China in Photos

China in Photos: Day No. 93 In Which I Endorse Clouds and a Telephoto Lens

We don’t really do sunsets in Chengdu.  Our position in the bottom of a valley, under a near constant blanket of clouds and pollution, does not lend itself to the beautiful sorts of sunsets that one might find in, say, Malaysia, where I’ll be when this post goes up.

That being said, sometimes the clouds do part here, and often in very interesting ways.

As I sat this evening, frantically typing out posts scheduled to go up while we are on vacation, Chris wandered in and commented on the interesting clouds in the “sunset” going on just over my shoulder.

One look and I dived for my telephoto lens.  To this day, it’s the only accessory I’ve ever bought for my camera.  The one I bought because it was cheap, even though I knew it didn’t have image-stabilization or any of the other features I wanted.  You know, the lens I can only ever use in the brightest of daylight or with a borrowed tripod since I don’t own one myself.

In short, this lens represents an important camera equipment lesson: buy what you need and don’t settle for something that doesn’t meet those needs just because it’s so much cheaper.  It ends of being a waste of money in the long run.  To wit, I have yet to buy another item for my camera because I don’t want to be wayy better educated for my next purchase.

That being said though, tonight was one of those rare moments when I was able to actually use this lens to its full potential, i.e. with full light behind me and a window railing to steady it upon.

And so, I give you clouds:

I’m convinced, clouds are an excellent reason to have a telephoto lens, just make sure you get some image stabilization and a tripod while you’re at it.


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