Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Weekend Adventures: Snow Globe at the Morton Arboretum

Hello, Winter

We finally got some real snow -- just enough to make everything pretty. And since Chiberia  is making its unwelcome return as I write this (temperatures in the single digits and dropping, with negative, double-digit wind chills), I hustled over to my favorite spot in Chicagoland for some photo ops. The Morton Arboretum never disappoints.

To add to the excitement, I had a new camera lens to try out. I just added a 50mm prime lens to my camera bag, and this was my first field trip with the lens. Let me warn you -- I had no idea what I was doing. I'm the type who prefers to learn by trial and error; the user's manual is still in its box. So. I had a lot of photos that turned out not so good: out of focus (the lens focused on the snowflakes near the lens, instead of the trees) or overexposed (I made some weird errors when fiddling with the camera settings as I tried to slow down the shutter speed to capture the large snowflakes that started falling while I was at the arboretum.). It was a learning experience, and I figured out what I did wrong and how to do it better next time. The prime lens has a dual auto/manual focus feature that allows you to manually focus the lens without changing the settings. It's quickly becoming one of my favorite features, as the lens doesn't always focus on what you want it to (see photo #2 below). I could keep boring you with details, but let's get to the photos.

At first, it was a little weird to only have a set field of vision with the 50mm lens -- but I got used to it pretty quickly. I can see why it's nicknamed the nifty fifty! 

One of the first photos I took with the 50mm lens. Baxter the blue heeler makes a great portrait "victim." The lens is great for sharp detailing, and look at that bokeh (the blur in the background)!

One of several "mistakes" -- but this one turned out rather cool.
Here, I was shooting for the trees that are blurred in the background, but since I let the autofocus do the work, the lens focused on the snowflakes in the foreground. While not what I intended, it turned out to be a dreamy shot. I haven't decided if I'll keep this one or not. I may post it on Instagram to see if I can get some feedback.

Winter Walk
I love this oak tree at the Arb, and the snow just makes it more majestic. This couple happened to stroll by as I was shooting and made the shot even better!

Meadow Lake

I wanted to see if you could take close-up shots with the 50mm lens. Turns out: YES, you can!  They may not be macro, but the detail is pretty cool. 

I still have a lot to learn and a lot of things I want to do with my camera. Stay tuned!

No comments:

Post a Comment