Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New camera tripod

For the past several years, I’ve been using a really cheap tripod with my camera. I knew it wasn’t very high quality (I spent probably $20 on it years ago), but whenever I looked at higher-end tripods, the prices always scared me away.

Well, this week, after struggling with trying to get sharp pictures using a wobbly flimsy tripod while using my heavy 400mm telephoto lens, I finally decided to get a better tripod. I talked to a friend of mine who does professional photography and got some recommendations. I ended up settling on a tripod made by Manfrotto - the 190XPROB with the 486RC2 ball head attachment.

I received the tripod today and WOW, it makes a huge difference in the sharpness of my pictures vs. using the old tripod.

Here’s a picture of what the whole thing looks like with my camera attached:


This is a close-up of the ball head attachment. The ball head uses a nifty quick-release mechanism for quickly attaching and releasing the camera. No more scrambling to quickly turn a hard-to-reach screw to attach the camera to the tripod before a bird flies away.IMG_0901-3.cgGMYEc9OlCv.jpg

The tripod ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​a​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​l​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​s​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​o​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​i​​​​​​​​​n​​​​​​​​​​​​​c​​​​​​​​​​​​​​l​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​u​​​​​​​​​​​​​​d​​​​​​​​​​​​e​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​s​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​a​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​s​​​​​​​​​​​​​​m​​​​​​​​​​​​​​a​​​​​​​​​​​​​l​​​​​​​​​​​​l​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​s​​​​​​p​​​​​​​​​​​​​i​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​r​​​​​​​​​​i​​​​​​​​​​​t​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​l​​​e​​​​​​​​​​​v​​​​​​​​​e​​​​​​l​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​b​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ui​​​​​​​​​​​​​l​​​​​​t​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​i​​​n​​​​​​t​​​o​​​ ​​​​​​t​​​h​​​​​​e​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​fr​​​​​​​​​​​​a​​​​​​m​​​​​​e​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​f​​​​​​o​​​​​​r​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​q​​​u​​​i​​​​​​c​​​k​​​l​​​y​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​de​​​t​​​erm​​​in​​​in​​​g​​​ i​​​​​​​​​​f ​​​​​​​​​​​​th​​​e​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​tripod ​​​​​​i​​​s​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​l​​​e​​​​​​​​​v​​​e​​​​​​l​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


The tripod cost about $145, and the ball-head was another $75. Yeah, it seems very pricey compared to the $20 tripod I had before, but this thing is very well made and should last my lifetime. Plus, the key point is it lets me take noticeably better photos, so I think it’s definitely worth it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

An interesting quote from "The Last Lecture"

I got a copy of the book "The Last Lecture" from some friends for Christmas. I was reading it today and came across this quote:

“No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse. At the same time, it is often within your power to make them better.”

I find it an interesting way to look at situations - it’s realistic, yet somewhat optimistic.

(In case you haven’t heard of it, “The Last Lecture” is a book based on a talk given by Randy Pausch, a professor from Carnegie Mellon, after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. You can read more about it here.)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Random EyeDull Photo: Male Cardinal

It's a bit grainy, but so far this is the best I've been able to get of this guy. I often see him out the window while I'm working at my desk, but he doesn't seem to sit still for long.

Random EyeDull Photo: Female Cardinal

Random EyeDull Photo: It's all a blur

Gah! I'll get a clean shot of you one of these times!

Random EyeDull Photo: One that got away

Monday, December 21, 2009

Douglas Hut

Nice day for a hike to the hut. Got to make some fresh tracks in the
snow. Surprised no one hiked this trail yet since the snow storm.

Sled dogs?

I should have worn skis for this hike in the snow.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Lemon Blossom

It may be the first snow of the season here, but this indoor lemon
tree decided to bloom today.

Sunday, December 06, 2009