Archives for posts with tag: lenses

I find, much to my regret and humiliation, that I am fairly consistent in my failure to post regularly. I tell myself this is because I’m selective and perfectionistic, and only post when I have something unique and generally interesting to say. I tell myself that, but the truth is I am both lazy and highly distractable. So I’m going to try an experiment that will compel me to post regularly. I will randomly (really, randomly) select one or two orposibly three photos every day from my whole history of photographing stuff (a number of years that I would prefer not to disclose, in the interest of maintaining the bloggerly illusion that I am both young and sprightly) and say just a few pertinent (or impertinent, as the case may be) things about them: where they were taken, what the circumstances were, what–if anything–about them might be interesting to others.

We’ll see how this works. Here we go…

"Eat Cake" in pink script on the side of a white stucco building with an intense blue sky

I’m starting with a bit of a cheat, since this is a pretty recent photo. It was taken at the Sweet & Saucy Shop, a bakery in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach, I was here for a cake-tasting as part of the traditional process involved in selecting a wedding cake. There is, by the way, nothing at all wrong with a cake-tasting: Regardless of anyone’s personal feelings about my right to be legally married (thank you, United States Supreme Court), I think we can all agree that cake is nice (and the cake at Sweet & Saucy is particularly creative and excellent). Anyway, when we arrived the sun on the white stucco was spectacular, and the sentiment of the sign was too good to pass up. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my Nikon with me, so I took this using my phone. The result is still good, even if the photography snob in me discounts it as not a real photograph. (Photo taken with a Samsung Galaxy Siii 12 megapixel smartphone)

Macro photo of a grasshopper near North Pond in Lincoln Park, Chicago

Now this one was also taken fairly recently. It’s obviously a grasshopper, photographed in a pretty outstanding macro. It helped that the grasshopper was on a fence near Lincoln Park’s North Pond in Chicago, and the weather in early October was coolish–which makes for slightly sluggish and therefore more photogenic grasshoppers. Anyway, I’m very proud of the detail in this.  (Photo taken with a Nikon D7000 with a Nikon DX 18-105 lens)

Aerial view of a rock quarry in upstate New York

Finally, just the opposite of a macro: This aerial photo was taken from a United jet somewhere over upstate New York, en route to Boston last July. I travel a fair amount for business, and always get a window seat for just this purpose, as I believe I’ve written about before. The detail here is good, and I like (or rather, don’t like) the juxtaposition of the huge scar in the earth surrounded by dense forest. (Photo taken with a Nikon D90 and a Sigma 70-300 lens)

So there we have it. Next time I do this, I may just do a very short post with one photo, or a long and rambling post with one photo, or more pictures and fewer words, or the other way around. Sometimes I’ll stick to a specific topic,when I have something to say about it. Otherwise I’ll just put up a photo and say a little something about it. I’ll try to keep me guessing, and see where that leads me, in terms of being a better and more committed blogger.

For a wider selection of randomness, visit my online gallery: EButterfield Photography.

This weekend I went for a walk in a local forest preserve with Durrell, and as is usually the case I brought my camera along. One never knows, after all, when one will stumble across something photoworthy out in the big, broad world. Normally, I take a general-purpose lens, like a Sigma 70-300, or Nikon 18-105, because, as I said, you never know what you’re going to see rising up out of the marsh, or startled into flight from the tall grasses. Herons, turtles, the occasional snake or hummingbird: I’m all about the nature stuff. (Oh yeah: click on the images to see them embiggened.)

Red Skimmer dragonfly, up close

This time, though, I thought I’d try an experiment. I brought only one lens, a Sigma DG Macro 105mm 1:2.8. I’d been given this lens as a going-away gift when I resigned my previous job in Chicago before moving to sunny Southern California to take up a glamorous day-job in the nonprofit sector (oh just go read my bio if you care so much), and to pursue an increasing interest in semi-semi-pro photography as I prepare for those latter days that loom increasingly large and darkly ominous in my ever-nearer future.

