At least I tried (and other good news)


© David Guidas

Last night, after I finished my post, I walked down to the store on the corner. It was dark out and on the way back to my house I noticed the frozen grass in my yard reflecting the lights from nearby businesses. It was a cool (literally) looking scene and I thought I would try to capture it. Try, being the key word.

My yard is elevated along my driveway and I thought I could get a low angle shot by shooting from my driveway. But I have a chain link fence in the way and in order to get under the fence I had to lay on the sloping yard next to the drive. It was frozen snow so I didn’t mind that so much, but doing that threw off the angle I wanted. Since it was so dark and a long exposure was needed I also had to figure a way to steady the camera. I grabbed the cheap tripod that I carry in my truck and had to think of a way to pull it all off. I ended up just laying the tripod on the slope and basically using the ball head for the support.  My angle was still a little too low but I tried to compose a shot anyhow to see what would happen. Manual focus was a necessity because AF would have been too difficult in the low light along with trying to focus on the slim blades of grass. In the end, I didn’t quite get what I intended. I would have liked a few more blades of grass sticking up and a little bit of a lighter background. What looks like a blazing sunset in the background is just a light from a sign. But considering what I went through, I’ll take it. Pentax K20D, DA55-300.

This was another occasion where I think a camera with a movable LCD would have come in handy. I’ve mentioned that a few times from doing my 365 project last year but I couldn’t seriously consider buying anything because of my employment situation, or lack thereof. The work I was doing last summer and fall was a temporary position with a small engineering company. It was a great opportunity at the time and saved me from any further financial problems. Plus the work lasted longer than anyone expected and that helped me get ahead a little more. But the projects wrapped up around Christmas and I was laid off again. And although they had every intention of calling me back to work in spring, I can now happily say that I have secured a new full-time job with a local company. It was about a 3-month time span from initial application to the interview and it’s a really good position, right in my area of experiences, with a great company that’s been around for over 120 years and I’m excited to get started in February. And once I get the finances back in shape a little, I can seriously think about getting some new camera gear! Yippee! 🙂

  One thought on “At least I tried (and other good news)

  1. January 22, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Congrats on the job! When I bought my Nikon (my first DSLR) I wondered if a movable LCD would be needed. I can tell you now I have found plenty of occasions to use it. It really does come in handy. Good luck with the new job and your new camera gear.

    • January 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Thanks. I used a Lumix G1 in the past so I know how handy the swivel LCD is, although I still prefer a viewfinder for most of my shooting.

  2. January 23, 2012 at 3:49 am

    Genius to notice this and create such a nice image!!

  3. January 23, 2012 at 4:35 am

    Awesome news on the job! Congrats! If you’re reasonably happy with the Pentax, I’d recommend waiting to see what comes out from them (or gets announced) over the next half year or so, now that they’re owned by Ricoh. Rumours abound about what is in the works with their new models, but it is all largely based on conjecture. I’ve got the K-5 and wouldn’t trade it in for the world! Plus you’ve already got gear for the system. Just my 2 pence, anyway.

    • January 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Thanks Matt. I’ll most likely stick with Pentax as I don’t see a need to be switching systems. I’ll probably upgrade to a K-5 soon and if Pentax/Ricoh offers something in the coming months as a supplement then that will be cool, otherwise I’ll just add a M43 camera or similar for such occasions.

  4. January 23, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I really enjoy looking at other’s camera work but am fearful I’ll always be more amateur than I desire. Any photoblogs you’d suggest for newbies with dslr cameras?

    • January 24, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      My only advice is to get out there and shoot. Experiment and practice to see what works for you. The beauty of digital is you can shoot endless photos, so don’t be afraid to take multiple shots at different settings to see what happens. As far as basics on operating the camera there are plenty of online tutorials. Digital photography basics are the same as film photography basics so even looking at books (my favorite) on photography in general will help. You can read the forums on that pertain to your certain brand and model of camera to know it’s strengths and weaknesses (which may stop you from blaming yourself at times). Since I don’t know what kind of imaging you like take a look at the site and look around at some of the blogs. There is a lot of good work there to inspire you.

  5. January 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm


    • January 24, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks Nathan. It feels good after the past few years.

  6. January 26, 2012 at 12:20 am

    This shot was well worth the effort it took to get it.

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