Lens Review: Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

_mg_2108Welcome back, everyone! Summer is over (bummer, I know). But, that means that us CreComms are back blogging for your dose of fall/winter reading.

Over the summer, I did a LOT of shooting, and one of my favourite lenses to use was the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM.

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Photo courtesy of blog do zach

Why it’s so awesome:

Well, it’s like butter. Everything about it – smooth like butter! The focus system in the lens is brilliantly smooth. When you turn the focus ring in manual, it has the perfect amount of tension, so you can get the shot as clear as possible. In auto, you can barely hear the focus change, which is really great for video.

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Also buttery – the photos! All the photos in this post were taken with this lens.

Because of the really wide aperture (f2) and the long focal length (135mm), it’s possible to get really shallow depths of field, making the bokeh look, well… buttery and delicious.

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Why it’s not so awesome:

Alright, so imagine you’re photographing a protest. You’re standing ahead of everyone else, taking photos from the front. As they walk towards you, you have to be constantly walking backwards because the 135mm is a prime lens, and won’t let you zoom out.

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You run into a curb, maybe trip over a nice couple laying in the grass, or straight up fall because you have to be in constant motion while looking through your viewfinder.

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So…

This lens is awesome. The pictures turn out crisp and beautiful, so I highly recommend it, if you’re okay with a little bumping into things that is.

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CreComm tip: This lens is available in the Equipment Room. Take it out, go shoot, and let me know what you think!

Series – Souris, MB

A couple weeks ago, three friends and I went to Souris, MB for an assignment. We got to walk around a completely new place and talk to completely new people. It was very refreshing! We got a lesson on precious stones, saw one of the oldest trees in Manitoba, and collected stones from the riverside. I know, it sounds dreamy!_MG_3599_MG_3614_MG_3709_MG_3769_MG_3785_MG_3747_MG_3696_MG_3759_MG_3677

Put some gas in your car and go for a drive! Let me know if you find any rural gems.

 

Insta-gone

I miss you, 2011 Instagram. You’ve changed.

If you’re on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen the countless posts saying, “if you like what you see, turn on post notifications!” Instagram is – or was – going to make some changes to how your feed works.

They started by changing the order of posts in your feed. So, it is no longer in chronological order. It looks and feels the same, except every fifth post is a sponsored ad.

Why?

The reason they made this change isn’t for the users. It’s so they can put the sponsored posts up top, ensuring that you see them.

I understand Instagram needs to keep revenue coming in, and the best way to do that is advertising, but I don’t want to see it. I’m sorry TRESemmé, I don’t care about your new line of nasty hair chemicals.

I have made a decision as to who I want to follow, and what I want to see. I don’t need an Instagram algorithm doing it for me.

Now, they want to change it even more, and people are losing it. There is even a petition you can sign to stop any changes from happening. It worked for now.

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But, why are people so mad? It’s just a few ads, right?

It’s about how Instagram started – sharing art – and artists typically don’t like advertising. It’s also a place where small businesses could market their products at pretty much no cost. Now, these small companies are worried they will get overshadowed by the big guns.

It’s a sad reality, but EVERYTHING is about making money and finding ways to make even more money.

Facebook did it, and now Facebook is for old people and trolls.

Research done at Princeton University says Facebook will lose 80% of its users by 2017. Do you really want to follow in that wake, Instagram?

In all: more ad dollars = happy Instagram = unhappy users = bye bye Instagram.

But I still check my Instagram feed every 15 minutes, so is it really that big of a deal? Let me know what you think!

 

 

Reservations… I’ve got ’em

Reservations
Courtesy of LEIF NORMAN

So, I went to a play on Tuesday night at the Rachel Browne Theatre. I’m still really torn about if I liked it or not. It was called Reservations. It was made up of two plays, which focused on the same theme — indigenous issues.
I sat down with my peers in the back of the theatre and waited for the play to start. The chairs were comfortable, and I was settled in.

The set was simple. Three sheer panels with a prairie landscape projected onto them. In front of them was a table with three chairs around it.

The play started with the three actors standing behind the sheer panels, moving very slowly. This went on for about two minutes, and I got more confused with every passing second. What does it mean when three people stand behind panels moving very slowly? I still don’t know. Do you? Please inform me.

The three characters, Anna, Pete, and Esther, came from behind their panels and stat down at the table. They discussed Pete’s decision to give away millions of dollars of land to the Siksika Blackfoot community. Pete’s reasoning was guilt — or obligation.

I was interested in their conversation. It was informed and brought up points I agree with. The biggest theme this half of the play tackled was privilege. The daughter Anna, was upset because she felt as if she was entitled to the land that was to be given to her. In her mind, the fact that she shared DNA with her father — the man who owned the property — meant it had to be hers. Pete also though of privilege, but thought of it from the Blackfoot’s perspective. The Blackfoot lived on the land for hundred of years before settlers came in. Pete thought the Blackfoot still owned the land because it was their ancestors were the original inhabitants of the land.

And, Anna was still going to get some land, but instead of being happy about that, she fought with her father because she wanted more money.

That part of the play ended, without any real resolution, and there was an intermission.

There was some strange clock counting down that sped up as we neared the end of the break. Once the play started again, the clock kept going, and I didn’t know what to make of it.

The set changed to posh leather couches.

The actors changed costumes, but not enough to make them look like different people. Anna and Pete were now Mike and Jenny. Jenny started rubbing Mikes back and everyone in my row cringed. The audience still thought of them as father and daughter, not husband and wife.

The second play talked about CFS, and how they handle indigenous children. Jenny — the foster mom — argued with a CFS worker, Diana, about how the children shouldn’t have to visit their home communities because it made one of her kids confused and withdrawn.

There was a lot of yelling and talk about a philosopher’s ideas about nature. I felt as if I was being preached to the entire time. I was sick of being lectured to and then the projection changed and they brought in a podium. It was now a lecture theatre, and I rolled my eyes. Diana, the social lecture, was lecturing about that philosopher and how it relates to indigenous issues. Jenny sat in the lecture and heckled Diana the entire time because Jenny lost her kids and she was upset about it. I tried to pay attention but I kept getting distracted by the set and the audio, which were much more interesting.

Then, Jenny called Diana the c-word, and everyone cringed. I was paying attention, but not for long. They kept arguing and then they took a bow. Everyone clapped and the play was over.
So…

I like the theme and think the issues that they tackled were important, but I also like an ending to a story. Both of the plays started out interesting, but never ended with any resolution.

During the talk at the end, some one in the audience asked the writer, Steven Ratzlaff — who played Pete and Mike — why he made that decision, and he didn’t really have an answer. He didn’t seem to want to answer anyone’s questions. Honestly, he came across as a pretentious playwright.

My favourite part of the play was Tracey Nepinak’s acting. She played Esther and Diana. I want to go to a different play, with the same issues, Nepinak’s acting in it, and the same style projections and audio.

Series – Elle

I took these photos in December 2014, after getting my first 50mm lens. I was amazed with the shallow depth of field, how detailed the pictures were when I got the focus right, and how the light looked.

These photos were taken in my living room with really awful light, but I shot until I got the settings right, tweaking them after each photo. My baby cousin sat like a little angel! I remember how much work it was to get these photos, and how proud I was of them. I could now get these photos in a fraction of the time in way less clicks of my shutter. Cool to see how far I’ve come.