I grow old…I grow old…I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. I should have been a pair of ragged claws, scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

Little blue flower, up close

Well enough of that; I apologize for the brief lapse into self-pitying literary allusion: it’s the fate of the liberal arts major to become ever more obnoxiously pedantic. There’s a direct relationship, I’ve observed, between the length of time since the MA was awarded and the level of showoffery exhibited by the erstwhile graduate student. Probably a not-so-subconscious desire to cling to the sunny intellectual days at the university coupled with the brain’s tendency to pay more attention to the increasingly distant past the closer to the inevitable end it is (“look at this shiny object over here, hon, and ignore the looming cold presence of inescapable mortality”).

Oh dear; how the hell did I end up on my deathbed? I think we were talking about macro lenses.

Bee on Salt Marsh Fleabane

So I decided this time to limit myself to looking closely at the little world of the forest; to eschew the bigger picture—the herons taking flight, the sun glinting on the algae-greened pond, the path winding through the shadows—and see what I could see when I was limited to peering closely at the leaves, watching for spiderwebs, and really just looking down.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

Yikes, someone make me stop.

OK so where were we before we went to Walden? Oh right, the woods, with a macro lens.

Red Skimmer dragonfly on a dry stem

Once I got over the feeling of panic that I couldn’t photograph birds, or use the telephoto to capture dragonflies perched on dry stems by the pond’s edge, I settled in to a lovely and contemplative stroll, punctuated by long pauses to try to focus on vaguely wind-swayed flowers that steadfastly refused to come into focus and stay there while the shutter opened and closed. Durrell is ever-patient with my shenanigans and occasional outbursts, and so makes a perfect travel companion in all possible ways. (It must be pointed out that he, too, spent many long and seemingly interminable interludes with his camera focused on light-and-shadow patterns on the path, so we all have our little interests. I perhaps lack his patience and kind nature, and may possibly have whined and complained a bit about standing around places where there was nothing interesting for me to take pictures of.)

Close up of yellow primrose, with pollen on the stamen

So what did I learn from my foray into the Little World? Patience, in large part, and stealth. I was actually still able to photograph dragonflies with my macro lens, but I had to get much closer to them than I normally would. This involved sslloowwllyy maneuvering myself down rocks on the edges of ponds, shamelessly lying belly-down on the trail, striking alarmingly precarious poses, and generally showing little or no concern for my dignity. I learned to focus my attention more, to walk more quietly than usual (we are, generally, quiet hikers: we talk of course, but use our inside voices, and frequently the topic of our discussion is the unruliness of other peoples’ children, their insistence on beating the bushes with sticks, and their obnoxious screechings that frighten away the wildlife. Of course, complaining about families bringing their children to walk in the woods is perhaps as churlish and cranky as our grumblings about the omnipresence of infant annoyances at the miniature golf courses we occasionally frequent. Being annoyed that there are children at a place that features gaily-colored windmills and garish fiberglass dragons on the putting greens is, admittedly, perhaps not the height of reasonableness.)

red sap oozing from a tree, up clsoe

Flower parts. Busy bees. Oozing sap. A hike with a macro lens becomes less about the woods and more about the trees, as it were. Less about the big picture and more about the interesting beige stripe on the pistils in a white wildflower, or the suddenly visible bits of pollen in a primrose. It’s less about the majesty of a heron rising from the water, and more about the delicate stillness of a dragonfly, and the exposed wing mechanics on its back.

close up of beige-striped pistils

A walk in the woods with a macro lens is a reminder that we live in the little world more than we do in the bigger perspective; that we are tiny, tiny beings on the back of a whirling globe that spins around a star that spins around a galaxy that’s just one of billions of galaxies all hurrying away from each other. The spider in its web, the dragonfly on a leaf are riding that same rock with us, marginally aware of our existence only as large and probably threatening objects. We are the killer asteroid to their Earth, the black hole to their sun, the unknown and unobserved phenomenon. It’s all woven together, but we so rarely look at it. The little world or the bigger one, they’re all the same: repeated patterns and relationships, over and over again; ourselves as part of a patterns that’s at once so much smaller and so vastly bigger than we are. There’s the stuff of immortality; there’s a little joy for the Prufrock in me, and a dose of humility for my inner Thoreau.

Purple Sage plant

(With apologies to Judith Viorst)

So there I stood in a hotel lobby in Seattle, attending a week-long series of governing committee and board meetings for my regular job, innocently minding my own business and apparently at peace with the universe, my camera strap strung jauntily, but seemingly firmly, on my shoulder. And then, boys and girls (and do be sitting down for this), for no good reason (I’m thinking malevolent fairies) and utterly without warning, the terrible, horrible, no good, Very Bad Thing happened: my Nikon D90 slid off my arm and, yes

Crashed

To

The

Floor!

