That’s right, this post isn’t called “13 weeks.” I figured it was time to switch from weekly official Gabrielle updates to monthly, as she has reached a stage where she won’t really be changing that much on a weekly basis from now on. The good news is that tomorrow is her 3 month “birthday” so you will get your first monthly fix without much delay. Pretty much every post is about her anyway, so all I’m doing is really just reserving the right to title the posts differently and to stop keeping track of how many weeks she is!
I finally reached the end of my patience for bad photography. Our point-and-shoot, albeit a little dated now, does a fine job on outdoor landscapes but a horrible job on baby pictures! It is too slow in taking the picture so every picture ends up blurry because my subject moves a lot. But if I increase the speed at which the picture is taken, then the picture ends up really grainy. Plus, it does a terrible job with colors in a indoor (low light) setting, so Gabrielle ends up red, blue, orange, or some other unatural shade.
Now, on to a solution! I borrowed my mom’s old Nikon D100, but it needed a lens. I read all about lenses until I felt pretty comfortable with what I needed, mainly a larger aperature (i.e. low f-number) to let more light in faster. Essentially that means more details and more light in less time, perfect for portraits and sports photography where things move fast.
As I started browsing, I was bombarded with a choice of variable focal lengths lenses with various aperture choices. The wider the focal length range (a.k.a zoom) and the larger the aperture, the more expensive it is. For something in the f/2 range like I wanted, I was looking into a $1700 lens (basically the lens my mom has). Enter heart attack here.
Finally I found a better solution: fixed focal length. A lens with 50mm fixed focal length and f/1.8 aperture is only $120! The limitation of a fixed focal length is that I will have to get the proper distance between me and the subject by moving my feet instead of zooming in and out. Also being so specific, I will only get one type of picture, sharp subject against blurry background. But for the money, I’m willing to live with those limitations for now! So I bought a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor lens from Costco.com, I should receive it within a few days. And thanks to Costco’s 90 day return policy, I have until my birthday (good timing!) to decide if I want something fancier. As far as reviews are concerned, the lens I bought gives excellent results for portaits, hopefully I will be able to use it well enough to get better pictures of Gabrielle! At least I have a good teacher available (hi mom!).