The other day I enjoyed one of my favorite pastimes at one of my favorite places: a photo crawl through Boise’s Katherine Albertson park. Here photo ops abound with unlimited scenes to delight the senses at every turn, and for two hours I snapped merrily away. I was especially pleased to find, along with the usual ducks and geese, two rabbits and a squirrel that allowed me close enough for a photograph before scampering into the trees. Normally I am pretty happy with the results. This day’s batch, however, left me somewhat chagrined. Some shots were good, some merely satisfactory, while still others show a definite need for more than a point-and-shoot camera.
For general landscape shots and certain close-ups, my point-and-shoot worked fine.
The following two are fair, but I wished I could have zoomed in on the fountain and geese. However, I couldn’t get any closer without ending up in the drink.
The details in these flowers hardly show at all. For the first photo I could probably have achieved good results using a mini tripod, but the lily pad required a stronger lens—or hip boots so I could wade out to it.
My wildlife shots proved especially disappointing. They require a telephoto lens, since woodland critters rarely let you very close. A fellow shutterbug using a camera with one of the most impressive lenses I had ever seen showed me a shot of a blue heron taken from across the pond. With this lens he had been able to zoom in for a beautifully-detailed head shot. Even the bird’s eye color showed distinctly.
Mine. . .well; this is a shot of some geese feeding, but they hardly show up at all and are indistinguishable as geese. (They’re the white splotches near the center.)
Likewise the rabbits. You can see one in the first photo, just left of the tree, if you look closely. The second was feeding in the grass, but unless you know where to look for him, you would never find him.
His head is underneath the double arrows. My naked eye saw him clearly but you don’t see him in the photo unless you get within a couple of inches from it.
This little fellow might have turned out better had I used the flash; however, I was too preoccupied with getting the shot before he took off and never thought of it. (It’s a squirrel, by the way, and if you get up close to the second photo you can see he’s looking around the tree as if asking, “Wanna fight?”.)
There is actually a turtle sunning itself on this rock. Sadly, even the rock doesn’t show up that well.
Conclusion: In order to expand my photography skills, I need to make some equipment upgrades (along with staging my shots a little better!). I had hoped I needed only to buy a different lens; but my Canon’s lens is fixed, and I cannot remove it without destroying the camera. I have since come across another camera I am seriously considering. One thing I find interesting is that, whenever I tell another photographer I wished I had a decent camera, they usually cast a rueful look at their own and answer, “So do I.” I guess we see flaws in our own work that no one else does. But the more I pursue this hobby, the more I love it! It affords hours of pleasure and, I think, that is all that really matters.