Friday, January 11, 2008

January Harvest

Now this is unprecedented.

This carrot was picked yesterday in southeastern Pennsylvania, which is about 40 degrees North latitude.

Yes, that's right. A January harvest. And it was good too.

Seriously weird.* I have a voicemail in to Al Gore.

There is another January harvest of sorts I wanted to share. A new addition to the Clarity of Night family:

This is something I've been salivating over, and my birthday was a good excuse to splurge. It's a revolutionary lens by Nikon that offers extreme focal length range (18 to 200mm) with good optics and a vibration reduction system. It's going to make a difference here, because I can be far more flexible in my framing of shots. The ability to go from wide angle to substantial zoom is awesome.

It's not lost on me that photography is the quiet anchor of this blog. I take it for granted, which is kind of crazy, but it's such a nice creative outlet that it doesn't feel like work. Which brings me to a question. Do you ever want to discuss photography issues here? (I'm thinking not, but what the heck, I'll ask.)

Here's a Photography 101 hint of the day. Always buy a UV filter to fit any new lens. By leaving one on permantently, you not only get the beneficial effects of the filter (less "haze" in distant landscape shots), but if you accidently damage the front the lens, you don't have to be put on suicide watch. You've only destroyed an inexpensive filter, not the lens itself.

(*You may be wondering why such a lovely carrot was not picked at a proper harvest time. The answer, my friends, lies in the epic Groundhog Wars of 2007. You see, during a bitter, brutal, and frankly personal struggle, an entire crop of carrots was stunted by the periodic nipping of two naughty groundhogs. But, as you can see, we had the last laugh, because apparently September to January is now a viable growing season in our area.)


Cléa said...

A fellow photographer I see :).

I've got my eye on the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM to complement my range of lenses. Going digital meant the old 24mm is no longer wide enough.

SzélsőFa said...

Hungary is located between Northern latitudes 45 and 48, but the soil is frozen as deep as 5-10 centimetres. No alive carrot woul be able to come out as nicely as yours!
Congratulations on the new lens!
Considering myself an amateur photographer, I'd like to read some photography-related stuff.

Jaye Wells said...

Neat new toy! I personally would love to see a series of stories based on the Epic Groundhog Battle of 2007.

Sarah Hina said...

I saw a honeybee two days ago. Weird.

Have fun with the new lens! I don't have access to a good camera, but still wouldn't mind hearing about your process. Your photographs deserve more discussion, anyway. :)

Anonymous said...

That's a stunning photograph of a carrot. Amazing story. No Groundhog Day there. I'm jealous of the lens. I'm looking more and more at getting a new full functioning digital SLR and not just a point and shoot. 8)

Unknown said...

It is quite odd to think that this far in the northern hemisphere the climate has changed enough to allow such a phenomenon. Let me know what Gore has to say! :)

I was knee deep in photography throughout high school and college. Somewhere along the way I forgot that I enjoyed it. Hmmm? I must rethink that.

The Anti-Wife said...

My little 5 meg, 3X zoom Panasonic digital camera is about all I can handle. I admire your zeal for your hobby and your muscles for being able to carry that thing around.

Winter carrots - one of the benefits of global warning.

Chris Eldin said...

I would love to talk about the *photographs* more than the photography. How long did it take to get a certain shot? What drew you to the photo? Why did you frame it in such a way.....

Congratulations on your very nice and useful birthday present!

Anonymous said...

Bemused, that's the issue of film size vs. sensor chip size, correct? Digital lenses act 1.5x longer than film lenses.

Szelsofa, normally we'd be frozen here too! Very strange. Regarding photography, it would be fun to talk about some issues once in a while.

Jaye, oh, it was arduous. Kind of like trench warfare in WWI. Some of the combatants are no longer with us, I'm afraid.

Sarah, if one strikes you and you want to know more, feel free to ask for the inside scoop! I'm never going to be a great painter, but photography nevertheless lets me express things visually. Also, this purchase was my commitment to go forward with the project I mentioned to you.

Quoinmonkey, there's no comparison! You won't regret going the SLR route. :)

Quoting Beth, that is very similar to me. I was very much into it in high school, then dropped it. Rediscovering the passion has been wonderful.

Anti-Wife, yes, it is quite a bit heavier....

Church Lady, I plan to put it to very good use. If you ever want to know more about a photograph, I'd be happy to share.

LiVEwiRe said...

But just wait until February 2nd... they'll be plotting their revenge! Muhuhuhahaha! Ahem. Good tip for saving your lens! I want to get an old manual back in my hands - some of the best photos I've taken were with that basic model. Happy new year, btw!

x said...

Hilarious and informative, with curvaceous carrot shot. What more could a reader want? I've given up photography after years of expensive, pre-digital equipment started gathering dust. I'd hate to pick up yet another time consuming hobby but it does get you outdoors, that lens is sure tempting, and not to mention the allure of the carrot.

The Quoibler said...

We must have the naughty groundhog's cousin in our backyard. S/he nibbled on one of my son's toys... it was a good lesson for him: "Always bring your trucks and cars inside if you love them."

I'd like to learn about photography from you and the others here at Clarity of Night. I've always wanted to be a photographer, but I stink.


I'm near your neck of the woods... my herb garden still has parsley, sage, and oregano growing in it! I haven't touched it since late autumn. Kind of nice to see something growing even in the middle of January.


Sarah Hina said...

Glad to hear that you're still considering that project, Jason. I was wondering about that the other day. :)

As far as photography goes, I have infinite interest, and very little capacity. I wanted a nice camera for Christmas, but it wasn't in the cards. Someday...

Unknown said...

Congratulations on the new purchase: it looks exceptional. Not buying a polarizing filter for my camera when I just got it was a big mistake. I'm not even sure that they still make 'em for that model.

On the subject of the Daucus carota: d'you think climate change has a hand in it?

Terri said...

You're so right about a filter - I had one for my old 35mm SLR, recently sold :( but couldn't get one for my Fuji when I bought it. Digital is clever but the filter makes a big difference in harsh daylight.

As to your question: mostly I like to look at photographs, rather than discuss the technicalities. Yet another indication that I'm actually a lazy photographer :)

Congrats on your purchase - I'm sure you'll have loads of fun with it and make us all jealous with the results.

Anonymous said...

Livewire, great to see you! Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, I'm not looking forward to Feb. 2nd. Some bad mojo is gonna go down.

TIV, thankfully I didn't have a tremendous investment in film equipment. I could see it being very hard to retire a full array and begin anew.

Angelique, chewing on toys, eh? You got some pretty brazen buggers out there. I'm not surprised your garden season is similarly extended. Your neck of the woods isn't terribly different in climate.

Sarah, I hope you do pick up a camera someday. It would be nice to see your vision of the world. And I appreciate your thoughts on my little project! :)

Electric Orchid Hunter, I have a polarizer on my old Cokin filter system. As long as you have the right size adapter ring, the entire array of filters will fit.

Terri, does the Fuji have a strange size? The funny thing is, I really don't know the difference in using a UV filter versus not. All of my lenses have had one. I'm not terribly into the technical side either. I was thinking about basic issues only. It might help folks who want to get into it.

Liane Spicer said...

Lovely lens you've got there. Lovely carrot, too.

I have no objection to the photography talk. One of the things I plan to do with my minuscule advance is get a decent SLR camera. It's been an old, old dream of mine.