July 2, 2010 – Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Friday, July 2, 2010


Umm, is anybody actually there? I figure by waiting until late in the afternoon on the Friday before a holiday weekend, I’ve already lost my entire U.S. audience. Well, whatever, they don’t know what they’re missing. Me and the rest of you guys can do without them.

Here’s another picture from this year’s Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. I found myself playing around with the boundary between tulips of two different colors. Some shots came out pretty well, others, not so much. I found that, in general, I was happiest with those where the very last row of the tulips of the color in front were in focus. I definitely played around with other focus points, and some of them definitely worked out okay, but “in general” (with big air-quotes), this is what tended to work the best. (Other things I tried were: focusing somewhere near the middle of the color in the foreground, focusing at the extreme front, and focusing on the closer flowers in the color that was further away – similar to the idea of focusing on the back of the front color, but definitely different.)

For this picture in particular, I was using my really old Quantaray telephoto lens. To review, that’s the first lens I ever bought to go with a digital camera. It’s passable, but it’s definitely not the best lens I’ve ever seen. But this all comes back to the idea that it’s really hard to find a “really good” telephoto lens that isn’t tremendously huge and doesn’t weigh several pounds. Obviously, there are those huge Canon lenses, the white-ish ones, that are all metal, and are a foot and a half long and like 6 inches in diameter. Those things are fantastic. But a) they’re not anything that resembles cheap, and 2) they’re HUGE, so the idea of taking them hiking is laughable. And recently I saw a reasonably-sized Canon lens that got decent reviews, but it was I think close to 1000 dollars, which is well more than I want to pay for a lens in that range. So this one isn’t that great, but any of the reasonably-priced, reasonably-sized alternatives aren’t quite enough of an improvement to justify the price. With the caveat that, I actually DID replace it recently, with the Canon 55-250, which also got what I’d call “reasonably” (I’m loving that word today) good reviews, and was in the realm of decently affordable. After using it for awhile, it’s.. fine. It’s not blowing me away, but it’s got image stabilization which is nice, so I guess it’ll do for now.

In other news, some random, totally awesome guy with fantastic taste put little old me in the list of his 5 favorite blogs. Neat!

Have a great holiday everyone. Or, if you’re not American, have a great Friday and Saturday, and at least a passable Sunday!

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Quantaray 70-300mm lens. 1/800s, f/7.1, ISO 100. Focal length: 248mm.

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