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A Reality Check.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AFS, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. This isn't my usual long-winded narrative, but maybe it'll give a few of you a chuckle or two. If it does, my work has been successful :cool: 
    As you may know, or may figure out from my display picture, i'm still a teenager. I'll be 17 in just under 2 months.
    I've gotten pretty deep into photography in the past year primarily, though it's been a process underway for the better part of 3 years.
    As a not-yet-working-steadily, over-school-worked, sleepless full time high school student, I bet you also already figured out that I don't have a huge income either.

    This morning is my first morning back from Ohio, where I was visiting my sister. I left the day after my D200 arrived, which was in the afternoon of friday the 16th. I got to shoot some in my grandmother's backyard, then at my mom's boss' house at night, and finally at dinner and my father's house late at night. On saturday I was so tired (only 2 hours of sleep) that I promptly went back to sleep for 3 hours, then had to hurriedly pack and get out the door. I still haven't gotten a chance to shoot the D200 out in my own yard, on my own street!
    So this morning I had a bright idea. Why not go out and take some pictures?

    So I stuck my EN-EL3E on the charger for a quick recharge of the 20% or so used up last night, and started unpacking my camera bag.
    I started by prepping my zooms. I switched the lens caps from my 17-35 and 70-200 back to my usual setup. then I got out my MF lenses, D70, PK-13 extension tube, and grabbed my F3 from the dresser.
    I put the 17-35 in my lowepro lens case, hood on, ready for grabbing, along with the spare body caps and rear lens caps. my 28/3.5 went on the F3, 50/1.4AIS on the D200 (it's getting a lot of use with the aperture priority metering), and 70-200 in its case. My D70 got a CF card and remained lens-less for the moment.
    Then I put the battery in the D200 and began to load up my gear to go outside.
    The D200 went around my neck.
    The D70 went on my right shoulder
    My F3 went over the right shoulder and around to my back.
    The 17-35 got the SB-600 case attached to its lowepro case, then went over my left shoulder along with the 70-200 VR.
    As I moved, now somewhere around 10 pounds heavier I would think, I had a big reality check.
    I was going outside to take some pictures for fun.
    I had loaded up with 3 bodies, 4 lenses, extension tubes, a flash, 3 gigabytes of compactflash memory, batteries for over 4000 shots, plus a film camera.
    My two largest lenses were absolutely massive and retail for over $1400 each.
    My bodies are some of the best ever made, and cost me something like $3000.
    Add the odds and ends, plus the MF lenses, flash and so on, and I was going out for fun shooting with over $6,500 in gear!
    What are teenagers coming to these days...wait a minute, I AM a teenager!
    And for any teenager, that is a lot of money. But it doesn't come down to money in the end.
    I've stopped to think about it and thank my lucky stars that I've got such an opportunity to create beautiful photographs so early in my life.

    I still haven't gone outside though...i'm too hungry and the pizza shuld be here any minute.
    After that's done and my hands have been degreased and thoroughly sanitized, I may touch my D200 again.

    Hope you enjoyed the read!
  2. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    You are having to much fun.

    You can count your blessings for sure. Best wishes in all your edeavors .

    ........................................MERRY CHRISTMAS...........................
    .........................................HAPPY NEW YEAR............................
    HAPPY SNAPS TO YA :>)))))
  3. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  4. strobel


    Apr 30, 2005
    Algonquin, IL
    So Harrison, how are you getting all that great gear? Are you getting most as gifts (mom and dad), or holding up liquor stores?:smile:

    If it is from mom and dad, could you kindly ask if they would like to adopt a 39 year old.:biggrin:
  5. Well, there was that string of robberies.....

    Actually, I simply do this every year:
    Order my whole family to not buy me anything for christmas or my birthday.
    Just give me money so I can get my Nikon fix :smile:
    Primarily mom, dad, and grandparents, but with significant contributions from all around.
    Then couple this with whatever I can make off my photography (heh heh...last year that wasn't much, hopefully this year will change that) and odd jobs etc. and i'm home free.
    I just wish I could get a bit more in the way of selling photos, and doing photography jobs. That way I could afford a few lenses, another pro-grade body (another d200 or a D2HS is my thinking), some more old time nikons, and so on and so on, plus a powermac G5....

    They have enough problems dealing with my financial drain, thank you very much, but if we could handle it i'd put in a good word for ya!

    I don't put much drain on them otherwise, though. I don't go to the movies every weekend, I don't drive, I don't buy many videogames, or many DVDs (thank you tivo with DVD burner).
    Literally 98% of my annual cost is in photographic related items :eek:  (not including food, but that isn't much either. I'm 5'8" and only 110 pounds)
  6. Guess what... that's a lot of money for ANYONE.

    As an interesting aside, you could have bought the most expensive 1965 Corvette made for less than that. I know because I bought a 65 Chevelle SS for $2,900 and my uncle bought one of those Corvettes on the same day. One happy salesman :wink:

  7. hehehe
    of course that $2900 would be worth around $18,000 today after inflation :eek: 
  8. jjdesanto1


    May 1, 2005
    Warwick, N.Y.
    John DeSanto

    You have a great future in both the photography and writing fields.
  9. LOL - I was just thinking along those lines.

