All winter long, I bemoaned my lack of a proper zoom lens. It’s tough to get good shots of far away birds, even if they’re as big as bald eagles, without one. I’d been using a little Canon PowerShot with a decent zoom in the meantime, but one day I just got fed up with how it captured color. We had a nicer Nikon sitting around gathering dust. I did a little research and found that I could get a well-rated zoom lens option for far less than I expected. (I went with this one.)
I am so happy with the results, and have loved playing with the macro setting. Macro simply means that the zoom makes something small come out larger than it is in real life, and with this technique the subject is in focus but everything around it recedes out of focus. It’s great for bugs and dewdrops on flowers, and I am totally loving it for garter snake faces!
It takes a little practice to get used to how far away you need to stand–my instinct is still to get as close as possible–but this enables you to get some really fun shots without scaring off your target. I have been busy and not getting out into the woods as much I’d like over the last week or two, but I pick up the camera and wander around the back yard every day. Even if the snakes aren’t out and I don’t see any interesting birds, there are always bugs and flowers.