Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More photography equipment to buy

There is a funny thing about the photography hobby - there are always more things you can buy.

If you are at all plugged into the photography world, you've know already that Nikon announced a new camera today; the D90. This is on the heels of Canon, which announced a new camera earlier this week; the 50D. Both are awesome cameras, but seeing as I'm a Nikon guy and Nikon's rule, I'll promptly ignore the new Canon*.

The new Nikon D90 puts my 4 year old D70s to shame. The photos it produces can be blown up to twice the size of the photos my camera takes. It behaves way better in low light. It autofocuses faster and smarter. The batteries last longer. It can control flashes better. It even takes HD video. I want one.

Some corner of my brain keeps whispering the phrase "You can take better photographs if you buy a new camera". I know this is a half-truth; a better camera will make my good photos look better but it won't make me take any more good photos. Composition, lighting, timing, and all the other things that go into making a good photo can't be controlled by a camera.

All this desire is compounded by the fact that a good friend just dropped 10K+ on new camera equipment. He now has a top of the line Canon around his neck. The part of my brain that was whispering sweet nothings lives right beside the part of my brain that keeps telling me to keep up with the Joneses. It sucks.

I don't need a new camera and I can't afford a new camera. The D90 retails for $1200. The step up from the D90 (the D300 which is even nicer!) retails for $1800. That type of money is hard to justify for a hobby, especially since we already have one expensive hobby in the household.

So for now, I'll hang tight. I'll count my pennies and maybe in a little while I'll have saved up enough to upgrade. By then, I'm sure, there will be an even better camera out.

On a positive side, I had my second paid photo shoot in June. One of Tara's co-boarders at Fantasy Lane asked me to take some photos of her and her daughter and their two horses. With the money I got from that gig I picked up an umbrella and stand for my flash (plus some miscellanea cables and connectors). Now all I have to do is learn how to use it :) Below are a couple of photos from tonight of Tara and our cat Fez with my new lighting gear.

Tara and Fez Fez jumping off Tara

* There really isn't much difference between Nikon and Canon unless you are into really specialized photography. I'm not.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Our sod arrived yesterday. Four skids plus another 15 rolls.

We started laying it down at 3:15. At 6:45, Tim and Vanessa showed up and we ate dinner (Tara's brother and his wife). As soon as we finished dinner, Dave and Linda showed up (Tara's dad and mom) and we put them all to work. We stopped when it was too dark to work.

We started again at 6:45 this morning and were done by 9:00. All the sod is laid, rolled and watered.

I am 100% exhausted. I can hardly move without some muscle tensing up and and telling me that moving 3+ skids of sod was a task I should have paid someone to do. But I rarely listen to my muscles.

Today was spent visiting, recuperating and moving the sprinkler. The lawn looks great. Thank you so much Tim , Vanessa, Dave and Linda.

Laying sod is hard work. Who knew?


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Rain rain go away

It's been raining here a lot. It seems almost everyday it's raining. Which doesn't help the landscaping we need to do.

The grubs got our lawn this year. There were whole patches of property that had no grass. And then the weeds started. It looked horrible.

We took drastic measures. We killed the whole lawn at the end of June with an unhealthy dose of Roundup. And last weekend we ripped it up. I rented an 8hp tiller which chewed through it like butter. We raked and shoveled and carted off two truckloads of crappy topsoil and dead grass/weeds. I'm in the middle of putting down new soil but the rain is getting in the way.

Hopefully tomorrow will be drier. But I doubt it.