>> Monday, January 10, 2011
For my birthday, my sweet husband and father coordinated and got me the camera I've been longing for for months and months - a brand new Nikon D90! (Picture Kermit the Frog on the Muppets Show hands waving in the air saying "YAAAAAAAAAAY" here)
The camera officially ties for first place for best birthday present ever, with the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary my Dad got me, oh, about 12 years ago now. Dad does have a knack for gift giving. Once I found out I was getting the D90, I decided to spend some of my hard earned bonus and get the Nikon 18-200 lens with vibration reduction that I'd been wanting too.
Everything came together at once: Nikon had a sale around the holidays, and our favorite camera shop managed to sell the old D70 on commission for more than we paid for it. It wound up being sold to a couple of dentists for photographing teeth. I feel a little sad that its fate is so, well, uninteresting. No more frolics through the woods for the poor old thing.
At the same time I feel a little silly for anthropomorphizing a camera.
It has so many features that it's going to take me a long time to figure them all out. However, I am already absurdly pleased with a couple of the features I'd been wanting so badly, including most of all its significantly improved focusing abilities and its performance in low light settings. I love the vibration reduction on the lens, too.
In our first real photography trip in quite some time, Spouse and our friend M and I went to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse for a day. The reason we chose the zoo is that they're having a photography contest in the month of January - come in with a camera and their coupon, and get free admission. It must be working, because on a cold, blustery, snowy January day, there were quite a few people at the zoo... most toting cameras.
I took 474 photos, indoors and out, and in all sorts of different light settings. Below are my favorite shots from the day. Some of the critters I photographed aren't terribly exotic - they just hang around the zoo for the free handouts, like this sparrow:
This shot of a peregrine falcon is taken through a cage - the camera did an amazing job ignoring the wires:
My husband calls this "the circus peanut duck" - I have no idea what it really is:
In some respects I kind of let the camera do its thing. I set it to variable ISO, which worked great - you tell it the range of ISO settings you'd like it to use, and it chooses among them for each photo. I need to lower the upper limit on it, as a few shots turned out grainy, but generally speaking, that feature turned out to be perfect for all the different lighting.
So, the ultimate question is, which two are your favorites? I have to select two of the above to submit for the zoo photo contest. Please vote!