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Thursday, July 28, 2005

For as long as Iíve been talking about wanting a new camera, it only took me a few hours to decide to buy one. Once I had my sights set on the one I thought was right, I found the best price and ordered it. Itís actually taking me longer to figure out how to use it than it did from the time I thought of it to the time it was delivered to my door.

One thing I wanted was something a lot smaller than the bulky old Kodak Iíve been using for so many years. Itís been a good camera, but there are places I couldnít take it, and I could never hide it in the palm of my hand or stick it in my pocket. I can with the new Minolta (which I refuse to call by its new klunky corporate name).

There are some things I hadnít anticipated, like the fact that without a viewfinder, I have to depend on the LCD monitor to see what Iím shooting at. Thatís fine indoors, perfect even, but outside with a little sunlight at my back I can hardly see anything because of the glare. I have to guess, or I have to learn to figure things out a little better. It helps if I stand in the shade, but thatís not always possible.

Today I took my new camera and dropped in on Tammy and the kids. If I thought I could hide it, small as it is, from Aiden, I was wrong. He came marching over to me and reached out for it, and said, ever so brightly, ďCamera!Ē In fact, he said the word ďcameraĒ at least eighty times in the half hour I was there. He also left his grubby little marks on the monitor (but not on the lens, which is pretty well protected in this model).

And he pushed a couple of buttons. I didnít think it meant anything, but for some reason every shot I took while I was there was delayed for a few seconds before the shutter went off. Thatís why most of my photos are of empty air, because kids donít generally stay in one place long enough. I didnít get anything I was aiming at, and I got several shots of the place a child had been a few seconds before. Not exactly riveting stuff.

When I got home and looked at the manual, I discovered that the two buttons I know Aiden pushed were the two buttons that, pushed in sequence, turn on the red-eye flash. The red-eye flash delays the shutter time for a couple of seconds after the flash, supposedly to cut down on red-eye. (It doesnít work, especially with blue-eyed little boys. And itís very annoying to see your subject dart and dash out of frame before your camera gets around to taking the shot.)

Iím still not sure about the new camera, and Iíll definitely keep both cameras around for a while. But itís a lot of fun to play with a new toy, so that alone was almost worth the price. Aiden certainly loves my new camera, almost as much as he loves the old one.

28 July 2005

When I snapped this, Aiden was looking at me.

The photo in yesterdayís entry is the first one Iíve posted taken with the new camera. As I mentioned to my photography guru Jeannie, I think it shows a greater depth of field than similar shots I took with the old camera. I guess there are compensations for the petty gripes I have about the way it works. I can live with a few challenges, as long as the end product is something I can be happy with.

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The Giants got great pitching in Chicago but still lost two out of three. Every once in a while, someone has to step up and get a big hit at the right time. Tonight in Milwaukee it looked like more of the same, as Brad Hennessey was shutting down the Brewers. When he came to bat in the fifth inning, there was no score and the Giants didnít even have a hit in the game. Blam! Hennessey, the Giants pitcher, hit his first career homer, a three-run shot that gave his team a 3-0 lead that would be all they needed. He went on to throw seven shutout innings, and his bullpen kept the Brewers scoreless as the Giants won by that same 3-0 score. A win is a win, but when your pitcher provides all your offense, you have to shake your head just a bit.

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