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Out in the Cold

February 24, 2013

Yesterday was my weekly “going out with the camera” day, and despite the cold and snow, I spent three hours alone in my photographic bubble. It was also a pretty intense walk as I went through fields, forests, climbing up steep hills with all my gear, resisting to negative temperatures… I loved it.

As usual, I brought the Minolta 500mm f/8, the Sony 70-300 G, the Sony 50mm /1.4 and the Sony 18-55 (because I still don’t have a better alternative for a wide angle lens for the moment. I ended up mostly shooting with the G, sometimes the 18-55 for wider frames, I didn’t use the 50mm because I had something in mind but didn’t find the opportunity, and the 500mm got out of the bag a couple of times.

I was mainly trying to find inspiration for a tiny contest I’d like to submit a shot for, but the walk in itself was perfect. I really start discovering everything that we have around our place, pretty much forests everywhere, beautiful wide fields, ponds and rivers… I doesn’t provide for a lot of variety when it comes to photography but it’s still a nice way of keeping my eyes trained. And my skills. Which brings me to something frustrating.

I just had my vision checked a few days ago. And I had a perfect score, which I was very pleased with. And yesterday, it didn’t help. At all. I spotted a deer at some point, it just started jumping away as I entered the forest, working my way through branches and what not. So of course the noise alerted anything breathing in a 10 mile radius. Anyway, later on, I was doing my best to be quiet, slowly advancing through the forest, carefully looking around, trying to spot anything interesting. I stepped on a tiny little branch, made that cracking sound you see in horror movies, you know when you try being silent and then you just step on a branch and hell unleashes upon you. Well, I made that cracking sound and all of a sudden, three┬ádeer just bolted. They were literally a few steps away from me and I didn’t see a thing. Maybe they were laying down, or just standing really still because they knew I was there, I don’t know, it doesn’t matter, but the point is, they bolted before I could even think about shooting their shadows. Frustrating.

I know I’m supposed to be patient, still, quiet. Find a good spot and wait, etc. I know. I know that the point of these weekly walks aren’t wildlife photography, so I shouldn’t complain about not shooting anything by the time I get home. But I felt stupid not seeing those animals right in front of me. When the weather will be more comfortable-ish, I will choose a hunting spot (there are dozens around), bring food, water, a blanket, my gear, and spend a few hours just waiting. Right now I need the 3 hours walk, it helps me go through the busy in a good and relaxed mood. We’ll talk wildlife photography in April I think. By that time, my a77 will be here, I’ll be comfortable enough with it to be shooting more delicate subjects I hope, so we’ll hopefully have some great wildlife shots to look at.

Speaking of which, my a77 will be in my hands in 6 days, I can’t wait. There are so many things I want to try, so many good things I heard about. I can’t even begin to imagine how the 500mm will look like on that body, if well used, it could bring amazing results. And the 70-300 G? Can’t wait.

I have already started working on yesterday’s shots, it’s tricky because it was snowing and it’s not that easy to PP when snow is producing tiny spots everywhere in the darker areas. But still, there are some shots I am eager to get to, I loved the idea of these shots right when I was taking them and I want to see the final result.

It feels good to have such a 3 hours bubble, you should try it sometime :)

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