This morning the boys and I set out to one of my favorite destination, Veterans Acres. It's been seen on these pages before, most specifically when I photographed graffiti rock. Speaking of which, graffiti rock has changed once again. Now it says "I poop" complete with evidence. Yeah, not so cool. But such is the nature of graffiti rock.
We walked all over, checking out the pine forest, walking around the pond and checking out lily pads, and picking every dandelion we found. It was so nice to slow down and move at their pace. Sometimes I can't help but try to move them along a little quicker. After all, my oldest son doesn't do anything fast. But this time, I moved like they chose. And it was awesome.
I took many pictures, but I thought this one might be the best. Once again, I wish I had a polarizing filter. I need to stop whining and just pony up. I have several shots of the boys bent over the water. However, the reflections just aren't doing it. A polarizer would have changed the entire photo. Oh well. Here's what you get instead.
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L at 24.0mm
I love shooting elevated like this. You almost always immediately de-clutter the background. And when you combine it with a wide aperture, you get a nice fade to blur and a sharp focus on the eyes, assuming your focus is good. Mine is actually a little off on this shot. It may not read that way on the screen but trust me it's off.
Mine connection is pretty obvious. Brandi (and J and Sere) all have shots of their kids. So do I.
Moving on, I feel compelled to share my two cents on Melissa's question. I agree with everything Brandi said. I would only add two things. When you are buying a DSLR, it's important to realize that you are buying a commitment. If photography becomes a passion, you will want more lenses, flash heads, and eventually a better body (wait, who doesn't want a better body?!?! :)). So your decision to buy Canon, Nikon, or Sony could have long lasting effects.
Secondly, the latest craze is hi-def video recording. Is this important to you? Will you ever use it? Here is the way I look at it.
Canon is my choice and the reason is simple. For years and years, Canon made the best lenses. And if there is one thing that will impact your photos more than anything else, it's the glass with which you choose to shoot. Were I starting today, I would have to admit that lenses for Nikon have closed the gap. I would even go as far as saying Nikon makes some lenses that are better than the Canon equivalent. The same is also true in reverse. There are still lenses that Canon makes that are better than Nikon. As for Sony, I just don't know enough to speak on the quality of glass they offer. What it boils down to is that at this point, I don't think lenses should be a determinant in buying a system. Whereas handling is something that should absolutely factor into your decision. Get your hands on several models and find a comfortable fit. Brandi's recommended models are great. The Canon equivalent is probably the Rebel T3. For a bit more money you could get the T3i, giving you 50% more pixels (not overly important but nice if you're going to crop) and other upgrades. For crazy in depth reviews check dpreview. They go WAY in depth on most models.
As to my second point, HD video is becoming increasingly popular. I myself haven't play much with it because my dslr just doesn't do it. If that's something you think is really important, I would suggest you check out the Sony line. They have a new technology that allows for light to pass through the reflector in front of the camera's sensor and this allows for continuous focus and live view. It's cutting edge stuff and easily ahead of Nikon or Canon when it comes to usability. Sony is a relative new comer to the dslr world but they are huge and product support has proven the point. I wouldn't be afraid to go the Sony route if indeed it feels right for you.
Okay, I've said enough. Good luck with your shopping and come back again if you have any other questions.
Happy Sunday everyone!