Fast Glass

Now with added contrast, originally uploaded by Alex Leigh.

I know precisely bugger all about how photography really works. It sits in the 20% of the “how the world works pie chart” under the heading “no idea at all”. Included in this ever widening slice are questions such as “why doesn’t electricity fall out of the socket when you take the plug out” and “Big Brother, what the fuck?”

But proper followers of the dark art actually talk mainly of light. And carrying light through complex multi layered lenses becomes stupidly expensive as the focal length increases.Or, in my case, just turn the ISO up and live with a bit of graining 😉 This picture was captured on the end of about 400mm of Tamron lens.

The Blackbird (actually it’s a female, so it’s brown, go figure) is around fifty feet away on next doors garage roof. To make life doubly difficult, the insanely clever camera has to calculate the correct exposure against a gray sky metered through a grubby double glazed window.

How does it do that? It’s in the 20% somewhere.

Soul Stealer

There are still certain people who believe an image taken by a camera will steal their souls. However, these individuals are not within my immediate surround which is made up of vainglorious riding buddies and children who’ve lived their life in the digital world.

One of the joys of digital photography is the immediacy of the whole experience; shoot, review, giggle or sigh and then again, again like an amped up teletubby. The whole anticipation/delay ratio of film never really stacked up for me, especially when the alternative was delivered into a world of now.

My short lived rental (ownership seems too strong a word) of the Canon 300D was mired only by its’ slow digital processing – especially when compared to my S80 which is lightening quick – small LCD panel and lack of fast FPS burst.

The monster! Flickr Picture

And in an amazing alignment of the karma planets, a chain of events, sales and purchases saw the 300D head northwards to my friend Mark, and a 400D replacement collected over a couple of pints last week from Bez.

As part of the deal, this monster 70-300mm lens (and with a 1.6 multiplier because of the smaller sensor that’s a whopping 110-480mm) was included which provides sufficient magnification to digitally download someones’ soul from about half a mile away. If there is ever a proper summers day and naked bathing become fashionably in sleepy Stone, I could get myself into proper trouble.

First impressions – somewhat mitigated by not wishing to drown expensive electronics in the never ending world of wet – are that image processing is as fast as my S80 and everything else is better. Whether this will deliver a similar uplift in performance to my photography skills is still in the balance.

All the gear and no idea? You betcha and it feels good 🙂