Points, shoots & leaves

Posted by Anita on 06.11.07 11:43 PM

(c)2007 AEC *all rights reserved*In my youth, I was actually something of a photo geek: I built a darkroom in my parents’ garage, I worked for my Dad all summer between 8th and 9th grade to buy my first SLR, and I won a school-wide award for photography a year later. I was, even then, a tinkerer, a collector of gadgets and gizmos.

By all rights, you’d think an equipment geek like me would have some big, black, long-lensed monstrosity… when instead I actually tote a cute, shiny, pocket-sized snapshot-maker. I’ve looked longingly at the gorgeous shots created by those who own the real deal, all the while coaxing my poor little PowerShot into giving up decent photos.

Cameron — who hails from a photo-obsessed clan — hasn’t helped matters. He’s been egging me on to purchase a dSLR for months, reminding me of the old adage that equipment should always be better than the human behind it. I knew he was right, but I felt like I couldn’t justify the expense: I’d just upgraded my point-and-shoot last November, a purchase that set me back far more than I really wanted to spend. And ultimately, the blog’s just a hobby… it’s not like anyone cares whether the image is a little noisy, or the lens distortion gets a little distracting.

Early last week, my equipment envy reached a peak. A friend who just started blogging mentioned that he’d splashed out for some gear to help improve his online shots. I replied covetously, saying something to the effect of “I wish I could buy a dSLR, but it’s not like I have a spare grand sitting around.”

And then, two very interesting things happened.

I got home, opened the mailbox, and found a check — a completely unexpected payment for something I did on a lark more than a year ago — for $945. Not quite a grand, it’s true, but you could say that the universe had succeeded in grabbing my attention.

The next morning, I noticed a lot of inbound blog traffic from a link called “DMBLGiT: The Winners!” I clicked the tracking URL, and my jaw hit the keyboard. Holy cats: I’d tied for first place in this month’s Does My Blog Look Good in This?, the food-bloggers’ photo contest! I’d never even entered before, and I’m up there on the big screen with DPaul & Sean, and Ilva, and plenty of other talented folks whose blogs I read regularly and whose photos make me swoon. It’s so ridiculous, I still don’t really believe it. But does that stop me from celebrating? No, it most certainly does not. Celebrating is something I understand very, very well.

The rather obvious end of this little tale: I am now the proud owner of a brand-spanking new Canon 30D. At last, a real camera. Interchangeable lenses! A usable viewfinder! And best of all, as Cameron says, “It makes that Girls on Film noise!”

We took the new toy up to Napa this weekend, and both of us captured a surprising number of lovely shots, considering we hadn’t even read the manual yet. (No, I didn’t haul this behemoth out at The French Laundry. Shuh… even I have my limits!) I know it’ll take a while before I dial in the seemingly limitless new features at my disposal — no film camera was ever this confusing …or have I just gotten old? But in the meantime, if you keep an eye on my photostream, you’ll get to see me take my first baby steps back from the point-and-shoot realm.

(c)2007 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2007 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2007 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2007 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2007 AEC *all rights reserved*

equipment, geekery, other blogs, other stuff



Comment by matt

oh my goodness!

You are REALLY REALLY REALLY going to love that camera. It’s as if I just read you had a new child or something, Serously.


Posted on 06.12.07 at 5:28AM

Comment by Chris P.

Lovely pics – I found you guys through Tastespotting, and trust that your mashup of food and photography will go well. I hauled my 10d on a trip to Italy last year and, while I didn’t pull it out in restaurants, it made for marvelous photography during the olive harvest and at the winery… Don’t get too caught up in the manual, but take the thing off of ‘green square – no brain’ mode and get into using Av mode and you’ll do wonderfully. (ps. I can’t stand it… here’s the Italy pics (delete my post if this self plug is in bad form) http://www.flickr.com/photos/cpencis/sets/72157594416940576/

Posted on 06.12.07 at 5:52AM

Comment by cookiecrumb

What a great story! Gad. Congratulations, both on the new toy, and the DMBLGIT.

Posted on 06.12.07 at 10:57AM

Comment by Tana

I share your joy with your new baby. Have fun, and let’s get our “kids” together for a play date, Miss Anita.

Pssssst. I just got the equivalent of this last week and it is helping ENORMOUSLY. Otherwise it’s like trying to ride a Harley Davidson when you’ve only ever had a Vespa under your butt.

Posted on 06.12.07 at 3:30PM

Comment by Tea

Ooooh, how fun! Although, I must say, I’ve always thought your photos were lovely. Sometimes it’s what’s behind the camera…

Posted on 06.12.07 at 7:53PM

Comment by Sarah

Your pictures are always beautiful. If you didn’t say it, I wouldn’t have known you were using a point and shoot.

OMG – now I have camera envy! I am by no means a photo genius, but I have been dying for a “real” camera for sometime. For me, it’s the Digital Rebel. Perfect for a novice who wants to play like me.

But the price . . . *sigh.*

Posted on 06.13.07 at 6:47AM

Comment by Wendy M

Nice!!! congrats!

Posted on 06.14.07 at 4:43PM

Comment by shuna fish lydon

Yeah! I second Matt’s sentiment. I feel like I have a new best friend. It’s insane how much I love my new dSLR. And, like you, I feel old, but I am trying to reach back in time to shooting with a 4X5 and my old Nikon to remember the photo knowledge stored in the ancient recesses of my pre-computer brain.

I am so happy for you! Happy with you! Here’s to more Gorls on Film souns. {followed by smarmy, “Oooooh make Love to the camera, baby” sounds from US!

Posted on 06.15.07 at 2:39PM

Comment by s'kat

30D?!? *drools*

Posted on 06.21.07 at 11:20AM

Comment by lee

Hahaha! Cracking up at the Girls on Film line! Oh, I have camera envy real bad and if I got a check in the mail I’d do the same thing. I also have house envy though so I may have to fight with myself over short-term vs. long term needs and wants!!

Posted on 07.23.07 at 2:16PM

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