I watched in helpless horror as my beloved, versatile, trustworthy, and much-used 18.0-105.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 popped right off the camera body and spun in a little arc accompanied by visible bits of plastic, the whole event making more noise than an object landing on a carpet should have generated: the sound of all hope and joy in my life shattering. The little plastic cover over the viewscreen on the back of the camera body came off, too, but it easily snapped right back in place. The lens snapped back in place, too—and then promptly fell off again in my hand. It became clear, after some fevered attempts to re-attach the lens, that whatever mechanism had once locked the lens in place was now hopelessly shattered.

A disaster by any measure. Adding to the horror, however, was the fact that I was expected to act as official photographer for a formal awards banquet in a matter of hours, featuring computer science notables from around the world. I had no other lenses with me, and the prospect of recording the awards banquet with my iPhone camera was unthinkable. Over the next few days, I also had a number of scheduled appointments to shoot nice headshots of several individuals.

This was so not good, for so many reasons, and it made my stomach hurt.

My first solution, following the successive failure of a remarkable stream of profanity, prayer to an array of dieties, and hurried small animal sacrifices offered to various more bloodthirsty dieties, was a last-ditch effort to temporarily repair the camera so it would work for at least the short-term. I went directly to the registration desk, where the following conversation ensued:

ME: (flushed, wild-eyed, and breathless) OK, this is an odd request, but I need about three feet of electrical tape.

DESK CLERK: Yes, sir, you’re right: that’s an odd request, and I won’t ask why.

Now, I should point out that this was a Nice Hotel in downtown Seattle, part of a global family of Nice Hotels, with amenities and points and everything. It was not some fleabag place out by the airport with hourly rates and plastic lampshades, so the desk clerk had no business leaping to the assumption that I had some fetishistic afternoon activity planned. In any case, the clerk helpfully called the facilities department, and by-and-by a gentleman emerged from the bowels of the hotel with a roll of black electrical tape. I explained that I planned to try to tape the lens to the camera body, and he gave me more than three feet and I scuttled off to my room and commenced wrapping the lens with tape to keep it from falling off the body.

As might be expected, however, my DIY solution did not, in fact, work.

Plan B, then: Panic. With the camera lens, now covered in electrical tape, dangling sadly from the D90 body, I called my partner back in Long Beach and commenced to whine and fret and carry on about my crisis and the unfairness of life and the dark and dismal hopelessness of everything. “Why don’t you go buy a new lens?” he asked sensibly. “Oh.” I said. “Yes, I could do that.”)

(I would say “Long story short” at this point, but given how long this has gone on so far, that’s fairly disingenuous.)

Off I went, then, to the hotel’s concierge, and got directions to a walkably-close camera store. The delightful young man at the store was deeply sympathetic, and more than happy to sell me a replacement lens. First, though, we thoroughly tested the D90 body to make sure it still worked (it did—the little plastic cover over the viewscreen may well have absorbed the impact sufficiently when it popped off to prevent internal damage).

And there’s the thing. The 18.0-105.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, which I loved muchly because of its versatility, turned out to be a “kit lens,” meaning that it was sold with the body and not separately. So it was totally new lens time. He showed me a number of models, none of which made me very happy. I explained that my photographic interests for the new lens would be twofold: Outdoor action/nature photography, and formal portraits. I mentioned the banquet coverage, which mostly would involve taking pictures of people in a dark, cavernous room while they held certificates and statuary and beamed, or spoke movingly from a dais. My long-suffering partner was on the phone for much of this, providing photography insights, emotional support, and permission to spend a large bagful of money.

I ended up with a Nikor 80.0-200.0 mm f/2.8 – not nearly as versatile as the sad old hopelessly broken one, but much, much faster. (Also considerably heavier to carry.)

Nikor 80.0-200.0 mm f/2.8 lens

At the awards banquet, I caused some brow-furrowing among those who noticed that I was standing way, way far away from the little stage where the awardees posed. However, the new lens’ telephoto-like focal length, coupled with a nicely powerful flash unit, had excellent results, as you can see below. I’m including similar photos from last year, taken with the late lamented lens for comparison.

