A couple weeks ago while I was on a photo trip with my daughter, disaster struck. I had just been taking macro images of some milkweed bugs and I went to get something out of the car. I set my tripod down with the camera mounted and the zoom lens still fully extended. One of the adjustments on my trusty old tripod is going and that leg started to creep down just enough to through the tripod (which was on a slight incline) off balance. The tripod went down and the fully extended lens hit the ground. The lens hood was on and this was relatively soft earth, so no elements were broken. However, it completely jammed the zoom and focusing mechanism.
This was my Sigma 70-300mm lens, which is my workhorse. Wildlife, macro, landscapes. I'd say I easily take 95% or more of my images with this lens. Even when photographing landscapes, I tend toward using this lens to isolate portions of the scene. And now it was dead. With a sick feeling in my stomach, I put my best face on for the rest of the day with my daughter. However, now I'm left without my primary lens while I consider whether to repair, replace it with a comparable used lens (for about the same price as the repair), or upgrade to a better lens (not likely to fly with the wife unless I start making more sales; feel free to help a guy out with that one 8-)).
So, this currently leaves me with only my "kit" lens, the Canon EF-S 18-55mm. Now I have two choices. I could sit home and sulk, depressed, and refuse to photograph until I have my favorite telephoto lengths back one way or another. Or, I could look at this as an opportunity to get out of my lens rut and try to make some different images. I always bristle when people tell me I must have a great camera or a great lens to make such good photographs. Now I guess it was time to live up to my own ideals. If I'm a good photographer, I should be able to go out and make good nature images even with my little kit lens.
Last weekend I did just that. I headed to a new (and unknown) location for me, Calvert Cliffs State Park, on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay near Lusby, MD. The slideshow below features some of the images from that morning. I'll let you decide whether they are great, good, or merely passable, but I know that this experience in flexing some of my unused photographic muscles was good for me.
Calvert Cliffs Sept 19 - Images by Elijah Goodwin