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Monday, July 26, 2010

The first photo I took with my new camera.

We spent last week at Lakeside, Ohio, giving talks for their summer Chautauqua. This thoughtful man brought something nice along with him, as Father Time decreed that I would trudge a little farther into my fifth decade on July 24.

That somethin'-somethin' was a new camera for me. You see, when we visited Yellowstone National Park back in June, I left the park a little souvenir: My Canon Digital Rebel XTi, the faithful workhorse that has been delighting you all for the last four years. We were watching a peregrine and her chicks on a distant cliff, and there were bighorns nursing their lambies, and an Audubon's warbler close by, and I got excited and started pulling out optics and scopes and digiscoping stuff and in the kerfuffle I left my poor Rebel with its wonderful wide-angle lens on a low stone wall. And though we realized it right away and raced back 20 minutes later, that was enough leeway for somebody to steal it. What...a...fleepin'....bummer. Yeah, I reported it immediately at a nearby ranger station, and I reported it to Xanterra, the concessionaire at Yellowstone, but nobody ever turned it in. They took it home instead. Sure hope they liked my larkspur photos, the rat finks. I mean, what kind of creep could download photos of my kids and a bunch of wildflowers and bison and not want to return the camera to its mom? I just can't think about that.

Luckily I still had my newer Canon Digital Rebel XSi with the 70-300 mm. image-stabilized telephoto lens, so we finished out the trip shooting like mad as usual. But oh, I missed having two cameras, one for landscape and one for wildlife. I felt naked without having a camera on each shoulder.

Fortuitously, at that very spot, a semi-pro photographer had excitedly shown us his Canon Powershot G-11, the Cadillac of point-and-shoot cameras. He told us that every National Geographic photographer carries one; every pro working the Olympics has one. They use it for crowd shots, grab shots, everything. It has 10 mpxl with RAW capability; is crazy fast and sharp, and it's a delightful little chunk of metal in your hands. It was clear this guy with his big howitzer lenses was nuts about his little point-and-shoot.

So that's what Bill gave me for my birthday last week, a Canon G-11. And I started hitting that shutter button and every time I put it down Phoebe grabbed it, so we'll take you on the test drive together.

Wide angle. Everything's in focus. Chetty's watching for passing doggehs he can snorf at.

I missed my garden so much I brought it with me. Oh, look. Gladiolus bits.

Oh, and look. Grains of zinnia pollen.

See, I've never had macro capability, much less a camera that figures out when I need macro capability and automatically switches to it. I had the lens practically touching the flower for these shots.

The whole bouquet. Nothing dresses up a sunporch like homegrown glads. There's Chetty's leash, too. Whenever anyone said "walk," he'd dance out and grab it off the table and put it on the offender's knee. Oh, I love a talking dog.

The Canon G-11 has crazy MonkeyCam capability. You can swivel the big, bright LED screen so it faces BACKERDS, and you can point the camera right at yourselfs and see what you're shooting and get fabulous, hugely flattering pictures like this.

Oh, look. Phoebe's contact lens. She took dozens of dreamy self-portraits, as a newly minted teenager will. She turned the LED viewfinder around, stuck the camera in her eye and took a photo. I think she has 16 eyelash mites.

Mether. Take a picture of me, Chet Baker. Here, I will pose for it. And then let's go for another walk. I like walking on the lead here at Lakeside. It makes me feel important, and many nice older people stop and ask if I am one of those Boston Bulls. I like being called a Boston Bull.

I see you are still playing with your new toy. I will give you one more pose. But I hope that you know we could take much more interesting photos outside, if we went for a walk. A WALK. I am sending you a mental picture of us taking a WALK.

I think that if I concentrate hard enough, you will take me for a WALK. Hmm hmm hmm hmm. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk. Picture of me and you going for a walk. Hm hm.

All right, Chetty. We'll take you and the Canon G-11 for a WALK. Until Thursday, arribaderchy. And happy birthday to me! Thanks, babe. Bitchin' birfday present.

Astute readers (and that means all of you) will notice that there are hotlinks to these products right in the text. Hit a blue link, and it will take you to B&H Photo's product description page for that camera or lens. Decide that you want to buy it right then and there, or come back later and buy it by clicking on my link, and I get a little bitty kickback from B&H. It won't cost you a cent more; in fact, I've done all the research for you and found the fabulous cameras and lenses and the lowest price and best service around. It'll just help buy Baby some shoes.


