Don't you just hate it when........

You buy a new lens and you don't have time to put it on your camera and test it right away? I headed over to Precision Camera this morning to pick up the Fujifilm 90mm f2.0 lens I asked them to put on hold for me yesterday. My sales guy and I we're catching up; post sale, when I realized that I was supposed to be at lunch with a fun, happy, creative director at Maudie's Restaurant in mid-town. I said a hasty goodbye, grabbed my new lens and headed South. Driving on the freeway is not the time to open a box and marvel at the fit and finish of the latest acquisition and I didn't feel right about bringing the box into the restaurant and ignoring my lunch date. Immediate gratification partially denied... ("partially"? Well, yes. The Caldo, chips, hot sauce and tacos momentarily distracted me from all things optical....). 

When I got back to the office I was about to de-box the lens when Studio Dog gave me a wry look and telepathically suggested that she needed to be brushed, walked and given a treat of some sort. That of course takes precedence over lens openings. We're back now and I'm heading into the studio to see exactly what it is I've talked myself into this time. Studio Dog is uninterested in the unveiling so I guess I'm on my own. 

Normally I'd put the lens on a handy camera body and go for a walk through downtown but I've got a happy hour with a CFO at 5pm and I'd hate to try my luck at getting back over to this side of town through rush hour traffic (which, in Austin, is from 4 am until 11:30 pm most days...). I guess I'll just put the lens on an XH1 and point it around the studio for a bit. 

Anyway, the eagle has landed; the lens is in my possession. Now we'll see if my family's food money for the month was well spent or not. *

* For the staunchly literal I have to make this disclaimer: I did not use money earmarked for my family's food budget and I am not plunging myself into poverty with this lens purchase. In fact, I bought it only because I know I'll use it for at least three jobs in February that call for people photographs in which the backgrounds are rendered mostly out of focus. We budget a certain amount each year for equipment to be used in the business and we are pretty frugal about hitting budgets and staying in the black. We are not in debt and I no longer have a tuition/room/board bill to pay for the kid. He's launched. The lens will be expensed, over time. Please rest easy knowing that I'll still be able to pay my swim team dues going forward. 

More about the lens as the information (and experience) become available. Thank, Kirk

(Photos included just to spark up an otherwise drab post...).

A.B.T. = Always Be Testing.

A quick post about posting comments!!!! Hello John and Bill...

Noellia. MF Camera. Lens also MF.

Dear readers of all ages. I love comments. Love them very much. Such good feedback. Lately we've been getting spammed by hundreds of mindless anonymous comments a day (yes, "a day"). I turned on the 'verification' that made people select boxes of out-of -focus crap in order to send comments. It worked on the spam but pissed off large numbers of people who used to comment regularly. 

I have turned off the verification in comments. No one should see the nasty grid of boxes filled with out-of-focus visual garbage. I've turned off my own Google+ account and no one should have to use any social media affiliation in order to comment. 

I still have "moderation" enabled so I will go through and "approve" each comment, that's why your posted comment doesn't show up right away... You can put your name in the box when you comment or you can just put your name in the body of your comment if you like. You can even comment anonymously and as long as you are not referencing a site where I can buy edible sponges or dual use toilet paper and I'll probably push your comment right through and share it with the VSL hive. 

Please comment. Your feedback, in part, informs what I will write about and also how often I write. 

If you are a world famous novelist or photojournalist your comments also make me feel special. But all smart and topical comments give me warm and fuzzy feelings.

Repeating for emphasis: the obnoxious boxes are gone. The need to be affiliated with social media in order to comment is gone. It's just me and the comments. 

Buy something on the affiliate links here. Oh, wait! No affiliate link in this post. No ads either. You mean all I get out of this is comments? Well then you better deliver!!!

Portrait of Dyan. Unretouched.

Everybody seems to retouch the crap out of everyone who doesn't need retouching and to skip retouching on the unfortunate souls who could benefit from it. I prefer to light people in a flattering way rather than spend a lot of time converting their skin into smooth plastic. A young woman like Dyan really doesn't need you to flatten out and smooth over every pore... Just thinking about all the portrait images I've seen lately with laser sharp lips and eyes and then skin like a glass of milk. Forget body image issues for a second; I'm now worried about complexion image issues. Since when did ultra smooth skin become a mandatory "feature" of portrait photography?