2011 Awards Banquet speaker

This photo was taken in June, 2011 with a Nikor 18.0-105.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens and flash attachment

2012 Awards Banquet speaker

This photo of the same Awards Banquet speaker was taken in June 2012 with the new Nikor 80.0-200.0 mm f/2.8 and the same flash attachment

2012 Award winner

This photo was taken in June, 2011 with a Nikor 18.0-105.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens and flash attachment

Award winner being presented with medal, June 2012

This photo of an award winner was taken in June 2012 with the new Nikor 80.0-200.0 mm f/2.8 and the same flash attachment, from a much greater distance from the subjects

The headshots also required that I stand on the other side of the room from the subjects, but the results were pretty good:

headshot

Head shot taken with the new Nikor 80.0-200.0 mm f/2.8 with no flash.

Once safely back in Southern California, I went out to Huntington Beach one morning to try out the new lens on local surfers. Again, you can compare the results from the 18.0-105.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 (which I thought at the time was pretty darned good) with the new 80.0-200.0 mm f/2.8 (which I think now is quite nice indeed):

Surfer, photographed at a distance and from above, from the Huntington Beach pier with the old Nikor 18.0-105.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens

surfer

Surfer photographed from pretty much exactly the same location as left, with the new Nikor 80.0-200.0 mm f/2.8

So I suppose that the moral of this story is that even when disaster strikes, an opportunity often arises; that every cloud has a silver lining; that when a door closes, a window opens; that a glass that’s half empty is also half full; that lemons can be used to make lemonade; yeah whatever. I’m very happy with the new lens, and that’s the important thing. In the end, it seems that what really helps resolve a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad problem is, well, a big bag of money and a convenient camera store.

Please visit EButterfield Photography and browse the galleries. Thanks!

It occurred to me recently how many of my favorite photos have been taken through glass. Some through the plexiglas of an airplane window, some through plate glass of a hotel window, and some through aquarium glass.

Green River, Utah, from an airplane window

Green River, Utah, from an airplane window

Snail on aquarium glass

Snail on aquarium glass

morning sunlight on skyscrapers in New York

Morning in Manhattan through a hotel window

Anyway, that got me thinking about seeing, and about all the other things we’re looking through. I’m not sure why it’s interesting or important, but it seems that way to me, so here we go.

We’re always, really, looking through something. We see when light bounces off an object and hits our eyeballs and excites the little receptors in our retinas and sets off a cascade of chemical and electrical impulses that stream through the optic nerves and are sorted out and interpreted somewhere in our brain’s visual cortex, where the electro-chemical information is converted into images (there’s a word for that process, which is transduction. Another word is magical, but that’s not very scientific). So in a very, very intimate sense, everything we see is filtered through a lot of processes, and we don’t actually have direct experience of any object we’re looking at—only our brain’s interpretation of the electro-chemical impulses set off by photons bouncing off the object. Our whole day-to-day experience of the world is really sort of third-person, if you think about it.

Of course, if you think about things that way, about how what we see isn’t really what’s there, but what our brains are interpreting as what what’s there looks like, then life becomes about as complex as this sentence and none of us will ever get anything done, because we’re never really seeing what we think we’re seeing. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave suggests just this, with its story of folks in a cave watching a wall against which shadows are cast by people walking around behind them. They can interpret the shadows to their hearts’ content, but they never actually see the reality of what’s creating the images.

But let’s leave allegories and neuroscience behind and go back to photography, and how we’re looking through things. A viewfinder, for instance, is pretty obvious: we’re looking through lenses and mirrors (or the digital equivalents of lenses and mirrors). So when I take a picture through a window, I’m adding another filter for light to pass through in addition to the mirrors and lenses and any photofilters I’m using at the time.

Beyond the window, there’s more stuff between me and the object of my desired image. In the case of aquarium shots, there’s obviously water. Usually for those photos, my lens is pressed right up against the glass, so there’s not an intervening layer of air. For photos taken out of airplane or hotel windows, though, I’m looking through mirrors and lenses and glass and a thick mass of what we really should not think of as nothing, but as very much a sort of thinly viscous fluidity through which we make our way as much as fish swimming through water. The “nothing” around us is, after all, a complex mix of gases (nitrogen, oxygen, argon, and carbon dioxide), plus some trace elements like water vapor, ozone, various particles and molecules, dust, and— depending on where you live—various levels of ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and lead. So it’s not “nothing,” it’s “something,” and the light we see gets filtered through it.

