looking at the world with fresh eyes

Looking Ahead

So, my photography has nearly dried up completely. On the way to the airport, at the end of my vacation in Colorado last summer, my camera fell out of its bag, landed on its lens and took some damage. Whenever I felt the need to take a picture over the past few months, I have typically turned to my iPhone, which is a terribly addicting habit I plan to break.

I’ve gotten a new lens for my camera body, which survived the fall, and I hope to get back to taking pictures. Image making is such a stress relief for me. It doesn’t carry any of the burden or stresses of writing, and typically I feel much more satisfied with the results. Don’t take this to mean I think my photography is anything special. I just enjoy making it and looking back at it more than I do my writing.

My new lens is a Canon 50mm f/1.4 prime. It’s my only focusable lens, so it is the one I will be using for the foreseeable future. I haven’t used a camera without a zoom lens since I got my Polaroid Captiva for Christmas in fourth grade. I have heard photo-type people say over the years that using prime lenses is one way to become a better photographer, helping you focus more on the subject of the picture rather than worrying so much about the cropping. It also helps you appreciate a good point-of-view more, because you have to move your body to get it right. I don’t know if this will turn out to be helpful or not, but I do know that if you’re looking for high-quality optics, prime lenses are a heck of a lot cheaper than zooms. That was my primary motivation. I wanted to get a lens with crisp optics, a sharp focus and a wide aperture, and the only way I could afford one that fit the bill was to give up something — so no more zoom for me.

So far the lens has been great. It’s my first experience getting to use a very wide aperture, which opens up a whole knew world of possibilities for image making. Now I can take pictures in very low light, outdoors at night or inside with little artificial light, and avoid having to use the flash, preserving more of the natural colors of the image, not to mention the mood created by varied lighting.

One example of this is my night-time shots taken a few days ago in the snow. I got these pictures in my front yard, hours after sunset, using only my porch light for illumination. The pictures may not be spectacular, but doing shots like this without cranking out the ISO to an unnatural level would have been completely impossible with my old setup.

I hope to take some photo trips to downtown Raleigh, Durham or a nearby park soon, but I haven’t found much time for getting away this close to midterms. For now I’m just cruising the block trying to look at things from new perspectives. Here’s a few of my recent favorites.


About David Anderson, Jr.

I'm a wandering pilgrim anchored in the Baptist tradition, tossed about by the anabaptist current. I am a minister at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church and a recent graduate of Campbell Divinity School. I am the husband of a beautiful woman, and the father of a blond-haired boy. I am a work in progress, struggling to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. View all posts by David Anderson, Jr.

4 responses to “looking at the world with fresh eyes

  • Laura

    Beautiful! You’re very talented! I especially love the shot of the tree branches and snow.

  • Jessica Greene

    Hey David,
    Kristen is looking more beautiful than I remember, I can’t wait to hear news about your little bundle of joy. I don’t think I ever took the time to thank-you for your support and friendship during our time together in Boone. I wanted to do that. So, thank-you.
    May God bless you and yours, if you need anything, baby wise, or anything, please let me know, I have lots of stuff for a little girl. Also, if you and Kristen are ever coming through Asheville, please let me know, there is always a free place to crash, and I would love to spend some time with ya’ll.


    • David

      It’s great to hear from you Jessica. I hope everything is fantastic in your household as well. We are very eager for May to get here … but also more than a little anxious about getting everything in order first to prepare for the baby. I will always be grateful for the friendship and experiences we had in Boone. Kristen and I would love to have an opportunity to come visit you too. Maybe in a few years (when the babies are a little older) we can all go for a camping / climbing trip together.

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