Sunday, 22 January 2012

My New Toy

Howdy everyone!  How long has it been since my last post?  Oh... a long time.  Right.  Sorry about that.  I'll be perfectly honest - I've been suffering from a severe lack of motivation and inspiration lately.  Euphy and I are hoping to go to China this year, and that's looking really good... but it's also looking like it won't happen until October or November.  It's going to be a pretty lean year for me in terms of vacations, so I'm afraid that there's a real risk of these posts continuing to be pretty sporadic.  For now though I've got something fun to post!

I just picked up a new camera!  I've been on the fence for the last couple years about upgrading to a more serious camera, but the price point of even an entry-level DSLR has always held me back.  In the post-Boxing Day sales though I came across a gem that I just couldn't pass up.  I scored an Olympus E-PL1 Micro 4/3 camera.  For those of you unfamiliar with micro four-thirds it's an emerging new style of camera that seems very well suited for people like me who are interested in getting a little more serious with their photography without breaking the bank or lugging around a massive camera.  While they lack the proper viewfinders of full-sized DSLR cameras, micro 4/3 cameras are smaller and generally cheaper while still offering a more customized and powerful range of shooting options.  They take a smaller lens, which keeps them compact, but the 4/3 format means that they effectively double the focal length when compared to a traditional 35mm camera.  So, for example, my stock 14-42mm lens would give me the same range as a 28-84mm lens on a 35mm camera.  I was able to pick up the camera with the stock lens plus a 40-150mm lens for half price!  So I may not be 100% in to the DSLR game, but I'm a heck of a lot closer.

The only unfortunate thing about grabbing up this cool new camera was that I've got no big trips on the horizon, and I've been struggling to find things to point it at.  I can only take so many pictures of Euphy around the house before she gets annoyed with me.  To that end we made a trip out to the Toronto Zoo this morning.  It's not quite as active there during the Winter in terms of what animals are out and about, but it's also a LOT less active in terms of the human herds.  Free parking and an abundance of free space around all the good viewing areas make a Winter visit to the zoo an appealing proposition.  It was a great chance for me to get the camera out and really put it to work!  I was trying to get some shots of the wolves, but they were (unsurprisingly) pretty chilled out while we were walking by and I couldn't get a good shot.  That is until we left the nearby Australasia pavilion and started to hear them howling!  We made haste for their area just in time for me to see one in the classic pose - head thrown back in a long howl.  Unfortunately I didn't get my camera to my face in time to capture the moment, but it was still awesome to see, and the whole pack began a brisk jog around the compound so I had a chance to take some much more lively photos.

I ended up taking a ton of photos (197, 168 of which I kept) and I can't imagine just posting a half dozen of them here for you all to see.  I've uploaded them all to my Picasa site and I'll post the link here.  I allowed the Picasa app to shrink down the images a bit for easy upload, but they still look pretty good.  Please, enjoy:

Well, that's all for now.  I'm going either figure out something interesting to write about so that I can keep these posts more frequent, or failing that, I'll find a way to notify everyone of my infrequent posts when they happen.  Until the next time, be well my friends.

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