    You have got it good. Count your blessings everyday! Keep the pics coming...
  10. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Harrison....You, sir, are a "breath of fresh air" as compared with many teenagers these days. I look forward to reading your posts because you are so articulate and have an interesting slant on issues in your world. Your parents have every right to take a well-deserved bow because of how you turned out as a young adult. It's a pleasure to know you and I look forward to learning more in the years to come.
  11. LOL, and people said I was bad. I'm 19 but work full time, so I can afford to fund this...to a point. Unfortunately that point is well before 500/4AFS land :( 

  12. At dinner at a japanese restaurant tonight, I was tinkering around with my cameras, lowlight head to head comparisons of the D70 and D200, and some other stuff... then near the end of the meal, I thanked my mother for the best christmas gift she could give me. Her friend started to say and your grandmother helped too.... but I said 'no, not the camera' which immediately threw puzzled looks onto both faces.
    I thanked my mother for taking me to see my sister at such a special time in her life. No matter how much I love my D200, and I do, trust me, there's nothing like being able to be there and feel the baby move, knowing it is not even a month from being your crying infant nephew.
    I suppose that put things into perspective for me. It was a real moment of mental clarity.
    Unfortunately I promptly lose that clarity every time I get it.

    Ming, I had no idea you were so young! You take some really fabulous shots...I wish I had that 85 PC too :(  that's risen considerably on my LLD hit list recently, no thanks to you :smile: I knew I wanted it ever since I used it at the photo place, but you really brough the effects home.
    In fact, you've got more than one thing from my hit list....12-24 (lower priority), 85 PC (higher priority), 200/4 (lower priority), SB800 and second SB600 (medium priority), a D2HS (whenever I can priority), and and F2A (whenever I have the cash immediate priority).

    So you're well off :smile:
  13. I'll have to wait a bit longer to experience pregnancy; all brothers and I'm not about to get married anytime soon :tongue:

    Well, let's say that I'm...um...experienced. I've actually been working for three years already (jeez, I feel old now), have a masters in physics from oxford, and do watch photography for some of the big names on the side...which fortunately kinda covers the equipment.

    I've had a very steep learning curve with lenses. I didn't listen to conventional wisdom, and bought craploads more than I should have; taking a huge hit every time.

    Always go for the best, whether you can afford it or not; it will actually work out cheaper rather than buying serveral small upgrades (e.g. nikon 70-300G, then sigma 70-300APO, then Nikon 55-200DX, then Tokina 80-200/2.8...finally got the Nikon 80-200/2.8 I wanted a couple of weeks ago :tongue: (70-200VR won't work on my F2.)

    The 85PC is superb. Once you've used it, you won't use any other lens for macro or portrature. Brutally sharp, allows fantastic DOF control, and the bokeh is better than the 1.4 (don't shoot me guys - nine blades, perfectly rounded!)

    200/4 is an el-cheapo AI version; very sharp, nice and small, works great with the F2 (and on digital too.) The 28/3.5 you've got is a killer street lens; I use the DOF scales and shoot it from the hip at hyperfocal most of the time. Very sharp wide open, even on the D2X, and has great charachter.

    12-24DX has no substitute either. I actually traded an FM3A and 45P for it; didn't fully appreciate it at the time, didn't research, and didn't look at third party alternatives. Glad I did; now it's probably one of my most used lenses, and sharp all the way through.

    No better time to get the F2A - they're dirt cheap now that everybody's going digital. Paid under 300 USD for mine; it's black and mint condition. Shutter is still accurate all the way to the top speed with slides - and shooting that and modern glass, you'd have no idea the camera was that old. My choice of stealth camera; nobody takes you seriously :) 

    CLS is awesome - that's all there is to it. I used to use one on-camera SB800 for commercial watch photography (!) but with three it's much easier, and I can do bounce flash at f45...

    D2HS isn't mine - on loan from Nikon until my H is fixed. I think I'll probably upgrade though; it's everything I wish the H was, and I don't forsee needing any more camera anytime soon (H is darn noisy above 800. HS is useable at 6400)

    Ditto the D200. it's not mine either. Goes back to Nikon at the startof next year; hopefully my 18-200VR will be here by then (that lens is AWESOME! has the sharpness of the 17-55DX, but VRII and four times the reach :biggrin:) 

  14. RForshey

    RForshey Guest

    Wow, I'm very impressed with your accomplishments at such a tender age. To have a Masters degree in physics at age 19, I would guess you started university at age 15?
  15. It's just a camera, dude.
  16. Actually I started at 13; been working for nearly three years now...

  17. RForshey

    RForshey Guest

    Well, it's nice to have a genius among us!
  18. Far from it. I'm just an impatient little squirt :tongue:

  19. biggstr6


    Apr 26, 2005
    Wow ming , Im starting to hear, from a few sources, that the hs was more than the minor upgrade so many said it was . 6400 is usable ?

    I may have to do some figuring, And the 85 pc has to be looked in to now as well .

    I see my brain hurting in thte future trying to decide what to do.
  20. Harrison, I know we all sound like a bunch of ol' farts here, but it sure is nice to see you've got your head screwed on right. You're aiming all your resources at something that is making you very happy, is creative, expands your mind, and your talents. It also keeps you off the streets at night, in a sense! *LOL* You have a passion for photography and that will take you very far. I see that you live in the Miami area. Just be careful and keep your eyes open when toting expensive gear around on your own! I shoot around the city a fair amount and have developed a 50-yard "don't even think about it" glare to ward off any "nice camera, think I'll grab it" kinda guys.

    Ming, I too zipped through school and in the end, found I missed the socializing as I was so much younger than everyone else. In my day, neither group would accept me: my age group was very far behind in schooling so I hardly saw them, and my schoolmates were very far ahead in years. Your views on this?
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