A Long Cold Winter in New Jersey

Next time I decide to get a new camera I think I’ll wait until the springtime! It’s been a very long and cold winter here in New Jersey and it’s been difficult to get outside to take some photos.  It’s been snowing every other day for the past month and I found myself fearful of taking my camera outside to take a picture. I was afraid to get snowflakes on it. Will I ruin my lens? Can my lens actually operate in 0 degree weather? Perhaps a more seasoned photographer out there could advise me as to the wisdom of taking a really good camera out into bad weather. I guess a reasonable answer is, if no one took their camera out into the bad weather we’d have no pictures of the snow or rain. But how do you protect your camera and is it reasonable for a newbie to avoid extreme weather conditions?

My time has not been wasted during these harsh winter months. In between shoveling feet of snow and driving very carefully I’ve been looking for some keen camera angles and waiting for a break in the weather to snap a few winter scenes. Here are a few I was able to get the other day in about 36 degree weather (which felt quite warm!).

The picture below was taken along a walking path in the Saddle River County Park (Saddle Brook area) in NJ. What I liked about this picture was this small area where it was just water. The entire lake was frozen except this one little section and for me it was the first sign that Spring was just around the corner (11 days from the time of this post).

Winter in New Jersey

Winter in New Jersey

Here’s a picture of the entire frozen lake. The photo above was taken way down the other end of this picture. You can’t tell where the earth and water begin or end. What I like about this picture is the shadow of the tree branches on the snow. It reminds me of the roots of the tree below the surface.

Tree Roots in the Snow.

Roots in the Snow

Here’s another view of the frozen lake:

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The Thaw Begins

Even the bench can’t wait for Spring!

Reflections of Winter 2015.

Reflections of Winter 2015

Along this path:

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A Winter Path

We found this:

A Cozy Crazy Cabin in the Woods

A Cozy Crazy Cabin in the Woods

How nice is this?! I think this little cabin is the owner’s way to bring color and excitement to the not so colorful white world of winter.

Our walk this past weekend was nice, but my face was frozen toward the end of our walk. I felt a little rusty using my big fat new camera out in the cold, but I think I did ok. My camera didn’t freeze or stop working, nothing happened to the lens or buttons. It was my first “bad weather outing” with it. No precipitation was falling out of the sky but it was a bit windy and there was snow on the ground in some places. Nevertheless, my camera is safe and sound with me waiting for our next big photo shoot! LOL!

My Big Fat New Camera Is Here!

Well, today is the day I received a REAL camera. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ve owned cameras before, but this camera is different. It’s not the box camera I had as a child in the 60’s, or the Polaroid I had in the seventies, or the flat Kodak pocket camera I had in the 80’s. This is a DSLR with lenses that I actually have to screw on! This is the Christmas present I received from my husband – the camera of my choice!  (Yeah, I have a GREAT husband!)

The camera I received today is a Canon T5i and although everything I read said not to get a “camera bundle,” I just couldn’t resist, and bought a camera bundle! It came with so much “stuff!” Let’s see, it had the Canon T5i camera body, 4 lenses (2 Canon lenses), a nice camera bag, 64 GB card, extra battery, and a lot of accessory items. I actually bought it on Ebay after doing MUCH research with my husband, of course! I bought it from a reliable Ebay-er, with excellent reviews and return policy. I also made sure the camera had a USA warranty and was not gray market.

Why did I choose the Canon T51? – Well The Camera I had prior to this one was also a Canon Powershot SD 1000.  It’s a great little camera, easy to use, and produces great pictures. Granted, the Powershot is not in the same league as the T5i, but it’s a nice little camera. I also watched a great review of the T5i on YouTube by a guy under the name of Faymusmedia:

So, when opening the box and looking at my first DSLR, I was kind of nervous! The grip of the camera is fantastic, it feels like a natural extension of your hand and the controls are logically laid out within the natural reach of your fingers. I charged the battery (approx. 2 hours for full charge), put it in the camera, turned the switch on AND…nothing happened. Turns out a DSLR has to have the lens screwed on in order for the camera to turn on. (I told you I was a newbie!)

Putting the Lens On – I was once again nervous. (Lord, don’t let me drop the lens!) I delicately took the lens out of the bubble wrap and took off the lens caps and screwed the lens on. (This was seriously a big deal to me!) Once I was sure the lens was securely on the body of the camera, I nervously turned the camera on and…it worked! (WOW!)

I unfolded the screen from the back of the camera and saw the screen light up! I looked through the eyepiece and depressed shutter button half-way and saw a bunch of little red lights through the view finder! (Far out, right?) I pushed the button further and took a picture! It was lightning fast! Holy Moly! I saw my first photo flash on the screen for 2 seconds…and disappear. I did it! I decided to try to take another picture. I took a picture of my dog Buttons…ok, 3, 2, 1, click.  Good Lord, I think I blinded my dog! It looked like I “flashy-thinged” her like the guys from Men in Black!  I saw that picture flash on the screen for 2 seconds…and it was kind of bad.  I need to get to the next step and read about how to use the settings. But, that didn’t matter at that moment because “I” took my first step into the world of DSLRs!

What an exciting day…I put a lens on a camera body (first time ever) and took my first DSLR photo on my very own DSLR camera. Wooo-Hooo! This doesn’t make me a photographer, but it makes me one step closer to perhaps being one!