I'd like to think that I'm an adventurous person. Sometimes I am, sometimes I'm not. It often depends on my mood, and largely how much sleep I've gotten the night before. In many ways, I have a strong adventurous spirit. But it is not always manifested in physical ways. I have a strong sense of enthusiasm for learning new things, for trying out new skills, and for improving my personal capabilities. But often times, when it comes to going out and exploring the world, I suddenly find myself reserved. The idealized version of myself is someone much more physically active and adventuresome, taking on challenges measured in leaps and strides.
Spear fishermen in La Jolla, California
My to-do list of "adventure" seems to be never-ending. I'd love to learn how to surf and snowboard. Rock climbing has always peaked my interest. And scuba diving seems like something I'd get a big kick out of. But even though I have an initiative for self improvement, I have a strange lack of motivation when it comes to tackling these goals. In some ways, I don't even know where to start. And this is further complicated by the fact that I have my whole life ahead of me to spend doing these things. But as someone who wants to go into the field of travel and adventure photography, I'm going to have to rack up many of these skill sets eventually. Or at the very least, I should try to gain back the wonderful sense of challenge that has all but faded.
Climber at the Garden of the Gods, Colorado
I told myself that I would travel this summer, and if the stars align properly, I'll at least get a chance to get out of here for a short bit. Still, that hasn't stopped me from dreaming. In-between spurts of cleaning and organizing today, I randomly planned bits and pieces of a theoretical Jack-Kerouac-style road trip. And it sounds like UCSD, my new school as of this fall, has plenty of opportunities for recreation and adventure. Who knows? Maybe I'll be able to redeem myself and reach that target of an adventurous spirit after all.
Photography is notoriously expensive. With cameras running upwards of $400 for a basic model body, and a good lens usually costing at least $250 or more, photographers quickly go broke working their way up to a respectable kit. For those who don't make a living off of the art, however, one can get by on some unorthodox gear choices. And if one has luck in the realm of bargain shopping, the act of scouting out cheap gear can become a game within itself.
What you see above was taken with such a lens. Though it is a pretty poor sample shot, it shows you that a decently artistic photo can be crafted on the cheap. And what glass was responsible for this picture? Photographed below, this lens is a prime (ha!) example of a dirt cheap lens. My second thrift store lens (in recent years) for $7, this baby isn't without its flaws. Unlike my first $7 lens, a 50mm Pentax-M f2 that was covered in grime but cleaned up nicely, this latest find isn't in full operational condition. Though physically clean with clear glass, this Sears 28mm f2.8 lens seems to have aperture blades stuck wide open at f2.8. For casual shooting, this isn't much of an issue, as I usually keep my glass open in most situations. And for $7, I'm not complaining in the least bit.
At this point, I fully intend on purchasing a Sony NEX-5 camera as soon as it is widely released. And assuming that a Pentax-K to E-Mount adapter will be available from third party vendors in short time, it would be nice to have a collection of cheap prime lenses to use on such a tiny body for casual and street shooting. Though I wont go out of my way to purchases lenses for such a use, there's no harm in having "extras" lying around. And often times, working within the constraints of manual focus and exposure forces you to critically examine potential shots in new ways.