Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Had The Most Amazing Day

One year and 3 days ago my first digital camera died for the last time.
I was heartbroken, panicked, sick to my stomach, devastated, etc.

As usual, Sylvia came to my rescue and within two weeks I had my beloved Sony Alpha300. It's a great camera, and is so much more advanced than the Sony F717 I was using that it took over a month to feel comfortable taking pictures again--so much to learn!

But my Alpha300 is a fairly standard consumer-grade camera, while my late F717 was state-of-the-art when it was introduced and had some features that aren't popular enough today to have been retained.
Mainly, the ability to take photos in the infrared spectrum instead of visible light with the addition of a few filters that screw onto the end of the lens.
I was just getting good at IR photography when my F717 crapped-out, and it was a major blow to my mood and sales.

For some strange reason I woke up at 9am (noon is more my style) and it's a good thing I did!
The US Postal Service truck in the street convinced me to put on pants and answer the doorbell.
I signed for a box from Toronto

On the right is my dead-meat F717.
On the left is it's improved successor, the F828, sent to me by my internet friend Matthew Robertson.

In addition to being able to shoot IR (again) this camera also takes much higher quality video, has a wider range of lens focal lengths, is built studlier than my older version. It's been improved in many areas and was pretty much the best digital camera in 2003.

How do you thank someone for sending you an awesome camera that gets you back in the infrared game?

Might as well send the flash, too?
You can see that the flash for my old camera had but a single power switch, while the HVL-F32X flash Matthew sent me has an LCD sceen and lots of buttons for more control.
I missed being able to shoot flashed macros of small animals (my Alpha300 system won't support this unless I buy an expensive new macro lens) so I'm also excited to renew this ability!

This level of kindness is not unknown to me, but is the exception rather than the rule for so-called 'internet friends', meaning people you have never met but get along with on the www.
My IR filter was a gift from Bruce, and my older Sony flash was shipped down to Texas from WA by C.Moore--also gratis.

The only way I know how to thank such kind people is to make the best use of their gifts as possible.
Let them see that what they gave to me is being used to produce better photos.
It's a challenge, but I'm ready to accept it.

Thank You, Matthew!!!


Matthew said...

You've very welcome, and I know you're going to do better with it than I ever did. I was consistently amazed at what you were able to get out of your F717 while I was busy moving from camera to camera as I sought better photos.

I'm very interested to see what you can do with the F828. I'm not convinced that its lens/sensor combination is as flawless as the F717, and I'm also wondering if you've had your expectations adjusted - aka been spoiled - by a good DSLR like I have.

Incidentally, within a few minutes of you receiving your box from Canada, I was signing for one from the USA. My birthday-present-to-me was a new bike, which I'll be using to get out of my neighbourhood and photograph some new places. (I wonder if that makes it a business expense?) So it's exciting and opportunity-expanding times all around, which is very cool.

Enjoy it!

KenKzak said...

Yes, Thank You Matthew.
Keith and I have been discussing the photography of certain lab experiments lately. Video clips are a must. Infrared is a huge bonus! Woohoo!

ZZakk's Lab

Albatross said...

Wow. You've got good friends. Mine usually give me lottery tickets and old coffee mugs.