Friday, March 2, 2012

The end ... or is it the beginning?

Wednesday this week was my last day working for my employer of the past 20 years!  A number of people have said it marked the end of an era.  Sure, some things will not be the same, but in many ways that's a good thing.  I think it's time for me to do something different with my time now, and hopefully this will mark the beginning of a new and exciting chapter of my life.  It may also mark the start of a new and exciting chapter for my previous employer ... I certainly hope so.

For many years, photography has been an interest, a passion and to some degree an obsession!  From early years I was always fascinated with the camera.  I can recall being bedazzled by the light sensors around the front lens element on my Dad's half frame Konica.  Here's an image of a similar camera to the one that started my enthusiasm so many years ago!  After this camera there was the Asahi Pentax Spotmatic F, a brief spell with a Cosina CSR (the camera died an unpleasant death in Jordan in 1979) and then a very long and happy time with my Pentax MX.  I still have this camera and love it.  Gorgeous piece of equipment and beautifully made.

Now I'm using Nikon gear.  I tried the Pentax dSLR offerings, but they didn't feel right.  I tried Canon and that just didn't feel as comfortable in my hands as the Nikon.  All the buttons, knobs and dials just seemed to be where I wanted them with the Nikon.  In fact I have the same fondness for my Nikon as I had for my MX when that was my main camera.  Is it better or worse than Canon or Pentax?  I don't know and, to be honest, don't care.  I like it and am happy with it, just like other folks prefer other brands.

So here I am.  No job and time on my hands to do something I'd really like to do.  I get the chance to take photographs instead of snapshots.  I get the chance to wait and observe instead of being frustrated I have to be somewhere else and end up missing the shot.  I'll get the chance to spend time with people and listen to what they have to say ... have a laugh and deepen our friendships, but most of all, I'm really looking forward to having some fun with my family and friends.

Some of my friends lent me the new Nikon 85mm f1.8G lens to play with ... but only briefly.  I took the opportunity to shoot some of my musician friends at a bar in Auckland last night.  Often the light levels are quite low in the bars and I wanted to see how this new lens would perform wide open (to let in as much light as possible).  Take a squiz at the shots below and perhaps let me know what you think.
Mr Semi Leo on bass guitar.  85mm f1.8 and wide open.  1/100sec and ISO 2500

Semi again, lovely bokeh (blur) in the background.  I really like how the lights appear as circles.

One of my favourite shots from the evening.  Quite nice warm, "cosy" light.

Even wide open the lens isn't too bad; the bokeh lovely and smooth.
Wide open ... but with a bit of flash camera right.
Guinness is good for you ... hadn't you heard?

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