Sunday, December 29, 2013

A 50 mm walk in the park

My lovely wife gave me the gift of music for Christmas. Specifically, she gave me the promise of music since I've now set out to reacquaint myself with an instrument I haven't touched since high school, almost 20 years ago. Practice sessions during the past couple of days have left the fingers on my left hand not quite bloody but certainly numb. The D chord seems to be winning, for now.

They say practice makes perfect after all.

Unfortunately, I haven't been getting a lot of practice behind the lens of late. The doldrums began as many as two months ago in late October. Maybe you know the drill: too much to do, not enough time, too dark, too much rain, too much sun, nothing to photograph. Slump.

I nearly dropped some cash on a new lens to get me in the mood when a familiar adage began to ring in my mind. Learn to love the gear you have. Master your equipment. Anyone who's read any number of photo blogs will be familiar with this advice. The underlying message is to suck it up and shoot.

I grabbed my camera and a 50 mm lens with a yearning to narrow my focus. I've shot some big scenes this year. Landscapes don't often get much larger than Mt. Rainier, the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park or some of the great trips I've taken on Vancouver Island. If the "nifty-fifty" made the trip, it inevitably stayed in the bag.

Ruckle Park  really does have something for just about everyone. It occupies the site of one of Salt Spring's earliest homesteads. A caretaker family oversees the operation of an active farm and a web of trails leads through forested areas and along the coast. It's a great place to bring family or any group of people with varying levels of comfort with the outdoors. If the place worked with father-in-laws and great uncles, it was probably a perfect spot to start something special with my forgotten lens.


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