Smog in Beijing

Zhengyang Gate in Beijing through the "air"

Everything, then, is experienced by us as photographers (and as human beings, I suppose) several steps removed from every actual thing itself. It can be something as obvious an obstruction as glass, or as ephemeral as a mix of more or less transparent gasses. And it’s always second- or third-hand through our brains’ processing of signals set off by photons that never touch the part of us that experiences seeing: it’s not our eyes that see, but our brains, and our brains have never met a photon. We are experiencing a movie, of sorts, played out inside our heads. It is only the common biology of our brains that lets us experience objects the same way, although since every human being is slightly different from every other one, what we “see” when we “see” may be slightly skewed as well: We may be living very isolated existences inside our heads.

Photography helps cut through that isolation though, in this way: By “freezing” an image in time, a photograph provides at least a single common perspective, a single common moment of light filtered through gas and glass and mirrors , that our variously-seeing brains can interpret perhaps one or two steps more in common than if we were standing together looking at the same actual thing.

Like so many of these postings, I’m not entirely sure what this all means, except that as photographers (and possibly even just as human beings) we need to consider what we’re looking through as much as what we’re looking at when we compose photographs and make decisions about images.

I love bokeh. Well, really, who doesn’t? Bokeh is a term derived from the Japanese boke-aji (ボケ味 for those of you who read Japanese), which translates as “blur-quality.” Not to be That Way, but seriously: leave it to a culture that finds serenity and beauty in raked gravel to notice that the out-of-focus is often more lovely than the actual subject of a photo. Partly intentional, largely accidental, bokeh refers to the wildly and often beautifully out-of-focus background effects achieved when one part of a photograph is in focus and the rest is not.

That’s the important part, that first phrase: “partly intentional, largely accidental.” So much of bokeh depends on a fairly precise and unpredictable (at least for me) interaction of lens, focal length, light, weather, and probably the phases of the moon and alignment of the planets that it’s almost magical. It’s an effect that, to me, is like a little extra prize I discover when I first open the photo files. Oh sure, I may have had some idea that the close-up focus of a photo will likely result in interesting background effects, but I, at least, can’t accurately predict it. (If other, more clever, photographers have this whole “creating bokeh” thing down to a science, please don’t tell me; I’m perfectly happy with the “almost magical” thing.)

It’s the unpredictability of bokeh that makes it so appealing, I guess. I can plan and control and manipulate to my heart’s content, but I still can’t do everything. Bokeh is like a lovely little reminder that I do not control the world. (That I need lovely little reminders that I don’t control the world is, I suppose, an issue I should be exploring in more depth, perhaps with professional assistance.) I’ve included some of my favorite examples of bokeh from my photography here, because I can.  This is, after all, my blog. You want your bokeh samples shown, write your own blog about it.

 In any case, the bokeh becomes at least as important as the main subject, providing a flat and abstract background from which the focal subject emerges. Bokeh is a function of light and lenses that transforms an otherwise good image into art. Recently, I’ve been obsessing with the fish in the new little ten-gallon aquarium I put in my kitchen. Earlier, I know I said I’ve been obsessing with the snails, but I’m also obsessing with the fish. (The plants and bubbler seem safe from obsession for now, but I make no guarantees.)

I’ve been using a macro lens, as I’ve also mentioned before: a 105mm 1:2.8 Sigma DG Macro lens, and various manual and pre-set settings on a Nikon D90. For my through-the-glass-and-water aquarium shots, I’ve been using only the camera’s built-in flash, although I’ve also played around with supressing the flash and using only ambient light from the kitchen fluorescents and the little bulb in the aquarium top. The trouble with those shots, of course, is that the exposure times are longer, and the goldfish tend to move around a bit more than the snails do. More rapidly, at least.

So here are two examples of what happens when a macro lens is focused on a goldfish. Remember, we’re interested here not just in the fabulously captured little fishly faces, but in the blurry background as well, and how nicely it all works together.

