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May 09 43

Best Kit(ty) Lens Ever!

My girlfriend (now fiancée) Sara and I took a trip to Middle-Tennessee this past spring on a fun-filled adventure! We stopped by Jack Daniel's Distillery, the Corvette Museum and saw Nashville for the first time at a concert. Visiting with family was a no-brainer, as my Uncle Frank owns a large Tennessee walking horse farm; Rising Star Ranch. Being on the farm has always been a part of me, even back to my teen years when I worked as a ranch hand on the farm. 

This trip was different, as it was for relaxation and not for work. I had just bought my Sony a7 II camera, and hadn't had the chance to buy any additional lenses or accessories, so the kit lens would HAVE to suffice. I had just received the camera days before the trip, so I was still unfamiliar with the buttons, gizmos and gadgets that came with this amazing camera. The task was daunting; take as many beautiful pictures as I could, and experiment with the video capabilities while driving an RTV through the horse fields. Yes, the 5-axis image stabilization DOES work, and works very well! I highly recommend this camera for that feature alone.

As Sara and I were ready to call it a day around 5 P.M., we made our way to the barn to feed the horses. I spotted a cat sitting on a horse and thought that would be a great shot, but the cat was easily frightened, and leaped off of the horse. A few minutes passed, and I was busy getting used to the camera, trying out different f-stops for my "collection of creative camera captures" as I called it. 

As I gazed in wonder about my surroundings, I came eye to eye with the farm cat...staring...wondering...intrigued by my very being. He was hell-bent on stalking his prey (me) and inevitably killing me for dinner. At first, he was docile and submissive, often standing 20 yards away in the tall grass, staring and pondering his next move. As time passed, he became obsessed with me, stalking me like a lion. In his mind, he was the ultimate killing machine.

I dashed right, then left, trying to get a picture of the wild beast. Barbed wire and fence posts crept into every shot, leaving them useless pictures to be deleted. The wild animal was elusive, but I stood tall. Crawling through the tall grass he crept, until he reached the end of his forest. Being but an amateur photographer, I tried and tried to get a clean shot of the feline mammal, but miserably failed. The ferocious fiend proved to be too quick for my eye...or so I thought. At half past 5 P.M. I was ready to quit; hang up my hat, cap my lens and move on. Persistence, blood, sweat and tears pushed me onward. 

The cat was undetectable to both my eyes and ears, but not my a7II. No sir, this beast of a camera sees all. The cat took up shelter under an old cultivator, and made it his temporary home. 

Time and time again, I saw his bright green eyes look into my soul as if to say "you're mine, human...you're mine". 

I bent to the ground, but that wasn't low enough. I crouched down and yet I was not low enough. As I lay prone on the ground, time stood still. My hand gripped the camera as tightly as a parent to a newborn. My palms were sweaty, knees weak and arms were heavy; but on the surface, I looked calm and ready. I reminded myself that I only get one shot, do NOT miss my chance; this photo opportunity comes once in a lifetime. Just like that...I took the shot heard round the world. The camera clanged as the shutter sounded, the wild animal fled with fear and I calmly reviewed my shot. Alas, I shot the beast. "Tango down" I declared, making it known that I was the victor that day. Time resumed, and the day went on.

Thank you for listening to me tell the tale of 'The Tail'. Yes, this camera is great, and yes, the kit 28-70 lens is a great kit lens for beginners. I highly recommend it. 

With my trusty camera by my side, I proclaimed: "This is my camera. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my camera is useless. Without my camera, I am useless. I must fire my camera true. I must shoot straighter than the enemy who is trying to out-shoot me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. My camera and I know that what counts in war is not the shutter count, the noise of our shutter burst, or the gear we take. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit."

-Photographer's Creed.

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