Luckily, a friend had a Panasonic Lumix GX1 camera body that he wasn't using anymore and was willing to sell for cheap. We had some trouble meeting up, but this past Saturday we finally managed it (with no help from me, running over 20 minutes late) and I got my new camera. Then I drove north to my parents' for the weekend to find the new lens I ordered waiting for me. I hadn't expected it until Tuesday of this week, which would have meant a whole week before I could start using my camera. The fast deliver meant I had all weekend to start familiarizing myself with the new camera and lens. This is a long post of random pictures.
The lens is a 12-32mm compact zoom. Unfortunately, part of what makes it so compact is the lack of a manual focus ring, something I didn't think of. However, so far the automatic focusing of the camera has been quite good, and got even better as I learned to adjust the settings. It's also not very well-suited for macro photography, something I knew. Still, it handled this difficult close-up quite well.
Every camera produces different results with color, so I'm especially having to relearn things like white balance and picture modes. I like how it managed to capture the rich colors in the driveway island, something my phone has been struggling with.
I take a lot of close-up shots, even if they aren't true macro, so I tried a lot of close work.
Not quite as sharp as I'd like (I think I was a bit too close) but a pretty good shot of the opening flowers on my dwarf Billbergia nutans. The blue edges on the petals aren't as thick as the larger version I used to have, but unlike that plant, this one also has blue tips on the pink sepals.
Some nice back-lighting shining through the leaves and bracts on this side of the plant. The flowers on this form seem to rise higher above the foliage than on the full-size version.
This lens doesn't handle glare as well as my old camera. I'll probably be buying a hood for it soon.
My phone hasn't done a very good job showing the purple winter color on Satureja douglasii. The new camera does a much better job.
Dramatic shadows on Yucca filamentosa.
One of the reasons I chose the 12-32mm lens is for the wide-angle shots. It manages to capture views of the garden at large much better than my old camera.
Shadows on the wall.
Though I can't actually get this close with my current lens, The 16MP micro 4/3 sensor is both much larger than either my phone or old camera, and has a much higher resolution than my phone, meaning I can crop images more and still produce good, clear images at larger sizes. It's sort of fake macro.
Carex testacea and Erysimum. I love the olive/orange of the carex with the rich green of the wallflower.
The heaths have never been so floriferous as they are this year. And thanks to the deer fence, they don't have any dead brown patches in the middle where deer have stepped and broken the branches!
Galanthus shoots emerging at the edge of a patch of Sedum albiflorum. The sedum has spread a lot without the deer to rip it apart in summer.
Buds on Helleborus x sternii.
I liked the lighting in this area of the driveway island, with the grasses and old aster stems.
This shot would have been much improved by manual focusing, but the camera still did a great job.
This camera allows for some really fine adjustments to the white balance, allowing me to do a pretty decent job capturing the color of this Erica.
More use of cropping to "zoom in" on the subject. I couldn't actually get this close with the lens, but cropping out over 2/3 of the original gives this nice close-up. New growth on an unidentified Agapetes (or possibly a Vaccinium) from the RSBG.
New purple foliage of Cardamine diphylla emerging out of dwarf mondo grass next to an older leaf. I should probably spread some slug bait before they devour the cardamine.
I couldn't quite get this moss into perfect focus, or get close enough. This is the kind of thing I need manual focusing, and probably a real macro lens, to really photograph to my satisfaction. Still, I love the bright little points of new growth and the texture.
These crocus bulbs have been emerging since the end of November. With the recent warm weather, they could open any time.
The daylilies are emerging, too. Time to clear away the dead leaves and bait for slugs.
Billardiera longiflora hasn't stopped growing since fall. The two cold snaps did a little damage, but hardly slowed it down. I think it's going to get much larger and do it much faster than I expected, meaning I'll have to move it before it swamps the Acer griseum it's growing up. I was hoping for a thin tracery of thin leaves against the coppery bark, accented wonderfully by the purple/blue berries. Unfortunately, it's growing more densely than anticipated, obscuring the bark of the maple, and ants have decided they love clipping the new growth and demolishing the berries.
Garrya elliptica 'James Roof' didn't take any damage from the cold, despite being planted in November. I need more garryas. Lots and lots of garryas.
Irish heath with a bit of wind-blown lichen.
Cropped shot of Sorbaria sorbifolia (I think the cultivar 'Sem'). These buds have looked ready to burst almost since the leaves dropped in fall.
I don't think I've ever taken the time to appreciate the old seed heads of Prunella vulgaris. They really are pretty. Another reason to appreciate this somewhat weedy native. It's not quite in focus. Again, I could have used that manual focus. Next lens.
Cropping to get a close-up of heath flowers.
I'm feeling more motivated to go places and take pictures now that I have a camera again. I hope this translates into more blog posts, but lately I've been spending more time with my paying jobs, working out in the garden, and reading, so we'll see.