fun.
I have done some reading, on paper and online. One blog that I have started to read is called Canon Field Reviews by Ole Jørgen Liodden, a photographer in Norway. I first saw it when he was talking about the cold weather performance of the Canon 7D. That is a topic of considerable interest to me since I bought one and it is cold outside here in the winter.
Generally, the first thing to do in winter photography has been me, not the equipment. Battery life is an issue although it is easily handled by carrying an extra battery in a warm place. Usually I come inside when it is much below minus 20 or so although I have made some exceptions.
Liodden has an amazing video that demonstrate the cold weather tracking abilities of the 7D and also the obedient nature of his dog. That second item amazes me the most as I have never owned a dog that was so well trained as to sit still in a designated place.
He has also written a bit about a much more expensive camera, the Canon 1DIV. Buying one of those could put off my retirement for another couple of years but I suspect it would be worth it.

Yesterday I stuck my 2X extender and the 100-400mm on the 7D. This means that there is no autofocus as the maximum aperture is f11 (yes I have heard that you can tape the pins so the camera will try to focus but I decided to try manual focusing). I picked a dark day to shoot at f11. I tried to focus on the hydro towers a few miles up the river. My eyesight is not what it was thirty years ago but I think it almost worked. I shot at ISO 3200 so there is a bit of noise. I should try this on a brighter day; 800mm on the 7D is the equivalent of 1280mm on a full frame camera.

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