The Best Lens on the Planet!

Adobe Lightroom 3

Imagine the following lens:

    1. Can capture wide angle panoramas
    2. Can capture detail as close as one inch away.
    3. Can capture detail as far away as 300 feet in most cases.
    4. Can adjust to extreme low light scenarios in an instant
    5. Can adjust to extreme bright light scenarios in an instant
    6. Can capture HDR imagery with no post processing
    7. Can capture 3-D in the truest sense of the word
    8. Can capture images with no pixelation
    9. Can capture the widest tonal range available in the visible light spectrum.

How much would you spend on these lenses? How much would you protect, treasure, and cherish them? We all love our high quality optical glass whether we be Canonites, Nikonians, Pentaxians, Olympians or whatever. Across all brands, we know the value of high quality optics, and also know that such optics do not come cheaply.

We also know that owning such gear requires regular maintenance. I know people who take a lens out of it’s case, place it on a camera, take a picture, and when done, replace it right back in the case. When the lens costs upwards of $5000 or even $10,000 for the super zooms, it’s understandable. Many would say that even the most expensive lenses in the market today do not meet all of the above 9 criteria. So, it’s kind of hard to put a price on such a hypothetical lens.

However, we are all given two of these lenses by default – even before we got into photography. What are these two lenses that are priceless? OUR EYES!

Think of all the time we spend cleaning our lenses, wiping them down, avoiding scuffs, chips, and keeping away from dust and dirt as much as possible. Then compare that to the amount of time we spend maintaining our optical health. It’s kind of ironic, eh?. So many of us take our eyes for granted. The moral of the story?


I just got back from my annual eye exam the other day, with some good and bad news. The good news is that the glaucoma and macular degeneration which runs in the family (both sides) has not reared its ugly head yet. The bad news is that apparently I am getting to an age in my eye health where I need a little assistance at both the near and far end of vision – in other words: bifocals! *shudder*

While it’s not the end of the world, and I certainly can swallow my pride, accept the fact that my eyes will see better and get the glasses, it is just another anecdote where a little education can come from it – to take care of your own lenses (your eyes).   After all, without your own lenses, the rest of the lenses in the world won’t make a difference!  On that note, let’s get out and use our eyes to capture the world around us!  Happy shooting, have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Monday!

Happy Thanksgiving

While the rest of the world thinks of this as Thursday, here in the USA today is called “Thanksgiving”, and it’s a day where Americans far and wide take some time to stop and take a moment of pause to consider everything they are thankful for.  While most bloggers in the U.S.  are taking the day off, I am actually bucking that trend with a few brief thoughts, specifically of what I am thankful for:

  1. My health – I know it sounds corny, but when you consider how many people are fighting off diseases and life-threatening circumstances, I am very lucky to be in fairly good health.  Granted I am a little over-weight, and a little under-exercised, but for the most part, am feeling in pretty good health considering.
  2. My wife – For those of you that read the blog regularly, you know that Tracy is my ever-supportive wife, who not only tolerates my obsession with photography and technology, but also encourages me to do things better, who constantly says she is proud of me, and will always be there for me when I need her most.  She is literally the best thing that has ever happened to me and I am a lucky guy to have her.
  3. My Freedom – I rarely get political on the blog, but we Americans take so much for granted when it comes to freedom.  We have freedom of speech, expression, the right to bear arms, the right to vote, and so much more that others across the world only dream of.  That freedom came at a price – and that is the lives of many of our servicemen and women.  So, I also would like to tangentially give some thanks to our troops both domestically and abroad.
  4. My Family – Again, it sounds corny, but there are so many homeless folks, orphans, and people who live alone in the world – to have the benefits of having a family (even when they drive you bonkers) is to have it all.
  5. The viewers and readers – That’s right – without the readers, listeners, and friends I’ve made through all of this time online, this blog would be just another voice in the wind of the internet.  It’s the encouragement and participation from readers and listeners of the blog and podcast that has often kept me motivated to keep on going, and the success the blog and podcast have seen is due mostly to the inspiration, encouragement, and feedback I’ve received from each and every listener out there.

What are you thankful for?

And the Winner Is…

With the November giveaway deadline behind us, it was time to look at all the submissions and pick a winner from the set of entries.  Without further ado, the winner of the November Contest/Giveaway is:

Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland

The theme for the contest was “Winter” and though it was a little early for this, Yvonne took her creativity to new levels by doing some rather unique post processing on an image and it worked!  It looks like she converted this to black and white or added an infrared filter of some kind.  Not sure what exactly she did, but it sure gave me shivers when I looked at it, so, congratulations to Yvonne for your creative vision, and for winning the November giveaway.  If you see this before I get a chance to find you, send me an email to claim your prizes.  I’ll be sending Yvonne a $25 gift card to B&H Photo, a DVD for the Best of Photoshop User TV, Season 11, and a book from Matthew Bamberg.  Be sure to stop by Yvonne’s photo stream on Flickr, and her website for more wonderful photos and to congratulate her.

Thanks to the folks at NAPP for the DVD, to Matthew Bamberg for contributing a copy of his book, and for everyone who participated.  I know it was challenging as many people noted that it wasn’t very “wintery” in their area yet. Hopefully though, Yvonne’s creativity showed us that you can create wonderful winter-like scenes any time of year – you just need to post process a little.

Stay tuned for the announcement of the December giveaway this Friday, while recovering from your turkey-induced tryptophan slumbers!  Believe it or not, tomorrow is not going to ne a no-blog day – something special is scheduled for your reading enjoyment.  Regardless, have a Happy Thanksgiving, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow!  Don’t forget those cameras, and keep on shooting!