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Old Apr 12, 2009, 10:40 PM   #1
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A weekend of contrasts for me. Yesterday I was taking pictures of snow on flowers and tiny dewdrops on thin blades of grass. Today my other half decided he wanted clam chowder for lunch, which means a trip to our favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant, the Splash Cafe in Pismo Beach.

It also means a walk along the pier and an opportunity for picture-taking. Today was pretty slim for pictures - no pelicans were hanging out on the pier and the surf was flat - I've seen wind-swept lakes with larger waves. But that didn't stop many from trying to catch the few waves there were.

Paddling out:



I like this picture because of the detail it shows.

Action Shots:



In some ways this isn't the best shot I took, but its the only one that makes the surf look much more impressive than it really was.

Some better shots:





Surfers come in all ages now:



There was some other action going on:



And those who weren't quite so active, just enjoying a slow stroll along the beach:



All the pictures were taken with the DA 55-300 at various focal lengths. Some of these are full frame, while others have been cropped some. It handled the surfer pictures quite well, and they were at the longer end of the focal length, but I'm still not sure I'm completely happy with this lens.
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Old Apr 12, 2009, 11:53 PM   #2
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Ah, my old photo stomping grounds. I sure do miss the pier and Splash's clam chowder. Lovely shots! Thanks for bringing back good memories of SLO.

- Jason
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 6:36 AM   #3
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I haven't been here in probably 40+ years. We used to go when we lived in Lynwood.

Nice action shots.

Patty
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 9:39 AM   #4
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I thought about you, Jason, while I wandered on the pier. The surf was so flat you probably wouldn't have bothered trying to photograph anything. Not much for wildflowers, either - it's not a great year. But the weather was lovely and the clam chowder was excellent (as usual) so thedrive was worth it.
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Old Apr 14, 2009, 2:40 PM   #5
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Those are some pretty good shots from what you call "pretty slim." But as I've said before you have a good eye for finding shots where others (me) wouldn't be able to see them.

Glenn
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Old Apr 14, 2009, 7:53 PM   #6
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Harriet, obviously your better lenses have spoiled you, these shots are fantastic. The 55-300mm may not be fast but it is quite sharp and offer so much more range than the 135mm limit on the DA* lens.
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Old Apr 14, 2009, 9:08 PM   #7
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I'll readily admit to having become very spoiled about lenses - I used to be quite happy with my old kit lens, but now find it too soft. The lens isn't that horrible, as you say, it's pretty sharp, especially in the center. There's distortion at the edges of the frame, sometimes significant. It's very soft at f5.8 and 300mm (wide open), though these pictures look much better than some previous ones (I wonder if the new update has something to do with that?). It's almost too contrasty - not sure I know how to explain it. It will blow out the highlights faster than the A*300 will. I'm beginning to believe that I'm just happier with primes, I've never been one to compromise on image quality. I bought the 55-300 lens knowing I was going to be compromising - trading some image quality for less weight and the convenience of a zoom (I had been thinking of the DA*200). I'm not sure, I might have a poor copy or I might just be expecting far too much from the lens. These surfer pictures are OK, so we'll see.
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Old Apr 15, 2009, 8:36 PM   #8
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These are well beyond OK; they're great shots in my book. I especially love #2, with the frozen surf, the surfer's hand placement, and his mouth open in what appears to be deep concentration. They're very nicely done.
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Old Apr 15, 2009, 9:12 PM   #9
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The guy in the second one wiped out right after I took this picture - he looks like he knows he's going to. I was thinking that perhaps the 3rd and 5th were the best ones - their faces are lighted better. My favorite is the 4th one though - it's full frame and I know I was zoomed in too close. But he was right below me, close to the pier, and I had no time to zoom out. I thought it captured the action nicely and I like the water. Goes to show that I'm not a knowledgeable surfer photographer, I think.
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