 Close-up of a calico fantail goldfishclose-up of a calico fantail goldfish

What I really love about these is the way the fish blend into the background, the way their already-colorful bodies become part of a big, abstract, kaleidoscopic flatness. It emphasizes the clarity of the bits that are in focus (their eyes and mouths particularly), and manages at the same time to transcend the banality of “oh that’s blurry” by virtue of the extensiveness and drama of the blur. I suspect that the action of light through the water that’s behind the little fellas, and the motion of the water itself, plus the motion of their fantail fins wafting about all work together to contribute to the overall effect. In any case, it’s not just out of focus; it’s beautiful.

It’s not just macros of goldfish where this can happen. Here are two other examples of what I tend to think is pretty remarkable bokeh. One resulted from the interplay of late afternoon sun and leafy trees (using a Sigma DG 70-300mm lens), the other from focusing close-up on something other than a fish (in this case, molten glass in a glass blowing demonstration at the Orange County Fair, with a Nikon DX 18-105mm.

 ball of molten glass at glass blowing demonstrationShirtless young man walking out of a clearing

I’d love to take credit for it, but the effect took me by surprise when I downloaded these from the Nikon. Oh, wait a moment.

Er, rather, I mean: The bokeh effects were totally planned by me, using expert care and skill, and I could do it again any time. If I felt like it. Really.

OK so I admit I’m Bad: Sometimes I do not carry a full array of lenses with me when I go out into the world. Sometimes I just grab the Nikon D-90 and slap on whatever lens seems most appropriate to where I’m going, and make do. I know this makes me a bad example, a poor photographer, and probably should prohibit me from writing any blogs about photography, but who am I to run afoul of the current cultural abhorence of competency. I have a computer, dammit, and that qualifies me to blog about whatever I want to.

So this brings me to what I’m on about today: the wrong lens, and the right photographic opportunity.

Surfer surfing near Huntington Beach, CaliforniaI  set out last Sunday for Huntington Beach Pier, where I expected to take sports-action photos of surfers from the pier, which, because the surfers are actually some distance from the pier, would require the Sigma DG 70-300mm lens. That would  result in photos more or less like the one here.

I’ve actually had very good luck with surfer photos using this lens. While I covet the enormous, bazooka-size telephotos I occasionally see being hauled around by other photographers, this one does the trick well enough, at least until I find myself stringing for Surfer Magazine. They have not yet knocked on my door, however.

Anyway, I digress. The point here is that I went to Huntington Beach prepared for one sort of photography (and even, in my mind, also prepared for some bird photos, for which the lens du jour was also sufficient), but, as sometimes happen, another opportunity presented itself.

At the street end of the pier, we encountered three muscular young men who were preparing for a street performance, loudly busking to rustle up a crowd suitable to the occasion. They were The Flying Tortillas, a group of performers  who proceeded to engage in breakdancing, acrobatics, and tumbling (followed by a spirited passing of plastic buckets and not-so-subtle pleas for financial support). They spun, leaped, and hurled themselves through the air quite impressively. The problem, obviously, is that I was in a small circle of onlookers, no more than five or six feet from the performers, with entirely the wrong lens.

The solution, obviously, was to change how I looked at the Tortillas. Instead of thinking about their performance as whole people hurtling themselves around, I tried to think of them as patterns, or disembodied parts. So I used the zoom as it was intended, and got in close. By not trying to force the whole scene into view (which would have required that I leave my sweet spot at the front of the crowd and go stand twenty feet away, where I would be unable to see the performers at all), I was able to capture some interesting, unique perspectives of what the boys were doing, even from up close. As it happened, I even managed to get acceptable action shots, like this:

street performer upside down in a mid-air somersault

The lesson, then, I guess, is two-fold: One, don’t be lazy by avoiding having the right lens for a variety of unexpected opportunities. Two, if you’re going to be lazy (as I undoubtedly will continue to be, being generally weak-willed by nature), then be flexible in how you use the tools you’ve got. I could have just enjoyed the Tortillas’ show and not bothered with photos, since I had the wrong lens. I could have given up a prime viewing spot to stand back father to accomodate more traditional framings using the lens I had. Or, as it turned out, I could just force the lens I had to accomodate the moment, and be flexible in how I viewed the event. Not having the right tool for the job, it was OK to use the tool I had.

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