electronics playground

This afternoon, I went to B&H in search and research of a new camera after selling my Canon Rebel T3i a few weeks ago. My goal is to find a mirrorless camera that, by definition, is lighter and less bulky than a digital single-lens reflex, but offers better photo quality and more modern features that my dated 2012 camera did not offer. Look at all these things I can consider now: Mirrorless! HD video! 4K video (WHAT?)! An electronic viewfinder! Wi-Fi built in! The options are endless, which can be a bit of a danger since I’m a camera novice, and these days, I’m really over fiddling with aperture and thinking about F-stop, and just want to shoot on no-flash or automatic. The fussiness just wasn’t for me in the end, even though I wanted it to be.

I spent some time playing around with mirrorless cameras from Canon, Panasonic, and Sony. My loyalty in the back of my mind is still with Canon since I’ve had almost all Canon cameras since 2004, when my brother first got me my very first point-and-shoot digital camera. But the Canon mirrorless does not offer an electronic view finder; it’s got its touch-and-view screen only. I’m so used to using a viewfinder that I wonder if that may end up being a deal breaker for me. But you can flip the screen fully around! And you cannot do that with the Sony or the Panasonic screens.. which only tilt half-way, and I’m not even sure what the value of that tilt is in real life when traveling or shooting food/cooking.

B&H truly was an electronics playground full of geeks who knew 100 times more about cameras than I did. Many conversations I overheard were for serious amateur photographers and even professional photographers who owned cameras that were in excess of $5,000, no lens! I definitely felt like a novice in there, though. People really knew what they were talking about in depth.

Wedding catastrophies

Tonight, I had two chats with two different prospective photographers I’m considering hiring for our wedding. One question I like to ask photographers is what is the craziest thing that has ever happened in a wedding that they did not anticipate, and how did they handle it (from a photography perspective). Tonight, I got an answer I wasn’t that prepared for. Usually when I ask this question, I really mean to ask if any spiffs happened with family, if family members were uncooperative with the photographer in getting the family/friends shots, etc. Tonight, a photographer told me that the worst thing that ever happened at a wedding was when one by one, each of the reception table centerpieces caught on fire because of the flowers hanging too low above the tea light candles. The bride had hired a florist who wasn’t experienced with doing weddings as a way to save money, but when the florist made the arrangements and placed the candles around the vases, she didn’t realize she was placing them ominously close to the flowers. So they all caught on fire. As a word of advice, she said to me, try to make sure you hire a florist who is very experienced with wedding florals and arrangements.

And of course, this light show was not photographed.

Late mail and photo cards

During our time in the Southern Hemisphere in December, we set up mail hold with USPS. In 2012 when we did this, we had no problems, and on the first day we arrived back, our mail was already in a big bag waiting for us at the front door. This year didn’t go so smoothly. This time around, the mail arrived a week late after I called USPS and the local post office almost a dozen times altogether to complain and demand that the mail be delivered as originally requested. Frustrating, but I suppose it’s better late than never.

In the mail, I received three “happy holiday” photo greeting cards from each of my three cousins. This is a regular thing that they will be sending probably for as long as they live (or aren’t wrinkly, maybe). This past year, Chris and I sent a few photo greeting cards but limited it to just a few people we thought would appreciate them..and I guess my relatives. It made me wonder whether we will be that family who, once we have children, will send these photo greeting cards, year after year. I tend to keep these because I generally always keep cards and photos for sentimental reasons, but how many of these actually just get tossed every year? Who really appreciates opening and receiving these things? Are my cousins going to keep the ones that I send?

For some reason, I am strongly doubtful.