Moving On (in Photography mostly)

So after all the hype on traveling to Japan has waned (because we're back already), it was time to start work. After all, 6 months of idling won't do me much good with an empty bank account. So here I am doing an internship for some extra cash (which is significant even though it's an internship btw)... and maybe to learn a thing or two.

Things have been really slow so far, so I shall not elaborate on what I'm doing here. Partly also because there's nothing to elaborate on just yet.

I did stretch my EOS 450D to its maximum in Japan, when we shot bursts of 1s for fireworks, while at a temperature of -5C, and took sunrise while at a temperature of -9C. Had snow fall on it and melt at a temperature of around 1C. Had snow blown on it and brushed off at a temperature of around -3C. All of this while shooting without a hitch. Ok, there was one slight hiccup, where the camera couldn't shoot, but was stuck at metering. Off, battery out, battery in, on, works again (~30secs in total). Very happy with the performance of an entry level DSLR that has got to be about 3 years old already.

But I'm not satisfied with some stuff, and I definitely needed an upgrade. My friend, who was shooting with more pro stuff, also realised that he had hit his limit, and was ready for the next level. So... you guessed it, his gear came to me, and he got better gear from someone else.

Now with the EOS 7D and a better lens, I should be able to take advantage of more opportunities to bring in better pictures. I haven't been on a proper shoot with it yet, but sounds like I'll be starting this Saturday. Hope it turns out good.

An upgrade of this scale cost me 2.7k. Mind you, it's second hand already. And this scale also meant that my storage facility (my cupboard and dry box) cannot hold the increase in inventory. Upgrade in other areas are much wanting too. I have been shooting with mostly DIY stuff whenever I can, with only a small poke into each area (by buying the cheapest) to see if it suits me. Now it's time to upgrade, so there goes more $$$

My first flash was free, and had two modes: independent auto, or full power (which was basically sticking a black tape over the light sensor). Quite a hassle, but I tried my best to make do, and some of my shots turned out quite interesting with the flash. So, DIY diffusers came in, and finally, I bought my first, cheap ETTL flash, with manual mode. Now, finally, I can worry less about flash control and focus on shooting. I'll get a better flash eventually, when I outgrow this one.

Seeing my DIY diffusers giving my pictures so much better effects than without, I decided to try umbrellas, and these are actually pretty cheap, if only a little bulky. 18 for a stand, 10 for the head, and 9 for the umbrella itself. I'm so far not disappointed in that investment. Probably get a second set sometime...

My drybox is also a makeshift, from an airtight container with silica gel that I took, in small "tea packet" sizes from blank rounds during army days. Now, I'll need a proper dry cabinet.

Kit lens has been replaced, from the EFS 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 II (non IS) to the almighty EFS 17-55mm F2.8 IS USM. Big difference in image quality, big difference in capability. (Price is also a big difference too)

To carry my equips around, I've been mostly using a normal cheap backpack, with lots of polystyrene here and there, taken from... here and there too. I actually will need a proper bag, since it'll allow more convenience to equipment access, more protection, and more capacity. That too... soon.

My lenses now cover a decent range with the EFS 10-22mm F3.5-4.5 USM doing the ultra-wide and the EFS 17-55mm F2.8 IS USM doing the mid. Very suitable for a person who does landscape, but it's quite wanting whenever I try a little bit of event shooting, sports, or just need the far reach for the Cherry Blossoms which we saw (I had my friend's lens to borrow fortunately). What's wanting is now to expand into the telephoto range, so I'll be eyeing on the EF 70-200mm F4 IS, which is a 1.3k lens 2nd hand, and extremely good lens that'll probably stay in my inventory forever, along with the other two that are giving me my ultra-wide and mid-range coverage.

Oh well, so upgrade rage. I wonder what else I'll need?

16:04 20 Mar 2012