Thursday, January 7, 2010

Maybe I'm Just Hopped Up on Caffeine.

I don't drink caffeine, for the record. I cut it out cold turkey a few years back when I was having mysterious pains in my side that were thought to be kidney related and turned out to be...nothing. That took a lot of expensive, invasive medical tests and many, many copays to discover. (Side note: acupuncture, you work, yay!)

If you want to cause some suffering in your life, cut out caffeine cold turkey. Day 1 is fine, you're just a little sleepy. On Day 2, you realize that maybe you should have gone the "half caf/half decaf" weaning route, because the withdrawal headache and accompanying soul crushing fatigue feels worse than any flu. By Day 3, you are starting to come out of the trenches, and on day 4, liberation! If you're going cold turkey, do it over a long holiday weekend, when you have only your family to make miserable with you.

I do drink decaf (not everyday), because I like the taste of coffee. Some weeks (like this one), an iced Dunkin Decaf (cream, 3 Truvia), is what I need to convince myself going to work is a good idea. I only get one on the ride in.

Anyhoo, none of that is related to this post.

I'm excited! I bought myself my birthday present from CPM yesterday. Yes, my birthday is still 44 days away. But my vacation is 9 days away. And my present will come in handy...I upgraded my DSLR!

I'm sticking with Olympus. After four days of research, including the creation of an actual spreadsheet, I've decided that I like my Olympus E500 (last year's present) enough to simply upgrade to the E620.

I also got a new lens. I'm adding the Olympus 18-180 mm lens to my arsenal of glass. The kit lenses that come with the camera are great, but I learned a valuable DSLR lesson on a previous trip...when I'm on vacation, I do not feel like lugging my camera bag around with me on walks so that I can change lenses. I want to toss my camera in my purse and go. Having any Olympus makes this pretty easy, since their four-thirds system means that their cameras are a bit smaller than those made by Canon/Nikon.

I'm no professional. I'm just an amateur who wants to occasionally print out one of my shots, or take shots that are blog-worthy. Over the past year, I've taken one or two photos that make me really happy. Unfortunately, most times I treat the DSLR like a big point and shoot, giving no serious thought to composition, lighting, etc. I stick to aperture-priority shooting most of the time (as if I know what I'm doing), and mostly, I use the 50mm lens that I bought several months back. I'll never be a pro, and I'm okay with that. I just don't have the time in my life. I'm okay with photographic mediocrity. Once in a while, I get "the" shot.

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