Ultra-Wide Angle

  • I finally own the so-called “Holy Trinity” of Canon zoom lenses.  I acquired my original Canon EOS camera outfit, including the 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8 lenses, in 2005.  Since then, I have wanted to round out my lens collection with a 16-35mm ultra-wide angle zoom lens.  It isn’t useful for model photography, so it wasn’t a priority, and it was expensive.  I have lived all this time without a lens wider than 24mm (not counting lenses for smaller formats), and I never felt like I was suffering.  That was until I went to Glacier National Park.  There were so many wide vistas, and I just couldn’t capture them.  I was really disappointed.  When I came home from that trip, I was more serious about acquiring the lens.  By then, Canon had just released a Mark III of the lens.  It was even more expensive, but a worthwhile improvement.  Still, I have been putting it off, because there has always been filmmaking gear needed with a more immediate priority.  Well, I finally purchased it.  It isn’t as big as I expected.
  • On that topic, I have been trying to slow down on filmmaking.  I was on twelve film sets last year.  More than a couple of them were unpleasant experiences.  I feel like I am devoting too much time, energy, and money in that direction.  I’m not sure I am feeling satisfied creatively.
  • This year, I want to do more photography.  I want to do more camping and/or traveling.  I want to do more hiking and biking.  Perhaps more importantly, I would like this year to be my break-out year for writing.  I would like to spend more time learning Russian.  I feel like I have been spending the right amount of time reading.  I have been spending too much time on television.
  • I have discovered Hornady ELD-X bullets.  They have high ballistic coefficients and are designed to expand at a broad range of velocities.  In other words, they are designed for long-range hunting, but they can be used at shorter ranges if necessary.  I have a custom precision rifle in a wildcat magnum cartridge (6.5mm WSM), and I have been planning to develop a good hunting load.  This bullet would significantly extend the effective range of this rifle.  It would theoretically have 1500 ft-lbs of energy out to 700 yards, and it would have enough velocity to properly expand out to nearly 1200 yards.  The rifle may very well be capable of that, if I can learn to shoot those ranges.  I have ordered a box, and I will try them out.
  • On the recommendation of a colleague, I began to read Defending Jacob.  I was having some trouble maintaining enthusiasm for the read, and then the reason occurred to me.  The protagonist keeps making obviously bad choices.  He keeps a case after it’s been suggested he has a conflict of interest.  He covers up something that is obviously potential evidence.  He sneaks into his house to look for and hide possible evidence before the police can execute a search on his house.  That’s as far as I read.  I have written before about how much I dislike this as a plot device.  In this case, there is a good argument for employing this device, because the author is intentionally making a story of the conflicting emotions of a protective father versus those of a smart lawyer and prosecutor.  That might have been more compelling to me if I had ever been a father, but I haven’t.  So it went back to the library.
  • I started my pepper seeds quite early this year.  Not too early, I hope.  I have eighteen pepper varieties growing, and some of them have already come up.  I have big, ridiculous plans for a garden in my front yard this year.  Theoretically, there will be room for thirty plants, although I will give some of that space up to flowers that attract pollinators.