[Weekend trip & advice] The one who got away…

…to Arlington, DC, and Alexandria. I spent this past weekend visiting my friend in northern Virginia (or if you are up-to-date on local slang, “nova”). While there, we walked A LOT. We went from the metro station by the Canadian Embassy to the botanical gardens to the Capitol to the Library of Congress to Eastern Market, back past the Capitol and the Canadian Embassy to a movie theater in Chinatown…. that alone amounts to about 5 miles in total (according to Google Maps when I plotted our course just now). And then when we were in Alexandria, we walked another 2 miles or so. The sunshine was hot and the shade was reasonable on both days we were out so Kathy had a hard time getting me to get up from shady benches when I stopped to rest.

Maybe my favorite part of the adventure was the bookstore in Eastern Market. It is three floors jammed full of used books, dynamic lighting, and interesting characters. I took some photos with my film camera there and I really hope they come out! I am especially interested in a photo that I took of an older man reading in the corner – he looked like the HP Dumbledore character dressed in African-style clothing and he was barefoot with turquoise painted toe nails! The film is black and white, but it should still be an interesting photograph.

The x-ray security at Library of Congress makes me nervous that my film might be damaged – eek! Speaking of the Library of Congress, it is gorgeous! Unfortunately, I did not get the best look into the reading room because you are not allowed to stop on the balcony and there was a group STOPPED in the way… ugh. But what I could see of it was incredible.

Here are a few photos that I took with my Canon PowerShot point-and-shoot (aka the camera I carry when I want to be lazy):

Canadian Embassy

Library of Congress

Capitol

Eastern Market

It was so good to get away for the weekend and think of something else than the job market and finding an apartment. It was also good to wield my film camera some more. I may own an expensive Canon DSLR, but my Canon AE-1 Program 35mm film camera is still a very strong contender for my favorite camera.

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In other news, I have been knocking things off of my to do list lately. Feels good to be a bit productive after going through a slump while moving from one town to another this summer. Trying to re-establish myself can be quite stressful some days!

To do list:

– design and order business cards They should be coming in the mail in about a week!

– print business receipts for records I need them all in one place for when I file taxes.

– get together wedding gift for Katie before the end of the month

– finish website or completely redo and purchase domain… I find this kinda intimidating.

– find a wedding photographer that I can second shoot for (Pretty please?)

– shoot more film Just about the best thing ever. This is always on my to do list!

– find a full-time job to help fund becoming a professional photographer & finding a new apartment

– finish sewing projects (quilt, bag, skirt, etc)

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———Review & Advice on Cameras———–

Brief review on the cameras that I currently own:

* Canon 5D Mark II (owned since March): Phenomenal camera! I am still learning the ins and outs of this camera, but so far, I am just in love with it and my 50mm f/1.2 lens. It is a giant leap forward from my XSi (and a lot more expensive!). I bought it used from a professional photographer and it is the foundation stone towards building my own business. This camera is for very experienced photographers who fully understand manual functions and want complete control over every aspect of a photograph (aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, contrast, saturation, etc etc).

* Canon EOS Rebel XSi (owned since Fall 2008): This is the first DSLR camera that I started out with several years ago. It is fairly basic, but allows you to shoot in manual at a lower price than the upscale DSLRs. The Rebel series are not intended for professional work, but they work well for intermediate camera users. This is the camera that helped me realize that hey, I kind really love photography!

* Canon PowerShot A2200 HD (owned since spring 2011): I am all for the PowerShot series. They are easy to tote around in your bag for on-the-go photos and they are often fairly affordable. This is a great series for the novice who is just looking to take snapshots of life and travel. However, this particular model has been a big disappointment for me. I bought it last year before leaving for my three-month overseas internship and I have found that it is terrible at focusing.

* Canon AE-1 Program 35mm (owned since high school or earlier?): This camera is entirely film and was manufactured in the 1980’s. It has the Program function which is automatic selection of shutter speed, but I never use that. I love shooting in fully manual and in film, so this is my go-to film camera. If I had a photo of this camera below, I would photoshop tacky hearts all over the image. [I mean, can you tell how much I love film?! My latest impulse buy was Annie Leibovitz’s book, At Work.]

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Whew, if you read all of that, I am impressed. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading! I hope you have a wonderful week full of fun and time to enjoy one of your own passions.

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. (Albert Schweitzer)

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