I took approximately 40,982 pictures of this bee. I do not like bees. I do not like pictures of bees. But here, look at this picture of this bee, and be grateful that I'm not making you look at all pictures where the bee is a little blurry blob because I WAS VERY OBSESSED WITH THIS BEE FOR SOME REASON.
New-found camera skills aside (I should have increased the shutter speed, since I wanted to capture freeze-frame bee wings because I had it in my head at the time that freeze-frame bee wings were the ultimate in photographic accomplishment), there's a reason I should stay away from "arty" shots and photos of boring things like flowers.
For example, my eye for composition is so keen that when aiming my camera at an entire garden of gorgeous blooms, the only one I managed to keep in focus was the dead and wilted one.
It's a metaphor, man. You wouldn't get it.
What does this button do? Oh.
That one was snapped during our initial demo of all the cameras, when we were all particularly giddy and snap-happy, even though there really wasn't much to take photos of, besides the carpet and the chandeliers and oh look! A chandelier!
Okay, clearly it was time to turn the cameras around on our own dork asses.
Tracey, by the way, performed admirably as the group's go-to photography guinea pig, and at one point had about seven different people aiming a barrage of Cyber-shots and Alpha DSLR cameras at her, ordering her to help them test out their metering modes and the Cyber-shot's creepy robot Smile Shutter function, which allows you TOTALLY PWN your bratty, ungrateful child who only smiles two seconds AFTER you've snapped the picture. Because it waits until your kid actually smiles to actually take the picture. The Sony people claim it's an "algorithm," but you and I know it's actually very small hamsters who will one day arise and enslave us all.
Anyway, Tracey handled the mommyblogger paparazzi admirably, and didn't roll her eyes too badly when I made the obvious LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE joke, since I am very Hip and With It when it comes to the kids today and their YouTubes.
Hey, speaking of high-definition video cameras! And dorks!
You stay classy, La Jolla.
And...that was my trip to California. While I'm not under any obligation to write about the event or Sony or the swag (HAVE I MENTIONED THE SWAG), hats off to Sony, man. I've had some baaaaaad experiences with accepting even the smallest gift or sample from big corporations -- sample arrives, sample gets boxed back up and shipped back on my own dollar because nooooo, I won't sign away the rights to my child's image for your marketing stock photography library in exchange for a photo printer, THANKS THOUGH -- but I'm really glad I went.
I mean, the whole point of squeezing my increasingly pregnant ass on a cross-country flight was originally just to get some quality Sweetney time <insert some mid-90s Bryan Adams here, in your head, on repeat play FOREVER>, and other than that I was secretly expecting the whole thing to suck and be all kinds of eye-rolly. And then everybody there was so nice and laid-back and I got a massage and fresh strawberries in my room and a giant bed that I took up as many inches as possible with my giant body. Plus Tracey gave me chocolate and this body cream that smells like cupcakes and I got to share a limo with PlainJaneMom (confidential to Erika: do I owe you $400? I'm a little afraid to look, frankly) and talked about my boobs with Jenny and HAVE I SCREAMED At YOU ENOUGH ABOUT APERTURE. AND THE FACT THAT I KNOW WHAT IT IS NOW.
Okay. That's really it about California. And aperture. I'm done now. I promise.
And now for some extremely boring camera talk, for the two of you who might be interested:
My Canon Digital Rebel, for now, probably beats the Sony Alpha, but only because I already own some really excellent lenses for it. Lenses that are just plain better than the one that comes with the Alpha, but hey. We paid a lot for them, they sure as hell better be better. HOWEVER, for someone just moving away from point-and-shoot and learning how to use a DSLR, I think the Sony is MUCH easier to use. I like the menus better, I feel like I can get to the different settings faster, and the adjustable liveview screen just flat-out rocks. (Although I'm so used to looking through the viewfinder on the Canon that I find myself turning it off more often than I thought I would, but that's probably just habit. When I first got the Canon I couldn't BELIEVE I couldn't just hold the camera out in front of me and get a preview of what I was shooting.) I'm very, VERY interested in getting a better lens for the Sony, especially since I don't have to pay extra for image-stabilization (it's built right into the body of the Sony) (image stabilization = the reason your no-flash pictures on a point-and-click camera look all blurry, Ms. 5 PM Alcohol Shakes).
(Taken with the Cyber-shot in the low-light ISO setting.)