Imp and the bird we saved from Tractor, our killing-machine cat. :-)
Nifty 50 lens (50mm f1.8)
You might have noticed that I love taking photos of my kids. And I love messy hair. Imp took a nap and came running in to me with this amazing curly mess on top of his head and I had to run and get my camera.
Luckily I had my trusty Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lenson my ol' Canon Rebel XT (yeah, still no new camera, this one is the Timex of the camera world, ... it keeps on taking lickins' and still goes on tickin'). It was a rainy dark day but I had some window light and a moment when Imp did not move and I captured the image seen above.
Oh, that is the BEST bed hair. And in case you are interested, here are my numbers: 50mm, f2.5, 1/30s, ISO 400, Av Mode. I processed it in LightRoom2 (and cropped it and added rounded corners in Photoshop CS4 using my action Web Rounded Corners). Not bad for a $100 lens, a semi-dark room and a wiggly Imp!
So if you haven't purchased this baby yet, go check it out. It is a light little plastic lens, but it take great photos. Especially for portraits and those low light situations. You don't have to go broke to take beautiful photos (or photos of your son's messy hair). :-)
Natural Light Child Photography (a very informative group on Flickr) had a thread on this lens running today if you can believe it! You can read it here if you need any more convincing.
If you can spend a little bit more, check out the 50mm f1.4 version. It is much more sturdy ... and is even better in low light. This is on my list of things I would like to buy when I have some extra money. Extra money; I can dream, right? ;-) But for now I am perfectly happy with its cheaper brother.
I always like to tell people that to take a great image you don't need expensive equipment. I have photos that I took with a 110 camera as a child that I cherish. You don't always need perfect tack-sharp focus, just check out some of the great photographer's work back before digital cameras and you will be shocked by the soft focus on many of their greatest artistic achievements.
There are even entire Flickr groups dedicated to those less than perfect and even blurry photos. Check out the Blartsy group. Blur + Artsy = Blartsy!!! Or this amazing set.
I think we sometimes get too caught up with the excitement of technology and the newest and greatest equipment out there (if only I had THAT camera and THAT lens and my images would be perfect...). I fall into that trap myself even though I have a perfectly decent camera that takes perfectly decent photos.
If you are a professional, you might need expensive equipment. But for those of you out there like me, photographing just for your own pleasure, concentrate on taking those photos you will pull out when you are old and gray that will melt your heart and make you laugh.
Bring your camera with you as much as possible (one reason you might not want to buy those huge heavy professional cameras!) and take photos of your "normal boring" life, because those are the priceless images. The photos of mud or paint on your child's face, your dog sleeping with the cat, your husband or boyfriend working out in the yard with his shirt off :-), your grandmother laughing over coffee, and your father reading the paper in his favorite recliner are what photography is all about. Those are the photos you will cherish in the future, more than the technically spot-on gorgeous photo of that perfect rose or sunset.
Technically perfect images are nice, but the photos that invoke emotion and memory are the ones that are most important. And there will be those amazing times in your life you will have forgotten your camera or been too busy to pull it out. Don't fret, because sometimes you just need to enjoy the moment. :-)