Doncha love a point'n shoot? I think I'll be looking at that sweet hunka metal G-11 on line. Yay Bill!

Sorry to hear about your Canon, Julie. You wow'd us with that camera for a long time.


You'll love the camera, Julie! Besides AV and f/8, when doing macro if you need flash use the flash control (via funky settings) to turn down the flash. Sometimes it works; often the lens barrel throws a shadow.


Posted by Anonymous July 26, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Man oh man, I gotta get me one o'them G-11s! Part of me loves it because it's very very smart so I don't have to be, and another part loves it because it conjures a great Buck Owens song ("I don't know you from Adam, but if you're gonna play the jukebox, please don't play A-11, oh please, don't play A-11.")

I'm sorry your XSi took an involuntary walk, but I'm glad you've got a good guy who knows what kinda birthday presents his missus likes -- and gets 'em.

Very nice...the camera and the husband ! :)

Oh, what a great post. That Chet Baker is a charmer. I love my Canon Rebel but have been considering a point and shoot for a trip to Italy this fall so this is an especially helpful update. Good freckle detail, too.

There is nothing more alluring than a girl what isn't afraid of her own camera. Confidence! Elan! Je ne sais quoi! And by the way, you are moseying into your sixth decade. I recognize it; I'm throwing out a tow line.

Happy birthday!

Those pics of you guys are a riot!

Hmmn, Julie. I wonder. Do you end up liking the G11 better than your Rebel? I'm thinking about that delightful macro switch. I am also think about how my own Rebel of course doesn't do that.
However, I am very sad at the nature of the human being what stole your left-behind camera. Ick.

Karen, I love both cameras for different reasons. There's really no telephoto capability that I've found with the G-11, even with 20x zoom--a nearby robin is still pretty much a speck in the shot. But I do think it's the perfect compliment to a Rebel armed with 300 mm. telephoto. The telephoto does the wildlife; the G-11 does EVERYTHING else--landscapes, macros, snapshots, people.

Oh there's nothing like the joys a new camera can bring! Happy Birthday and happy shooting.

OH those macro shots, those wide angle pics. We've got the Rebel so maybe this would be just the thing to go wid it. Happy birthday to you, indeed!

OMG....You are such a Hoot. (Maybe a hoot owl wise and knowing. It would be in keeping with "our Lady of the Birds Moniker you've established)

Anybody who uses words like "rat fink" is clearly an old schooler 50+ maybe. That's a compliment by the way. Nobody else would understand those "dated words". I still use the words "ice box" to indicate the refrigerator. The grand kids ask me "What's an Ice box gram-ma?"

With that said I'm so happy you got a new pair of eyes for your birthday. What your eye sees through the camera's eye is so worthwhile and worth sharing, (which you always do with the rest of the nature class)just makes all of us out here who read your stuff wanna kiss your hubby's ______.

Thank You Julie Z, for sharing.

Gawrsh, I hope Bill is reading this!

Dang, now I've got camera envy. But I'm so glad you got an awesome camera AND an awesome homemade cake for your birfday!

Nice camera, takes great pics. I love point and shoot. I've had all that fancy photography lingo explained to a million times: depth of field; shutter speed; aperture; blah blah blah. I just like to point, zoom, and click. The rest just makes my head spin!

Great birthday present. I'd say someone knows you very well!

If it's possible, I hope you have as much fun writing these posts as we have reading them!!
And I'd say more but it's time for me to go find something to snorf at...

p.s... I'm not quite sure but I think that 1st photo just might qualify for a 'caption contest' on someone else's blog.

Sorry, but I was in college with you and I'm into my sixth decade. Just sayin'... Happy Birthday!

Posted by Anonymous July 28, 2010 at 4:06 PM

I've fully completed 5 decades and have a good start on my 6th. Suprises me every morning.

Some one obviously had camera envy.

I bought the SX 20 last year before our big trip to have as a back up to the Rebel and the 100-400 lens.

Found I used the "small" camera more than the "big" one. It was more versatile and did HD video as well.

Have fun with it.

I hope the "rat-fink" realizes he has the camera that belonged to the "FAMOUS JULIE ZICKEFOOSE" and really understands the ramifications of that fully !

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