Sunday, October 9, 2011

A special anniversary and a new lens purchase

A year ago this weekend, during the last Columbus Day tax-free Energy Star appliance weekend in Virginia, Matt and I purchased our stainless steel fridge and dishwasher. We've been thoroughly enjoying them all this time. Not only do they look great but they function perfectly and -- perhaps most importantly to us -- make hardly any noise. This is a major life upgrade.

But, last week, my typical need for cleanliness or my pregnancy nesting instinct took over (call it what you will), and I realized that I had not thoroughly cleaned the fridge and freezer in the entire time we've owned it. Yes, I have cleaned out each produce drawer several times and wiped down sticky shelves on numerous occasions, but our beloved fridge has never received the head-to-toe treatment it deserves.

So I started with the freezer and my handy Clorox wipes, which I find to be the most effective (though I once again admit, perhaps least environmentally friendly) way of cleaning out the various poppy seeds from bagels and leaves from various vegetables that get stuck in the nooks and crannies of our fridge. We're not big freezer users (yet) so there wasn't too much to sort through, and I am not someone who has an amazing system for organizing the contents of our freezer or our fridge.

The fridge is more satisfying to organize than the freezer, and completely emptying it out and leaving it spotless before throwing out expired goods and rearranging the contents of the shelves made me feel amazingly accomplished.

I documented the freezer and fridge clean-out progress using our new 50 mm f/1.4 lens (for our Canon Rebel XTi DSLR) which just arrived in the mail midway through last week. (We bought it through the site Adorama rather than Amazon because the two sites were charging the same price, but Adorama threw in a free 58 mm UV filter and lens cleaning kit -- two things I've been wanting for some time.)

Here's the (completely unretouched) photo of our freezer contents taken at approximately 9 p.m. Wednesday using our original lens
And here's the same photo taken from the same spot in our kitchen using our new 50 mm lens
Because of the lighting in our house I still had to take both photos on manual settings with an ISO of 1600. Granted, when I take photos to post on this blog or share with friends I almost always retouch them, adjusting usually the exposure and sometimes the saturation. But I wanted to show you the raw files of these images to help you get a sense of what the new lens will do. Namely, while the new lens does not have zooming capabilities, it does have a much more important feature: the ability to take better photos indoors in really low light. Though you might not be able to appreciate it in the examples above, the photos taken with the new lens have way less digital noise (i.e. obvious grainy pixels) than the photos taken with the old lens.

Why did we get this new lens? Well, probably at this point for obvious reasons. As we prepare our lives for Baby Awesomerod, we want to be able to take a ton of pictures of her, and since she'll be arriving during almost the dead of winter, we figure we are going to take almost all our photos indoors in low lighting. We'd rather not take photos using the flash since it tends to have a rather jarring effect.  Our friends Dawn and Jon have taken lots of adorable pictures of their daughter indoors using the same lens that inspired this purchase, and Matt, being the tech guru that he is, was totally happy to buy this lens after seeing what their lens could do.

I am totally thrilled to have a clean fridge AND a new awesome lens to document our lives. Now we need to get Photoshop Elements so I can learn to do a better job at editing photos.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the new 'baby' - and looking forward to seeing pics of the real live baby!

    BTW if you ever need advice or after-sales support with any order from Adorama, I'm only ever an email away:

    Helen Oster
    Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador

    PLEASE note Adorama upcoming Holiday schedule and plan accordingly. We appreciate your understanding & business